Howdy, I'm a tall ship sailor and sail bum, looking to share some experience (1 Viewer)

Ptarmigan

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Jan 20, 2020
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New Hampshire
Hey, guess this is kinda an intro post but I'll just cut right to the chase.
I was looking for other sail bums on the internet, so here I am. I got started back when I was a little lad of 16-17 when I bought a cheap sailboat with some friends of mine. We fixed up that boat for a year or two, lived aboard for a few months sailing without an engine, and it got me on my first tall ship.

If anyone has questions about finding a good sailboat, renovating it to be a liveaboard, etc, feel free to ask, we made many unnecessary mistakes in the process, like buying a boat with inboard engine trouble lmao.

I can answer some questions about tall ships also, some can be a good way to travel with free room + board + maybe a paycheck, some can be the opposite.

To add a bit of info to contribute something, the Kalmar Nyckel has a pretty cheap square rig crew training course, $140~ ish dollars for two weeks of training in spring and fall. All volunteer based but they're used to training unexperienced retirees, so you don't need any prior experience. It doesn't get you any certifications, but the US tall ship community regards the Kalmar pretty well and there's some int'l recognition too.

For online resources, the Billet Bank (Billet Bank - Tall Ships America - https://www.tallshipsamerica.org/billet-bank/) is the main listing for available tall ship jobs, most require experience and ratings, but there's also a lot of entry level jobs, like working daysail schooners.

If you're in Sydney, the harbour tall ships are hiring in the summer. (Deckhand - Permanent - $150-$300 p.w. + meals + bed + tall ship training - Australia - https://www.crewbay.com/job/2581) But watch out, everything I've heard is negative, low pay, long hours, expensive beer, and poorly maintained ships with cheap captains. Could be pretty interesting.

If you're in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Ostindiska Göteborg is accepting volunteers, free lunch during dock work and a free place to stay in an expensive city, although it's basically full time work there except for weekends if I recall correct. (Volontär ombord | Ostindiefararen Götheborg - https://www.soic.se/volontar) The Swedes are really great sailors though, so worth a look into.

Maine is a pretty popular spot for daysail schooners, especially in Casco bay.

Then of course there's the sail hitching websites like crewbay, crewseekers, and find a crew, sometimes there's paid stuff too.

BUT, if you actually want your own boat, craigslist and facebook marketplace are actually really great, especially at the end of summer and fall when people want to get rid of their un-lived in and un-loved sailboats. Anything under 30' is what you want to be able to one hand it, and remember PROJECT BOATS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN GOOD BOATS no matter how cheap the listing is. Good sailboat meaning something you can at least put into the water and sail away, usually around $3-5k. Or if you wanna say fuck it, here you go lmao: Home - Free Boat - Free-Boat.com - https://www.free-boat.com/


Also all the videos and whatever we took while sailing are on the channel in my signature, mostly boring stuff and just sailing footage lol

Cheers dudes
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CouchPunx

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Aug 9, 2011
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Laramie, United States
What up sail bum!
Im on the road so cant write much, but welcome! Ive been looking into boats these days, will definitely be asking you some questions in the near future here
 

iamwhatiam

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We have a sailor Crow, now a sailor Ptarmigan..... maybe I should change my moniker to Raven or Seagull or something. Welcome to STP, man....I just started learning to sail this last summer and what a blast it has been. What kind of boat ya got? I have to disagree with you however on one thing.....there's no SUCH THING as boring sailing vids, unless yer a land lubber that is! :)
 
OP
Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

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New Hampshire
What up sail bum!
Im on the road so cant write much, but welcome! Ive been looking into boats these days, will definitely be asking you some questions in the near future here
nice dude, do it up

also to add to my first post, if people are feeling adventurous, there are some pretty good deals on sailboats in Sweden if people don't mind living in europe/crossing the atlantic
10,000 crowns is more or less 1k usd
 
OP
Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

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Jan 20, 2020
Messages
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Hometown
New Hampshire
We have a sailor Crow, now a sailor Ptarmigan..... maybe I should change my moniker to Raven or Seagull or something. Welcome to STP, man....I just started learning to sail this last summer and what a blast it has been. What kind of boat ya got? I have to disagree with you however on one thing.....there's no SUCH THING as boring sailing vids, unless yer a land lubber that is! :)
Haha, STP sailor birds

The boat I used to be a part of was a 32' Dreadnought Tahiti Ketch but rigged as a single mast staysil cutter. Ultraheavy displacement with a full keel so it was slow as hell but definitely sturdy.

Buuuut I'm currently a boatless sailor, I find I like working on other people's boats more than actually owning my own right now. I've definitely got plans to change that in the future though! I still barely know how to sail anything that doesn't have a square sail so I still have a ways to go lol
 

Lynora

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Joined
Mar 17, 2019
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19
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Farmington Maine
Hi! And welcome. I'll add that the sloop Clearwater has a great trainee program. They're full up for next season,, but they take total greenhorns for a little over a month and you learn everything, get fed and housed, and make 100 bucks a week to boot.

What all tall wooden boats have you sailed on? I've got a former shipmate who's doing resto on the Kalmar Nicole now, and I'm currently working winter maintenance for the Clearwater, but always looking to see more of what's out there.
 

r3yn

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Jun 20, 2019
Messages
43
Hometown
China / Canada
This is a god damned fascinating world that I have no idea about.
Thanks for making me aware of it.
Post more pics.
What's it like to live out on a boat? What's the longest you've been out on the high seas?
 
OP
Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

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Jan 20, 2020
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11
Hometown
New Hampshire
Hi! And welcome. I'll add that the sloop Clearwater has a great trainee program. They're full up for next season,, but they take total greenhorns for a little over a month and you learn everything, get fed and housed, and make 100 bucks a week to boot.

What all tall wooden boats have you sailed on? I've got a former shipmate who's doing resto on the Kalmar Nicole now, and I'm currently working winter maintenance for the Clearwater, but always looking to see more of what's out there.
Nice nice, I tried finding a winter maintenance gig this season but no such luck. I've volunteered on Draken Harald Hårfagre, the Kalmar, and Ostindiefararen Göteborg. Only ever been paid for rigging work on the Hazard Perry, but that's all steel so doesn't count lmao
 
OP
Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

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Jan 20, 2020
Messages
11
Hometown
New Hampshire
This is a god damned fascinating world that I have no idea about.
Thanks for making me aware of it.
Post more pics.
What's it like to live out on a boat? What's the longest you've been out on the high seas?
Haha, the longest passage I've ever been on was only three days, but we got a 50kn storm in the middle of it so it was definitely an exciting one.

Living on a boat is nice and I do miss it, although ours always smelt like sulfur since our blackwater hoses needed replacing.

also some pics I found on my phone

photo_2020-01-27_23-53-02.jpg photo_2020-01-27_23-53-02 (2).jpg photo_2020-01-27_23-53-03.jpg photo_2020-01-27_23-53-05.jpg
 

rikki

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Feb 1, 2020
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Hometown
portland, OR
Hi! I'm new on here as well, also looking for info about boats.
I've just started looking into getting a boat to live aboard in New York City, partially because I think it will be cheaper, partially because I want to learn more about boating/sailing. Do you know or have any recommendations for marinas or spots to dock here? and whats a good first boat to live in?
Thanks for sharing!
 
OP
Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

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Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
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Hometown
New Hampshire
Hi! I'm new on here as well, also looking for info about boats.
I've just started looking into getting a boat to live aboard in New York City, partially because I think it will be cheaper, partially because I want to learn more about boating/sailing. Do you know or have any recommendations for marinas or spots to dock here? and whats a good first boat to live in?
Thanks for sharing!
I went ahead and compiled a craigslist search with some viable boats in your area [Craigslist Link]

Any smaller than 26 ft and you might go crazy, and any larger than 30 ft would be difficult for a novice to sail singlehanded imo. I sailed on a 32 footer with 4 other novices and we just scraped by. Remember maintenance cost scales exponentially with length, and also marinas/other services often charge per foot. Older boats around the 70s and 80s are pretty nice, they overbuilt the hulls like crazy since they didn't know how to use fiberglass properly back then, and made it the same thickness that a wooden hull would require. They're also cheap as fuck these days. But remember, initially cheaper boats are rarely cheaper in the long run. Also I'd say avoid free boats unless you can 100% the repairs yourself. Engine problems are a disqualifier for me, sailed on a boat that we bought without a working engine, absolute money and emotional energy pit. If you're to buy a boat, I'd definitely recommend making it your only living space immediately, it'll certainly motivate you to fix it up quicker, and do schedule at least a few months for the labour period.

No recommendations about NYC, never sailed my own boat around that area, it seems quite built up so a marina may be pricey, but I have literally zero idea lol. You might want to look into any public mooring fields to buy/rent a mooring at. I don't know how well going on the hook would be in that area, but here is the local nautical chart. Should show you where the mooring fields and anchorages are once you look up the proper symbols. You do need to learn how to read charts anyhow so two birds with one stone lmao.

Good luck!
 

Wheat2020

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StP Supporter
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
38
Hometown
Humboldt, TN
I've watched Hold Fast after reading the boat travel section in The Anarchist Guide To Travel, and now, I just wanna go do it.

I'm not sure I want to buy my own boat, though. Rather just join a crew and make myself useful, at least at first.

Any advice for getting onto a crew and what kind of people they're looking for?
 

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