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Old 10-07-2011, 21:12   #1
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Looking for First Boat and My Head Is Ready to Explode . . . Help !

New to the board and I would love to hear from some of you salts.
I want to buy a liveaboard cruiser in the 36 to 30 ft range that is capable of handling blue water and the weather that occasionaly goes with it.
I am torn between buying this kind of boat right off the bat as opposed to buying more of a coastal cruiser to cut my teeth on for a few years and then buying the bluewater boat.
Would it be sensible to just get the bluewater boat since that's what I want to end up in eventually?
Is there a difference in the types of boats as far as learning to sail?
I would probably be based out of florida panhandle for the summer and going south to keys/carribbean in the winter.
After I gain some experience and feel confident enough to do so, I want to see the south pacific.
That of course is years ahead of me but that's the long range plan.
I have been reading other threads on the Cal boats and most of them mention the loyalty of the owners and the solid construction and safety of the boats but yet I don't see them mentioned much in lists of bluewater cruisers.
Any and all thoughts would be welcome.
I need some advil now.....
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Old 10-07-2011, 22:19   #2
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Re: Looking for first boat and my head is ready to explode...help

0cals are very solid and strong, properly outfitted they can go anywhere you may want to.
Having said that, get the boat you want to enjoy Now, not the one you may want in 5 years.
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Old 10-07-2011, 22:31   #3
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Re: Looking for first boat and my head is ready to explode...help

Take your time and let your head settle down.

Can you budget in one boat and then another? Can you afford buying your "big" boat first and deciding cruising isn't for you then taking a loss? Do you have time to crew on other boats to learn? If you buy your "big" boat and then find what you want isn't what you bought after some experience are you willing to accept that and continue on with it anyway? Will it drive you nuts?

Yes there is a difference in how well a boat is to "teach" you. Smaller is generally better.

Put your thoughts down on paper. Make pro/con lists. Make budgets in either scenario. See which fits your life the best. There is no one size fits all answer here.

When you bought your first car, did it end up being your dream car? What about your first home? What about your first love? Did you learn a lot from the "firsts" in your life? Imagine buying the wrong boat first and being "stuck" with it due to budget. Are you okay with that?

Some are, some aren't.

Where is your tolerance in "NOW NOW NOW" vs "Wait and see"?

Goodluck!
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Old 10-07-2011, 23:26   #4
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Is 28' long enough?

30' to 36' is not big as boats go. Many would consider boats this size to be too small for cruising, so there should a fair selection of good ones available for reasonable prices.

The 30 to 36 range should still mostly take standard fittings so there could be a lot of second hand gear available.

A cream puff 28' may suit your needs better, but the good ones look to go for the same sort of price as the 30+'ers.

The next size down is really the 22' trailer/sailer. One of these with a trailer could be a lot cheaper.
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Old 10-07-2011, 23:51   #5
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Re: Looking for first boat and my head is ready to explode...help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Take your time and let your head settle down.

Can you budget in one boat and then another? Can you afford buying your "big" boat first and deciding cruising isn't for you then taking a loss? Do you have time to crew on other boats to learn? If you buy your "big" boat and then find what you want isn't what you bought after some experience are you willing to accept that and continue on with it anyway? Will it drive you nuts?

Yes there is a difference in how well a boat is to "teach" you. Smaller is generally better.

Put your thoughts down on paper. Make pro/con lists. Make budgets in either scenario. See which fits your life the best. There is no one size fits all answer here.

When you bought your first car, did it end up being your dream car? What about your first home? What about your first love? Did you learn a lot from the "firsts" in your life? Imagine buying the wrong boat first and being "stuck" with it due to budget. Are you okay with that?

Some are, some aren't.

Where is your tolerance in "NOW NOW NOW" vs "Wait and see"?

Goodluck!
This about sums it up, very good advice.....
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Old 11-07-2011, 00:39   #6
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Re: Looking for First Boat and my Head is Ready to Explode...help

My experience tells me to go big from the start You will then be building on something you can keep for years To buy small boat first will just cost extra money in the end In this market its hard to believe you will ever break even when selling
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:37   #7
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Re: Looking for First Boat and my Head is Ready to Explode...help

Thanks for the replies everyone. Very good advice I must say. So glad I joined this forum. This will help a lot in making the final decision which is still a few months away at this point but close enough that I can smell salt in the air.
I will regroup, make yet another list of pros and cons and keep searching.
You guys are the best. thanks again for the help.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:51   #8
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Re: Looking for first boat and my head is ready to explode...help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
0cals are very solid and strong, properly outfitted they can go anywhere you may want to.
Having said that, get the boat you want to enjoy Now, not the one you may want in 5 years.
I keep coming back to this and it's starting to make more sense.
Thanks again.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:21   #9
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Re: Looking for First Boat and my Head is Ready to Explode...help

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