Buying boat with no sailing experience. How feasible is my plan?

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Doge

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Hi,

So I'm planning on buying a small racing cruiser next spring. I have no sailing experience at all. How feasible would it be for me to just learn how to sail just by doing it? How hard is it for a beginner? The sort of thing most people could probably figure out? Should I get a book or are proper lessons an absolute must?

I'm hoping to spend next summer sailing around Europe, so nothing too heavy in terms of conditions, and hopefully ill be ready for an Atlantic crossing by winter.
 

Doge

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Also I wonder about fishing from a small sailboat. It looks as though its not ideal. Lots of ropes and things to get in the way of casting. Is it possible to fish for bigger fish like tuna from a small sailboat?

I'm looking at the Albin Vega mainly and the Sadler 26. My main concern is seaworthiness but also speed. I'm not so concerned about headroom inside and things like that. As I say I intend to cross the Atlantic. After that I plan to go through the Panama canal and across the Pacific. Is there other boats that would fit the bill? My maximum budget is 10k but if I could get something cheaper it would be great.
 

Fiddlesticks

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Not sure about how realistic it is, but there's a good book called Fast Track to Sailing by Steve and Doris Colgate. Wouldn't hurt.
 

capnsensible

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Also I wonder about fishing from a small sailboat. It looks as though its not ideal. Lots of ropes and things to get in the way of casting. Is it possible to fish for bigger fish like tuna from a small sailboat?

I'm looking at the Albin Vega mainly and the Sadler 26. My main concern is seaworthiness but also speed. I'm not so concerned about headroom inside and things like that. As I say I intend to cross the Atlantic. After that I plan to go through the Panama canal and across the Pacific. Is there other boats that would fit the bill? My maximum budget is 10k but if I could get something cheaper it would be great.
You can spend all day trolling. Dont always get a bite though.
 

Goodroaming

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Imho I think you are asking for too much from your methods. Learning by doing can take some time. Taking classes can help organize and speed up some of that knowledge and of course building up experience is essential. There is alot that can go wrong even for very experienced sailors. Also I think some of the best sailors are very bright, detail oriented, saftey-first, and good mechanics (my opinion). But of course, there are lots of people who do what you are doing and dont have any of those traits. You tube Sailing Uma/Sailing Ruby Rose I think are good examples of the sailing life and all of what it requires. ABSea Sailing started with no experience and they are doing ok. There is a tremendous amount to learn. Good luck.
 

Doge

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You can spend all day trolling. Dont always get a bite though.
Lol. I take that to mean you think some part of my plan is outrageously unfeasible. I saw some people take a Vega called Tarka through the Panama canal on youtube. Maybe a tuna would pull such a small boat about?
 
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Doge

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Imho I think you are asking for too much from your methods. Learning by doing can take some time. Taking classes can help organize and speed up some of that knowledge and of course building up experience is essential. There is alot that can go wrong even for very experienced sailors. Also I think some of the best sailors are very bright, detail oriented, saftey-first, and good mechanics (my opinion). But of course, there are lots of people who do what you are doing and dont have any of those traits. You tube Sailing Uma/Sailing Ruby Rose I think are good examples of the sailing life and all of what it requires. ABSea Sailing started with no experience and they are doing ok. There is a tremendous amount to learn. Good luck.
Thanks. I've been watching the youtube videos. Particularly Tarka as the Vega is the boat that I'll most likely be getting. I'm certain its what I want to do. I love the sea, love fishing, love exploring. My plan is to sail all the time throughout next summer, so it would be quite intensive learning. I guess I'll have to see where I am by winter before planning my next move.
 

john_morris_uk

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Also I wonder about fishing from a small sailboat. It looks as though its not ideal. Lots of ropes and things to get in the way of casting. Is it possible to fish for bigger fish like tuna from a small sailboat?

I'm looking at the Albin Vega mainly and the Sadler 26. My main concern is seaworthiness but also speed. I'm not so concerned about headroom inside and things like that. As I say I intend to cross the Atlantic. After that I plan to go through the Panama canal and across the Pacific. Is there other boats that would fit the bill? My maximum budget is 10k but if I could get something cheaper it would be great.
Why would you want to cast a line from a sailboat? You’re already in deep water and you can dangle your lure/bait over the side without casting. Most boats troll lures and sailboats are as good at doing that as a motorboat for casual fishing.

Hence a suggestion that you’re trolling on here?

Sailing a small boat across oceans is eminently possible but you’ll be yearning for something bigger before long. Small can be challenging for comfort and food and water.
 

Doge

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You can spend all day trolling. Dont always get a bite though.
Well I take that to mean you think some part of my plan is outrageously unfeasible. Tarka is an Albin Vega on a
Why would you want to cast a line from a sailboat? You’re already in deep water and you can dangle your lure/bait over the side without casting. Most boats troll lures and sailboats are as good at doing that as a motorboat for casual fishing.

Hence a suggestion that you’re trolling on here?

Sailing a small boat across oceans is eminently possible but you’ll be yearning for something bigger before long. Small can be challenging for comfort and food and water.
How would you reel a big fish in with no rod and reel? Without actually standing on the boat its difficult to get a feel for the practicality of casting from there. I've never actually fished from a boat before but I've never seen a fishing video where it was done from a sailboat nor have I seen any sailing videos where anything capable of putting up a real fight was caught from a small sailboat. Hence my question.
 

SaltIre

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Thanks. I've been watching the youtube videos. Particularly Tarka as the Vega is the boat that I'll most likely be getting. I'm certain its what I want to do. I love the sea, love fishing, love exploring. My plan is to sail all the time throughout next summer, so it would be quite intensive learning. I guess I'll have to see where I am by winter before planning my next move.
If you want info about Vegas you should PM webcraft - I'm pretty sure he still has one. He tried to cross the Atlantic, but didn't. He wrote a book about it.
 

SaltIre

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None of your nosey business
Why would you want to cast a line from a sailboat? You’re already in deep water and you can dangle your lure/bait over the side without casting. Most boats troll lures and sailboats are as good at doing that as a motorboat for casual fishing.

Hence a suggestion that you’re trolling on here?

Sailing a small boat across oceans is eminently possible but you’ll be yearning for something bigger before long. Small can be challenging for comfort and food and water.
Indeed.
After not crossing the Atlantic in his Vega webcraft has since bought a bigger boat.
 

Baggywrinkle

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I grew up with a Vega, we used to fish from it for mackerel ... big game fishing would be pretty silly though as you'd be stuck in the tiny cockpit with a big angry fish, knives, hooks, rod, ropes, tiller, bait - would make a good TikTok video but wouldn't be much fun.

Sailing by doing works quite well ... but get used to it first in a small dinghy like a laser. Once you can sail it in the direction you want to go, get a big boat.
 

john_morris_uk

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Well I take that to mean you think some part of my plan is outrageously unfeasible. Tarka is an Albin Vega on a

How would you reel a big fish in with no rod and reel? Without actually standing on the boat its difficult to get a feel for the practicality of casting from there. I've never actually fished from a boat before but I've never seen a fishing video where it was done from a sailboat nor have I seen any sailing videos where anything capable of putting up a real fight was caught from a small sailboat. Hence my question.
I’m sure there are fishing forums where you’ll find more expertise on fishing off boats than in here. In the meantime I’ll offer the fact that people generally don’t cast with a boat rod. There’s no need. Furthermore lots of people use a handline and have no problem in reeling fishes in.
 

sailaboutvic

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Going back to your first posting .
Many of us oldest started in dinghy's and worked our way up , so yes you can learn by doing , althought in my days as a instructior more people seen to take some kind of course possible because they will need at some point some kind of certificate to sail aboard .
As for being a totally novice and buying a yacht and just going off ,
if you ask me a few years back I say your nuts but the last few years we met up with many who done just that ,
With plans of crossing oceans ,
Only time will tell how that will go.
as it happen our Belgium friends did just that some years back , brought a 38 Jen and sailed around the world and their never step foot on a yacht before the day of the sale ,
but if you hear their story and how many times they ended being tow from beaches the 4 time they where rescued and taken off , add that to the endless time their tho they was going to die , two dismasted and a few knock down , you can see why it not a good idea .
So yes it can be done, I don't think anyone in their right mind would advise it .
 
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Yes you can just get in your boat and head out to sea and learn. Its been done before but likely less and less. Your choice and if your smart about it you can teach your self, its not hard.

With a budget of £10k you have a reasonable fund for a small boat plus some left over. The Albin Vega has sailed oceans and is sailing oceans, so as a choice of boat with a track record of ocean sailing, it fits the bill; similar comments for the Sadler 26. Other boats to look at, at around £5-6k are Rival 32's, again very good track record for ocean sailing.

In all cases, boats in that price range are likely to need some work, so keep some budget for that.

Buy a book on fish from boats. I have found trawling with pink, fluorescent squid lures worked well for Dorado. People fish successfully from yachts, some very well. Again it is a skill that can be developed if you read up and have right kit.

Good luck, just do it.
 

Goodroaming

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It feels a bit strange to be discussing the ins and out of fishing so much as a starting pt. From my observation, most sailors chase wind (not fish). On an easy sail day or motoring on a no wind day, they sometimes throw down a line along the way and hope they come across some fish. Or when on the hook, (typically when there is no wind), they take their dingy and their one pole and little tackle box and troll around.😂
 
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Wansworth

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Having had an Albin Vega I can tell you they don’t steer too well under power especially backwards,but with a modicum of sense your proposal is ok.Many yachtsmen have shelves of books about daring do but never do,so just take it easy and at least learn to tie a bowline😀
 

webcraft

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I didn't cross the Atlantic in an Albin Vega, but I did take one from Scotland to the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores.

You are unlikely to get any boat that is ready and equipped or an ocean crossing for £10k, there will be extra expenditure. You will, for starters, need a windvane. Not many Vegas come for sale with one included.

On a tight budget you need to be able to do everything yourself.

- W
 
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