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Old 09-30-2006
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You and your wife should both be capable of sailing the boat single-handed, as that is essentially what you will be doing if you cruise as a couple. The boat, regardless of size, should be rigged to be single-handed. I would go with a 30-35' boat, rather than a <30' boat, as it will be far more comfortable for you, and not all that much harder to handle than a smaller boat. Anything larger than 35' is going to be a bit too much for you, especially given your limited experience.

You and your wife should both take a good "coastal cruising" course, but I would recommend that you take them separately, rather than as a couple. In many cases, when a couple takes a cruising course, one of the couple will often learn far less than if they had taken them seperately, since one will often defer to their spouse.

Also, join a local yatch club and race or sail there, as a season of sailing on a racing boat will teach you a lot more about sailing than a season of just sailing by yourself. Also, the techniques you learn about tweaking the performance on a racing boat will be useful when you're sailing a cruising boat in light winds and need to maximize performance.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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