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Old 27-08-2017, 08:33   #1
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First Sailboat

Hello from Virginia - new member to the group. I posted last night from a different location on the forum and skipped the "newbie" section

I have limited sailing experience on a 27' hunter and a 38 foot Beneteau but none as an unsupervised captain. I have taken the two day asa class 101 and 102

I am looking to buy a cruiser That I can get some experience on and use as a weekend getaway on the Chesapeake. I was looking for something I can handle with just two people, but roomy enough for 4-5. One of my friends who is an experienced sailor recommends 42' plus with shoal keel - he likes catalinas

I see boats from 10-15 year old range for $100-150k, but prefer not to spend that if I can get a good quality boat for less. I am willing to spend that to get the right boat that will give me years of versatile enjoyment. I don't see myself doing any serious water sailing">blue water sailing, but who knows after I get comfortable

What should I be looking for (given my intended use) and how much should I be spending? How old is "too old" for a boat?
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Old 27-08-2017, 09:22   #2
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Re: First Sailboat

Welcome aboard here Kc! First, there is a thread currently on this topic:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ld-189800.html

but if you make a list of things you must have on your boat that is a good start. As far as age, there are many 50 year old boats that are still wonderful boats and some 10 year old boats I would pass on. The original build quality and the maintenance that the boat has had are really the key factors. But you must consider what kind of sailing performance you prefer too.

A 42' + boat for a weekend get-away for 2 to sail is fine, but that is a very big commitment financially for a first boat. If you have the kind of cash flow that could support a boat that size then it is fine. For what you are describing I would not have recommended a newer 42 foot boat. There is a thread here bringing up good potential boats for under $30K which might be of interest:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-147098.html

In any case as you gain more sailing experience you may find your tastes and preferences will change too so it makes sense to be open to new ideas.
Good luck! Keep us posted!
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Old 27-08-2017, 09:29   #3
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Re: First Sailboat

Hi and welcome to CF!

Lots of folks have the same questions as you do. As a matter of fact there's a thread going on now called "Boat Prices / Bang for the Buck" and I always recommend a long thread called "Boats less than 30K" which you can find here:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-147098.html

Read, read and then read some more. Refine what you need and like on a boat and then sit down on YachtWorld for a month or three and plug in your "must have's" into the search criteria. You'll find the same boat manufacturer's popping up again and again. There you have your answer. Now sit down on CF or any of the other sailing forums and do a search on the quality of that type of boat.

This will take time, yes. But it will be your decision based on knowledge, not some anonymous internet recommendations.

We all started out the same way - good luck to you!
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Old 27-08-2017, 10:13   #4
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Re: First Sailboat

Thanks for the quick reply - that's a good thread and I will keep up with that . Anything I should stay away from - meaning any particular model and year - I know dangerous question - seem to be a lot of Jeanneaus, beneteaus and hunters for sale in the mid Atlantic. I don't want to get crushed too badly On resale
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Old 27-08-2017, 17:32   #5
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Re: First Sailboat

Hmmm perhaps a Catalina 30? They usually have good resale, very common, easy to sail, good performance. Good to learn on and big enough for 4 but easily managed by 2. Find one in good condition with a good engine and it won't cost you much to get started and you likely won't lose much at all on re-sale. The draw back is the draft, which is not shoal draft. The boats you mention are generally fine for the use you describe, and older one that has a good engine and has been maintained will likely be lower initial cost and better resale.
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Old 28-08-2017, 23:35   #6
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Re: First Sailboat

How did you handle the 38' boat? If you swung it around like a toy a 42' could be reasonable... but maybe it's better to start smaller, find your likes/dislikes, wants and needs. And then buy your 42' boat in a year or 2.

Maybe something a little more like this:
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1989...s#.WaUJ89gpCaM
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Old 29-08-2017, 03:37   #7
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Re: First Sailboat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kc.
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Old 29-08-2017, 06:18   #8
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Re: First Sailboat

All good advice above. I would add a few points (all of which can be disregarded if you have the cash flow not to worry about such things):

1) As many people in other threads have written, it is very rare for someone to find the perfect boat for them on their first purchase.
2) It is fairly common, after buying a boat to "cruise" on, that couples/families get started and quickly decided that cruising is not for them.
3) Boats are not an investment, and will only depreciate, so the concept of "not getting crushed too badly on resale" is a relative one.
4) Operating costs rise very quickly as boat length increases.

When all these things are taken into account, it may be appropriate for you to consider something relatively smaller to start (and learn) with. Acquisition and operating costs are lower, as are losses on resale. You can always move up later.

Look at a lot of boats. Get on a lot of boats. Consider layout, storage, and tankage for water, fuel, waste. Those are the important things for cruising. Read, read, and read some more. Search this forum and others for related threads.

Do make a list of your "must haves" and the "kinda wants". The list is important because it is generally less expensive (in time, money, and energy) to buy a boat with everything on it that you need, than to retrofit various items onto a boat that doesn't have them. (I'm thinking of things like watermakers, solar panels, wind generators, windlasses, etc).

Good luck. You'll find something that works, and looking can be fun.
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Old 29-08-2017, 07:56   #9
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Re: First Sailboat

Thanks so much for the advice. You all are very generous with your time.

I heard the majority of folks say "don't start so big- stick in the 30-36 foot range" and "don't spend so much money for a first boat - can get by for around $30k give or take depending on condition"

That's great advice. Thanks so much all.


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Old 29-08-2017, 10:41   #10
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Re: First Sailboat

What they said. Smaller might be better for you, if you don't intend to do a lot of blue water crusing. The Catalina 30 mentioned above would be a very economical way to get going if it isn't a project in disguise. Such boats can often be picked up for just a few $k. Under 30' and if you have your ear to the pier, you can get a weekender ready for lake, bay, or sound for chump change sometimes. I bought my current boat for $2k with a non starting Atomic that turned over freely, lots of extra winches and tracks and such, and 10 sails, for $2k cash with a transferable slip in a great marina. I wanted a 30'+ boat and had a $10k purchase budget at the time but this 27 with slip was just too good a deal. Every 35'+ boat I looked at was either way out of my budget or was a total project. I wanted something I could sail immediately. Your budget seems to be much higher than mine ever was but still I would have an open mind on a somewhat smaller boat initially. Unless you intend to live aboard, in which case bigger is certainly better if you have a good slip for it, and your 42' recommendation is a good one IMHO. When living aboard a smaller boat, getting ready to go for a quick sail can be quite a task. On a liveaboard that stays docked a lot, you accumulate stuff and it often doesn't get stowed securely. More room helps to ensure that there is a place for every thing and every thing can fit in its place and be secured easily. If all you keep onboard is your sailing stuff and a toothbrush and a milk crate of ramen noodles and vienner sausages, you don't need very much boat.
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