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Old 12-07-2017, 15:08   #1
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Thumbs up New and looking forward to the adventure

Recently stumbled upon sailing and was shocked at the low entry cost (that is possible). In my area I am finding several 22' to 25' boats that are in the $2000 to $5000 price range. Now I assume like anything, you get what you pay for. I also subscribe to the thought that some times you can find a good deal.

All that said, the wife and I are wanting to get into sailing. Initial plans are simply to learn to sail at the local lakes and potentially (have to have a dream, right?!) do some sailing in the Caribbean. I absolutely understand that is not in the near future and we have a lot to learn and (more importantly) experience.

In the interim we spent this last weekend on our friends 30' boat getting our first trip on a sailboat and we had a blast.

I am currently looking at a few boats, but really not sure what I should even be looking for. Of course I have scoured the internet, however we all know that does not qualify me to be an expert enough on boats. I figure if I purchase a lemon and I am only out a few grand I can live with that. Unfortunately I have found out that the lake we wanted to slip (or moore) at does not have any availability. I don't think the wife would be too keen on trailer'ing every time we want to take the boat out. So, perhaps this is a good thing as it will force me to wait to purchase.

Now to my question, how does one get experience sailing BEFORE they own a boat? How do you find out what you like, dislike, etc if you don't have a boat to gain experience from?

Obviously I am excited and want to dive into this, however I am not sure I'll be able to get a boat this year simply as I wouldn't have a place to slip at. That said I'd still like to get some sailing in.

Open to input and advice.
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Old 12-07-2017, 16:28   #2
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

Welcome to the forum, and to sailing. Yes sailing can be cheap, but like most addictions it will cost most if not all your money;-) But don't worry, it's worth it.
As to your question, learn on Opb.(other people's boats)
That includes, courses, yacht clubs, crewing for races or deliveries, walking the docks with beer(many sailors will take you out if you share)
Or you can buy a cheap boat, hope it floats and teach yourself.
Lots of options, just remember to be safe, and keep it fun.
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Old 12-07-2017, 17:06   #3
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

Welcome aboard! Actually buying a boat is the least expensive part sometimes! It's the maintenance, repairs/refits and slip fees that will demand a healthy cash flow. For now stay small and simple. As long as there are no slips, yes, get out there with other people, but I'd also look for a small FUN boat that both you and your wife can learn on. The dream will be far more realistic if you are both excited about it. Personally I think it is better to learn alone in a small boat where you can make lots of mistakes and no one is there to yell at you
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Old 12-07-2017, 19:00   #4
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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Personally I think it is better to learn alone in a small boat where you can make lots of mistakes and no one is there to yell at you
Honestly, I think this is whats going to have to work for this season. I found a deal on a little 1969 21' MacGreggor. The boats looks to be inn good shape and I can get it cheap. Without having a place to slip the boat, is that too much of a PIA to trailer each time you want to go sailing?
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Old 12-07-2017, 19:18   #5
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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Originally Posted by kerrycorcoran View Post
Honestly, I think this is whats going to have to work for this season. I found a deal on a little 1969 21' MacGreggor. The boats looks to be inn good shape and I can get it cheap. Without having a place to slip the boat, is that too much of a PIA to trailer each time you want to go sailing?
Oh! You said the 'M' word Many will tell you if you set foot in a Mac you will die before you untie the dock lines. We owned a 26' Mac for many years and sailed it all over Alaska and can tell you first hand they will take more punishment than most people with 'real' sailboats can handle. They are inexpensive to buy, cheap to maintain and cheap to operate; And will hold their resale value quite well. Buy a used one and try it out for the rest of the season. Rigging and de-rigging for trailering will teach you a lot about rigging and how it affects the sailing characteristics along with different variations with centre boards, rudders, ballast etc. There are quite a few trailerable boats out here but there are a ton of Macs. Check out the owners forum masgregorsailors dot com for unbiased opinions. Most Mac owners are fully aware of the limitations of their boats and will tell you truthfully. Good luck.
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Old 12-07-2017, 19:34   #6
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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Oh! You said the 'M' word Many will tell you if you set foot in a Mac you will die before you untie the dock lines.
Funny you mention that - local folks had said similar but had not had any experience on them personally.

Only thing that concerned me the most about Mac's is that I heard they are more difficult to sail - is that accurate?
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Old 12-07-2017, 21:39   #7
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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Originally Posted by kerrycorcoran View Post
Funny you mention that - local folks had said similar but had not had any experience on them personally.

Only thing that concerned me the most about Mac's is that I heard they are more difficult to sail - is that accurate?
There is a little more to think about (rudders, centerboard, outboard, ballast 4 things outside a normal sailboat; propwalk, multiple systems, bottom paint, expensive haulouts etc are a non issue) they are more tender in that they go over quicker but firm up around 20 degrees. The later models have positive floatation and won't sink and the vanishing stability is around 180 degrees (they'll stand up if you lay them flat on the water). Biggest advantage is maneuverability in the harbour. With a centerboard, rudders and an outboard you can spin in circles. No slip fees and good resale they're a great way to get into a mid sized boat you can weekend or do some longer coastal cruising with very little risk. Overall if you can trailer, rig, launch and sail a Mac you'll be doing really good and know if you want to continue. We've moved on since our family grew but we had a great time on our Mac and don't regret getting it, or selling it for that matter.
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Old 13-07-2017, 06:48   #8
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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Overall if you can trailer, rig, launch and sail a Mac you'll be doing really good and know if you want to continue.
That's what I am trying to understand. Is it too much work to setup/breakdown a 21' Mac each time you want to go out (for this season)?
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Old 13-07-2017, 07:58   #9
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Re: New and looking forward to the adventure

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That's what I am trying to understand. Is it too much work to setup/breakdown a 21' Mac each time you want to go out (for this season)?
On average we were taking 45 to rig, de-rig but that included full enclosure/dodger/bikini frame, and slipped all summer so it got put away fairly well. If we were day sailing and launching I'd say 20 mins from arriving to motoring away with the tow vehicle parked (2 people). Most running rigging and furler can remain in place while trailering. I'd go on the owners forum and see if there's anyone in your area that will take you out, I'm almost certain there will be.
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