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post #10 of Old 07-13-2001
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First time sail boat buyer

Hello, great responses from Jeff & Jack, even saved jeff''s recommendations for my next eventual purchase First and foremost, as a new sailor, learn to sail. Try to start out on something small and forgiving. I grew up in Northern Michigan sailing sunfish''s, force 5''s, hobies, god knows what else, as well as cruising/racing on the "big" boats. Go buy yourself a used small boat that you won''t be afraid to put a few dings into. Believe me, the first time you take your new boat out on your very first sail, and you bring it into the dock a bit too fast and get to hear the wonderful sound the pulpit makes upon kissing the dock, you''ll wish you learned on a small boat how they operate. They are much easier to start/stop for exp. and they are much less expensive to fix when the ineveitable happens. And it will, trust me and the others, you''ll bang her up a bit, and the bigger the boat, the bigger the wallet needed to fix her. You need to learn the basics first and the small boats are very forgiving, and very responsive. You need to learn the feel of the wind, what it can do for you and your boat, and how all the tweaking you do with trimming etc affects the way the boat handles. Force 5''s and Lazers are great little boats with big boat features, main as well as jibs, vangs, outhauls etc. And please Martin, do yourself a favor and disregard the comments about wheels. Start with a tiller, and stay with a tiller. They give you such a great feel of the water, and how the boat is running. A tiller will clue you in to the true conditions of the seas much earlier then a wheel will, think of it as an early warning system. Once that tiller gets to be a handful to hang on to, then its time to reef. A wheel won''t give you that kind of feel, although if you want to be able to turn on a dime......On the boat sizes that you are looking at, a wheel will take up way to much room in your cockpit. Sure, my tiller makes a wide arc and precludes anyone else from sitting in my "space" but at anchor/dock I can get it up out of the way and use all of my cockpit for lounging. Let''s see you do that with a wheel. Take some classes, sail with whomever you can beg, borrow and stow away on board with to learn different tricks of the trade, rigs, set-ups etc. Surf the web, read books, ask the crew next to your boat, hell, take em out for sailing on your boat when you get her. Most sailors are really great people, kinda a fraternity really, and are more then willing to help out a novice. The way I look at it, that novice may be sailing next to me some day, and I sure as hell dont want him tacking into me
s/v Bout Damn Time! lying Lake Erie Michigan
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