Hello sailors! Thought I'd introduce myself and maybe get some insights from the community as I begin my sailing journey.
I can't say I'd ever thought much about sailing for most of my life, but living in New England
these past 16 years, spending a lot of time on the shore of LI Sound and in places like Essex, CT, has awakened a new interest. For the past two years, I've slowly been absorbing more info, reading the books
, watching instructional videos, going to boat
shows, even talking with a broker
and getting a better idea of what I'm looking for in a boat
. I took the basic safety
class and got my my boating license
this year with the goal of at least taking some ASA classes
a bit when the season gets going.
My desire is to do some true coastal cruising, starting small in the Sound, eventually working my way up to some of the Atlantic coast of the northeast. I'm really not looking to make long passages, head
to the Caribbean
or any of that. At least 90% of the time the crew would consist of me and my wife, with me operating the boat more or less single-handed. Eventually, I'd like something with accommodations for two couples, a single head
. To start out, something a little smaller for 1 or 2-day sails
would probably be just fine.
My ideal boat is the Beneteau Oceanis
38.1. It checks all the boxes for me, offering everything I want and nothing I don't. I'm reluctant to jump straight into a big, brand-new boat with little to no experience, so I've been considering other options first. I've got two scenarios worked up, and I'm trying to decide between them.
1) Buy a late-model, used but well-maintained cruiser that is nearly everything the Beneteau
is but at half the price
. The wife would get the comfortable accommodations she appreciates and I wouldn't stress as much every time I made a mistake or touched bottom. A boat like this could meet my needs for many years of cruising.
2) Buy an older, classic
boat for $15K or less with a solid hull
and some key modern upgrades (roller furling
, electric windlass
, preferably repowered with a modern diesel
.) A boat like this would make a great daysailer for a low initial investment, and I could learn a lot about both the sailing part and the maintenance
part of boat ownership
. As far as my abilities are concerned, I do all my own automotive maintenance
, from bodywork and electrical
overhauls, welding and fabrication. I've built my own racecar. I'm not intimidated by anything I've seen on a boat, but there would of course be a learning
curve for some of the stuff. A boat like this I might keep for 1-3 years before stepping up to something with a more modern layout.
I plan keep the boat in a slip for the summer, Essex maybe ($$$) or somewhere near the mouth of the CT river, then on the hard
each winter. I live in Portland
, CT, which is right on the CT river. This provides the unique opportunity for winter storage
that is both inexpensive and conveniently located close to home so I can do all the off-season work
boats require. I'd just have to make the ~35 mile trip upriver at the end of the season.
Any thoughts on the relative merits of my two paths are welcome. Or even something I didn't think of since I'm very new to all of this. One thing I can say with assurance is that I know I want to take this journey and won't be turning back at the first disappointment or hardship. Thanks for any and all advice!