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post #5 of Old 07-19-2012
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Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat

I've always thought of the J/24 as a bit of a squirrelly boat. They can be fast and fun, if you are experienced. But they are definitely not something I would recommend as a first boat. Additionally, many (most?) J/24s you find will have been raced hard for many years. So they are likely to have structural issues you may not want to deal with in a first boat (or course, this can be true for many other designs as well). A Santana 22 would be a far better choice. But so would a Cal 25, Cal 2-25, or Cal 24, as well a as a dozen or so other designs common to the West Coast. IMHO your first boat should be a bit forgiving, particularly if you plan to do a lot of singlehanded sailing. No matter how many times you've crewed on someone else's boat, or how many lessons you've taken, you'll find that sailing and maintaining your own boat is a very different experience. Do yourself a favor and ease into boat ownership. If you get bored with a more sedate boat, in this size range you can always "trade up" later on without losing a huge wad of cash.

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