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Old 02-06-2011, 17:48   #1
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New to Sailing and Struggling with Plan


Hello everyone, I am new here and have really enjoyed all the information and points of views. I am brand new to sailing and have been researching obsessively. My soon to be wife (Jill) calls it “boat porn”. We are wanting to sail the Columbia River (Portland/Vancouver) for the next ten years until retirement and then cruise (returning to the PNW in summers). We absolutely want to get away from the cloudy and rainy pacific northwest winters. We will pay off all debt in the next seven months and buy a boat in the next year to year and a half. For the next year, we are signing up with a local yacht club with ASA lessons and a fleet to practice on. I would like to be the one sailing the boat on the sea trial, but I need to learn to sail first. Jill is going to take the classes and get certified with me (thru coastal cruising or bareboat). We plan to live aboard in the next year or two. We are almost debt free and have learned the hard away about constantly replacing vehicles. I only want to buy one boat. It sounds like most sailors have had many boats but I hope to be an exception. I don’t want a project boat. We would be comfortable spending 50-100K and figure we have the next ten years to customize a 38-40‘ boat. We have agreed the boat will be more of a good weather vessel than a every week sailboat. We will use it to chase the sun. I am 6’2”/245lbs and Jill is small but a bed hog! We have to have a big double bed to make this work. We are not fond of the v-birth’s we have seen. I will also be replacing mattress with memory foam (even expensive mattress’s don’t hold up for me). We would like to be able to entertain at least one other couple for a dinner cruise or a weekend. I am stuck on a few issues and am hoping you all can offer some advice. I realize newbie’s have posted this same thread hundreds of times, but I can’t find the answers to these questions.
1) Production boats offer great size and I would like one (Hunter or Benetau), but I keep reading they are not blue water boats. Please don’t make this thread a blue water discussion. My problem is I keep reading the trip from PNW to Mexico and back is via Hawaii (blue water). I wouldn’t mind having a blue water boat but I cant seem to find one with a big enough bed (I understand big open beds are not preferred on ocean crossing boats). From what I hear, motoring up the west coast is awful and could subject production boat to a lot of abuse. Also, we want to keep our cruising options open. Meet some great friends in Mexico that invite us to sail with them to Scotland for the summer (who knows).
2) We love the older boats and think that a 50K boat with good survey and another 50-75k over next ten years could be a good option (if advice for question #1 is stay away from production boats). I could possibly refit to accommodate a large enough bed, but not sure if realistic with out jeopardizing the integrity of the boat. I am not really comfortable having a 125K boat (purchase plus upgrades) that is still only worth 50K.
Bottom line is the boat would be our home 90% of the time and sailing vessel 10% of the time. This leads me to the production boats. But, if we say forget cruising the world and stick to coastal cruiser (which is fine) it sounds like we still have to return via Hawaii. I have just written myself in a circle!!!!! Please, I have information overload and need your help!
Thanks,
Jeremy
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Old 02-06-2011, 17:53   #2
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

I would also add the boats we like:

Production) Hunter and Benetau (would have to be 38-40)
Older) Passport, Valiant, Landfall, and Islander Freeport 41'

Thanks again all!
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Old 02-06-2011, 17:55   #3
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

The reason we have multiple boats. Is that we evolve as we sail. We learn diffferent characteristic, and our needs change. If your first boat purchase with no experience is your only purchase. You are definately the exception.....BEST WISHES......i2f
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Old 02-06-2011, 18:04   #4
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

Thanks Imagine! Financially I hope I am the exception! It would tap the retirement/cruising budget to outfit first boat just to sell and start the process over again (from what I hve gathered, purchase + same amount = boat you want). I understand why sailors do it, but I am trying to avoid it. I work in stressful occupation and dont want to dedicate any more years than I have to!
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Old 02-06-2011, 18:13   #5
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

You typed 10 years before you leave. I fit out my first boat in a couple of months. Doing the labor myself, of course I quit working to do the fitting out before I left. Because you don't know, and you will learn so much in 10 years. You will have chosen completely different boats.

I myself would purchase a boat to learn on, and keep her a minimilist with gear. You can still cruise her, and enjoy her. The next boat make her your home, and give her more. I understand your thinking. It's just not reality in my experience. You too will evolve over time. Which ever way you go.....BEST WISHES.......i2f
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:09   #6
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

Hi, BigJer40, and welcome to CF.

First of all, I really do appreciate what you're saying about wanting to buy "the" boat you will keep throughout your learning/local cruising/blue water cruising days. It really would be nice to do so, as you would probably not only save some money, but you would end up "knowing" your boat very, very well.

However, i2f, in my experience, is just so right. One of the beautiful/maddening things about boats is their almost infinite variety and so many different ways of doing the same thing. Some of them make wonderful sense, while others seem really wacky -- to me. And you may see the same things and think the opposite.

What most of us find is that it takes exposure to that variety to figure it out. Plus, much of that has to come with living with it and sailing it for awhile before the pros and cons become clear. I've had a number of those "what the heck were they thinking?" experiences. Some of them stayed that way; some of them it took awhile for the light bulb to go off and then "Ah, ha! That's what they were thinking! What genius!"

So, while I wish you good luck in finding that "one and only", don't be surprised if after a year or two or three, you start seeing those "other ways" to be mighty compelling.

The other thing i2f mentioned that I would also underscore is having the first boat be rather minimalist. Your job there is learning to sail, not necessarily learning all the systems that long-distance cruisers often use. Just about all of that stuff is for ease of life on board, but the bottom line is this: if you know how to sail and you've got a compass, a paper chart and the ability to do celestial navigation, all of the rest of that stuff can break and you will still have an excellent chance of making a safe landfall. But, if all that stuff breaks and you don't know the fundamentals, then, my friend, you are in deep doo-doo. The reason for the simple first boat is so you are not distracted by the glitz and can concentrate on the fundamentals. Always keep in mind that the sea is a beautiful, seductive, marvelous creation -- that will crush us all without a care and without a trace. The way we stay with the wonderful part is by respecting the fearsome part.

I love your plans, stay with 'em! Hope to see you on the water.

ID
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:32   #7
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

bigjer40:

Hard to know what you want before you even know how to sail. A lot of us have progressed thru different sizes of boats. My first boat was 8' and I jumped up 5' or 10' depending on what I could afford. I now have a 41' and feel pretty good that I won't be changing my boat size unless I move down a little. One of the things that was really useful to me was chartering. We tried different size boats to see what fit the family. I highly recommend trying out different boats for a weekend or a week. I don't know about Portland but in SF Bay area there are lots of Sailing Clubs that have a selection of boats. You can join one for less then the cost of slip rental for a month and have access to a number of boats and don't have to do the maintenance. If they don't have these in Portland they might have them in Puget Sound. If you only want to buy one boat then sail as many boats as you can prior to buying.

As far as bluewater boats I have recently decided that the price of a bluewater boat is not a good value unless you plan on doing some serious heavy work with the boat. If you have to have a double bed and don't want to use the V-Berth you are going to be limited to production boats. I'm not sure about this but I think you will have to go with a Center cockpit boat. Beneteaus are a good place to look. I don't know about Hunters. Mark J did a circumnavigation with his Bene. And while your idea of sailing from the PNW to Mexico via HI is a bluewater trip it is also mostly a downwind trip and I think that many of the Bene's would work just fine for that.

I met a couple in La Paz, MX that had a spacious 32' boat and a second boat in the PNW. There are lots of different ideas of what is sailing so you need to match your boat to your idea.
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:37   #8
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pirate Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

Hi... with your desire for a big bed maybe you should change your choice of boats... a production boat in your price range is not going to give you what you want.... you need a decent aft stateroon.. something like these...
View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

But as stated previously... its unlikely you'll settle for the 1st boat forever... where the accomodation may be all you desire the performance may not.. and vice versa..
But however it turns out I wish you success in your plans...
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:40   #9
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If you can find a good price on a hylas 44 or bristol 41 center cockpit for example they both can do dual duty, and both have great queen aft berths. Would definitely look at center cockpit boats for your berth needs.
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Old 03-06-2011, 00:45   #10
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

ID/i2f: Thanks so much for the advice. First boat kept minimal but dependable sounds like a good idea. Minimal investment to make sure I do want to spend the rest of my life on the boat before I sink 150-200K. I guess I was looking at more of an A to B (B being wherever the sun is). But, maybe the bug would take over I would just have to own my perfect sailing boat. Anyway, thank you for taking the time out of your day.
Charlie: We do have such a club (Island Sailing Club). I have an appointment this Saturday for a intro sail. They charge $184 mo. (1 year contract) and have numerous boats between three different locations. We plan to get our certifications thru them and sail the bottoms off of their boats. Great advice on the charters and we are hoping we can find someone that will charter with a little experience and our certifications. Thanks for your time.
Boatman: Thanks for the links! I have already been on an identical Morgan. There wasn’t enough headroom and I could barely get thru the passage from salon to aft state room. I like the looks of the Bruce Roberts, so I will continue the research. Thanks for your time.
Malbert: Thanks for the reply. I will check in to those boats.
Summary:
Well, maybe it is a bit naďve to think I can buy one boat and keep it. I am new to this and see so many boats for sail. I panic to think about trying to buy small and move up. Maybe boats move quickly, but I don’t want to get stuck with the boat I don’t want. I will have to do some research on the Bene’s and the return trip from Mexico via Hawaii. I know the late model production boats are in my price range because I am seeing them all day long up here. Anyway, thanks for all the input and welcome any additional ideas.
Jeremy
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:32   #11
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

Ahoy bigjer40, welcome to the forum. The previous posters give good advice. I would say that you don't want to settle with regards to your personal comfort. The longer you are aboard your vessel, the more annoying the minor annoyances become. One of my absolutes is; there can be no leaks above my bunk. Given your height you will probably be looking for awhile until you find the right fit. I get that you are looking for a mono, sailing vessel. In terms of livability I wouldn't overlook the possibility of a Cat. for the square footage and if you opt for coastwise cruising they do run a bit faster and give more stability in the anchorages. I prefer a mono myself, but I have different criteria. Having said all that, I really haven't imparted and real information. Experience as many different vessels in as many different waters as possible, and understand that the list of things you don't want on your boat is as important as what you do want. Don't over look the Skookum 47, with the center cockpit, the aft cabin has a roomy bed and I think the head room would be adequate for you. You can find them around the Puget sound area.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:56   #12
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Re: New to Sailing and struggling with plan!

Jeremy,

There is a Moody 39 for sale on here in the classifieds ads forum and they have a website:

Grenadines 2011

However, having gained the basic sailing skills don't overlook the opportunity to charter a yacht for holidays before you buy. Go out of season and away from kids holidays (lower prices) and there is nothing stopping you chartering in the Carrib, med, Uk etc. The sailing experience will be invaluable and give you the opportunity to talk to lots of other owners and think about what you want in a yacht. Does Jill fancy a holiday in Greece

Yacht sailing holidays in Greece & Turkey with Neilson

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:11   #13
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Re: New to Sailing and Struggling with Plan !

I am not sure that I would even allow myself to be called a sailing novice not yet anyway, but, and I will be as short as possible. I never sailed, never owned a boat, yet I bought and sailed a 2000 Beneteau 461 2/2 immediately from Annapolis into the Caribbean. I learned and I learned fast. I will admit to attending a sailing school for a week in Ft Lauderdale. The point I want to make is, with the exception of needing a bow thruster in Charleston, I did it. Was it a big boat, to some yes and to some no, the point I wish to make, try it, you may surprise yourself with not having to start out with a canoe and with constant replacement of your boat because of size, you may lose some living time and yet not feel overwhemled with what you really want. I also learned that in the boating community, we tend to pride ourselves with helping both physically and with the all important advice based upon experience. (come up to an unfamiliar dock, people will offer line handling and advice so quick and with a smile)
My next boat will be either a Lagoon or FP, not because of size but because of draft. 6 ft vs 3.5 ft is a huge difference in the Bahamas.
OK, guys rip me up, like backsides, opinions are free and taken with a grain of salt
:-) karl
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:10   #14
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Re: New to Sailing and Struggling with Plan !

knucklehead,

Some folks jump right in, and make it. Most who jump in get in serious trouble, quit, or both. BEST WISHES on finding a cat.........i2f
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:15   #15
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pirate Re: New to Sailing and Struggling with Plan !

Good on ya Karl.. well done...
On CF we have a lot of folks who entered the cruising life in the conventional way... sailing school, clubs etc... they started with dinghies and worked their way up...
Its a bit like life in general.. go to school, Uni, get a career, get married, have kids... blah blah blah... its how we get programed and we then pass that programing on... the reasoning is if it was good for me it what is good for you...
On the other hand we have the Mavericks who just go out and do it... short cutting the tedium and lectures... the conservatives dislike this as it devalues their achievements in their eyes...
"We worked hard to get here.. your just a Johnie come lately who's been lucky..."
but Mavericks work just as hard if not harder...
the 'School of Hard Knocks' as its been referred to...
You'll get no flack from me mate.. I'm one of the 'Get on with it mate... your burning daylight' Brigade...
Seen to many folks leave it to late for one reason or the other... one friend worked hard all his life.. bought the house, paid of the mortgage and was convinced he was set for a good retirement, a nice boat in the Med and an income from renting and his Pension...
His Pension funds crashed and he's been screwed... he cant sell the property without taking a heavy hit as the markets stagnant and with wages going down for the 'Normal guy' no one can afford to buy...
69% of the UK population accept the likelihood of ever owning their own home is next to zero... and he's facing the fact he's going to have to work till he drops just to keep the property he owns because he's being screwed into the ground with rising taxes and utility prices..
So to anyone out there... Go now... don't wait till the Conservative Way screws you into the ground...

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