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Old 05-11-2010, 19:55   #1
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How Many Boats Does it Take ?

So, Im on the sidelines waiting to jump into the boat market. Not looking to spend an ungodly amount of money on a newer boat and see it depreciate. As a fairly new sailor I am thinking about getting something I can grow into........ S.F.Bay sailing then Pacific Blue water weekend plus trips.

My impression from the forums is that many have had multiple boats. Was this because you grew out of them, delusions of grandeur, bought the wrong boat, misguided........etc., etc., etc. And if you did change boats, how much of a pain was it getting rid of one and finding your next baby?

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Old 05-11-2010, 20:36   #2
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We are on boat #2. First boat was an '88 Catalina 27. She was an excellent starter boat. I think it was after our first or second weekend cruise we started talking about a boat for retirement. We knew it was going to need to be bigger than the Catalina, so for the next five years we enjoyed the little boat and shopped for the "big boat". We enjoyed the process of discussing the pros and cons of various boats and we learned alot. We weren't really ready to buy when we looked at Kimarah, but we knew enough to know what we wanted, so we made the jump. Because of the economy and soft boat market, we didn't really expect to be able to sell the Catalina quickly, but we took pictures and put some ads up. She was in great condition, and it only took one couple that had also looked around enough to know what they wanted. We gave a little on the price and that was that.

I guess, in summary, each boat fulfilled the perceived needs we had at the time. I'm happy we did it the way we did.

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Old 05-11-2010, 20:41   #3
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Boats are like woman!

Once you've been married to one for awhile you begin to find out what she's good at, or not. Although, I've never met anyone that could stick with just one.
Some are sleek and perform well. Others are fat and move slowly. Some are warm and dry. Others are wet and cold. Some will demand everything/attention that you have. Some will treat you well. It kind of depends how much your willing to invest up front.
Some will take you into the shallows and others into the deep. It depends on her girth and the strength of her rig.

And if the boat can't live up to a mans expectations then he'll divorce her or cheat with another.

Getting rid of her is EZ if she has the looks. So the objective is if your going to take on a lover make sure she is desirable by most sailors, one that looks at her and say "NICE".

But if she looks bad or a bit slow there is always cosmetic surgery. And if your not willing to put in the time and money she'll run you down an ugly path. And, if she has to compete with the human woman your going to lose one of them!
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful!
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Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints!
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Old 05-11-2010, 21:32   #4
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Casey has covered the multiple boat phenomenon pretty succinctly in "This Old Boat" (Buy a copy soon if you don't own one already- it keeps one motivated through the months when the water is too hard to sail on). i'm definitely paraphrasing and editorialinzing, but as my pickled brain recalls, it goes something like this:

You buy your first boat to figure out sailing. You find out what you like and what you don't like and within 3 years you are looking for a different boat that meets some of your needs, now that you know what your needs actually are. Then your needs change again, and you are looking for your next boat. Then, you may find yourself looking for your last boat.

So, in a nutshell, it can be argued that three our of four boats purchased are bought by mistake... but it's a hell of a lot of fun screwing up!

My thinking is , make like Nike. just do it. Nobody ever has had any fun sitting on the sidelines watching.
Make yourself a Venn diagram; Figure out what you want and need RIGHT NOW, then find the boats that meet those needs, and put them in one circle. then, figure out your max annual sailing budget, deduct costs for mooring and maintenance, andfind the boats that fit your budget. put those boats in a circle.
the boats in both circles that intersect are the boats you should look at. Buy one of them and go get wet!
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Old 05-11-2010, 22:03   #5
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The 22 footer taught me how to race the 30 footer, which in turn taught me what I needed to know to handle the 37 footer, which convinced me to move aboard a 41 footer, which taught me enough about systems to prepare me to cruise the 46 footer.

I have never purchased a boat hoping it might be "something I can grow into." Rather, it has always been the case of moving up to something I finally knew I could handle.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 05-11-2010, 23:12   #6
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I thought this was going to be a joke ... you know.. how many boats does it take ... to screw in a light bulb?

In the running when I bought the boat I own was a boat that had been built in 1980 and sailed it's whole life by one man. He took his last trip at 92 before dying. I was very moved by that and could see the care he'd given the boat. It was a Fraser and they were the kind of boat where each layout was unique and specified by the owner so it reflected his personality I suppose.
“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

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Old 06-11-2010, 00:56   #7
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my uncle had a boat we sailed when i was little-- it was built in 1903 as was he.. he got that boat second hand --and sailed her until he was around 90-93. he lived to 95, sailed with no engine. sailed gaff rigged sloop and many times solo sailed her . she was 36 ft..interesting man, coool boat.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:44   #8
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I was partial owner of around 30 different kinds of boats and had sailed another 10 different kinds boats over 10 years before deciding which boat to own on my own. The partial ownership comes from joining a club. My club has many different dinghies to sail and learn on and 2 keelboats as well. I sometimes damaged boats, and I learned how to do repair work on boats that weren't my personal baby. Being in a club I made friends with people that owned boats and got to sail those as well. Having learned to sail from this perspective, it amazes me that someone could go out and plop down the amount of cash that boats cost and have no idea how different each kind of boat is, and have no idea what kind of sailing and what qualities of sailboats are important to you.

Initially I couldn't decide between a 505 and a Hobie 18 as my first boat, the Hobie 18 won out for its comfort in a non racing setting. Moved up to a Hobie 20 about 7 years later.

As far as keelboats go, after a couple of years in the club I became good friends with a Cal 34 owner. Between helping to work on the boat and helping in keeping the boat active in club events, the owner said I could use the boat anytime I wanted. This delayed me buying my own keelboat until I got serious about working towards a year or two cruise down south with my family.

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Old 06-11-2010, 04:06   #9
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Guess the reason for selling a current boat and moving on to another depends a lot on what you start with.

I'm still on my first boat, a Cal-39, and am happy with it still. But am looking to move up a little to aboutr a 42'. This is to get a a few things changed that I don't care for on my 39' boat. But if I can not sell the Cal I can see myself taking it out for the long cruise because it's still a great boat.

So besides just size in general and the things that 1 gets in a larger boat; I would say people replace boats to get something different that their current boat doesn't have. The problem of course being you never know what you really like/dislike till you have had it a while.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:59   #10
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You can get a decent starter boat dirt cheap..'s pretty much what "Her Idea" is...if you get a boat that you can get out and sail..she doesn't need to be Bristol fashion, just workable and not too'll let you figure out what you are about, and where you want to go..we plan on being on our current boat for some years, but are already looking down the line towards a blue water boat..a heavy boat with a flexible rig which isn't too
bloody complicated...cutter or ketch maybe...I just figure that when we are ready, the right boat will pop up on the radar...
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:35   #11
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I don't own yet, but am very close. For us, it comes down to what we can afford. We can afford a smaller monohull today and expect to be able to afford a larger catamaran in the future. So I forsee us having owned at least 2 boats at some point. Perhaps a 3rd in between depending on how things go.

I think much comes down to what one can afford at a given time. What the goals are and if they change, that might mean a new boat (day/weekend sailing vs. cruising) and there's also the new factor. Boats get old and just like cars, the new boats often have more to offer with better layouts and features..etc.

It's really no surprise to see many people have owned many boats.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:01   #12
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There are lots of reasons for having different boats.

When where you live changes, you may not be able to take your boat with you, and there may be a yacht better suited to where you will be sailing.

As your age changes, you may find that bigger or smaller is better for you.

As your cruising destinations change, one yacht may serve your purposes better than another. As far as I am concerned, there is no better way to sail downwind in the trade winds than on a catamaran with a double headsail rig because there is no rolling downwind.

Some cruising destination are shallow water destinations, and some are blue water destinations.

If you have done your circumnavigation and you now restrict your sailing to the Bahamas, a shallow water boat would probably be best.

I would like to have a big catamaran, a small catamaran, a big monohull, and a small monohull. And I would like one of each in New Zealand, Australia, French Polynesia, and the Caribbean. That would work best for me.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:10   #13
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I don't completely understand the idea of a "starter boat", especially in today's economy. You can buy a good boat at a good price but you probably won't sell it for what you paid for it. That could get expensive.

I would suggest that you: 1) Take sailing lessons and learn how to handle the size boat you're interested in; 2) Join a club/make friends with someone that has a boat similar to what you want and go sailing with them; 3) charter.

The idea of moving up incrementally in boat sizes seems like a waste of money and time. After you have completed the above steps, add three feet to the length of the boat you want…and buy it. And enjoy!
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:27   #14
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I used up my first boat then we got another with my partner to do some serious sailing.

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Old 06-11-2010, 13:23   #15
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first boat i bough ti had intention of project for cruising-- 34 ft olympian. sweet lines
gutted-- lotsa work.
went thru many since then-- until my formosa 41--is my last boat!! i LOVE her.
i will be leaving sin diego by years end with luck and a good tailwind--i just hope the tailwind isnt tooo

unfortunately, i still have my last boat, so i have a second home in sin diego for as long as it takes.

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