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Old 30-08-2013, 22:30   #1
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good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

Hey sailors!

in 4-6 weeks i will be looking to buy my first sailboat, to better learn on.

I would love your input on finding a suitable boat so I can start to narrow down the listings on craigslist and Latitude 38 for a gem.


#1 Stability and forgiving of errors. eventually I will put my family on it, and would prefer to return with them.
#2 EASILY RESELLABLE. I will only own this for 1 year, and sell it again next summer.
#3 convenient. I would like to leave this in the water, so I guess that leaves my looking for one with a transferable slip? trailering not an option.
#4 reliable, comfortable, etc. I will only be using it for 1 year, to learn, daysailing only.

I know there is a great deal of variability, but are there any general key boats to look for? I don't mind buying more than I need if i can likely to be able to resell it without much loss.

Also, I would really appreciate any estimates on costs I might expect to incur beyond purchase? taxes, fees, registration, etc? Ill then compare all that to sailing club memberships but I do like the idea of just buying my own.

Overall budget less than say $7k, but as you can see I am more interested in the relative cost of 1 year ownership than the up front costs which arent much of a problem.

so very much appreciated!
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Old 30-08-2013, 23:38   #2
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

If you are serious about comparing purchase to a sailing club membership, forget purchasing right now. It's a complete no-brainer.

If you don't mind sailing in the South Bay, you can get membership with unlimited day chartering of boats up to 29ft, for $210 a month. That's cheaper than just the SLIP FEES for a 25ft boat. Then there's use tax, registration fees, maintenance, upgrades, depreciation, insurance, property taxes, and diving.

Then there's the consideration of just keeping it for a year (the most expensive way to own a boat), the fact that you don't know what kind of boat you want (use a year membership of a sailing club to find that out), and so on.

Remember : if it flies, floats, or fornicates - it's better to rent.
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Old 30-08-2013, 23:54   #3
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EXACTLY what Mark said. If you're only going to have it for a year, it's a way better deal. Now I didn't listen to anyone that gave me advice and bought my own 38' footer. And the cost is crazy. Am I complaining? Nope. I loves her. :-). And I plan on sailing south in a couple of years. But I plan on keeping her 5+ years. But everything you go to do is expensive. Every trip to the marine store is in the hundreds. :-) In Sacramento you can get a membership on Lake Natoma for $560 a year and sail the 20 footers whenever. That's less than I spent at my first trip to Svendsen's Marine in Alameda.
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Old 31-08-2013, 11:58   #4
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Points well taken!!


But... If I were to continue this folly any recommendations on what I should be looking for? Again good boat easily resell able not best possible boat. Santana 22? Catalina 20-25? Others?

And for convenience is need to sail out of Berkeley to alameda area so that is the comparisons I need to make.

Cheers!
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Old 31-08-2013, 12:14   #5
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

We sailed our Catalina 25 out of Alameda Marina for 12 years, out to Monterey, Half Moon Bay and up to the Delta. Good sized boat for here. Bought an 85% jib and put a reef in the mainsail for the summer winds.
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Old 31-08-2013, 12:25   #6
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

The sailing club is a good idea, not sure how long/far they will let you take their boats.
Something else to consider is there are some people who offer time-share in their boats.
Many people would be thrilled to get their dockfees paid for and let you use the boat.
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Old 31-08-2013, 12:45   #7
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The sailing club is a good idea, not sure how long/far they will let you take their boats.
Something else to consider is there are some people who offer time-share in their boats.
Many people would be thrilled to get their dockfees paid for and let you use the boat.
Boat sharing sounds perfect. Any suggestions on how to find such a thing? Craigslist post? Flyer at marina?
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Old 31-08-2013, 13:41   #8
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

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Originally Posted by nbourbaki View Post
Boat sharing sounds perfect. Any suggestions on how to find such a thing? Craigslist post? Flyer at marina?
craigslist has had some, flyer at marina sounds good if they have a bboard for it, just pasting something up would be frowned on probably. if berkley marina is your choice, you can hang out and speak to people. the most interested people would be ones that never go to the marina so that is a bit tough!

Might post a wanted on craigslist, someone thinking of selling since they don't use their boat would be checking the ads.
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Old 31-08-2013, 15:01   #9
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I support folly. I was the recipient of loads of "good advice". Ignored it all and couldn't be happier. :-) Wanted ad on Craigslist is good. And I've seen boats there for sale but still being club chartered. And don't be afraid to look at ads there that seem odd, at least initially. My ex scored a great fishing boat on Craigslist. Ad was brief, no pics, boat priced low. He was super skeptical but called anyway. Super nice widow had left the boat under a tarp in garage for 3 years since her husband had passed unexpectedly. It was pristine....just had to carefully have O/B serviced because it had been neglected. She even took it on payment and let him post date a couple of checks. So I'm always skeptical but even the odd ads are worth a look!
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Old 31-08-2013, 15:53   #10
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

Hi Nbourbaki -

We are new sailors who just bought our "learning vessel" from Craigslist. A 1978 Catalina 27 on a mooring until November (we are in RI, short sailing season) for $1700. $536 a year for insurance, spent $200 at West Marine for boat hook, VHF, etc. Boat was already in the water so we didn't bother with a survey. We will haul it this winter, learn her systems but not put a lot of money into her, and we've been told we'll probably recoup our money when we sell in a year or so ( I mean the purchase price, not the costs of hauling, ins., etc. We'll chalk that up to learning costs.)

So my point is, there are boats out there that can be had for a song if you look. In fact, the asking price for the boat was 2500, we offered 1700 and the guy didn't hesitate, so even if you see something priced higher than you'd like, make an offer. The worst that can happen is the seller can say no. Another boat we made an offer on a month ago turned us down, and that seller recently sent us an e-mail asking if we were still interested in buying. His loss!

Anyway, I've been told the Catalina is like an old Chevy, big production boat so plenty of spare parts available should we need them.

If you want to buy a boat, BUY A BOAT! Good luck!
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Old 31-08-2013, 15:55   #11
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

When I lived in the bay area I had a Coronado 25. I bought and sold her for 5,000. I owned her only for less than a year and spent 1,000 on upgrades (ie new cushions). She was a great way to learn bay sailing. Very forgiving boat. Enclosed head. Sleeps four. Boat ownership allows many things sailing clubs do not. If you can get a cookie cutter boat that is easy to re-sell consider the folly. I like the boats sturdy rig and also enjoyed how the outboard was easy to use. The boat has a well for the outboard so no just hanging of the back. If you want to learn the boat I am sailing today then visit s/v two fish
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Old 31-08-2013, 18:23   #12
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

If you join a club you will learn a lot from sailing different boats that are available. That is a good thing. If you buy a boat, you will learn IMHO a whole lot more valuable information on owning, maintaining,improving, and of course cost, than you would in a club. If you go the buying route, look for the most common boat you can find. The Catalinas , and Coronados, Columbias, are all over the bay which makes used sails or other parts much more available. You are rather late in the normal buying season, which works to your advantage as far as price goes, and SF bay in the winter time is a joy to sail. Much lighter winds than summer, and much less traffic, more sealife, birdlife. By the time the winds kick up in the spring you will have some miles under your keel and know your boat a lot better. As everything on this forum is, This is just my opinion. It is all up to you._____Best of luck. _____Grant.
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Old 31-08-2013, 19:03   #13
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

An additional resource is the Latitude 38 classified section. There are sometimes boat share deals offered there.
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Old 31-08-2013, 20:04   #14
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

I'm with Mark. Join a membership club and take someone else's boat out. It's a no brainer from a financial perspective. The only reason not to go this route is if you're a geeked out DIY'er and want to learn the insides and outsides boat care and maintenance. But I would say the first order of business is to get on the water.

If you really must buy a boat, consider a J24. There is a very good sized fleet of them in and around SF, with a big community and racing if you want to get into that. They are huge fun to sail...very fast but very manageable, with an enormous cockpit and in a pinch a cabin that you can camp out in for a night or two. You can probably pick up a used one in SF, as they are slowly being overtaken by the newer class, and a year later there will still be a good market for you to sell into.
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Old 31-08-2013, 20:17   #15
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Re: good learning sailboat for SFBAY easily resellable?

Boats that are the easiest to sell are the one designs that are raced. They might be more expensive but they also hold their value. If they are raced on the Bay they are sturdy enough.
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