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post #11 of Old 08-15-2003
Join Date: May 2003
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What size first boat?

My first boat was a San Juan 24 and it was a great boat to start on. It weighed 3600 pounds and was very responsive. Headroom was around 5''5" more or less, but you could stuff 4 or 5 people in there, but I never had more than 2 overnight. It was a very basic boat with just a water jug and an outboat and a compass, but many of them are set up for racing and have all the sailing gear you could want and most of them can be bought for under $5k. I had mine for 8 years before I was overcome by the desire for comfort and a larger boat.
The SJ24 has a 4 foot draft fin keel with 1200lbs lead ballast and a huge spade rudder.
You could replace the tiller with a wheel and there was room for a motor inside, but I used it to store extra sail bags.
Another good first boat is a J-24 which is also fast and inexpensive and probably better known. Both are good in light air that is common in the summer in Puget Sound.

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