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post #5 of Old 09-24-2006
Wandering Aimlessly
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Some say, don't spend money on a boat until you're ready to go. Other's say differently. Each way has it's merits. One thing to remember with boats though, is that you have to go with what feels right to you. In other words, don't do it because somebody else says do it, do it because it makes sense to you.

What I did, was buy a 20 footer for around $2500 to see if I still enjoyed sailing as much as when I was a kid. By August, I had a 26 footer that was roomy enough to weekend on. Being in Indiana and not on Lake Michigan, that was as big a boat as was practicable moneywise. What I learned from that boat was I was comfortable staying on one. That winter, I started doing my research on buying and living on one.

Boat choice is a function of realistic expectations of how and where you'll use it, cost, and space. For myself, being a singlehander, I wanted something in the 28-32 foot range. I did though look at some that were larger. The boat I ended up buying had been the kind that was at the top of my search list. The one I found that seemed the best deal, happened to be in Texas.

Though I had little first hand knowledge on keelboats, all my research pointed to this one. Fortunately, it proved to be the right boat. It has the storage and tankage for extended coastal cruising, handles well, and I feel comfortable on it, both at the dock, or under sail. And though I only plan to coastal cruise, I know it will go further if I decide to.

Now, whether that approach works for you, I can't say. It seems to work best if you take the good parts from any and all advice you get, and make a plan that works for you.

Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.

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