Let me take a crack at this and let other chip in as they may.
At 6 foot 2 inches does this eliminate some boats from purchase consideration? Limit me to certain makes or sizes of boat.
It depends on what you're planning to do. Day sailing
, weekends, long distance, etc. There are a number of tall folks that are quite happy with their boats that have less than stand-up room. So this is a question that you have to answer for yourself.
In one of the threads there was a list of recommended makes of boats - very useful - thanks Is there a similar list of boats the should not be considered (“don't touch with a barge pool”)?
Barge pool? I don't think that one can categorically reject any make of boat. Again it depends upon your own priorities. There are some boats I wouldn't want under any circumstance but others love. A personal example are the Beneteau's. My objection is that the rudder
hangs out all by its lonesome and is very subject to damage. I sail in some very, very thin water
so this make sense to me. Others, sailing in deeper waters might not have this concern. Similarly, because I sail in thin water
I don't want a deep draft
Is ASA or taking cruising classes a must or just a very, very good idea?
I'd say a very good idea.
What would be the recommended earliest year, that is, don't consider buying a boat prior to a given year
The year is a bit trickier. Obviously, if you go back far enough you will eliminate fiberglass
as a building material and be left with wood
, of ferro
cement. There are implications here with regards to maintenance
, and financing
. In my area, some repair
yards will not lift
a wooden hull
boat. Some will if there is a current survey
. Also, regardless of material, some insurance companies have qualms about insuring boats past a certain age.
So my recommendation is to not dismiss an older boat out of hand. If you find one you like, make sure you check out these other factors. There are some boats out there that are as old as I am (older than dirt) that are super. Remember though, unless you come across a real gem, the older boats are going to probably take a lot more work
to get up to snuff.
In a thread on one of the forums (can't find it right now) “S/V Antares” made the comment “go to the yards and find unregistered boats then contact the owner”. What “yards”? How do you determine if a boat is “unregistered”?
I'm not quite sure what the other poster meant by "unregistered" but by yards, he/she was referring to boat yards. The place that hauls out the boats for maintenance
. Let's say you wander about in one of these places and come across a boat that interests you. Even better find a boat that interests you but that looks like it has been sitting for a very long time with work. Things like tattered tarps, lots of mold
, mildew, etc. In short, just plain neglected.
Next go to the folks running the yard and inquire about said boat. They may be willing to contact the owner to tell him that someone is interested. Just as commonly you will find that the boat has been abandoned and they've not payed any of their yard fees
. In this case the yard will often claim the boat and be willing to sell it for a song just to get rid of it. In some cases they will even give it away if you promise to get out there. I knew a guy at my marina that did just that. There was an abandoned 26 Columbia
in the yard. He was told that if he took it away it was his for free. He put $400 in materials and some sweat equity and had a cute little boat which he named "Lil Repo". A year later he sold
it for $4k
Finally, if you are going to be looking at these older boats I'd suggest looking into the magazine "Good Old Boat". I think you'll find it informative. I know I enjoy it.
Good luck, hope this helps.