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Old 10-11-2004
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Boat Choices: Double-Check

I just stumbled upon this site while searching for varied opinions on sailing from experienced sailors and decided that this is as good a time to chime in here (for the first time) as any.

Epiphany . . . I partly agree with Jeff_H, mostly because I like his style, obvious sailing experience and logical way of thinking. However, I also see where you are going with your decision and I can relate on a somewhat less agressive level than yours.

I just turned 54 this week and in three days, will be closing on my first sailboat . . . a Nauticat 33 motorsailor (sure to stir up some some boos and bahhs here, but still a s/v). My former sailing experience is limited to Hobiecats and daysailors in my youth, but recent crewing with friends on 33 to 44 ft sloops, which raised my comfort level with larger sailboats. My decision did not come quickly however. After considerable research, it was a choice made mutually by me and my wife/lifelong first mate. We are former powerboaters (25 years, six boats) in search of a different tack at this stage in our lives than reaching a destination in record time.

With us however, after seeing the world by way of air, land and sea in fast boats, we will be content to simply cruise the east coast, always having the option to control the helm from the pilothouse when weather gets snotty.

I''m not independently wealthy (we all have to serve somebody), so I''ll need to continue with my profession (part-time) to support a "semi-cruising" lifestyle.

Congratulations on your successful retirement and grand dreams for ocean voyaging. I''m envious, in a sadomasochistic sort of way.

The point I am trying to make is to just go for your dream, skip the day-sailor step, but continue with your plans for sailor education. You WILL learn to sail a larger boat, just not as well as others who may have started with smaller sailboats many years ago, working up to larger boats within 15 to 20 years. At that rate, you''d be pushing 80 by the time you move up to that 40 foot dream, not an option in my mind.

Best, Steve
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