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post #12 of Old 05-10-2013
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Location: New Mexico, USA (Heron, Elephant Butte lakes); Arizona (Lake Pleasant)
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Re: buying advice?

Just about any boat should have sufficient needs and wants to satisfy your urge to tinker, repair, maintain, and improve.

Bigger and smaller boats have a variety of pros and cons that you might not have thought about much yet. Bigger boats for example, will probably have more motion comfort at sea -- but the design also plays a huge part. On the other hand, bigger boats tend to have deeper draft, which will prevent you from exploring some places or entering some ports of refuge. And, the higher "air draft" of bigger sailboats will limit your access to the Intercoastal Waterway and some harbors and ports. Slips are more available in some sizes than others, varying with location.

And, two boats of the same size could vary radically in terms of useful stowage space, robust construction, useful handholds and safety features, etc.

Finally, mistakes tend to be more expensive and "forceful" on larger vessels. The good news is that sailing basics can be learned on cheaper, slower, other people's boats -- sailing schools, crewing for other sailors, sailing clubs and co-ops, etc. -- and then transferred to your bigger boat.
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