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Old 07-08-2020, 18:11   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Southern California
Boat: Catalina 320
Posts: 898
Re: Starter boat advice

Quote:
Does my plan to buy a used solid boat instead of renting/training on a school’s boat make sense relative to my goal of moving aboard in 3 years?
Not really, three years of boat expenses are greater than you think, especially if you only have time when you fly in to take care of anything.
Quote:
Does it make sense to consider placing the boat into a managed charter program to help offset expenses?
Not worth the added expenses and wear on the boat, do you let strangers rent your car ?
Quote:
If there's a lake or pond near you of any size, you can start sailing now.

Why fly across country just to sail? No more lessons needed unless you really want more.
Do this, sail as much as possible on the closest body of water.
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Old 07-08-2020, 20:43   #17
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Caribbean
Boat: '85 Irwin52, 56LOA
Posts: 17
Re: Starter boat advice

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Geez, Papa. Way to squelch their plan!

They didn't ask "catamaran or monohull" and please avoid turning this thread into YET ANOTHER debate about bloody cats versus monohulls!

Do you even own a boat?

LittleWing77
Let me guess, you own a catamaran ? Dudes got some pretty important points. My guess, heís owned more boats than youíve sailed in.

Humble opinion administered
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:21   #18
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sabine Lake Tx
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Mariah 31
Posts: 22
Re: Starter boat advice

If the goal is to actually learn and spend time on the water I might suggest a compac 19 on a trailer. Costs nothing to keep. Youll get almost all of your money back. Only needs a small vehicle to tow. Capable of weekending solo which is easier than trying to accommodate and be dependent on crew. Gets you on the water easily in whatever setting you feel like taking it to. can handle a blow and is shallow enough draft to hide in about any hole. Big enough to hurt you but not big enough to bankrupt you. Get stuck, get out and push. Mess up the bottom, put it on the trailer and take it home.

I've spent many many days and weekends cruising Sabine lake and Galveston bay in one and never felt unsafe. Sabine lake providing 13 miles of fetch from the predominant winds with a max depth of 9' provides some nasty short tall waves dangerous to small vessels and it ate them up like candy under sail in an enjoyable way.

Also keep in mind one of the primary advantages of a cat is the shallow draft. Test sailing a monohull with a 5' draft in texas is not going to give you the CAT sailing experience as far as access to skinny water and that kind of freedom.
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Old 11-01-2021, 13:35   #19
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 2
Re: Starter boat advice

A quick follow-up. Thanks for all the replies and advice.

I did take some of the advice in this tread and built my own near-term plan.

I'm going to pull the trigger on a small trailerable sailboat. I'll be looking at a Hunter 23.5 later this week and if it looks solid I'll buy it and prepare for the upcoming season (I live in the mountains of CO.. so a short season). I'm leaning toward keeping the boat in a slip/mooring ball for the season to limit the hassle to get it sailing and putting it away. I'll put it on the trailer for the off season. Having a pocket cruiser on a mountain lake will make it possible to do weekends on the boat and expand the fun beyond just sailing. If the Hunter doesn't work out I'll continue to look for other options.

I've also reserved a week long live aboard with dedicated courses on a catamaran in the Kemah, TX area in June. The place uses NauticEd curriculum so I'll likely try to complete some of the online course work before June.

Lastly, in my Covid-19 downtime in 2020 I completed the course work for ASA 103 and 105 costal navigation. I didn't take the test but feel pretty confident with the course material and the example questions I was able to find online.
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Old 14-01-2021, 09:39   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: New York, USA
Boat: Freedom 39 PHS
Posts: 25
Re: Starter boat advice

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Originally Posted by dllama View Post
I'm going to pull the trigger on a small trailerable sailboat. I'll be looking at a Hunter 23.5 later this week and if it looks solid I'll buy it and prepare for the upcoming season (I live in the mountains of CO.. so a short season). I'm leaning toward keeping the boat in a slip/mooring ball for the season to limit the hassle to get it sailing and putting it away. I'll put it on the trailer for the off season. Having a pocket cruiser on a mountain lake will make it possible to do weekends on the boat and expand the fun beyond just sailing. If the Hunter doesn't work out I'll continue to look for other options.
This is a fine plan. A mooring ball is usually cheaper and better off for sailboats as they can swing with the wind and you're less likely to get a gust from behind taking off a dodger or something.

We bought an older 39' boat as our first ever, raised some eyebrows (especially at the insurers') but it was well sorted. We'd done about as much prep work as you, but we'd had 2 weeklong liveaboard corses in BVI and Florida. We've sailed the sound for 2 years delaying our departure further afield due to things like COVID and in that time systems have started degrading and requiring maintenance. The piece of advice I'd give is, either buy a cheap boat and do a thorough re-fit to get it where you want it prior to leaving immediately, or buy a well sorted boat and leave immediately if that's your plan.

A big cruising boat sailed only on weekends is a floating problem-factory, so don't go "blue water" unless you're ready to be on board. Living aboard you'll catch the minor problems before they turn into major ones, and there are 10+ systems that are vulnerable to that sort of problem escalation when left unattended even just for a few days.

Good luck to you.
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