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Old 22-10-2009, 05:00   #1
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Best Sailboat for a First Timer?

Hi everyone, I am a new entry to the sailing world. I wish to purchase a boat in the Toronto area and plan to spend about 50,000 to 75,000 usd

I am curious if anyone has any suggestions as to what type is the best for a new sailor.
I am thinking brand, and type

I seem to be attracted to beneteau as it has a "sporty upscale " look to it.
I really am inexperienced and would appreciate any advice.

I plan to dock the boat in Lake Ontario on the Toronto waterfront or Toronto Island.
My home is in the suburbs , and I work in the downtown core, so i am thinking this would be a neat place to "camp out" during the week to avoid commuting
and I can do some fun sailing around the lake ...any advice?
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Old 22-10-2009, 05:06   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesailor View Post

I seem to be attracted to beneteau as it has a "sporty upscale " look to it.
Beneteau 361 is a superb boat and in that price range. At least one member here has one. Its a wonderful boat to learn on and to sail in those Lakes... also good to take south to the Caribbean.

We looked at them carefully before we bought the slightly bigger boat.
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Old 23-10-2009, 01:45   #3
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I agree with the choice of benneteau - or hunter, or catalina or bavaria or jeanneau.......

There are many boats of this ilk - popular, mass produced and competitively priced. They also tend to hold their value more than anything else.

Look at what the local charter companies are using - probably a good place to go shopping
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Old 23-10-2009, 02:00   #4
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Our first boat was a Beneteau 32s5. We found this to be an excellent boat to learn on. Easy to handle and forgiving the occasional mishap.
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Old 23-10-2009, 03:51   #5
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I would suggest a season of crewing on other peoples' boats as both an excellent way to learn and a method by which you can "preview" various boats and ask the owners what has worked and what hasn't. My club, National, has an extensive "crew bank", and this is how I found my boat 10 years ago.

In the Toronto area (where I also am), there are many "good old boats" from the '70s and '80s that in many cases have been excellently maintained, sail very well and, due to the fresh water environment and the annual five-month haulout, "show" quite well for their age. These include the very popular C&C and CS marques, as well as boats from Ontario Yachts such as the Viking and those from Hinterhoeller Yachts, such as the Nonsuch and the Niagara lines. (I own a Viking 33, for instance, and yes, it was a deal.)

They frequently have elderly, original owners looking to sell, and the soft market currently favours buyers.

Your budget is adequate, but keep in mind that repairs and modifications are an ongoing. Get the boat for its sailing qualities, not its amenities, because they can always be added later, and you won't know the sailing qualities until you sail four or five miles out in 20 knots from the east.
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Old 23-10-2009, 07:10   #6
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I second a lot of what Alchemy said.

Toronto is a great place to sail. The lake can be challenging, but doesn't have to be. It's pretty simple line-of-sight navigation for the most part. And there's not much to hit -- few shoals and rocks and whatnot.

Also a lot of clubs and marinas, in which to keep the boat.

Do take a look at what boats are available, rather than deciding that a Beneteau is what you want.

Key factor is this: will you sail it?

Guy in our club bought a Beneteau 31-footer (dunno the formal designation) and found he wasn't sailing it. Just too much trouble to get off the dock and go. And he and his wife found it wasn't as much fun to sail as their previous boat. So they sold it.

Naturally, your mileage may vary.

Alchemy is right that there are a lot of older boats in pretty good shape, and your best bet might be to find a convenient club and take out a crew membership. Ask sailing members to take you out racing or even just cruising for an afternoon. Get a feel for various boats.

That was in fact our plan, but it didn't work out that way. We were window shopping at Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club and fell in love with a boat -- Connemara, a 1982 Mirage 27. The price was right, the PO was a great guy, both the POs were still members of the club (so lots of knowledge of the boat available). So we bought the boat and joined the club.

Our club is five minutes from home and we can be on the water 20 minutes after leaving our driveway, something we generally do a couple of times a week. Connie is very easy to get off the dock, easy to sail, and a lot of fun in heavier air.

She's also easy to single-hand, which eliminates the need for crew every time I go out. (The Admiral does not go out alone.)

So there's a lot of sailing going on. And that's the bottom line, for us.

Other people want a nautical-themed summer cottage. And that's fine too.

Connemara
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Old 23-10-2009, 19:23   #7
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this is great information. I think I will take the advice as recommended and get a crew membership first.
Are crews welcomed into the club?
I just feel like a bit if a "mooch" by joining and crewing on someone elses boat all the time
Thanks
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Old 23-10-2009, 20:11   #8
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If you are handy, able to carry on an intelligent conversation and help keep the boat clean....you aren't a mooch

And you could bring your own winch handle......it would be a talking point. HAHAHAHAHA
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Old 23-10-2009, 20:51   #9
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The best first boat could be best summarized as "paid for". Prolong the first boat untill you can't stand it any more or you'll end up with a second boat.

"Other Peoples Boats" sail best. I sure can't explain it but it's true. Learning more before you put down cash is always better. You just don't know what you don't know why.

As an alternative buy a cheap first boat and avoid taking a beating twice.

The key is not losing sight about making it all fun.

Quote:
And you could bring your own winch handle......it would be a talking point.
Not a bad idea!
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Old 23-10-2009, 20:59   #10
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The best boat is the one you can afford.

When I look at a boat, the price doesn't mean much to me until I check out the real cost of ownership. I take a pencil and paper and write down everything wrong with the boat. Then I get out the Defender or West Marine Catalogue and I figure out how much it will cost to get the boat "seaworthy". I add that to the offering price to see whether I can afford it.

You will rarely get any of the money back that you sink into a boat. So it makes sense to compute the real cost when you decide what you can afford, or how much money you can afford to lose.
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Old 23-10-2009, 21:18   #11
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Buy something you can afford not to sail !

It realy comes down to how much you will sail and how much thats worth to you. There are plenty of boats in that price range. Will you often be out alone or with friends..wife, ? You may want to single hand it? Moorage ? How close to home? These things all seem to work out though.


Remember buy something you can afford not to sail cause 90% of the time its sitting tied to a dock
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Old 23-10-2009, 22:53   #12
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The best boat for a beginner is someone else's.

Hang out in the local marinas and chat up the owners, letting them know that you would like to crew if they ever need a hand.

Get some experience of what it is like on a boat for a while at sea and find what you like and don't like about different boats before you make your decision if and what to buy.

Everyone here will have a different opinion of what constitures the best boat for THEM, and only you can decide what is best for YOU.
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Old 24-10-2009, 17:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesailor View Post
this is great information. I think I will take the advice as recommended and get a crew membership first.
Are crews welcomed into the club?
I just feel like a bit if a "mooch" by joining and crewing on someone elses boat all the time
Thanks
If you sail as racing crew, you are essential to the boat's campaign, even at the club level. You contribute to the skipper's desire to get a flag on awards night, and it's up to that skipper to train you properly. Most skippers realize that skilled crew are precious, because while any fool can buy a boat, only a skilled sailor (which is what you ideally aspire to be as crew) can make it a winning boat.

As cruising crew, you are "hired muscle". You are either helping a perhaps elderly or mobility-restricted cruising couple continue their sailing lives by hauling anchors or jumping off with a line onto a dock or raising the main or moving sailbags around, etc. or you are making a fit crew roster bigger in order to sail the boat 24/7 on a watch system in order to beat the weather or to get somewhere quickly.

In either case, you get to ask questions, receive instruction and play on other peoples' boats. It's a fair trade.
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Old 24-10-2009, 21:44   #14
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Aloha and Welcome aboard! I'd recommend a basic sailing class if you haven't been to one and hanging around a local club to listen to stories by the "old salts." Not always believable but worth listening to nonetheless.
Check out the links after my signature.
regards,
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Old 24-10-2009, 21:51   #15
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the best way to learn how to sail is to crew a race team...there are lots of people looking for people..your not mooching, because without people like you, they cant race..i knew nothing of sailing this spring and went two ways..racing and whitesail lessons..and i wish i didnt waste my money on whitesail lessons. one season racing with a seasoned skipper and you will not only know how to sail, you will be showing your friends how to shape a sail to get that extra .1 knot.
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