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Old 24-09-2012, 14:37   #1
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Thinking Of Buying A Boat Near Boston and Sailing Her To Muscongus Bay, Maine

I'm fairly new to sailing and have not cruised yet. I have an older Tanzer 22 that is great fun in Muscongus Bay and I took a summer of really good sailing lessons at a University of Southern Maine outreach called Sail Maine. I probably have 70 or 80 hours of sailing the Tanzer & another 30 or so in class (which accounts for all of my sailing in the ocean). I have a little 14 footer which I've sailed in the local lakes.

I am thinking of purchasing a boat near boston and sailing it back to my area of Maine (Muscongus Bay) to have it hauled out and brought back to my house in the next week or so.

Seems that it would take, maybe, two days to make the cruise?

What are your thoughts/advice on taking an unknown boat out like that for your first run? I am all for having an adventure and truly look forward to that sort of thing. I just want to make sure I take some precautions.

The new boat is a bit larger than the tanzer - might be able to stand up in the cabin, for instance! But so much as to be a real issue with handling.

any advice would be truly appreciated!
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Old 24-09-2012, 15:05   #2
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Re: thinking of buying a boat near Boston and sailing her to Muscongus Bay, Maine

You're talking about a nice trip through great cruising grounds in one of the best parts of the sailing season. It is best to plan as a two or three day trip depending on where you're leaving from, but the first thing to do is not plan on a specific date of departure. The Gulf of Maine can be an unfriendly place in bad weather so be sure to pick your weather window carefully.

You don't say much about the boat or your crew. Given your experience, it would be very advisable to sail this with an experienced crew. Perhaps better for a first cruise would be to bring a compatriot as captain with you as crew on a steep learning curve. Unfortunately, stuff happens. It happens more often to a boat that is new to you. Figuring out how to respond benefits big time from experience that you will have, but don't yet.
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Old 24-09-2012, 15:51   #3
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Re: thinking of buying a boat near Boston and sailing her to Muscongus Bay, Maine

Doing what you are suggesting is certainly possible, a few years ago I did basically the opposite (Mere Point to Gloucester).

Before making any trip with a boat that you have just bought, you usually need to spend some time with it whether it is working on it or just enjoying sailing it. This will depend on how good of shape it is in. I would not want the time pressure of a week schedule hanging over my head but if you have more, that is fine.

2 days to Muscongus is moving right along if you are alone or want to anchor at night. Unless you are buying a pretty big boat, you are unlikely to be able to count on averaging over 5 kts which means that it will take a day to get to the Portsmouth area and then it is a pretty long day from there. Remember, the days are short this time of year and it is never fun to come into a harbor for the first time in the dark. If you are going straight through, you can take the hypotenuse which is a lot quicker and you should be able to do it in under 24 hours.

The other caution that I would add is that it is fall. Fall in New England tends to have pretty strong breezes, not always from a favorable direction and there are frequent front and large seas. In a larger boat, this is great fun and is actually my favorite cruising time but if you are buying something under 40', you will have to watch the weather carefully.

If it were me, I would consider it if I had a few experienced friends who could commit a decent chunk of time and the boat were basically turn key. I have sailed in this area year round but the easy conditions of July and August are over and the weather may not be very forgiving.
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Old 24-09-2012, 16:23   #4
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I am not very interested in the boat itself, but, rather, the accesories that it has. It is a 26' with a swing keel which, while a decent size to step up to from my little Tanzer. But, I am not excited about that keel.

It has an auto tiller, roller furling, a bunch of electronics and life lines which would be nice on the Tanzer.

I was planning to take my son along as crew and to go for it. Looking at the charts, it appears to be a pretty simple course to get to familiar waters. Though, it does look like some fairly open sea before Portland.

The boat is moored right now and has been used up until a couple of weeks ago.

I have a couple friends that I could ask who have a lot of cruising experience, but, would like to do it myself. I thought a couple days would be a good first cruise.

I plan to take flares, my radio (in case the one boat is a no go) and my dinghy.

I don't have radar - not sure how big of a deal that is.

I'll be sure to watch the weather for a window of opportunity.

All this said, the boat is up for auction and I need to win it to have the chance for my little adventure.

I'll have to make a decision on how much to offer soon.

Thank you for the advice! I'll post the outcome and, depending, ask for some more insight.

Dan
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Old 25-09-2012, 14:24   #5
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Well, I lost the bid. I think that I will keep looking, though.

Right now, I am five years into my ten year plan to learn how to sail and have a 'big boat'.

I bought the little tanzer after doing some research on popular 22' cruisers from the 70's & 80's. It is a great little boat for day sailing or over nighting.

I would like to get something around 30' for the next one and, finally, end up with something around 40'.

I am learning about different manufacturers and, at this point, lean towards the Bristols. I am, by no means, set with this. I just want to be able to do some blue water cruising when I retire.
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Old 19-06-2017, 14:42   #6
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Re: Thinking Of Buying A Boat Near Boston and Sailing Her To Muscongus Bay, Maine

Pro tip: Sailing school cruising/learn to charter courses.

Sail with professional captains in the Caribbean, Pacific NW, Florida, New England, etc. You will see boats, talk with cruisers, and actually cruise. I am a retired captain and dozens, at least, of my students have gone on to cruise.

As for a small boat, just buy one in good condition.
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Old 19-06-2017, 14:55   #7
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Re: Thinking Of Buying A Boat Near Boston and Sailing Her To Muscongus Bay, Maine

You can do it, no problem. You might be dealing with fog this time of year and that will slow your roll.

50 years ago, my dad bought a new 27ft Choy Lee, we had never sailed anything more than a weekend on a Sunfish. The boat had no GPS, no depth sounder, no instruments of any type, just a compass. After a 20 min test-sail/lesson, we let off the dealer and took off down the Chesapeake Bay 130 mile trip. The next week was the best time of our lives. Enjoy your boat.
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Old 19-06-2017, 16:11   #8
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Re: Thinking Of Buying A Boat Near Boston and Sailing Her To Muscongus Bay, Maine

You guys just replied to a nearly 5-year-old thread. If I recall, Muscongus bought himself a Bristol 24 several years ago. By now I suspect he's a crusty old salt!
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