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Old 16-01-2012, 09:42   #16
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Re: Start Small or Start Big ?

For 100k you can get a pretty "big" boat. if you know you love sailing, the trial, tribulations and fear involved, then go "big" if you will be spending a lot of time aboard soon. If the answer to the above is "no". Then go smaller, maybe 30 ft. It'll be a lot less costly mistake if you lose interest and less to maintain and moor also. Also if you are years away from cruising. It starts to hit home after you have the boat a few months and continue to write that $300-500 moorage check each month....

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Old 16-01-2012, 10:07   #17
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Originally Posted by Zonker
Guys ... thanks for your feedback. I hoped to hear more of the "I-wish-I-did-it-different" stories.
For me smaller = 24-30 feet
Bigger = 40 feet plus

I have the 26 footer now and sail ~120+ days a year. I would like to be in the 30-36 foot range now but have decided during the last 5 years what the "ultimate" boat is for me. Its a ~40 foot cat. I am not going to interim something at this point.

However I have lots of sailing friends and have access to 36-50+ foot boats. The best boats are OPB. I also charter in the 36-40 foot range at least once a year.

I have no regrets so far. Primarily because the 26 foot boat is so cheap and I have had so much fun and learned so much that if I gave it away I would be breaking even. In hindsight a 36-40 foot "first" boat would be eating a lot more boat bucks that should be going into the ultimate kitty.

At current savings rates the ultimate boat is 4-5 years away cash payment. Right on target for dockaboard work finish and line tossing in 8-10 years.

It is easy to get LOA envy but ignore what others think. There are some that may dismiss my experience because of my little boat. But I get 30-40 days a year on 40+ footers so can ignore those that might look down on this "little boat" sailor.

I could make a counter argument that those that start in dinghy's, buy a keelboat and then never sail with other skippers have missed a ton of learning along the way. I learn (good and bad stuff) from every skipper I sail with and I am at the point where I usually bring more to the party than I gain, but I am always open to learning.

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Old 16-01-2012, 10:19   #18
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Re: Start Small or Start Big ?

Get the boat you think you want from the start.
IMO if the budget allows...bigger is better.
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Old 16-01-2012, 11:13   #19
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Re: Start Small or Start Big ?

We went with the 'big' boat from the beginning, i.e. we spent the maximum we had available & got the boat we thought we wanted. No regrets at all. I wouldn't have been happier with a small boat, & that might have made me not want to continue cruising. After six years with the big boat, we are considering downsizing to a little bit smaller one due to the issues with the big beam which only a limited number of yards can handle. If you buy a used boat & don't have to buy in any timeframe, by taking your time and finding a 'good buy' you should be able to do OK down the road if/when you decide to sell. A few feet in length on a boat is a huge difference overall. Numerous people seem to be discussing monohulls here; I thought, since you posted in the multihull section, that you were looking at multihulls. If so, I would recommend two key features you look for: a large cockpit & high bridgedeck clearance. You will spend the bulk of your time in the cockpit (unless you live/cruise in a colder climate) & you want the high clearance for comfort, better sailing, & general sanity (constant slapping of waves will drive you crazy!).

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