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Old 18-12-2012, 11:47   #16
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Agreed - don't buy a thing until you sail at least a half dozen models. Here we're a handful of lessons/mistakes/steps that truly helped Erika (my wife) and I down the boat ownership path.

Lesson/Mistake #1: Wife and I bought a '73 33ft Islander Sloop in Mexico (6+ yrs ago) and got stuck with a huge lemon, BUT we learned from the experience and sold a few years later at a minimal gain.

Lesson #2: Then took the tiny proceeds we had from the sale (~$1500 bux) and enrolled the wife and I in Steve and Doris Colgates Fast Track to sailing - a week long intensive liveaboard chartering course - they run end if year deals when the economy was bad . Again, learned a ton.

Lesson #3: Started to go chartering locally to Catalina, and regionally in BVI's - tried Moorings, Sunsail etc and learned what we 'did and didn't' like with new production quality boats. Talked to weekend sailors and serious die hards while on the water - had fun and learned to enjoy sailing as a couple.

Lesson #4: Went on the Alaska Eagle 2x once from Hawaii to Tahiti and most recently from Antigua thru Panama Canal ", and got some serious offshore 'chops'. I now am a capable offshore sailor vs coastal only experience.

Lesson #5: Attended the Strictly Sail Boat show in Oakland last year, as well as the awesome John and Amanda Neil-Swan liveaboard cruising seminar and focused a entire afternoon on boat selection and liveaboard criteria. John will actually help you and your partner personally!

Honestly - ONLY after all this, did WE Know what to look for in a serious offshore cruising boat and what we wanted size wise (42-50 footer). Before all the years of experience >> I was simply guessing.

We're now the proud owners of a 1982 46' Amel Maramu and couldn't be happier - YES it's always a compromise, but once you look at the purchase as a vessel to cross oceans vs a floating condo; the Ikea McWater-condo mentality starts to quickly fade trust me - I subscribed to Cruising World since Bernadette was a editor.

Make the plunge intelligently - you will be rewarded if patient!

-Jer
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Old 18-12-2012, 13:08   #17
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Re: How to choose a boat?

What's with all these Cornhuskers on here? I grew up in Omaha myself, and I don't think I've seen a thread on any forum where there were so many Nebraskans.

Anyway, I live in Tampa now. I have a daysailer, but I'm looking for my next cruising boat (and probably will be for a couple of years). Since the expectation is that it will be used mostly on the west coast of Florida, in the Keys, and the Bahamas, I have set myself a strict limit of no deeper than 5 feet of draft.

Yes, that limits the boats that I can consider. But the option is to limit the areas where I can take the boat. There are a LOT of places around Florida and the Bahamas where a 5' draft boat can go that a 6' or more draft boat would need to avoid, or only go at high tide. There are enough boats out there with 5' or less of draft that I would rather limit myself that way than to limit myself in where I can go.

At least, that's my reasoning on the matter.
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:47   #18
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Re: How to choose a boat?

It helps to know what you want when shopping. My boat is to be single handed also.
Draft is 5'...beam is almost 12'...and 30' with a ton of room below. Lots of storage space.
Not a production boat...almost 6 ton displacement.
I love my boat and am slowly, personally fitting her out to be a coastal cruiser.
Having read the forum for some time, I decided this was the boat for me. Seems many of my concerns were mentioned in this thread. A Nonsuch is not cheap though.
Learning all the systems and being able to work on anything to save $ and be self reliant is also important as I do have time as I am a cubicle dweller presently; day-sailing whenever I can get all the stars lined up...never enough sailing.
Boat maintenance should be considered as the bigger the boat, the more $. 46' will not be cheap even if you do the work yourself. Perhaps you could scale down to not go broke quickly.
Just my thoughts...She sails pretty good too.
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:50   #19
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Re: How to choose a boat?

Hermanns, thanks for the post! A lot of good info in there. I do plan sailing school this spring or summer (fingers crossed). I found a really nice looking one in BVI that was what I thought reasonably priced, can't remember the name now and it's bookmarked on my other PC. I *think* it was around ~1300 for the 7 day course. Currently trying to talk a buddy of mine into going with me, safety in numbers and all that. Also planning a charter or two before the end of next year if I can get the school thing done. I don't know many people that want to sail but I know quite a few that would pay their share to get on the boat with me for a week.

I was just looking at your blog, nice boat! Got a quick question about the sound system that you installed. Is it radio only or does it have a way to play mp3s? Music is really big for me, and one of the things that I absolutely will not compromise on. I will have a good quality sound system of some sort on my boat. I know that's something I'll most likely have to add though.
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:56   #20
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Re: How to choose a boat?

jjones, that's quite a pretty boat. Is it just me or is her beam wider than normal? Makes for more room and the layout is interesting. I could *almost* afford one if I blew my whole boat and outfitting budget on one, lol.

Being able to work on everything is very important to me also. From a safety and $$ standpoint yes, but more from a self reliance standpoint.
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Old 18-12-2012, 16:12   #21
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Re: How to choose a boat?

The Nonsuch cat rig puts the mast forward requiring the beam to be wide in the bow to support the weight of the mast. This means the boat has as much room below as many 36' or longer boats.
Tweeks to any older boat will be required to bring them up to date that will require a budget to accomplish. One day I will get them all done...kinda like a house I guess...maybe never...provided she will be a good coastal cruiser when the time comes.
I have sailed her under 2 reefs on a few locations as she is not efficient heeled more than 15 degrees...a very comfy cruiser...very dry cockpit.
She is a pretty boat...last was a Windsurfer.
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Old 18-12-2012, 16:34   #22
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Re: How to choose a boat?

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Originally Posted by bgriffin View Post
Also, really, I'm interested in any type of feedback that would help my search, even though it's in it's infancy. Are there things that I should look for in a boat that I haven't thought about but should considering what I want to use it for?
Is always useful to kick off with a good idea of what your intended plans are .

I have no idea what a Columbia 43 is (nor much about any specific models in your part of the world) - but the big thing that jumps out at me is your budget, especially coupled with the ambition on boat size...

....it is possible that you could get a very nice 40 foot boat for that money, but most likely is that something that size and value will be less than perfect..........Nothing wrong with that (no boat is ever perfect!) but given your present knowledge even when (if?!) you know what issues the boat has before purchase you are in less than an ideal place to well judge what you can handle (in time and money) or can simply live with........IMO a good chance that you will end up buying something that is more work, time, effort and money than you envisaged. Going flat broke and with a boat that ends up as a millstone would kinda take the fun out of the adventure..........

Not to say don't! - but that would be one of my major concerns. If not the big one..........you asked .
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Old 18-12-2012, 16:51   #23
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Re: How to choose a boat?

Thanks for the feedback David! I know that's a lot of boat for my price range, I was drawn to this specific model because, a, I love what they look like, and b, there's a few on yachtworld that *look* like they're in decent shape that are in my price range. Obviously having never seen them and not really knowing what to look for (although I'm learning thanks to 3-4 hours a day on here) I really don't know. However I'm pretty sure the 7' draft is gonna do it for me, so I'm kind of moving on. I'm also feeling like 35ish may be more the size for me. Definitely need to get on a few to find out though.
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Old 18-12-2012, 17:04   #24
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Re: How to choose a boat?

I think you already know pretty well what you want so now just take it slow and find yourself a clean, sound boat. Rush NOT.

25k is not a lot of money to buy you a 43' boat. You may like to go for a smaller boat. We paid roughly 20k back in 2003 for a 26' boat. Sure she is a fine and strong boat and was very clean when we got her, but she was 20 y.o. back then too. So, I think, you may like to revise your price/length ratio, if you want a well designed, well built and well maintained boat.

The advice I can share is to buy a boat that will do the job. A racer for racing, a more balanced, more spacious design for cruising, etc.. There are boats that will tick many boxes at once, but there may be no single boat that will tick off ALL the boxes.

Buy a boat that you fall in love too - one that, when you look at her, will urge you to go sailing, one that will make you look at her from the dinghy and tell to yourself: 'gosh, this beauty is mine'.

And, you CAN go to Bahamas in a boat with +6' draft - just get yourself a lifting keel one.

Good luck and enjoy the ride. Looking for the boat and buying one may be the best part of the whole sailing thing (?) ;-)

Cheers,
b.
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Old 20-12-2012, 12:56   #25
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Re: How to choose a boat?

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What's with all these Cornhuskers on here? I grew up in Omaha myself, and I don't think I've seen a thread on any forum where there were so many Nebraskans.
This is my medal from the 2007 Cornhusker State Games - in guess what....Sailing. At Branched Oak Reservoir in Lincoln.
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Old 20-12-2012, 13:14   #26
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Re: How to choose a boat?

Don't listen to the advise dismissing a wing keel from consideration. They make a good compromise and lessen your draft for the areas you are taking about. I have one and amazingly I've never had it stuck in the mud and sand like an anchor.

At the end of the day, you'll have to decide what compromises to make based on your needs, wants and budget. As has been said, no boat is perfect.

Scott
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Old 20-12-2012, 16:54   #27
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Re: How to choose a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
What's with all these Cornhuskers on here? I grew up in Omaha myself, and I don't think I've seen a thread on any forum where there were so many Nebraskans.

Anyway, I live in Tampa now. I have a daysailer, but I'm looking for my next cruising boat (and probably will be for a couple of years). Since the expectation is that it will be used mostly on the west coast of Florida, in the Keys, and the Bahamas, I have set myself a strict limit of no deeper than 5 feet of draft.

Yes, that limits the boats that I can consider. But the option is to limit the areas where I can take the boat. There are a LOT of places around Florida and the Bahamas where a 5' draft boat can go that a 6' or more draft boat would need to avoid, or only go at high tide. There are enough boats out there with 5' or less of draft that I would rather limit myself that way than to limit myself in where I can go.

At least, that's my reasoning on the matter.
What part of NEBRASKA dont you understand?
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Old 20-12-2012, 17:12   #28
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Re: How to choose a boat?

I found Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook a great resource in selecting a boat. He does a good job of explaining the pro's and con's of different design parameters and I'd definitely recommend reading through it before buying.
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Old 20-12-2012, 20:58   #29
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Re: How to choose a boat?

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What's with all these Cornhuskers on here? I grew up in Omaha myself, and I don't think I've seen a thread on any forum where there were so many Nebraskans.
+1 I'm in Omaha at this moment, and also wondering the same thing.

In fact I've been holding back on a question I've been afraid to ask - whether I could navigate a 40 ft catamaran down the missouri river to the ocean.

It was part of a horribly misconceived plan to purchase an older cat, refurbish in my "back yard" (which I dont' even have), then "sail" it down the missouri river to the gulf.
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Old 20-12-2012, 22:00   #30
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Re: How to choose a boat?

Griffin,
One thing that has not been addressed: how much sailing experience do you have? If not a lot, then go down to the harbor and jump on as many boats as you can. Sail all kinds of boats in all kinds of conditions. You might find that some of the boats really appeal to you - and others don't! In the process you'll get a good feel for the different boats that you might be considering for your dream. Oh yeah, it's a lot of fun to meet nice people and it's a lot of fun to go sailing!!
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