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Old 10-12-2011, 16:32   #16
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The driving a long way vs. trailering decision is tough. What ever you decide. Make sure the "hardhip" doesn't interfere with time on water.

In fact, find a place on the coast that does rentals and do the drive every weekend for a month. Then compare that to leaving something smaller on a close by lake.

My brother had a membership at a rental place in San Diego and lived in LA. Even this relatively short 4 hour drive was a barrier to day sailing.

I have a couple of friends that drive to the boat on Friday, about 4 hours and stay all weekend. Every weekend.

Ultimately if buying a 16 foot Bahia means 80 days on the water vs. 18 with a keelboat 300 miles away, get the Bahia.

Even sailing on ponds is sailing!
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Old 10-12-2011, 17:25   #17
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Of course I don't have the amount of experience of others here.

But I have used my Hobie18 for years to get my sailing fix on a nearby lake back home. And still considered a larger trailer sailor when I wanted something with a cabin/salon.

The headroom issue and wanting to live aboard led me to think bigger. True one will often be sitting, but preparing meals and doing dishes while bent over seemed like no fun to me. And at 6-5 it might be more of an issue for you than others. But I should point out I haven't spent any time in a monohull with less than standing headroom.

Ending up with a larger boat with reverse cycle heat and air, larger lockers, slightly faster cruising speed has been good.

Should also point out that the falling prices in this economy was a crucial factor in being able to afford a larger boat. I thought a 27' would be the choice until prices began falling.

The importance or possibility of living aboard might be a critical factor.

BTW, just got back to the dock from a day sail with a fresh breeze. Single handed my 32' boat is a handful for me and it gives me a considerable work out. I'm beat but smiling.
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Old 10-12-2011, 21:48   #18
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Originally Posted by Tbrad View Post
Just wanted to point out that you might consider the Land Between the Lakes area. Miles of water and you can sail all the way to the Gulf via the Tom Bigbee canal. I don't know where you'll be in Tenn but I think it would be a closer area than the coast. Just sayin'.
I did find a couple marinas on the north end of Kentucky Lake that have sailboats and other marinas that seem to be more for pontoon, fishing and house boats. One of the marinas I found have small sailboats for rent but their rules say two people are required. I thought it might work to get something trailerable sized but leave in the water. I do plan to walk around and see what's there. I think one of the marinas allow people to sell their own boats nearby so they may not be listed anywhere else.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:26   #19
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Look for a Parker Dawson 26 (aka Mid Ship 25). These are quality-built boats that have crossed oceans but are still very trailerable.

If you go the last-boat first route, My '74 Cal Cruising 35 has 6'6" headroom in the main saloon and 6'3" headroom in the forward cabin. These are somewhat rare boats and only come up for sale every so often. However they have the excellent design and build quality common to the Cal line-up.

I believe the Columbia 34 MKII would be the least head-banging boat you could get into. It has 7' of headroom in the main cabin! See: Columbia 34 MKII
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:01   #20
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Look for a Parker Dawson 26 (aka Mid Ship 25). These are quality-built boats that have crossed oceans but are still very trailerable.

If you go the last-boat first route, My '74 Cal Cruising 35 has 6'6" headroom in the main saloon and 6'3" headroom in the forward cabin. These are somewhat rare boats and only come up for sale every so often. However they have the excellent design and build quality common to the Cal line-up.

I believe the Columbia 34 MKII would be the least head-banging boat you could get into. It has 7' of headroom in the main cabin! See: Columbia 34 MKII
CAL's look like nice boats. I saw there are some nice ones around.

I'll look into the Columbia 34. I don't think I've heard of so much headroom except maybe in the 45'+ boats.

Lately, I'm looking at Catalina 27's as they would probably be easier to sell later on. I'm also starting to like the look of Cape Dory 27's as well. Once I start walking around and gettings eyes on what's out there, I'll have a better idea of what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:16   #21
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The hunter 27 advertises 6'2" - http://www.torresen.com/sailboats/hunter/27

So does the catalina - http://www.catalina28.com/

Like my boat that max headroom is likely at the companionway.

Don't know about older ones.

The Catalina is sure prettier to me...
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:22   #22
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Tru experience I feel get the big last boat first You will be putting time and labor getting the boat as you want it no matter what size better to have a more worth while result you will keep Considering the market for used boats starting small and trading up seem to be not such a good idea as it once was that is my take I could be wrong Boats are easy to buy and hard to sell right now
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Old 20-12-2011, 12:42   #23
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Here's a link to a Cruisers Forum thread offering a Mariner 31.


These are, if well-maintained, capable sea-kindly boats with strong engines. Their ketch rigs are a cruising plus.


The headroom, IIRC, is 6' 5" ---

For Sale: 1969 Mariner 31 Ketch, Freshly Restored !


Good luck with your search.


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Old 22-12-2011, 02:03   #24
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Here's a link to a Cruisers Forum thread offering a Mariner 31.


Good luck with your search.


Wolfhound
I still have at least a few months before I start searching in person. Once I move back to the US, I'll be able to do some searching in person.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I did find this boat on craigslist some time ago.
1969 Bristol 27 Weekender- Was $4000, now $2500
Just noticed that the owner lowered the price already to $2500. I think he's trying to avoid the next payment to the marina. To my inexperienced eyes, it looks like it might be a good deal for someone who lives close by.
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Old 26-12-2011, 10:54   #25
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

I've seen lots of advice on this thread and others. As I look through the threads about buying a boat, surveys and inspections I am getting a pretty good idea of what to look out for when I go shopping around.
I found this article on Boat inspections that look pretty good. Boat Inspection Trip Tips - SailNet Community One piece of advice on that page is about getting a moisture meter like this one: JR Overseas, 502-228-8732 Looks like it might be worth it to get one for the search. I'm considering to get one as I'm sure it'll come in use to rule out potential boats and even when upgrading to larger boats. I'll work on getting a little kit together of tools for doing a survey. I found some nice looking boats but I always wonder what else is hidden that isn't mentioned in the ad.
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Old 05-01-2012, 16:58   #26
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Welcome, and not sure if this reply fits your time line however....
I have browsed the previous posts and can agree with all on at least some point. Here is my assessment (been sailing since 1958). Your first boat, by definition will not be your "last boat" but it should be a good viable spring board to the next umpty million seasons of boating.
1) 6'5 head room should not be your priority. You are absolutely correct that most of the time below will be in a non standing position and when heeled at 20 degrees, you pick up head room fast! Cooking aside, most every other activity is sitting or lying down. You do learn to get around without killing your self. 2) Get a boat that you can grow into and not grow out of immediately. Since you are going to travel some distance, it should be a comfortable "apt" while dockside and one that you feel good about inviting new friends aboard. 3) A prior poster mentioned Pamlico Sound... a hardy second to that. Plenty of good sailing area and adventures to nearby Manteo or Ocracoke Island will never be forgotten.4) 32'-38 foot boats are easily single handed or short handed when properly set up. Sails (even heavy Dacron) are easily handled by one. 5) the JR Overseas analog moisture meter is very reliable. I have one and count on it regularly. Also a phenolic hammer (Craftsman screwdriver handle will work in a push) is invaluable for finding "dead" coring around hardware. 6) I agree whole heartedly with the fin keel assertion above. There are some very noteworty full keel boats however for short sailing sessions, performance counts. If you have a boat that sails well you will sail...otherwise it may sit at the dock and look pretty.
Sorry this got so long winded...good luck on your search...keep us posted.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:20   #27
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Originally Posted by kiva46k View Post
Welcome, and not sure if this reply fits your time line however....
I have browsed the previous posts and can agree with all on at least some point. Here is my assessment (been sailing since 1958). Your first boat, by definition will not be your "last boat" but it should be a good viable spring board to the next umpty million seasons of boating.
1) 6'5 head room should not be your priority. You are absolutely correct that most of the time below will be in a non standing position and when heeled at 20 degrees, you pick up head room fast! Cooking aside, most every other activity is sitting or lying down. You do learn to get around without killing your self. 2) Get a boat that you can grow into and not grow out of immediately. Since you are going to travel some distance, it should be a comfortable "apt" while dockside and one that you feel good about inviting new friends aboard. 3) A prior poster mentioned Pamlico Sound... a hardy second to that. Plenty of good sailing area and adventures to nearby Manteo or Ocracoke Island will never be forgotten.4) 32'-38 foot boats are easily single handed or short handed when properly set up. Sails (even heavy Dacron) are easily handled by one. 5) the JR Overseas analog moisture meter is very reliable. I have one and count on it regularly. Also a phenolic hammer (Craftsman screwdriver handle will work in a push) is invaluable for finding "dead" coring around hardware. 6) I agree whole heartedly with the fin keel assertion above. There are some very noteworty full keel boats however for short sailing sessions, performance counts. If you have a boat that sails well you will sail...otherwise it may sit at the dock and look pretty.
Sorry this got so long winded...good luck on your search...keep us posted.
Welcome to you, kiva46k!

Even though it'll still be a few months before I can start looking in person, I'm already asking questions about one boat in FL and thinking to ask about a couple more in NC. Working on a list to see in person. I did order a moisture meter and got it in the mail yesterday.

The questions I asked about the boat:

Does the boat have a state title or USCG documented?
How was the boat sailed before? Daysailing, short cruising?
Has the boat seen much heavy weather?
Any previous damage due to weather, collision or grounding?
Does the boat have a history with blisters on the hull?
How long since bottom was last inspected/painted?
Have there ever been any soft spots/water in the deck core?
How long since the deck hardware and windows were last sealed?
How old is the standing and running rigging?
What is the age and condition of the sails?
Have the tanks been cleaned out or serviced? (water, fuel, holding)
Any issues with water in the fuel tank?
Has any of the electrical wiring and hoses been replaced since first built?
When was the last time the Engine was serviced?
How old are the batteries?

I'm really looking forward to all the hands on inspection.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:53   #28
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Originally Posted by Dan_78 View Post
Welcome to you, kiva46k!

Even though it'll still be a few months before I can start looking in person, I'm already asking questions about one boat in FL and thinking to ask about a couple more in NC. Working on a list to see in person. I did order a moisture meter and got it in the mail yesterday.

The questions I asked about the boat:

Does the boat have a state title or USCG documented?
How was the boat sailed before? Daysailing, short cruising?
Has the boat seen much heavy weather?
Any previous damage due to weather, collision or grounding?
Does the boat have a history with blisters on the hull?
How long since bottom was last inspected/painted?
Have there ever been any soft spots/water in the deck core?
How long since the deck hardware and windows were last sealed?
How old is the standing and running rigging?
What is the age and condition of the sails?
Have the tanks been cleaned out or serviced? (water, fuel, holding)
Any issues with water in the fuel tank?
Has any of the electrical wiring and hoses been replaced since first built?
When was the last time the Engine was serviced?
How old are the batteries?

I'm really looking forward to all the hands on inspection.
Specific questions are good Albeit a lot of them would be answered with something like "not as far as I know" (which can cover a number of things ). I would also add:-

- do you have any receipts for work done / equipment added over the years (most people seem to bin 'em ).

- is title free and clear? (i.e no debt secured on the boat - Finance? / Yard?!).

- any old survey reports available? Not just to see what was wrong, but also what to look at to judge the fixes as will tell what sort of PO(s) the boat has had. Not to say that everything in a Survey has to be done, just gives a good heads up.

- How long have you owned the boat? (short ownership may be a flag that boat has problems - or not!).

But I would also ask a general question along the lines of: "are there any other things that need fixing / repair or that I should be aware of" - the idea being to put the Vendor on the spot, so that if you find things that are patently obvious you know the Vendor is a liar! (IME most people don't feel comfortable lying - even if would prefer not to offer the truth!)......if you ask before both your inspection and a Surveyors (even if you don't intend to use one - don't tell the Vendor that!) the Vendor doesn't know what will be spotted....he may mention something that would otherwise have been missed.

In my case I also made clear that any deficiencies would not neccesarily be a deal breaker, just wanted to find an "honest" boat (by implication also an honest Vendor!) that needed some fixing up......in the event the Vendor was Class A to deal with and the boat presented no surprises over subsequent years.

FWIW here are the questions I asked each owner (no Broker's involved) before visiting the boats:-

BuyaBoat Questionnaire - "Wayluya" Seadog!

not everything I asked, but certainly the basis for viewing as well as getting a comparitive heads up on what was in the market at that time.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:30   #29
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
FWIW here are the questions I asked each owner (no Broker's involved) before visiting the boats:-

BuyaBoat Questionnaire - "Wayluya" Seadog!

not everything I asked, but certainly the basis for viewing as well as getting a comparitive heads up on what was in the market at that time.

Thanks for the tips!

Link didn't work for me.

The boat I started asking about is listed with a broker but doing research on the type of boat, I was able to find owner contact info and asked direct. I figured anything asked to the broker would end up being relayed to the owner anyway. I doubt I'll get lucky getting owner info again (except for private, non-Yacht World listings).
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:09   #30
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Re: The Search Is On for My First Boat

Maybe because I was trying the link at work, it didn't work, but now I'm back at the house it's working for me. Nice list. Thanks.
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