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Old 02-04-2014
PhilCarlson PhilCarlson is offline
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Re: Don't have to be rich to sail

I moved to FL from MN last summer and two weeks ago purchased my first sailboat. I'm certianly not rich but am disciplined and not without means. I'd say getting into sailing on a "regular person" budget requires patience and homework more than anything.

I watched craigslist for months before I looked at the first boat. I'd decided my startup budget and when one looked good in that range I checked it out, decided to buy but moved too slow. It sold fast. Two lessons there: First I was on the right track, the market decided it was a good boat because it sold before I could return a call. Second, when you find it, buy it. Don't mess around.

I surfed CL for a few more weeks looking at a few more boats. Some junk, some I just didn't love. Beginners, you HAVE to look at boats, even if you have no plan to buy. Don't waste the seller's time but you will learn more by stepping aboard, feeling the boat and hearing the owner's story than you ever could reading up on it.

I settled on a hidden gem. The advert was poorly written with only one picture, and it was a three hour drive away. Spoke with the owner at length, went to look and closed the deal. One weekend to haul it to the marina and get the electrical system in order, another weekend to put her in the water and scrub the mildew off the deck, clean the cabin and various repairs. Final weekend step the mast, install the electronics fix a few more things then she is ready to sail.

I'll sail out on a 26' Northstar 600 with a fairly new deisel inboard and brand new electronic gadgets for less than whay I sold my John Deere lawn tractor and Arctic Cat 4 wheeler for back in the great white north.

Luck is at the intersection of opportunity and preparedness.
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