You've made the right choice. You paid your dues, fulfilled your obligations, provided for and raised a family, served your community and nation. It's now time for you. Continue your research
- the web is an amazing source of information. Read all you can, about different boats, purchasing
issues, and so on. When you are brain dead on those topics, switch to sailing topics. Single
handing will be a challenge for a relative beginner.
A couple of tips, that you will likely see again if this thread lengthens:
1) ALWAYS get a survey
. Find a reputable surveyor in the area of the boat (lots of ways to accomplish this, but that's literally another thread).
2) So as not to spend money
on unnecessary surveys, try to narrow your search to a given model boat or two. To do this, you need to get on a LOT of boats, and look at layouts (above and below deck). Climb into berths to see if you fit. Evaluate storage
area (is there a little or a lot) and tankage (fuel, water
, waste). Water is precious on a boat.
3) It is generally (in fact probably almost always) better (cheaper) to buy the best boat (in terms of condition and equipment) you can for your budget, instead of buying a lesser boat at a lesser price
and spending money to retrofit gear
and improve the condition of things. Do not be fooled by that false economy.
4) If you are serious about single
handing, take some lessons. Doesn't have to be organized club schools, or ASA
, although those are definitely worthwhile. Find someone local who teaches, or grab a friend with a ton of experience cruising or racing
, and offer to pay them in the beverage of their choice. Or check with a local club and start crewing
- you often don't have to be a member
to do that.
questions, in this and other forums
. If you end up buying a popular boat, there will often be a national or international organization of owners that will be a wealth of information. Good luck.
P.S. Yachtworld.com is your friend, even if it is only to "look at" a lot of boat layouts quickly. The pictures are usually numerous. However, it is no substitute for getting on boats.