Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanked 24 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Re: Im buying a big boat! But i have never sailed
Ant, you've received some pretty good advice so far. As far as learning to sail goes, it's not rocket science. Get a book on the basic principles of sailing (or look online) for starters to understand how a sail works. In a week or so you can learn the basics of sailing and be able to take your boat out under normal conditions. It's when conditions are not normal that things get hairy!... Learn and practice reefing your mainsail until you can do it with your eyes closed. Learn how to reduce/furl your head sails. Then practice going out in progressively windier conditions until you feel comfortable sailing in higher wind.
The real challenge is learning all about your boat. This will take a much longer time, as much as a year or more, depending on how interested you are in how things work. It's really worthwhile going over every hose (change them while you're at it), wire, fuel line, through-hull, pump, the rig, line, sheet, block etc. You will need to know how everything works. When you really know everything on your boat you'll be able to relax, because you'll know how to fix or replace just about everything. Then I think you'll be ready for that longer trip you want to take. Leaving sooner just adds stress when things go wrong on board (and they will!). Since you have the previous owner around to "show you the ropes" you should milk him for all you can on how the boat works, what spares are on board (label them clearly), what has been giving trouble on board (the "quirks') and how to fix it, etc. He will also be the ideal person to show the little tricks to sail that particular boat.
I won't speculate on the value of this boat, though I have to say that if everyone here feels it's overpriced, you should look into this more closely. Boats are never a wise monetary investment. Expect to lose money on this boat, but hopefully the return in pleasure on your money investment will be more than compensation. Also, no matter how good things look on the boat, there will be a lot of things to fix, replace, change, upgrade etc. over the next months. Keep some money in reserve for this and expect things to break.
Finally, welcome to Sailnet! You'll find that you'll get a lot of good advice when it comes to sorting out the bugs on your new boat.