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Old 29-03-2024, 14:57   #1
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First boat?

Hi,

I'm contemplating buying my first boat, and am considering the aventura 37 and nautitech open 40.

I sailed dinghies extensively as a kid, owned a laser and Hobie 16 and a couple of others. Have crewed a couple of times on larger monos for a week or two at a time, but have very limited experience on anything over 20 foot.

My heart is set on a cat. That said, there is part of me thinking it would be wiser to buy a cheaper used mono for a season first to get some experience.

Money's not really tight, but it sounds like I would have a hard time getting insurance on a new cat and I would definitely want that.

So, my question are.

1. Does it make sense to buy a sub $100K mono for 6-8 months to get experience?
2. Would that be enough experience to assist with getting insurance when I got a cat?
3. Are there any other 35-40ft cats I should be looking at? I want something that feels like sailing, not like a tank, has reasonable performance, that has decent salon/cockpit space and room for kitesurfing gear. Would be just 2 people. Not as concerned about berths, so narrow hulls would likely be a better option.
4. Are there any great places/times of year to find a good deal on mono I would only have a short while?

Currently in latam, so would buy anywhere between Southern USA and Panama.

Whatever I get, I'd hire an experienced skipper for the first week or two to get me up and running.
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Old 29-03-2024, 16:39   #2
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Re: First boat?

My advice, as always, is to buy a smallish (say 30 foot) older sailboat to learn the ropes, and plan on spending a couple of years getting to learn a lot. Don't bother with the professional skipper. Read some books and go do it! Doing this will let you know what you really want when making that big boat purchase later on. Without the smaller boat knowledge you will be making a rash choice in boat with no knowledge. Florida is a great place to look (not sure where latam is).
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Old 29-03-2024, 17:52   #3
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Re: First boat?

This. Anything less would simply be uncivilized.

https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/192...n-309-8430550/
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Old 30-03-2024, 03:24   #4
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Re: First boat?

I would say rather than buy something go take lessons and charter.

Buying something means selling it later, and it is difficult to not lose money with boats. When you buy there will be things to replace and repair and dock fees, etc.,etc. You will never get out of it what you put into it.

And there is the time factor involved in selling, which can take months to years sometimes.

You will gain more by just sailing on as many boats as you can. Take the ASA classes, as they help with insurance too.

Then charter boats in places where you think you want to go. You'll gain boat knowledge and local knowledge, a win-win.

Just my $.02

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Old 30-03-2024, 04:20   #5
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Re: First boat?

Buy a smaller boat so you can learn to sail faster.

When you make an adjustment on a small boat, the boat will react immediately.

The smaller the boat the more the reaction to your adjustment.

On a big, heavy boat, the boat may not fully react for about 45 seconds to your adjustment.

I learned on beach cats so if your say turned the wrong way or not far enough on a gust of wind you could end up in the water,

If running with a spinnaker in 12-15 knots or more, you turn the wrong way or not enough in the the correct direction you will pitchpole.

Even with a downhaul adjustment, a small boat will react.

Also on beach cats that weigh around 300-400 lbs. but have as much sail area as a 28' monohull, you are the ballast so not only are you sailing the boat but your body weight/positioning is helping to keep the boat upright which is why when going upwind when the wind is up you have to trap out.

Ballast on my 27' monohull is a 2600 lb. chuck of lead.

Also pushing down the daggerboards allows you to point much better. Mast rotation also helps the wind hit the mainsail more smoothly. Main sheet and traveler adjustments have an immediate effect especially if the wind is say 15 knots or more.

The sailing school here uses small 22' Catalina Capri's

Beach cats are mine. My son and his friend are on the Hobie 16 and are about to sail across Pensacola Bay to Pensacola Beach for the day. They were both 15 but my son had raced with me since age 10 or so.
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Old 30-03-2024, 09:44   #6
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Re: First boat?

Thanks. You're confirming my thought about getting something cheap first. But a year or two? Seems excessive. Wouldn't be weekends, I'd be living on the boat and don't think I'd be very happy on a 30' mono for very long. I'm more of a jump in and push boundaries and learn quickly kind of guy, so this makes sense for a few months.
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Old 30-03-2024, 09:46   #7
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
I would say rather than buy something go take lessons and charter.

Buying something means selling it later, and it is difficult to not lose money with boats. When you buy there will be things to replace and repair and dock fees, etc.,etc. You will never get out of it what you put into it.

And there is the time factor involved in selling, which can take months to years sometimes.

You will gain more by just sailing on as many boats as you can. Take the ASA classes, as they help with insurance too.

Then charter boats in places where you think you want to go. You'll gain boat knowledge and local knowledge, a win-win.

Just my $.02

Yeah, that's a good point. Hadn't really considered charter, but assuming I would lose let's say $10k on that first boat, which seems very likely, I could get my ticket, and charter several boats and not only build up some experience, but also get hands on experience with the boats I'm considering. This makes a lot of sense, thanks.
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Old 30-03-2024, 09:49   #8
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Buy a smaller boat so you can learn to sail faster.

When you make an adjustment on a small boat, the boat will react immediately.

The smaller the boat the more the reaction to your adjustment.

On a big, heavy boat, the boat may not fully react for about 45 seconds to your adjustment.

I learned on beach cats so if your say turned the wrong way or not far enough on a gust of wind you could end up in the water,

If running with a spinnaker in 12-15 knots or more, you turn the wrong way or not enough in the the correct direction you will pitchpole.

Even with a downhaul adjustment, a small boat will react.

Also on beach cats that weigh around 300-400 lbs. but have as much sail area as a 28' monohull, you are the ballast so not only are you sailing the boat but your body weight/positioning is helping to keep the boat upright which is why when going upwind when the wind is up you have to trap out.

Ballast on my 27' monohull is a 2600 lb. chuck of lead.

Also pushing down the daggerboards allows you to point much better. Mast rotation also helps the wind hit the mainsail more smoothly. Main sheet and traveler adjustments have an immediate effect especially if the wind is say 15 knots or more.

The sailing school here uses small 22' Catalina Capri's

Beach cats are mine. My son and his friend are on the Hobie 16 and are about to sail across Pensacola Bay to Pensacola Beach for the day. They were both 15 but my son had raced with me since age 10 or so.
Yeah man, had a hobie 16 for years. Loved it. Only other thing that has ever come close for me on the water is kitesurfing.
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Old 30-03-2024, 10:02   #9
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Re: First boat?

Depending on your location, most sailing schools allow you to get a membership and then when they see you are qualified you can use their boats.

Sail Time, the school here, has 22' boats up to 40' plus.

It appears to be expensive, but may be cheaper than buying a small boat, paying for slip, marina insurance, then selling later.

https://sailtime.com/fleet/our-sailboat-fleet/
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Old 30-03-2024, 15:29   #10
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Re: First boat?

Insurance companies want to see not only operational experience but also boat ownership experience. Crewing on a boat is no where close to what it takes to know how to maintain the same boat. That doesn't mean you need to know how to or actually do the maintenance, just know that it needs to be done by someone.

Your targeting relatively small cats, so may not have as much insurance issues.

Certifications and charters after, even as flotillas cabins will help immensely.

3-6 months of ownership won't give an insurance company warm and fuzzy. You'll loose way more than 10k on a "cheap" boat in 3-6 months. Any buyer looking at a boat flipped that soon will likely want to see that all or most items found in a prior survey were resolved. Insurance companies will want to see proof all "major" or safety items (usually noted as A items) are resolved in 60 days. On a small cheap boat this could be a significant number.
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Old 30-03-2024, 15:47   #11
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw34 View Post
Insurance companies want to see not only operational experience but also boat ownership experience. Crewing on a boat is no where close to what it takes to know how to maintain the same boat. That doesn't mean you need to know how to or actually do the maintenance, just know that it needs to be done by someone.

Your targeting relatively small cats, so may not have as much insurance issues.

Certifications and charters after, even as flotillas cabins will help immensely.

3-6 months of ownership won't give an insurance company warm and fuzzy. You'll loose way more than 10k on a "cheap" boat in 3-6 months. Any buyer looking at a boat flipped that soon will likely want to see that all or most items found in a prior survey were resolved. Insurance companies will want to see proof all "major" or safety items (usually noted as A items) are resolved in 60 days. On a small cheap boat this could be a significant number.
There are old boats available for $4,000 and sometimes less.

$500,000 worth of liability insurance which most marinas require here is about $15- $19 per month no questions asked about safety or anything else.

Point is you can go sailing/cruising for very little money or use your home and lifetime savings to do the same thing for a few years.
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Old 30-03-2024, 16:02   #12
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Re: First boat?

There are a lot of Catalina 30s out there. They are big enough to get you some good experience and not overwhelm you. Additionally, they will have most of the systems you will want and need on a bigger boat.
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Old 30-03-2024, 16:44   #13
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Depending on your location, most sailing schools allow you to get a membership and then when they see you are qualified you can use their boats.

Sail Time, the school here, has 22' boats up to 40' plus.

It appears to be expensive, but may be cheaper than buying a small boat, paying for slip, marina insurance, then selling later.

https://sailtime.com/fleet/our-sailboat-fleet/
This would be a great option, unfortunately not for where I live atm.
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Old 30-03-2024, 16:46   #14
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw34 View Post
Insurance companies want to see not only operational experience but also boat ownership experience. Crewing on a boat is no where close to what it takes to know how to maintain the same boat. That doesn't mean you need to know how to or actually do the maintenance, just know that it needs to be done by someone.

Your targeting relatively small cats, so may not have as much insurance issues.

Certifications and charters after, even as flotillas cabins will help immensely.

3-6 months of ownership won't give an insurance company warm and fuzzy. You'll loose way more than 10k on a "cheap" boat in 3-6 months. Any buyer looking at a boat flipped that soon will likely want to see that all or most items found in a prior survey were resolved. Insurance companies will want to see proof all "major" or safety items (usually noted as A items) are resolved in 60 days. On a small cheap boat this could be a significant number.
This is VERY helpful. Thank you. I wouldn't insure the cheap boat, other than 3rd party liability I suppose, assuming it works similarly to cars in that way.
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Old 30-03-2024, 16:48   #15
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Re: First boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
There are old boats available for $4,000 and sometimes less.

$500,000 worth of liability insurance which most marinas require here is about $15- $19 per month no questions asked about safety or anything else.

Point is you can go sailing/cruising for very little money or use your home and lifetime savings to do the same thing for a few years.
Super helpful. Have not seen any 4 figure boats online, but I imagine it's like most other things - buying well makes all the difference.
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