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Old 11-02-2009, 18:50   #1
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First post, buying questions

Hello all,

My name is Daniel and this is my first post here. Been lurking for a bit and now feel sorta ready to ask some questions. I have very little experience sailing. I have taken a Lido 14 sailing class at my local college Orange Coast College and will be taking a 30 ft shields course in the next couple weeks. After that i plan to take there 80-Foot Racing Yacht class. That sums up my hands on sailing experience.

My plan is in a year or so to buy a sailboat. Looking into this i have some questions

1. Is the a sailing "bible", like the rockclimbing bible or hiking bible? Sorta of an all including book for "teaching" yourself and reference.

2. I live in Orange County CA near Newport, does anyone here know of good places to go to get picked up for crew?

3. How much does a boat cost a month to keep? I know it depends on the sailboat so lets say a. 30 ft race/cruiser in decent shape all paid off. Including insurance, docking, boat maintenance etc. I have done a search here and the internet but all i have found is plenty of websites telling you of all things that cost but not how much they cost.

4. The last question leads into the final one, could you guys and gals help me narrow down the type of boat i want? What i mean is the name of it so i can search for one. An example instead of searching "cars" i want to search for daily commuter 4d sedan made by Ford.

I am looking for a sailboat that has more speed then comfort. I would be sailing mainly weekends and week long trips vacation. I dont want a pure race boat but one that sacrifices some comforts for speed is ok. But can be lived on by 2 for a week and not be too bad. I am looking for a price of 10,000-25,000 24-35 monohull. I would like a cat but they are way out of my price range.

5. Are there any ways to make your boat make money for you, renting, offering trips? Any websites or books covering this?

Thanks. If there is already a thread or website coving this please point me to it!
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Old 11-02-2009, 20:41   #2
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5. Are there any ways to make your boat make money for you, renting, offering trips?
Boats that make you money require 1 if not 2 things. If you charter a boat and are the captain then you need a USCG license to make money from passengers. Very serious issue but not that hard to get assuming you can put in the required sea time. The real stinker is the insurance costs go up a lot. There really isn't any way to make the boat make it's own way in income. Not even the big charter companies can do that. They have owners that rent the boat and they give them back after they get a little age. Nothing you can afford is going to fit that criteria.

This all sort of backs into the the question of what it costs. You'll be looking at monthly slip fees and those can be a lot or a whole lot depending. The location matters as do facilities. Add insurance and then the cost of just owning a boat. Small stuff breaks and new stuff gets old. Sails used for racing get trashed quickly if you expect to compete in top classes. Price sails for any boat you care to consider. At 35 ft you might spend at least $6K and thats just a jib and a main and not race quality.

Quote:
I am looking for a sailboat that has more speed then comfort. I would be sailing mainly weekends and week long trips vacation. I don't want a pure race boat but one that sacrifices some comforts for speed is OK. But can be lived on by 2 for a week and not be too bad. I am looking for a price of 10,000-25,000 24-35 monohull.
Nothing wrong with wanting it all but I think you'll find you can't get there from here. In the $10 - $25K range I don't see you winning many races, but you could do some overnights and weekends. The difference between 24 ft to 35 ft is a lot more than you think. You might do better in the 25 to 27 ft range. At that size you can have facilities on board and sail in club races.

You can explore almost all these issues here. We don't have as much on racing as we do on cruising mostly because if you look at the name on the front door we don't claim to be about racing but many here do participate or have in the past. You really can do one without doing the other.

I think you can narrow the boat down as you get more experience. Once you can get around on a few boats it gets a little easier to see what the real difference is. 22 - 24 starts out seeming like a lot but they are also quick to respond and a whole lot of fun. They can't haul lots of stuff though. The 26 - 28 ft range starts to have space below and perhaps galley and head facilities. At about 30 ft you get into a boat that can have a lot of cruising potential. It's more about hauling lots of stuff when you talk cruising. So now the race car needs to be a pickup truck. The true racer / cruiser boats do exist but not in your price range. A J32 wouldn't be a bad choice.

Best advice is prolong buying a boat as long as possible. You'll all too soon find out it's not the one you really wanted. The second is most important - the money has to work out. All the fees and expenses add up quickly. $5K / year isn't that big a boat and at 36 ft it probably doubles (it is for me). The worst part is slips in CA are pretty much expensive. You really want the smallest big boat that works. Every foot adds a lot of money in cost and expenses. The expenses really never go down. Finding the sweet spot takes a lot of learning about yourself.

Try some racing and try some cruising and get a feel for both. Sail any way you can. You'll meet more sailors and that means more ways to sail. I never race our boat but I do race on other peoples boats. I get enough of a race fix from that. I'll also do a few guys day cruises where we go out in the big air and leave the Admiral ashore. There are a lot of ways to get out there and trying more of them just can't be a bad idea for you now. A cool anchorage in the sunset is just as satisfying as an afternoon in a gale. There is also a while lot of sailing in between that is just a lot of fun.
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Old 11-02-2009, 20:53   #3
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If you keep a boat in S CA you will be looking at hundreds of dollars per month for a dock before any other expenses.

Other costs variable. How much does it cost to maintain a car every year? If nothing big breaks then not much. If the motor or tranny goes then you get out the big wallet.

On a boat, if you have a good motor and a little luck you will spend $200/year in filters and oil changes. If your motor blows then start thinking several thousand. So how do you account for that in your budget? Sails cost a couple thousand or more to replace. Amateur racers might replace the main every year. Cruisers may not buy a new one for 5-10 years. Insurance depending on age and value of the boat and experience of the skipper and intended cruising grounds $1000-$3000/year for "average" 30-35' boat.

"Have never found one total "Bible" to learn sailing so I read everything I could get my hands on.

Making money with a boat? You would have a better chance applying for the job as lead singer for the Rolling Stones.
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Old 11-02-2009, 20:54   #4
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Welcome to sailing. Sailing takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master...it sounds as though you have things well in hand.

You have presented quite a list of requirements and no easy feat trying to get what it is you want...and need. I did have one thought after reading your post.

A J Boat. Maybe an older J/30. J Boats are designed to be sailed...and YOU are interested...and need to S A I L...more than anything else. J Boat's are rigged well enough to give you all the sail handling combinations you need and will be interested in learning. Two people should be able to spend a week cruising on a J 30. And 30ft is probably the right size for you now (though smaller would not be a bad idea).

That is just my 0.02. Take it for what it is worth.

Books...no real bible. I will tell you, however, what you might wish to read and have in your library:

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship
Chapman's Piloting
Nigel Caulder's Boat Owners books.

If you are keen on buying a boat, I would suggest gettign the two vol set, "Practical Boat Buying" by Practical Sailor. A lot of good, objective info in their reviews (for example...hull construction..cored or not etc etc...real info).

The above would be part of your library forever. I would also through in Reed's Almanac. You might not be able to use much of it right now, even understand a lot of it...but...you keep looking it over and you will find very valuable info and it will begin to sink in. And a copy of Bowditch...for the future.

As for boat costs....what is often said is very very very true:

Cruising takes every dollar you have
A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into
Owning a boat is the fastest way to get rid of your money.
Being a drug addict would be cheaper than owning a boat
Racing a sailboat is like standing in a cold shower with all your clothes on, tearing up hundred dollar bills



Hope this helps

best

John
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Old 11-02-2009, 21:02   #5
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Nice post, Paul...and we both mentioned J Boats.

I missed the part about making money. Some good advice: Make money and THEN go sailing. Chartering your own boat means investing tens of thousands of $ to make hundreds while having a million dollars in liability.

Good ways to make money while sailing:

Being a highly overpriced consultant for defense contractors
Lawyer
Physician
Nurse
Developer
Roadie for the Stones
Adjunct Online Faculty for an online university
Being retired
Day Trader
Family money
Arms dealer

That is about it

Best

John
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Old 11-02-2009, 22:22   #6
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Thanks for all the advise.

So i will nix the money making idea, was hoping there was ways to offset the boat cost. I hope to much!

I am not only/really interested in club racing, more of i want a boat to heel nicely over and get were i am going fast even if its a circle. I get enough racing with outriggers. Not saying i would never enter a race but it would not be to win just for fun if it was my own boat

I will look up those books mentioned. Dont mind reading at all.

A smaller boat makes more sense by the sound of it. And that J/30 looks nice!With the boat cost perhaps i should put off my plan to buy and just get more experience and crew till i get more money to throw in a hole lol. As for my job, i work in IT or IS what ever you want to call it. I make ok money for just starting out and will only be making more. I am not worried about loosing my job or anyting as there are lots of tech jobs from companies that are dieing for warm bodies even in todays current events.

Due to living in So Ca should i be looking at a smaller boat to trailer? To help save cost, or wait.
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Old 11-02-2009, 22:44   #7
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Rent in Socal sucks too, offset the slip fees by living on the boat.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
Nice post, Paul...and we both mentioned J Boats.

I missed the part about making money. Some good advice: Make money and THEN go sailing. Chartering your own boat means investing tens of thousands of $ to make hundreds while having a million dollars in liability.

Good ways to make money while sailing:

Being a highly overpriced consultant for defense contractors
Lawyer
Physician
Nurse
Developer
Roadie for the Stones
Adjunct Online Faculty for an online university
Being retired
Day Trader
Family money
Arms dealer

That is about it

Best

John
You forgot to mention unauthorized import/export of various agricultural products and derivatives. I guess that does not fall into the category of "good" ways to make money from sailing but then neither does lawyer, arms dealer or developer.
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Old 13-02-2009, 10:17   #9
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Get a cat 30

There are great deals on the Catalina as there are so many of them around. It is an all around good boat and there are pleanty to choose from in any price range. Catalina Yachts is still in buisiness so there is a huge amount of support available. Another good old boat is the ericson 27 cheap and well built. I would suggest an outboard engine if you can find one. My best advise is start out small, you can always move up if you need to. I had a private slip on Naples Island in Long Beach for $200.00 per month in a multimillion Dollar neighborhood. It was a nice place to be and the boat was always well watched by the neighbors. There are lots of good deals these days. In the long run a turn key boat could end up costing thousands less than a fixer. Ali
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Old 13-02-2009, 11:01   #10
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Hello all,

5. Are there any ways to make your boat make money for you, renting, offering trips? Any websites or books covering this?
I have a little bit of experience with this one.

As mentioned above to take people out for hire in the U.S. requries your captain's license which in turn requires 360 days of experience. Everyone I've talked to who takes their own boat out for hire has told me it is a hard buisness to make a living at.

I presently own a boat in charter. Over the 4.5 years it will be in charter, it will produce guaranteed revenues equal to about 44% of purchase price. Maintenance, insurance and dockage are all the responsibility of the charter company, so the cost to me for these things is zero. My time of use, is however limited to 4-9 weeks per year and obviously the boat must be located at one of their charter bases. I must also pay an "owners fee" when I use the boat to cover the rental of things I do not own such as pots, pans, dinghy, linen service, etc. as well as water, ice and gas. The guaranteed income and lack of maintenance, dockage and insurance, makes owning such a boat much, much more affordable that it would otherwise be to own a comparible boat. However, this is not sufficient to actually make a profit. The end cost, like any boat will depend on what one ends up selling the boat for in the end. If I am able to sell the boat at the end of 5 years for half the purchase price, the total cost of ownership will have been about 7K or about 1.5K/year. for a boat initially costing 119K. (This is ownership costs, not including cruising costs such as travel to the boat, food, etc.) I'm very fortunate to have purchased this boat prior to the economic downturn, so the capital depreciation is likely to be notably less than if I had kept my money in stocks.

Purchasing a boat through a major charter company will likely not be consistent with your desire to have a fast, performance cruising boat, nor will it allow you have it available locally for ocassonal use. Of course, their are rental options other than buying a boat through one of the major charter companies.

I've had some experience with J-30s and these may be a reasonble fit for your other stated goals and budget.
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Old 13-02-2009, 12:47   #11
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A boat that I think meets your criteria IMHO (fun to sail, can be cruise with a little discomfort for up to a week, can be trailered for storage, is fast for its size) is the J-24. A friend that owned one did all of the above and if you ever get serious about racing a good one design class that unlike some of the bigger boats doesn't require a last name associated with big bucks to race. You might look at the Capri line also I sailed and raced on a 30 and it was a lot of fun. For a little more money Olso 30's are fun, fast and many are dry sailed off trailers but might be a pretty big compromise on the comfort side. Good luck it sounds like you've got the most important part down sail for fun!
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Old 13-02-2009, 15:19   #12
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...Due to living in So Ca should i be looking at a smaller boat to trailer? To help save cost, or wait.
I think you need to do some research and decide on some trade-offs to get the answer to this. I've owned two pocket cruisers on trailers as well as larger boats kept at the dock and here are a few things I experienced:

1. Even on a trailer, you still need to store the boat somewhere. If you have space in your yard, this may be fee. A storage facility is likely cheaper than a marina.

2. You need a tow vehicle capable of handeling the weight. If you already own such a vehicle, this may be of little concern, but if it means adding a vehicle, this can be notable.

3. In addition to the boat, you need to puchase and maintain a trailer.

4. The more effort it is to use a boat, (i.e. trailering and launching), the less likely you are to use it.

5.. My experience is that there are many comfortable boats that can be easily trailered and quickly launched, but they are most probably not very good for cruising more than protected waters.

6. There are boats which can be towed, that are good solid cruisers, but they are most probably not easy to trailer and launch. Most of these will be smaller than the J-30 mentioned.

7. Ramps to launch can vary between crowded and lots of room to launch and rig. Many are not long enough or deep enough to launch deeper draft sailing boats. However, you only need one.

8. Insurance implications can vary. Having a slightly smaller boat on a trailer may allow you to get a ryder to a home owner's policy that is much, much cheaper than getting a stand alone policy. On the other hand, it may also make it very difficult to get insurance for cruising. Check into this before you buy.
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Old 13-02-2009, 15:40   #13
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4. The more effort it is to use a boat, (i.e. trailering and launching), the less likely you are to use it.
This is very important. Maximizing time on the water increases the dividends on the investment. What it costs needs to be measured against what you get - hours on the water. I also count a portion of the time on the boat doing work but not at the same rate.

As Cap'n Ron says: "If it's going to happen; it's going to happen out there."
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Old 13-02-2009, 16:06   #14
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The best advice I can give you is to go to a site like yachtworld.com.
Fill in the search criteria that you are looking for (length, price range etc), but do not narrow it down by region if you are just getting ideas on designs. There you can view photos of everything you can imagine. You will probably keep changing the list of boats that you want, but this step is one of the most fun parts of sailing. Savour it and enjoy.
Cheers.
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Old 13-02-2009, 16:43   #15
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The best advice I can give you is to go to a site like yachtworld.com.
Fill in the search criteria that you are looking for (length, price range etc), but do not narrow it down by region if you are just getting ideas on designs. There you can view photos of everything you can imagine.
This is also a great tool to just find out what ball park the money can hit in. If you only see just a few boats in your bracket it means you need to rethink the goals and objectives. Just getting started means trying to get a little closer to realistic.

For arm chair sailing it's a great marina to sail in. After you look at a few thousand boats you will get better at it. You at least start to learn the terms and the items to think about. What floor plans come with each size and just getting more familiar with what types of baots there are. It's a fun time since looking at boats is fun even for folks that have one. It would not be advised if you own two or more boats.
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