Monday, January 16, 2012


We get a lot of emails from fans and followers...

It's actually amazing, and opening our inbox has literally made my day more times than I can count.  Your emails have made me laugh, cry, think and some have even inspired blog posts.   Words of praise, gratitude, inspiration, and thanks come us every day and I LOVE them.  Along with these very flattering emails are also letters from folks who share our dream but are not quite there yet.  These folks have questions...lots and lots of questions.

Questions like:
Do you think I should re-power with X or Y?
If I am traveling from A to B how much fuel will I need?
What kind of bottom paint should I use?
Based on my experience, do you think I could do it?
How many solar panels will my boat need?
How much money do I need?
Is "X" amount enough to refit "Y" boat?
Should I install a high output alternator on my engine?
What should I upgrade on my boat?
Should I buy a life raft for my boat?
What kind of boat should I get?

First of all, let me say I do not want to dissuade anyone from asking us questions, that is not the point of this post!  I love to help people out if I can and if I have an opinion or an answer for you I am more than happy to share it (I mean, have you noticed?).  On the flip side, I'll also reply with a big fat "I have no idea" if I cannot help you and will try to point you in the right direction of someone who can.   I pride myself in the fact that I personally respond to each and every email we get (it might take a while, but I do) but every now and then we get some really, really serious questions that would be better fielded by experts like Lin and Larry Pardey, John and Amanda Neal, James Baldwin or Tania Aebi (to name a few of the 'big dogs').

Which brings me to the point of this post:  We are not experts. 

Let me say that one more time so that we are all clear: WE. ARE. NOT. EXPERTS.

The afore-mentioned people are experts.  They really know what they are doing.  They have been at it for a lot longer than we have and have sailed hundreds of thousands more miles than us.  We, my friends, are newbies.  In the high school of long-term live aboard cruising, we are mere freshman.  Okay, maybe sophomores...but still.

So... I thought I should write a disclaimer:

All the opinions stated in ramblings on this blog or otherwise are just that, our opinions.  They are subject to change and any advice we give might not be the best for you.  What we do to our boat might not be the best thing to do to your boat.  We might even be flat-out wrong from time to time.  We are human, we are evolving, and we're on one hell of a learning curve out here.

When we say we love something, that doesn't mean you will.  Similarly, when we say we don't love something, that doesn't mean you won't.  I mean, lots of people really like those super weird looking headsets that couples use to communicate with, we just happen to think they are ridiculous.  While we think a center-cockpit, full-keeled boat is ideal for cruising, it doesn't mean it's ideal for you.  We've all got to find our own way in this world nobody goes through the starting gate with all the answers.  I mean, I haven't a clue how to re-wire a boat from 220V to 110V.  But I'll bet Nigel Calder does!  Now, if you want to talk existentialism, books, and the hilarity and sheer ridiculousness that is Sky Mall Magazine,  I am your girl!

So like I said, I am not trying to dissuade anyone from writing us with their questions, by all means - keep 'em coming!  But what I do want people to do is take any advice we give with a grain of salt sand.  I urge people who are planning a similar trip to ours to use a variety of resources to find the answers to your questions.  Personally, I loved (and still love) doing research on the SailNet and CruisersForums.  While they have there share of armchair cruisers flapping their lids, there's an equal number of real-time cruisers that offer great advice - both sites have been helpful to us, as well as the good old Google monster.

Oh - and if you ask us if you should buy a catamaran or a monohull, the answer will be monohull.  Every. Single. Time.*

* We're purists in this regard (just like all those "big dogs" I mentioned above...none of them have catamarans.  Coincidence? I think not).  Catamarans, while roomy, just don't feel like sailing to us.  Again, just our opinion.


Abby said...

Never say never. We cruised on a finn keeled racer-cruiser for 2 years and thousands of miles and never thought we would be building our own catamaran. But. Things change. Our born-on-a-boat child gets seasick, not just in rough weather but most of the time. Also, we found that the more exposed anchorages in the South Pacific are a bit rolly and uncomfortable on a mono. Who knows what the future holds for us, we may retire to a mono someday but for now a multi is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of disclaimers...this has to be one of my favorites. So well done: I love their blog also! Have a wonderful journey, hope to see you next time you are in Chicago. Jennifer & Josh

Windtraveler said...

@Abby - you're right, never say never. But Scott would probably retire from cruising and live in a ski town before we'd go that route... But, like you said - things can change! That is for sure!
@ Jen - LOVE it! What a great site - thanks for sharing!!

Liesbet said...

Funny, that you guys just now have a tiny little beginning of a maybe slightly emerging thought process of possibly kind of considering sailing in a catamaran in the future... :-)

We love our (small) catamaran, which we initially obtained because of our two dogs. We used to have a mono before, but we would never go back. (Never say never, right?)

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