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Old 28-02-2019, 10:57   #1
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Question new to everything sailing

good day everyone, as mentioned above i am new to the sailing world ( and posting in forums ) but am very excited to get going in a new adventure while I am able as i am not a kid any more. I am seriously looking at purchasing a sailboat to cruise off the west coast of North America and hopefully into the South Pacific eventually. My first question is do i have to get insurance and where do I even start looking for boat insurance and any ball park guesses as to what it would cost me to insure a 1973, 42 foot Ketch.
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Old 28-02-2019, 12:29   #2
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Re: new to everything sailing

Aloha Ted;

You don't need insurance to own and operate a sailboat, however most marinas will require a minimum of liability insurance to keep your boat.
The rest is up to you, I defer to others who have been offshore with / without insurance.

Pardon me for pushing my advice on you - I am in much the same situation as you but with a 3 year head start:

A 42' is pretty big for someone with zero experience. Many will say start with a course, start with dinghy sailing, start small. I say start with 24' - 32'. something you definitely can handle on your own i.e. you can turn it around by hand at the dock, you can easily handle the sails on your own etc...
If you can afford it, go ahead and get the 42' as well, but I think it is well worth you owning and learning on a smaller boat, something you can easily find for 10K or under if money is more an issue.
Best maybe if you can start on someone else's boat, and bestest if you can spend time on as many boats as possible. All boats are compromises and only you can say what mix of features and compromises suit you - and given you have no experience, you cannot say at this time what exactly you want and need.

Amazing deals pop up all the time, I would not get too hung up on a particular boat at this time - boomers are getting older, knees are giving out. I reckon it will be a buyers market for distance cruisers for a long time yet.

You can also consider buying a boat and learning at the destination of your choice - lots of cruises end for one reason or another in paradise. Sounds like papeete or fiji may be a good place for you to search.

All up - welcome to the community, ignore the naysayers but listen to all the good advice soon to come your way. And let us know how you felt the first time you get away from the dock on your own... for me it was possibly the most amazing (firghtening, exhilarating) experience of my life - and I have done some living!

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Old 28-02-2019, 12:48   #3
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Re: new to everything sailing

thank you for your advise, no need to ask for pardon on advise I asked for, I have taken a couple coarses already and I am a "all in or nothing", "jump in with both feet", "throw caution to the wind" kind of guy, that is why I am looking at a bigger boat that will accommodate my whole family. My issue with start small and build up is mainly expense, I don't have alot of it so I need to get something I can grow into and not the other way around. Additionally it would be big enough to live on for extended periods of time while I learn to sail on friends smaller crafts.
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Old 28-02-2019, 14:22   #4
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Re: new to everything sailing

Hi TedR, welcome to the party! Sounds like you are in the same place I was 10 months ago, when I found Delos on YouTube and resolved to sail away as soon as possible, notwithstanding that my boating experience was limited to driving the rowing coach around on the Tennessee River, twenty years ago! Since the eureka moment I have bought a boat, learned to sail her, sold or put everything on the market, and moved the boat and our family to South Florida where we now sit, about 6 weeks away from leaving for the Bahamas. So you are not alone in throwing caution to the wind and just going for it!!! No better teacher than experience

You will need liability insurance at a minimum - it's a few hundred $ a year and required any reputable marina. Hull coverage is going to be a pain in the ass, especially given your experience level and the age of the boat you are considering. A lot of insurers have backed away from yacht coverage in recent years, or reigned in exposure as for example GEICO/BoatUS who will no longer newly insure any boat older than thirty years. Then there is your experience level... the only insurance I was able to get for my Tayana 37 was thru Bill Hodgens at YachtInsure, and the policy is both expensive and fairly useless: it requires a Licensed Captain i.e. instructor or charter captain to be on board AT ALL TIMES, or one has to sign me off at whatever expense that entails. The insurer indicated that not even passing ASA104 would suffice for the experience requirement. We have been unable to find anyone willing to go out and train us on our boat, do the checkoff, at least so far. The sailing schools don't usually prefer that kind of business, at least in my experience.

As to the boat size / complexity issue, yalla is probably right that a smaller, simpler boat will be easier to handle and maintain, not to mention cheaper. Loads on sails and lines increase exponentially with vessel size... Hauling in an unruly jib on a 40ft boat is much more difficult than 133% of a 30ft boat. My boat is 37 feet, but had several unusual (for its size) features that are awesome but do add to complexity - things like a Watermaker, SSB, Diesel heater, water pressure tanks etc. I am sure that we will enjoy those features when we learn to use them, but for now we're still working through the basic systems! All that said, buy the boat you want, complexity be damned! You will learn to manage her in due course. Better to buy a solid boat you'll love and care for, than to settle for something "sensible".
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:13   #5
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Re: new to everything sailing

TedR: While I certainly do not wish to discourage you with respect to your wanting to purchase your own boat after taking a couple of sailing lessons, to must agree with at least one forum member who suggested a 42' sailboat might be somewhat large for a new sailor to handle, never mind the expense which is a personal issue.

You mention having taken a couple of sailing courses and that you are "not a kid anymore". While you did not state your actual age, I understand you are excited and anxious to purchase a substantial boat. One other forum member has recommended you disregard the "naysayers", but I recommend you pay attention to the common sense sailors; for a new to sailing individual to purchase a 42 foot sailboat is simply foolish and probably the best way for one to become disheartened and give up on sailing completely. Yes, get out on the water as much as possible, join a club that has regular regattas, continue with the courses (i. e., navigation, cruising, etc.) as you do not want to depend exclusively upon electronics, and purchase a sailboat you can single hand comfortably prior to "jumping in" with a boat that could cause you to jump right out of sailing! I say this particularly where you indicate your intent to take your family along with you as you embark upon extensive cruising. While my remarks may not sound it, I have often been considered a "throw caution to the wind" type individual myself, but in this instance I know what I'm talking about and I defy any other experienced sailor to dispute my logic!
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:14   #6
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Re: new to everything sailing

Hey My 1977 42ft Ketch has cost for full insurance here in the UK around $350
for 60 miles offshore from the UK
Dont worry about the size of the boat my first boat was 42ft and I bought it with only Dingy experience, get an Instructor to give you a few days of showing you the boat and then go out and learn yourself , read books and watch videos
No problems if you have the mindset.
Go forth and sail
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:45   #7

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Re: new to everything sailing

Quote: " My first question is do i have to get insurance and where do I even start looking for boat insurance and any ball park guesses as to what it would cost me to insure a 1973, 42 foot Ketch. "

You go to the Insurance Agent/Broker through which you've arranged your present insurance on your home. He will either be able to place your coverage with an underwriter he works with, and if he cannot do that, for whatever reason, he will refer you to another agent who can.

There are two kinds of coverage: 1) "Hull" insurance" which covers damage you may do to YOUR OWN boat, and 2) "Liability insurance" which covers damage your may do to SOMEONE ELSE's property of whatever kind it may be.

To get Hull coverage you must prove the condition of your boat by submitting to the underwriter (via the agent) a SURVEY performed by an APPROVED (by the underwriter) SURVEYOR. The underwriter may or may not 'accept the risk" depending on the condition of the boat, or he may accept the risk subject to certain specified repairs being made prior to putting to sea.

In considering whether to accept the risk of LIABILITY coverage, the underwriter will consider YOUR competence as evidenced by formal qualifications and by prior seagoing experience.

The underwriter may place restrictions on where the vessel can be operated. He will do so on the basis of the vessel's "fitness for her trade" (inland, coastal or deep sea) and on the basis of his perception of your competence as skipper.

Damage done to YOUR boat by SOMEONE ELSE is NOT covered by your insurance. It may or may not be covered by insurance held by that someone else. The procedure, in such an event, is that you apprise your insurer of the damage, he foots the bill for the repairs, and then he SUBROGATES (recovers) the expense from that someone else's insurer, or, in the case that that someone else is uninsured, by obtaining judgement against that someone else. In such circumstances, once you have the pay-out, you are out of the picture, and the dispute - if any - is between the insurers and you have nothing to do with it.

You can choose to "self-insure". That means that you have NO insurance but accept all the risks yourself. Do NOT let a "well meaning" mate (or impecuniousness) persuade you to go that route. Yacht repairs are unbelievably expensive. To replace a simple rubbing strake can easily set you back ten grand!

Different underwriters will assess these risks differently and will charge different premiums for equal coverage, so you will have perceived that we are not the people to ask. You Agent/Broker is!

All the best

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Old 01-03-2019, 12:10   #8
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Re: new to everything sailing

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, I kind of lost track of my initial question thanks for reeling me back in.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:14   #9
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Re: new to everything sailing

Thank you to everyone who is responding and advising, i am not very good at responding but I am reading all messages and considering all comments thank again
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Old 01-03-2019, 13:02   #10

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Re: new to everything sailing

Quote: “I am seriously looking at purchasing a sailboat to cruise off the west coast of North America and hopefully into the South Pacific eventually.”

What, precisely, do you mean by “cruise off the west coast of North America”? Are you aware that the west coast of North America, all the way from Alaska to Baha California is a VERY unforgiving piece of water that even VERY experienced sailors tackle only after MUCH preparation and with MUCH caution?

You have not stated where you are presently located, so I assume you are not familiar with this coast. The dangers of the west coast notwithstanding, there are wonderful cruising waters in Puget Sound in Washington State and in British Columbia north from the Gulf Islands as far as Hecate Strait. These waters are eminently suitable for novices to “get their feet wet”. Some bits of water within this Salish Sea are utterly benign, and some are very challenging. You simply couldn't ask for better for cruising men and women of every level of experience.

As for a suitable boat: A competent skipper can handle any boat he is given to handle, so assuming that you get to the requisite level of competence, selection of a boat becomes a matter of taste and preferences. chacun son got. Boat handling is the least of it. I can teach you the basics of that in a week-end. Thence it becomes a matter of developing judgment, and that cannot be taught — only learned. As the saying goes: “ Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment”. That is why it takes a lifetime to learn to be a skipper! A skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. He cannot do that unless he keeps his boat safe.

You can get a jump on all this by reading. Read the classic books of the people that went before us: Chichester, The Roths, The Coperlands and many more. Get a feel for what is really out there. But that in itself is not enough. You also need to learn something about why boats are shaped and rigged the way they are. Give yourself a good grounding by getting (off Amazon if you like) Skeene's Elements of Yacht Design by Francis Kinney. With that under your belt, proceed to the many, many other technical texts that are available. If you get yourself in an academic mood, delve into the many books of Czeslaw A. Marchaj such as Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing.

In the benign winds and waves of summer in the Salish Sea you can learn on a “big” boat just as well as on a small one. I have taught many, many raw beginners ab initio on a 65 foot ketch. So what is “benign” in this context? You will learn that from experience in the particular boat you have. But to learn it safely, you need to have the intellectual ballast of being a good weather forecaster. So where do you get that ballast? Do read up, diligently, on meteorology.

Enough, already :-)! I lay all this before you because the way you asked your question about insurance, and the way you blithely said you want to cruise the west coast of North America, made me jump. A great many people, when sailing first comes into their ken, think that buying a boat and running away to sea is no different from buying an F350 and blowing 'er down Route 66. Be aware that there is MUCH more to it than that!

All the best

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Old 03-03-2019, 07:50   #11
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Re: new to everything sailing


Yep live those dreams !

You have received a lot of different ideas, and you can take your pick
or mix and match . Great scoops from everyone.

However, you just beginning and are not familiar with boats, seaman ship and sailing.

In other words , it is pretty hard to know what you are doing, what type of vessel that would really suit you, and know and understand all boat systems, and handling a sailing vessel.

So, we are going to toss in another idea into the mix. You make your own
decision as to what is best for you.

If possible, join a sailing club. No huge out lay of cash or expenses.

The club should have several types of sailing vessels from about 27 on up to the 40's.

Plus, USCG certified instructors, and structured courses that include, boat systems, rigging, all aspects of sailing, seaman ship, anchoring, emergencies, coastal piloting and navigation and marine weather.

The above is just a short list. None of us will ever know it all, and sailing
is a constant learning curve.

What is also good , You likely will be training on several different types and makes of sailing vessels, plus after your check out , you can sail the clubs boats on your own.

This is good in deciding what type of boat to own.

Gaining experience, you will become familiar with what you like, and what you do not like about certain boats. Then you will be able to make an informed decision, as to choice of which boat to purchase. Along with a professional survey.

Without that knowledge and experience, that is actually very low cost,
you could possibly leap in and purchase a boat that turns out to be not what you want.

Also, buying an older boat, we have found, that unless it has been maintained on a steady basis, there will be additional expenses that can
amount to huge lay outs of cash and time and even safety problems. That is not fun.

Also, suggest, that your wife, also is dedicated to going thru all of the
training with you. We believe in team work, and sharing all aspects
of sailing and navigating.

Also, nautical terminology is very important to know and understand for
skipper and crew.

Yep , with a sailing club, if you wish, you can gain knowledge, while having fun, and add on sailing experience, and be well prepared for your grand new sailing lifestyle. No huge outlay of cash before your purchase.

And, as the other posters have said.

We all started out , where you are, and have progressed to where we are
today, by our own different methods of gaining those goals.

What ever your choice, the fabulous world of sailing, and all that
it holds, is waiting for you.

Retiring early is a great plan . And, having mental and physical health
and living those active dreams early is very important.

Go for it !
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Old 18-04-2019, 05:43   #12
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Re: new to everything sailing

Your question " My first question is do I have to get insurance and where do I even start looking for boat insurance and any ballpark guesses as to what it would cost me to insure a 1973, 42 foot Ketch."

My answer: You will need a full survey/appraisal done on the boat. Then I want to say from our experience with our 1973 Cal 2-46 we really didn't have problems getting insured. We had progressive insurance while in the USA and Bahamas but to go further we had to get different insurance... we went with
Russell Jamieson, VP
26 Oleander St, Cocoa, FL 32922
Office: (321) 459-9905
Fax: (321) 459-3699

Our cost is around the $3,000 a year dollar mark and that's because we also covered contents on the boat, dinghy & motor, and have insurance to cover us incase we are hit by someone who doesnt have insurance. So, the cost is based on the demand.
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Old 18-04-2019, 05:53   #13
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Re: new to everything sailing

Hi just got my 1979 42ft Ketch insured
no survey needed , as last one 2 years ago
Fully comp,
400 I know its UK based but shop around there are good deals out there
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