March 24, 2008
I’ve been doing a lot of research into what the vessel I purchase should have. For at least my first year living aboard, I will be coastal in order to gain experience and get comfortable with my boat. However, I definitely want long-distance passages to be an option.
Here are some of the requirements I have come up with:
- Diesel Engine
- Full keel
- Straight keel – not angled
- Keel-mounted rudder
- No fractional rigs / running backstays
- No single-strand rod rigging – multi-strand wire only
I’ll be adding to this as my research continues. At some point, some requirements may have priority over others. However, this initial list is pretty much all must-haves.
March 23, 2008
Well, as you can tell from the name of the ‘trip’, I’m not even onboard yet! The fact of the matter is that the only part of my boat that I currently have is its name: Ma Douleur.
This two-month ‘trip’ is all about getting rid of everything from furniture to cars to dishes to DVDs… And on and on and on…
Once everything is gone, I’ll be leaving with nothing but my truck and stuff from my condo that is useful aboard a boat. I’ll work my way down the East Coast, stopping at various cities to find Ma Douleur and purchase her. Once I have Ma Douleur, I’ll spend a couple of weeks in the city I buy her taking care of outfitting, conducting sea trials, selling my truck, etc.
Once I’m ready to go, I plan to head out, take a right and sail to the Caribbean. When I go, I’m sure I’ll take the slow road. While I have a fair amount of sailing experience, I have never cruised or single-handed. Because of this, I want to make sure my journey is a series of day-hops so I don’t have to worry about sleep issues sailing throught the night. Also, I have to work on navigational skills. Everything I’ve ever done has been coastal, local and daytime so my ‘navigation’ has always been by eye. I guess I should add a Coast Guard class to the list of stuff I’m doing before I go!
That’s as far out as I’ve planned so far. I’ll back up and talk about my current activities.
There are really just a couple of main things I am doing right now but they are a handful!
- I’m selling everything that won’t be needed aboard.
- I’m figuring out what to keep for use onboard. I’ve got a bunch of questions posted on cruisersforum.com where the kind folks are helping me figure things out.
- I’m determining what my requirements are for Ma Douleur and prioritizing them.
- Shopping at local boatyards to get ideas for Ma Douleur even though I will not be ready to purchase her until I ame ready to leave the condo.
Here’s a list of what I plan on keeping so far:
- Some small nylon tie-down ratchet straps I have
- Large 70-quart cooler
- Selection of tools
- First aid stuff, pain relievers, vitamins
- Selection of spices
- Selection of pots and pans
- Selection of dishes (nothing glass)
- Selection of plastic storage containers
- Pressure Cooker
- Plastic cereal containers
- Bar-b-que Propane tanks
- Some DVDs, CDs, etc.
- Laptop computer
That’s it for now. It’s ridiculously late, the Pink Floyd DVD I have playing is almost done and I’m going to get some sleep…