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Old 28-09-2013, 10:30   #1
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First boat Advice.

So its that time. Its time for me to buy my first sailboat. I have been sailing since I was a lad but after I graduated it lapsed. I live in Tampa bay Florida so decent boats can be had for a song.

I am looking for something under 25 but no smaller than 18. Only perk to an 18 to me is that My SUV can tow it. Anything bigger and id need a slip. (Not out of the question)

It should be able to seat 4 Adults and a 10 year old.
Enough room for a biminy is a must.
Stability is more important than speed
Would love It if you could fish off of it. Nothing major just enough room to casually fish.
Should be able to handle the coastal gulf. Not looking to try going blue water yet.

That's about it for the needs.

Suggestions? Am I being too particular?

I appreciate any advice.

Fair Winds.
Mike
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Old 28-09-2013, 10:37   #2
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Re: First boat Advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Massacoppsan View Post
So its that time. Its time for me to buy my first sailboat. I have been sailing since I was a lad but after I graduated it lapsed. I live in Tampa bay Florida so decent boats can be had for a song.

I am looking for something under 25 but no smaller than 18. Only perk to an 18 to me is that My SUV can tow it. Anything bigger and id need a slip. (Not out of the question)

It should be able to seat 4 Adults and a 10 year old.
Enough room for a biminy is a must.
Stability is more important than speed
Would love It if you could fish off of it. Nothing major just enough room to casually fish.
Should be able to handle the coastal gulf. Not looking to try going blue water yet.

That's about it for the needs.

Suggestions? Am I being too particular?

I appreciate any advice.

Fair Winds.
Mike
Catalina 25 and hunter 25 pop tops are a dime a dozen(at least here in NC)and look to be decent boats,good luck
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Old 28-09-2013, 10:51   #3
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Re: First boat Advice.

Mike, if you are thinking of towing it to the water and launching each time then you really need something set up to raise and lower the mast easily or you will be spending half a day rigging it before you can launch.

Personally I think its too much hassle unless its twice a year to keep the boat at home during the winter. So a slip or a yard with a slipway to launch down.

As for stability for 4 adults, plus a child who will grow remarkably quickly (I have two) then how about one of the smaller cheaper catamarans.

Something like this:

Hirondelle 24 for sale by owner
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Old 28-09-2013, 11:05   #4
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Re: First boat Advice.

Catalina 25's are great easy little boats.
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Old 28-09-2013, 11:14   #5
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Re: First boat Advice.

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Catalina 25's are great easy little boats.
agree.

my seaward has a very large cockpit for it's size.

go for condition if you are looking used. lots of boats out there.

see if you can find a storage lot with a ramp. you could keep it rigged and your suv could likely tow it a sort distance..... or get a beater truck for the short tow.
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Old 28-09-2013, 11:27   #6
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Re: First boat Advice.

On a budget, Chrysler 26's are great roomy boats and have a centerboard and head compartment.
Yeah .... I know... Chrysler??? Well built though.
If moored, (it is a big hassle to rig the mast and sails each time...) there are lots of options. You mention stability, so keep track of beam on the boats you are looking at. The Cat 25 might be good for that. Ditto for Oday 25. Cape Dory 25 would be nice, but wont have the initial stability of a beamier design.
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Old 28-09-2013, 11:39   #7
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Re: First boat Advice.

Make sure your keel is 5 feet or less! Eventually sailing through the FL Keys, this will become a major factor to consider. Advice given above, for a 25 footer is right on target; take that advice! It would be "nice" for you to buy a boat that is less than 10 years old, but preferably 5. Let's us know about your progress. Good luck!

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Old 28-09-2013, 11:45   #8
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Re: First boat Advice.

The benefit for towing is my local marina is 4 miles away. I love the look of that cat but way out of my price range. Which is 3k or less.
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Old 28-09-2013, 11:52   #9
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Re: First boat Advice.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
On a budget, Chrysler 26's are great roomy boats and have a centerboard and head compartment.
Yeah .... I know... Chrysler??? Well built though.
If moored, (it is a big hassle to rig the mast and sails each time...) there are lots of options. You mention stability, so keep track of beam on the boats you are looking at. The Cat 25 might be good for that. Ditto for Oday 25. Cape Dory 25 would be nice, but wont have the initial stability of a beamier design.
Chrysler boats are tough and seem to take styling cues from the same folks that made some of the uglier Mopars(and then there are the good looking Mopars to be sure) I see them everywhere(boats)..
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Old 28-09-2013, 16:06   #10
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Re: First boat Advice.

Another small boat comes to mine, the Mull designed little Ranger 23. Not really a cruiser... but it sounds like the OP is looking more for daysailing? http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=310
The Coronado 25's were pretty good little boats. Many of the above mentioned are getting a little long int he tooth, but they are simple boats also...
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Old 28-09-2013, 21:43   #11
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I would have to put a vote in for my boat, an Aquarius 23. We love how stabil and "forgiving" she is to sail. The cockpit can seat 6 people, but comfy for 4 adults and two kids. It has a nice interior layout for it's size, sleeps two adults in the v-bearth, and plenty of space for the kids on the other bunks. It has a portapotty, galley area and nice storage. The best part however, is the skiff keel / center board setup. With the board up, you can beach it (look up some of my other posts to see photos), or if you run aground, just raise it to get unstuck. It also trailers well behind our Toyota Tacoma pickup.

If there's things I don't like, it's that it takes two to lower/raise the mast. Plenty of people have come up with systems to handle that, and I might as well, but it does add some planning. Also, mine has the original cassette style rudder box. There have been times where a kickup rudder would have been nice, and many owners have retrofitted them.
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Old 28-09-2013, 22:06   #12
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Re: First boat Advice.

Farrier 27 folding tri. does it all and will be stable fast and plenty of deck and tramp room. Great for fishing.
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Old 29-09-2013, 19:18   #13
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Re: First boat Advice.

Sit down and make a list of things you want to do with your new boat, where you want to go, who will be there, your time frames, and even little stories about a perfect day on the water, money involved, and everything that you want to do, that has to do with your boat. Revise the list several times.

That list will tell you what to buy. Spend your time finding a good deal on the right boat, not fixing up a junker,

Masts get unwieldy at about a 24' boat.

Take the advice of people who do what you want to do. You will get a lot of negativity from people who use boats for other purposes, and even more from armchair sailors. Racers are good people, but if you want to cruise, listen to the cruisers, and vice versa.

Match the boat and trailer to your vehicle. A mismatch can be deadly.

Do it! put a limit on your pondering, and get what seems best. $2,000 is not a lifetime commitment. A year from now, you can always sell the first boat, and buy something that will fit your now experienced opinion of your needs. Do it now, and a year from now you will be the experienced sailor that "Joe Shopper" is still asking about the perfect boat.

Get your wife's input. If it suits both of you, she will be more likely to sail. If it is "your thing", you will be soloing a lot.

There are times when a 120' crew boat of a big shrimp slab trawler cannot "handle the coastal Gulf" Any 25' sailor has to pick his times.

Some of the twin keel sailboats are big and stable, and can be anchored in the shallows, but you will pay with speed and pointing ability. The sleek narrow boats sail best, and the spacious, easy riding ones are a bit slower. Your choice.

Deep keels are great for racing, but for trailering, gunk holing, and Florida bay cruising shallow boats are best. My centerboard Morgan 28 draws 36 inches, and less would be nice. Here, you lose about 10% of the bay for each foot of draft, starting with the nicest part. Swing keels and centerboards will be shallower, and a very shallow boat has less need of a dinghy, a big advantage.

Decide what you want and find it rather than just pick from todays "good deals".

Good luck!
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Old 30-09-2013, 03:27   #14
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Re: First boat Advice.

I bought my first two years ago. A Beneteau First 26. It's perfect as a first boat and here are the things that make it so.

Swing keel for exploring creeks and drying out in small inland villages or on beaches. Totally invaluable and once you've had a shoal draft boat you'll never go back,

Small enough be easily handled alone and just as easy to take the whole boat to the pub or into over to the town pontoon instead of a tender.

Nice interior you find on many French boats that don't look dated even though it was built in 1986.

Roller reefing genoa and lazy jacks are nice to have.

Nice reliable Yanmar inboard engine. Not a fan of outboards but that's just me.

And get a spray hood if the boat doesn't come with one.
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Old 30-09-2013, 06:08   #15
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Macgregor 26. A friend of mine is looking to get one. Should be able to tow it with his Jeep, and putting the mast up takes less than 30 minutes.
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