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Old 05-23-2007, 03:45 AM   #1
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As a kid I can remember when I was not getting along with the parents. I would plot my exodus to the grand life of working in the circus. Now at the ripe old age of 53, I find myself plotting to sail away on a sailboat. The circus never worked out, but I would like to give the sailboat a go. I would like to give you a little info then ask your opinion on a couple of items.

I have been around boats since I was a kid. Mostly power along the Gulf Coast and Inland waters. Four years ago I got the sailing bug after reading some logs in my wife's hometown paper about the Lady Anne. It was the tales from a family who circumnavigated and ultimately settled in Colorado. I could not wait until the next paper arrived.

I bought a McGregor 25 and taught myself how to sail it here in Idaho. The winds can change directons in a hurry. Took the bareboat certification in the San Juan's and enjoyed it a lot and did pretty well. I am a pilot (air) and found the navigation to be about the same. What we covered made sense. The time I had in other craft seemed relevant.

Chartered in the Abaccos last spring. I have a return trip to the San Juans for this September. I have a daughter 13 and a son 16. I am committed to seeing them through school. I need to work about 8 years more to accomplish that.

When I am free to go, do you think it would be suicidal to head out across the ocean. My expereince is obviously going to be a lot less than most of the folks posting on this site.

I also do not want to spend 2 years getting a boat ready. Somewhere on this site there was a boat for sale pending their return from their circumnavigation. Sounds like a deal. The boat obviously can do it. Fix and repair what needs fixed and turn it around and do it again. I have read the Pardey's books and a number of others. I have learned something from each of the books. The logs from people out there doing it, have been very informative.

I would appreciate your opinions. Afterall, I have some time to contemplate it and the circus does come through on an annual basis.


Duckwheat of Idaho

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Old 05-23-2007, 04:57 AM   #2
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Hi Duckwheat.

Welcome to Cruiser Log. Sounds as though you have a good plan going, which should eventually take you wherever in the world you wish to sail. When looking for a boat, I am sure you have settled the criteria in your mind as to what you want.

WARNING--WARNING...Broad generalisation coming up!

I would advise caution when looking at boats which have completed a circumnavigation. After all, most people would not buy a second hand motorbike on the recommendation that it has just travelled 50,000 miles during an around the world trip.

The advertising slogan "....just finished a circumnavigation, ready to go again", is similar in meaning to a real estate ad for a house which is "....a renovators dream". Faced with a choice between an ocean proven 45' XYZ brand, and a similar 45' XYZ brand which has pottered up and down inland canals all its life, I would choose the latter to look at first. Then the former to see how to set up the latter after purchasing the former. (Wot ?)

Either way, I recommend the cruising lifestyle. You will meet a lot of very good people who want to see the world in a unique, environmentally low impact way. Travel in peace, with respect and humility, and you can't fail.



"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 05-23-2007, 10:22 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hello Duckweat!

Your plan sounds great and I hope it come through!

Regarding experience, from what I understood from your post, you still have 8 more years till you go on your voyage; therefore if you will join as crew on a few legs of circumnavigating boats in the meanwhile and train on your boat I believe you will have sufficient experience till then.

Regarding spending 2 years on getting the boat ready-

a. it first depends on what condition the boat that you purchase will be in;

b. I'm sorry to disappoint you but in general boats do need a lot of maintanence and boats that plan to do a circumnavigation need even more!

Good luck with your plan!
"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet

so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and

impatient when least effective."

-Henry David Thoreau
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:42 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard Duckwheat!

As a pilot you are uniquely qualified to sail as you have the basic understanding of wind, weather, navigation, safety and maintainance necessary to accomplish your dream. Many retired pilots find their way to sailing and circumnavigation to continue their lifestyle of travel and freedom.

With respect to the boat and learning what will meet your needs and desire for comfort, follow the sailblogs of those presently circumnavigating. I believe you will find volumes of insightful information. Here is a brief list of those that I follow. Specifically, Chris & Julie on Cisnecito which is a Swan 46 that they bought after it had finish a circumnavigation under a diferent name and captain just a few years earlier.

Alex Dorsey got tired of the rat race in LA and went to sea. Just completed solo from Panama to Marquesas


Father & daughter team presently making their way to Marquesas from Gallapagos. Well written and laced with humor from the daughter Cass.


Julie & Chris are a sharp sailing couple who are making it all look easy with 210mile days on a Swan



Chris & KT from Ventura CA now in Australia (great websites)



Liz is a young surfer/sailor from Santa Barbara that grew up sailing and is now in Panama.


Sand Dollar just made the crossing to Marquesas from Cabo solo in 24 days


Good luck achieving your dream!


Ken & Lori

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Old 05-24-2007, 08:23 AM   #5
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When I am free to go, do you think it would be suicidal to head out across the ocean. My expereince is obviously going to be a lot less than most of the folks posting on this site.

I also do not want to spend 2 years getting a boat ready.
Welcome duckwheat,

You are probably in the best position to answer your question. Would you hire another skipper with equal knowledge and experince as yours, to sail your yacht to where you intend to go? How about if your family were to also go?

To answer another way, figure out what you need to know about every aspect of sailing, and each vessel system, and compare it to what you already know. Than it depends on what you do about filing in any important gaps, between now and shoving off.

The alternative to spending years getting a boat ready, is to buy one that already is. I would allow time for sea trails, to get familair with everything, and work out the bugs, loose connections, and unforeseen issues, doing some coastal cruising, before sailing off into the wild blue yonder.

Best wishes,

When in doubt, do the right thing.

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Old 05-24-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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I appreciate the thoughtful input. I have been following the blogs from the people out doing it. It is very helpful to hear their comments about what works and what does not.

Thanks again.


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