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Old 24-08-2015, 20:50   #1
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Boat: In the market for one
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Hello All

Greetings - I'm a new registrant to this forum. I came across it tonight while doing one of my MANY Internet searches for a sailboat. I've recently earned my Cansail Level 2 at the Fanshawe Yacht Club in London, Ontario and have the use of a Mirage 24 on Lake Erie. I've been out on Erie now 3 times, the first with our instructor and the second two times with other recent grads of the course. All I can say is....I'm HOOKED!!

In about 2 years, when my daughter graduates university, I'll actually have some disposable income again lol and have decided that I want - no, want isn't right - I NEED to buy a boat. Talking with a few more seasoned sailors at our local marinas, I've been told a few times that a Catalina 30 (or more) Tall Rig is my best bet. I've no interest at all in racing and the intent is to essentially use a boat as a cottage on water, affording my wife and I the ability to leisurely travel all over the Great Lakes or even beyond, should we gain the right experience to do so. Now I've learned enough at this point to know I have not learned nearly enough. But here's what I have figured out so far...

1. The boat can't be too big
2. There are times in life to be cheap. Buying a boat isn't one of them.
3. NEVER buy a boat without a very recent survey.
4. Take your time and get the boat you want, not necessarily the one that's in front of you.
5. Education, education and more education is key to actually enjoying boating, gained by training through courses and hands on experience.

If I've missed anything, please let me know. I'm very interested in advice from those of you who have gone through the process of getting a boat and about the pitfalls you encountered. In terms of training, I will be taking the basic navigation course this winter through the Canadian Power Squadron to start with and then further courses based on their recommendations.

So does anyone agree with the Catalina Tall Rig suggestion or are there others that merit attention?
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Old 24-08-2015, 20:59   #2
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Hello All

I have good friends with a Catalina 30, excellent place to start. There are web sites with almost every conceivable replacement part, talk about easy.

Very spacious, maybe not quite as much as a more modern 30' floating cottage, but trade off is that it sails pretty well, and that it will probably hit a budget number, if you have thought of that yet.

As you say - survey is critical - better if it is your surveyor - and best if done while you are present.

Also keep your eyes open, don't get fixated, keep looking in your price range and size, and you may stumble upon something you love even more.


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Old 25-08-2015, 00:59   #3
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Re: Hello All

Welcome aboard Jaguar001.

Nice post.

Something you didn't mention, which I think is key, is whether you are a fix it yourself kind of guy. If you are not, you need to budget more $$, because all the marine specialists you will hire if you need to run around $100/hr plus or minus a little. So , money for the dream may be more or less critical for you.

The Catalina should get you started. I personally would not count on circumnavigating in it, but for summer sailing in your area, why not give it a go? If later on, you want something sturdier, you can upgrade.

Ann
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Old 25-08-2015, 03:43   #4
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Re: Hello All

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jaguar.
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:20   #5
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Re: Hello All

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jman View Post
I have good friends with a Catalina 30, excellent place to start. There are web sites with almost every conceivable replacement part, talk about easy.

Very spacious, maybe not quite as much as a more modern 30' floating cottage, but trade off is that it sails pretty well, and that it will probably hit a budget number, if you have thought of that yet.

As you say - survey is critical - better if it is your surveyor - and best if done while you are present.

Also keep your eyes open, don't get fixated, keep looking in your price range and size, and you may stumble upon something you love even more.


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Good advice. Thank you
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:33   #6
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Re: Hello All

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Welcome aboard Jaguar001.

Nice post.

Something you didn't mention, which I think is key, is whether you are a fix it yourself kind of guy. If you are not, you need to budget more $$, because all the marine specialists you will hire if you need to run around $100/hr plus or minus a little. So , money for the dream may be more or less critical for you.

The Catalina should get you started. I personally would not count on circumnavigating in it, but for summer sailing in your area, why not give it a go? If later on, you want something sturdier, you can upgrade.

Ann
Thank you for your response. In my younger days (I'm 54) I worked as a Journeyman carpenter for a few years. I still hold the papers but haven't made a living at it since I was in my late 20's, so I would say yes I am a pretty handy type. That said, I have long since abandoned the notion that there is dignity in perspiration and dirt and even less money typically. My main concern is avoiding regret in what I buy and furthering my initial thoughts that one does not want to be cheap when buying (and by extension, maintaining) a boat, when it comes to ensuring it is safe and operating in good condition, I'll let the experts earn their living! In other words, I'm quite happy to fix and maintain the easier things but when a pro is better suited to the job, I have no problem paying them to do it.

I live in London, Ontario but having visited most of the marinas in the area, when I buy a boat I'll most likely keep it in Sarnia, Ontario. I am much more impressed with the facilities available there for about the same pricing, and it also affords an easier ability to make stops at U.S. ports in our travels. This being said, it is also about 30 minutes further from home so things like removing the boat and preping it for winter are something I'll simply call down and say "I'm finished for the season. Do your thing and here's the card number!" I'm looking for an enjoyable retirement, not a new way to work!
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:50   #7
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Re: Hello All

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar001 View Post
Thank you for your response. In my younger days (I'm 54) I worked as a Journeyman carpenter for a few years. I still hold the papers but haven't made a living at it since I was in my late 20's, so I would say yes I am a pretty handy type. That said, I have long since abandoned the notion that there is dignity in perspiration and dirt and even less money typically. My main concern is avoiding regret in what I buy and furthering my initial thoughts that one does not want to be cheap when buying (and by extension, maintaining) a boat, when it comes to ensuring it is safe and operating in good condition, I'll let the experts earn their living! In other words, I'm quite happy to fix and maintain the easier things but when a pro is better suited to the job, I have no problem paying them to do it.

I live in London, Ontario but having visited most of the marinas in the area, when I buy a boat I'll most likely keep it in Sarnia, Ontario. I am much more impressed with the facilities available there for about the same pricing, and it also affords an easier ability to make stops at U.S. ports in our travels. This being said, it is also about 30 minutes further from home so things like removing the boat and preping it for winter are something I'll simply call down and say "I'm finished for the season. Do your thing and here's the card number!" I'm looking for an enjoyable retirement, not a new way to work!
Jag, you might be misunderstanding an element of boating, and that is that good help can be very difficult to find.
Yard workers in Sarnia are going to have very short employment seasons (4 months), so you're not going to find a lot of professional help. The yardies will be mostly kids and other people who are okay with living on $14000/ year wages plus maybe another $10k or so on pogey. There are some pros, but there time is at a serious premium and its not unusual to have to wait months for a work order to be completed.

You wouldn't be the first person to say you were going to hire somebody to winterise your engine, but found yourself driving out through a blizzard to winterise your own engine because the yard didn't keep up their end of the bargain.

I agree, Sarnia is probably your best place to keep a boat, unless you can find a slip in Port Stanley.

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Old 25-08-2015, 07:15   #8
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Re: Hello All

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Jag, you might be misunderstanding an element of boating, and that is that good help can be very difficult to find.
Yard workers in Sarnia are going to have very short employment seasons (4 months), so you're not going to find a lot of professional help. The yardies will be mostly kids and other people who are okay with living on $14000/ year wages plus maybe another $10k or so on pogey. There are some pros, but there time is at a serious premium and its not unusual to have to wait months for a work order to be completed.

You wouldn't be the first person to say you were going to hire somebody to winterise your engine, but found yourself driving out through a blizzard to winterise your own engine because the yard didn't keep up their end of the bargain.

I agree, Sarnia is probably your best place to keep a boat, unless you can find a slip in Port Stanley.

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Is this a typical thing or an exception?
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