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Old 22-06-2008, 17:31   #1
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FNG - in California

Hello to the Cruiser Forum. I am an FNG, what otherwise might be known as a "Newbie." FNG may not need translation for some of you, but apply your imagination...

I am new to the forum, but also new to sailing. I have sailed some, but consider myself a landlubber. I recently started taking sailing lessons out in Marina DelRay, California, but, as luck would have it, on the evening of the first basic keelboat lesson, I had an accident on my motorcycle sustaining a fractured left wrist. Surgery followed, and now I am facing Carpal Tunnel surgery this week, so my sailing is suspended for a couple of months or more.

I fully intend to take the full gamut of sailing and navigation courses before deciding on a boat purchase, but would welcome advice and counseling.

Here is the background: I am 74 (God, that's old!), but pretty agile for those advanced years. Last year I rode my R1150GSA from here in Phoenix to Ushuaia, Argentina and back---27000 miles and 5 months. I am a retired USAF and airline pilot, so sailing principles are not entirely foreign.

I am expecting to regain full strength and agility in my wrist, after which I will take up the courses again, but, I am going to buy a sailboat of some type and size (after completing the sailing courses), and need counseling.

I want something I can learn to single hand, but that is big enough to stay aboard for extended periods. I probably will opt for something in the San Diego area, as it is but 6 hours drive. I plan to stay aboard for the hot season in Phoenix---June through October---with short trips back to Phoenix from time to time (yes, by road or airline!).

I eventually want to do coastal cruising, as SoCal sailing is not particularly interesting, they tell me. My Dear Wife is not much of an outdoor lady, and will probably not be aboard for the majority of the time, and will be a limited crew member at best.

I am currently interested in Beneteaus, from 37 to 47 feet, and will likely buy used rather than new, but want a recent boat, as I am not one for doing lots of maintenance, and plan to have most of it done by experts.

Am I completely crazy, or is this dream attainable at my age? I don't have that many years left, and need to get this show on the road before it is too damned late. I would like to sail the Florida and Carribean at some point, but that is way way down the road, especially if I start out on the West Coast.

I am not completely naive, and realize that things are not usually as they seem, so I have a lot to learn about sail boats and sailing. I remember that the two happiest days in a man's life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it...

I welcome any and all comments and advice. I hope this opening gambit has not been boring or otherwise a waste of your time.

Thanks,

Ron Weinert
Boldrider
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:46   #2
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Hi FNG..Yup, we know what it means..

Plenty of pilots here, including yours truly.

Not sure you need to start with a 37 to 47 feet boat.
Smaller is better in many cases. No extra points for having a big boat, unless you have a big family and plan to cart them around all the time, otherwise you pay mucho extra for sailing the same wind on the same ocean on a boat that may not leave the dock that often becuase she is too big to ease out of the slip on a moments notice.
(Thrust me on this, I flew 747s for 20 years, and my first boat was a 44 footer, now I am doing 33.)

For singlehanding and for 1st boat, I would choose a 30' something.

I happen to have a friend that is selling a well maintained 30' sloop in San Diego..It is not listed yet, but he spent lots of money on the boat and never sailed it, then came to Fort Lauderdale and bought a Tayana 37 and spending even more money on it for a future retirement cruise a few years down the road.

If you would like to sniff at the 30 footer in San Diego, let me know and I will get all the details.
That being said, I don't make a dime on the deal, but I told my friend who owns the San Diego boat that he can not have 2 God,s, 2 wife,s or 2 boat,s, too complicated, therefore the San Diego boat have to go, especially as these folks live on the East Coast in Virgina and the new boat is in Florida...
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Old 22-06-2008, 19:48   #3
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FNG

Thanks, CSY Man. These are the kinds of comments and advice that will help.
I want something comfortable for the Dear Wife, yet easily handled. It appears that a 47 or even a 42 may be more than one FNG can comfortably handle, and docking is certainly not the least of the challenges.

Years ago, I looked at a Nor'sea 27, and since my last post, I discovered they are still in business. That is a nice little sloop, and I could probably sail it without great distress, yet, with the aft cabin model, Mom could have some measure of comfort, at least for a week or two aboard. But, it is more toward the "camping on the water" side of sailing than on the luxury yacht side.

Yes, I would be interested in learning more about your friend's boat.

BTW, you didn't fly for NWA did you? That's where I wound up. Retired out of HNL after being bumped off the whale in LAX.

Thanks again for the comments.

rw
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:38   #4
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Quote:
Am I completely crazy, or is this dream attainable at my age?
You might be but it may not disqualify you. You could be an expert sailor and still be crazy so there is that risk. I think the suggestion of starting with something smaller would help you get going quicker but it's been done without it. You can learn to single hand a smaller boat sooner and once you learn a smaller boat going to a bigger boat only seems strange a short period of time. Length is but one factor since weight and displacement change the dynamics of a boat as much as length.

A 27 to 30 ft boat is going to feel comfortable yet not have all the room that you might want for hauling lots of stuff. If you want to sail extended periods you need to haul lots of weight. Fuel and water do count. This aspect is not unlike planes. At the 30 something level you are getting into the sizes commonly considered for cruising.

22 ft keel boats make a great way to start as they act like a bigger boat but of course are quicker to the response of your actions. You learn quicker that way. Many instructors like to use them to teach beginners. If you plan on taking some courses then I'm sure you can find many places in San Diego. Some offer a course where you live on the boat.
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Old 22-06-2008, 20:52   #5
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I almost hate to mention this but have you thought of a Trawler type power boat. Much easier to handle, more room and probably much less chance of re-injuring your wrist. As we get older we don't heal so quickly; you may have noticed.
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Old 22-06-2008, 21:12   #6
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BTW, you didn't fly for NWA did you? That's where I wound up. Retired out of HNL after being bumped off the whale in LAX.
Nah, not NWA..Had 19 flying jobs and still counting. Been with a few Ch. 11s and 7s and been furloughed a few times.
Flew the whale for 4 different firms, now doing glass work on the light twins 757/767.

Ah boats, yeah it is probably better to start with small vessels and as the learning curve on sailing and maintenance goes up, you could always move up if the desire and the bank account is there.
I am content with my 33 foot cruiser and have no plans to change.
( I started out driving super-tankers as a teenager, been downsizing ever since...)

Some suggest getting a stink-potter, maybe not a bad idea, but kind of boring and with the fuel prices way up, ya need yer own gas station to go anywhere under power...

When ya are ready to retire and ready to park the motorcycle and the sailboat, then ya get a car and a powerboat...
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Old 22-06-2008, 21:47   #7
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Thanks to all for the input. I am going to consider a smaller vessel as a first (and probably last) boat. You have all been very informative, courteous, and helpful.
rw
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Old 22-06-2008, 23:54   #8
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Hey boldrider - You sound like a nutter. And that's cool. I will be coming through LA 2 times in July. My brother sails out of Long Beach. If you are interested in a daysail PM me. We will definitely be getting out on the water.

I have an ulterior motive. He doesn't sail enough and I am trying to get him more connected to it.
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Old 23-06-2008, 01:18   #9
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Day Sail

Dan: Thanks for the invitation. I am definitely interested, but it all depends on this GD wrist. I have surgery again this Thursday, and do not know how the recovery is going to go. This is for Carpal Tunnel, result of earlier placement of pins and plate. Might be a bit soon for real strains, but I will hope some semblance of normalcy, and might be able to make it. Will advise...

rw
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Old 23-06-2008, 01:32   #10
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BR - no problem. The dates most likely will be July 19-20 and Aug 2-3.

Any other board members interested send a PM. I like a full boat with interesting characters - LOL.
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Old 26-06-2008, 20:18   #11
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Old 10-07-2008, 13:10   #12
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Aloha RW,
Welcome aboard! Glad you're still sailing. I'd certainly recommend no larger than 36 LOD, fiberglass, diesel, cutter rigged and aft cockpit. I'm a bit junior in comparison and find those boats much easier to handle with smaller sails than the big ones.
Kind regards,
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Old 10-07-2008, 13:28   #13
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Hi Boldrider, welcome. I took my first sailing class last Fall and I've been doing classes and charters since then. It sounds like you want a fairly luxurious sailboat that you can singlehand. Maybe a Beneteau 323? They are pretty elegant below decks and pretty managable at 32'. I've seen a few for sale in Dana Point and San Diego. Everyone's opinion on the right boat differs, of course.
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