I have decided to buy a sailboat. I am a rank novice
to sailing. I have crewed for a grand total of under 12 hours. My father always had powerboats, I have paid for space on a motor
live aboard a few times. And I used to own a Sunfish, which is not today's Sunfish, more like an Igloo cooler with a mast
, but I learned to tack and such.
My goals are to be able to essentially do boat camping, take the wife and grandchildren, get away from it all. Two large and two small people. I would fish
but that is not my main goal. I imagine letting the wind
blow me about, hitting some small waves and so forth. I live in SW Florida
, near Fort Myers
. There are places to explore, near here and up the coast.
Once I feel more confident about my skills and get more familiar with the boat, I would like to, weather
permitting, make the crossing to the Bahamas
, Key West
(from Fort Myers), perhaps the Dry Tortuga's, or even Cuba
once it becomes legal
I don't want to pay for marina space. This means that I want a boat that can be trailered. This also allows for me to tow it to Lake Okeechobee, Florida's East Coast
or the Keys rather than just keeping it in the nearby river and taking it through the locks and under the bridges to the ocean, or to the east coast
I have looked at several local boats. Most have been Hunters in the 21-24 foot range. I looked at an 83, an 85, an 86. The 86 is owned by someone who used to race
it weekly. A couple of the boats had been robbed while in storage
. These boats have all been in the $4500-$6000 range, with trailers, some would need new radios, electrical
work and the like. I was considering the 86, at $5500, needs a VHF
, some electrical
and such were in good shape.
Today I went to look at another boat, it was a cute little 19 footer that was just too small for me. The guy says, well, I have another boat I was going to sell that might fit you to a T.
This was a 95 Hunter
260. The boat was absolutely beautiful, far as I can tell. 9.9 outboard
, Tohatsu 4 stroke
. All the stuff was there, stereo, VHF
, depth/fish finder. It had a ton of space compared to the other boats I looked at because the cabin
was full width. It was clean in and out. Two burner alcohol stove worked, sink worked. No water leaks
from windows. There were two solar
vent fans that kept the air clean smelling. It had a lot of things that I had hoped for, like a porta potty so that the grandkids don't have issues, and a little galley
area so that if I do catch a fish
, I could cook it. And a swim step. Anchoring
, swimming seem to go together.
I could imagine taking this to the Bahamas
, not in a North wind
where the waves pile up in the Gulfstream, but in more favorable weather
. I can imagine spending a few days on it, relaxing, snorkeling, picking my next spot and going.
Then I read an online review. It said that the boat was meant for sheltered coastal waters. I really don't know much. If I make a mistake and end up in ten foot waves for a couple hours before I can get back into shelter, is it going to break the boat? Is what I want to do reasonable on this boat if I am reasonably careful?
The guy wants 15k for the 260. This includes a trailer. This is at the limit of what I can afford. My wife said, "This is a boat we could keep for a while. I can imagine a week in the Keys on this boat. If you get a smaller boat we will just end up replacing it. ”
The setup seemed fine for solo sailing. Stock roller jib
, reef points on the main that seemed to all be in reach of the cockpit
, all sheets
So, does anyone know anything about Hunter
260s? I note that they made them between 1995 and 2004. Why did they stop?
Are these great boats except that they break in two if sailed on leap day? Some other quirkiness that just made people quit wanting them? Inquiring minds want to know.
I know that they are not fast. People talk about 5 knots on a broad reach and needing to reef at 15 knots, possibly even needing to run with just a reefed main. Does that mean that they can't be sailed at all in a 25 or 30 mph wind?
I looked through the online PDF of the owners manual and they didn't mention amax wind speed.
I use a CPAP to sleep and have since the 1980s. The first CPAP I used consumed about 100 watts, without a humidifier. I used it following a hurricane
by hooking an inverter
to a golf cart battery
. It would drain the big battery
in 9 hours. Newer CPAPs use a third of the electricity or less. But I am considering getting a generator
...my theory is generator
to charge batteries and then an inverter
to run the CPAP. This would be needed no matter which boat I bought. Of course it is possible that wind or solar
could recharge the batteries. But a small quiet inverter type generator is likely more affordable and reliable. And there are some new CPAPs that run on dedicated battery packs.
Anyway, any guidance or reasonable discussion would be appreciated.