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Old 03-11-2013, 14:03   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chesapeake Area
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Looking for my first boat

Grew up sailing around the Chesapeake on an O'Day 21' day sailor. Have sailed every summer a few times on larger boats with a captain on board. I want to start with a 30 foot size for cruising and sometimes a nice fast sail. Overnight at anchor, otherwise do not enjoy night sailing. 2 adults and our dog. Looks matter, and of course sound/safe. After owning this first boat for 3 - 4 years, I will want to see if we can do a Hinckley/Concordia/ other Classic Yawl. I would like to spend most of this winter learning/reading and purchasing early spring of 2014. I know we could have saved money by purchasing right now, but I need to be sure first.

Random details; Live in Baltimore, and would like only 1/2 or so drive to my boat evenings/weekends. Don't love the dense Annapolis scene, and hope to dock boat on Magothy river near my friend's house - quieter neighborhood. Will not always have a 2nd person on board who is a sailor, and would like to keep boat single handed sailing, and have help docking etc. with friends on board. I am mature, responsible, non-drinker, fast learner, and love to share sailing with others. Experience has given me a lot of very intuitive sailing skills, but there is still a lot I do not know. ex; I want a self furling fore sail but have not sailed with one before. ex; sailing a boat under 25' is not very much fun for me, I get the quick responsiveness, and that is what I learned on, but I like the size of larger boats, and being in more wind with them. I do not have experience sailing at night, but can read charts, and follow bouys and markers, etc.

In exuberance, I can talk myself into a magnificent antique that needs a lot of work, and a couple of months later, realize that I cannot do the work and not afford to have it all done. So, I'm thinking fiberglass, 1980's / 1990's 30 feet, with the basics in very good condition (good bones) and in average sailing condition, to make improvements over the next 4 - 5 years before selling her for larger.

For now, I would like advice;

a) Do I want a Catalina 30 Standard Rig, or Tall Rig? our winds here in the Annapolis/Magothy River and Eastern Shore area can really fluctuate, and I do enjoy more assertive sailing than a quiet lazy day debating whether or not to use the engine. On the other hand, a lot of sudden reefing, changing to a Geneoa, and then reefing the main, and switching back to a working jib is a bit chaotic for my non-sailing friends. Who has some experience with this tall rig and it's comparison with typical rig in similar waters? Does anyone have advice for our area here in Chesapeake?

b) Hull and topsides fiberglass finish and colour - I'm a little ignorant on the idea of replacing a gel coat, or painting or how else to re-colour a boat's hull. We are not on a strict budget, but want to be responsible to the resale value of the boat. I personally lust after the dark navy blue hulls, and unless the standard white hull is pristine, I want to learn what the ins' and outs' of changing hull colour are. Cost, upkeep, and any performance issues. Is there agreement that a navy hull (with that classic gold line) would help resale more than a refurbished white hull with a decent shine to it.?? Is there anything additional/different for the deck/topsides? I would like white on deck.

c) for our first boat, we will only sail as we are comfortable and secure. Probably first summer, just around the mouth of the Magothy and maybe under the Ches. Bay bridge to Annapolis. Will most likely dock at marina on the Magothy near my friend's home there. Living in Baltimore, it takes 1/2 hour to drive down to where the boat will be. I want to do some work on the boat myself, largely wood finish, light carpentry, cleaning, polishing projects that are weekend projects. Would definitely want professionals to take care of any engine work, through -hull fittings, tanks, electronics, and most rigging issues. I'm looking forward to fitting out the interior with some custom upgrades, lighting, audio visual, galley, cushions, and other upgrades over time. (I am interior designer, go figure) Would like to find a Catalina 30 Tall Rig in pretty good condition, but can tolerate low condition on the items that I can/want to refurbish anyway. Certainly will have a survey and sail test, and would insist on very sound and good condition for; the hull/ keel/ rudder, rigging, mast, spreaders, and life lines, pulpit, stern railings and steering linkages, etc.

I think a boat like this might be listed at $25K to $30K, and possible negotiate down to $19K to $25K. I am anticipating regular annual costs around $5K to $8K (for marina slip, insurance, haul out, winterization, storage on blocks, repaint bottom of hull, step the mast/rigging and put back into the water early spring). Beyond this, I am anticipating $2K to $5K per year on repairs (Engine service/repairs, sail repair, fix anything related to head or galley, new lines, repairs to cleats, travelers, hatch openings and little things that happen each season). Finally I'm thinking of $8K to $12K per year for upgrades (re-colour the hull, enhancements to the woodwork in cabin, upgrades to electrical system, new cushions/pillows, upgrade any electronics, upgrade quality/finish of deck fittings and winches, etc.. , add bimini/dodger or not,, etc. )

OK,, sorry for such long post, but I see so many posts that responders say there is not enough information! Let me know what else you would like to know, thanks!

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:07   #2
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Location: Wherever Sarah takes me but based in VA/Chesapeake
Boat: Bavaria 36
Posts: 83
Re: Looking for my first boat

I think you have to find a boat that speaks to you. For me that meant going on a lot of boats, but since I am a single sailor i had to be careful what I got. Some of the older boats are beautiful, but I knew I couldn't handle them alone. But the main thing is, you gotta love your boat!

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:10   #3
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Re: Looking for my first boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Brad.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:23   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Lindsey Center Cockpit 39' Ketch
Posts: 469
Welcome aboard... You demonstrate you know what you are looking for and your perimeters. The tough part is to find the boat. You are in a great area that should provide something close to your requirements...good luck and enjoy.
enjoy the winds for they are free

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