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Old 09-09-2005, 20:23   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast & Alaska
Boat: Jeanneau SO37-37ft.-Sun Dog
Posts: 139
Hi Sammy. Regarding your question regarding sailing instruction. Pick a good school. I am sure there are many, but I suggest you take one that offers lessons at a marine coastal rather than fresh water lake environments. Not that you can not get excellent instruction at an inland facility but, generally speaking, you will be exposed to more challenging situations in saltwater than in freshwater. I had good instruction a few years ago at J-World, San Diego. They use to have a web site. Probably still do. You may want to check it out. But there are others in that area that are good, too. Because of the consistently and predicatably good weather in that area, you can usually be assured that whenever time you decide to take your classes that you will have decent weather, winter or summer. Other areas of the country may offer very unpreditable weather at best. This may be an important consideration if you are still working and have to plan your vacations well in advance and have to travel long distance to find a good school on one of our coasts. That school (J-World), as well as others in the vicinity, will offer courses suited for different skill and/or interest levels. A good sailing school should offer either an ASA or US Sailing certification. Also, assuming you take one or more of these schools and you get exposed to different situations you may find that your interests may change. I would suggest that you keep your options open for the time being regarding the kind of boat you buy until you gain more experience with larger boats. In this regard, I agree wholeheartedly with the advice offered previously by others regarding crewing on other boats, etc. and gaining more experience before you put down the big $$$. For the amount of money you have budgeted you should be able to buy a decent boat. There are lots of relatively new mass production coastal cruiser capable boats in the 33 to 38 foot range that can be had fully equipped with all the "bells and whistles" in your price range. And hopefully these boats will have had a few good shakedown cruises to surface all the inevitable problems associated with purchasing a new boat and those problems hopefully would be fixed. Also, get a good survey whether or not you have to. And take the boat out for a hard sail. Often these boats were bought by folks who fully outfitted them with all the latest gizmos and then decided after a year or two or three that sailing was not their thing. These productions boats do not hold their value as well as the more expensive boats and one can get them quite inexpensively compared to what the original owner paid for the boat and all the expensive add-ons. But as I said before, keep your options open until you just "have to" buy. You may decide that what you really want to do is head out to the far horizons. In that case, you may want to get a boat built for the bluewater. Still for that money you can get a capable bluewater boat, albeit a good bit older. Good luck in your quest and in your future retirement.

S/V Sun Dog
37' Jeanneau
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Old 24-09-2005, 01:22   #17
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Posts: 12
boat ideas for living aboard

I bought my Jeanneau sun odyssey 51 1991 for the purpose of living aboard and eventually sailing to far-off ports of interest and adventure. The mast is a rolling furler, and massive. The winches are ST 66's and ST44's etc., as are the blocks big and worthy. There is alot of contraversy about whether production Beneteaus or Sun Odysseys and even the modern Hunters can handle Bluewater sailing. OK, fair question for any boat. Ask yourself this, "When was the last time you heard of one being lost in the middle of a circumnavigation?" YES, WE HERE OF BOATS BEING LOST TO THE SEA all the time, but they are all makes and models and for many differing reasons , not which the least of may be sailor experience or a lack there of.

This question is a bit like asking "car" guys who makes the most worthy 4x4 truck. You even suggest a Nissan or "other" traditionally unacceptable "man's" truck and you get an ear full.

For a better opinion(s) You need to always go back to the statistics you can find through the costguard records and all the online stats and owners groups as well as company reputations. Also important, the guys who actually own and have to live on them or deal with the law suits if something fails or has a habit of failing.

There are alot of "old-timers" out there two who will never buy a Toyota over a Chevy or Ford! Or a Range Rover over a Cadillac Esalade.

Here are some facts and some ideas to keep in mind while being bombarted with both traditional views and staunchy ..."don't rock the boat" kind of guys. And , of course, the ..." Leave well enough alone" guys who subscribe to the.. . "Change is bad! We don't like change"!!!

Most of the bigger Beneteaus and Jeanneaus( just as an example of a reasonablly priced mass produced sailboat) are sailed across the Atlantic every year by factory- paid delivery crews to be sold here in the USA or chartered etc. That is "Blue water sailing" Not a day sail near a coast When was the last time you heard of one being lost??? . Just recently a 203 or 4 ??? Hunter completed a circumnavigation of the world and was well documented by Latitude 38 magazine. The owner had the time of his life! And saild in comfort, I might add. One issue with a broken rudder that he fixed when hauled out, but nothing else and it didn't stop him from completing. Todays liability issues make manufactures try harder to produce safer boats. Latest technology allows for better designs and at cheaper manufacturing cost by mass producing the design over and over again. Most production boat use name brand, tried and tested hardware and mast makers.

Laminations are better and modern yacht designs allow for better comfort and even , dare I suggest...luxery aboard? If you plan well and watch the weather, the truth is that being out-there in the middle of the ocean is only as scary as you let it be. Most circumnavigaters will never run into a huricane and the silly fact is most cruisers spend 90% of their time either on the hook, in a marina or day sailing from one island to the next once you get across the ocean to the area you intended to get to. let's see, thats three weeks across a lot of nothingness then months of isalnd hopping and sitting on a hook, until you have to cross again.

I love my boat and it is a compromise, sure. But I am not racing, want my comfort, not afreid of the ocean and I know the dangers of a lowering ones standard of comfort and living, and what effect it can have over time.

Are there stronger boats more suitable for scary seas? Sure. But I could choose to buy and drive an armoured car to and from work every day just so I couldn't get shot at, crashed into or die if run off the road. But it would SUCK 90% of the time! Hey, how many cruisers are out there right now, and then calcualte how many have died or will be lost due to JUST their boat design?


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