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Old 27-11-2015, 11:09   #76
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

Our very first boat was a 42' ketch. It was very intimidating at first but we took baby steps, had sailing friends go with us and show us the "ropes", and then got out as often as we could. We may or may not be as good as a sailor that started out on a smaller boat but we went everywhere we ever wanted to go, safely and in control (as much as could be in storms, etc.).

Got scared a few times but built our confidence each time. Actually learning how to dock was, and still is, the hardest thing to do. Bumped a couple of other boats learning how to dock but no damage.

I think you could go with a 32' boat. I cannot add anything as to any particular boat in that range though. If it were me starting out again, I would go for the 32' with the extra headroom and amenities.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:18   #77
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Too many people on this forum are "sailors" first and forget this is a "cruiser's" forum.


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As you've already seen, sport and day sailing boats(under 30') are too small to live on
Snap! I'm on a cruisers forum I'm not yet allowed on, and now I learn my boat is too small to live on too!
Thank you for clearing that up for me, ArtM, I wasn't even aware I was doing the liveaboard part wrong too
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:30   #78
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Snap! I'm on a cruisers forum I'm not yet allowed on, and now I learn my boat is too small to live on too!
Thank you for clearing that up for me, ArtM, I wasn't even aware I was doing the liveaboard part wrong too


Good thing you didn't learn you are doing wrong any sooner. You might never have started.

I once met two couples living on a 27' boat. Had been cruising together for almost a year when I met them and they were having a great time in the Caribbean. I did think they must all be very close friends.

Too small is really a personal matter. What's too small for one person is too big for another.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:33   #79
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

I sailed dingys some in my early years. The only thing I really learned that I didn't learn on bigger boats is:
- How to swim
-How to right an overturned boat.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:43   #80
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Good thing you didn't learn you are doing wrong any sooner. You might never have started.
>|<
Too small is really a personal matter. What's too small for one person is too big for another.
Exactly!

Would I mind if she were a few feet longer (and wider!)? No
But this was a boat I could afford, and I own her free and clear. To me, that's worth something.
It's also a boat I can handle and maintain on my own easily, which is also important since I'm all I've got.

There's always so many naysayers .. once you start listening to them, you'll get exactly nowhere.

So to the OP: 32' isn't oversized. Go for it, and have fun learning!
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Old 27-11-2015, 13:02   #81
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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im looking at a Catalina 22 pop top. Im wondering if she will be able to cruise to the Bahamas from Florida single handedly well. is she too small for that ?
NO. You won't be happy on a Catalina 22 cruising the bahamas.
It really is a tiny little boat.

If you really want to go small, look at the C&C25. Draws 3'10", but has at least double the space below. They sell here for under $5k cdn. Another even better alternative would be a C&C27. Excellent sailor, lots of space below, and still well under $10k.

Imagine a pile in your living room of all the things you would want to bring...food, fuel, wet weather gear, anchors, bedding, water, drinks, clothes, tools, dinghy, etc. Now go view some boats for sale. Try to imagine that pile of stuff stowed neatly on the boat.

I owned a Tanzer22 before moving up to a C&C25. Absolutely no comparison. If you are interested in seeing what my C&C25 was like, I've attached a video from when I was selling. https://youtu.be/bDssMt3Eb9Q
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:01   #82
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

I would love to see the average beginning sailor who is focusing upon learning the points of sail/sail trim, hoisting/trimming sails, reefing, reading water/wind conditions, maintaining control of his boat, entering harbors, and docking in a 32 foot boat, single-handed ,with up to one Summer's sailing experience or less on the Chesapeake. Is that sound advice to a novice? In short time, he'll be joining the gaggle of dock pelicans with their over-sized boats they can't competently or safely sail and who never leave their slip. However, if you ever need advice, just throw them a fish and watch their mouths open. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:07   #83
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

Turned out lucky for me at 32 feet, first boat for cruising, seems like the sweet spot. Five years living, cruising, anchored out, marinas, and daysailing. Mostly singlehanded.

All my junk onboard, went sailing today and only had to stow my phone, laptop and dishes. Took a twenty something local for his first sail. Just got back.

Sailed a Hobie18 some, guess I learned something on it, but never docked, anchored, cranked an engine or bled one. Or worked on a head for that matter.

My personal limit would be 32'-34'. Prefer a fin keel and skeg hung rudder. Roller furling headsail, inboard, standing headroom, pressurized water at galley, good galley stove, good binoculars, nav stuff of your choice, bosons chair or mast climber, good spot light, spares, first aid, required safety gear, hard dingy, little 2 stroke, good ground tackle, .... And more. ....like tools, ........

Lots of boats get you this easy around $15k, depending, and five years later you have $25k in it. That's my experience and guess that would be typical. Always a super deal out there, but I decided on model and went looking for one.

Got passed by a Hunter 33 today.. no problem on starboard tack, then passed right by me on port tack. Darnit.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:08   #84
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

Just buy what you want and let the boat tell you that it's the one. If your really determined to follow through with learning to sail you will find a way either with classes or as I did, a how to book in one hand and the tiller in the other on a 25 foot catalina. Never sailed a boat before and went out the first time single handed and lots of open water. Watch the gybes and your depth so you don't hit bottom. Raise and lower the main sail first to get a feel for it. Or maybe jib, I didn't use my jib for the first 5 times out...it scared me, after I did the first time the scare was over. You will probably learn faster with lessons but it's not really needed if you use your head and have common sense and a little book knowledge. As someone else said don't cruise around the marina faster then you want to hit someone or something.

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Old 27-11-2015, 15:16   #85
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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I hope a 32 isn't too big to learn on, I bought a 38 to learn on. Although I assume I'll never stop learning and a small much more responsive boat would teach me more faster, so far it's been OK


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Ditto. I'm learning on a 37 footer.
Sometimes I wish I had practised on something smaller to better understand sail trimming. But the basics of long distance cruising, chart reading and navigation, anchoring and close in maneuvering, boat and engine care and maintenance and even just developing a routine for living aboard can only be learnt on boats this size.

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Old 27-11-2015, 16:07   #86
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

Given the choice, I'd prefer to accidentally gybe or tangle the sheets or get an overriding turn in a winch or jam a halyard or bump a dock or maneuver in close quarters or run aground or learn to throw up a spinnaker or learn to maintain or pay for resultant repairs etc etc in something a little smaller and lighter. I'd also like to get some feedback whilst experimenting with sail trim.

Coming off a standing start, 27 foot or thereabouts would be a better compromise imho.
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Old 27-11-2015, 16:33   #87
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pirate Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

My 1st boat was a bilge keel Magyar 7.. pitch pine on oak frames that had been abandoned in a b/yard..
Paid 500 for her and spent a year getting her in shape while my leg recovered from a m/c accident.
All she had sailwise was a main and No2 and No3 jib.. also an inner forestay.. anyway.. on my maiden voyage from Hurst Castle to Poole in lightish winds I found her under powered so decide to play about.. took down the No2 and turned it upside down to make a kinda yankee jib and raised the No3 on the inner.. added a coupla knots with the extra sail area..
As I was sailing into the entrance to Poole I passed a Nicholson 32 with your typical Brit Yottie Snots who started laughing at me and then hollered across "What the hell dya call that rig..?"
My response to the jibes.. "A Goes Faster than You Rig..."

AKA.. do what feels right for you... theres more than one way to skin a cat.. or mono..
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Old 27-11-2015, 17:18   #88
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Go big. I've never met anyone who wishes that they'd purchased a smaller boat. Then take dinghy sailing lessons. If you can sail a dinghy, you can sail pretty much anything. Only real difference is momentum and stability.

Have fun!
I agree 100% . The first boat my father designed/?built was a 30 foot cat . I learned later that it was supposed to be 40 feet and that he always regretted going smaller. Also 2 foot itis is a well known and expensive disease. Go big and and take dingy sailing lessons .
In fact the money you save by not changing boats will be for on board tutoring
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Old 27-11-2015, 19:53   #89
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Snap! I'm on a cruisers forum I'm not yet allowed on, and now I learn my boat is too small to live on too!
Thank you for clearing that up for me, ArtM, I wasn't even aware I was doing the liveaboard part wrong too
Oops that was a typo. What I meant to type was boats under "29.5" feet are too small to live on.

The exception is if you wear shoes smaller than a size 9, in which case you are likely to be able to get by on a boat as small as 29"3". But absolutely no smaller than that
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Old 27-11-2015, 22:08   #90
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Re: Is a 32' Sailboat Over-sized for a Beginner?

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Oops that was a typo. What I meant to type was boats under "29.5" feet are too small to live on.

The exception is if you wear shoes smaller than a size 9, in which case you are likely to be able to get by on a boat as small as 29"3". But absolutely no smaller than that
Now go tell that to the Pardey's
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