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Old 19-08-2014, 22:57   #1
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New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Hey Everyone!

Little about myself I'm 24, married with 2 great kids. We live in North East Alabama. Me and the wife have wanted to sail since we first started dating. Life unfortunately took a bad turn with my Father passing away in a car accident and I having to step in to run the family business. Now that things have settled down we have decided life is too short to put dreams on hold. I have picked up a book called "storm tactics" & "sailing for dummy's" any other reading material suggestions ? We live on a 40,000 acre lake that is on the shallow side I have 5ft of water where I could dock a sailboat. We are going the local sailing club this weekend, we're suppose to crew on one of the members boat. The club is having a racing weekend, any advice on how to not look like idiot's since it will be our first time? My eventual goal is to sail the Gulf Of Mexico, down to the Key's/Bahama's/Caribbean & maybe up the east coast. We're mainly looking to be coastal cruisers, we think it would be good life experience for the kids and ourselves. Any advice on a good lake sailboat with a shallow draft for practice to start? A tailorable boat would be ideal as we are a hour from a even bigger lake.
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Old 20-08-2014, 01:36   #2
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Hey, yourself, welcome aboard.

I'd recommend a couple of small sailing dinghies, and you and your good lady and the kids can learn to sail together. With that behind you, you'll want to experiment with keel boats if you prefer monos, or possibly catamarans, if they strike your fancy.

Enjoy, it can be a loooooooong adventure.

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Old 20-08-2014, 04:36   #3
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Captrhino.
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Old 20-08-2014, 05:29   #4
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Welcome aboard!
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:24   #5
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Welcome to the sailing community. My children were raised sailing, camping, and exploring, and now as adults thank me for it all the time. There are some great boats out there that will help you learn more about sailboats in general. Some to consider are:

  1. The complete trailer sailor by Brian Gilbert
  2. The sailors books of small cruising sailboats by Steve Henkel
  3. Twenty affordable sailboats to take you anywhere by Greg Nestor
The complete trailer sailor by Brian Gilbert includes the basics of sailing, things to consider when buying used, boat comparisons, etc (This would be an ideal book to start with). These books not only allow you to easily compare lots of the type of boats you are looking for, but also help you to understand the attributes that relate to comfort, seaworthiness, etc.


Another excellent resource is Good Old Boat magazine. You can buy back issues in PDF format on their website with reviews of boats you are considering.
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:52   #6
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Captrhino...

Welcome to CF ... AND The sailing addiction!

Best piece of advice for this weekend? Let the skipper and other crew know that you are a complete novice, and don't try to pretend you know more than you do... They will want more than anything to help you learn, and won't have any hangups about your lack of experience... I Promise...

There's a ton of trailer boats around for next to nothing... I've got one of these here too... and by here... I mean not too far away at all... Pickwick 45 min E of Florence!

You are going to have a blast and make a ton of new friends...
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:36   #7
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Howdy!

I sailed on lakes in Alabama. Had fun too.

Your intro sounds like you and the family will have fun doing it together. So nice.

I think sailing with others at first (as crew) is a great idea, as you can learn from them and see what you like about a boat (types) and what seems comfortable for you and yours.

If you are looking for a boat to buy, there are MANY for sale that would be good for Alabama lakes. The trailerable size would give you much flexibility. A "dinghy" or "day sailor" is a good start and could give you years of fun. Some can be VERY comfortable for a family day sailing, some even have small cabins. Some are open. Some can be faster than typical "small cruisers" and hence more fun and thrilling for kids (or adults).

Some of my most fun time sailing on lakes was on catamarans (they get up and go faster than the typical small cruiser styled boats). NACRA is an example or "Prindle" cats. A 19 foot cat could be a lot of fun.

My advice for Alabama lake "SAILING" is to get a boat you can enjoy even if there is little wind when you go to the lake. You might find yourself bobbing around for hours in the middle of the lake if the wind dies on you. Big heavy boats will not move easily in light winds, and so those are often motored around or sit at the dock/marina. For example, I enjoyed sailing on a catamaran on a lake while others on "cruiser" type boats were not moving at all, due to lighter winds and their heavier boats.

Here is a site where you can search for boats and here is one in Alabama (30 foot, new sails, etc.. $8K asking). This is a cruiser styled boat. (and I am not suggesting this by brand or model, simply posting the link so you can see a site where you can find boats in Alabama/Tennessee etc.) But this one is larger than what I would want for fun sailing (with light winds)....but to each his own...
1981 Ticon T-30 sailboat for sale in Alabama

Here is a site that has several boats for sale by owners in Alabama, several in Lake Guntersville area. You can search for Tennessee and Georgia boats too. Depending on your budget, you could get a 25-27 foot "cruiser" style or something smaller or a cat.
Alabama sailboats for sale by owner.

Also, given that there are kids (and wife) I suggest getting something that can at least take a "bucket" head (portapotty) and has a small cabin for privacy (with a curtain for privacy) Why? Because it makes the time more convenient and nicer for family members who may be on the boat all day, sometimes waiting for wind.

Here is a typical "lake cruiser" Catalina 25 with outboard. $5,000. These are common boats so there is a good chance you can find someone in Alabama with one to crew on or visit or buy. Average used price is about $4K to $5K for boat from 1980s or so. Many see little use. Nice size for a young family, can sleep on it and it has a porta potty and basic 4 berths (bunks). Nice size for lake sailing for a long day (able to carry food and drinks in coolers etc.).

1984 Catalina 1983 sailboat for sale in Alabama

Sailing in the ocean is obviously much different (waves, more wind, currents, etc.). While I had fun on lakes in Alabama and Texas, I had MUCH more fun with ocean sailing. So try to arrange a trip to the beach or ocean to experience the more constant wind and waves and fun too.

You asked about books. The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is a good start. http://www.amazon.com/The-Annapolis-...+of+seamanship

Another basic book about boating (with lots of basic stuff to learn) is "Chapmans" which has been a "bible of boating" for about 67 years!
http://www.amazon.com/Chapman-Piloti...MBWM6QCN4A7RVP
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Old 20-08-2014, 12:22   #8
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Welcome to sailing! Don't rule out taking sailing lessons from a professional instructor. The sailing club you join may have sailing classes. You do want keep safety and proper sailing etiquette in mind and you don't want to learn the bad habits of some sailors.

Have a great time and if you are in the boat buying mood then get one that the majority of other sailors in your area have. You'll be happier talking with others with the same boat and learning about how to sail it better from others with experience on that same design plus the possibility of racing in a one design fleet.
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:16   #9
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Welcome to sailing! Don't rule out taking sailing lessons from a professional instructor. The sailing club you join may have sailing classes. You do want keep safety and proper sailing etiquette in mind and you don't want to learn the bad habits of some sailors.

Have a great time and if you are in the boat buying mood then get one that the majority of other sailors in your area have. You'll be happier talking with others with the same boat and learning about how to sail it better from others with experience on that same design plus the possibility of racing in a one design fleet.
Right !?!?!

A proa may sound like fun... But ya ain't getin' nobody ta help ya sort one out around here!
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Old 21-08-2014, 23:22   #10
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Thanks for the advice everyone! I will defiantly be picking up those books and update on how our experience is Saturday. We're not quite to the buying phase yet , thinking around Feb-April 2015. I know I may get shunned for saying this but I like what I see with the MacGregor 26m boat, due to it beinglighter, trailer able& shallow draft which is nice for here on Weiss Lake. I think our ocean voyages wouldn't be going out further than say 5-10 miles off shore on a normal day. Mainly looking to run around the Gulf of Mexico, Keys and Bahamas if the boat would make the trip. Also could that boat complete The Great Loop as well ? I figure if we ever reached a point of going way off shore we could trade up to a bigger boat.
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Old 22-08-2014, 07:51   #11
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

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Originally Posted by Captrhino View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone! I will defiantly be picking up those books and update on how our experience is Saturday. We're not quite to the buying phase yet , thinking around Feb-April 2015. I know I may get shunned for saying this but I like what I see with the MacGregor 26m boat, due to it beinglighter, trailer able& shallow draft which is nice for here on Weiss Lake. I think our ocean voyages wouldn't be going out further than say 5-10 miles off shore on a normal day. Mainly looking to run around the Gulf of Mexico, Keys and Bahamas if the boat would make the trip. Also could that boat complete The Great Loop as well ? I figure if we ever reached a point of going way off shore we could trade up to a bigger boat.
Feb sounds like a pretty good time to be boat shopping... That will give ya a few months to square away a couple minor things...

Nobody's gunna shun ya... We ain't the Amish.. Although we are definitely in a weird fanatical group... If ya end up getting a Mac, we'll still accept you into the club...

BUT... Honestly, I would recommend against it... It's a compromise power/sailboat that does neither particularly well... Cool looking? yes... Interior features? yes... Sailing? Nimble/broachy/slowish... Powering? Not as advertised... What they are is... Pricey in comparison to other trailerables

Your criteria for light/trailerable/shallow draft applies to all trailerables... Although getting up to the 26 size and above gets tougher...

Take a look at this one... You could go sailing tomorrow... Deal of the century... AND... A Cat 22 has been the starter boat for a ton of really great big boat sailors... Not one of us who's owned one regrets it... But tight for more than a weekend with the kids...
##1978 CATALINA 22 ft SAILBOAT##
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Old 22-08-2014, 22:03   #12
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Re: New Member Here, Always Wanted To Sail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Feb sounds like a pretty good time to be boat shopping... That will give ya a few months to square away a couple minor things...

Nobody's gunna shun ya... We ain't the Amish.. Although we are definitely in a weird fanatical group... If ya end up getting a Mac, we'll still accept you into the club...

BUT... Honestly, I would recommend against it... It's a compromise power/sailboat that does neither particularly well... Cool looking? yes... Interior features? yes... Sailing? Nimble/broachy/slowish... Powering? Not as advertised... What they are is... Pricey in comparison to other trailerables

Your criteria for light/trailerable/shallow draft applies to all trailerables... Although getting up to the 26 size and above gets tougher...

Take a look at this one... You could go sailing tomorrow... Deal of the century... AND... A Cat 22 has been the starter boat for a ton of really great big boat sailors... Not one of us who's owned one regrets it... But tight for more than a weekend with the kids...
##1978 CATALINA 22 ft SAILBOAT##
I agree on the mac's being pricey in comparison and would much rather save that $ for upgrading later on. I was thinking more in the realm of 25-30ft if I could find a draft shallow enough. If not I will go with a Cat 22 or something like that..... Well we went to the local sailing club here on the lake and the guy that was suppose to show us around and take us out blew us off and took off in his boat with his girlfriend shortly after we arrived. So I guess my plan of action is do some studying in the mean time and look for someone else to take us out. The deal with the Wife is she gets a dining room table and a couch for the sun room before I get to buy another boat haha.
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