I currently have a Pearson
33, but I began sailing four years ago, took classes
at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (Miami) and bought a 23' Alberg
Sea Sprite to begin with.
is great to single
hand and I bought her for $15K two years ago after giving away the Sprite to a friend. It's got a great V-berth that we use for storage
and sleep in the main cabin
. It's got a four and a half foot draft
(makes it nice to get close to shore) and a drop keel
for deeper water
sailing. The cockpit
has room enough for six people to sit comfortably - although I'm thinking of moving the traveler.
I agree with the members on the forum, be patient in looking for a boat. I've seen people buy a boat quickly and thought they were getting a deal and wound up getting out of sailing faster than they went into it. One friend went out and bought a brand new 45' Beneteau
and ended with a 3 foot hole in the hull
, because he didn't have enough experience, another ended up replacing the engine
on a "Sweet Deal" that he got for $25K - the engine was on its last legs.
Also, learn to do the work yourself. You'll find that when you're out on a sail and the engine doesn't want to start, it's not going to be the time you want to start tracing wires and fuel
If you are going to sail with your girlfriend, take a class together. We took our first class at the club, but my girlfriend didn't enjoy the yelling, so this past Thanksgiving we took a class in Key Largo
with a young woman who was very patient. My girlfriend enjoyed it and now I am getting a lot (A LOT) of feedback on how we should be taking care of the boat and what "WE" need to do. Now we're both enjoying sailing and she takes the tiller too.
One last point sail, sail, sail once you get the boat. When you do, you'll find out one thing that you needed on that last trip. Don't buy things just to have on the boat - it's a great way to get claustrophobic and forget about half of the things that you stowed somewhere, that you never use. It's also a great way to drain your kitty fast.
Good luck and if you're ever in warmer weather
give a holler!
Robyn & Bob