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Old 04-11-2015, 18:04   #16
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Re: Boat Size

Jens, although I am unfamiliar with your location in Illinois, as a neophyte sailor you are starting at a level where you would be a danger to yourself and to other boaters.

My sugestion, and I have a lot of experience with this, is look at buying a J24. There is a very active class and you can pick up a boat between 5 and 10k. J24s are sailed hard and put away wet. Sail that and even try to race it a bit. Then you will be able to easily sell it for what you bought it for then go for bigger.

As per your other questioin. I wouldn't even touch a swing keel, a fixed keel is what you want.

Sailing is an addiction and there are many posts on here about neophyte sailors that "want to get into sailing". The end advise is always the same. Buy a boat you can handle and afford. Bigger boats cost more money to maintain. A J24 can be maintained inexpensively and you could do 90% of the work yourself.

A 20 to 24 ft. Boat is a good start. But you want easy and good resale value. When you go to sail the Caribbean you can pick a boat up easily in FL. In a few years.
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Old 04-11-2015, 18:49   #17
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Re: Boat Size

If you peruse/haunt some of these websites, you'll be privy to a wealth of knowledge.
singlehanded sailing society - Bing
www.forums.sailinganarchy.coom
www.sailinganarchy.com

Also, get to know as many sailmakers, sail lofts, & riggers/rigging shops as you can, as they tend to be;
- Full of guys & gals with a wealth of sailing knowledge, and...
- The people who work there have LOTS of sailing contacts; for ALL things sailing.
But especially, open positions on boats, for; racing, cruising, sailing schools ~ sometimes to include sailing schools which need fill in sailors on their teaching & racing boats.

I attended a multiplicity of J-world schools for free, via such contacts, as I; had the free time to crew on a "trial horse boat'. Which is what the paying customers sail/practice against.
And it was known that I could shuffle my sked to go & "play" when they needed crew. Plus, I had a good attitude, & wanted to learn.

*People skills & networking are important. On the water, & afterwards, when telling tales, & knocking back a few (cocktails) at the yacht club. And no, you needn't be a member to attend such gatherings. They're the norm, post race/post sailing events.

And if you can manage the time, following the racing circut around is LOADS of fun. And a great networking, & learning environment. Whether it's the local circut, or starting with Key West Race Week, in mid Jan, & following the racing fleet around all Spring.
As from there, many of the boats island hop around the Caribbean, doing a different regatta series on different islands, every week, or couple of weeks, from Jan. until the beginning of Hurricane Season in late Spring.

That, or you could even head over to Europe about now, & find a ride on an ARC boat... paid, volunteer, or paying for your food & daily expenses, and stick with the fleet for anywhere from a month or three, to half of a circumnavigation or more.

And there are many, many opportunities like this. You can find the skeds, & boats to crew on online, or dig up the skeds, rallys, & regattas in books & periodicals.


PS: Get the USCG forms which help you to document your sea time, in case you want to pursue some liscences down the road. As well as hitting up skippers that you sail(ed) with, for letter of reference & recommendation.
And it doesn't hurt to hand them a note card with the bullet points of what you want such to say. Specifically, what your skill set is, attitude, learning abilities/what you learned, what your job(s) were onboard, etc.
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Old 04-11-2015, 19:40   #18
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Re: Boat Size

Quote:
Originally Posted by JensOberg View Post
I am 22 years old, and wanting to get into sailing, having no experience whatsoever. I have been looking around for a used cheap sailboat online. I am from central Illinois, so the selection in my area is pretty small. Most of the sailboats i have found are between 20'-30', and most have swing keels or centerboards. My question is, is a boat that size, and with that type of keel, safe to take into the open ocean (say the caribbean)?

I would guess a lot goes into boat safety, number one being the operators experience. But, i would just like to know what the limitations of that type of boat.

Also, if i find a boat i like, what is the best way to find out its limitations, and its safety record?

Thanks
Of course if you find a boat you like, you can always try asking for our opinions. I am not sure if you have seen any of these, but your description made me think of it. Don't know if you can find one for $5000 but it is a very highly regarded boat for shoals and open ocean.
Sparkman & Stephens: Tartan 27 - Design 1617

for what you are describing be sure to get a boat with a good engine.
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Old 04-11-2015, 23:03   #19
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Re: Boat Size

G'Day Jens,

Here's something to think about: at your level of knowledge and skill it is highly unlikely that you will want to go to sea in the 'learner" boat that you are now seeking. Buying a 25+ foot fixed keel boat, as many are suggesting, will increase your initial investment, greatly increase the operating and storage costs of ownership, and limit your sailing grounds to whatever body of water it is floating in.

In your position, I'd be looking for a boat in the low 20's with a swing keel and a trailer. The trailer minimizes the storage costs (during the long drear winters that I remember growing up in Chicago), allows you to work on the boat at home or nearby, and most importantly, gives you the freedom to move the boat from one body of water to another as your skills improve. When you have "used it up" and are ready for something more sophisticated, it will be easy to sell.

In my own case, while I was a bit older than you when smitten by the bug (early 30's) I started with a 16 foot Daysailor dinghy. Cheap, fun, easy to sail and oh so educational. I started on inland lakes in Central California, but soon was out on San Francisco Bay (scaring the crap out of me and my family at times!). After a year of that I sold that boat for what I had paid for iit and moved up to a Catalina 22. That boat meets most of your stated requirements, trailers easily, is an extremely popular design (means a steady market for buying and selling) and is loads of fun to sail. I sailed and raced on SF Bay, had occasional forays into the Ocean, and trailered it to Santa Barbara for trips out to the Channel Islands (20+ miles offshore). Even took it to Port Angeles WA and spent a month sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands. This sort of boat wouldn't be great for the Caribe IMO, but for learning to sail and cruise in the Midwest it would be perfect. It's so easy to get overly enthusiastic and buy into a boat too big and too complex to be a great learning platform.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:10   #20
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Re: Boat Size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Jens,

Here's something to think about: at your level of knowledge and skill it is highly unlikely that you will want to go to sea in the 'learner" boat that you are now seeking. Buying a 25+ foot fixed keel boat, as many are suggesting, will increase your initial investment, greatly increase the operating and storage costs of ownership, and limit your sailing grounds to whatever body of water it is floating in.

In your position, I'd be looking for a boat in the low 20's with a swing keel and a trailer. The trailer minimizes the storage costs (during the long drear winters that I remember growing up in Chicago), allows you to work on the boat at home or nearby, and most importantly, gives you the freedom to move the boat from one body of water to another as your skills improve. When you have "used it up" and are ready for something more sophisticated, it will be easy to sell.

In my own case, while I was a bit older than you when smitten by the bug (early 30's) I started with a 16 foot Daysailor dinghy. Cheap, fun, easy to sail and oh so educational. I started on inland lakes in Central California, but soon was out on San Francisco Bay (scaring the crap out of me and my family at times!). After a year of that I sold that boat for what I had paid for iit and moved up to a Catalina 22. That boat meets most of your stated requirements, trailers easily, is an extremely popular design (means a steady market for buying and selling) and is loads of fun to sail. I sailed and raced on SF Bay, had occasional forays into the Ocean, and trailered it to Santa Barbara for trips out to the Channel Islands (20+ miles offshore). Even took it to Port Angeles WA and spent a month sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands. This sort of boat wouldn't be great for the Caribe IMO, but for learning to sail and cruise in the Midwest it would be perfect. It's so easy to get overly enthusiastic and buy into a boat too big and too complex to be a great learning platform.

Cheers,

Jim
Jens, listen to Jim!
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