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Old 20-09-2015, 17:06   #31
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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The great thing about this forum is the willingness of sailors to offer helpful advice in a friendly atmosphere where just about any question or topic is possible and welcomed, without ridicule.
There is no ridicule in my words or spirit. And I stand by my advice. In fact, I strongly question responders who jumped right in offering advice on 35' boats to buy to a person who may be a wonderful human being, but who is nowhere near ready to be sailing a big boat under his own command. I've taught at least several hundred people how to sail. And a sailing school or course teaches one only to rig, launch, and sail a boat around the harbor and return to the dock without injury or damage (we hope). The good students used that capability to gain the many hours of tiller time to become capable helmsmen or women, to gain enough in-the-boat experience to begin to have good judgement...about their skill level, about the weather, the tide, the strength of their equipment...and so many other things. And I am absolutely convinced that only in a small boat can one truly learn to sail. In seven decades I have not known a single successful sailor on a national level who did not learn his craft in small boats, save one: Richard Nye, owner of Carina, Phil Rhodes happiest creation. All the others, from Olin and Rod Stephens, Ted Turner, Dennis Connor up through Ben Ainsle started in small boats. There is a reason for this. A small boat will immediately point out your errors, often by capsizing. A big boat will often conceal them. Until one day she doesn't.

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Old 20-09-2015, 17:08   #32
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

Why just the other day I learned that I need to be a master electrician, plumber, mechanic, rigger, carpenter and seamster to be a sailor. Now, I have learned that I also need to undergo the proper apprenticeship. At least this apprenticeship involves sail handling, but I still don't understand what a Laser is going to teach anyone about winches, heads and berth distribution.
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Old 20-09-2015, 17:15   #33
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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When does one earn the right to call himself a sailor?
This is a very good question. When Dwight Eisenhower graduated from West Point, he wasn't ready to lead an army. When Ike left the Point, he wasn't even a soldier. But he was ready to learn how to soldier.

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Old 20-09-2015, 17:36   #34
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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Paul, you never know what kind of experience some one has outside of sailing that could make one well suited to skippering a boat with out a strong knowledge of sailing.
FamilyVan, I am utterly at a loss to understand how one could be well suited to skippering without a strong knowledge of sailing. Could one be well suited to surgery without a strong knowledge of anatomy? Halstead studied anatomy for one hour each morning every day of his career.

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Old 20-09-2015, 17:53   #35
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

Who cares about all these famous names you are throwing out.. The OP isn't asking to be famous or win gold medals or lead troops to war. He wants to coastal cruise. Heck, he didn't even come on here like a lot of people do, asking what kind of boat to buy to circumnavigate for $500.

He has a very reasonable goal for his boat, to coastal cruise and sail to Catalina. There are more ways than one to learn to sail. There are lots of people that buy boats without sailing lasers.

I bought my first keel boat having sailed once in my life, the day before when my neighbor took me out. My second time sailing was in my newly purchased boat in 25+ knots of wind in Honolulu. I sailed that boat several times a week and had a great time and am moving my way on up to be a better sailor and particularly the hardest part for me, a good boat owner. Which is care and maintenance and upgrading old things.

San Diego is arguably the easiest and best city to learn to sail on on the entire west coast. Light winds, protected bays, but still the open ocean is right there so the sky is the limit.

I don't think a six week course taught our new friend as much about being an expert sailor as maybe he thinks, but I would say if he isn't an ego maniac, that refuses to learn and admit faults, or take advice, I would say that he should be qualified to by a 30 foot boat in San Diego and coastal cruise.

He can discover what he know and doesn't know. I doubt he is poor if he can afford San Diego slip fees and a BVI sailing class, so if he buys a boat that needs something fixed, or if he damages something by not knowing what he is doing, he can probably afford to pay to fix it or replace it. Which is important, because if for example you don't know how to reef, and you only use the little reef points in the middle of the sail that are there to neaten the bottom, if you only reef with one and tear your sail
M some people can't afford to buy a new one, but our new poster should remember to set aside a budget for mistakes and extras.

I'll bet he is in Avalon by next summer.
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Old 20-09-2015, 17:56   #36
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

Paul, with due respect, your four year apprenticeship program might turn the OP into a decent dinghy racer, but will do bugger all to teach him the things he needs to know to accomplish his stated goals: daysailing in Southern California waters in a smallish coastal cruiser. For that he needs skills not usually associated with dinghy racing in protected waters. Coastal piloting, weather interpretation, and boat maintenance come to mind much more than mast prebend on a Star, etc.

Further, y our analogies with surgeons and airline pilots are not salient. I would not let a person with a six week medical course do a brain transplant on me, but I would let them bandage a cut foot or such and that is a more valid comparison with a sunday sail to Catalina.

It is true that most top level racing skippers got their start racing dinghies, and it is a good way to learn the basics of sailing, and it is fun to boot. I even started sailing in dinghies myself, but had no ambition to spend years working my way up the racing ladder. Within your four year period I had moved up to a trailer sailor, and was racing it on SF bay, and cruising coastally and in the PNW by trailer. Was I the best sailor around? Hell no, but I had adequate competence to do what I was doing, and i reckon there is no obvious reason the the OP can't do the same. His inexperience is obvious from his questions, but dinghy racing ain't gonna answer them or help him select a boat to do what he wants to do.

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Old 20-09-2015, 18:02   #37
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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FamilyVan, I am utterly at a loss to understand how one could be well suited to skippering without a strong knowledge of sailing.

Paul
I believe there is a ton of power boaters that would disagree with you. Sailing is an endeavor that one is always learning new things from. Racing teaches great sail handling, But there is more to cruising then sailing well. Anchoring, head rebuilding/unclogging/ Engine maintenance, etc. Lasers do teach sail handling and how to right the dinghy under gusty conditions. Been there done that ages ago. But not everyone needs to be the next americans cup champion. Lord knows there are tons of folks out on the water just enjoying the day and not worrying all that much about sail trim.
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Old 20-09-2015, 18:09   #38
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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Well I am a fairly new sailor but I'm also a scuba diver and pilot so these help with sailing indirectly.
Both help.

You know about safety issues with both. From my, and most sailors, that is the first criteria. I do not leave dock until I am tethered in when single handing, and rarely even with others aboard. That is just me.

You know weather from your pilot training. That is easily adapted to sailing, although you will learn sea states and how they impact you. Weather events thousands of miles away can impact swells locally, regardless of weather.

If you fly VFR rules, your very aware of situational awareness, and sailing is not much different.

Learning how to use the equipment frankly is not that hard; learning when to use some of it is a skill one constantly improves on.

I concur with others... you don't need or really want electric winches and two heads is excessive. One works and when it doesn't you need to have the replacement parts on board. If you have two, invariably they both go TU at that same time. The more systems you have, the more you need to maintain, and the more likely of a breakdown at an inopportune time.

If your looking for a starter boat, you can't go wrong with a 27 foot Albin Vega. They have crossed oceans, and here is a blog about one that was single handed around north and south America, non-stop. An Albin Vega can take you from raw beginner to accomplished sailor, and at the prices they are offered, you will never lose much. They have a deserved great reputation.
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Old 20-09-2015, 18:09   #39
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

Paul,

This is primarily a cruising forum. One could cruise and or live aboard for years and not set their sails once. In fact, many members here are in fact power boaters and don't sail at all.



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Old 20-09-2015, 18:28   #40
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

Does a Vega really have two heads? Gee I'm going to go get me one! And electric winches? No wonder that guy circumnavigated the Americas in one >
I love this forum, I really do.
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Old 20-09-2015, 18:42   #41
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

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Does a Vega really have two heads? Gee I'm going to go get me one! And electric winches? No wonder that guy circumnavigated the Americas in one >
I love this forum, I really do.
LOL... naaa.... we are doing our best to talk the OP out of the double head/electric winch requirement.
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Old 20-09-2015, 19:07   #42
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

As to the original question, a 95 ish Catalina 34 to 36 wound make a nice coastal cruiser. Only one head, but you really only want one in a sailboat below 40-44 feet. Agree that electric winches really are not needed either till the 50' range and even then it's optional.

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Old 20-09-2015, 20:56   #43
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

As one of those who gave the OP some boats to check out right off the bat, I agree with you Paul. We should start with a lot of practice in small boats. If he were to ask for advice as to how to become a good sailor, I'd say, as I often do, start small with a fun fast boat that you sail every afternoon after work. I don't think racing is required but it does help you see which things work for speed and which don't. All useful stuff. But he is looking to buy a boat someday. I don't know when, it's none of my business. I know you think we need to be careful not to encourage people to do foolish things but I don't think I need to put out a fire here, at least not in this case. The OP has sailing experience. The 2 heads and electric winches may have thrown us off, but hell I'd like to have electric winches too! 2 heads, no, that I'll draw the line on. I hate heads. 2 showers might be nice though. I crewed on a boat once with a bath tub, but that seemed a bit silly to me.
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Old 20-09-2015, 22:34   #44
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

I grew up with cuddy cabin 17 foot outboard powered fishing boats.
My first sailboat was a 24 foot wooden Eventide of which I sailed all round the West coast of England and Wales.

My next was a 19 foot SeaWych of which I did the same. I then progressed up the size scale till I made 39 foot in a sailboat. My preference in monos now is for either small-26 to 30 foot, or medium, up to 37 foot.

I am very happy in a multihull from 27 foot to 36 foot.

I hate Dinghy sailing in the UK. I always found it wet and cold and prefer to be in a boat that swimming around it.

There is no need to be a dinghy sailor to learn sailing. There is a need to learn how to sail a boat. My dinghy has an outboard on it and thats the way I like it. Dinghies to me are tenders for the Sailboat and frankly a huge pain in the butt when a thousand of them appear on a Sunday all around the boat racing and generally capsizing at regular intervals. As long as people are having fun I dont mind, as long as I can sit in my cockpit drinking coffee whilst observing, or inside turning the heating up on a cold and wet day.
As for being a pilot. Im a pilot. I have no interest in flying commercial aircraft. My level is where I want to be.
Im a Physician. Im not a surgeon. Im at the level I want to be.

People ask questions here all the time that seem to irritate 'professional' sailors. The questions asked sometimes imply a lack of experience on the part of the asker. Ive asked questions regarding hull speeds in catamarans and how to raise the average, and I asked because Im not a hull designer or had a knowledge of the physics involved. CFers offered their knowledge and experience to me in a way that made me go and read up more on the subject so I understood the possibilities and limitations of Hull speed/shape/angles/length etc.

So the guy wants two electric winches and 2 heads and 2 cabins and perhaps have a boat painted in battleship gray. Moderator Steady Hand always takes the time to welcome new members and point them to how the forum works and where to find the information they are seeking. We all were beginners at one stage on here.

Some may feel the only way to learn is to do a, b or c. The problem with that is that individuals come into sailing for different reasons and for limited usage of a vessel, and as such it is not a profession or something that may do for more than 12 days a year. Most schools teach a good grasp of the basics and put emphasis on the safety. It makes it better than having no training at all.

I reckon 95% of car drivers dont know much about how the vehicle works, or how to drive off road or what to do in certain situations but..........everyone thinks they are a good driver.

The best answers here were from people who stated that you will not find many electric winches on the boat sizes he was looking at because they were not needed. That explained it all. He can upgrade to electric if he wants to though! I can be such a lazy sod at times I might even have done it myself.

The OP might want a bit more learnin' in boatmanship but sending him off to dinghy school is not the answer. HE has money and a fairly specific idea of what he wants and came to us for advice regarding that. I prefer to help him and ASK what his experience level is rather than assume and insist he learns a certain way.

But thats just me. I have not taught 100s to sail or made a career out of sailing. I just muddle through and learn something new every day about a hobby I love.

I am just so glad he didnt ask about anchors.
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Old 21-09-2015, 00:52   #45
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Re: Best quality coastal cruiser

I think he got scared off
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