THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
David and I are learning SO much, SO quickly. To help us with this steep learning curve, we have several tips to share with anyone else starting to plan their life aboard:
We have been pouring through our magazines to learn a lot and to clear them out of our stuff! Our two main magazines are:
Multihull World: This is a good magazine for someone who is specifically looking to buy a multihull or learn skills specific to multihulls. I have had a difficult time reading it. It is a French published magazine, although it’s published in English, which may be part of the problem. We have been subscribed for a few years but will not continue our subscription.
Cruising World: This magazine is really helpful. We have about 7 years worth of the magazine (our subscription and my dad’s). We been pouring through the magazine. We tear out anything we think the other person might find particularly interesting. If the article is so good, we look for a copy online or scan it and save it. Some articles I have saved are recipes, how to articles (like one on maintaining your propane system) or destination articles (like one I saved on the windward isles). CW has articles written by real cruisers, and we hope to contribute someday! In particular I really enjoy reading Cap’n Fatty Goodlander’s articles. He’s been cruising for so long and has a great sense of humor and wonderful relationship with his wife. Some CW back issues are available on Google Books.
We have sporadically read a few other magazines such as Sail and Blue Water Cruising, but not enough to develop an opinion on the magazine.
David and I spend a lot of time reading through cruiser’s forum and asking questions of other cruisers. Cruiser’s Forum is by far the most popular, and we’ve held long conversations with several people, as well as connected with other Helia owners.
I just recently joined a group on Facebook called Women Who Sail. It is an amazing group! It is incredibly active, with probably a dozen new posts a day and over 4,000 members. The members vary from ladies who are dreaming of boats to coastal cruises to circumnavigators to professional experts such as Beth Leonard and Carolyn Shearlock. Topics vary to sailing as a woman, to kids on board, to repair and maintenance and everything in between.
There are a ton of blogs to read of other people who have cruised successfully for a long time. We are not reinventing the wheel here. If I am looking for blogs on a specific topic, it can be a little tough to search all good sailing blogs to come up with relevant content. That is where The Monkey’s Fist comes in. The Monkey’s Fist is a curated list of blogs around specific cruising topics. For example, yours truly is currently collecting stories about Atlantic Crossings to compile.
Of course, we get to take all of this learning and apply it to our coastal cruising boat. While the Star Cat has been sold, we are still allowed to take it out, and we have been playing with sail trim to better understand what we are learning on paper.
We have picked up amazing tips and have meet lots of helpful sailors through these resources, and as expected, we feel more prepared every day.