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Old 15-09-2014, 10:43   #1
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Is sailing like riding a bike?

Greetings,

I recently moved to the NE of the U.S. and the sailing bug has bitten me again. I grew up sailing almost every weekend, and some shorter trips, learned on a 24' snapdragon and then later singlehanded a 34', crewed on a 45'. That was twenty years ago...Last time I sailed was on a Hobie Cat about 8 years ago.

I'm looking to buy a weekender, nothing dramatic, bay sailing and coastal mostly. I'll be taking my wife and two small kids (6&4) who have never sailed.

So I have two questions really: since I really sailed 20 years ago, is sailing like riding a bike? I know I've probably forgotten a lot, but I was pretty decent back then?

And what sort of boat should I buy? I want something in the 30' range. Reliable, safe, steady, fun and cheap (less than $7.5K)

I'll take all the advice you're willing to give - thanks in advance

Shipp.
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Old 15-09-2014, 10:56   #2
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

basic sailing is easy

far as what boat; " I want something in the 30' range. Reliable, safe, steady, fun and cheap (less than $7.5K)" has a few terms that don't go well together

maybe you should consider joining a club etc for your first year
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:02   #3
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Is this boat going to trailerable, or in a slip?
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:06   #4
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Most of boat ownership is about fixing things. If you buy a 30 ft boat for 75 boat bucks you will get a boat load of fixing. SB2 is correct.
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:09   #5
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Is this boat going to trailerable, or in a slip?
This is a good point. If you sailed a lot then the sailing part could come back quickly. Getting in and out of a slip however could be more challenging for a while.
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:12   #6
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

I hope it's not like riding a bike- I broke my arms twice on a bike!!!
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:14   #7
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Like you, I sailed a lot in my youth but then didn't touch a boat again for ~30 years. When I did get back on a sailboat, it all came rushing back to me, and I was able to quickly coordinate wind, direction, sail position etc. In my case, it was very much like "riding a bike".

Not sure about prices in your area, but here in the PNW $7.5K will buy you a decent old classic plastic sailboat in the 25 to 30 foot range. I'd suggest something very common, simple, and indestructible. Old columbias, catalinas, Tartans etc. would fit the bill.
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:19   #8
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

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SNIP

maybe you should consider joining a club etc for your first year
Suggesting a boat for someone else to buy is a tall order. One of the most important considerations is selecting a boat is where you will be sailing. Joining a local club will give you access to local knowledge about what locals are sailing. You will also get to sail on different boats in local waters which will help you better make the right decision.
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Old 15-09-2014, 11:59   #9
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

I plan on having the boat in a mooring. I'll be sailing in the NE U.S., Rhode Island. I understand a persons reticence on recommending a boat, but it's not legal advice, I'm just looking for recommendations on what brand to look at that would give me the best all around bang for my buck. I know $7.5K is not a lot to work with, but it's what I've got.

An old plastic tub is actually what I'm looking for. Any suggestions?
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:03   #10
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

You're thinking of $7.5k for upfront price. How much are you budgeting for yearly maintenance/care/haul-out/storage/etc.?

Where do you wish to sail? Just around Narragansett Bay? Block Island? Cuttyhunk/Buzzards Bay/Vineyard/Nantucket? Up to Maine?

When you do sail, how often will it be just day trips? A single overnight? A week or more? With how many others (wife and 2 kids?)
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:20   #11
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

Bay sailing, near coastal, occasional overnight, mostly fair WX. Plan on sailing w/wife and 2 kids most of the time, sometimes by myself, no really long trips, as I know the boat I'm after won't be conducive to that.

I'm aware of extra costs. I haven't sailed in a while but I have owned a trailerable power boat. I'm decent at FRP repairs, mechanics, and so on. I have plenty of room at the house for storage.

Although the idea of hauling a boat out and trailering it is appealing, the rigging, derigging, cleaning etc., isn't on the cards. I did that with my power boat, and even with the best of intentions...

Maybe this will ease other readers conscience, I'm in the Coast Guard, so I'm familiar w/boats, regs, safety, WX, radios/electronics, maintenance, charts, nautical terms, knots etc., etc.,

Used to sail a lot - haven't in 20 years.

Just looking for some advice on an old reliable boat, so I can steer away from any duds.

Thanks
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:32   #12
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

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Just looking for some advice on an old reliable boat, so I can steer away from any duds.

Thanks
Any could be duds, which is why throwing names out is useless. When buying an older boat for $7500 the "name" means nothing unless it is important to you have a "name" boat. Otherwise all that is important is what condition the boat is in NOW! If the boat is a "name" and it is in bad shape its' a dud. If the boat is "no name" boat and in good shape it is a winner.

Some people are more interested in fixing up a name boat, some are more interested in going sailing!
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:32   #13
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

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Most of boat ownership is about fixing things. If you buy a 30 ft boat for 75 boat bucks you will get a boat load of fixing. SB2 is correct.
Wow, I am in the wrong league. Boat bucks have always been $1k to me :ugh:
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:35   #14
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

If you have the vehicle for it, I might suggest a trailerable in the 25-26 foot range. Most days, that is plenty of boat for staying in Narragansett Bay and an occasional couples overnight. You can leave it at a mooring all season, then trailer it home yourself only having to rig/un-rig it once a year. A boat that size probably has an outboard, which although less efficient is also cheaper/easier to repair.

If you step up to 28-30', you'll be looking at yard bills to have it hauled/launched, an inboard, and maintenance costs will go up a lot.

If you find you're using the boat as much as you expect, that your wife and kids love it, and that you want to go further/longer, you'll be able to sell the trailerable hopefully without taking too big a loss and spend a bit more (maybe $20-$30k) for something bigger. If you find you're only getting out on it a dozen times a year, that you spend as much time maintaining as using it, you haven't made as big of a commitment.

I sailed a Caliber 28 (great little boat) out of Mount Hope Bay for many years. I could recommend it strongly for you, but it would cost several times what you're looking to spend. Even doing everything myself, I found yearly costs averaged at least $5k/yr.
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Old 15-09-2014, 12:38   #15
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Re: Is sailing like riding a bike?

How about one of the many varieties of Cal. 2-27 or 3-27? There's also the Ericson 27. I've personally sailed a Cal 25 mk ii (with the conventional cabin top), which was a sweet-sailing boat and feels bigger than it is.

Should be able to get any of the about within your budget. With the 25 mk ii, there's be money left for upgrades.
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