Originally Posted by Don L
I would PM you and get your detailed advise to follow!
Actually I didn't start this thread with any
idea of what I would write in response
........figured it would be of more interest to get some varied responses based on the differing personal circumstances and locations of others rather than a simple lecture (rant?!) from me, but since you asked
Me would start online - not only to help get an idea of my ballpark on what I should be buying
but also for some ideas on WTF I should be thinking about. Plus some inspiration and encouragement. and last but by no means least would try and get freindly enough to get invited aboard a few boats - on the basis that I would be putting my hand in own pocket. Ideally locally - but perhaps also somewhere warmer
.......online meets real world
If I could hook up with someone locally as crew I would also try and extend that into lending a hand with boat maintanence, even if that only about holding the screwdrivers! and using the opportunity to poke around in dark places and ask dumb questions! The more boats the better for that......likely also I would wander around the couple of places locally where boats are ashore and are worked on to see who I could get chatting to and learn from.....I probably would not bother with the racing
angle (not really my thing)......but I would suggest getting a sailing dink that could later be used as a tender
, partly for the sailing practice, party to get boots on the ground with folks on boats - but mostly for the craic
In addition I would read a few books
(Navigation / boat buying
/ sailing! / and travel adventurres
) and then get myself on some courses, at least the basic ones so I have a decent framework to later self learn.....all about getting a handle on my unknowns.
Given the rules for this thread are about "going now!" I would miss out the smaller boat route
as the first step (with a few years to play with that would be my recomendation) and jump straight into "the" boat - or at least my half assed guess at one!......the good news is that as long as I learn that staying in the mainstream then pretty hard to go totally wrong on model / design.
The buying would be the tricky bit - I would use brokers and view as many boats as possible, including those outside my budget
and desire in condition (actually seeing a turd when unpolished is informative - and nice to be able to walk away from!).....and I would use a Surveyor
(and would get some references
, even if only verbal during my boat learnings) plus a marine engineer
(same for references)........would also learn what everything cost to buy / fix / install and what I would need to learn myself before, during and after purchase
.....and decide what imperfections I could cope with.
I would tell myself to avoid a fixer upper, especially one that didn't actually need a total refurb
and then decide to do one
.......and go for something in the 33 foot region (plus or minus a couple, depending on design).....based around 1 or 2 people onboard, plus maybe occassional (and very short term!) guests. maybe
.......and something that could later be capable of going accross an ocean, but doesn't need to in order to justify the purchase
.......the idea on boat size is that big enough for a bit of rough not to be a biggie with the trade
off being more budget to spend ashore!......don't get (financially) married to a boat, it's only a tool to be used for your adventures and not an end in itself.
Boat design? A sloop
, likely something that could take the ground (bilge keels or lifting) as locally that makes mooring
90% cheaper! apart from that pretty much open......but I would favour an aft cockpit
(I do of course have a 30' aftcabin ketch
- but I was not new to boats!, so knew better - possibly!).......I would also advise myself that as a first boat to keep one eye on resale, even at the price
of a higher purchase cost (that DIY built composite ferrocemnt and steel
"bargain" for later when I know what I am doing
) just in case I decide that another boat would be better.
I would suggest buying in as good a condition as I could find, whilst accepting that nothing will ever be perfect - and not to throw too much money
into the boat initially, at least not on anything that could not later be easily enough removed / unbolted! for another boat.
The first voyages on my own boat would be around the bay - getting back unsunk would count as a success (my first boat I got towed back to my mooring
first trip - by a fella who was passing in a rowing boat!, to be fair I had not got very far - not even out of the harbour!)....and after that as many baby step voyages as I could manage, even if "only" day sails
. slowly slowly catchy monkee. I would also suggest getting folk onboard who knew more than me (preferably a couple of them at different times).....but apart from that suggest simply learning
as I went along, even if a bit of finger crossing involved!
I would suggest that the first extended voyage be within striking distance of back home, just in case I didn't like it! or that I decided either that a new boat was needed, more money
was needed from work
and / or boat needed more work and easier to do over time at "home" (especially if new cash also coming in!).....forever over the sunset can
wait a year, if not 2.
But probably most importantly I would suggest starting with an actual plan, whilst accepting it will likely change - just like with boats, if you don't know where you are trying to get to you are unlikely to arrive!.......are you listening Mr DOJ