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Old 24-07-2008, 19:26   #16
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Yes, you are right you could pull it down the old fashioned way and tie a reef in it if it had reef points. I don't know about in boom furlers but I don't think they are reefers too. I could be wrong.
Well, you could be right, too. Grommets could interfere with the roller mechanism.

But if you can roll up full-length horizontal battens (which the boom furling companies say you can do) then grommets ought to be at least theoretically feasible.
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Old 24-07-2008, 19:31   #17
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Hi Slomotion--

Thanks for the response. My wife would probably agree with you.

But I'm leaning towards a smaller, older boat in the 28-32 ft range. There are plenty of those out there under 30K.

I've signed up for sailing classes and the school has a number of boats from 25-40 ft. I'll get to sail some of them starting in mid-August and I plan to ask the instructors alot of questions about boats and to nose around a bit. Maybe at the end of the day I'll recant.
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Old 25-07-2008, 08:31   #18
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As a Cape Dory owner, I guess I'm partial to the type.

Some of your questions weren't really addressed, so let me take a stab at ones I know about.

What is most important to upgrade? Sails - first, last, and always. Most used boats have well-used sails. New sails, cut to suit my personal regions and styles of sailing, seem to be the best improvement I make to boats. Good sails aren't particularly cheap, but you'd be surprised how many things on a boat actually cost more than a new jib but don't really improve things that much...

Roller furler? I pulled the furler off the forestay and got rid of it. It was old, somewhat broken, and frustrating to work with. Do I wish I had furling? for the jib, yes. For the main? not really, not unless I had power furling and money to keep it in good working order, which I don't. Forestay furling is relatively inexpensive, modern units are extremely robust, and were I keeping my boat I'd be purchasing it this summer.

Wheel vs tiller? Tiller's are simple, and a well-designed boat has a long enough tiller to manage easily, and autopilots are inexpensive/easy to install. They also end up making the cockpit smaller by sweeping a portion of it with every tack; less fun when you have a party of people out for a sail. Wheels are compact, let you sit behind them, and allow instrument clustering where the helmsperson can easily view them. They can be complicated, autopilots are not so readily available/easy to install, and for some reason older boats occasionally have either inappropriately large (so, little feedback) or small (not enough leverage to be comfortable) wheels. In other words, good points and bad points, you'll need to decide what works for you.

Water/fuel tankage? Depending upon your lifestyle, you may be very comfortable using a gallon of water per person per day, or you may need more. Fuel will determine how far you can motor, so find out how much fuel the engine consumes per hour while at cruising speed. Keep in mind that battery recharging is often the largest number of hours of engine running when you're cruising. Last summer we had three people aboard for 3 weeks of cruising and filled the 14 gallon water tank twice, the 12 gallon fuel tank twice, but we also regularly ate dinner ashore, showered ashore, and carried bottled beverages. We also do not have pressure water or hot water. (I would say we are unusually low water-consuming.)

Full keel/fin keel/keel-centreboard? There are almost no arguments for one or another of these which will directly affect the kind of sailing you've discussed here. Generically, the full keel negatively affects performance, keel-centreboard is nearly as negative, fin is best in this regard. Full and centreboard tend to be shallower of draft, giving better options for anchorages. Centreboard is most likely to have mechanical complications, fin second, full keel best in this regard. Fin keel is least able to take the hard, centreboard second, full keel best in this regard. As you can see, the centreboard is often the compromise option, and all boats are compromises. How much a boat heels is not as affected by the keel shape as the hull shape, and ratio of ballast to total displacement.

From reading this thread, I suggest you join a sailing club which has several boats you may charter/borrow and is focused on cruising. See if you can sail on a cruising cat, which will have very different set of experiences for you. Don't ignore the possibilities of a motor boat unless you have other reasons - they often have a focus on comfort and convenience which sailboats cannot afford.
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Old 25-07-2008, 08:53   #19
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Amgene, thanks for your detailed response. Yes, the sailing school I'll be attending is part of a club that has about 7-8 different boats in the 28-40 range, so hopefully I will be able to sail some of those.

But a motorboat is out of the question, unless it's a small Boston Whaler for fishing.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:07   #20
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3. Having a boat that most people view as a "bluewater boat" is fine, but there is no point is paying a premium for one unless you are planning to cross oceans.
I should have also said "or unless you just plain want one." That alone is reason enough. And even if you have no plans to do so, do not dismiss the psychological or daydreaming value of owning a boat which you believe would be suitable for crossing oceans. Who knows? Plans change and sometimes dreams come true.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:58   #21
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Yes, and sometimes the weather gets really bad and you want a boat that can survive it and forgive the mistakes of a relatively inexperienced skipper.
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Old 07-08-2008, 13:20   #22
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Yes, and sometimes the weather gets really bad and you want a boat that can survive it and forgive the mistakes of a relatively inexperienced skipper.
Well, said. Most coastal sailing/island hopping cruisers spend a great deal of time waiting for weather and trying to avoid bad conditions. Sooner or later they all guess wrong. When you get a nasty weather/sea state surprise, a bluewater boat is likely to be more comfortable (er - less uncomfortable), more forgiving, and less likely to break something.

When we got caught in some nasty, confused, breaking waves off Montauk point, our cockpit was repeatedly swamped. If the companionway had not been closed, we would have taken on considerable water below and maybe been in real trouble. A traditional small cockpit boat would have fared much better. Afterward, we had our cockpit drains ENLARGED.

Of course, the big cockpit was kind of hard to beat for sundowners in the Bahamas - sigh. Sooner or later ya gotta compromise.
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Old 07-08-2008, 20:58   #23
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Sooner or later? I'd say always.

Actually, being a curmudgeon, I've never quite understood the attraction of large cockpits.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:47   #24
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Sooner or later? I'd say always.
Actually, being a curmudgeon, I've never quite understood the attraction of large cockpits.
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... When we got caught in some nasty, confused, breaking waves off Montauk point, our cockpit was repeatedly swamped. If the companionway had not been closed, we would have taken on considerable water below and maybe been in real trouble. A traditional small cockpit boat would have fared much better. Afterward, we had our cockpit drains ENLARGED.
Of course, the big cockpit was kind of hard to beat for sundowners in the Bahamas - sigh. Sooner or later ya gotta compromise.
Large cockpits make excellent bath-tubs.
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Old 08-08-2008, 15:18   #25
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::chuckle:: Where you gonna get enough fresh water for that tub? I suppose, if it's hot water too, and a couple babes to share it with...
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