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Old 18-10-2012, 18:50   #1
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New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Hello, I'm Aaron. I'm a 26 year old, disabled Army Iraq War Veteran suffering from PTSD and TBI, hailing from Richmond, VA. I have always wanted to get into sailing and think that it would be both beautiful and relaxing for me, especially now and think it could be used as therapy for me.

I don't know a lick about sailing (I know about coast guard regulations, etc.), but have no experience commanding a sailboat. I plan on getting a 30-32 foot Cruiser. I am not the richest person, but looking for one under $18K, so I know that limits it to late 70s, early 80s, which I was told is still great. I also want to make sure it is sea worthy as I do plan on traveling to the carribean in the next 5 years upon it. I am currently looking at catalina's and hunters as they are within my price range.

If anyone from the richmond, VA or Virginia area period needs a hand on the boat, I am willing to help and learn....also any feedback about the type of boats I am looking at, or general sailing advice, please feel free to chime in.

Thanks!
-Aaron
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:56   #2
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your service.

For what you want to do, the smallest boats I'd recommend in either the Catalina or Hunter lines would be 34'. Much smaller than that, and the boats aren't really set up for long-term use, especially offshore.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:06   #3
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your service.

For what you want to do, the smallest boats I'd recommend in either the Catalina or Hunter lines would be 34'. Much smaller than that, and the boats aren't really set up for long-term use, especially offshore.
Could I solo a 34'? Yea I understand....my cousin did it in a 31'....but I believe he had a french made vessel, unsure what the name was.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:08   #4
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Do an advanced search on yacht world.com so that you can choose your geographic area. I think you will find a lot of options in you price range! Don't be shy about stretching it to 20k, leaving you room to bargain.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:08   #5
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

also, not sure I could find a 34' in my price range lol....
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:10   #6
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

@Greenhand Thanks!!!
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:53   #7
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Welcome aboard CF!

Don't forget to look on the local craigslist website. There are a lot of boats for sale at this time of the year and there are bargins to be had. You can also check out EBAY as well. I'd start my offer about 20 (or more) percent below the asking price.

A few pieces of advice from an old "mop jockey" (i.e. Navy), get someone who has been sailing for a while to look at any boat you are interested in. Aslo, there are several threads on here (or use google) about what to look for when buying a used boat, they can save you a lot of money.

If you want to start right away look for a sunfish, laser, or other small boat to learn on if you can't find anyone this late in the year to crew with. You'll learn how to sail at little cost and those boats are forgiving (however you WILL get wet).

Good Luck!

Keith
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Old 18-10-2012, 20:20   #8
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Welcome,
I'm active Army. When I was looking for my current boat (my first one), I did lots of research. So that is what I would recommend. Research can be very good to narrow down what you want to get by seeing how you would use it, where you would go and which boats that can handle each. I almost went to look at a Cape Dory 27 but ended up with a Nor'sea. The Cape Dory boats I was about to look at would have cost me half what I spent on the Nor'sea but I'm still happy with what I got. I still haven't sailed her but it will come in time. There are many models of boats with different characteristics. So, like I said, some research is going to help. Something small could be a good start to learn on while you find a larger one with more complicated systems. Starting off with lessons like ASA-101 could be a benefit with someone experienced showing you what to look for in sail shape and learning some of the basics.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 18-10-2012, 21:27   #9
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Hi, and welcome to CF! The most important part about all of what you have said is that you want to go sailing. Stay focused on that and make it happen!

I started sailing about 5 years ago, by taking lessons at a local sailboat rental place. The lessons were about $350 or so, and were two days, half of each day on the water and half in the books. This allowed me to rent 22 foot boats for the day or half day. Cost was about $50 per half day. These lessons and renting for a year taught me an incredible amount about what to look for. I would say money well spent.

Then I bought my current boat, some would say the wrong brand (Hunter), but my take on it is that it was the right boat to learn on. I have a 2002 326 Hunter, with the single deep keel, as opposed to either the two keel design, or the winged keel (both were made). I have sailed about 40 days per year for the last 4 years. I have worked on the boat, upgraded batteries, installed an anchor wench, digital radar, side scanning sonar, and replaced faucets, and the bilge pump, figured out how to use the spinnaker that I bought, and in general have learned even more about what I do and don't like about this boat.

As for single handed sailing, this boat has roller furling for both the Jib and Main, good points, one person can easily handle the sails. As for the issues you will read else where about how many problems there are with roller furling, I will tell you that after about 4 days of figuring out what I was doing wrong, I have had ZERO problems with the main and only minimal problems with the Jib. For ease of sailing nothing beats an easy to use roller furling main. Negative points, really bad sail shape, smaller sail less power, slower boat, etc. I have a friend who had a Hunter 340, (with lazy jacks and a non furling main) while only 2 feet longer, he is consistently faster by at least a knot and a half. That is to say he sails circles around me.

Obviously my budget was bigger than yours, and I did not plan on buying my last boat first, I planned on buying a boat that had all the systems of a bigger boat, while still being small enough not to scare me when sailing it. I got what I wanted. Now, I am planning (scheming) on the next boat. Since I will not be limited to coastal cursing, it will be a bit bigger and better than the Hunter 326 that I have now. The advantage that I have going in to the next boat purchase is 5 years of lessons on what works for me and what does not. (Side scanning sonar is really cool, you can see the fish, and the sea weed, and the rocks on the bottom, but was it really worth almost one boat unit? 'Break Out Another Thousand').

BTW, after we bought the boat, I took classes at the local POWER SQUADRON (they are everywhere) United States Power Squadrons® Safe boating fun thru education on boating safety, navigation, small diesel engines, and coastal cruising, I still plan on taking the weather class and several others. Cost of these classes is just the materials, typically less than $50.00 for a 3 to 8 week class. This also puts you in contact with other boaters. If you don't have a Power Squadron nearby, look for a COAST GUARD AUXILIARY. Welcome to the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Official Web Portal they also offer lots of classes.

Sorry about how long this is, but if you have any questions, look around CF, the answers are probably there. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here. Or ask me if it is specific to something I said. In any case, go sailing, it will be great therapy!
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Old 19-10-2012, 09:36   #10
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Thanks everyone for replies....I will definitely get a sailers advice before purchasing a vessel. I will also be looking into classes as well.
Thanks!
-Aaron
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Old 19-10-2012, 10:21   #11
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

Thank you for serving our country. We wish you a full recovery. You are right in thinking that sailing can play a positive role in your health.
There are a lot of older boats that would be satisfactory given that you are handy at fixing things. I found fixing things on the boat almost as pleasurable as sailing her. A Pearson or the rarer Alohas would be very solid boats if you can find one still in good condition. There is a publication called Good Old Boat which focuses on the older models.
Try to find an experienced local sailor to help you look. If one doesn't crop up among friends, go wander around marinas and boatyards and talk to people and ask questions. Someone knowledgeable will agree to help you and become a friend. You may even get an opportunity to crew on boats, which will get you up the learning curve a lot more quickly.
Fair winds and a following sea.
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Old 19-10-2012, 10:34   #12
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Hi Aaron,

Before investing your fortune into a boat which might or might not bring you happiness, a boat that will be hard to resell and cost money and effort in upkeep, why don't you find yourself a small dinghy and go play on lakes? I guarantee this is a lot of fun and a great way to learn to feel the winds.

Even better, you can maybe find a local sail club so you will get advices and won't feel all by yourself when the boat does weird things and throw you in the water.

Note i'm not saying don't get a boat, just maybe delay the purchase by a few month.

Of course, now we're getting into winter time...

Best to you,

Florent
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Old 19-10-2012, 10:48   #13
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

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Hi Aaron,

Before investing your fortune into a boat which might or might not bring you happiness, a boat that will be hard to resell and cost money and effort in upkeep, why don't you find yourself a small dinghy and go play on lakes? I guarantee this is a lot of fun and a great way to learn to feel the winds.

Even better, you can maybe find a local sail club so you will get advices and won't feel all by yourself when the boat does weird things and throw you in the water.

Note i'm not saying don't get a boat, just maybe delay the purchase by a few month.

Of course, now we're getting into winter time...

Best to you,

Florent
Oh I don't plan on getting the boat for a another 6 months or so. I'm saving so I can buy it pretty much outright....just looking for future advice. I am going to try to find someone to take me under their wing.
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Old 19-10-2012, 11:10   #14
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

If it is not too far for you to travel, you may want to check the Marinas down in the Hampton Roads area.
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Old 19-10-2012, 11:17   #15
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Re: New to Sailboating....Planning on using it for Therapy.

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If it is not too far for you to travel, you may want to check the Marinas down in the Hampton Roads area.
Not to far at all, that is where I am thinking about keeping my boat when I get it, either there or Deltaville (both pretty much the same distance)

Know anyone I could talk to down there?
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