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Old 11-03-2019, 08:46   #16
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Re: Aspiring coastal cruiser

Buy used, not too old. Save a ton of money. Be aware that things degrade after about 8 years, pumps, sails, lines, mechanical things, electronics, even tanks if they are not plastic.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:21   #17
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Re: Aspiring coastal cruiser

Nobody has suggested any short term alternatives to buying a boat. You sound pretty inexperienced. Maybe consider becoming a non equity partner on a local boat for the next year. Try to find one with partners who like to sail together and take the occasional over night trip. Get out every chance you get, both with the partners and without.

This will allow you lots of practice at a low entry cost and some experienced sailors to help you learn and you get to try out some nearby overnights to dip your feet into what cruising might be like. Hopefully you'll experience some surprises in the weather so you know what that is like as well.

This way the exact boat isnt as important. You'll learn a lot not just about sailing, but about what features you like in a boat. You might be surprised how many things you havent though of yet, you may confirm what type of boat you think you want, or you may end up in a totally different direction.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:18   #18
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Re: Aspiring coastal cruiser

Welcome aboard!

Here is what worked for us:
We too were new to sailing, had never been on a sailboat in our lives, didn't know people that sailed, etc.

We purchased an older, but solid Catalina 30 for about $24k in CT that was in perfect working order, but not quite so on the cosmetic side.

We sailed her to her new home in Haverstraw NY and then proceeded to make her ours - new canvas, new cushions, new paint job, new bimini/dodger, etc.

None of it strictly necessary, but it was what we wanted.
Over the next 3 yrs, we learned to sail on her, doing day sails, then long weekends, then 2 weeks, then a month long cruise and finally a year-long cruise down to the Florida Keys.

Once we knew that full-time cruising was "definitely" for us, we sold her to a friend for just about what we paid for her and considered all the additional upgrades the "cost of learning" and then purchased a new 40' Hanse.

Just a thought on a possible approach.

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:34   #19
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Re: Aspiring coastal cruiser

I agree with the above. I purchased a Catalina 27 for $9K in perfect condition. I spent a bit of money putting some new tech on board for another grand. Job done. My wife and I then spent a few weekends using her as a holiday home and then one day just decided to leave the security of the marina and have a go. This was in a stretch of water called the Solent which is one of the busiest sailing and commercial waterways in the UK. Soiled my pants each time I left but came back a little wiser and a lot more confident. We then started to go further afield down the UK coastline, spending all our vacations on the water. We realised we really enjoyed sailing (after overcoming the blind panic and fear). That was 8 years ago and I now sail a 46 foot yacht in the Mediterranean for 3 months of the year and we love it and are now contemplating a circumnavigation. I am now nearly 60 and want to make the most of the summers I have left. My advice just do it but don't spend the kids inheritance to find out if it is your bag. You have no need, our Catalina 27 was a fine boat and all we needed for 3 years of trial and error.
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