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Old 01-16-2004
eddieb eddieb is offline
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Newbies buying 1st sailboat

My wife and I have made the decision to move from power boating to sail. We currently have a 40í motoryacht and will sell that and buy a sailboat. To start this process, I joined a sailing club and am taking lessons. I wanted to make sure I like sailing before making this switch (I really do!), and obviously wanted to know what I was doing too. In a week, Iíll be able to charter boats up to 30í. Then Iíll work my way up to the bigger boats to get a feel for what I may want to buy.

I decided to focus on looking at the big 4 production boats. Mainly because they seem to design their boats for ease of sailing which is important to me since Iím new to this. And they are priced well in relation to most others. Weíre thinking 37í-40í is around the size we may want. Mainly because my wife wants the room and creature comforts that size provides. We are in Southern California, so most of our sailing will be ocean sailing. Day sails, multi-day sails to Catalina, the Channel Islands, San Diego and eventually Northern Baja Mexico. So no major offshore cruising Ė just basic coastal cruising. The ability for me to sail the boat singlehanded is important. Iím retired but most of my friends arenít, so I will be doing weekday day sails by myself without my wife. My wife is 40 and Iím 47, and we are both in good physical shape, so there should be no limitations there. Will buy new or very late model.

In my initial pass at these boats, I liked Beneteau best. Specifically the 393. And maybe the 373 once I see it. Jeanneau seemed good too. Hunter was OK, but seemed like the Hyundai of boats. Didnít like Catalina.

So what advice do you have for us? Are we going about this the right way? What other things should we do? What might I look for in a boat that I may not be thinking?

Only one specific question at this time - in mast furling. I want all the convenient things I can have to make sailing easy, but do I really need this? Not that Iím racing or anything, but it sounds like thereís a significant performance hit with these and I donít really think not having one is making things much more difficult. In other words, the tradeoff Ė performance for convenience Ė doesnít seem worth it here. What do you think?

Thanks in advance. You seem like a real knowledgeable bunch. Iím sure your suggestions and advice will benefit us greatly.
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