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Old 09-01-2011, 16:15   #1
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New Sailing Couple Requires Boat

We are at the researching stage on sail boats, have never sailed before and looking at getting into it starting with weekends and moving towards vacation time and eventually maybe even live aboard. wanting to get ideas on where to start in terms of make and size...
looking for input.....
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Old 09-01-2011, 16:26   #2
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start with taking a couple of lessons
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Old 09-01-2011, 16:29   #3
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I would suggest you start with something used, but solid. You haven't mentioned what your budget is for the boating start-up, but I can say anything you buy new, you need to devalue by 40% the minute you take possession. The boat itself loses about 25% of its value immediately, then you will lose another 10% to the broker that sells it if you find you don't like boating, and another 5% will go to meeting the buyer's demands to accept it. If you buy a good used boat, most of the financial flogging has already been inflicted on the previous owner(s) if it was well maintained, and if it wasn't well maintained----trust me on this one---you don't want it.

An older boat gives you the opportunity to learn how to fix things, which no matter how painful, you are going to have to learn sooner or later anyhow if you are thinking about living aboard. It also leads to less heartbreak at the docks while you are slammin' into them learning how to dock. If you live in a state with personal property taxes on boats, it saves you a bundle there too.

I am sure you can get much good advice on this forum about what is a good old b oat.
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Old 09-01-2011, 16:32   #4
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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
start with taking a couple of lessons
I really got to agree with this advice too. If you don't take some formal lessons, get a friend who really knows how to sail to teach you. Then also, take a safety course from either the coast guard auxillary, or the power squadron in your area.
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Old 09-01-2011, 16:47   #5
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Go for it! We were in a similar position a few years ago and did a few charters w some good friends. While I could follow directions, I needed to actually learn the mechanics of sailing myself so I purchased a day sailer and figured that out quickly. Then we purchased an older 30'er and now enjoy sailing trips and vacations. We had planned to live aboard in C.A. but health issues quashed that. Soooooo take the excellant advice from these experienced folks in measure and 'go for it' while you can.
A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again.

J.M.Synge, in The Aran Islands
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Old 09-01-2011, 17:03   #6
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get some lessons first, no matter what people say about "just buy a boat" make sure you like it first and what better way then maybe a week long class, you get to enjoy someone else's boat. LEARN a few things, take to a Capt who been around for a bit, feel what is like to sleep on board a boat, (based on what size you were on can give you info or a feel whats it's going to be like on your boat) all with out buying something you may have to sell if either of you don't like it. The dream is great and many have done it but many others have tried and washed there hands of it, it's just they after washing there hands of it don't hang out of sailing forums.
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Old 09-01-2011, 17:50   #7
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My wife and I are in the same boat (parden the pun).

We've had power boats all our lives (last was a 38' Owens) but wanted to get into sailing and leave the noise behind.

One day while looking at a used boat I found at a local marina, we had a man ask us what we were doing.

When I told him that we had never sailed and were looking to buy an older 27' to see if sailing was for us, he gave us the best advice ever.

He told us to take sailing lessons from a local club and then join.

We took our three day class which gave is ASA certification, we joined the club ($95 per month) which gives us unlimited use of their fleet of 22' and 25' Catalinas.

We have no slip rental, no insurance, no upkeep no worries about hurricanes. We've made some great new friends and next we are taking the six day Coastal Cruising course (six days at sea) on their huge Benny which will give us a start on understanding of the systems and sailing a larger boat up to 55'.

By the time the year is up, we will have pretty good idea of how to sail, what we want and don't want in the sailboat that is in or future.

Take the advice of the others here and take the lessons.

Good luck
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Old 10-01-2011, 21:03   #8
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Thanks to those that made comments. Yes, we are planning on courses/clinics/local marina stops to talk to people. I was more interested in getting some opinions on manufacturers and styles of boats along with size. If anyone has any comments on Hunters versus Catalinas or 27' versus 31-36'......
looking for input.....
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Old 10-01-2011, 22:14   #9
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sail other peoples boats until you find one you like. ask a lotta questions and find one ye like and ta daa--you're on your way. then go for it!
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Old 10-01-2011, 22:47   #10
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I'm sure you already know the difference between a sloop, a cutter, a ketch and so on. One important question to answer is what type of sailing do you intend - weekend sailing, vacation trips or long-distance, blue water cruising? You have light displacement boats, many with fin keels (possibly converted racers) that can make safe trips but with a loss in comfort. Light displacement boats tend to have more motion than a moderate to heavy displacement boat. My preference for a blue water cruiser: full keel or modified fin keel, skeg-mounted rudder, solid structure of hull (no core), sloop or cutter rig, 30 to 36 feet LOD. Mast should be stepped on deck with a compression post stepped on keel. I have 5 inch bulwarks on my Creala 36 that provide far more safety than the aluminum rails seen on most high production boats. Be sure to get a diesel, if you have an engine. No matter what boat you buy, check the integrity of the refrigerator, if it has one. Far too many boats have under-insulated fridges that suck power from your house bank batteries. Get AGM batteries, trouble-free, though expensive. Do you have access to all the critical areas of the boat or will you have to rip out walls, bulkheads and such to reach them? You'll have to compromise, for sure. Hope this little bit has helped.
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Old 10-01-2011, 22:48   #11
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I would say first off take your time, don't do anything in a Hurry, it's great to look at boats and think hey wouldn't it be nice to own that, as Zeehag said sail a number of boats, do some weekend racing when you can.

As for choices of boats, it's always a case of different stroke for different folks, I would also suggest you also think about Catamarans, they are a very different experience to a monohull.

I'd also suggest smaller is better for your first boat, once you can sail well if you decide you want a larger boat you can always charter a few boats and decide what you like.

However, you are looking for specific brand names and makes, the one I would suggest, is a Mirage 30, I saw a number of them in Halifax, Nova Scotia last I was there, they are easy to sail, and will also allow you to do some short range cruising. Here's a link to one I quickly found:

Good luck with your search, I look forward to hearing more about it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 23:32   #12
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Certainly get the lessons as others have mentioned. Then,, get sailing on OPBs (Other peoples boats). The more the better. Most sailing clubs will have a crew register for you to join and it wont take long before your experiencing all different types of boats.

Liveaboard boats are Generally 35-45 ft on average. But you could spend a season on a small 25 footer making the mistakes on a cheap 10k boat rather than on something worth 200k for instance. They still make great weekenders and you can still takes guests out.

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:26   #13

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i too agree but with another caveat... where do you plan on retiring or moving to???

If possible take lessons and all that in that area....It might be okay to take a couple lessons where you are, but, chances are unless you really are going to b cruising all over or just in one area, like the bahamas then your water and sailing conditions maybe totally different...

and although it maybe excellent to have experience in all weather, it maybe of no use...

and try to get onto as many different boats as possible to learn the different/subtle diffeences.

good luck
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