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Old 04-05-2008, 19:37   #1
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new member from Atlanta with questions

Hi All,
Just found this forum and it looks great! I've got tons of sailing questions so I hope you all don't mind. Some background...we're power boaters thus far (well I own one sailboat right now but more on that in a moment). We've got a 38' sedan bridge power boat that we keep on lake lanier in the Atlanta area (and had a 33' express prior to that and prior to that deckboats and runabouts all the way down to when I was a kid). We love our current boat and use it a LOT. Didn't use it too much this winter due to the drought and lack of water but spent about 120 nights on the boat with the wife and kids (4 years old and 5.5 years old and they love boating/the water) last season. We really enjoy anchoring out, swimming with the kids, playing in the water, exploring the shoreline, visiting with friends, finding a quiet cove, or just slowly cruising along on a nice sunny day. Despite being able to go around 25 knots if we wanted, we pretty much always cruise in the 6-8 knot range as we tend to enjoy that relaxing pace (and we burn a lot less fuel!).
So all of that is to say I never really thought about personally owning a sailboat. Always read books about sailing (Adrift, etc. etc.) and always thought i'd like it but never have spent much time on a sailboat. The few times i had been on a sailboat i always enjoyed it though.

blah blah blah...so anyway this winter I bought a super snark sailboat. you know...one of those 10' little lateen rigged abs clad styrofoam things. It was old and cheap but I bought it and painted it and fixed it up. We bought it to keep on the swim platform of our current boat with the kayak we also carry so that we'd have more water toys to play with the kids when anchored. Needless to say this little sailboat is fun....lots of fun. We have had our power boat on the market in order to buy a bigger power boat. But now I am really thinking we should maybe get a sailboat. Fuel prices are ridiculous and ($4.00 a gallon and boat holds 372 gallons so do the math!) even more it's as peaceful as could be to just cruise around without the noise of an engine and only the sound of the water and wind. Problem is I've never personally sailed anything more than our little super snark I just bought a month or so ago.

Questions if I may (if you've bothered to read through my long winded musings above):
1) Is it crazy to think we could jump right into sailing into a 40-42' sailboat with no prior experience??? I keep looking at little trailerable sailboats (24-26') as that seems "manageable" and something i could tackle with no prior experience. However, I know from power boats that really you ought to just get the right sized boat the first time and skip the headache of trading, etc. over and over. My wife isn't excited about the idea of a small sailboat (likes the space and amentities of a larger boat). So...that leaves the option of just going for it and getting a bigger sailboat and dealing with the learning curve.

2) This is going to sound dumb but how "hard" is sailing (in a 40' +/- boat)? Meaning, getting sails up and down, making sure you don't blow the boat over on the side, etc.

3) Can one person sail a 40' boat easily enough? My wife would most likely help some and perhaps help a lot but I would also want to be able to go out for an afternoon or something for a solo cruise to unwind- would not want to get a boat that takes more than one to safely and easily handle.

4) this is going to sound retarded but it is a concern of my wife's (Ok, and mine too): What about lightening? With the metal mast way up in the air it seems like a lightening strike waiting to happen. We anchor our boat out now in all kinds of weather (within reason) and wouldn't want to have to worry about the slightest storm if it meant we would get zapped and fried in a sailboat. I assume they are grounded??


I need to find a way to go for an afternoon sail on our local lake somehow. None of our boating friends have sailboats so I may just have to sail over to the next big sailboat i see anchored near us in a cove when I am in our super snark and see if they want to talk "shop". Lol.


Thanks and sorry to be so long winded. I'm actively involved in some other boating forums so I look forward to reading more here and hopefully learning a lot. One thing is for sure- my mind is pretty much an empty slate when it comes to sailing. I do sail a mean super snark though....hahaha I told my wife that she didn't realize it yet but buying that snark was step 1 of my master plan which is to get her comfortable enough with sailing so that we will soon sail around the world....always wanted to do that!

Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2008, 20:24   #2
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Quote:
1) Is it crazy to think we could jump right into sailing into a 40-42' sailboat with no prior experience?
Well, you do have the snark experience and all the time on the power boat. Boating still is about the basics. Crazy is forgetting all you already know. It all still matters.

Quote:
2) This is going to sound dumb but how "hard" is sailing (in a 40' +/- boat)? Meaning, getting sails up and down, making sure you don't blow the boat over on the side, etc.
It's not hard but it does take practice. Sort of like putting your trawler in a slip with a 25 knot cross wind except you have about 1/5 the horsepower. In that sense it is all practice and more patience than you are used to.

Quote:
3) Can one person sail a 40' boat easily enough?
I do it all the time. It's more at the dock that help is desired. On the water the boat seems small. They start to get big going into tight places and for a really huge boat haul it out of the water and do the bottom paint. The tonnage is not unlike what you may be used to but you have to ease a lot more giver you don't have the horsepower to force things. All the same rules apply though.

Quote:
What about lightening?
I would avoid it. Nasty stuff. It's not different than on your power boat. You wouldn't try to get hit on that would you. I worry more about water spouts.


All this is really about learning what isn't different and so leaving the new stuff to work out. You start out simple and then you work up to more and more. There is a long list of things you won't do on the first day out. I'm sure you can make it up.

You might try a formal sailing school from ASA or US Sail. Bring your wife and make a weeks vacation out of it. You need to deal with your wife and the easiest way is to learn together. Best money I ever spent. They don't scream as loud when they understand. You need all the help you can get.

I would not consider the snark to be poor experience. It may not be a big boat but they all work the same.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:39   #3
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Thanks Paul!
We're going to look at some sailboats for sale in a few days. Glad to know a 45 footer is just like a snark!

We're also talking about doing the sailing school thing- perhaps doing it down on the coast instead of on our home waters of Lake Lanier.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:18   #4
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We're also talking about doing the sailing school thing- perhaps doing it down on the coast instead of on our home waters of Lake Lanier.
They do some courses as live aboards. We did two in San Diego. At the time the live aboard course was cheaper than a week at a downtown hotel. making it a fun time is just a good idea. Check out the ASA and US Sail web sites for directories of courses and locations. If possible try to meet the instructor before hand.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:27   #5
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Welcome Woodsong,

I think you are headed in the right direction. The first time I took my brother sailing on S.F.Bay he was not excited about it. By the time we had returned to the dock he was leaping with glee. 6 knots with the rail low, and your elbow a foot from the water. It seems more like 60!

It's great the family enjoys the boats together. Yep! I think your headed in the right direction alright!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:16   #6
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Hey Woodsong! I'm on Lanier as well. Have a 28 foot Hunter! I down sized when wife and I moved to SC,( business move not a choice). I bought it just in time for the lake to drop 18 feet. Imagine that! Anyway, I'm on ZF slip 5. If I'm about I can show you the ropes.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:52   #7
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Hi Woodsong,

That's not long winded..........this might be

Easy answer = Sounds fair enuf plan

Long Answer............

A couple of things you may not appreciate is that handling near a dock, especially in tight spaces with a 40' sail boat with 1 engine can be a bit more tricky than with a Motorboat with twins, especially if the Props are handed. (if you only have a single on the Mobo you already know what I am talking about) Of course both can have bow thrusters which on a 40 footer fairly short handed or not I would consider. Not to say it is not perfectly OK 90% of the time - but I am sure you are well aware that somethings do not go as hoped........especially with an audience!

Also their will be less accomadation on a typical 40' sail boat vs a similar 40' Motorboat and the layout for "liveability" can differ.....IMO plenty of room for a family - but this is from someone who grew up with extended trips abroad on a 27 footer - with 5 onboard ....so the definition of "plenty" may vary!

Simply sailing up to a yacht in the Dink to "Talk shop" would be a very good idea - in fact I can think of nothing more civilized!

IMO No.1 priority is to get the Wife onboard with the idea of a Sailboat and a close second is the kids......but on the kid front you have already taken a major step....with the sailing Dink. With the wife I would get you and her invited aboard as many yachts as possible and out for sails.....as you are already in the boating "club" you already have 1 foot in the door for invites - and I am sure you also love to show yer own boat off to folk.....yachties are just the same

Could be that the Missus (or even you?!) takes a while to get to terms with the boat healing or not at all .....and IMO nothing wrong with YOU deciding not really what you want........No fundamental problem with jumping in at 40 foot - but the smaller does have attractions - especially if you could keep the Mobo and something in the 20 odd foot range as a day sailer. Buy something older, in good condition at the right price yer should not catch too much of a cold if you later decide to trade up......absolutely nothing you cannot learn as easily (if not more so) on a small Yacht that you can on a big one.........and maybe a bit easier to swing with da Missus than a leap in the dark $$$ wise on a 40' yacht?
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Old 06-05-2008, 13:25   #8
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Well i may just see if you all can be partners in crime for my attack plan to get the wife on board, literally and figuratively. My plan right now is to visit a half dozen or so sailboats that are on the market in our area right now. Will have a babysitter watch the kids so we won't have to do that while looking at the boat and reduce stress on the wife...may even stop for a margarita with her before getting to the brokerage.
David, you mentioned the same idea I first had...buy a small daysailer and learn what the heck I am doing on that then get the bigger sailboat. I found a 1979 San Juan 24' in reportedly in decent shape for $800 here locally but couldn't get wife on board quick enough before someone else bought it. She's not a diva but she has no interest in spending 3 days solid on a little sailboat and she loves anchoring out as much as I do so she wants to go for the jugular and get the bigger sailboat if we go that route. And yes...I can only imagine a 40' sailboat with single 30-40hp diesel is going to handle different than my boat with twin 850hp configuration. But hey- never met a boat yet I couldn't take the helm and get where I wanted without wrecking so i think with enough practice I could get it down. I'm more worried about knowing how to handle the sails then I am the traveling under power on a single motor (told the wife that if I can't figure the sailing thing out then we can just go under power and pretend we just bought a trawler).
No doubt we'll be downsizing in regards to space. but, our prior boat was a 33' express and we got along with everyone on board that boat so i think we could deal with slightly less space. And really...the $1,600 fuel bills get old after a while and if I can find a good sailboat, pay cash to get rid of the loan headache, and then know that basically every trip out is "free" (at least compared to the fuel bill of the power boat), not to mention relaxation of going by the wind, plus teaching the kids a skill (and me learning one), well...seems like a good comprimise and good situation.

Richkd, what marina are you at? If you're not a psycopath (haha) would love to meet up sometime and be your deckhand for a cruise for an hour or two. Out of curiousity, how do you like sailing on Lanier? All my power boating friends say they'd never like to do it due to "lack of wind." Seems we have plenty of days with decent winds though so I am not sure I agree with them. Our plan would be to stay on Lanier at least until I've got the wife warmed up to the idea of sailing around the world.

Thanks for all the insight and replies. Don't rat me out to my power boating friends that I may get a sailboat- they may disown me or think I am communist or something.

Just for fun here are some pics of our current ride- 2005 Silverton 38 Sport Bridge- 40' LOA, 14'4" beam. Great boat for our home waters. She's for sale if any of you all want to convert from sailboaters to power boaters!


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Old 06-05-2008, 13:49   #9
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Woodsong!

I'm at Aqualand over in Flower Branch. I get there as often as I can. As far as phyco is concerned, hmmm, depends on how hard the wind is blowing and if the white whale has been spotted or not.
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Old 06-05-2008, 13:54   #10
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Also, the wind is fine at Lanier and its the skink pots and not the blow boats that are spreading that evil vicious rumor ( ha ha). At 4 bucks a gallon gas I'd trade my stink pot for a blow boat! Lemme see.............4 bucks a gallon, 20 gal tank........use 20 gal a year..........Question?

COME TO THE WIND FORCE LUKE!
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Old 06-05-2008, 14:59   #11
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Heya Woodie

Think I recognize ya from boatered correct?
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Old 06-05-2008, 15:02   #12
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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz View Post
Heya Woodie

Think I recognize ya from boatered correct?

yup- i sent you a PM last night saying hello- not sure if you saw it or not.
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Old 06-05-2008, 15:04   #13
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Got it. Back at ya!

Welcome aboard. Jump right in but watch the multi-hull guys, they're usually drunk on their own home made hooch!
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Old 09-05-2008, 22:49   #14
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Aloha Woodsong,
Welcome aboard! How many gallons per yard does she get?
Good to have you here and hope the ribbing doesn't bother you. If it does you probably won't like this forum. Lots of good fun though if you stay with us.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:33   #15
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Woodsong,

I been through some pretty bad lightning storms and have never been hit. Once in Red Shanks (near Georgetown, Bahamas) a good friend of mine (in a large trawler) anchored very, very close to my sailboat just before an expected storm (His plan was to use me for a lightning rod). Well the storm hit that night and it was as bad as I have ever seen ... constant strikes for about three hours! Guess what ..... He got hit and lost ALL of his electronics (SSB, Ham, VHF, GPS, Instruments, TVs, video recorders and even the microwave) while I excaped unharmed.

On the other hand, I've had another good friend have his sailboat hit at his dock and sink in less than five minutes!

Just goes to show ..... you really can't tell where lightning will strike or which boat it will strike. My boat IS bonded etc. but other than that, I don't worry about Lightning very much.

Good Luck
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