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Old 11-03-2015, 23:16   #1
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New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Hello,

I've enjoyed reading posts in the forums and decided to join today.

I've come to sailing from kayaking and wasn't sure how I'd like being in a bigger vessel. I love it! I'm still really new, but joined a local yacht club with a well-known Women's Sailing Seminar, am taking the USCG Sailing and Seamanship class, and have an amazing (and very patient) mentor who has had me out on his Santana 22 for races and cruising. First time out was in a major storm and by the the third I was made driver for a race -- but curiosity *far* outweighs skill most definitely for me at this point. (I'm still pondering the wind, tides, and current in a major way.)

I'm looking to buy an older (mid 70s to late 80s) 25-28' boat. I'd originally focused on a Cal, Ericson, Pearson, or Islander, but my mentor has had me look at Coronado 25s, and I can see his point (and it was looking up info on them that led me here, with some really good forum posts...thank you!).

This site is packed with incredible information, and I look forward to learning from it. (I also like that this is an international forum, as I lived in Europe when I was younger and it's nice to have perspectives from around the globe.)
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:25   #2
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, LSO.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:14   #3
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Thank you -- and my apologies for not putting my title in caps I don't see a way to edit old messages.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:23   #4
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Welcome. I am berthed in the SF delta. We are in a great sailing area. Enjoy.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:27   #5
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Hi Little Sea Otter and welcome to the forum,

By the way, I like the title better in mixed upper/lower case. Easier to read.

If you have been reading the forum you might have noticed there are several members in SF Bay including two women that I can think of who are boat owners, gamayun and sailorchic34.

There are lots of good options in 25-28' boats and with some careful research and shopping some great deals in that size range. Of course in older boats you do need to be careful that you don't buy one with serious problems but that is another area where asking on this forum can help a lot. I have a 1984 Pearson that I have been restoring and overall very happy with the quality and value.

One last warning, sailing is very seductive, one might even say addictive. Be very, very careful or you might end up hooked like the rest of us.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:46   #6
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Howdy and Welcome Aboard!

San Francisco Bay is one of the best places on the planet for sailing, so I have no doubt you will find any kind of challenge or fun you seek there. I sailed there for years and enjoyed it very much. Have fun!

Since you are new to sailing SF, and I assume you would like to learn as much as you can about sailing there. I will give you a link to a guide that is concise but helpful. It shows and tells with some good insights. It even has an itinerary for a day sail around the bay with tips on direction to go and places to see and things to do. I hope it gives you a good start. It was published by "Latitude 38" the local sailing rag (magazine) that has long been a source for good stuff related to sailing in the SF Bay. I wish I had seen it when I first started sailing in San Francisco Bay.

http://www.latitude38.com/features/BaySailingGuide.pdf
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"Little Sea Otter" would be a nice name for a small boat.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:01   #7
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

The Coronado 25 is a roomy little boat. Of course they are getting quite long in the teeth at this point, but are almost free also! They sail pretty well too. Have fun.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:33   #8
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Welcome. In addition to Latitude 38, you should buy, read and reread Kimball Livingston's great book Sailing The Bay. It explains just about everything you ever wanted to know and is a fun read, too. He used to be the SF Chronicle's waterfront reporter until the paper (and The City for that matter) turned its back on the waterfront. Probably a good thing The City did, since if they touched it they'd screw it up.

We've sailed a Catalina 22 (5 years), Catalina 25 (12 years) and our current C34 (16+ years) on The Bay, The Delta and the ocean.

The Santana 22 was actually designed specifically to race on The Bay. Great boats. You could do a LOT better than a Coronado. Nice roomy old boats, but the waterline is a lot shorter than most other 25 foot boats.

Your boat, your choice.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:46   #9
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Welcome aboard Little Sea Otter.
Another one here in the SF Bay area (Vallejo). If you do buy an older boat, take along one of locals (if willing) to check out the boat. There are a lot of little things to look for.

i.e. The Cals are nice strong boats but some have a hidden problem under the compression post. Some Ericsons were having a core problem, and so on. So, do your research as you get interested in each make. And you've come to a great place for resources here on the CF (Cruisers Forum, not Calif #'s).
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:22   #10
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Thank you all so much! I really appreciate all the tips, recommendations, and links.

I am approaching the boat purchase with great caution, as you've all indicated, and taking my friend who has sailed as his life and went to the Maritime Academy with me. Before we looked at a boat, he took me to Svendson's Boatyard to show me the underside world of boats. I've also been helping him with some maintenance on his Santana because I want to know what's entailed. Very valuable learning!

I'll definitely read all that you've suggested. One of my closest friend's dad was a sea captain based here and he wrote pieces on running aground and working the windin the Bay. I'll read those too.

As for becoming addicted to sailing, too late! I'm already there.

Again, thank you!
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Old 12-03-2015, 16:10   #11
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleSeaOtter View Post
Before we looked at a boat, he took me to Svendson's Boatyard to show me the underside world of boats. I've also been helping him with some maintenance on his Santana because I want to know what's entailed. Very valuable learning!
I would be extremely happy to further assist in your learning process. I have a 42' Pearson that still needs some wiring, plumbing and rigging work. This would be a great opportunity for you to get some in depth, hands on experience with boats.

I'll even let you change the oil in my engine, rebuild a seacock, install a new joker valve in the head and if you're feeling really ambitious, you can help clean an oily bilge.

Of course in the spirit of being helpful I wouldn't charge you a cent for the privilege.
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Old 12-03-2015, 16:47   #12
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Hey that's where I grew up and learned to sail too! Maybe if you let us know what kind of sailing you'd like to do we could help you with tips on boats! Do you want to try to get into some racing, cruising around the bay or venture out of the bay a bit? The boat I have now is of the breed that was born in a dance hall in Palo Alto in 1959 and was first launched in Redwood City. For that and many other sea-worthy reasons I am quite partial to her, the Columbia 29. But I'd say look farther back in any case, like mine, into the 60s, because there were many fine boats, very well made and many so dearly loved that they are still in good shape.. and they can be real bargains (even better than 70s boats in many cases.) If you can find a Columbia 24 or 26 MK1 from the mid 60s, they are sturdy, roomy, sail well and are easy to handle. I used to take my Columbia 24 out in all conditions around the Channel Islands and never worried about the boat's security. It was roomy enough to cruise with but nimble enough to sail into and out of anchorages. But I think, no matter which kind of boat you prefer, that it's important to find a boat you can love, not just like. There has been some debate here about whether it is ok to love an inanimate object, but I suspect you know what I mean. Good luck, keep us posted and welcome!
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Old 12-03-2015, 20:00   #13
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

That's a funny story about the Columbia, especially as I'm in Redwood City right now and work mostly in Palo Alto. I'll keep that boat in mind!

Because I'm a beginner, I'm looking at cruising around the Bay at this point. I'd like an entry-level well-loved and well cared-for boat on which I can learn to sail and learn at least basic maintenance. I would like to race, but I can race with others who have more appropriate boats at this point while I'm learning.

I also plan to stay overnight on the boat when I work late because I live pretty far from Palo Alto. That would be 2-3 nights a week at most, but it's a factor that has led me to roomier cabins than I'd consider otherwise. At 4'11", however, headroom is thankfully not a problem in many models (although I keep banging my head inside the Santana 22).

I'd also like to be able to take up to 5 other people out with me to go cruising.

The comment on the 60s boats is interesting because I don't want to invest a lot initially while I'm learning, and fiberglass seems to wear fairly well, from what I've heard and read. I'm a professional musician, and, to me, a boat seems very much (if not identical) to an instrument: we want a solid, inexpensive instrument to start with and then we invest more and trade up as we become more proficient. At least, that's how it appears to me at this stage. I am perhaps totally naive, however!

Thank you all again for your help. Much appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2015, 23:35   #14
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

You might find this article interesting: Columbia 29: Lawrence Walters Memories - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage, as the first builder relates his story. Most of the fiberglass boats built in the 60s have a very good reputation for strong, solid hulls. I actually prefer mine to the majority of boats from 70s and 80s. In the beginning the boat builders were not sure how strong fiberglass was so they overbuilt by today's standards, which means the built correctly by my standards. Take a look at Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org and Atom Voyages - Home for some great info, advice and tips on proven boats. The Sailboat Fanatics' Favourite Information Resource is also a nice site for info. Personally I'd look for a boat like the early Columbia 26 MK1. A Pearson Ariel is also a good choice. The Columbia will be roomier and has a separate head compartment. Those boats can be found with inboards and they have the outboard well too. I prefer the outboard in the well with a cut-out in the transom to allow the engine to be lifted up. Next in line would be a little diesel and last the gasoline engine the Atomic 4. In fact I'd rather go engineless than have an inboard gas engine, but that is me. You will probably get a million boat recommendations, but many folks assume the older boats must not be so good, so new buyers avoid them and thus they often can be had for very little. They can be real bargains! Early Columbias, Pearsons and Islanders all share much of the same build quality and handling traits. For ME, I am cruising around the Channel Islands so I can find a wide variety of conditions, and I have kids, so I like a boat that can handle most anything and do it comfortably and be kind of fast for its breed. And not too big! So for me the 29 is a perfect fit, right now. I don't have any keel bolts, the keel is molded with the hull. I like that. The rudder is hung on the keel which means I don't worry about the rudder being snagged or damaged at ALL. I can sail over crab pot buoys and kelp and not care about them at all. While my long keel is graceful and beautiful, I won't win any races up against fin keels and spade rudders. But I am fine with that. Sailing around the bay, it may be nice to have a boat like this so you don't have to worry about the keel or rudder if you find yourself in shallow water stuck in the mud. Others of this vintage have keels "cut away" forward which means they have the benefits of long keels but will turn a little quicker. One thing I will grant the critics: my boat doesn't turn very quick, compared to modern hulls. Anyway when you see a boat that catches your eye let us know and we'll give you LOTS of pointers on it!
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Old 13-03-2015, 00:02   #15
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Re: New member and new sailor from SF Bay Area

Welcome!

You might look at Catalina 27s too. That's a deceptively roomy boat, I know at least one liveaboard.
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