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Old 19-03-2013, 17:53   #16
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

In this area (Seattle) the local yacht clubs are all closed to slip owners/renters. As a casual guest who is interested in boating/sailing, I am not welcome.

Most of the sailing clubs I've seen (so far) are specifically oriented toward teens and education

I don't know even one person, outside of this forum, who owns a sailboat.

There is a sailing club near Omaha that has some small boats, but I really got the strong sense that it seemed a little creepy for me, a full grown adult, standing around trying to beg my way onto a boat of people I didn't know.

Maybe I'm in the minority. Perhaps it is because I don't have a true "home" location, and therefore have not cultivated the kind of environment that would be condusive to having sailing friends.

For you, having your own sailboat and living in a community of sailors, I would expect that you would commonly have get togethers.

For a land-lubber to show up at the dock, hoping to make friends who would like to take him sailing... I have a hard time seeing that work. I did go on one sailboat with a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, but the very LAST thing he wanted was for someone else to handle his boat. It was his boat, and he wanted to sail it! He was not a liveaboard, his boat was only out a few months of the year.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:11   #17
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Call the local yacht clubs and tell them you are interested in learning a bit about sailing but not yet ready to commit. Most will invite you down for a looksee and while there ask about the chance to help out as race crew. They are almost always looking for more crew on race night. Especially of the "rail meat" variety
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:17   #18
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I'll try to find out when they're having races and have a stop-by.

If I tell them I don't have a boat, the first thing the YC does is pull out their lessons brochure.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:19   #19
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I suggest the smaller pearson also. It wont cost you a lot to keep it running for a season or two. But it will allow you to bump into the occasional marina and make a few mistakes at relatively low cost

If you pick up an instructor to take you out on it a few times, your learning curve will j curve! Certainly worth forking out a few hundred dollars early.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:56   #20
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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This advice gets repeated so often, yet to date I have not yet met a single person who wants me to sail on their boat, except on charter, and so far the charters I've seen offered cost as much as some boats, or a nice piece of a downpayment on a boat.

Tough luck for you. So sad. I've had the opposite experience in my sailing life. I've raced and cruised on many beautiful boats. In fact, even when I was 60 I went to Block I race week and raced in Div. Zero on a 50' as pick-up crew. I always counsel young people that if they can learn to grind a winch, there is a fast boat that needs you to crew. And if you're good company at the bar after the race, it helps....
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:19   #21
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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Maybe I'm in the minority. Perhaps it is because I don't have a true "home" location, and therefore have not cultivated the kind of environment that would be condusive to having sailing friends.
Have you tried drinking, or just conversing, with the patrons of the bar at the end of the dock? Just eat some hot wings or something... if you choose not to drink alcohol.

The point is, generally, get a few beers in most sailors and they want to show you how fast there boat is. Not necessarily at that moment while under the influence, mind you, but you will have an "in" as crew on the next trip.

I can rattle off nearly a dozen large boat's I've been at the helm of because I was on a bar stool.
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Old 19-03-2013, 22:45   #22
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

It's probably my environment. In the midwest, there are no bars at the end of the docks. Just more fathers-and-sons with their pickup trucks. At the Yacht Clubs here in Seattle, the clubs are private. In Miami, the dockside bars are mostly populated by tourists, and the boatowners are mostly wealthy private people who don't hang out in dock bars.

I've seen more of what you describe in Key Largo, but don't live there on a regular basis.

We did come close once in a little golf-car town in Virginia, but - well, we were well into a set of tequila shots before we realized there was a boat. We were invited to the house for more drinking, got to view the Corvette collection, and enjoyed a drunken golf car ride back to our B&B, but we just didn't feel right trying to hold those folks to their promise the next day. And it wasn't a sailboat, anyway.
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Old 19-03-2013, 22:52   #23
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Another vote for the cheap starter boat. As a newbie, I bought a 27' boat for $3000 three years ago, and I've been cruising on her for 3 months each winter. The nice thing about an old cheap boat is that you can make all your mistakes on her without really caring:
Dock rash? so what?
Drill a hole in the wrong place in the interior? Who cares?
Polish? What's that?

Just the reduced anxiety (think about the first time you try to dock your forever boat with a strong beam wind) is worth every penny of the cheap boat's cost, even if you end up giving her away for free after a few years.
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Old 19-03-2013, 23:16   #24
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If you buy less a boat under 30' just be prepared to be beaten to death in rough water. I had a solid little 24 footer not too different from the Pearson (good boat btw) and in 3-4' waves was a very uncomfortable wet ride. The boat did fine but the crew was unhappy. You aren't off one wave when punched by another. I prefer 32+ on the Great Lakes but as a starter anything works if you watch the weather carefully and not wait to head in. I waited once and was trucking as fast as I could in. Not fun to get close to the dock and have high winds hit from the squall.

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Old 19-03-2013, 23:19   #25
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I built a 32' Hartley ferro and sailed it for 3 or so years.

A couple of fibreglass boats from the same era would be this Pearson P32 and this Catalina 30 tall rig.

They're both reasonably beamy with diesel engines. May be possible to sell them later.

The beam makes them much more comfortable.

From my experience of buying an older fibreglass boat the survey is the key. I strongly suggest reading up on surveying an older fibreglass boat and looking for an experienced surveyor in your area.

It's almost certainly worth while to pay a bit more and to get a boat in better condition.
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Old 19-03-2013, 23:36   #26
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Something to note the older classic boats like Pearson and Bristol are very tender meaning they heal quickly then harden up around 20 degrees. Some new sailors find this very uncomfortable. The boat is very stable but has to lean over to achieve the total waterline. The boats with more beam are more comfortable in his respect. Look at design vs comfort level too. My spouse was very unhappy at first but with time grew to trust me and the boat. The following after that was a better thought purchase out for my spouse's comfort. Just a thought if you have family you plan to sail with. Scaring the bejeezus out of them generally yields bad results.
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Old 21-03-2013, 13:17   #27
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I like the Pearson 26 -- it's a great boat. I've put more than a few miles on one that belonged to a friend, so I recommend it if it's in good shape. You should be able to resell it for what you pay for it, and the costs are often based on length. This would be an economical and sensible choice.

As for it being weird to hang around looking for someone to take you sailing, I think you've got a point. While it's easy to say that if you hang around a bar someone will offer a ride, that more often happens if you're already in the club of boat owners or experienced sailors. It's not necessarily as socially easy as people here are making it out to be. Once you get to know them, sailors are very personable and generous.

On race night, however, there are often people looking for crew. It takes a few people to sail a 36 foot boat competitively, and it can be challenging to get a full complement of crew. So if you show up on race night and ask if anyone is looking for crew, you'll likely find a ride. It's not a bad way to get some great experience.
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