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Old 15-09-2014, 13:25   #16
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

I'll send you a private message with a list of boats I would not touch with a 10' pole.

You will be doing a different kind of sailing and you'll be responsible for the lives of others. Yes, the basics of how to tack, jibe, keep wind in your sails etc is the same but a review of safety and rules of the road would be good to brush up on. The easiest way to do that is through courses and its good to get the family involved too.

Good luck in whatever you do as long as it gets you back on the water.

kindest reagards,
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Old 15-09-2014, 13:31   #17
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Don't discount Catalinas. They are the Chevys of the boat world. Not a Yugo or a Cadillac but very good for the money.
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Old 15-09-2014, 14:48   #18
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

G'Day Shipp, and welcome to CF, the land of gratuitous advice!

I won't make a specific recommendation, but will relate personal experience: Many years ago, I wanted to take my self,wife and two small kids sailing, doing much the same sort of things you describe. We were in the SF Bay area, and had had a 16 ft day sailor dinghy for 18 months, and had sailed the hell out of it.

We bought a recently introduced Catalina 22, hull # 61 (they eventually sold over 5000 of these boats). It was easily trailable, and we used it that way for about six months, but I found that the hassle of launch, mast erection, sail bending etc was more than I wanted to do every weekend, so rented a berth in a marina. Kept that boat for 7 years, day sailing, racing, holiday cruising (Channel Islands, Monterrey, Canadian Gulf Islands, etc)... much the same program that you envision, and all in an inexpensive 22 foot boat.

My point is that a trailable gives you some options that are useful, saves you money in an area where in-water storage in winter is not done, and should be more readily salable when you want to move onward.

If you are like most of us, the sailing disease (addiction) gets worse with time, and your demands will likely increase. The size of your kids certainly will, and more room and wider horizons will be attractive. They will probably be imperative! But with the modest investment of a 22-26 foot trailable, especially if purchased wisely and maintained well, you fiscal loss should be minimal, and leave you ready to move upward to a more capable boat.

At least, that's what happened to me...

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 15-09-2014, 15:21   #19
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Our experience echoed Jim's. We bought a Catalina 22 from a very nice family who'd bought it for the same reasons that both you and I had. But Dad was 6'-6" and the two boys were growing out of their britches, literally, so they needed something bigger. We were the beneficiaries of an almost new boat! We dry sailed it out of a marina in Alameda (SF Bay) during the winters. Riggin and derigging became tiresome immediately, but our yard was a block from a launch ramp and we could trailer it (illegally) through a parking lot without taking the mast down. During the summers we'd trailer it up to Clear Lake, California's largest non-man-made lake for the entire summer and leave her in the water, drove up every weekend, stayed on the boat but weren't allowed to in the harbor so we learned how to anchor and really learned to sail (again - I'd learned as a kid in summer camp in MA). Four years later we bought a Catalina 25, fixed keel, sold the C22 for what we paid for it, and kept the C25 on The Bay, sailed the Bay, ocean and the Delta. After 12 years moved up to our current C34.

Point being that everyone has a different story to tell, and only you can decide what's right for you, both for the starter boat and any future plans. A small boat can take you far, but the number of crew often dictates the minimum size. A c25, only three feet longer than a C22 is TWICE the volume. The C25s come with either fixed or swing keels, but are barely trailerable.

The other thing that you might also consider are the websites of various boats. In order to avoid reinventing the wheel, as well as making new friends immediately, a supportive website with skippers who have been there, done that will save you tons of time and BIG $$, really. The C25 group is superb and has a very good forum.

Good luck, happy hunting, and yes, it's just like biking.
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Old 15-09-2014, 15:36   #20
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Sailing is exactly like riding a bike. You never forget and your skills never go away.

However, as in riding a bike, as you get older and older, your ass gets wider and bigger. Even though your mind still thinks you have the ass of a 20 year old, your ass is really that of a wrinkly 50 year old. So, know your limitations. Know the proper size and width of your ass for you age when sailing or you will loose it.

Wise words from SaltyMonkey -- thats me!!
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Old 16-09-2014, 09:30   #21
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

I agree with the advice on boat brands. Whatever boat you buy should be basically solid, and worth the additional money you'll put into her. I do think boat handling is like bike riding, but boat handling and sailing are 2 different things. Like you, I hadn't sailed in over 20 years and went out and bought my first boat this past spring, a Peterson 33. This is not a starter boat, but its a sailboat, and I know how to sail and navigate.
There is a nonprofit in RI called Maritime Funding. They take boats donated for tax purposes and resell them. That's where I got my boat. They might be a good place to start looking.
Good luck.
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