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Old 21-12-2012, 19:30   #1
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Good First Sailboat?

I'm 14 going on 15 soon, i've been sailing mercury's and sunfish sense I was 8 at an all summer private sailing camp so i am very proficient in sailing but I am looking for a challenge. I'm ready to buy my first boat, although I would rather a Boston whaler, I can't quiet afford 12k for such a small boat so I am going to buy a used sailboat instead.

Most of my sailing will be done on Cape Cod Bay, off the coast of the outer Cape and occasionally in southern Florida.

If I don't need to buy a merc or a sunfish i'd prefer it, I'm looking for something new, not to easy but also not to complicated, something fun that can sail with a 1-4 man crew. If someone could give me some ideas on some good smaller boats that would suit these needs I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
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Old 21-12-2012, 20:13   #2
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Re: Good first sailboat?

Welcome aboard EastCoastSail, great to see some enthusiastic young people contributing to our forum.
I am in Australia, and so do not know any of your local boat designs.
Another option for you would be to join your local sailing club and spend a few years sailing on other people's boats. This would give you many opportunities to earn from others, decide what sort of boat you need (or want), all the time with someone else paying the bills. Save your money and watch it grow.
We have a 16 year old who sails with us on a raceboat. He is a valued member of the crew who has earned the name of Araldite (a brand of glue) because once he gets his hands on the helm, you can't get him off! He has learnt so many things and is a huge asset to the boat. Choose the boat that you are going to sail on wisely. Make sure the skipper/owner is a good dude, and prepared to teach you all aspects of sailing. In return you should commit to turning up for each race, clean and sober, and ready to do your share. It will be a win/win situation.
Good luck with all your decisions, and have a great life.

Marie
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Old 21-12-2012, 22:31   #3
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Old 22-12-2012, 04:57   #4
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Re: Good first sailboat?

Welcome to the forum!

Lots of boats to choose from. Here are a couple to look at...The ODay Daysailer 17' is a great, basic design and easy to sail. The Rhodes 19 is a step up performance-wise. If you want to do a little overnighting, ODay 222 and Catalina 22 might suit you.
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Old 22-12-2012, 05:05   #5
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If you have the room the Catalina 22 is a great boat to learn on. Easy to sail but capable of good performance, good class owners association also which is helpful as you "move up" to a bigger boat. Still easy to pull behind most family cars, she'd be my pick to move up into.
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:12   #6
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Re: Good first sailboat?

Since no budget was mentioned, I am partial to the Herreshoff Buzzard Bay Boat 14, with 18 LOA. I learned to sail on an original many years ago, and they are still popular. Buzzards Bay 14 Sailboat

They are solid, not terribly fast, but very forgiving.

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Old 22-12-2012, 07:43   #7
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Re: Good first sailboat?

get a Hobie Cat and a dome tent......fast and fun, and you can still overnight
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:50   #8
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

CAL 20 good performance, well built, plenty of room below, lots of deck and cockpit space. Manufacturer is out of business but there is continuing support from Seal's Spars.

Should set you back $1-3k depending on if a motor comes with it, boat and sail condition.

cal 20 sailboat on SearchTempest

Currently there is one for free in East Conn with lots of extras but it has mast and hull damage from Sandy.

There's one in Atlanta but it is on a lake so you would need a trailer to get it home. If it were on the coast you could bring it up the Intracoastal Waterway.

There is one in MD on Ebay. No motor, looks like it needs some work but nothing major. Some extras.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:16   #9
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Factoring, your age, cost, 1-4 crew, Cruise, Club, One Design Racing, and the ability to stick your nose into Long Island Sound and across to Block Island, I would recommend the Catalina 22. You could possibly partner with friend with similar interests. You could overnight and weekend in comfort, join the Local Catalina 22 association ( lot's of help and secondhand gear ) or race One Design if that is your choice on race weekends. Many available for under $2,500. She will sail you to Florida, or park it in your back yard in winter.
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:16   #10
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastSail View Post
I'm 14 going on 15 soon, i've been sailing mercury's and sunfish sense I was 8 at an all summer private sailing camp so i am very proficient in sailing but I am looking for a challenge. I'm ready to buy my first boat, although I would rather a Boston whaler, I can't quiet afford 12k for such a small boat so I am going to buy a used sailboat instead.
Your #1 factor will be "available". That is the most important feature in a used sailboat.

Once you have your list of "available", I believe you'll find that the other factors take care of themselves. The first 2 or 3 boats you look at will quickly lead to you to the next 2 or 3, and then you'll return to purchase the first one you looked at.

Or just buy the first one you see and save the additional hassle!

Seriously, you'll quickly find the features that do and don't appeal to you. Any sailboat that is in fair condition and of more-or-less conventional design will suit your needs.
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Old 22-12-2012, 13:19   #11
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

I echo a previous posters reccomendation about the O'Day Daysailor. Great little boat, huge cockpit and a little cuddy cabin for gear. Has a small jib and help you to learn about headsails. Bought mine for $500.00 with a good working little motor.
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Old 22-12-2012, 14:13   #12
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Look on Craigs List - lots of cheap opportunities for small boats.
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:44   #13
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

You know I have been thinking alot about your question. It is really much deeper than "What is a good first sailboat:" and more like "If I had to do it over again, what is the best way to get introduced to sailing and boats?"
Being 15, you are at a perfect age to understand what owning a boat is really all about. It is not just sailing. Most of it is understanding your boat. I would build your first boat out of simple plans and some marine plywood. Understand the center of resistance and center of power. Understand buoyancy and how to build it in so if you swamp the boat you will still be OK. Here are some simple plans : Hannu's Boatyard | Free Boat Plans
I built the Portuguese Style Dinghy put a keel on it with a two by four. A mast and a sail can easily be added.
Then you will understand everything on your boat, and sailing it will be so much more rewarding. If you want to buy a dailsailor after that- I sold my setup of 100 USD profit.
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Old 23-12-2012, 19:29   #14
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

Thank you everyone who has replied, all of your answers have been very informative and helpful in my search for a first boat. Because of my area there aren't to many [U]Sail[U]boats for sale on craigslist that are under 9k +. I am looking into the Catalina 22 (or Catalina 16.5) or a medium sized hobie cat.

I am also wondering if anyone could help me with another topic being, how can I get into sail racing? Right now I just do recreational sailing and privately hosted races in mercs and 420's. My school has a sailing team but I also play American football which unfortunately has to take a bigger precedence in my life because of certain commitments I have already made to the sport. If anyone could give me a quick guide on how I can get into sailing in races in my area that would be great.
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Old 25-12-2012, 01:32   #15
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Re: Good First Sailboat?

My kids learned to sail on a little Oday Daysailer, great boat. They are safe and reliable boats. My kids were 8 and ten yrs old at the time, and got to were they could sail her around in a mud puddle. I had alot of fun in it too. It has a little cuddy cabin that they used to camp in, they would fish out of it and everything.
The mast was a little tricky for me to step by myself untill I got used to doing it. It would go in light air pretty well. We used it a couple seasons and sold it for as much as I had in it.
I thought there wern't many of them around till I bought mine, soon as I made the purchase, they were everywhere. Good luck on your search
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