Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Sailing Book Review: The Self-Sufficient Sailor, Larry and Lin Pardey

After just reading The Self-Sufficient Sailor for the second time I have decided to write a review on the book. Let me just say that this is one of the best informative books that I have read about getting "out there" and going cruising. The Pardeys are a cruising couple who have been cruising for more than 20 years full-time, so they know what they are talking about.

The book gives you alot of great information and things to think about if you are one of those who dreams of sailing off for 6 months or for the rest of your life, something I think most sailors have dreamed of.

They explain just how you can get out their, from how to hitchhike across oceans, how to pay for your dream once your "out there", and why you don't need a 40'er with all the latest and greatest gear onboard.

They stress that simplicity is the best way to accomplish your dream successfully. If you have all kinds of complicated mechanical gear and electronics onboard then you just have more things that can fail that you probably will not be able to fix by your self, which makes you not "self-sufficient". As I have began to realize, the bigger the boat the more junk you will pile in it, therefore the more stuff that can break and the more money you will spend getting ready to go cruising when the stuff you bought was really essential.

They go into explaining how to make life onboard with your significant other more pleasant and how to help both of you become comfortable with the cruising lifestyle so that everyone enjoys it. Since this is a big deal for most people who want to get "out there" they really take that into consideration and give some great advice on the subject.

They talk about being prepared for the worst and how to handle some of the bad situations like storms and a sinking ship, it's not a survival book but it gives a few things to dwell on.

Also, they give many tip's on how to make your boat more efficient and easier to maintain. All of these things were learned and put into practice by the Pardeys throughout thier cruising life.

They also show you a little of the hardships that come with the cruising lifestyle, but they let you know that the great things outway the not-so-great things.

Of all of the sailing books I have read this will probably be the one that I re-read most often because it has such great information and really can inspire you to get on with things and stop waiting around. If you have ever thought about cruising then this book should be the first one you purchase, a fantastic read....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why a Smaller Sailboat is Better!

For my particular situation, a smaller sailboat will fill my needs much better than a large sailboat. In the past two years that I have owned a 29' sailboat that stays docked at a marina an hour and a half drive away I have gotten alot of use out of the boat. The first summer of owning the boat every 3 out of 4 weekends were spent on the boat, that's a pretty good bit in my opinion.

The thing is, I have a 29' sailboat with potential to sail around the world (the Watkins 29 has circumnavigated) yet I haven't done a more than one overnight out on the boat at a time and that was still in my local bay! Talk about a little embarrassing. The question is why though?

A big part in it is that I had no one who actually wanted to do that to go with me. Every weekend it was mostly my girlfriend and I on the boat. She enjoyed it most of the time and I am very glad she put up with my wanting to go to the boat every weekend. She didn't like not having somewhere to hook her blow dryer up to, or having a shower that she didn't have to worry about using to much water, or being able to watch TV, or having A/C all night, or a refrigerator along with many of the other conveniences that you have at home.

Also, we have a 29' boat and I can think of only FIVE TIMES that we had guest sailing with us on board. Which makes me thing why do we need such a big boat?!? Never did we have anyone spend the night at anchor with us so we don't need a large cabin.

Really we didn't get to SAIL as much as I wanted to, no where even close. Because I knew that my girlfriend didn't want to get out when it was blowing over 15 knots.

In my heart, I want to SAIL, I want to GO SOMEWHERE, I want to SAIL THOUGH THE NIGHT on a one or two day hop, I want to SAIL THE KEYS, SAIL TO THE BAHAMAS, I want to do more than stick around the local bay and be stuck at the slip, I WANT TO GO!!!

How do I do this?

Well, it sounds like I need to be able to do it alone, which is perfectly fine by me. I don't mind roughing it one bit if I need to. To do it alone I would like a small boat that I can handle easily by myself, and that is capable of doing all the things I want to accomplish.

That is where a small trailerable boat comes in. There are trade offs with a trailerable boat then there are many advantages to consider also. Here are some starting with a few negatives:

-Less room and generally no standing head room
-Possibly more work getting underway, like stepping the mast
-Generally not as heavy as larger boats and therefore less seaworthy
-Not as much as a status symbol, who needs that anyways, but still an excellent eye catcher (especially a 17 footer)

+Initial investment is quite less
+Ability to sail different areas easily
+No slip/haul out fees
+Easier to complete your own maintenance
+Less bottom maintenance
+Less storage (which means that you can't spend more money on a bunch of unessential gadgets and what-not)
+Cheaper transient slip costs
+So many affordable options on the market to choose from
+Cheaper to outfit: sails, lines, winches, anchors and rode, less paint needed, less fuel consumption and much more
+The ability to row or scull if need be
+Cheaper Insurance
+Less invested and therefore if you loose your boat for some reason you are aren't out a fortune

So I think a smaller sailboat is just what I need, then I can get out there and fulfill some of my dreams!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Future sailing thoughts....

In the previous post I mentioned that I am selling the Watkins 29 due to high cost of owning a large sailboat that sits in a slip and doesn't get used like I wish. So here are my thoughts on possible plans once the boat finally sells, hopefully this spring.

Smaller is better, at least for my situation. (I will elaborate on this in a later post)

So I am trying to find a few small trailerable sailboats that can handle heavy weather and can be sailed across the gulf stream to the Bahamas safely without much worry. What I have found are a few boats that fit my criteria.

My first choice at this moment is the Montgomery 17, a small seaworthy vessel capable of extensive cruising but in small "camping" like conditions which is absolutely fine for me at this point in my life. The boat can be purchased at a very reasonable price, from $5,000 to $10,000 for a pretty well equipped but in good condition. A new one can be had at $20,000 which is a very reasonable price in my opinion for a new and very strong boat.

Others are the West Wight Potters, Compacs, and other small but capable boats.

The Montgomery 17 seems to stand out above the rest to be a more seaworthy and overly built boat.

What have I been up to?

It has been quite a long time since I posted in my Sailing and Such blog. Not sure why, but I think this happens fairly often to a pretty large ammount of people.

In short, my computer crashed due to some adware and I haven't been able to remove it yet. Also, the website Sailing and Such has crashed due to the web host has some major problems and everyone's website under them also crashed. So, I do not have access to the files that are on my "crashed" computer to upload the site to the web.

My South Coast 22 project sailboat isn't coming along very fast due to lack of funds to puchase the needed epoxy and paint needed to finish the boat, as well as a few other things.

The PK 7'8 dinghy is currently undergoing a paint job and a varnish job, I am paint the inside of the boat white and the outer hull a baby blue color. The seat tops and the rubrail as well as a few other trim pieces are being varnished to leave the nice woodgrain look.

The Watkins 29 is still up for sale and the asking price has dropped considerably. I really hope that it sells this spring so that I can get the $300 a month slip rent out of the way as well as the MANY other expensive maintenance cost that come with owning a larger sailboat.

There are other thoughts in the works also that I will share in other posts soon to come.