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Old 04-02-2016, 10:54   #1
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Start small?

My wife and I are flip-flopping with our boat decisions. We are moving into keel boats from 22ft trailer yacht and want to travel off shore from nz to Pacific Islands. ..maybe in 3 yrs time. We are currently swaying between a 30ft keel boat to teach ourselves coastal sailing or a 44ft keel boat to start prepping. The cheaper 30ft feels like a nice cheap way to learn the ropes... but are we missing something here?
Budget for 44ft would be $130US plus fitting out but we can but a nice coastal cruising 30ft for around $20US and this feels like an easy entry...
Is swapping up later a poor decision?

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Old 04-02-2016, 10:59   #2
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pirate Re: Start small?

Don't see how..
Get the 30ftr and get yourself loadsa confidence in boat handling then in a couple of years when you want bigger cast your eyes abroad.. fly and buy then see a whole lot more.. with the Pacific islands saved for last.. just before the crossing home..
Get a lot of boat for $130K in the Med at the moment
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:00   #3
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Re: Start small?

i was moving up from a 27' keel boat and took an offshore trip on a 48' Swan. I came away thinking I wanted to start smaller after experiencing the increased forces involved in the bigger boat. I was shopping in the for something in the mid-40's and went with a 36 footer after the trip. I also like the financial flexibility the smaller boat provides.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:50   #4
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Re: Start small?

Nzmal,
Buy the boat that best suits you NOW. Your life may dramatically change in 3 years. My vote is for the 30 footer. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:07   #5
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Re: Start small?

I am different, I say go big now.

Yes the start-small view has validity, but then again so much can happen between now and three years.

How much will you spend on the smaller boat? Will you be able to resell it for a good price? How much are you willing to put into it?

Take it slow and easy and build confidence on the boat you WANT to own. That is my viewpoint, not any more right/wrong the the opposite view, just different.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:48   #6
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Re: Start small?

This subject is often discussed here on CF, and in the end, it really depends on how YOU like to learn things.

The experience that you have gained o n your trailer sailor is adequate in terms of sailing skills to make the jump to the larger boat... lots of folks have made such a jump. But in terms of dealing with all the other facets of larger boat husbandry, well, you have a lot to learn! And learning on the smaller vessel will be less expensive, and the lessons will be readily transferred to the bigger one later.

In my case, I went from a Catalina 22 trailer boat to a 30 foot S&S keel boat. That boat taught me so much... we raced her seriously, did coastal cruising in California (meaning 300-400 mile passages coastwise) and eventually a SF-Hawaii round trip. After that cruise, I felt that I was ready for a larger boat to do long term cruising, and I had enough personal knowledge that I felt oK about buying an older IOR one-tonner, even though everyone said it was unsuitable as a cruising platform. Ann and I lived aboard her for 17 years and cruised over 86,000 miles...

So, my personal advice is to buy your 30 footer, one that is old enough to not depreciate too much from simple aging, and don't try to "improve" her with expensive modifications. Do learn all about maintenance, about all the systems on board, about coastal cruising (and you have so many wonderful coastal destinations in NZ), about wx and how it affects you when there is no trailer to jump back on when it gets crappy out... all the stuff that will serve you well when eventually you jump off for the tropics. Then sell and move up. Don't expect to recoup all the money that you willl have spent on the 30 footer... that's unlikely! But consider the lost funds as tuition expenses, and the price for lots of fun that you will have had... and the cost for being able to wisely buy your next boat.

Worked for us... hope that you can enjoy the same successes.

Jim
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:59   #7
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Re: Start small?

Nzmal,


Buying a 32 footer to start with has worked out well for my wife and I. My experience prior to this boat has been 30 + years of power boating. After I decided to retire early in life I thought this was my chance to take up sailing. After researching everything that comes with sailboat ownership and past experiences others. The maximum size boat I came up with was be 32' to 34'. Several things were factored in to come up with that size. Dockage, maintenance, insurance and the cost of the boat itself. The boat is large enough for two without feeling cramped for a few weeks at a time. Its extremely easy to sail in wind up to 15 to 18 knots. After that I'm not really sure because we head in or don't go out in the first place. Learning sail safely has been a priority for this first year.


Good luck to you both, Woody
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Old 04-02-2016, 13:06   #8
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Re: Start small?

I agree with Jim. We had a 22 footer for 3 years a 25 for 13 and this boat for the past 18.

The difference in boat SYSTEMS is staggering, in a positive way. One battery in the old boats ran lights, a Loran and depthsounder, and not much else.

Start adding an inboard engine and refrigeration requiring a robust electrical system and the game changes dramatically.

You end up learning about all these kinda things: "101" Series - Quick Links to "Popular" Topics includes "Electrical 101"

Tons easier learning on a smaller boat.

Not yet mentioned: Until you do some serious coastal cruising like in Jim's example, you really don't know enough to know what YOU want and need in a larger boat. And recognize that wants and needs are two very different things.

Good luck, no matter what your choice.
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Old 04-02-2016, 13:46   #9
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Re: Start small?

I think I'd split the difference... There are some great boats for going anywhere between 32 and 38 feet.
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Old 04-02-2016, 13:48   #10
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Re: Start small?

I agree with those who say get the boat you need for now. Also, if you get the right 30 footer you might find that it will still suit you when the time comes to cruise.
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Old 04-02-2016, 16:49   #11
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Re: Start small?

I would echo the idea that you might like the smaller boat. 20 years ago people were cruising on smaller boats. And there were more people doing it. Could be there's something about getting into bigger boats that makes cruising less desirable. It certainly would make it more work. Don Casey writes about this and he's fairly compelling. Or maybe I am just looking for things that support my own choice.


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Old 04-02-2016, 16:57   #12
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Re: Start small?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boathooked View Post
I am different, I say go big now.
I agree. I got a 39' boat as my first boat even though I believed we really wanted a bigger boat but were afraid to do it. The only thing I "learned" was that we wanted a bigger boat. The ended up costing us $20,000 or so overall in lost value and selling costs.


As long as you know you like sailing get the boat you really want now.
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Old 04-02-2016, 17:52   #13
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Re: Start small?

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I agree. I got a 39' boat as my first boat even though I believed we really wanted a bigger boat but were afraid to do it. The only thing I "learned" was that we wanted a bigger boat. The ended up costing us $20,000 or so overall in lost value and selling costs.


As long as you know you like sailing get the boat you really want now.
You can buy a 39' boat as your first boat but you really do not learn sailing for years.

The boat is just too big for you to understand what happens when you pull a "string."

Whereas, on a small boat with lots of sail area when you change something things happen immediately and you learn.

I presently have a Bristol 27.

It weighs/displaces 6600lbs and has the same sail area as my last racing Beach Cat a Nacra F-17 which weighed 300 lbs.

That catamaran which was made to race singlehanded as I did with it also had a spinnaker.....

I simply believe it's best to know how to sail first then cruise.

Others like to depend on their engine...........

The 30' boat would be best for now until you learn what it is you really plan to do with it.

There are so many "cruisers" with big boats that never leave the dock.
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Old 04-02-2016, 18:14   #14
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Re: Start small?

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You can buy a 39' boat as your first boat but you really do not learn sailing for years.

The boat is just too big for you to understand what happens when you pull a "string."
Common story from the small boat people. Yet those that skip that small boat step seem to sail out and return.
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Old 04-02-2016, 18:38   #15
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Re: Start small?

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Common story from the small boat people.
Sure, you can motor out on your large sailboat, sail a few hundred yards, motor back in and have a great time.

It's all about what you want out of sailing.

You can drive to your boat or hike. Drive or cycle. Some folks like the effort involved with a small boat using the motor as little as possible.

Or enjoy getting as much out of a $2,000 boat as some do from a $150,000 plus boat.

If you are unsure if cruising is for you, smaller is definitely the way to go until you have decided for sure.

This is why I'm still sailing my Bristol 27. I haven't decided yet if I'm a cruiser kinda guy
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