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Old 28-04-2010, 08:32   #1
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Question Wannabe Cruiser from Texas

Hello everyone. Please know that I am a virgin on this site so please be gentle with me! I sailed quite a bit as a young man, mostly Galveston and some at Kemah. Keep in mind that was MANY years ago. I bought boats as I could afford them from paper routes and the usual scrounging that kids do. My first one was the ugliest Sailfish you have ever seen. I progressed to a Sunfish (also ugly) then had a string of Hobie cats. As a young adult I sailed some with a friend who owned a Catalina kept in Kemah. I learned some but that has been forgotten as well as where my car keys are.

I have a 2-3 year plan to purchase a boat, learn to sail again, do a couple of charters and hope to then start a live aboard lifestyle. My plans now are to sail the Caribbean only and possibly 5-6 months a year. You can probably imagine that I have received many "helpful" hints from friends an acquaintances regarding everything from boat builders to boat length to where to sail etc etc etc. I am turning to you to help me plan my new adventure in a way that I don't get off track. Please let me know if my action plan sounds reasonable and what type of lenth, boat, etc. I have read as much as I can, but now need help from the cruising community. I have thought about a boat in the 34-36" foot range. I thank you in advance for helping this poor lost soul.

Thanks again

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Old 28-04-2010, 08:57   #2
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Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
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Welcome aboard, Tom.

We bought our boat a year ago after not sailing for many years. My thought is that you are right on with the size. Our plans are pretty much what you have suggested. Start gathering information now. There is SO much to learn. Ask questions and read books. I have found Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook to have many answers to my questions. It's a good place to start. I'm sure others will offer advice on how you might spend your time preparing.

Best Wishes,
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Old 29-04-2010, 04:39   #3
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Welcome to the forum Tom! I am confident that you will find that basics that you learned about sailing will not have deserted you and that, in so many ways, it will be easier to sail a 34 foot keel boat than a Sunfish or Hobie. In my opinion your current action plan sounds quite 'reasonable'; in terms of the boat itself, I am assuming that you are looking to purchase used and, if so, I would be less concerned with the LOA than the price and design of the vessel for your intended use. As you start to narrow down your search, you will find many here who can share some experiences with particular vessels.


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Old 29-04-2010, 06:40   #4
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Wannabe Cruiser


Thanks for your reply. I have only received a couple of responses, but so far no one has made fun of my novice station in life! I presume that LOA is length of ___________? I would look for used boat and so far have been looking at Beneteau, Hunter and Catalina but I am open to anything that is suggested to me.

Should this thread be posted on something other than meet and greet?

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Old 29-04-2010, 07:55   #5
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Tom, LOA refers to 'length overall". if you are looking at advice on a boat it would be best to start a new thread - perhaps under the monohull part of the fleet heading. You should also look at existing threads although, lets face it, everyone has different needs and a different budget. Certainly Beneteau, Hunter, Catalina and many other companies make boats that will be suitable as a Caribbean cruiser.

All boats are compromises. of course, and there is an old adage that you can have two, but only two of the following attributes in any boat: space, performance and a low price. Only you can decide what is the best balance for you.

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Old 29-04-2010, 08:13   #6
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Location: Beeville, Tx.
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Hello Tom and Welcome! There are quite a few of us in your area. Ocean Girl for one. I am a "Stinkadena" ex-patriot myself.
Here's the Texas Social group here at CF:
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Texas Group

Here's a list of boats for sale in Texas (and a few in Kemah/Seabrook) in your length range to give you something to "look" at and an idea of what to expect price vs. condition. "Kicking the tires" on a few is a great way to get an idea of what you want and what to expect for the money. But be careful and on the lookout for "Ike'ers"
(Sail) Boats For Sale Texas TX
"Behind every great man there is a woman, rolling her eyes."
But not for long! Now she's gone!
and peace and tranquility reign forever!
1969 Morgan 40 Cruising Ketch
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:17   #7
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Mine sailboat is a 33' RAIDER and I sailed from Baltimore to Kemah.
At the 4th of May I come back on board (from Rotterdam Holland) and hope soon to go on sailing slowly hopping from coast to coast along Mexico going south (to Panama).

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Old 02-05-2010, 19:43   #8
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Aloha Tom,
I too think you have picked the right size. I wouldn't rule out anything from 32-36 until you've been aboard and experienced the boat. My old recommendations were always aft cockpit fiberglass with a diesel engine and have changed to sloop rig just in the last days. I used to recommend cutter rig but have gone for simplicity.
How could a Sunfish be ugly? They're just so much fun. They have sold twice as many as their nearest competitor and they still are an easy and fun boat to sail and care for.
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Old 02-05-2010, 19:59   #9
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welcome to the forum!

Ever since I was a kid I've thought that Sunfish were ugly. Nice to know I wasn't alone.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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