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Old 22-12-2011, 13:19   #1
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Testing the waters

So I am not really sure where to start. I was born and raised in Colorado and have never sailed before. I now live out in San Diego and thought it would be fun to live on a sailboat. Seeing as I have never sailed or even been in or around a water sports community I have no idea where to start. I have done a little research on boats, sizes and the liveaboard life style but for some one who has no prior knowlage it is all a little daunting. Before I start asking questions I should probably give a little info about my situation. I am 26, single and in the Navy. I make enough money to get by but don't have the finances to get a massive or new boat. I have seen a few 30 footers for around 10k, a few 26' for less and a beautiful 41' trimaran for 25K (which is a little more than I want to spend but looks like a good deal). I thinks that's all there is to say a out me.
So here are a few of my questions;
1-what size/style boat should I be be looking at?
2-what are the important things to look for on a used boat?
3-what are the essential things to have on a liveaboard?
4-what is the monthly/annual cost of sailboat ownership?
5-seeing as I have never sailed befor, where can I get sailing instruction for cheap or where are good resorses for beginners?
6-I can't think of anything else right now but I am sure there is much more. So if you have any other hints, tips, info or what have you please let me know.
Thank you and I am looking forward to join the sailing community!
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Old 22-12-2011, 15:34   #2
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Re: Testing the waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
So here are a few of my questions;

1-what size/style boat should I be be looking at? - depends on you, I suggest starting at 30' and look at a few of that size and also bigger and smaller.....and simply get a feel for what you feel comfortable with.

2-what are the important things to look for on a used boat? Pretty much everything , kinda like buying a s/h car.....

3-what are the essential things to have on a liveaboard? Again, depends on you - the level of comfort you need or simply want. But pretty much the same basics as onshore, except more compact.

4-what is the monthly/annual cost of sailboat ownership? Depends where you keep the boat, some Marinas will be mega bucks, other places may be cheaper some may require a commute to shore by dinghy - and some places don't like folks living aboard 24/7.

5-seeing as I have never sailed befor, where can I get sailing instruction for cheap or where are good resorses for beginners? Yacht / Sailing Club (I would be surprised if the Navy didn't have a few options), dock mates - even if you start as crew on someone else's boat.

6-I can't think of anything else right now but I am sure there is much more. So if you have any other hints, tips, info or what have you please let me know. Keep reading CF and maybe read the thread in my signature..........very easy to buy a lot of someone else's problems......

Thank you and I am looking forward to join the sailing community!
Welcome to CF

The above question (and similar) gets asked a lot here. Which is a polite way of saying do a search - lots of good info to be had.
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Old 22-12-2011, 16:21   #3
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Re: Testing the waters

Perhaps there is a place where you can go and talk to local owners, have a look at many types of boats, get some sort of 'I like this, I do not want that ' attitude?

There is no way to tell what kind/type of boat one might want/like. Trying and erring is mostly the way ahead.

Maybe, when you buy your first boat, you can look for something decent that sells in the market well too. Should you find it is not what you want, you will sell and buy the real thing then.

My 2 cents.
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Old 22-12-2011, 16:50   #4
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Re: Testing the waters

Well, as DOJ said, do a little searching through the archives on the forum. Your question is probably one of the most frequently asked and you will find lots and lots of good information in previous threads.

But, as Barnakiel pointed out, someone else can't tell you what kind of boat is right for you. Almost like asking strangers on a forum what kind of wife you should marry.

Also, the whole process of picking a boat should start with budget. How much to you have or want to spend. Don't forget that buying a used boat is just the bare start of spending money. Depending on the condition of the boat, your skills and the costs for local work, it could cost as much or more than the purchase price to get the boat ready to go.

A few suggestions.

If a boat seems like a really cheap deal be careful. It could be a desperate seller that needs money or it could be a boat with serious structural problems. Some things that could cost more than the value of the boat to fix: bulkheads separated from the hull and deck, rotten or delaminated core in the hull or deck, hull deck joint leaking or separating, boat that has been sunk and all the wiring corroded and the plywood soaked.

Some very expensive things but probably worth fixing if you get a good deal on the boat: new engine, new rigging wire, new sails, bad teak decks.

Be careful of wooden boats if you aren't a carpenter and don't know boats in general.
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Old 25-12-2011, 20:14   #5
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Re: Testing the waters

Thanks for all the replies your input is much appreciated. I have been doing as much research as is humanly possible but it seems as soon as I answer one question two more pop up. One quick question I have is; what is a good intro to sailing book? I am flying back east in a few days and thought it would be good to expand my knowledge during the flight instead of just watching a movie. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks and Merry Christmas.
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Old 25-12-2011, 20:29   #6
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Re: Testing the waters

Since you are in the Navy I suggest that you contact Fiddler's Cove Marina in Coronado. It is a Navy marina and should be able to help you with some of your questions. They also have classes on sailing and rental boats available. Also, joining Navy Yacht Club in San Diego would be another great way to get more information and make contact with others that are in the Navy and boating and/or living aboard.
Jackie
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Old 25-12-2011, 20:37   #7
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Re: Testing the waters

Thanks Jackie, I went down there the other day to just look around (being Christmas eve they were closed). It looks like a nice facility and when I get back from my holiday leave it will be one of my first stops.
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Old 26-12-2011, 02:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackiepitts
Since you are in the Navy I suggest that you contact Fiddler's Cove Marina in Coronado. It is a Navy marina and should be able to help you with some of your questions. They also have classes on sailing and rental boats available. Also, joining Navy Yacht Club in San Diego would be another great way to get more information and make contact with others that are in the Navy and boating and/or living aboard.
Jackie
I second Jackie's comment. My very first sailing instruction was at the Navy Yacht Club, that was 45years ago. I was a young Air Force guy stationed at Mt. Laguna radar site east of San Diego. Navy guys let us join the club and were great instructors. We only had to put up with mild ribbing about not being "real" sailors...grin.

Don
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Old 26-12-2011, 04:28   #9
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Re: Testing the waters

As far as sailing books are concerned, one can not really learn sailing from them. One learns sailing by, well, sailing (what else could we expect). Alas, I say read EVERYTHING sailing related: books, stories, magazines, both paper and on-line - all have their share in making us better sailors. Simply pick up whatever interests you most first - when you are genuinely interested in the aspect, you will gain a lot from what you are reading.

I liked the books written by the Dashews - they talk about many aspects - design, trim, sailing, cruising, etc..

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Old 29-12-2011, 20:47   #10
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One of the best decisions we've made is to join a sailing club where we could learn to sail with other people and try out a number of boats and configurations . Take a year to get acquainted with sailing before you invest the time and money of owning a boat.
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