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Old 05-10-2013, 05:16 AM   #21
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I never had any instruction to sail or pilot any of my boats. Starting with a 20" trailer yacht, then maxi yacht, then two diesel cruisers. What I did do is read everything I could lay my hands on that was relevant...and...this turned out to be the most important, and it's still something I do when planning any boat renovation project, I go to sleep each night visualising what's ahead. It worked on our first sail and it has worked ever since, including piloting our Clipper. I rehearse it all over and over, then when it comes to doing it, it is like we have done it all before. Works for me...

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:11 AM   #22
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Your boat handling is easy especially with a twin screw vessel if you understand what reaction you get from using your individual motors
I have trained many commercial masters over the years and if they do not understand there principals they are never any good at boat handling
Second bit of advice when berthing is to always have a plan B
When plan A goes pear shape you need to have an idea what to do next in advance
Employ a trainer for a couple of days is good advice if it makes you more comfortable and confident
Then go off and enjoy the experience


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Old 05-11-2013, 08:35 AM   #23
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We've made that trip but in a sailboat. Your biggest challenge may be the stretch from Sandy Hook south to either Delaware Bay or the Chesapeake. It took us just over two days to get from Sandy Hook to Norfolk. After that it's ICW all the way to Florida. We've always gone outside around Georgia, too much skinny water. We've also never done the ICW between St. Augustine and Miami, too many bridges.

With only two of you I would recommend getting an autopilot, especially if you do any overnighters outside like Sandy Hook south and around Georgia.

Getting into and out of Long Island Sound requires a little bit of planning with the tides but we had no problems with the sailboat.

If you're interested, check our web site,, click on 'Ports O'Call II', for the details of our trip south, it starts with the heading NYC.

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #24
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Thank you for the insight. It has been helpful in planning.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:27 PM   #25
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After studying Active captain I see why everyone is suggesting it. It has already been helpful. Thanks for he advice, it is appreciated!
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #26
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Yes, I agree with what you are saying. My girlfriend and I are both common sense people and cautious while still adventurous, so looking forward to this trip. We are a week away from our departure and everything is coming together. Looks like we will be heading out on our own, but we have all the tools and electronic devices that will help us, so by being cautious and aware we should be fine. Thank you!
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #27
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Hi again--Of the 3 things I suggested you get an instructor to teach you in a previous post, boat handling is the easiest. A good instructor can teach a chimp how to handle a boat in a week or so. Seamanship, the second thing to learn, is also not that complicated...typing knots, judging weather, learning rules of the road, stuff like that. The most difficult of the three to master is navigation. It would take 10,000 years of evolution before you could teach a chimp to navigate safely. But it's what will keep you from running into something harder than your boat, which will pretty much mess up your whole day. Learning these three basics is an evolutionary process. You don't just graduate one day and say to yourself, OK, I've got 'em mastered. You'll continue to learn with every boating experience. Every time I step on a boat I learn something new. It never stops. Mostly I learn how stupid I've been over the 40+ years I've spent afloat, and how miraculous it is I survived. Apologies if you already know all that stuff. Good luck with your first voyage amigo!
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #28
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If you're going to travel the is one very good resource...that is well updated:

Cruiser's Net Its the "Salty Southeast Cruiser's Net".... Its broken down by state and stretches of the ICW....and its updated by people traveling the ICW.

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