10 Steps To Become A Cruiser 2021 | Page 3 Of 3 | Become A Cruiser
10 Steps to Become a Cruiser

10 Steps to Become a Cruiser 2021

Learn How To Start a WordPress Sailing Blog


I get so many emails on how to start blogging and how to set-up & configure WordPress that I decided to make a quick ‘How-To’ Guide. If you’re thinking of starting up a sailing Blog this should get you started on the right track.

8. Get Some Skills

Learn Everything You Can About The Boat You Will Buy

Once you have narrowed down your boat type join type, brand and model-specific owners groups. There are web, email, and Facebook groups available for most models. Don’t launch right in with questions until you have read a large chunk of the posts.

After reading for a bit you will notice what are the high failure rate items and how easy and more importantly expensive they are to fix. This knowledge will help you when you go boat shopping. More importantly, knowing what specific failures look like and how to go about fixing them are a lifesaver once you own the boat.

If your future boat owners group doesn’t have a great deal of information on the engines. Look for a specific engine model owners group and learn about it the same way you did for the boat itself.

Learn Some Mechanical and Technical skills.

To learn what are the basic mechanical and technical skills you should know before cruising please read the article I wrote on the technical skills you need as a cruiser.

Learn How to Interpret a Weather Forecast and Grib Files

Learn How To Sail

Get the books, read the theory, and then sign up for a course. In that order. Start with Sailing for Dummies. Then read any course material you are given.

Exercise caution when taking online courses, many online schools are designed to teach the bare minimum to enable graduates to rent a charter boat with the least amount of effort. If you are looking for an online school I would highly recommend one of the RYA courses.

As for a practical sailing course there are two routes:

Budget and Possibly Best Route

Once you have bought your boat. Arrange for a sailing instructor to sail with you for a week to ten days. Have them teach you on your own boat. With this method you can put the money you would have spent on a course into paying for the instructor and boat upgrades.

This does not mean that you have to fast track your boat purchase. You can do this as the first week or two of your cruising adventure. You could also transition from having the instructor leave you after two weeks to taking on a competent crew member for an additional couple of weeks. Should you still feel you are not quite ready for being left to your own devices. Put this idea out to the instructor when you first start discussing training and have the instructor recommend a past student who may be willing to come and crew for you.

I would suggest getting an RYA instructor and telling them your requirements from the outset. Tell them your cruising plans. And let the instructor know that you want them to sign you off with a letter of competency for your insurance company for Coastal/Inter-Island sailing at the end of the period. Even if you have to pay an RYA instructor $200 a day, you will still save over formal course costs for a couple at a sailing school. Especially if going to the school requires flights to the Caribbean with hotel meals etc.

Not only will you cover what you would have at a sailing school but you will do it on your own boat. The instructor will teach you how to use your boat’s systems. A good instructor will also draw your attention to issues with your boat that need attention that may well have been missed in the short time frame of the survey. You will also have the opportunity to discuss any upgrades you are planning on doing to the boat and getting the instructor’s feedback on the practicality of such upgrades.

If you are planning to go to Europe make sure the instructor can issue you with an ICC (International Certificate of Competency) as you will need to show this in many ports throughout Europe.

10 Steps to Become a Cruiser
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Go To a Sailing School

The Sailing School route is a fine option. Especially if you feel that you and your wife would be better off learning at different times, in different environments. Without the one watching the other. My main caution would be, choose a school with the type of boat you will be sailing.

If you will be cruising on a catamaran make certain you do your training on a cat. It can be hard to unlearn some monohull philosophies once you transition to a catamaran. If you have the option to be taught by a dedicated catamaran instructor take that option.

There is nothing more frustrating than to be excited about your future cruising catamaran to then spend a week with an instructor who hates catamarans that spends his time belittling catamarans, trying to have you second guess your cruising decisions. You can take a look at my post on sailing instruction for new catamaran owners.

Do not expect an insurance discount fo having completed a formal course.

If You Have Time, Learn a Foreign Language

If you are leaving english speaking countries. Learning basic French or Spanish will greatly improve your cruising enjoyment.

9. Plan for Living a Nomad Lifestyle

  • Mail forwarding service – Getting Mail Forwarded When Cruising
  • Renew passports
  • Check Bank/ Credit Card Expiry – Renew if Necessary
  • Cancel Subscriptions. Identify All services and accounts that will need to be canceled. Don’t forget about the little things. $10 here $10 there. Such as monthly software subscriptions. Take your bank statement and all of your Paypal accounts and scan through them to identify which monthly services need to be canceled
  • Boat Cards – Have boat cards printed
  • Setup a VPN to ensure data security while you surf the internet overseas. Setting up a VPN is especially important as you will need to surf public WiFi hotspots as you cruise around the world. See our article on How To Keep Your Data Safe When Cruising.
  • Back up Credit cards and spare bank account – Open up a separate bank account you can use should your main account get locked for any reason. Ensure you have a spare credit card or two. make sure you have one card with a low credit limit that can be used for risky transactions (Accessing money when traveling)
  • Setup your blog while you have good internet (if you plan on blogging about your adventures)
  • Get a Free Internet-based phone number, low-cost number
  • Make sure your cell phones are unlocked
  • Get Expat Health Coverage or Medical Evacuation Insurance (Medical Insurance For Cruisers)
  • Arrange for a storeroom
  • Enroll the Kids in a homeschooling plan and homeschooling supplies
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Put your plan into action and Become A Cruiser

10. Put the Plan Into Action

Now is time for the exciting part. It’s finally time to sell your house, cars, furniture, buy a boat and quit your jobs! the time has come to start your sailing adventure!


10 Steps to Become a Cruiser
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Nic

Hi, I’m Nic! Our Family of four have been out cruising since 2016. We have sailed about 15,000nm, almost halfway around the world. We sold everything, took the leap of faith, and bought a 10-year-old Lagoon 380 ex-charter catamaran. We’ve fixed every system on the boat, often more than once. Cruising has been such a wonderful, positive experience for our family that I want to share my tips to help you Become a Cruiser.


Join In or Start the Discussion.

I love reading your comments and will be sure answer any questions or comments you leave.

To keep the spammers out. You may comment with only your name and email (your email will not be shown, shared, or added to my mailing list).

2 thoughts on “10 Steps to Become a Cruiser 2021”

  1. Hey Nic! Excellent!! You have a brilliant set of ideas, and attention getting style. Good on ya mate! Is that your FlipFlop-built dinghy in the dinghy dock picture? I think of you and your great family everytime I stumble over the mold for the floor.
    Cheers,
    Sheila
    Linton Bay Marina
    Panama

    1. Hi Shiela,
      So great to hear from you. How are you? How far are you with the rebuild of your boat?
      Nope, that’s not the dinghy in the pic, we eventually went and bought an OC Tender. The one we made was so so heavy.
      Thanks so much for the feedback on the site and commenting.
      Loads of love,
      Nic

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