Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat
I just got the Ninth Circle Press trade paperback edition of Breaking Seas and started reading. The description of your fellow students in the not-so-basic keelboat class struck me and it seems you had the bad fortune to fall in with a particularly elitist/salty group. I don't have a good frame of reference though, because we managed to take classes as a family (self, spouse, then-pre-teen son) in the off seasons in 1999 and 2002 (in Santa Barbara).
The other part the struck me was just how much was missed by the survey. If I had a bunch of extra money to burn, it would be a fascinating experiment to get a boat surveyed by a few different surveyors just to see who misses what -- and after doing a really hard, probing "pre survey" myself and with a couple of experienced friends. If a boating magazine wanted to do boaters a real service, they could do something like this experiment and write a "What can you expect your surveyor to find -- or miss" article. Was your surveyor a member of a trade group and how much experience did he supposedly have with older sailboats?
Now, how do I arrange for the weather to be properly nasty, sucky, and challenging for a sea trial?!
I also wonder if maybe decent life rafts might be cheaper enough in someplace like the UK (with fewer legal issues to maybe inflate the price) to be worth getting from there. For people on a budget, I wonder if perhaps gumby (survival) suits would buy enough time/provide enough protection to allow crew to use a pudgy or other hard or soft ship's dinghy as life raft.
-- Pat Byrnes