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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Possibly buy a boat..

Tartans are generally decent boats. Do you have pictures of her? How much experience do you have with sailing? Have you been around boats and gotten to know the problem areas on sailboats? Have you had a surveyor go over the boat?

I'm not looking to be a wet blanket, but more of a reality check, so please take my comments in that light. A 30' boat may be a bit much for a first boat. In general, most people recommend starting with something in the 15-18' range, maybe a 22-25'. Everything happens slower on a bigger boat, which is good and bad. The slowness is due to the weight - there's more inertia - and that can make it hard to handle. The sails are going to be heavy, there will be lots of "stuff" on a boat that size that can also make it overwhelming unless you have some experience. It's kind of like driving a car - most people start out in an Escort or a Civic, not a Ferrari, Rolls Royce or Kenworth, and there are good reasons for that. Unlike driving, which many of us HAVE to learn to do, sailing is a recreational activity that is supposed to be "fun." You're talking about learning to drive on roughly the equivalent of an F250, and there is going to be a big learning curve there. I'd hate to see you sink $10K into a boat, get frustrated with it because its more than you're ready for, and then hate sailing and have a $10K albatross around your neck. Also, have you looked into slip fees and winter storage for your area (unless you live somewhere warm)? Are you ready for the maintenance costs?

Again, I don't mean to be a wet blanket. And many people have bought 30+ foot boats as their first boats. Unfortunately, many of them simply sit at the dock most of the time, because their owners get overwhelmed. If that's not likely because of your personality, then from what I've ready, the Tartans are nice boats and, assuming the survey/inspection comes back clean, and assuming you're ready for the costs, this is a great sport/hobby.
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