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Old 24-09-2015, 17:30   #1
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Frustrated finding a boat. help please

We've been looking at ads for a 35'-38' sailboat. We want to eventually cruise from the Cumberland river in middle TN to the west coast of Fla. and maybe the Bahamas someday. We have to wait for our youngest Granddaughter to graduate in 6 years. (we have adopted them because my stepdaughter is a mess)
So , I've been trying to find a boat that is good in light wind, yet seaworthy, and with a wider beam (10.5'). The wife wants comfort, I want fun and speed.
We both want hot pressure water, a shower, stove and oven (propane), non cored hull, sloop, dodger, bimini, draft less than 6', diesel engine, setup for single handling in a rear cockpit. All for 25K or less.
I'm getting wrapped around the axle with the D/l and SA/D ratios because I want to be able to sale her on lakes in middle TN. on the weekends. I am thinking the wind is not strong enough here to sail a boat that size unless the ratios are right.
Am I asking too much? Am I misguided in any of my thinking or criteria?
I've been doing so much reading online that I think I'm losing my sight.
Please give your opinions. Oh yea, we have never sailed before.
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Old 24-09-2015, 17:50   #2
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I thought our Pearson was about the only thing out there with a cored hull, so that part shouldn't be so hard.

In that length range, 10.5' beam is actually on the narrow side.

$25k is going to be an older boat, and likely need a bit of work.

When I combine those three things, I have to wonder what you have been looking at.

Have you tried looking at what is available in your area? Folks have probably chosen what works for the lakes.

Have you considered getting a small, cheap boat to learn to sail on for now, then use what you save in maintenance, storage and taxes over the next six years to get a larger boat on the coast?
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Old 24-09-2015, 18:04   #3
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I have to agree with Greenhand, and well, to be candid, I was quite taken aback by your final statement "Oh yeah, we've never sailed before." Uhh...ok. Yeah, I would definitely start small, get some classes, take your time....in six years the market for the boat you want will have changed and yes 10.5 beam is pretty narrow in that LOA...and by that time, you will be a proficient sailor. Why not start small and learn in increments?
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Old 24-09-2015, 19:34   #4
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I guess I should have said a minimum beam of 10.5. As to starting small. Well, our funds are limited and won't be getting better. We don't want to buy more than one. The wife is adamant on that.
I've been looking at Pearson's, Endeavors mostly .
Thank you both for your input.
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Old 24-09-2015, 21:44   #5
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemind View Post
We've been looking at ads for a 35'-38' sailboat. We want to eventually cruise from the Cumberland river in middle TN to the west coast of Fla. and maybe the Bahamas someday. We have to wait for our youngest Granddaughter to graduate in 6 years. (we have adopted them because my stepdaughter is a mess)
So , I've been trying to find a boat that is good in light wind, yet seaworthy, and with a wider beam (10.5'). The wife wants comfort, I want fun and speed.
We both want hot pressure water, a shower, stove and oven (propane), non cored hull, sloop, dodger, bimini, draft less than 6', diesel engine, setup for single handling in a rear cockpit. All for 25K or less.
I'm getting wrapped around the axle with the D/l and SA/D ratios because I want to be able to sale her on lakes in middle TN. on the weekends. I am thinking the wind is not strong enough here to sail a boat that size unless the ratios are right.
Am I asking too much? Am I misguided in any of my thinking or criteria?
I've been doing so much reading online that I think I'm losing my sight.
Please give your opinions. Oh yea, we have never sailed before.

Howdy! Welcome aboard CF!

You have gotten some good advice up above. I have read your intro post above, and all of the following comments posted by others. What follows is written based on my own experience, opinions, and thoughts. I don't have the same experience as some others here, so take my comments with a splash of saltwater.

But, I understand that while you are eager to buy so you can begin, it may be very difficult to put off going forward until after you have become a proficient sailor (e.g. buying a dinghy and learning to sail etc.).

While I recommend you learn to sail, and take formal lessons is best (IMHO), you still have a few years before you are ready to go cruising (as said in your intro).

First, I can understand if you are getting confused by all the different numbers or ratios etc. For what you want, I suggest you not get hung up on the SA/D and other measures like that.

I sailed on lakes in the Southeast for years and while I enjoyed it (occasionally when there was wind) and even raced on boats, I also saw that it usually was a bit frustrating because of a lack of consistent wind or enough wind. I sat for many hours on boats that hardly moved, and that included boats that were classed as "light displacement" race boats. Those were boats with expensive sails and the latest and greatest gear. We still sat there or barely moved in the light wind or no wind calms. So, knowing that, I think IF you decide to buy a 30 foot or longer boat on which to sail on a typical lake, you should expect that it will be very different from when you take it to the Gulf or elsewhere (keys).

Your budget is limited ($25K). So it will be essential that you choose your boat wisely. Best advice is to read as much as you can prior to making any purchase. Also, it is best (with limited budget) to buy the smallest boat on which you will feel comfortable, given the place and type of sailing you will do. Yes, you will find boats 35ft long that can be purchased for $25K or even less. It will be very important for you to have funds available for making necessary repairs or some "refit" regardless of which boat you buy.

This is a generalization, but I really think a 38 foot boat will be less fun, more hassle, "too big" and more costly (maintenance and slip fees) on a typical inland Southeast lake. It may look impressive on larger lakes and at the marina, but it would not be my choice. Instead, I suggest you consider something more like 25-30 feet.

One thing you will learn is that the displacement (weight) and volume of a boat greatly increases as your boat length gets longer. It is not "linear" size increase, because you have length+height+width that increases.

Here is a thread I suggest you subscribe to so you can follow and see some of the boats that may fit your budget. There is a wide range of boats available under $30K. I add new "finds" there as I see them, with an emphasis on different types of boats that may be suitable for the average new sailor or CF member who wants to start some kind of cruising. While I have not owned those boats, many here have, and I am discussing boats that are commonly mentioned or recommended by other cruisers.

Boats Less Than $30K Recent Noteworthy Finds - Page 5 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Here is another thread I started and in it I listed a few boats, one comes to mind that is a cat ketch with shoal draft that I think would be nice for the Florida West coast and keys and Bahamas. It was designed for that kind of "skinny" or shallow water cruising.

Sailboats with Free Standing Masts
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Since you are new to this forum, let me mention a few things you might miss but that could help you more enjoy your time here:

There is an amazing amount of shared knowledge found in the thousands of threads on this forum. If one has a common question, the answers are usually there, often with different possible solutions. The trick is finding those threads and answers as they can be "lost" in the many threads, which are often not titled well.

Here are my favorite Tips for newcomers to this forum:

WIKI
Take a look at the Cruising WIKI that is found via the tab up on the top menu bar of the forum. It has a LOT of information in it you might find fun, interesting, or helpful.
____________

Looking for Quick Answers?

This is the best and fastest method I have found to the answers I seek here.
Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is my favorite friendly forum search tip: Look at the menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE CUSTOM search feature (the second box down) and then enter several different descriptive or key terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google search of ONLY this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. Note: this is VERY different from using the regular forum search box or field (which I never use because of poor search results). Also note, this is NOT found if you use the CF mobile app. It IS found if you use a web browser such as Safari, IE, Firefox, etc.

Note: The ordinary "search" field on this forum has yielded less helpful results for me when I perform searches. That is why I prefer and suggest the use of the alternative "Google Custom Search" instead. I see a very clear and big difference and find the Google Custom Search much easier for scanning (with my eyes) threads for relevant comments and information.

I am confident if you spend some time trying different search terms (key words) using this method, you will find much advice and many tips.
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Old 24-09-2015, 23:10   #6
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Steady Hand,
Thankyou for the well thought out reply. You hit on what I was trying to ask, the wind here and ratios. Although the answers are of course disappointing to me (who doesn't want it all?) I will take all the responses to heart. That is exactly why I posted, to find out if I was being unrealistic.
I do plan on taking sailing lessons at a club near Nashville in spring 2016.
Also I have been following your thread for boats under 30K. Also read your tip on google searching and have used it. I REALLY appreciate helpful things/ posts like that. They make it tons easier for us newbies.
Even oldish guys like me can learn new things. lol

Thanks to all of you.
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Old 24-09-2015, 23:24   #7
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Islander Freeport Center Cockpit
This one might work.. It's one of my favourite boats..
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Old 25-09-2015, 08:26   #8
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Hello Again Freemind.

Glad to help.

Here is some additional reading I highly recommend for you, because you have expressed an interest in sailing around Florida, going to the Bahamas, you mentioned an Endeavour, you have a limited budget ($25K) and you sound like you may be past middle age.

First, I think your plan to buy a boat within your budget and to then do the sailing to the Bahamas is very doable. But, it may be more easily enjoyed if you learn or accept that a large boat is not required to do that and may not be possible within your budget. I am not saying you cannot find a 35' boat for less than $25K or that you could not do the trip in a boat you bought for $5K. Many things are possible.

Here are some links to pages I encourage you to read. There are many pages, so take your time. I read them all over many nights and enjoyed them.

The first two links are to a website built by one of CF's members, "Sumner." He is a nice man who has a lot of technical skills, very good knowledge of many things related to navigation (using contemporary tools like chart plotters) and has a very good writing style for a blog that provides helpful tips and details about a small boat voyage/cruise. He also owns two boats, an Endeavour 37 (which is for sale) and a MacGregor 26S (1990) which is a smaller trailer sailer boat. He chose the Mac 26 for his singlehanded trip to the Bahamas.

While reading his blog, I was impressed by the amount of helpful detail, to the point of thinking of it like taking a "virtual" cruise with him. If I were planning to take a similar trip to the same places (which I hope to do), I would study his blog carefully and take notes. It is the best blog I have found of this type for this cruising destination and boat type. I admire what he has done and found his blog to be a very nice way of sharing his experience with others who may dream of going to the same places.

As you are interested in the Endeavour boats, I am including a link to his boat too. He has a number of photos of it and shows some of the modifications or upgrades he did to it.

Sumner's Voyage to Bahamas in MacGregor 26S 1990 (trip was in 2015)
An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...

Sumner's Endeavour 37 1981
Endeavour Sailboat 37 Index

Endeavour Owner's Forum
Endeavour Sailboat Owners Group

If you find Sumner's blog helpful, I encourage you or others who read this to send him a note of thanks (you can find him listed as "Sumner" here on CF). I have done so, because I appreciate how he wrote for others.
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Old 25-09-2015, 08:46   #9
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I was in your boat once

All advice above is good! BUT! What happens if YOU don't like sailing? At the best of times it can be hard work. Boats need a lot of work, are you up for it? The lighter the boat the more it will move around lie a cork, a heavier boat will "absorb" a little weather.

Join a club, sail a lot, then decide what you want and what you need. A liveaboard is very different to a weekend boat or even a boat for a week.

I spent 12 months cruising, before I really knew what I wanted, I swore never to get a center cockpit, till a spent a week on a friends boat. I sold my last one and am waiting for the right one to pop up...

The best advice I could give you, is make you partner happy, buy "her boat" first... get yours later. A cockpit is definitely a priority because this is where you will spend a lot of your time.

In the middle of the Atlantic I wanted a solid enclosed cockpit, at anchor I wanted as much air to pass through the boat as possible... swings and roundabouts...



Hope it all works out for you!
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Old 25-09-2015, 08:48   #10
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I bought a small trailerable Aquarius for $500 to learn on, (available if you want it).


I sailed it around Florida, and even offshore for a couple of storms.


An advantage is it only takes a day of driving to bring it to a destination, (I can drive it straight into 30kt winds). Hard to do that on the water.


Flip it, or even sink it. No problem, I didn't spend much on it anyway. And it's a very forgiving boat, the ad video shows a guy using a pickup tied to the mast to try to pull it down, Lead weights in the hull make it almost impossible. The rigging held until the boat was horizontal.


The skills I've learned translate well into the next larger boat.


You can buy the boat NOW, and go sailing this weekend, while keeping an eye out for the dream boat.
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Old 25-09-2015, 09:42   #11
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

I started 40 years ago buying an old trailerable day sailor.
Did a lot of lake and gulf bay sailing.

However I learned MOST from crewing on racing boats
about 27-32'. Many skippers looking for help moving their
boats from race a to race b got me experience on THEIR boats
all it cost me was MY time.

Bought my first boat 25' Coronado well used - made many short
trips on it but MAINLY day sailing and overnights. Learned a lot.

Now 40 years later we have just bought a 35 year old Pearson 365 Sloop
with wing keel mod - draws only 4 1/2 feet. VERY stable VERY solid
VERY well equipped. MANY systems to maintain but I love that part.

My last boat has been rebuilt and is available - great for coastal
cruising - take a look if at all interested

cal-27-ver-1
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Old 25-09-2015, 09:56   #12
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemind View Post
We've been looking at ads for a 35'-38' sailboat. We want to eventually cruise from the Cumberland river in middle TN to the west coast of Fla. and maybe the Bahamas someday. We have to wait for our youngest Granddaughter to graduate in 6 years. (we have adopted them because my stepdaughter is a mess)
So , I've been trying to find a boat that is good in light wind, yet seaworthy, and with a wider beam (10.5'). The wife wants comfort, I want fun and speed.
We both want hot pressure water, a shower, stove and oven (propane), non cored hull, sloop, dodger, bimini, draft less than 6', diesel engine, setup for single handling in a rear cockpit. All for 25K or less.
I'm getting wrapped around the axle with the D/l and SA/D ratios because I want to be able to sale her on lakes in middle TN. on the weekends. I am thinking the wind is not strong enough here to sail a boat that size unless the ratios are right.
Am I asking too much? Am I misguided in any of my thinking or criteria?
I've been doing so much reading online that I think I'm losing my sight.
Please give your opinions. Oh yea, we have never sailed before.
i assume that you need a trailerable boat if you plan to sail on lakes. the only trailerable monohull i know of in your length range is the hobie 33 but she's hardly comfortable with an 8' beam, porta potty and less than 5' headroom. she's about the best there is in light air but probably a little too advanced for someone new to sailing unless you have a good instructor in mind. your dreamboat simply doesn't exist and being new to sailing, getting out on a river is only asking for trouble. find a small easily trailerable boat and learn to sail on nearby lakes until your ready to cruise. then sell the boat and look for a boat that will fit your cruising desires somewhere on the gulf coast.
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Old 25-09-2015, 10:02   #13
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post

Have you tried looking at what is available in your area? Folks have probably chosen what works for the lakes.
This might be the best advice given so far. With a budget as tight as yours a huge chunk of it can be spent on delivery and travel to view boats. A local boat in a local marina, sailed and serviced by local people who know local conditions would be my choice. Next, I would spend as much time as possible on other people's boats before you buy. So many items on boats are personal in nature and you really have no way of knowing what is going to work best for you without experiencing it in person.
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Old 25-09-2015, 10:07   #14
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

Good luck on your search.

When buying a boat I have found it is better to not let your emotions get in the way. The right boat will find you and when you say "WOW" this is it then you have found it.

Keep your emotions in check, look at lots of boats and make it fun most of all...
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Old 25-09-2015, 11:51   #15
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Re: Frustrated finding a boat. help please

you've never sailed before, and you're worried about SA/D ratios when purchasing a boat? Just relax. Like the post above me, you will find the right boat. Don't worry.
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