I'm a novice
. I'm currently learning
to sail a 14' Alpha on a nearby lake, and have the opportunity to take lessons and sail a J22 on the same lake as often as I like. The plan is to learn as much as possible over the next two years about all aspects of sailing, and then to purchase
a boat for daysailing/weekending in Puget Sound
. I anticipate mostly daysailing around Bellingham Bay, with very rare overnight trips with my wife and two small children
. I live in Bellingham, and I can see the San Juan Islands
from my house, so I expect that we'll eventually want to sail there, but this length of trip would not be the norm. Mainly, I need enough cabin
space to get out of the rain or sun for a short time, and I'm leaning toward the smallest boat that we would be comfortable in. My wife agrees with the (financial) logic of smallest, but secretly wishes for a bit more room below. I believe a good compromise is 21-26'. Slip fees
go way up above 26'.
I realize the ideal approach is to sail lots of different kinds of boats in order to find what feels best, but life isn't ideal, and I will probably consider myself lucky if I am able to get out on a friend's boat a couple times. We have concluded that if we buy a boat that is not really big enough for weekend or week long trips, we can always sell and buy a larger boat after a year or two of day sailing
I'm hoping to find something for about $5000. I'm a retired woodworker. I've done enough metal working to get by, and I've worked fairly extensively with epoxy
. While I'm not looking for a restoration project
, I could handle anything cosmetic, and I could do things like re-do hardware
. If motivated, I suppose I could even grind out blisters
and repaint a hull
. My hope is to find something that has been well maintained, and is structurally sound, but is cosmetically lacking.
Is my price
realistic? And if so, what boats should I be investigating? I live only a couple miles from the marina, where we would lease
a slip, and I also have space to put a trailer in my driveway. I'm torn between the idea of being able to do maintenance
myself (trailerable) and a slightly larger boat that would stay in the water
. If trailerable, I would not be shuttling back and forth for each sail. Rather, I would only take the boat out annually or even bi-annually, as needed (I have to pay for the slip anyway). Since trailering would be infrequent, I would consider one that needed to be craned out and set on a trailer. (I would rent a truck to pull it the couple miles). I'm not sure if doing my own bottom paint
is false economy if I still have to pay to have the boat hauled out and pressure washed, however.
Basically, all this leads to the question of how big, and what kind of keel
? Should I get a boat with a swing keel
that is easy to trailer? Is there an advantage to a full keel boat that I would need a crane to haul out
? Should I just forget the trailering idea? What sort of boat is better for Puget Sound
, in mostly protected water
Sorry for such a long post, but I'm hoping too much info is better than not enough.
Almost forgot: While both my wife and I intend to learn how to sail, it seems best to get something that could be easily single-handed.
Also: I'm leaning toward an outboard