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Old 22-09-2008, 16:26   #1
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Literally Just Starting

I am just getting into sailing, but I don't know all that much about it, I am reading and absorbing as much as I can being in a landlocked state. At the moment I don't plan on buying a boat, hopefully over the summers in between college I can gain a reasonable amount of experience before actually buying a boat.

I am looking for around a 30' cruiser, but I won't buy for a few years so I have plenty of time to shop around. At the moment I don't have much for money to buy a boat, I might be able to scrounge up $15000 at the most, but given a few years time (along with college expenses) I might be able to put another $15000 towards a boat.

Realistically, how much should I be expecting to spend on a used 30-40' cruiser? So I can start saving to be able to afford my own boat in a few years.

Besides the actual cost of the boat, what other expenses should I expect to face?

I also want to gain some more experience, but somewhat cheaply. I don't know very many people that are into sailing, and I have only actually been sailing a couple of times. Any advice on how I can gain experience for little cost?


Thank you for any suggestions or recommendations you may have, any help/insight is greatly appreciated.
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Old 22-09-2008, 16:57   #2
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don't even consider a medium or large yacht, without learning to sail a dinghy, these lessons in a small craft will apply the basic principles that become instinctive when the situation isn't enjoyable on a much larger vessel.
Someone told me that " owning a boat is like pouring money into hole in the water". so be prepared, its great fun but can keep you very poor.
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Old 22-09-2008, 17:39   #3
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No offense to Ian or anyone who supports starting in dinghy's. While it is absolutely OK to start in dinghy's it is definitely not for everyone.

I have "rehabilitated" several people who took a dinghy course, didn't like the wet, the cramped space, the capsizing and the "work." They were turned off sailing. Two of them were ladies.

I loaded up wine, cheese, crackers, beer and ice and took them on a sunset cruise. After which in all three cases they took a keelboat course and are now sailing regularly.

I do believe that you should start small. 22-27 foot max. I sailed dingy's and quite honestly I am too big for them and I am very uncomfortable moving around them. I still sail Pico's and Lasers when my son wants another boat on the water but 1 hour is about all I can stand. At the end of a dingy sail my knees are often rubbed raw.

I have learned a ton about sailing a keelboat in light winds lately. Sure the lessons can transfer from dingys but you often don't have the selection of sail controls available that you have in a keelboat.

My biggest caution about buying a boat is to be realistic about the running expenses. Be prepared to spend $400 a month for a 26 foot boat all up "every single month."
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Old 22-09-2008, 18:09   #4
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Be prepared to spend $400 a month for a 26 foot boat all up "every single month."
May I have an "Amen!"?

And sometimes more $ on weekends. That 400$ is a weighted average mind you.
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Old 22-09-2008, 18:12   #5
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No offense to Ian or anyone who supports starting in dinghy's. While it is absolutely OK to start in dinghy's it is definitely not for everyone.
I agree. I think that is an overrated path to the sail. I learned to offroad in a Landrover Discovery and not on a dirtbike. I am learning in my comfy 35' boat boat and I am much more at ease than in some tiny one with the waves (and vapor) dinghy.
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Old 22-09-2008, 19:58   #6
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For now I would just like to gain experience sailing. Maybe find someone who would be willing to let me learn under them. I have heard clubs are a good way, but a lot of clubs can be expensive. How would I go about finding someone who would be willing to do this?

After a few months of sailing every summer for a few years, and enough experience, I would like to consider getting my own boat and doing some sailing before I get too involved in a long term career. On the part of buying a boat, I am not considering buying anything until I have a reasonable amount of experience, but I would like to know what I should look for in a boat, given my limits on price.

As for costs, I understand that insurance is necessary, along with having some money for accidents/emergencies, but I was hoping to be able to live off of somewhat less than $5000 a year, what would it take to be able to live as cheaply as possible? What is the absolute least that I might be able to expect to get by on? (I am perfectly fine with bare minimum living conditions).
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Old 22-09-2008, 20:19   #7
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Start sailing dinghies if you haven't already. Every good big boat skipper can kick ass on a dinghy.
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Old 22-09-2008, 20:26   #8
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Rusty,

Where are you located? You might try looking at your city, county websites. Sometimes there are community places that have sailing. Junior colleges may have boating/sailing classes.

It doesn't have to be expensive.

Going back to dinghys, they are the cheapest and most accessible way to sail. If you have a decent sized lake nearby I bet there is dinghy sailing.
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Old 22-09-2008, 21:21   #9
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Right now I am in Iowa, there is a sailing club at the college that I am at, but the classes it offers are a little pricey. Also, the actual club goes sailing at a time (periodically every week) that doesn't fit my schedule, so paying dues for the club would not be worth it if I couldn't actually go sailing.

What I really want to do is find someone with a boat and learn from them over the summer (when I actually have spare time) where they might want an extra person to keep watch and company. As for people like that in Iowa, not so much. I have considered a dinghy, but I don't really have access to anything besides the club.
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Old 22-09-2008, 23:23   #10
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Do you have a vehicle so you can transport a dinghy? You can pick up an El Toro for about $300 or so used; they easily fit into a pick up truck, or on top of a car if you don't care about the roof much.
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Old 23-09-2008, 06:26   #11
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Quote:
For now I would just like to gain experience sailing. Maybe find someone who would be willing to let me learn under them. I have heard clubs are a good way, but a lot of clubs can be expensive. How would I go about finding someone who would be willing to do this?
Using as many ways as possible to get rides is just a great idea. After a while folks know of you and ask you back. Clubs may seem expensive but when we belonged to a club it was the cheapest year sailing we have ever had. Yacht clubs cover a pretty broad range of people. From folks you like to hang around with to people you don't even want to know. It is where the boats are though. Being nice and being eager are the primary qualifications. Mastering the sailing of "other peoples boats" is not a bad goal.

Since you have the time you can find 1000's of messages here about all the in and outs of keeping a boat. It's something to get familiar with before you get a boat. It is a lot of work.
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