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Old 06-03-2014, 12:44   #16
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,169
Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Aloha and Congratulations!
I was always intrigued with the Venture of Newport.
They were designed for lake and near coastal waters and the boat is light and lightly built for trailer sailing. This boat is a cutter design and different from a sloop. Way different from a Hobie Cat.
First off. Take basic sailing lessons and see if you want to pursue more but at least get the basic one under your belt.
Barring my advice on that, get the book "Start Sailing Right!" and learn it backward and forward.
Barring that advice at least go get a US Coast Guard Auxiliary Safe Boating Course.
One fellow here mentioned checking watermarks on the interior. That would tell you if there ever was a lot of standing water in the bilge from rainwater or being sunk. If there is a watermark then check everything in the bilge to see if there is any dry rot or wiring that got corroded.
Good luck in your cruising. Don't go to the Bahamas in this boat unless you get a lot of experience with her first and then watch your weather window.

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Old 08-03-2014, 19:37   #17

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Sarasota fl
Boat: Choey Lee 30
Posts: 235
Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Originally Posted by whomperdoo View Post
Recommend that you consider at least a 27 footer with an inboard for that trip. Altho I am aware of several 26 footers that have made the trip. The gulf stream can be an extremely rough body of water. Be extremely carful crossing with a sailboat with an outboard motor...
You do realize people sail around the world with no motors?
yes no motor they sail with wind wind and sails,go figure that.

Note to Poster
Just watch the weather and go for it.

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Old 19-03-2014, 20:10   #18
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Location: london ontario
Boat: mac greggor 25
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Hey man im 32 and learned to sail last spring I have a 25 foot macgreggor swing keel I sailed the summer in geogian bay. Last oct I took a buddy cause my gf was affraid to cross gulf. Brandon and I did it no problem from ft lauterdale to bimini big game we left at 8 pm and was across by 6 am motored whole way from the we crossed bank about 80 miles to morgans bluff then onto chub cay and the berys. I made it back only after my engine broke 15 hp honda fourstroke and drifted in north bight creek near autec military base. We floted for a couple days then the wind picked up and we made it back to miami. My gf knows I can do it now I have left my boat on trailer at uhaul for 40 a month. April 6 2014 I will be down again to cross with gf we are spending two months around bahamas. All I use for gps is a 15 dollarprogram navitronix. Its awsome its not the size of boat its if you feel comfortable doing it no matter where u are in bahamas at night you will always see the light pollution from miama nassau or freeport.
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Old 19-03-2014, 20:20   #19
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: St Paul, US
Boat: Jeanneau 349 2015
Posts: 674
Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

One more detail to jwings excellent list, think right angles before you turn into the wind. If your grooving on a tack and like that sensation but you gotta turn or hit something, your best use of wind in sails is the opposite side. Think about that before you change direction and visually pick a landmark where you will point the boat to, then make the turn (tack) and go.
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Old 20-03-2014, 20:21   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Detroit
Boat: CAL 20
Posts: 111
Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

I looked at a couple of Newports before I decided on my Cal. The cables can be a problem on the swing keel. Not a huge issue there are sites for owners explaining how to fix and maintain them.
The issue I had was they are tender and a low water line. I wanted something that could handle some weather ok so I picked the Cal.
Mine does not launch as easy but it is doable. I keep it slipped on the Detroit River but like being able to move it. I am taking mine to the Bahamas soon. It does not have the room the bigger ones do so anything more than a night or two it is like camping in a tent. I have everything I need but not what I want. Like being able to stand up.
I like the Newport it is a great looking boat but being on the Great Lakes I felt it was too tender. Watch the weather when you sail and you will have a blast with the boat.
When I bought mine I was asking if my boat could make the trip. After a year of sailing it I have no doubt it can go off shore. The real question is what I can handle and how comfortable do I want to be.
Every time I sail I learn something new and like having a smaller boat that I can trailer till there is no wind, then I wish I had a diesel. So every boat has trade offs. I have a 3.5 ft draft that can get be many places but a swing keel can get you to the beach.
Learning how to make a sailboat move is not hard but to sail well is a lifelong quest. There is a ton to learn, tweak and fine tune so it never gets boring.
Good luck with the boat it will be the best money you ever spent.

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