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Old 01-04-2006, 18:24   #76
Kai Nui
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Lakbay, you have a situation that is not uncommon, and provides good argument for starting with a larger boat. I know your better half would not be comfortable in anything rough in a smaller boat. The comfort of the crew is a very real issue when considering boat size, especially when the crew's name is on the bank account. In one of my shows, I did an interview with someone who had cruised on a large cat. They made a very interesting point. When cruising, you will spend a much larger portion of your time at anchor, or dockside, than underway. Why buy a boat that is primarily designed for comfort underway, if that will be only a small part of the boat's use? As for the entry level issue, while it is probably far more practical to buy a small day sailor, and spend some time on it, there are benefits to buying the boat you will cruise on right off the bat, and learning to sail THAT boat.
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Old 01-04-2006, 21:35   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
As for the entry level issue, while it is probably far more practical to buy a small day sailor, and spend some time on it, there are benefits to buying the boat you will cruise on right off the bat, and learning to sail THAT boat.
I don't know, Kai. I think that idea (starting with the big boat) works for a small percentage of sailors (those with much more initial confidence than me, for example), but it is used by a much larger percentage of initial buyers who are buying interiors before knowing what sailing really is. If that works, great, but I have a sense that is the exception rather than the rule.

Lakbay didn't indicate if he started with a 45 footer, just that he's happy with the one he has. I appreciate how he went back to the first question in the thread, about large starter boats, and why are they chosen.

Personally, I think sailboats are much different than RVs. I also wonder why people are in such a rush that they don't have time for anything for the "end boat" at the start. I also don't like the "90% of sailing is on the anchor or at the marina" argument, since I'm as attracted to the passages as I am to the destinations.

But that's just a perference. I think you're right that there's a large and probably growing contingent of cruisers who like living aboard in interesting places as a primary goal. If that's the case, and not sailing, then maybe the 42 foot Hunter is the perfect choice (as a dockside condo, just as Lakbay defined it).

My problem is probably the opposite-- I like sailing so much that I may never own a cruising sailboat, since my "fix" may met by smaller boats indefinately. I'd buy a groovy houseboat if I really wanted to live on the water, and I don't have the need for a bluewater cruiser until I have the years to fully use and enjoy it... There's nothing sad in that-- its just a matter of balancing desires and practicalities.
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Old 01-04-2006, 22:00   #78
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I own Lakbay's first boat. A 40' ketch. He has had all large boats.
I agree about the passage, but my wife is about the destination, so if that compromise keeps me cruising, I am all for it. I think the ideal would be to start on a small cruiser at a younger age, and work your way up, but like I said, I do see some merrit in buying your dream boat from the start. Different strokes. The perfect boat does not exist for us. We want a boat as easy to handle as a 28 footer, with the living space of a 50 footer that does not heel, and makes fast passages. Oh, wait a minute.I just described a multihull. And... We bought one. Still not launched, but soon. I think that most cruisers are looking for the same thing we are, and that is what the manufacturers are selling. When they push a Beneteau 42 on a first time buyer, they are selling a simple rig, large interior, and comparitively light boat with good stability. In theory, best of all worlds. True or not, that IS what they are selling.
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Old 01-04-2006, 23:01   #79
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It's funny when a company like Beneteau, trys to push a bigger boat onto people.

But if they can afford it, why not?
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:14   #80
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Big boat small boat I think it comes down to the boat that you have access to. Of course the manufactures are going to try and sell you bigger boats. There is more profit in them. The most important thing in my mind is the balance of what you and your spouse will accept. For Example My wife and I met racing a 37' boat on SF BAy and the Ocean. If we didn't sail in 25 or 35 knots we didn't sail. She was on the pointy end and I was on the back of the boat. Anyway I am now trying to get her and our two kids to go cruising.

After a good business year we were in position to invest in a 35 to 45 foot yacht. I worked out all the financial details and Moorings was going to work. I wanted to buy a 39 my wife wanted a 43. I compromised on the 43. The idea of using the six weeks of share time anywhere there is a Morrings base was very appealing to Beth. After doing a little more research with my accountant we realized that the tax position we were taking wasn't going to work.

I gave up on that idea for a few weeks and then talked my wife into purchasing a J105 and keeping it in a local charter fleet. Well to say the least we were both disappointed. But the boat is paying for itself.

Our daughter had a field trip down on SF Bay to participate in a living History program called Age of Sail where 4th graders are treated in the same manner that children of that age were treated when they were used to sail the lumber schooners up the coast to Mendocino.

We took out the J105. While it isn't a comfortable cruising boat it sure was fun to be out on the water. Th J will be fine for a "camping" vacation to the Delta or Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz. So we'll use it that way. She enjoyed herself. I enjoyed myself. The kids enjoyed themselves.

I was reminded of a very important numerical calculation that some friends of mine and I developed when sailing a Santa Cruz 27 and coming in second place ( we were used to first). It was called the Price to Fun Ratio. The Santa Cruz 27 was purchased for $3.5k The boat we lost to was a nearly new Baltic 42 cost was $350k. We realized that the people on the Baltic would have to have 100 times more fun than us to equal our price to fun ratio.

To tie it all together. Whatever boat you can afford (financially and emotionally) to use on a regular basis is the best boat for you.
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Old 03-04-2006, 19:19   #81
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The 'trap' is that the manufacturers sell the 'dream' of sailing, not actually the boats. When the 'pucker factor' of sheer terror inevitably arrives, then the dream/boat sits at the dock collecting neglect.
Theres a real difference between owing a boat to enter a dream and being able to 'sail' one.
My marina is full of 'dockside summer cottages'.
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Old 03-04-2006, 19:32   #82
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Boy ain't that the truth Richhh!!!
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Old 03-04-2006, 22:15   #83
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There's a good thread about this general topic going on over at Sailnet:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12950

It's a classic "We haven't sailed before, but we want to buy a 50 footer for $300k." The responses have been kind and varied.

I don't like to comment on a book I haven't finished reading, but Jim Trefethen's The Cruising Life is strong and thought-provoking. He tries to debunk sailing myths, especially those about the lifestyle, and he's both fun and harsh at times about the sailing dream. Heck, he even thinks that the wooden plugs we we string to thru-hulls are a joke, not to mention turning the eggs over every day...

Amazon Link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/007...lance&n=283155

The funny thing about the sailing dream is that it's rather pedestrian. It ranks near the top of common daydreams. On page 17, he makes the following projection:

By his estimates, there's around 25,000 active "cruisers" around the world at any given time. For every 1,000 people who have the dream, only one buys a boat. And for every 100 people who buy boats, only 1 actually goes cruising (crossing oceans, etc.).

Then he reverses it to guess that 2,500,000 people have boats for cruising, and 250,000,000 dream of cruising. And yes, this is a guess and probably wildly innaccurate, but he's trying to make the point that "the boat" is probably the most wildly over-emphasized element of the equation.

In the Sailnet thread, for example, there's a story of a couple with a 45 foot CSY that they have sailed once in five months. They had a dream, but had never sailed, but thought that things would just fall in place if they had the boat...

So, again, I guess I have a bias against "getting the dream boat first," before one even knows how to sail. Sounds like a rush, or a consumerist fantasy.
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Old 03-04-2006, 23:54   #84
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Well I decided about the sixe boat long ago. I bought the 40 foot boat it was my first sailboat and I read a book on how to sail. My true first boat was a trawler 36 ft. When I ghanged to a sailboat I kept in mind all things I wanted out of it. 40 to 45 is a good dize for all things I want to do.

Many people want the dream and get caught in flash and glitter. Truth be told most real cruisers have older boats at lower prices and expenses. These boats usually get used more and see more mud over their bottom's than some new boats. Newer boats are lighter and bounce in the waves more. Have to many gadgetss to understand. then the payments and ins, etc. make the owners work to pay for the mewer boat. As a few know I have been on boats for the last 10 years. When friends find out they get a bug. After I explain that you can't let mainteance go like you would your lawn. Most find that the love of boating is an expensive mistress, then finding a partner that will accept this mistress is a hard road many times. I went thru a few, now we are complete!:kissy:
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Old 04-04-2006, 00:00   #85
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Well put. Kinda sums up the whole thing.
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Old 04-04-2006, 00:12   #86
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I agree!!!

Finding a partner is a very hard task to do!!!

I just hope that I can find one soon!!! :cubalibre
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:17   #87
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I never thought about the idea that the boat will be in port more than sailing to a destination before this thread. I think it would be very true. I like the idea of being comfortable while at anchor for weeks at a time while we check out a new area. Our boat is everything that I ever wanted in a boat. And I have the best of all worlds because my Wife made the deal on our boat so she is commited to the cruising life.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:30   #88
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Gunner ~ you’re absolutely right!
As I recall (?) you’re headed down the Eastern Seaboard, towards Florida, the Bahamas & Caribbean. Once below 28 degrees, you’ll find a typical itinerary might consist of mostly day sails (/w a few o/nighters) between Islands; whereupon you might be tempted to stop and enjoy the local delights.
Hence, a leisurely cruise might entail a day (or 2) at sea, followed by several at anchor, before moving on. In fact, Maggie & I seldom anchored for less than a week, and often much more.
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Old 04-04-2006, 21:05   #89
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Nice thread. It would be good if all sailors started with a smaller boat and learned to sail first but I can understand how an older couple would want a larger platform to learn on.

For 35 years, my wife and I have raced and owned all manner of boats (laser, stars, thistles, interlakes, cals, shocks, lindenbergs,,,,). So now we feel very comfortable owning, maintaining, and sailing a larger boat. We find the bigger boat tough to dock but easy to sail and live aboard. Weight and waterline are wonderful for comfort and speed. And like others here have stated, my wife picked the boat. As a final note, my wife does all the rigging work, at the dock or underway.
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Old 04-04-2006, 22:40   #90
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I bought a 40 footer for my first ever boat and don't regret that decision at all. I would have bought bigger too, except I couldn't afford it.
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