Originally Posted by hadd
thinking of doing the i o m cruises for my first trip........dose anyone think this is a bit to ambitious for first trip with not much experience of sea.?
(1) Your first trip (either as a "new skipper" or with a "new boat") needs to be somewhere that you feel comfortable turning round and going home at any point if your not enjoying it, or something isn't working properly. No matter how much you say you wont, you will feel under pressure to continue with the group.
(2) The Irish Sea is not the best place to be testing a boat (whether brand new or new to you).
(3) Skippering a boat for that length of time is surprisingly tiring - especially if it is at all choppy. I'd suggest you want to practice a long run in more sheltered waters before embarking on an open sea crossing with few options for bailing out once committed.
(4) There is a temptation with a cruise in company to ignore the navigation etc - and assume you can just follow everyone else. On the 2009 IoM trip (that only made it to Anglesey) the weather was so bad that we lost visual contact with the other boats returning home - you need to ensure that you are equipped to deal with that from a navigation perspective. Whilst the PB2 course will cover the theory it won't do much in practice. As a 'novice skipper' you'll have enough to worry about without being a 'novice navigator' at the same time.
I'm not suggesting you shouldn't go but rather suggesting that you:
(a) get as much experience as you can before you go, ensuring you are confident in your abilities, and the boat is working properly. AND/OR
(b) consider paying an instructor to join you for the trip and provide one-to-one coaching on the whole cruising process. (probably cost a few hundred £ - but with the right 'coach' would be an excellent learning process) AND/OR
(c) consider if there is someone you know (or someone on here) who might take on that 'mentorring' role free of charge in return for getting to join the trip (if they don't have their own boat at the moment, or perhaps its in the wrong part of the world)
Last year's trip was in really unpleasant conditions. Even with some experience - I was glad I was only a passenger! There were enough wise-old-heads around to ensure everyone made it safely ashore somewhere but generally that was guidance rather than any direct intervention or supervision - your out on your own.
Edit - just looked at your profile 5.2m boat - is probably going to limit you to doing this trip in good weather only.