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Old 14-05-2014, 10:53   #1
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I Would Love Some Input

Hi guys! So I'm brand new here, and to sailing in general. I have been doing some reading on getting started, but am a bit confused. I'm trying to figure out what kind of sailboat to look for, that would be good for learning on but also something I could enjoy for a long weekend out on the lakes. Is there any kind of boat, or reading material anyone could recommend me to help me out?

I really want to make a transatlantic voyage one day, but I realize I probably won't have the same boat as what I start with for that...


Thanks in advance! Hope to hear from you guys soon!
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:19   #2
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Welcome to the forum.
Your question is very broad - there are hundreds of boats that can suit your needs to learn and a occasional weekend trip.
Start with a budget - how much can you spend on your first boat? I would start with a 24-27 feet. Make sure you include the upkeep - such as maintenance, marina fess or the price of a trailer. Do a bit of homework by looking at the classifieds and decide how much you are willing to spend. Then can back and ask us again...
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:46   #3
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Welcome Landlocked!

One of the best ways you can decide what kind of boat you are interested in is to go on a lot of boats. Joining a racing crew can be helpful in gaining skills (yes, they will take novices, as long as you don't mind sitting in the rail). Chartering boats for a day or longer can be useful too. Taking some lessons would be useful too. And just start looking at boats that are for sale. Boat shows are unrealistic in terms of price, but useful for thinking about types of boats. There are always used versions of boats just like the ones at boat shows. Focus on a sailboat only show if you plan to sail. A good size to start with is 19-23 feet; small enough to handle in terms of finance and being forgiving, but large enough to get out and cruise! We traveled all over the west coast of Florida in a cheap Morgan 22, then moved up eventually. Lots of those long weekends you're talking about! Catalina 22s are very popular, therefore lots are around, and prices and parts are reasonable. Something like that might be good. But there are lots of good, small choices. If you want a small blue water boat, consider a Flicka or Vancouver 25. Real, true cruisers.

Enjoy shopping! And report back on your progress.
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Old 14-05-2014, 12:17   #4
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Welcome to the forum, please be advised that you will receive far more input than needed or wanted. Some of it will even be valid. Anyway enjoy, there is a lot of expertise here and people willing to share it. It would help if you could put some narrower parameters of what you want. The problem is the options available are so wide and varied .
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Old 14-05-2014, 12:52   #5
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

If you are landlocked,, then you will probably be restricted to lake sailing to start. An open boat like a lightening or a smaller one design about 14-17 feet would be a good starter boat that has both main and head sail, performs well so you know when you are not getting the best out of her and at a reasonable cost. Join a club and offer to crew on several boats as an introduction. Choose one that you really enjoy sailing on then look for a used one and begin match racing as soon as you can. You will learn more about sailing by competitive racing than any other way... you will be on a vertical learning curve. Charter a few larger boats after you have got a couple of sailing courses under your belt and build your sailing resume and experience. You might want to crew on a transPac or transAtlantic if you can to get the feel for performance sailing in blue water before you make the jump yourself. I would give myself about 5 years from a standing start to gain sufficient experience and confidence to begin safe passagemaking on your own. Phil
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Old 14-05-2014, 23:19   #6
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I apologies for being so vague, just wasn't very sure where or what to start with. I guess a good place to start would be, what type of boat is good for a fresh beginner, a dinghy? A... Yawl? Etc... Are all dinghys and smaller boat completely open? Or do some have a cabin and galley? And what's the benefits of the different keel sizes, I mean what do they do? Thanks again everyone!
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Old 15-05-2014, 00:42   #7
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Im not trying to be a smartass, but I really think you should start at your local library, and read some starter sailing books ! So you will feel more comfortable asking questions about a something so broadly different for almost all of us, sailing, and which is the best of anything from anchors to knots, and on and on ! There's many racers, weekenders, liveaboards, and long range cruisers on this great foram! and ya will get a lot of great responses, but folks do have a habit of messin with folks !! In a nice way !! LOL, But it's hard to ask questions when ya don't know anything! a book or two will sure help ya a bunch !! Have fun we always do !!
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Old 15-05-2014, 00:55   #8
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Hi Landlocked307,

We learnt by buying a 21' trailer sailor and you can take it with you to where ever you cant go on a keel yacht. Great in lakes.

Easy to maintain and usually cost less. Find out how the wind really works on boat and sails and as you feel confident, move up in size.

Worked for us and works almost everywhere.

Derek
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Old 15-05-2014, 01:25   #9
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

You could even start smaller, in the 15 ft. range, or 5 m. if where you are you're metrified.
My husband Jim's first boat was a 15 ft. O'Day, a daysailer. Starting small limits your financial losses. Others start with small Hobie Cats. Pick one that fits who you are today (parts will change, but your core doesn't), and start learning.

Enjoy,

Ann
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Old 15-05-2014, 02:20   #10
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

You're asking great questions.

The keel keeps the boat from being pushed sideways by the wind, basically. I'm sure a physicist would answer that with more detail! Different shapes do the job differently, some better than others. You can have a centerboard that does the same thing. Also, the keel is weighted in a big boat (usually), keeping you from tipping over when the wind pushes on the sails. Keels are also good depth finders, if you run aground. I should say, *when* you run aground! since we all do or will.

It sounds like you are a fresh novice, which is awesome as you get to learn all the fun parts! I also recommend a trip to the library, and most definite lessons. Are you '307' because you are Wyoming? That might help us give recommendations. You can always combine a trip so somewhere with lessons if you don't have any locally. Like here:

Vacation Rentals, Vacation Cottages and Homes, Sailboat Rentals, Florida Keys, Key Largo, Key Lime Sailing Club

One of my favorite sailing dives!

Take some lessons, read up, check out magazines. Think about something like a small trailer sailer, or a Compac 19' which has a small cabin. Small is beautiful for beginners.
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Old 15-05-2014, 21:27   #11
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by jangann View Post
You're asking great questions.

The keel keeps the boat from being pushed sideways by the wind, basically. I'm sure a physicist would answer that with more detail! Different shapes do the job differently, some better than others. You can have a centerboard that does the same thing. Also, the keel is weighted in a big boat (usually), keeping you from tipping over when the wind pushes on the sails. Keels are also good depth finders, if you run aground. I should say, *when* you run aground! since we all do or will.

It sounds like you are a fresh novice, which is awesome as you get to learn all the fun parts! I also recommend a trip to the library, and most definite lessons. Are you '307' because you are Wyoming? That might help us give recommendations. You can always combine a trip so somewhere with lessons if you don't have any locally. Like here:

Vacation Rentals, Vacation Cottages and Homes, Sailboat Rentals, Florida Keys, Key Largo, Key Lime Sailing Club

One of my favorite sailing dives!

Take some lessons, read up, check out magazines. Think about something like a small trailer sailer, or a Compac 19' which has a small cabin. Small is beautiful for beginners.
Thanks! I took some sailing lessons last year in fort Myers, last time I was there visiting some friends. While the fort Myers beach stinks in my opinion, the gulf as a whole was beautiful especially near captiva and sanibel. The keys even more so! I wish I was still down there. I found some great deals on sailboats down there. If I knew how to sail NOW I would make a coastal waters trip from the fort Myers area, around the gulf, Panama Canal and then up the west coast to Oregon, where I am moving to next year.

And yes, the 307 is because I am in Wyoming. Most of my sailing will be done on the flaming gorge, which is about 45 minutes away for me.
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Old 19-05-2014, 08:59   #12
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

This book was super-helpful to me when I was in your shoes:

Your First Sailboat: How to Find and Sail the Right Boat for You by Daniel Spurr.

It helped me figure out what kind of boat to look for with several recomendations for specific models. After I read the book and was seriously looking for a boat, I knew what to look for, even if a particular boat for sale was not one of the ones mentioned in the book.

Now that I actually own a boat, I'm finding that the book has good tips on outfitting and sailing, too.

I also recommend these two books on evaluating the condition of used boats:

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey
Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats: A Step-by-Step Guide for Buyers and Owners by Henry Mustin

Small sailboats in good condition and low price are highly sought after, so it's good to know what you want and are able to act quickly. Don't limit yourself to a particular model and don't buy yourself an expensive and time-consuming project. Get a boat that you can use right away, even if it is not perfect.
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Old 19-05-2014, 22:11   #13
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

I talked a friend into buying a trailer sailor which needed repair. I did the repairs in exchange for leaving the boat at my place. I fixed it and used it more than he did. A win win I say. Getting off the point.
A trailer sailor you can travel where ever you want, to the best conditions at the time you have (which could be limited) we also went traveling with it using it as our caravan. Think about it it has everything a caravan has and you can go sailing
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Old 25-08-2014, 13:40   #14
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Re: I Would Love Some Input

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Did you already state that you took some lessons?
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