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Old 17-05-2016, 09:34   #1
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I'm new and eager to learn!

Hello,

My name is Josh and Iím hoping to get some information from an experienced community. My friend and I are looking to buy a sailboat on a limited budget and start to fix it up and get sailing experience. We are looking for something that can sleep about 4-5 and can be ultimately taken on some longer trips and handle rough weather.



I know I would like a monohull but beyond that the different makes and models get me lost. What kind of boat should I be looking for? Does anyone have information or at least know a good place I can start to read up on what Iím getting myself into? I really appreciate the information in advance!
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Old 17-05-2016, 09:49   #2
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Josh, Welcome to the community. To help us give you sound advice give us some more details. What would be the general nature of your sailing area?
..... water depths, bridge clearances, protected bays, strong currents, nature of inlets to ocean access, general latitude. These factors will affect the decisions for recommending an ideal vessel.
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Old 17-05-2016, 09:55   #3
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

As in all of these questions, what is your budget?
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Old 17-05-2016, 10:34   #4
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
Josh, Welcome to the community. To help us give you sound advice give us some more details. What would be the general nature of your sailing area?
..... water depths, bridge clearances, protected bays, strong currents, nature of inlets to ocean access, general latitude. These factors will affect the decisions for recommending an ideal vessel.

Thank you so much! We are looking for a boat that can do transatlantic but still be managed by two people at most. Bridge clearances and protected bay's are a secondary thought and not a real important consideration. As far as inlets to ocean access or general latitude I think that will be more determined by what we can afford. We haven't set a budget yet because we really aren't sure where to start or what would be a realistic figure for this kind of thing. We are both in our mid 20's and willing to take time to save up and also work on the boat fixing it up. We will be based out of the keys around Islamadora.
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Old 17-05-2016, 12:15   #5
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Rent a few times... you'll have a better idea of what you really want.
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Old 17-05-2016, 12:41   #6
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Welcome to the club here, so, my usual answer is, great!, there are lots of folks here who can help you with good boats for the trip, but first my whole-hearted recommendation is to get a couple of Lasers or Hobie Cats or some other fast and fun sailboat, and just go out everyday with your friend and make the boats go fast, and have lots of fun. From that experience will come your own ideas, your own self-confidence and many chance meetings with folks who will also really help you with ideas and suggestions too. There are plenty of boats to suggest, but they won't mean much to you yet. Is your goal to sail with 3 friends to Europe from Florida?
also, there are a bunch of good sites/blogs about folks who are cruising around on relatively small and simple boats. One that you might peruse is atomvoyages.com, lots of good tips there.
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Old 17-05-2016, 13:28   #7
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshstoneman View Post
Thank you so much! We are looking for a boat that can do transatlantic but still be managed by two people at most. Bridge clearances and protected bay's are a secondary thought and not a real important consideration. As far as inlets to ocean access or general latitude I think that will be more determined by what we can afford. We haven't set a budget yet because we really aren't sure where to start or what would be a realistic figure for this kind of thing. We are both in our mid 20's and willing to take time to save up and also work on the boat fixing it up. We will be based out of the keys around Islamadora.
Oceanside has very little to offer in Islamorada. So, if you're based there you'll likely be on the "Bayside" which will require a draft of five feet, preferably less, more like four feet for a better price in Tavernier. Also, if you plan to be there more than six months, there will be some thoughts of tropical storms and protected bays might be more important, but protection into the mangroves to the north is a short day away. If you want a more suitable boat for ocean passages with a deeper draft, you might want to consider another "home port".
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:56   #8
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

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Welcome to the club here, so, my usual answer is, great!, there are lots of folks here who can help you with good boats for the trip, but first my whole-hearted recommendation is to get a couple of Lasers or Hobie Cats or some other fast and fun sailboat, and just go out everyday with your friend and make the boats go fast, and have lots of fun. From that experience will come your own ideas, your own self-confidence and many chance meetings with folks who will also really help you with ideas and suggestions too. There are plenty of boats to suggest, but they won't mean much to you yet. Is your goal to sail with 3 friends to Europe from Florida?
also, there are a bunch of good sites/blogs about folks who are cruising around on relatively small and simple boats. One that you might peruse is atomvoyages.com, lots of good tips there.
Thank you so much! Sorry for the delay in response I'm currently finishing a year long backpack journey around the world.

I really appreciate your advice! We would love to make it to Europe some day but for starters we would be happy with smaller ventures. I think it's cheaper to buy the boat that can do what you want to do in the end. Rather than buy one and fix it up only to sell it because you can't do everything you want on it. So with this I would like a boat that will be able to go anywhere I want to and something that could become a several year commitment both financially and for living on. I'm trying to stay away from money pit's if at all possible.
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:49   #9
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Since you are a backpacker, you are way ahead of the game for budget cruising. There are many small inexpensive boats that with a little work and outfitting can sail almost anywhere, it is just that cruising in a small boat is way less comfortable than a larger more expensive boat. You mention 4 or 5 berths which changes the size and dollar amount by a great deal. Living and cruising on a small boat for a few years gets very tight with more than 2 people unless it is family. Most boats with 4 or 5 berths really dont have more than 1 or 2 real safe sea-berths, and in a small boat the forward cabin will probably be full of sails and gear that are needed, but there are not enough cockpit lockers to fit it all. My ex and I cruised for several years and many thousands of miles in a 26 foot boat, but I was much younger then. There are several threads on this forum about budget cruising that you should probably read. Cruising can be a great adventure or a way of life, or hopefully both. Best of luck to you. ____Grant.
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Old 19-05-2016, 13:37   #10
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshstoneman View Post
Thank you so much! Sorry for the delay in response I'm currently finishing a year long backpack journey around the world.

I really appreciate your advice! We would love to make it to Europe some day but for starters we would be happy with smaller ventures. I think it's cheaper to buy the boat that can do what you want to do in the end. Rather than buy one and fix it up only to sell it because you can't do everything you want on it. So with this I would like a boat that will be able to go anywhere I want to and something that could become a several year commitment both financially and for living on. I'm trying to stay away from money pit's if at all possible.
Boats like Lasers are small and easy to learn on. They can be a bit pricey ($1000), but they hold their value because they are desirable. Once you start sailing you will probably learn more about your own personal preferences for a future bigger boat. I imagine that you will end up looking to the old school, well-maintained boats, from the 60s or 70s I bet, like mine, because they were made well, sail well and are often relatively affordable. $10k could probably get you one around 28-30' in nice shape. $5k could get one in fair shape that will need some work.. but then again every once in a while a real bargain pops up. Boats like my Columbia 29 (and smaller) have safely sailed all over the place. You might take a look at the Plastic Classics group and the thread about plastic classics for some ideas. There are lots of good candidates, once you know what to look for. Got a plastic classic?
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Old 19-05-2016, 14:27   #11
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

I'll offer some different advice. Starting on a Laser, Sunfish, or Hobie is great...heck, it's how I got started....but it sounds like you guys want to do some serious sailing, have a great adventure and learn along the way. I'd wholeheartedly suggest hopping over to the "Crew Wanted" forum pages here on Cruiser's Forum and jumping on a couple trips as volunteer crew. We call it "miles building". I know heaps of great people who dreamt of long distance passagemaking, but discovered after a few good offshore trips that they more prefer comfortable bay day sailing.

I'd suggest gaining some miles on different types of boats as crew, and seeing if you're really up for the challenge of offshore sailing. You mentioned transatlantic. Fantastic. But I would definitely advise starting smaller. FL -> Bahamas. Annapolis -> Virgins. St. Martin -> St. Vincent. There's TONS of opportunities out there to get your feet wet before you make the big commitment to buy a boat.

I'm mid-20s as well, work as an offshore sailing instructor, delivery captain, charter skipper, etc etc. Choosing the right boat is a lot about spending time on lots of different boats. When you're thinking about a budget, here's my recipe for success:

Say you have $100,000 to spend between the two of you on a boat. Whatever you do, don't buy a $100,000 boat!!!!!!! Instead, find yourself a $60,000 boat knowing that you will INSTANTLY have to sink another 20% in repairs/upgrades into your "new boat". Then forecast out your storage/running costs for the next 6 months. Keeping the boat on anchor is great. Free. Easy. Relatively painless. But not very practical for working on a boat and doing maintenance. You're going to want to haul out. There's a couple $k. You'll probably want new paint. More $k. You'll realize that marine heads/showers suck, even for a backpacker, so maybe a few weeks in a marina throughout the year. Cruising is about managing systems, and true bluewater cruisers have LOTS of systems. You'll quickly find that saving $$$$ means learning how to service your diesel yourself. Fixing your own electrical issue. Doing your own plumbing. Etc etc etc...

I won't ramble here, but all that experience is FREE to be had over on the Crew Wanted forums.

Also a shameless pitch, but I teach offshore sailing and ASA courses down in St. Vincent via Barefoot Offshore Sailing School. Great program there. Have had plenty of folks come through our week-long course with ambitions to buy a boat and cruise full-time, only to walk away at the end of our class with a more humble appreciation for the challenges of living aboard. With that being said, plenty of greenies have come on sailing charters with me and realized they love everything about the cruising lifestyle.
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Old 22-05-2016, 14:26   #12
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

you guys thank you so much! You've given me a great place to start! I can already see that sailing has a lot of great people in its community! I'll follow the advice and pointers you all have given me and hopefully in the years to come you may see me out! Thanks again so much!
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Old 22-05-2016, 20:33   #13
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Re: I'm new and eager to learn!

Starting out, many folks focus on the boat as though that will be the source of all success and security. Of course the boat is important, but in starting out small you are NOT just learning how to sail. I don't want to get too out there, but in starting small you are establishing you confidence with the sea, with water and wind. You are laying the groundwork for finding more joy, and less apprehension, in sailing away from the sight of land or around the buoys in any kind of boat on any kind of day. You learn to enjoy capsizing, or getting wet and cold. You learn that getting splashed a lot is normal and fun. You learn that it's ok if a boat leans way over and that is fun too. And you may learn you are at home on the sea. Personally I just think it is the affinity for the sea in all its moods that helps make a successful sailor, not necessarily the one who knows all about boats, or has found the "right" boat, or the biggest, or the most expensive. Just more of my ramblings. Best of luck, see you out there.
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