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Old 25-02-2012, 07:09   #1
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Bought the Boat !

We've finally pulled the trigger, and are the proud new owners of an Aquarius 23 ft trailerable sailboat! Being that we live about as far away from an ocean as it's possible to do in North America as well as limited time (due to work), it seems perfect for our needs. I've been following a ton of different threads on this forum about which boat to buy, go now vs. later, size of boats, etc, which have been extremely useful in the process. With that, here is some of the "typical" questions I've seen, and how for our particular situation (YMMV of course), we made our decisions..

1) How to get experience
Charter first
Buy small to learn
"Just do it"!
Other Peoples Boats

As much I'd love to "Just do it", and buy a Blue Water capable boat, move to the Caribbean and live aboard, I want to make sure the family is comfortable with sailing and that when we do go, the kitty is a bit healthier.. Charters are too expensive for us (roughly same cost as what I paid for the boat/trailer), and OPB are definitely something we'll be looking for. A short (but fantastic!) daysail last fall in the Spanish Virgins was "step 1" for the family to at least make sure nobody had cronic fear of water, violent seasickness, etc (Thanks Steve and Sue!!)

2) Where to buy
Close to home
Boat somewhere nice/warm and "commute" long distances
It is the home!

Being 2-3 hrs from Lake Superior, we've decided that as tempting as it is, the best way for us to get experience will be to have the boat as close to us as possible and in the water. Even if it means puttering along in a small lake 10 min. away from the house, so we can go out after work, on a lark, for a sunset cruise,etc. When we get bored on the small lake, there's always the trailer!

3) How big of a boat should I get?
As big as you can
Start small

Our answer is both. The A23 is about as large of a boat that I would be comfortable towing in our Toyota truck. Any larger and the small lakes will look even smaller, I'll need a bigger truck or drive 2-3 hrs to Lake Superior each time we want to sail. From everything I've seen, the A23 is supposed to be easy to learn on, somewhat slow, a bit tender but "impossible" to capsize. It should also be able to serve as a floating cabin for long weekends for me, my wife and two young kids (2&4 y/o) Once the hard stuff melts off our lakes, I will post our actual experiences!

4) Fixer'up vs. Ready to sail
Thought about this one quite a bit, and during a bout of temporary insanity contemplated a major project boat that would likely have been a "last boat" candidate. Came to my senses, read every thread on CF that dealt with this question. Finally realised that I'm more in the wanting to sail category, not the "building/fixing/divorced" category (although there'll always be stuff to fix).

So, that's at least how we've approached it. I do want to thank the community for all the great conversations and for sharing their experiences.. It helped us, and so I hope my ramblings will be useful for others that are in the same position as us!

Finally, some boat porn! (Even though it's more like PG rated, due to being on trailer, covered up, and in the POs driveway....)
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Old 25-02-2012, 07:15   #2
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Re: Bought the boat!

Congrats on the boat!
Even though the picture doesn't show much, it looks a LOT better than some of the Aquarius boats I've seen that were huge project boats.

Gotta start somewhere, right?
Enjoy!
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Old 25-02-2012, 11:40   #3
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Re: Bought the boat!

Congrats, monstads -- you'll have a blast.

Our boat is trailerable and we've taken it all up and down the east coast, Maine to Florida, plus the Bahamas (not on a trailer). Still have a lot to explore, including the Carolinas and the Georgia sea islands, plus Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. . . . and then we'll start thinking about getting her out west. . . . Sea of Cortez and the Inner Passage. . . .

That'll tide us over till we get that 40+-foot catamaran.

Good times.
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Old 25-02-2012, 11:58   #4
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Re: Bought the boat!

My hearty congratulations to you on your first sailboat purchase. Some of us on the forum were born into sailing because our parents sailed. You have just started a family tradition whereas your children when older, will be the old salts. Lake sailing will get you dialed into the boat, and then you will probably look at your lake as too confining. It sounds like you will get a slip for it, which combined with the short drive from home, will allow a lot of after work sailing. That is how my parents started with us kids. Boat, a Flying Junior, had a slip at Folsom Lake, 15 minutes away. For our regular vacation to Fallen Leaf Lake, just south of Lake Tahoe, we trailered it up and rented a slip there. Keep us posted when your lake thaws on your sailing, and how the kids like it.
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Old 25-02-2012, 11:59   #5
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Re: Bought the boat!

Cool! Have fun!
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Old 25-02-2012, 12:03   #6
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Re: Bought the boat!

Have fun! I always liked the Aquarius and as your ambitions grow it will be easy to move her to bigger waters.
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Old 25-02-2012, 13:24   #7
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Re: Bought the boat!

Congratulations on your purchase. We hope you and your family enjoy sailing her.
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Old 25-02-2012, 16:45   #8
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We are definitely excited about it, especially the idea of introducing sailing to the kids. The boat is fairly basic but ready to go as soon as the lakes melt (the joy of boating in Minnesota!). The PO is very active on the Yahoo owners forum and has kept the boat in great shape.

Dan, I've read a lot of your posts on getting a boat once you get back stateside with great interest, as we seemed to be at a similar stage and I think you were also going to be stationed more inland .

Any progress on deciding what kind of boat/arrangement you're leaning toward? Only input I have is that it feels great once you pull the trigger!
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Old 25-02-2012, 19:40   #9
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Re: Bought the boat!

Congratulations! The Aquarius 23 is featured in the old Royce's Sailing Illustrated by Patrick Royce. He has good comments about it.

Happy sailing!

kind regards,
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Old 28-02-2012, 20:43   #10
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Nice find!
I'm a trailer sailer owner in MN as well, with a Balboa 20. Just got her at the end of summer.
Perhaps we should consider a sail this summer? I'm in the east Metro, and usually sail the St Croix, launching from Afton.

Best,
Ron
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Old 28-02-2012, 21:01   #11
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We made very similar decisions and our boat arrived this weekend. We spent the entire weekend getting it in the garage and then designing a better system for getting it in the garage. As a matter of fact my partner has now spent over an hour perfecting his design for the ramp to get it over the lip of the garage. It looks an awful lot like the design I proposed two days ago. At least he admits that, so we might survive this.
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Old 28-02-2012, 21:35   #12
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Congrats on the boat, Greenhand! Thrilling, and a bit daunting, isn't it?

crewless, welcome to the forum! I had been lurking a while, trying to soak up as much information and advice as I can, and it's amazing how much expertise is on here. Also, the Yahoo Aquarius owner forum has some good info, and from my understanding the Balboa is very similar to the Aquarius.

Afton and the St.Croix is definitely on our list of nearby places we want to explore. Just need to figure out which one of those rope thingies to pull on to get the big white triangular cloth pieces up first...

Kidding aside, let's stay in touch and go sailing!
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Old 28-02-2012, 21:54   #13
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Re: Bought the Boat !

AHHH ! the two best day's in a boat owners life !!! LOL we are sure looking forward to that feeling Soon we hope Con Grats and have fun !!! Bob and Connie
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Old 21-03-2012, 04:41   #14
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Re: Bought the Boat !

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstads View Post
Dan, I've read a lot of your posts on getting a boat once you get back stateside with great interest, as we seemed to be at a similar stage and I think you were also going to be stationed more inland .

Any progress on deciding what kind of boat/arrangement you're leaning toward? Only input I have is that it feels great once you pull the trigger!
Sorry I didn't see this post sooner. I've been pretty busy with the move. I just flew into Nashville and have the next 6 weeks off to take care of a house, do some traveling and whatever else I can come up with. There's a boat show in Texas in the Clear Lake (Houston) area this weekend that I'm looking at going to. I'm thinking to look at as much as I can and get a wishlist on gadgets or anything else that might be displayed.

As far as boats, I'm looking at a few different boats and there happens to be one, a Nor'sea 27, near Nashville that I'm going to look at next week. The owner is going to Arizona to tow it back to TN this week. I was also looking at Cape Dory 27's and 25's. If the one's I've had my eye on don't pan out, I'll just keep searching.

I'm excited to get started!
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Old 21-03-2012, 05:02   #15
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Re: Bought the Boat !

Well done!

IMO the starting small approach is the best - if you have the time, especially as the kids are still small boat sized!

Oh, and just to say - with kids (of any size) the fun of a boat is found not from admiring the view, even when sailing! (that's for "old" people!), but from the related activities - including onshore. Adventures! - for kids of all ages! And remember that they ain't simply kids - they be future crew!
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