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Old 26-09-2009, 11:11   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: 83 Montego 20
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Advice On Beginner Boats?


I've been looking around online for some decent beginners boats and was wondering if any of you could suggest some boats that would be good for me. I'd be sailing around Jacksonville, FL in the St. Johns, maybe take a trip to St. Augustine once I'm more comfortable... I'd like a boat that is trailerable, around 20 ft, berthing for at least two and room for a portapottie. I'd be using it mostly for a daysailer, occasional weekend trip, and cheap would be nice. I know that prices on boats vary because of how well maintained a boat is and company that makes it, but is there a mass produced boat that is fairly inexpensive? I'm not looking for something high quality, just a boat that I can mess around with until I'm ready to upgrade.

Maybe a boat like that doesn't exsist, but I figured any of you might know. Thanks for the help.
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Old 26-09-2009, 13:25   #2
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Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
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Catalina 22, Cal 22-24, Catalina 25, as well as some of the Hunter's in that size range are certainly one's I'd consider.

For a but more luxury, and still reasonable to tow, I'd consider the Hunter water ballast 26.

Many more I'm sure, but those are a few to get your search started.
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Old 26-09-2009, 13:40   #3
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I was looking at Craigslist the other day and there were a surprising number of boats available with a full range of prices and conditions. Not a bad place to start.

With a 20'er you'll be looking at boats with an outboard motor (at least that is what I would want). You will want a reliable motor so it could turn out to be the single largest expense - discount or add as appropriate (you may want to check out your local marine store for 5-20hp motor prices --- and weights). The dingy could be the second big expense. After that it will just be a matter of picking though the boats. Most 20's don't put a lot of strain on the rigging. The lines might be old but they can be replaced fairly cheaply and easily. You'll want to have a look at the sails for condtion but again, not a huge expense to replace or add --- you might even find someone with some used sails. I suggest hank-on sails for a small boat vice roller furling...this will give you more sail options. There shouldn't be too many thru-hulls, if any, and that is a good thing - that is what will sink a small boat. Basic wiring for a depth sounder, VHF radio, and a single 12 volt battery to power the GPS, CD player and occasional interior lights at night will be plenty. I wouldn't get too wrapped up about the paint/gelcoat - this is where you can put some elbow grease in to clean it up and practice your skills. Boats ALWAYS need a buff and bottom - with a trailer boat you might as well do it yourself rather than pay the past owner - IMO.

Keep it simple and you will sail more, and maintain less.

After you see 1/2 dozen boats or so, you will have a very good idea of what has been maintained and what hasn't, and what it is going to cost you.
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Old 27-09-2009, 00:00   #4
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Thanks, that's exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.
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Old 27-09-2009, 01:09   #5
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We have a 1976 tanzer 22 we sail here in PEI - the cockpit is huge - great for going out for the day and bringing friends- she sails like a dream - quick and smooth, ours won several races. Not alot of headroom but has a V-berth and a sink so you can take her for a weekend - Ours didn't have a head but one was added to our boat by another owner. She has been a great starter boat for us.
"You can not have adventures and your bedroom slippers too." Anais Nin
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