I started sailing as a kid of about 6 or 7. We bought my father for Fathers Day a Jetwind board boat. This is what this boat looked like.
We sailed this boat on the lake behind our house. Along with sailing this little boat I regularly terrorized the fish in the lake.
After this little boat my parents got a 17′ trailerable daysailor. We took it to the lakes within reasonable driving distance from our house. The four of us would stay on this boat with the occasional uncle or cousin.
The next boat was a Hunter 20′, then a Hunter 25′ and finally a Hunter 30′. These boats we kept at Grand Rivers Marina on Kentucky Lake. We met lots of great people and really solidified our love for sailing and the foundation for the future sailing adventure.
After a year or two with the 30′ I remember a family meeting where mom and dad asked if we(my brother and I) would like to live on a large sailboat on the ocean and travel. For me it was a pretty easy answer for several reasons. I had always had very bad environmental allergies and the doctor we saw always said the best thing for me would be out on the water. The second reason was our school system was changing up the district so that I would be going to a school where not very many of the kids I was in school with were going to the same school as me.
We chartered an Endeavor in Florida with some of our Kentucky Lake friends one summer but other than that we did not have ocean experience. Dad had read tons of how to sailing books and how to cruising books and was ready to make the big jump. They decided to sell his business, the house, the cars, give the dogs away and down size our worldly possessions.
After making lists and looking at quite a few boats they settled on a Hans Christian 43′. She was a staysail ketch beautiful boat and probably one of the top boats on the list if not the top. The owners wife gave the owner an ultimatum of her or the boat and we got there at just the right time. He was glad to have her move on to a family that was going to travel with her. He helped us move the boat to St Augustine where we planned on outfitting her for extended cruising.