When preparing to cruise for the first time, I
spent a lot of time researching...as do most people embarking on the
lifestyle. I was looking for the answers that would ensure that I got it
Here are some of the common questions asked in seminars, at
yacht club bars, and on the marina docks, along with what I’ve come to
believe are the “right” answers.
What is the ideal cruising
The boat I cruise aboard today is 30 feet, and I recommend
one either larger or smaller, unless you fall in love with a 30-footer
that wants to take you to sea. Most people seem to be comfortable in the
size boat that they can afford. As far as building materials, I’ve known
cruisers who are sailing in wood, steel, fiberglass, aluminum, and
concrete. And get a sail boat, unless you prefer a power
much preparation do we need to do before we take
No doubt about it, preparation needs to be done. Being
completely prepared, though, is like being perfect—it is an elusive
condition. There is always something. Some people keep preparing and
preparing and never go, while others take off the day after they take
ownership of the boat. Prepare, by all means. At the same time, recognize
that cruising has a large on-the-job training component, and don’t use
preparation as a reason not to untie the dock
supplies should we take with us?
Like preparation, this could turn into an endless list. Take
something, and understand that no matter what you take, you’ll wish you’d
taken something else.
do I know the best way to anchor?
Anchoring varies with conditions, so what worked today may
not work again, even in the same anchorage. The real test is that you
know, after you’ve dragged anchor, that something is
Should we take others with
Good idea. People share the work and expense. And bad idea.
They cause extra work and expense.
much money will it cost to cruise?
We’ve learned that it’s a good idea to have a budget before
leaving, because then we get a good idea of how much is not enough.
Financial demands are gaseous in nature—they expand to fill their
container. Cruise with or without money, if that’s what you want to
is the best time of year to go?
There is good weather and bad weather everywhere all year
long. You should always attempt to get the right kind, and remember that
is not always going to happen.
point, in case I didn’t demonstrate it clearly, is that there are no
Cruising is Zen in nature: Full of paradox and oxymoron. If
you can hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time, stay with
it. You are heading in the right direction.
Oh, and remember that there’s always luck—and that there are