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Old 10-23-2016, 03:58 PM   #1
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Newbie - Solo cruiser

Great forum here... been reading it for years and finally decided to join!

I'm now officially a solo cruiser. Wife bought a beach house and is just not into it anymore. I've been boating solo for over a year now and frankly, it's tough! Friends are all talk... no shows! I've tried to hire paid crew... no shows! Did a 10 day Lauderdale to Key West and back run anyway. Fun but frankly just to much for one person to do! And yeah, I know it's dangerous. Live in Nashville, TN but keep my boat in South FL so I don't have a lot of local friends and those that I do have, own boats. Would like some feedback if there are any other's out there that share my dilemma.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #2
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Welcome!

I myself sail solo most of the time to. I kind of like that there's no-one on board to drink my beers.

My personal experiance is not that friends don't want to come sailing. A lot of them are there within 5 minutes. Calling them during wintertime when the boat needs a paintjob is much tougher.

I learned to do as much myself as possible! Docking and entering locks for example. Granted that my boat is only half the size of yours.

I did a few trips to sea on my own too. Might be a bit more dangerous but as long as you keep your head straight and know what you're doing it should be fine. Next year I'm planning to do a channel crossing to England. For me that's a trip I don't want to do alone so I've got to find someone willing to tag along before that time too.

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Old 10-23-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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Hi Brent,
I do the majority of cruising on my own. My wife enjoys cruising when the weather and seas are great, but that only works out to about 25% of the time. Lots of fair weather sailers but once the water gets a little rough, many want to head back in.

I prefer to go solo, but it takes a bit more preparation. I ensure I have a good jackline setup with tether and harness to keep me on board when the weather is rough. Docking takes a bit more thought and planning.

With a 50 foot boat, docking would certainly be a challenge. Have you considered trading down to something a little more manageable on your own?
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:35 PM   #4
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But it can get a bit boring after a while!
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:44 PM   #5
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I know of others in your situation.

Do you have another boat in Nashville? If not, why don't you have this one there? Would be a great trip to get there and then so much cruising from there, with that being where you do have friends to join you?

Now, one friend I have in South Florida with the issue you have decided to charter his boat. He is licensed, but even with a 6 Pack you could do so. Be selective, but take people on day trips or on weekend trips. I thought he was crazy doing it, but appears to be working for him.

Talk to MPT and perhaps as they have people taking courses and needing some sea time, they could recommend some relatively inexperienced but willing paid crew. Even visit some crew houses. A lot of crew in them interested in day work and short cruises.

College kids may be an option for weekends and school breaks. There are enough tourists as well, that I'm sure there are some who would like to get out on the water for a few days.

Talk to your friends who have boats about taking trips together on yours and then on theirs.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:17 PM   #6
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Don't have a six pack and Nashville is to cold for winter boating. And, I have grandchildren in college. My average cruise is from 10 days to full month. Boat is set up for short handling: thruster, twins, autopilot, etc. Handles like a big center console. After a couple of days at anchor, I start hallucinating! Can handle just so much solitude!
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:36 PM   #7
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I mostly solo. Docking requires planning. One reason I have a big boat is friends that wanted to take part. Like others say, most disappear when work is needed.
I soloed sometimes when commercial fishing as many other fishermen did. You learn to plan and take care. Now when cruising, I anchor except for fuel. And I buy at commercial docks that usually are easier docking. I don't cruise for the social life, but for the scenery and pristine places w/o lots of people.
I liveaboard alone and it's always nice when everyone leaves. I like quiet and never get lonely.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NashBrent View Post
Don't have a six pack and Nashville is to cold for winter boating. And, I have grandchildren in college. My average cruise is from 10 days to full month. Boat is set up for short handling: thruster, twins, autopilot, etc. Handles like a big center console. After a couple of days at anchor, I start hallucinating! Can handle just so much solitude!
Easy to get a six pack though if you have years of boating experience.

Also, cruise to places that interest you. Have destinations. I think cruising alone, marinas and towns become more important.
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:38 PM   #9
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I cruised solo for 9 months from SW Florida to Maine and back to Annapolis, with visits by my wife every three months. It was lonely at times, yes. But I never, ever felt that it was unsafe. This was on a sailing catamaran and the twin engines made close in docking a breeze. Never had a problem docking even with no help. The hull was stable, going forward was safe with jacklines and when the weather was gnarly I stayed put.


Ten days for Lauderdale to Key West and back??? Way too fast. I did it one way and took 30 days. KW, Marathon and South Beach all deserve a week each, well maybe a little less for South Beach.


Solo cruising is all about attitude. You either have it and enjoy it, or you don't.


David
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:26 PM   #10
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Easy to get a six pack though if you have years of boating experience.

Also, cruise to places that interest you. Have destinations. I think cruising alone, marinas and towns become more important.
whyingy does he need a six pack for ? he is not carrying pass for hire
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:26 PM   #11
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Wifey B: I can't imagine not having things spouses love to do together instead of going their separate ways. It's like life works when they both work and have kids and have little time together other than bed at night, but then with all the time possible to spend together, don't want to or can't. I'm not criticizing any of you as I'm a firm believer that you should do what makes you happy. I just find it sad.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:45 PM   #12
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whyingy does he need a six pack for ? he is not carrying pass for hire
It was just a suggestion so he didn't have to cruise alone...
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:10 PM   #13
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It was just a suggestion so he didn't have to cruise alone...
It was something a friend of mine did with his Glacier Bay. He enjoys being host and captain. He may offset some expenses but not in it for the money.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:06 AM   #14
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And yeah, I know it's dangerous... Would like some feedback if there are any other's out there that share my dilemma.
Hi Nash, I want to give you support because there is nothing inherently dangerous about sailing solo, especially with an (assumed) twin engine powerboat. I spent years sailing a 65 footer (twin, no thruster) solo, docking it a hundred times. Docking is where you need to build your confidence. Out in the ocean is the easy part .

Regarding extended cruising solo, there are a ton of threads and I was just reading this one: Transitioning to longer solo trips - Cruisers & Sailing Forums.

The loneliness factor is another thing however. Good luck with that.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:22 AM   #15
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Loners

Well, at least I know I'm not a lone loner! We all share the same sky (cept you southern hemisphere cruiser's is upside down).

I really love those times but I kinda feel guilty that I do! When I go it alone, I catch so much crap from from friends and family! Not overly concerned with the safety part but I'm not stupid (sh_t happens, but it can happen anywhere). Just frustrated others aren't so eager to share these incredible experiences we have on the water. Go figure! Just venting this makes me feel better already.

THANKS!
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:24 AM   #16
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I solo about half my cruises. I enjoy the solo about as much as with company, of course that depends somewhat on the company!! I have satellite radio at the helm so usually something interesting to listen to.

What I miss the most running solo is the ability to take mid day naps while under way. The purr of the motor makes for delicious naps.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:33 PM   #17
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I really love those times but I kinda feel guilty that I do! When I go it alone, I catch so much crap from from friends and family! Not overly concerned with the safety part but I'm not stupid (sh_t happens, but it can happen anywhere). Just frustrated others aren't so eager to share these incredible experiences we have on the water. Go figure! Just venting this makes me feel better already.

THANKS![/QUOTE]


Nash..... I just bought a boat 54 ft Seahorse Trawler. I have had one friend in four that showed up after planning about a year. Each one was going to crew three to four weeks at different stops starting on the NWP coast thru Panama back up to the Gulf Coast. Only one ever showed and he didn't get to crew because I had a little wreck and his time was used up in the shop getting her all fixed up again. Other three actually became irritated when I mentioned it was there time to show that I didn't understand how they just couldn't stop what they're doing to go play on my boat...That one still befuddles me to the point I throw it in there faces whenever they start talking about traveling and dream journeys again. These guys are old friends we where raised in the same town schools and dated the same girls. So hell is exactly what I give them. At the Marinas I get asked where's your wife......(married 34 years now) she's at home with her dogs and cats and horses and flower beds and garden and adult children and her mother and her sister and dream home .... The Point is, she has roots deep roots and she loves her life and her stuff and me .....as I do her. One of the reasons our marriage has lasted, because we don't have to be with each other 24/7 or even weeks or months now. Younger I couldn't stand to be gone to long and she felt the same. We also dealt with insecurities.......like you don't still love me if you can love being gone that long!....... Horseshit.......I find my desire and things I took for granted and my attitude have been corrected for the better when I get back.
The old stereotypes such as Bband has verbaged already is the hardest to explain. Every port and every dock and Marina where is your wife and family how come they don't want to be with you or you with them is what they want to ask. I must be heading for divorce looking for a younger women to be my mistress or runnng from a self inflected stress nightmare. Nope it's dream Ive always had like many others when I was but a wee lad. I said self, when I can afford it and I still have a heathy mind and body before I die I want to experience cool shit? Yep that's it Why not. Why would you give up on them so easily because you can't convince your inner circle that it's they're dream too. What you and myself need to do is start a Alfalfa and Spanky solo sailers club and then we want have to do it alone..... I love my boat alone or sharing it but would love to sail with others and their boats to cool places for fun safety. I like people and have found the cruising crowd to be full of wonderful and colorful people, love to party ....listen to music.....laugh ......people watch.... I just love listening to young men and women starting their life's dreams and I love sharing some wisdom to. I believe I can manage to do it all, at least I'm going to try. Bring that boat over here we can start here and then sail back over to there one summer at a time till it's done. Catching any other Solos out there along the way..... Cowboy up let's go!
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:39 PM   #18
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Solo

I really love those times but I kinda feel guilty that I do! When I go it alone, I catch so much crap from from friends and family! Not overly concerned with the safety part but I'm not stupid (sh_t happens, but it can happen anywhere). Just frustrated others aren't so eager to share these incredible experiences we have on the water. Go figure! Just venting this makes me feel better already.

THANKS![/QUOTE]


Nash..... I just bought a boat 54 ft Seahorse Trawler. I have had one friend in four that showed up after planning about a year. Each one was going to crew three to four weeks at different stops starting on the NWP coast thru Panama back up to the Gulf Coast. Only one ever showed and he didn't get to crew because I had a little wreck and his time was used up in the shop getting her all fixed up again. Other three actually became irritated when I mentioned it was there time to show that I didn't understand how they just couldn't stop what they're doing to go play on my boat...That one still befuddles me to the point I throw it in there faces whenever they start talking about traveling and dream journeys again. These guys are old friends we where raised in the same town schools and dated the same girls. So hell is exactly what I give them. At the Marinas I get asked where's your wife......(married 34 years now) she's at home with her dogs and cats and horses and flower beds and garden and adult children and her mother and her sister and dream home .... The Point is, she has roots deep roots and she loves her life and her stuff and me .....as I do her. One of the reasons our marriage has lasted, because we don't have to be with each other 24/7 or even weeks or months now. Younger I couldn't stand to be gone to long and she felt the same. We also dealt with insecurities.......like you don't still love me if you can love being gone that long!....... Horseshit.......I find my desire and things I took for granted and my attitude have been corrected for the better when I get back.
The old stereotypes such as Bband has verbaged already is the hardest to explain. Every port and every dock and Marina where is your wife and family how come they don't want to be with you or you with them is what they want to ask. I must be heading for divorce looking for a younger women to be my mistress or runnng from a self inflected stress nightmare. Nope it's dream Ive always had like many others when I was but a wee lad. I said self, when I can afford it and I still have a heathy mind and body before I die I want to experience cool shit? Yep that's it Why not. Why would you give up on them so easily because you can't convince your inner circle that it's they're dream too. What you and myself need to do is start a Alfalfa and Spanky solo sailers club and then we want have to do it alone..... I love my boat alone or sharing it but would love to sail with others and their boats to cool places for fun safety. I like people and have found the cruising crowd to be full of wonderful and colorful people, love to party ....listen to music.....laugh ......people watch.... I just love listening to young men and women starting their life's dreams and I love sharing some wisdom to. I believe I can manage to do it all, at least I'm going to try. Bring that boat over here we can start here and then sail back over to there one summer at a time till it's done. Catching any other Solos out there along the way..... Cowboy up let's go!
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:52 PM   #19
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I cruise solo and occasionally have friends join me or may stop with other cruisers in the evenings. Presently going from Chesapeake Bay to Fort Myers, FL. Will do the Great Loop next year. It's about your mind set. I enjoy cruising solo, and it's always nice when someone can join me for a few days or more. Something to consider : you can always stop along the way; leave the boat in a marina; and go home for a week or so. Cruising doesn't have to be continuous.

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Old 10-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #20
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I do winter at home......all winter
And go home for family and husband obligations as many times as needed...... one way flights are so cheap now ....especially the red eyes
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