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Old 28-05-2016, 09:23   #1
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Sailing on a Budget


I'm a new sailor. I took ASA 101 course this year and have gone out a couple of times. I would like to sail more but my biggest problem is the cost. I'm hesitant to buy a boat since I may have a newborn in a couple of years and I know that will make it much harder to go out. Also the slip fees add up fast. Renting a sailboat can be exorbitant at $235 for 4 hours for a beatup Catalina 22 that is older than me.

Does anyone know a good way to get more time on the water on the cheap? Is there something I am missing?

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Old 28-05-2016, 09:38   #2
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Where are you located, Mark?

I bet someone can point you toward a sailing club or association.

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Old 28-05-2016, 09:58   #3
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Probably the cheapest would be to buy a small trailer sailor. Avoid the slip fees.

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Old 28-05-2016, 10:02   #4
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Cheap small boat something in the 14 to 18 ft range. Daggerboard or swing keel.

This size range is easy to tow behind a small car. No slip fees.

They are also pretty cheap to buy used. If you pick one up for between $1000 and $2000 its likely to sell for as much as you paid (or more) 5 to 10 years later.

These are sensitive to weight distribution... and you have to step the mast every time out, but they can be a lot of fun on the lake.
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Old 28-05-2016, 10:28   #5
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

A small trailer sailer is a good option, as is joining a local sailing club/yacht club. A lot of clubs have boats available to use for free for members. As an example, at my YC we have an Easterly 30, a S2 7.x, four flying Scotts, and a V15 or two any member can use for free once they are checked out. My membership dues are $600/year.

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Old 28-05-2016, 11:16   #6
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

I'll look around for a local sailing club. I was also thinking of a Sunfish since I could store it in my garage.
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Old 28-05-2016, 11:35   #7
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

It depends on where you live and what access to the waters you have.

Check local sail clubs if becoming a member might get you access to boats for way less than any charter could.

If there are many ramps or the shore is very easy, you can have a trailerable boat.

Another option is renting a rack and keeping something that you just lift on one arm and store in between your trips. Second hand Lasers / Hats or Sunfishes should not be too expensive to buy/use and re-sell later.

At other times a part-share is a good option - esp. once you step into heavier keel boats that require a dock/marina berth.

Last but not least - a windsurfer or a kitesurfing s/h kit can be had for next to nothing and then sold off. Zero need for ramps or racks. You can bring your kiting kit to the waterside in a rucksack.

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Old 29-05-2016, 07:27   #8
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

In San Diego there are several MeetUp groups that provide a way to spend time on the water for less money. Check your area. They are also a great way to learn and socialize. If there's not one in your area, start one.
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Old 29-05-2016, 07:28   #9
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

There is a place on this website for people looking for crew or to crew..In your local area hang around a marina and ask if anyone is looking for crew. Go to a sailing club-they are always looking for crew. Check out craigslist.

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Old 29-05-2016, 07:30   #10
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Find someone you can crew for. I've been taught how to sail and usually spend a couple of weeks in the North Channel every year all because the boat owner needs someone to help him out. I am not subject to sea sickness so that means I usually cook the meals while we are underway.

BTW: I sold my last boat when my partner was pregnant. Looking back it probably was the right thing but it took me 20 years to get back into boat ownership.
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Old 29-05-2016, 07:59   #11
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Look into building a Puddle Duck Racer, or go a little bigger and build the Goose. I doubt that there's a group of sailors who have more fun on the water than Duckers!
A small boat and a suitcase full of money beat a 40 footer tied to a bank every time!
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:09   #12
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Walk the docks at your local Marina with a case of beer. Someone would be glad to take you out for a day cruise. Just don't bring to much beer or you might end up anchoring for the night
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:50   #13
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Small, easy to trailer boat (16-20') will work well. Low investment and operating costs/maintenance. It's generally better to start small and learn what her ideal boat will be. A year of slip fees is more than you need for a used, low end, day sailer and you can probably resell it at a minimal loss.
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:51   #14
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

Option one is to start racing - there is always need for a crew member on a racing boat No need of prior experience as they always need sone dead weight. This will be the first step to meet boat owners who later will invite you as sailing companion

Option two is to get a trailer sailer for free I have seen several on Craigslist Try areas like New York or Chicago LA Seattle SF Dallas Houston and many places in FL 18 to 26 feet
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Old 29-05-2016, 09:20   #15
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Re: Sailing on a Budget

A little more info needed. Is it just you sailing? Do you have room to park a trailer? Depends on where you are. Locally we have a boat yard that stores boats on trailer that weigh less than 6500# for around $130 and that includes 5 launches from a hoist a month. We also have a sailing club where you help work on the boats to make it affordable. But I think the best suggestion is walking the docks with a case of beer! If you just put the word out you'll find a boat to crew on. And in a way it is great to sail with many different skippers, you can learn a lot about sailing, and how to be a good skipper!

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