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Old 25-03-2013, 18:34   #16
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Re: First sailboat?

Interesting experiences, and varied.

1982 or 3 bought a one year old pristine C22, trailer sailed for a few years, got old quickly. Bought a C25 in 1987 (both were 1981 boats) sailed from a slip on SF Bay and the ocean. Looked for over a year to find our again pristine 1986 C34 in 1998, and still have her.

Started dinghy sailing in summer camp in Massachusetts in the late 60s.

Start small, build up. You'll learn a lot more in a small boat first.

Only reason we moved up was that standing headroom and a real head makes a LOT of difference. A shower helps, too, after a few days...
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Old 27-03-2013, 00:49   #17
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Re: First sailboat?

Quote:
Start small, build up. You'll learn a lot more in a small boat first.
Yep, and you'll find that you're invited on enough larger boats to really know what you want and need out of a boat. I know people do it, but I'd never start with a larger boat until you have some sailing experience under your belt.
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Old 27-03-2013, 01:14   #18
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Re: First sailboat?

man I am right in this dilemma myself. i just dont want to fix up a 27' boat only to end up buying a 30' and having to do it all over again. Im not talking about "project" boats, Im talking about sails, bottom paint, and the usual stuff a used boat will inevitably need.

I rent boats in the 30' to 36' length, which are great but kinda overkill for my needs, but man, are they comfy.

Financially, a 27' makes lots of sense, and for sailing around the sf bay, should be fine. and i prefer a tiller, which start to become scare at 30', but are the norm for 27'.

its the creature comforts that attract me to the 30' ish boats. a proper head. a little more heft to add stability to keep my wife from freaking out. less claustrophobic interior with wife and kid on board.

im mostly just keeping my eye open and whatever the best boat for a decent deal shows up will prob make the choice for me...
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Old 28-03-2013, 09:24   #19
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Re: First sailboat?

The smaller your first boat the more you'll learn and faster.
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:19   #20
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Re: First sailboat?

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I started on a 19' Cape Dory Typhoon as my first boat. It could be trailered, sailed on and off mooring and was very forgiving, as well as practically unsinkable. Practically no maintenance because of quality build. I would even have been able to do overnights on it if I was shorter in stature. It proved to be a good starting point and was quite affordable, being picked up for peanuts after breaking her mooring in a hurricane and scraping up the starboard hull ( prior to my ownership ).

My boss, on the other hand, bought a Bristol 35.5 as his first boat. He spent all his time trying to pull me off my boat to sail his boat for him.

The point being, buy something you are going to feel comfortable in sailing. Then move up when ready. There will always be another boat on the market. Always.
I like that advise and your right. There will always be another boat out there.
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:25   #21
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Re: First sailboat?

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Start small, build up. You'll learn a lot more in a small boat first.
Yep, and you'll find that you're invited on enough larger boats to really know what you want and need out of a boat. I know people do it, but I'd never start with a larger boat until you have some sailing experience under your belt.
That's my advice too, but I suspect most older Catalinas hold their resale pretty well--there is an active owner base which is helpful too.
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:36   #22
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Re: First sailboat?

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Let me see if I've got your question right.

You want to buy a boat. You are looking at 34-38 foot Catalinas. Your friends suggest buying something smaller, i. e. 22-25 Catalinas and when the time comes for you to move up in size sell your small boat and get a larger one. Your budget allows you to buy a 34-38 foot boat and you want to buy the bigger one now and not bother with buying a small one first.

My questions for you are: Have you considered all the costs associated with the larger boats, i. e. slip fees, insurance, maintenance, possible payments and availability of slips?

Are you talking about new or used boats?

Just an opinion here but Catalina 25s where I have been looking range from $2500 to $9500. If you bought a boat that just needs some sprucing up you won't take much of a beating when you sell it after gaining much more experience in maintenance and boat care.
Let me add this, I have 2 younger girls the youngest loves to sail and race. The oldest I have to feather into cruising again. I have a friend up north that wants me to see his 30' Catalina which will hit the market soon. I can probably get it at a good price as it is a mark 1. Starting small sounds like the best way to approach this. I sailed a 30' Catalina from Key West to Ft. Myers and did well by the owner/ skipper as we hit some very nasty weather. My point is my confidence is a lot better then ever because of that sail. I have my 2 girls and a girlfriend with 2 girls of similar age who his only concerned about how many will it sleep. As I find that funny that is not reality, so I think adapting to something smaller will get me on the water more and keep expenses down. I have taken all of money side of things into consideration with a larger boat. Bottom line for me, what makes me happy and what I can afford. Thanks skipper...
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:44   #23
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Re: First sailboat?

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I have an offer in on what will be my 1st sailboat...it's 46 feet long. I'll let you know how that works out if my offer is accepted.
Please do good luck with it...
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:58   #24
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Re: First sailboat?

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Originally Posted by groggy View Post
Financially, a 27' makes lots of sense, and for sailing around the sf bay, should be fine. and i prefer a tiller, which start to become scare at 30', but are the norm for 27'.

its the creature comforts that attract me to the 30' ish boats. a proper head. a little more heft to add stability to keep my wife from freaking out. less claustrophobic interior with wife and kid on board.
I have more limited experience than you but while I would love to have bought a larger boat, I went with a 27' boat as my first and thought it made sense for finances too. I hope to sail it for the first time this spring/summer. Plenty of them that size too.
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Old 29-03-2013, 18:59   #25
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Re: First sailboat?

Your all right in every aspect of going for your dream of sailing the waters. I have read all of your posts and spoken to folks and the reality is very simple. What can you afford and if something breaks can you keep cost down? I am very mechanically inclined and can most likely do most of all the work myself, slip fees well the S/V will see an anchorage that is safe for south Florida waters during our stormy seasons. I have a string feeling about this boat up north, but as someone once told me "don't fall in love with it until the survey comes back". He's right, I think I will start smaller, and with all of your advise and others this has made it a lot easier to make my mind up. I will keep you all breast of my findings. This is why I joind this site. Thanks to all...
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Old 29-03-2013, 19:01   #26
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Re: First sailboat?

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I will keep you all breast of my findings. This is why I joind this site. Thanks to all...
Good luck in your search.

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Old 29-03-2013, 19:14   #27
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Re: First sailboat?

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Unfortunately, you do not say where in S FLA you are. If you are going to sail Biscayne Bay, then the 25 will be fine. If you are going out one of the inlets, you will really want something a little larger. I can sail my T-33 almost any weekend I want to go out. If I had a smaller boat, I don't think I would spend as much time sailing.


Bill
Boca Raton is very nice, but I live in the Sarasota/ Bradenton area and I know are inlets and a shoal draft boat will work better. Smaller the keel the better. We have a lot of sand island here and a deep keel boat could run a ground. As I answer my own question.
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Old 29-03-2013, 19:24   #28
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Re: First sailboat?

Buy whichever boat you want - both will have plusses and minuses. Either would be fine for a first boat - just different.

Personally I would go for the smaller (if you buy well then you get to sell well! - still likely at a loss (after your tweaks), but does not have to be a financial disaster!.....and what you learn will help you save on boat no.2, at least by not buying underestimated $$$ problems).......but that mostly a personal preference based around likely only one (or 2) people onboard and no extended stays onboard, if different circumstances I would likely choose the bigger.
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Old 29-03-2013, 19:26   #29
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Re: First sailboat?

As we all buy that special s/v that makes us feel like this is the right one for us. Mine will come, I will not spend more then I can and will not spend less for something that will get me on the water. I am convinced that my heart is right. I own a house and know all the expenses, so to add a s/v it will add to the cost. So in doing so I think you all are right, and reading and understanding how you all have done this, it makes sence. Your heart and wallet should be the same, and I think a 30' Catalina will soot me just fine. Money+ boat= fun. Thanks to all of you skippers for your help...
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Old 30-03-2013, 02:37   #30
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Re: First sailboat?

its my understanding that in south fla there are 2 major issues to consider with a sailboat.. mast height, boat needs to be less than 50' off the water to make it under bridges.. and keel length, the shorter the better, for the water is shallow.. there needs to be a compromise on performance and the ability to make it in shallow water.. the larger the boat, the longer the keel
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