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post #3 of Old 09-15-2008
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Novice Sailor probably means different things to different folks, but going on my 3rd season and 2nd boat, I call myself a novice at best even though I read and throughly research everything I do. (Sometimes to my wife's aggravation). I also had some advantage in that I'm a commercial pilot, so understanding weather, aerodynamics (CE and CLR are very much like CL and CG) and navigation were not completely foreign to me.

So, to amplify on what Anthony said, unless you have owned a boat or two, I'd opine that you have no idea what you are getting yourself into with a 40+ foot boat that's 15-30 years old. I think the maintenance demands of any boat that age are an eye opener for first time boat buyers, and on a boat over 40' they could be crushing. I think that fact probably end up sinking a lot of peoples enjoyment of sailing, and they probably started with a boat of 30' or less. Also, there is the fact that every thing is an order of magnatude more difficult on a boat that size compared to a 30 some odd footer. Grinding in a 150 genoa on a 40' boat takes some muscle, maybe more than a crusing couple or family want to exert.

I think its a far more prudent course to start with a popular boat in the 30' range. You either learn what you really need in your next boat, or you'll learn you don't want to devote the time required to maintain a boat. If its the latter, having a popular boat in that size gives you the best chance to recoup most of what you put in the boat.

Also, unless your definition of "novice" means way more experiened than mine does, you need to make a multi year plan to gain the required experience for bluewater sailing. There are courses you can take and places you can gain bluewater experience as crew before taking on the responsiblity for the safety of your boat and everyone on it.

Come to think of it, that might be another area where my pilot experince has shaped my thoughts on sailing. The implications of "Pilot in Command" directly translate to skippering a sailboat. While many on this site clearly understand the demands on a Skipper/Captain, when on the water, it appears that many boaters do not seriously consider that they are ultimately responsible for the safety of their boat and everyone on it.

s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
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