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Hi all 

 

How long would it take to be an adequate coastal cruiser single hand ?

im 30 years old and no sailing experience whatsoever .Very intrigued with the lifestyle /coastal cruising .

Happy to play the long game and after rough time frames in learning process ?(years?decades?)

cheers 

 

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One or two sails with someone experienced will give you the basics and from there it is just a matter of building your own experience and confidence. Practice reefing and give plenty of thought to contingency plans for various scenarios.

If you have the right aptitude and enough free time you could be "fair weather" coastal cruising in no time at all. 

Buy a well prepared boat or be prepared to spend significant time and money preparing it yourself. When you are on your own you really need everything to work as it should or your confidence will be rattled.

I grew up dinghy sailing but had only been sailing on a keeler once before buying my own and sailing it solo from Whangarei back to Tauranga. In the 2.5 years since I have done about a thousand coastal miles all singlehanded.

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The old kiwi mentality of getting out and doing it counts for a lot. But there is a lot that can go wrong and mistakes that get made. So I always recommend for late starter newbies to also join a boat that races regularly, as crew. It’s always about time on the water observing what is happening in different conditions. 
 

This also helps build knowledge about what features of a boat would suit you. 
 

And then read read read. There is so much to be gained from reading about other people’s experiences. 

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On 2/01/2021 at 9:11 PM, Sabre said:

One or two sails with someone experienced will give you the basics and from there it is just a matter of building your own experience and confidence. Practice reefing and give plenty of thought to contingency plans for various scenarios.

If you have the right aptitude and enough free time you could be "fair weather" coastal cruising in no time at all. 

Buy a well prepared boat or be prepared to spend significant time and money preparing it yourself. When you are on your own you really need everything to work as it should or your confidence will be rattled.

I grew up dinghy sailing but had only been sailing on a keeler once before buying my own and sailing it solo from Whangarei back to Tauranga. In the 2.5 years since I have done about a thousand coastal miles all singlehanded.

Good advice from Sabre and just as important is knowing your boat, for me I have found this takes  two to three seasons of regular cruising.  By that I mean the way it sails together with all  of its features and systems. Often you get to know a system best by fixing it when it breaks or malfunctions but you don't want to be doing that in a blow on a lee shore ! I have cruised the gulf and Northland coast for many years but I'm always a little jealous of new converts since you have the promise of discovering all those places anew for the first time ! take care.

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My advice: firstly learn to sail as crew with an experienced (and forgiving) skipper. As well as showing you the ropes he/she should be able to demonstrate sound judgement so that you can learn how to respond to the various challenges that the sea throws at you. 
As a lifestyle, sailing is second to none - actually it becomes an obsession!

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