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Old 19-03-2008, 20:54   #1
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What type of sailboat to purchase?

Hello I have not even started to sail yet.I start in May my plan is to purchase a boat to sail lake Michigan and eventually to sail down the east coast. Any suggestions on boat selection? Thanks Paul

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Old 20-03-2008, 07:48   #2
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Start SMALL.
You don't want to start out with a 30' or larger and try to learn on it.
a lot of us started out sailing Dinghys or Sunfish boat in our youth and graduated up from there. You will learn all the mistakes and how to pull your fat out of the fire. Not to say you have to start at the very low end but maybe something in the 20' to 25' range with a Main and Jib.
Once you can master the smaller boat you can move up. This also give you the chance to determine what you really want in a larger boat.

When I wasin my 20's I had sailed on everything up to a 40'. After being away from sailing for 25 years I bought a 22'Hunter to help me get back my skills. Now I am ready to make the move to a larger boat for cruising after 3 summers with the smaller one.

Lots of advice out here. Listen and learn.

We have met the enemy and he is us....Pogo
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Old 20-03-2008, 07:50   #3
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Paul there is probably 100 posts here on the board asking that same question and lots of answers. Might be best to do a search then come back with specific questions. You will get as many opinions as there are members of the board. Good luck.
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Old 20-03-2008, 08:28   #4
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Hi, Paul.

Welcome to Cruisers Forum. Lots of experience represented here, and people willing to help.

If you want to try Chuck's suggestion, use this page for searching:

It works better than the CF search button, although an upgrade is in the works.

Good luck.
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Old 20-03-2008, 10:49   #5
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I would delay your purchase as long as possible. Buying a boat now is perhaps the worst idea. I would learn to sail first, spend some time on a few boats and then have enough experience to know a little bit about what you might be looking at.

Look into some of the better sailing programs like US Sail or American Sailing Association. They run a series of courses designed to cover the things you need to Cruise. You'll meet some folks and sail on real keel boats. If you have a "sail club" in your area I would encourage you to join one for a season and sail club boats you don't have to own for a season and really learn more from just pure sailing. The expense is low compared to the costs for owning your own boat and you'll get better before you lay down a lot of money.
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Old 21-03-2008, 11:15   #6
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Aloha Paul,
Welcome aboard! Get the book "Start Sailing Right!" for a starter.
Look at boats in the marinas and volunteer as a newbie crewmember. You'll learn a lot but remember, every skipper believes he is the best sailor on earth and has the best boat ever constructed so as with everything, always check things out before believing the stories you here. When aboard as crew, do exactly what the skipper tells you to do (unless immoral or illegal) and if you don't understand what they want then ask questions.
Kind Regards,
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Old 23-03-2008, 20:59   #7
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My suggestion would be to buy a small boat right now. Larger than 12 but smaller than 20 feet. Learn to sail it. learn to capsize it and right it again.

Learn how to take care of it and fix it. Maintenance is a big part of boating, and the amount of time and effort it takes frequently comes as a surprise to new boat owners.

Concurrently, register as available racing crew (railmeat) at as many yacht clubs and marinas as you can get to.

When on other skipper's boats - keep your eyes open, mouth shut and do as you're told. If you have a question, wait until a calm time before asking, and when your question is answered - nod sagely and take it in, regardless of how intelligent or stupid the answer seems.

If there are other people in your family, involve them as much as you can.

Enjoy yourself and don't take anything that isn't a safety issue too seriously.

Good Luck !

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