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Old 23-01-2023, 18:55   #1
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Getting into sailing

Iíve been around or owned powerboats since I was 9 (Iím 52 now) with zero sailing experience. Weíre on a landlocked lake in Georgia but we have aspirations to cruise the east coast in retirement. We have a nice SeaRay 370 Sundancer currently but weíve been thinking about learning to sail for several years now. Admittedly we are spoiled and used to some of the creature comforts weíve had in our various powerboats. We do spend the night on the boat often and have are used to having A/C and heat so we are comfortable year round. We want an inboard motor and a wheel but we donít really have to have a generator for AC at night. On our lake sleeping in the slip on shore power would be convenient enough. Iím not looking to buy THE boat to cruise the east coast, but I want the conveniences in a boat weíll use for several years to learn how to sail and see if sailing is for us. I guess Iím wondering if what we want dictates a certain size/year sailboat. Like I said we know nothing about sailing and sailboats, we just love boating and are looking to expand out horizons. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
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Old 23-01-2023, 19:34   #2
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Re: Getting into sailing

Welcome, I'm glad you're here. I've been on Lanier once or twice and on the shores of Carters Lake once up by Dalton. Lived in North Georgia for a year or two and in Atlanta briefly also.


The three things to consider are that:


1) People learn differently, class vs hands-on


2) Budget is a major factor


3) Willingness to start small is a major factor.


My personal experience was that the transition from power to sail was not difficult. I did it on a 24' keelboat. But that isn't true for everyone and I've met people who became frustrated and gave up trying the same thing with similar background.


My advice is, if you like classes and are good at learning in classes, take some. I'm bad at taking classes. A fact to consider is that the classes that are available are oriented more towards boat rental/charter and as a rule don't cover boat selection or the purchasing process.



If you like to start small and experiment, that's fine too, it's what worked for me.



If you want to buy a brand new 40' boat and hire someone to teach you to sail it, well, there are people who do that and who are successful. More than you might think. But mistakes are expensive and it's slower to learn when you're being conservative to avoid making an expensive mistake.


If you could share some more about you and your goals, means, and what you consider acceptable you'll get some better answers.
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Old 23-01-2023, 20:31   #3
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Re: Getting into sailing

Welcome aboard! If you think you’d like the feel of a boat accelerating silently with just the pull of some ropes on a big piece of cloth, you’ll love sailing! I took a friend out a while back who had no sailing experience. We motored for a while then once in the breeze, I turned off the engine, raised the sails, tightened them up and the boat heeled over a bit and took off. He just looked at me with big eyes and yelled “wow!” That pretty much says it. Get a Catalina 25 or 27. They sail really well, they are simple, you can learn on it, you can sleep on it and if the day comes you want to sell it you won’t lose much money, they re-sell easily. Good luck!
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Old 23-01-2023, 20:38   #4
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Re: Getting into sailing

Given my proclivities in sailboats, I'm somewhat loath to make a blind recommendation, so perhaps this is a "ha penny" worth.
A Catalina can be good choice.
Size? You'd want to look at a few.
A nice feature is that they are still being made and all kinds of parts for them are available, and info and help are easily found.
They're not "high strung", but rather forgiving and not complicated to use and maintain.
Edit, I see that Don beat me to it.
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Old 24-01-2023, 01:45   #5
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Re: Getting into sailing

You have a lake nearby which is a good location to learn to sail. A cheap sailing dinghy is a very good way to start, though you might not like the capsizing aspect which is an integral part of dinghy sailing. A small keel boat is just as good. The point is to learn to sail gently without an engine. There must be organisations on your lake that do teaching in dinghies, keel boats or yachts. This will tell you whether or not sailingís for you.
I dare say the biggest adjustment will be in living space. Power boats have bigger accommodation in the same overall length.
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Old 24-01-2023, 06:23   #6
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Re: Getting into sailing

Don't spend a dime yet, you don't know what you're buying. Join a yacht club and crew for anybody, on any size sailboat, anytime. Your phone will not stop ringing. Give it six months and you will be much more informed, and you never know, you might not actually like it - unless you're nuts, like the rest of us.
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Old 24-01-2023, 06:30   #7
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Re: Getting into sailing

Your easiest transition will be to a 40' catamaran. Why 40? Big enough to have almost all the toys, and small enough to fit under ICW bridges. Assuming you are adept at handling the 37' searay with twin engines. the migration to the cat will be easy. Just get GOOD bluetooth headsets as you will need to coordinate with your deckhand. FWIW, many wives can handle the boat very well and hubby is on deck...

Learn to sail on anything you can. Take the ASA 101 and 103, they are a good foundation. Then do a charter someplace with the express condition that it is a teaching charter. You want to sail the boat! Most charter guys are reasonably good sailors.

Also consider crewing on a local race. Most of the folks who do them are fairly relaxed. If you get on a decent boat, you will learn more about sail trim in a few races than in the ASA classes'

When you finally buy your boat, be on-board for the delivery and budget time in the delivery for some training. Assuming you screen and select a good silvery person, this will further hone your skills and you will pick up some tricks on running your boat.
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Old 29-01-2023, 14:55   #8
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Re: Getting into sailing

Looks like I need to setup my account for notifications!
Lots of great feedback!

I was planning to spend $25-30K total. The ability to overnight in AC comfort is an absolute have to have.

I'm not much of a classroom guy, I am a very fast hands on learner. I also like the idea of buying a boat for livability and then pay someone to teach me to sail it.

There are several sailing schools on our lake and I plan to utilize them for the basics. I really like the idea of crewing for a couple of races.

Eventually we would like to cruise the east coast year round...but it'll be many years before we do that. And when we do make that move we think a catamaran will give us the most living space.

I'm looking at a 1977 Gulfstar 37' this week. Just getting an idea of what's out there.
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Old 29-01-2023, 19:45   #9
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Re: Getting into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by 270win View Post
I was planning to spend $25-30K total. The ability to overnight in AC comfort is an absolute have to have.

[....]
I'm looking at a 1977 Gulfstar 37' this week. Just getting an idea of what's out there.

A/C is a valuable thing on lakes in Georgia :/


You will need shore power which means that you will need a slip. I don't know what slips cost there, typically around $4000 a year plus allow at least $1000 for insurance. That will drive your minimum annual budget.


It is not ordinarily feasible/fun to run A/C while at anchor.


Be aware that in that price range and size you will be looking at boats with back maintenance.
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Old 01-02-2023, 10:34   #10
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Re: Getting into sailing

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A/C is a valuable thing on lakes in Georgia :/


You will need shore power which means that you will need a slip. I don't know what slips cost there, typically around $4000 a year plus allow at least $1000 for insurance. That will drive your minimum annual budget.


It is not ordinarily feasible/fun to run A/C while at anchor.


Be aware that in that price range and size you will be looking at boats with back maintenance.
We currently keep our 40 LOA SeaRay in a 40x14 covered slip. It's 2100 per quarter with the power bill included. We run the hvac year round.

The boats I'm finding don't have generators, but I mainly want ac for sleeping while in the slip. For us that just means no summer nights spent on the hook.

Like I said in the OP, we're spoiled. If we aren't plugged into the shore power we have the generator on. I still think we will enjoy sailing. Power boating on a land locked lake has become very boring to me. I feel like the challenges that will come from sailing will be refreshing.
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Old 01-02-2023, 10:46   #11
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Re: Getting into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowdrie View Post
Given my proclivities in sailboats, I'm somewhat loath to make a blind recommendation, so perhaps this is a "ha penny" worth.
A Catalina can be good choice.
Size? You'd want to look at a few.
A nice feature is that they are still being made and all kinds of parts for them are available, and info and help are easily found.
They're not "high strung", but rather forgiving and not complicated to use and maintain.
Edit, I see that Don beat me to it.

Just piling on here:


An unknown but important aspect of Catalinas is that each different sized boat (not just the manufacturer, EACH different size one) has a valuable online owners association. You never have to reinvent the wheel to repair or enhance the boat. Someone's already done it and has documented how to do it. [Usually found at www.catalinaXYZ.org]
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:57   #12
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Re: Getting into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Just piling on here:


An unknown but important aspect of Catalinas is that each different sized boat (not just the manufacturer, EACH different size one) has a valuable online owners association. You never have to reinvent the wheel to repair or enhance the boat. Someone's already done it and has documented how to do it. [Usually found at www.catalinaXYZ.org]
That's a pretty compelling point regarding the resources available from the Catalina owners community. Sounds like a good starring point for many reasons.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:16   #13
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Re: Getting into sailing

270WIN. What lake are you on/near in Georgia?

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Old 02-02-2023, 06:33   #14
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Re: Getting into sailing

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270WIN. What lake are you on/near in Georgia?

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Lake Lanier.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:21   #15
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Re: Getting into sailing

i would say to start small but with your requirements that is may not possible. be aware that a 35 - 37 foot sailboat is a lot heavier and lot less maneuverable than a power boat. also if you dock the boat on the coast the price will be much more than the lake.
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