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essail 02-03-2011 04:37 AM

Hello everyone, I've always wanted to get my own sailboat and go see all the wondrous places this world has stowed away. I had always thought it impossible due to cost, until recently. My Dad lucked out and got a 42ft 1969 Trojan that was, for the most part structurally intact with much cosmetic damage. Its a great project boat, for just a couple hundred dollars. So i realized you can get deals on boats, talked to a few friends(of whom I've in the past lived with cram packed in a small house for a time,) started looking for a boat(my father is also a master with construction and especially wood.) and gathering info. Thats what brings me to this forum. From what I've gathered so far, i need a boat with with a heavy displacement, a thick hull, full keel, over sized rigging, small thick portholes, general design, the appropriate navigation gear, and such. I really want to accomplish this while i am still young and resilient. My plan is this; learn to sail on this huge lake in Texas on my fathers buddies 22ft sailboat( and make a point of it to head out during bad storms,) find a seaworthy sailboat that will sleep about 3 people, prep it with the right gear, Navi systems, communication systems ect, Sextant, physical maps, water treatment and back up water treatment equipment, add a set up for deep sea fishing, possibly take some appropriate classes, save up some back up funds, and gather my shipmates. Once i have done all this, I want to start off by sailing down the coast from Houston to Galveston and South Padre Island, then come back up to Houston and take a few skirmish's a couple miles out to sea to get a feel for the real deal. From there I want to follow the coast(out at sea, but with land in sight) from Houston all the way down to the tip of Florida, then, finally break off land and take my first stretch of open water to the Bahama's, roughly 100miles i think, then go from there(all the while relying on the bounty of the sea to provide food for me and my shipmates, i figure one catch is a weeks worth of food due to the size of the fish) . Now I think i have a good plan and a rather safe one at that for starts at least, but I am completely inexperienced. I think with the history of human seafaring and modern day technology this dream is somewhat achievable, but I would love any kind of input or insight on everything.

What kind of ship should i look for?(that a poor person could make due with, but would still stand up to the sea)

What should i avoid? (besides hurricanes and area's with dangerous people and light unstable ships)

What else should i get on my boat, or need on my boat?

What other questions am i forgetting to ask?

Again any input is appreciated. I think there is more to life then living for a paycheck, and i want to go for this, but I must be smart about it.

MMNETSEA 02-03-2011 05:22 AM


Originally Posted by essail (Post 1296707845)

Hello everyone, My plan is this; learn to sail on this huge lake in Texas on my fathers buddies 22ft sailboat( and make a point of it to head out during bad storms,)

Hello Essail, Welcome to Cruiser Log, Great plan to learn to sail on a boat that size, maybe not a good idea to head out during bad storms unless you get the go-ahead from the owner. Sometimes inland waters can spring a nasty surprise in terms of sudden arrival squalls, also the fact that underwater hazards such as rocks and tree stumps need local knowledge.

What make is the boat ? Do you have the coordinates of the lake ?

Good sailing

JeanneP 02-03-2011 10:55 AM

Which big lake - Lake Houston? 'tis a big lake, indeed. Trust me, you don't want to intentionally go out in a storm until you've had lots of easier trips under your belt. We're thinking of heading to Galveston this season, and getting up to Lake Houston, now that I've seen where it is, intrigues me.

For starters, check out some of the discussions with members Magwas and Atavist - that's a good start. In fact, there's tons of info. you could start reading on this board before you run out of answers to your questions.

Don't worry about questioning Conventional Wisdom, which sometimes isn't wisdom at all. Maybe consider some unconventional ideas, such as those of Steve Dashew.

Don't think that a boat with

a heavy displacement, a thick hull, full keel, over sized rigging, small thick portholes
is the only cruising option. It isn't. Look for my comments all over Cruiser Log for that.

Oversized rigging can sometimes offer a false sense of security.

How do you propose to keep a week's worth of fish fresh and edible? For that matter, landing such a large fish is a bit of an adventure on a fishing boat equipped for it. I'm not sure I'd try to land it in a small-ish sailboat.

Cruiser Log's World Cruising and Sailing Wiki) is another resource to exploit, and within it is my Cruiser's Dictionary, another place for you to browse.

And always feel free to ask questions.

danblu 02-03-2011 10:05 PM

Hi mate, look crew crew crew on as many different yachts as you can and before you try to decide which vessel will suit. It needs to be a practicle decision not a head type of thing. Try not to buy anything too early, wait patiently till you know what you are doing! You can learn the basics of navigation online. Learn the rules of the road as they say and read lots. Its a great adventure hope you enjoy as much as I do.



essail 02-04-2011 06:31 AM

Mmnetsea, thanks, I would be sailing with the owner of the boat who lives on the lake and sails daily. So the storm sailing would be down with an experienced captain. As for the lake itself i do not have the coordinates, but it is Lake Belton, in central Texas. I don't have the make of the boat, but i can find out in a week or so, I do know though, that it is a lighter sailboat, made in the 80's, and fiberglass.

JeanneP, it was actually lake Belton, but Galveston is a cool place and i would definably head there, South Padre as well. I hope to have a fridge on board and a range for cooking. If not maybe look into traditional preserving techniques or something. I would have a small crew so I'd think i week would be the norm the amount of time the fish would have to lay around. What kind of boat you think i would need to run some fishing on in the middle of the ocean? What are the important factors for that kinda thing? And i will make sure to check out your Cruiser's Dictionary, and those discussions in the next week as well.

Danblu, I have never crewed with anyone and money is somewhat a hurdle, but your advice is solid and i think i will try and do that. On hand exp is the best and that would be the best way to find out what boat would suit me. I have been leaning towards older boats both wood and fiberglass. I hear fiberglass boats from the 60's and 70's tend to have much thicker skin witch is always better right? And i def want the most crew i can fit as there is safety in numbers(and in this situation more able bodied travel experienced friends would be best i'd think.)

I've been told that Westsail, Nor'sea, and Folkboats, are good boats, and I like the older style construction, but they are never within my price range. I've seen a 33' Hillyard sloop that i liked, but one crippling factor that comes into play with my situation is price, this hillyard i saw would be affordable, but somewhat of a project. I could do project with my dad if it was close enough docked, but i would hate to buy something then find out it was a death trap at sea. I guess what i'm trying to get to is what should i really really just stay away from?

JeanneP 02-04-2011 01:17 PM

I thnk it's too early to be looking to own a boat. First learn how to sail, and as danblu said, "crew, crew, crew". You don't need to be paid, and in fact the best opportunities for a rank amateur would be as crew in the local club sailing races. Skippers are so varied, you will learn a lot about sailing, but also about how not to treat your crew, and how not to behave when things get tough.

The most important thing to succeed at cruising is to love to sail. You've jumped into the questions with too much detail for this stage of your education, and the answers are daunting for us and would have little usefulness to you right now.

That's why "crew, crew, crew". Sail on as many boats as you can so you can see what the good, and not-so-good, features of the various makes of sailboats are. There are probably a couple hundred makes and models of sailboat that would be good. So first you need enough knowledge to narrow down your search and our suggestions. That's why you would do well to read some of Magwas' and Atavist's posts for answers already given.

Not to flog my free CRUISER'S DICTIONARY, but it's pretty basic and at least gives you an idea of the kinds of questions people look for answers to once they know how to sail, have their boat, and are going cruising. You're not there yet, but you might find your list of questions reduced a bit.

danblu 02-06-2011 09:37 AM

Hey mate, if moneys an object really stay away from anything that is a project. You would not believe how much it costs to do up an old boat. Here's a link to a site you may find useful, i did the rules of the road section (free) and found it to be a great way to practise.....

A well built ferro cement is well worth considering, especially if on a strict budget.

essail 02-09-2011 01:58 AM

Hey thanks! I will wait and get some experience in first, i guess i'm getting ahead of myself a little bit. Research, try and get some sea time crew in, learn to sail, and then find my boat.

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