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Old 22-06-2011, 17:22   #1
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I have no friends or family members who sail, so what I've been thinking about for the past year would be impossible without a forum like this. I appreciate any recommendations on which boats a 60 year old could consider. Just started taking sailing lessons last year and will continue taking more this year. I am thinking about buying a boat next year and taking lessons on it until I'm ready to go.

I like boats with the traveller and primary winches back by the helm. But I don't know when it make sense to upgrade and restore an older boat, rather than buying a newer model. I don't see many boats less than 15 years old in my budget except the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 30i.

Budget is around 40,000 for a stiff boat under 31' for safe family sailing. Sail 4 and sleep 2 is enough; no need for wide aft or aft cabins. Hull form for good stability in Lake Erie's chop, wind waves, and and severe downdrafts off thunderheads. Sails well in light winds with a powerful enough rig to drive through chop with short wave base, sharp wave faces, and close frequency. Most often used for day sailing around Cleveland, but hopefully within a few years, going to islands around shallower end of lake. Longest trip could be 70 miles across the lake to Rhondea Bay, Canada.

This is probably too much to expect in one boat, but I'd like to find a sloop with rig design and deck layout to learn solo cruising, not racing. Simple sail plan, end boom sheeting, uncluttered deck, all lines led aft. Main sheet and powerful self tailing winches within easy reach of helm. Well designed, easy to use, reefing system. Boom high enough for bimini. Self tacking or roller furling head sail. Good visibility to leeward under head sail, and all around visibility from the cockpit. High enough freeboard aft that it's not a wet sail to windward. Reliable easy to use autopilot, inboard diesel with enough power for emergencies. 6' headroom in cabin, nav table, good ventilation. Not much use of interior hull liners, good access to plumbing runs, electrical systems, and all areas of hull. Well built boat with backing plates instead of just washers on undersides of deck hardware, V ed midships to keep water down in bilge, and good lights for night sailing.

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Old 22-06-2011, 17:46   #2
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Welcome to CF forums!

So many choices for your boat considerations. Have you had a good look on Yachtworld? Advanced search for new and used boats and yachts. -

I was going to suggest the Cal2-30 as a consideration for an older boat, until you mentioned a nav. stn., which the 3-30 has, but they went from a transom-mount traveller to a bridgedeck mount on the 3-30. I believe that the Pearson 30 has the end-boom sheeting, but you'd have to check. For only sailing 4, I'd suggest that anything from about 27' up should work for you. In the $40k range, I'd suggest that you don't worry as much about age of boat, rather, only consider those which have truly been meticulously maintained. I think that suggesting to a few local brokers that you want a boat with "x" layout, and wish to spend "y" dollars, but must be at least as good as the day it was built & maintained/upgraded flawlessly, might get one or two of them working for you. Happy hunting!

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Old 22-06-2011, 18:13   #3
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I think you can find a lot of 27 to 31 ft boats out there that will fill the need and do well on the great lakes in the budget. You really don't want to fix up a boat. You won't save any money and it will take a few years in the northern climate to really finish anything that needs serious work. At this point you don't need that experience. At 24 years old it takes the edge off at 60 it's hard work. You get enough work with one that is in good shape and pretty much ready to go.

In that size range you can be picky. Find the one in the best shape you can and forget about the rest. You don't need to start with a wreck to prove yourself worthy. Great Lakes sailing ain't no joke. If you live near them you know what I mean. I spent most of my life near them. They create their own weather so behave more like an ocean without any salt.

You really don't need to be hung up on brand names because you just need to keep taking lessons, hanging around marinas and of course hanging around here reading up all that been posted over the last 8 years. It takes a good while to paw through.

If you can find ways to sail without buying a boat and can have fun there is no need to rush. Getting smarter is the best insurance there is. Hanging out will help you find the boats for sale and meet people who sail. It's about having fun and having more is what you want.

Walk as many docks as you can and look and learn and talk sailing with folks that sail. You'll learn a lot and enjoy yourself doing that. It's what you'll do when you own a boat too. Don't be too sure about what you want and don't like til you've tried. Ironically, should you go out on any boat and have fun you'll think it was the boat. It's mostly the people and at 60 you should know a lot about them.

Should you feel you have mastered the Great Lakes you should be ready to sail any place if you just quit drinking the water.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 22-06-2011, 19:59   #4
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Welcome Aboard CF
Formerly Santana
The winds blow true,The skies stay blue,
Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
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Old 23-06-2011, 19:45   #5
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Mike, for the past year, I think I've been on Yachtworld more than any other site. It really helps me get familiar with different models. Both the Cal and Pearson are on my short list, so they each just moved up a notch. It would be great to find on of those that's been well maintained.

Paul, your right about not wanting a project. Keeping a boat in good shape will be enough for me to learn. And I'll need time to hear about the good yards in the area to do the major work. I'll keep finding different places to take lessons, so I can get into different marinas and talk to more people.

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Old 15-07-2011, 12:26   #6
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Aloha and welcome aboard! is another site worth watching. Check out the couple of links after my signature for boat recommendations and get a copy of the book recommended there as well.
Good luck in your search.
kind regards,
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Old 19-07-2011, 19:18   #7
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Thanks for those links John. I like a lot of the boats on the Atom Voyages site. But I need more experience to start understanding how much slower one of those older hull designs would be, compared to some newer models. I scheduling two weeks of lessons this year, to try and get an idea of what's the tradeoff on Lake Erie. Does it come down to giving up a knot or two on light air days, but being able to got out comfortably more often on the windier days?

Hopefully I'll be able to meet a few old salts who won't mind me bending their ear.

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