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Old 05-03-2014, 01:07   #1
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First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Hey guys! I've been lurking around this forum and other boating forums for awhile now. I've also been searching my area for my first sailboat. I came across a 1986 Newport Venture with a 9.9hp outboard that seems like the perfect boat. The owner purchased it in 2010 for $2500 and it seems like a steal for $1200.

23' Sailboat on trailer

1. What should I check and look for when looking at sailboats? (this is my first time buying). Any first impressions from the pictures?

2. Once I'm ready I'd like to cross the gulf stream and sail the bahamas for a month or two. Would this boat be able to do that?

3. Any tips or suggestions are more than welcomed! I'm here to learn after all.

Thanks
-Michael
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:39   #2
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

The boat is probably a great deal at $1200 (or less if you negotiate.) Get someone who's owned a boat to look at the boat with you. Be sure that there are no structural issues with hull (caved in bottom from trailer bunks is something to look out for.) Look for evidence of a lot of water inside the boat (high water mark.) Make sure the OB works; much of the value is in the motor.

Can you go to the Bahamas in this? Yes. Should you? Absolutely not!

This could be a fun first boat. Sail on protected waters, gain experience, and move up when you are ready.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:07   #3
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Man....

Have a friend or somebody check the boat out for you and make sure you're night buying a hidden disaster... It would even be worth paying $100 bucks if you needed more incentive power...

But JUMP on her for the price!
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:20   #4
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

The three most important things. The Hull, The Rig, The Motor. Anything you are just inconvenienced.

The following are preliminary checks...

The Hull

Check around the Centerboard case for large cracks or signs of leaks.
Check the transom for soft spots.
Check all bulkheads for cracking
Look in all lockers etc for signs of leaks.

The Rig.
Check all Stays are in good condition. No sharp bits and no deep rust.
Check Chainplates.
Inspect the mast that there are no large corrosive areas- especially around areas of heavy load

The motor,
Give it to a mechanic!
But ensure water flows out of it when running.
Listen for dead spots in the throttle
Check the colour of the exhaust.

Remember , Safety gear is expensive, anything the seller adds will save you in the long term. Epirb, Ljackets, Flares, etc etc. Check with Coast Guard for a list of what you MUST have in your waters.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:28   #5
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by campbmic View Post
Hey guys! I've been lurking around this forum and other boating forums for awhile now. I've also been searching my area for my first sailboat. I came across a 1986 Newport Venture with a 9.9hp outboard that seems like the perfect boat. The owner purchased it in 2010 for $2500 and it seems like a steal for $1200.

23' Sailboat on trailer

1. What should I check and look for when looking at sailboats? (this is my first time buying). Any first impressions from the pictures?

2. Once I'm ready I'd like to cross the gulf stream and sail the bahamas for a month or two. Would this boat be able to do that?

3. Any tips or suggestions are more than welcomed! I'm here to learn after all.

Thanks
-Michael

I forgot to add. It looks like a perfect boat to learn on.

To sail from mainland USA to the Bahamas? Well, once you learn on this boat, it will probably be time for an upgrade before heading too far offshore.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:54   #6
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Go to your local library and get this book...
Amazon.com: Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library) eBook: Don Casey: Kindle Store

Read it. Study it. Make yourself a checklist.

Can it cross to the Bahamas? A better question is, can YOU cross to the Bahamas? The boat is probably capable. I did it many years ago in a San Juan 23, though that boat is heavier, with more ballast, than the Venture. But people have crossed the Atlantic in small open boats, though I doubt that it was a comfortable journey.

The real key is to wait for the right weather window. I live in Florida, and lived closer to the east coast back when I made this trip. I studied the weather reports for a long time, then watched and waited for almost three weeks until the forecast was such that I felt confident making the crossing.

Then, of course, you have to wait for the right weather window to come back, also. That ended up being a very expensive trip for me, because I had to get back to work and the weather was not quite right. So I left my boat in Freeport for a month and a half, until the weather was right and I could take more time off, to go back and get it.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:55   #7
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

I recommend you get a book or two on how to inspect used sailboats. They will show you what to look for and how to do it. Can save you many headaches later.

In addition to ozskipper's preliminary list, get down on the ground and look up at the swing keel and it's surroundings. Does it look like there will be a problem lowering and raising the keel?

Consider where you will store the boat before you buy one. If you can find a marina where you can store the boat on its trailer with the mast up, within a hour's drive from your house, and you can comfortably afford the fees - it's a go. An affordable slip - better, maybe - I like dry storage better for a boat like that. If you are going to have to step and unstep the mast every time out, get a smaller boat.

When I was in your shoes, I would look at boats that were on trailers, but if there was any reason that I could not sail the boat, I'd walk away. If you look at the boat on the trailer and like it, ask the seller to meet you at the boat ramp, then go through the whole setup and launch with him, and sail the boat for awhile. Run the engine, too. Bring $1200 in cash and if the test drive goes well, give the entire $1200 to the seller right then and there.

I wouldn't be comfortable sailing a boat like that to the Bahamas, or anywhere else, for a month or two, but I probably would have been when I was in my 20's. You'll have to decide for yourself after you've gotten to know your boat.
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:26   #8
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Well I ended up pulling the trigger and getting boat, trailer, all sails, and some accessories for $1000. Also got 2 months or storage paid for. What are some good recommendations for learning to sail for those who have never sailed before. Also some of the trim would is sun soaked/starting to get little cracks, how would I repair this?
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Old 05-03-2014, 18:09   #9
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

[QUOTE=campbmic;1484673]Well I ended up pulling the trigger and getting boat, trailer, all sails, and some accessories for $1000. Also got 2 months or storage paid for. What are some good recommendations for learning to sail for those who have never sailed before. Also some of the trim would is sun soaked/starting to get little cracks, how would I repair this?[/QUOTE

Good for you.You will have a blast on that boat.
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Old 05-03-2014, 22:47   #10
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Start reading, right here. Go to forums, engineering and systems, const./ maint./ refit. I bought a 23' trailer sailor a few years back and I learned so much right here. Start reading and go to youtube and start watching about refits/repairs and you will know what to look for and what questions to ask. Great sailing!!
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:00   #11
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by campbmic View Post
Well I ended up pulling the trigger and getting boat, trailer, all sails, and some accessories for $1000. Also got 2 months or storage paid for. What are some good recommendations for learning to sail for those who have never sailed before. Also some of the trim would is sun soaked/starting to get little cracks, how would I repair this?
Lessons? Just saying!

Sand and revarnish.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:09   #12
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

1) confirm that the motor works
Choose a light breeze day:
2) while the boat is on the trailer, point her into whatever light breeze there is and figure out how to raise the sails.
3) lower the sails, take the foresail off and store it, put on your pfd, put the boat in the water, and motor to some open water.
4) point the boat into the breeze, raise the mainsail, then point the boat at an angle to the breeze, turn off the motor and raise it out of the water. Pull on the lines, move the tiller and see what happens. Learn like a child: try things and see what happens.
5) Avoid boom/cranium collisions; be hyper-aware of this possibility.
6) When you need to turn, do so by turning the bow through the wind; don't turn the stern through the wind until you are more skilled. When you turn through the wind, the boom will move to the other side of the boat - see 5).
7) When you are ready to come in, turn your motor on, point into the wind, lower your sail, motor in.
8) Have fun.
9) Read any book on sailing fundamentals and compare what it says to what you experienced.
10) Repeat 3) through 9) many times, except add the foresail on your second or third time out.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:04   #13
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

JWing, thanks that was a helpful simplification of everything. My Dad who has experience with hobie cats will be going with me for my first few times to teach me the basics, but he hasn't sailed for many years also.

Thanks OZ!
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:32   #14
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

I forgot that your boat has a swing keel. Add these steps:

3.5) Lower the keel.


7) add: "raise the keel" before "motor in."
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:58   #15
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Re: First Boat Should I Buy? 23' For Bahamas Trip

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...
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