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Old 29-06-2015, 16:40   #16
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

We all learn through researching the various boats and looking at as many as possible, and trying to get out on those were interested in! After all this we pick a finalist and have a survey done and it still can be a pig in a poke!

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Old 29-06-2015, 18:40   #17
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Originally Posted by secrabtree View Post
Mark - Now you're beginning to show some promise. The first thing, before even thinking about the purchase of a boat, even before thinking about how you will use it, is to find out if you even like sailing, really like sailing, not just like the idea of sailing. And the only way to do that is to go sailing.

I think that there are basically two ways to find out - and both involve a sailing club or yacht club. Not necessarily to join one - at least until you find out if you want to - but, after some sailing lessons, to
1 - walk the docks at a local club and BEG a ride. Offer to help clean up the boat. Whatever gets you aboard.


2 - start with a small boat. I mean REAL small. A one person boat like an El Toro, Optimus Dinghy, etc. And enter races. Even if you don't have a competitive bone in your body, racing is where you'll learn to handle your boat under sail, where you'll get to watch people that know how to sail. And not to denigrate, at the yacht club bar after the racing you'll listen to others tell what they did right and what they did wrong. A tremendous way to increase your knowledge (and meet some new friends that'll encourage you in your sailing).

It is MY prejudice, but I think that sailing and racing a small boat, a dinghy, is almost a prerequisite to learning to sail well. (Experience: Many years ago - about 40 - I knew a guy that was a so-so racer in the O'Day Day Sailer. He bought a 35'+/- heavy displacement full keel ketch. After owning that boat much less than a year entered the Master Mariners race on San Francisco bay. All of the other competitors had owned and sailed their boats often and for years. He was a podium (1, 2 or 3) finisher. IMHO it was the fact that he and ALL of his crew were dinghy racers that put him in that position. And MANY other examples.)
I agree dinghy sailing is a great way for young people to get involved in sailing.

The racing scene can really turn people off with all the machismo- especially wives and children.

I recognise a great skill set can be achieved by dinghy racing- but it really isn't for everyone, in the same way the unwashed tall ship volunteer thing isn't for everyone.

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Old 01-07-2015, 00:48   #18
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

The most useful boat assessment tool on the planet...
the mirror hanging in your hallway or bathroom.
Because people and their needs, wants, abilities, dreams, resources, health, skills, endurance, comfort level, risk tolerance, budgets, personalities, schedule, interpersonal skills, self reliance, balance, socialization, talents, and much more are all different.
Pat, from the Desert Sea
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:00   #19
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Our first boat was a 22 footer (I learned to sail as a kid - my wife didn't know how). We paid 10 grand for the baot which was in perfect sail away condition - and had a blast learning.

Good thing about a small boat is it forgives (almost) all your mistakes. The knocks you get on a small boat don't hurt.

Bigger boat - greater comfort, much bigger knocks.

Buying a well-known name brand small boat also means you can always recoup your investment if it doesn't work out.

And even if you end up having to sell it for a grand or two less than you paid - so what? Cheap money for learning.
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
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Old 01-07-2015, 19:23   #20
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

All most everything you've see posted here is relevant. I'll add one thing my first sailing instructor taught me. Choose your boat on the things you can't change. You can't choose full keel from fin keel. You can choose between self tailing or older winches. Don't like the stove? Change it but you won't usually change the rig design from sloop to cutter. I hope this is understandable, I don't always express myself well


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Old 03-07-2015, 13:34   #21
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Check this out, too: How to Buy a Sailooat | Cruising World
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Old 03-07-2015, 21:52   #22
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Buy a boat. Avoid the paralysis of analysis. Get out there and you'll figure it out.

It's not about the boat.

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"Take it all in, it's as big as it seems, count all your blessings, remember your dreams" JB
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Old 03-07-2015, 22:23   #23
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

How many people as regular crew? Any kids?
Sailing experience?
How handy are you?
What's your budget to buy and outfit the boat? (living and cruising costs extra.)
Where are you? Where do you want to sail out of? Which coast do you want to set off from and more specifically where on that coast?
Where to you want to go?
Are you looking to cruise extensively or liveaboard and occasionally take several weeks or months off to nip around the Caribbean or Baja?
Any really strong preferences to start with? (full/fin keel, mono/multi, spade/skeg/attached rudder, sloop/cutter/mizzen rigged)
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 04-07-2015, 00:17   #24
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

I still feel that even BEFORE you even THINK of purchasing a sailboat you should GO SAILING on OPBs (Other Peoples Boats). Walk the docks at a local marina or local yacht club, preferably with a six-pac or more, foulies (if in an area where their use is likely) and BEG for rides on sailboats. Offer to help wash the boat after a sail (or race). Do whatever will get you on sailboats. Then, with that experience a few times you might have a better idea of IF you like sailing. And once boat owners know you bring beer AND you will help with whatever, you will find that more and more opportunities present themselves.
ALSO, take sailing lessons on a small boat, preferably a one person boat like an El Toro or Optimist Dinghy (and there are others that are similar). After the one person boat lessons graduate to a slightly larger boat, like a Lido (dating myself) Day Sailer, FJ, etc. (I do NOT recommend that a husband and wife learn together on the same boat - there is a strong tendancy for each to assume that certain jobs will be performed by them and certain by the spose and each sort of lets those things that pertain to the spouse to go in one ear and out the other. If you're in an area where there are classes taught by women sailors I strongly recommend that the husband learn from a male and the wife from a female.
But most important is that you do as much sailing as possible BEFORE you start considering a purchase.
And I've said this before. RACE, even if you haven't a competitive bone in your body. I remember this statement from my first day as a student taking sailing lessons, the instructor said "Any ahole can turn a key." It is in races where EVERYTHING during a sailboat race is by sail. Non-racers tend to motor whenever sailing would be too much work, even racers getting to the course and returning to port after the race. But during the race - there they sail, even if the next mark of the course is directly into the wind, even if the wind is so light that the boat is barely moving, no matter what. That's when you'll start to really learn.
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Old 06-07-2015, 19:00   #25
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Regarding the hot boat; there's no place hotter than the cabin if a boat in summer when going downwind, or at a dock with no wind coming below. The key to a cooler boat is ventilation, like a wind sock (google it). Being at anchor or on a mooring helps too.

Otherwise, it's cocktails in the cockpit! Not so bad.

An Ocean Lover in Maine.
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Old 06-07-2015, 20:33   #26
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Check out Craig's List for local crew offers. Lots of folks are looking for people to help them sail their boats.

Crew on a number of different types of boats so you can get a feel for them.

Also, buy a smaller used boat (33' or less) as your first boat, and learn to sail and maneuver that before you spend the money for a larger boat. You'll never know what you want and need without the experience of sailing, and your first boat is not going to be your last boat.
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Old 09-07-2015, 21:49   #27
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Re: Is this the place to ask basic questions?

Originally Posted by anacapaisland42 View Post
For my money
Buy the cheapest smallest boat you can live with
Sail it anywhere you can for a year
If you damage it, so what.
After a year you will be well on the way to knowing what you want.
Read lots of books...... Chapmans and Bob Griffiths mandatory
You'll decide whether you are a cruiser, a racer, a fixer-upper or a drinker.
Have fun and don't sweat it.
LOL.... this was our original plan! I'm not sure what happened between that and our actual purchase, but hey!

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