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Old 26-08-2010, 15:15   #1
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Totally New to Cruisers Forum and Sailing

Hi we are totally new to sailing and We are spending 2 months (Jan-Feb) in Costa Rica and then buying a boat in Fl. in March and sailing it to Narragansett, R.I. arriving about June 1st. 110 lb Golden Ret a problem, ---Is there a book of charts that will tell us where the best overnight anchorages are?

We also have ton's of questions too. We really like the hunter legand 40. We have looked at a few sailboats and this seems the best layout for us. WE also have a 2 ld yorkie.

We are both retired. And this is like a dream coming true. Our price range is 80 thousands to 100 thousands. We want this as comfortable as

We are learning and welcome any advise.
Thank you, Dawn

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Old 26-08-2010, 15:27   #2
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Welcome Dawn! I think the Legends are great for the Caribbean and for two dogs too (the yorkie and lab of course).
Have a wonderful adventure,

Mrs. Rain Dog~Ocean Girl
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Old 26-08-2010, 16:07   #3
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not sure what your level of experience is, so maybe you already know this, but:

make sure that you're realistic when budgeting improvements and repairs on the boat. you can get lucky and find something that's ready to go, but it's easy to spend $30K just outfitting.

something to keep in mind when determining what you can really afford.
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Old 26-08-2010, 16:38   #4
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Thanks for the welcome and the information. We are hoping to find one outfitted. Dose anyone have advise as to where to look in FL.
Thanks, Dawn
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Old 26-08-2010, 19:02   #5
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Hi cheerful Kitty and welcome to CF.

Your plans sound fun. For specific cruising advise (i.e. the anchorages and charts stuff) you might consider posting in one of the destinations folders. Not all our members hang out in the meets and greets forums.

Good luck with your plans
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Old 26-08-2010, 21:25   #6
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We are both retired. And this is like a dream coming true. Our price range is 80 thousands to 100 thousands. We want this as comfortable as
As far as a ready to go budget I think you may have a problem. You and almost everyone wanting a boat are in the same price range. You buy a boat in that price range and it has things to tend to before you can leave on a long trip even if it was a very good deal. You don't really know much about the boat when you get it and then have to make it all ready in short order. Going to RI and arriving on any date certain is asking for a problem. June 1st is perhaps possible but could be way too early. More important it might not be that fun. Unless you win a prize you need to lose the deadlines.

I would add a month on the front and another on the back end assuming you have the boat nailed early. More time to buy and outfit and more time to just mess around and learn about the boat seems more fun and less pressure. Even if you have some experience it's not the best approach. FL boats can have problems just as much as any. They also can have been neglected and then put up for sale. It happens quite often. Surveys don't usually find all the little things you need to know either. I would say they are available everywhere. I would rethink the idea that you have this small time window and need to be in a hurry. It might make you think you need to go back to work. We sure wouldn't want that. Setting deadlines is always a bad idea.

The 36 Legend is an OK boat but I would cast a wider net and opt for the boat you find for sale in the best shape. You really are not in the price range for brand new ready to go boats. Always best to not be fixated by brand and specifics when you need to think price. Spending an extra $20K to make it comfortable after the purchase is not unusual and more typical. It takes a fair bit of time to do all that work even if you hire it done.

This all cuts into time on the water and a trip that long should start when you are familiar with the boat and not in a hurry. It's the one bit of advice I would emphasize.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 27-08-2010, 03:53   #7
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The title of the post...totally new to sailing?

If you are totally new to sailing, you are in over your head to try what you are stating. Both in buying an old boat and sailing up the eat coast as your first sail trip.

It would be like saying 'I bought some old tennis shoes and plan on running a marathon tomorrow but I've never jogged before'.
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Old 27-08-2010, 09:56   #8
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Sounds like fun, but I am amazed that you all are 2 months new to sailing and buying a boat and then a big sailing trip.....I am amazed because I married into sailing 8 1/2 years ago......have taken classes, sail every summer and I am still wigging out about the heeling, BUT I must say this, It used to take me FOREVER to get on the boat and now I can jump on!!! I pray all works out for ya- stay safe-- you want to enjoy all your retirement yrs!!!
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Old 27-08-2010, 10:13   #9
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Hi, and welcome to CF!

First of all, I won't say that you can't or shouldn't do what you're thinking of doing. Others have done so, but you're going to have a lot of learning to do! Some of it will be quite unexpected and much of it will be frustrating. But, if you keep that great attitude, practice patience, and be more of a "chicken" when it comes to dealing with the weather, then you're much more likely to be just fine.

On this trip, the ICW will be your friend. It will let you get comfortable handling the boat, pace things out, and not have to deal with the ocean in anything other than settled conditions. There will be some issues with the dogs when it comes to using anchorages (long stretches of the ICW simply don't have good places to land them), so you might be spending lots of time in marinas.

My initial suggestions:

1. Stock yourself with some good books and read them. Specifically, Calder's essential Handbook for Mechanical and Electrical (not the exact title, but that's enough to locate it); ICW guides (there's lots of them, but Skipper Bob's for anchorages is an essential one); a marine weather book.
2. Have you learned navigation? -- and I'm not talking about how to run a chartplotter! (Some time, some place, it will go down and you will need to know.)
3. First aid, for both yourself and your canine companions. "Doggie on Deck" is a good book for sailing with dogs. Also, check out: SailCharbonneau Homepage That is both an informative website, in general, but has very good advice about cruising with large dogs.
4. I'd also suggest you check out ActiveCaptain - The Interactive Cruising Guidebook - Marina Reviews, Fuel Prices, Anchorages Sort of an on-line cruising guide with reviews from those who have gone before you.

Plus, of course, you've already found CF, and this a darn good resource. I've learned a lot from the folks around here.

Intentional Drifter

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Old 27-08-2010, 10:35   #10
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Your plan sounds great, enjoy the experience.

I just went through the shopping process for a used boat. There are tons of great buys out there, especially in Florida. I spent many months shopping around with the advanced search option on the YACHTWORLD.COM website. It feel I got a good feel for the market, prices, models, and areas where interesting boats were located. When I finally got around to choosing my boat model, I got in touch with owners groups... funny thing, I also found another boat (same model/year) I was looking for for sale by an owner...

I agree your budget is a little on the low side, but that's your business, be prepared hours of fiddling on used stuff, BTW I also enjoy fiddling!

As far as experience is concerned, don't get discouraged, it's not rocket science, just good common sense. You have to start somewhere!!!

Stay safe, and check the weather, don't take any chances.
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Old 27-08-2010, 10:55   #11
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At the very least, you'll probably feel much more comfortable if you hire a skipper for a day of practicing docking, undocking, and maneuvering in close quarters on your "new" boat or even ahead of time on a similar one. And coming up with a plan for who does what when docking in different marinas and maybe hand signals will save some aggravation when docking, mooring, or anchoring. Learning how to use dock lines to help dock or undock in tight quarters or with a cross wind is also a great trick.

If you're new to boating in general, almost all states offer basic boating safety classes. These will introduce you to federal and state requirements for safety equipment, registration, etc., along with some basic navigation information about rules of the road, navigation lights, whistle signals, reading nautical charts, and operator responsibilities.

Beyond that, the USCG auxiliary and US Power Squadrons offer more extensive but still very affordable boating classes. And of course there are the ASA and US Sailing sponsored classes offered by commercial sailing schools and many charter companies. Books like John Rousmaniere's Annapolis Seamanship are classics and there's also a video series to accompany that book.

If you look around, you'll find some really good guides on how to "pre survey" a boat to learn more about it and screen out boats before you go to the expense and commitment of making an offer and paying for a survey, haulout, sea trials, etc. Wearing grungy clothes and being willing and able to poke into the dark, out of the way corners of the boat is a good thing. And getting a feeling for how the boat fits you is a good thing. For example, can both of you reach the headboard of the mainsail to connect it to the halyard and raise it or would both of you have good visibility from the steering position? Would a walk through transom be easier for getting the dogs to and from the dinghy or pier or do you need to get a special "doggie ladder"?

As for whether a particular plan is ambitious or not, that depends more on you -- there aren't really hard and fast rules, but rather lots of trade-offs and personal preferences to balance. You might not know what you really want in a boat until you've been sailing and cruising for a while and that's quite natural. So anything you can do to not only look at but also sail on boats in the meantime is a good thing, whether that means crewing, taking classes, going to boat shows, or just generally pestering every boat owner you can find.
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Old 27-08-2010, 11:59   #12
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i don't think your budget is unreasonably low. we picked up our boat for $45K and put ~$30K into refitting. leaves you $25K for rum.
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Old 27-08-2010, 14:31   #13
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Without knowing anything of your background or abilities it is difficult to say whether your plan is realistic. I know the timeline will be difficult unless you are very lucky. Finding a suitable boat will be one of the more difficult tasks. Again this will largely be dependent on how much you know about sailboats. If the answer to this is very little, buying, fittting out, and properly maintaining the boat for the trip north will be your biggest challenge. With your budget this will be an older boat and older boats will generally have more problems than newer boats. If you are not familiar with boat systems you will be dependent on marinas, boatyards, and mechanics, this can be a costly and disheartening experience. Learning how to sail (or motor as it sounds as if you're going up the ICW) and learning piloting will be less onerous.

You ask for advice and mine would be to skip Costa Rica and start in January with the boat thing if you want to be north by June. Hang around south Florida getting to know your boat, learning seamanship and sailing, sailing, sailing. The more time you spend on the boat before you head north the better equipped for the voyage you'll be.

I hope it all works out for you and hope you'll keep posting here so we'll know the outcome. And, oh yes, make sure you get towing insurance. We all need it!!
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Old 27-08-2010, 16:07   #14
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cheerfulkitty Wellcome! I am not able to give you any advice, ( I am a Newbie also) but is this not a great group of people ready to help? I am in the same monetary range as you are. I am a little frightened by the fact that a few people here believe that 80K to 100K usd is not quite enough to get a "ready to go coastal" boat. I plan on buying in Florida and learning my way across to Bermuda. I think that might be an easier destination than you are planning.. So, Paul and others, what is a realistic $$$$ number for actually buying a sailing vessel ready to go coastal? I am a group of one. I want 27 to 32 feet?
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Old 27-08-2010, 16:26   #15
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i think the answers you'll get about the cost of a boat depend somewhat on how the question is phrased. there are a number of people here that have claimed to have picked up a boat for under $10K that they're comfortable cruising in.

the $30K that we put into our boat was mostly for stuff that "should" have been taken care of, but wasn't literally falling apart. a new mains'l for example - had we just left the old one on there and gotten really proficient at sail repair, we probably could have been fine. we also did a bunch of upgrading (chartplotter, AIS, solar system in the works) that's not really necessary, just a nice to have. as mentioned, our total out lay will end up at roughly $75K, but we're planning a full bluewater passage - if we'd been costal only, i'd have let some stuff slide, and not purchased other stuff.

point being that if the boat floats and the sails fill, you "can" take it anywhere you like. it's really a question of what risk level you're comfortable with and how long you're willing to wait around for a good deal.

as mentioned in my previous post, i think that $100K is a totally reasonable boat budget. you won't be living the high life in all likelihood, but you can find something safe and comfortable. in my opinion, you oughta be able to get a trip going if you have a $50K boat budget and are willing to make some sacrifices.

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