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Old 25-12-2012, 05:39   #16
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Take along an experienced old salt. Two sets of eyes is always a good thing, looking at a sailboat to purchase.

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Old 25-12-2012, 06:58   #17
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Location: Texas - USA
Boat: Twin Otter de Havilland Floatplane
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Welcome! I recommend the "Weekender 24 ft" sloop. It is very rugged and will not tip over easily. This sloop is used in training at many sailing schools, because of its ruggedness and ease of sailing. Would-be sailors are notorious in making gaffes because of their little experience in seamanship; this sloop can take a beating and still maintains all of its functions. Check it out at a boat show, and try your hands on a used one for a few days under diverse weather conditions before buying it. Your first boat should be simple, sturdy and easy to handle by yourself. Enjoy!

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Old 25-12-2012, 07:47   #18
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Your lowest cost, zero maintenance experience is to find a racer to crew with. I sailed other people's boats as bowman for 20 years. As suggested above, pick the boat & people carefully. Serious racers will be the guys who leave the beer at the dock for after the race. I am still in communication with these life-time friends 25 years after we had to go our sepeerate ways. We still meet and sometimes sail together. Most of us still crew and/or own our own boats.

The boat and sailing that lights your fire will change over time. I started sailing Super Porpose, Sunfish, Cape Dorey 10, Buckaneer. Eventually, I made friends with coworkers with Prindtle, 470, 505, laser. I bought a Sunfish for my kids to learn. I bought a Tornado Cat and updated it to the current rule with an A-S spinnaker. Finally, we bought a 58 Camper & Nicholson Ketch for retirement. The nice thing is you can own and re-sell any of these. They are not life commitments.

I can't recommend a Hobie or other low freeboard cat for your primary cruising ground. It would limit you only to flat-water conditions. My Tornado is great on inland lakes but all of my experiences on big water with any small cats has been a wet ride with the front pipe clipping the tops off every wave. You spend all day righting it, retrieving your sheets as they stream off the transom.

If you are looking for a trailer - sailer you might widen your search to include fresh water areas. The entire Great Lakes are is economically depressed and nearly half of the boats at a typical marina may not have been launched in the last several years. Fresh water boats in the north see 10 to 15 weekends per season and zero corrosion. Google search marinas and brokers in the Great Lakes. Narrow your search by city and call or E-Mail. Torresens in Muskegon is our home yard and is packed with boats. Great Lakes Marina also in Muskegon is another. Try Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo etc. Look on Lake Champlain. I would suggest charter companies but the boats will be large. Keep this in mind for a later boat. Charters retire boats after 3-5 years.
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Old 25-12-2012, 07:54   #19
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Re: Good first sailboat?

Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
get a Hobie Cat and a dome and fun, and you can still overnight
+1. Something new for your sailing experience, way fast, fun, inexpensive. And, with a boom tent the tramp is quite comfortable for overnight camping. Suitable for single handed sailing or minimal crew.
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:21   #20
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

RS Feva is an amazing first boat.
It is a two person boat which is great for learning in with 3 sails (main, jib and a A- symmetric spinnaker)
Once you get good at it , it is a very competitive youth race boat

Here is a video of some expert girls sailing one- check out their channel for more! They are in some mega waves here, dont worry you wont ever have to do this if you dont want to! (Must watch whole video- best bit is at the End)
Hope this helps

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