Sailboat cruising and the dock

After deciding that I wanted to become a sailboat cruiser in the Caribbean... I made a stop at the dock after we bought our first boat.

Some people that you meet are helpful and encouraging want you tell them what you're cruising goals are.

Unfortunately, most people, primarily due to jealousy, will not be so encouraging and will point out your faults on a regular basis.

Don't let the dock rats ruining your dream of becoming a sailboat cruiser.

Skills I thought I had to have and never used

"You don't know how to tie all 40 knots, and you're going cruising?"... again the dock rat at that has spent his life on the dock probably knows how to tie every one of these 40 knots...Big deal.

If you know how to tie a bowline and how to secure your boat to a dock cleat, that pretty much takes care of what you need to know as far as tying knots go.

Is it cool to know how to tie a bunch of knots, and do fancy eye splices, and repair sails... sure but it sure not necessary to go sailboat cruising.

Sailboat cruising and the dock, totally different

Dock life, and I'm talking people that live aboard their boats in the US, can steal your joy if you're not careful.

" You don't know how to overhaul your diesel engine, and you're going cruising in the Caribbean?"... they think you're nuts.

Well folks I never did know how to overhaul a diesel engine, never needed to, but if I did that's what mechanics are for.

"You do not know how to use a spinnaker, and you're going cruising?"... I had a spinnaker on board, I used it once, with guests from the states on board... once.

You can tear a spinnaker sail to pieces in a real hurry in the Caribbean if the wind gets much above 10 knots... don't let the dock rats tell you that you have to be a master sailor to enjoy sailboat cruising... been able to use a spinnaker is essentially useless to a sailboat cruiser. Sailboat cruising and the dock are like, water and oil.

Why sailboat cruising and the dock do not mix

The most obvious reason is that when you are a sailboat cruiser... especially in the Caribbean... and why would you want to go sailboat cruising where you can't wear swim trunks and a T-shirt every day?... you spend most of your time anchored out.

There were two places in the eight years we cruised the Caribbean that we tied up to a dock... Trinidad and Venezuela.

These two places do not contain the know it all attitude of the American dock rat... you have already proved yourselves by getting down there in the first place.

As far as Trinidad goes, the only two places to anchor out would be at TTYA and Scotland Bay...Trinidad is for partying, going to Carnival, eating cheap and good street food. 

Conclusion of sailboat cruising and the dock

You are going to get is not as much encouragement from the dock rats to go sailboat cruising... as you will to retire early from your coworkers... it won't happen, they are staying at the dock or staying at work...and they want you to be miserable too.

Don't let the dock rats ruining your cruising dreams...being forewarned is being forearmed.

Return from sailboat cruising and the dock to living aboard a sailboat