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Old 09-20-2007
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I would highly recommend you start with something in the 28-32' range, rather than something in the 35-38' range. The smaller boats are simpler, easier to maintain, less expensive to dock—since most marinas charge per foot, less expensive to own—since the gear on them is smaller and less expensive to repair or replace.

A 38' boat isn't a quarter bigger than a 32' boat, but more like 67% bigger, since boats get longer, wider and deeper.

Also, I am guessing that you don't have much experience in maintaining or owning a larger sailboat. The scope of the projects on a smaller boat will let you get the experience, without breaking the bank. A 30' boat has most of the same systems a 38' boat has, but the costs of working on them can be considerably lower. Electrical wiring and plumbing hose runs are shorter, and use less material, and so on.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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