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Old 24-05-2020, 10:11   #1
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About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Hello everyone,

I am currently looking for my first sailboat. In Feb 2019, I lost my first boat to the storm that hit Sewell's Marina. I fixed up an old Bayliner 2556 and it was damaged beyond repair. I have saved up money over the past 18 months and am now looking for a sailboat, which long term was always the plan .

I am both nervous and excited about buying a sailboat. Excited because I have dreams about doing an ocean crossing one day and the sooner I increase my sailing proficiency, the sooner I can meet my goal. Nervous because when I purchased my previous boat, it was very much emotionally driven and although it needed a lot more work than I could have ever imaged, the knowledge I gained was incredible. My price range seems to match up with a late 70's or early 80's sailboat, which will likely have a number of hidden issues that will pop up within the first year of purchase. I plan on doing my due diligence and have the vessel fully inspected before purchasing. I have learned about a few red flags when even looking at posted photos of boat for sale in the hopes I find a boat that was well taken care of.

I have been a member of RCMSAR for a little more than 5 years, it's been a wonderful experience and the training has rapidly increased my on the water skills. Safety is always #1.

I look forward learning from everyone on the forum and hope I can contribute to help others along my journey.
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Old 24-05-2020, 16:14   #2
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Welcome Aboard, Nautical J - and Hello from Lake Ontario.

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The Beaches, TO
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Old 24-05-2020, 16:21   #3
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Well, you certainly have the right attitude for success. Best of luck
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Old 24-05-2020, 16:31   #4
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Welcome aboard from Indonesia.


After my purchase, a dockmate told me that the learning curve was steep and expensive. He told the truth.


If ever there was an opinion based environment, this is it. So keep your opinion filters clean.


I bought a book of statistics. The author walked the docks and asked questions about what boaters figured they got right and wrong on many points. After asking a powerboat owner for his input regarding cost, he figured out that he needed to focus on just one or the other.


The book was very helpful. It was "The Liveaboard Report".
If you did manage to find it, it would be a very dated book by now. Things have changed much in 20 years. But still a good place to start.
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:19   #5
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Welcome aboard Nautical J, and best of luck finding that boat. And thanks too for your RCMSAR volunteering to keep BC waters safer for all of us.
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:32   #6
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Welcome aboard! One way to protect yourself from hidden issues in a boat is to seek out boats that were built soundly and simply in the first place. An encapsulated keel with lead in it removes any concern for old keel bolts or rusting iron. A rudder hung on the keel is less vulnerable to various potential problems related to age or design. I know outboards are not pretty or as efficient as a diesel, but it is a lot cheaper to replace an outboard than an inboard, and there are fewer thru-hulls and less smell. Keeping things simple yields more sailing time and lower bills, and fewer unhappy surprises. Good luck!
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Old 27-05-2020, 14:32   #7
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Re: About to buy my first sailboat. nervous and excited

Welcome aboard CF, Nautical J.

If you have plans to circumnavigate Vancouver Island, I think you will be better off with an inboard diesel engine, rather than an outboard. Outboards have to be able to be stowed safely when not in use, and this can be difficult to accomplish in a seaway, as putting it back on might be. Imho, it is ultimately safer with a diesel engine. Ours have been very reliable over all the years, only a few problems.

What size boat are you looking at for your "starter sailboat?"

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