ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
Thanked 37 Times in 37 Posts
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The probability of you, a new sailor, presented with an old boat, which is small and marginal for offshore use, traveling great distances, without experience, with a family, in any kind of harmony and safety is very unlikley!
If you are truely interested in sailing, get a small boat (say 19'' or so) and learn how to sail. AFTER you have learned the basics adequately, bring the family out and see if they also enjoy it. When you have a few years of experience or the equivalent, buy a 29 footer and try out some cruising, and develop an additionallevel of experience and expertise.
THEN, if the dream still lives, start planning trips like the ones you have mentioned.
To take on an old boat with no experience is a formula for disasters, whether financial, relationship, or life-threatening, or all combined. Walk away from the 29, even if offered free. You likely have no experience to judge very good condition from barely afloat, reasonable price from big rippoff. At best the purchase price of an old boat is more like a downpayment on a long string of $$$ surprises, then the real cost.
Sailing is a great pastime, but like mountain-climbing or winter camping or flying a plane, there''s a learning curve that occurs among enevitable risks which are generally manageable with experience.
Just my opinion. Good luck.