Originally Posted by dllama
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
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
. 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.