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trampslikeus 08-12-2004 10:58 AM

Novice Sailors buying boat
We are novice sailors who have fallen in love with a 1976 36 foot sailboat. are we crazy to consider buying such a large boat to learn on?
thanks for your replies!

Sailmc 08-12-2004 11:33 AM

Novice Sailors buying boat
Not crazy but it''s not the best idea. You need to sail small boats that give you feed back when you are doing things right and wrong to learn to sail well. You will probably not get that from a thirty-six foot boat. In addition to learning to sail the hard way you will simutaneously need to learn all about how to use and maintain the systems on a more complicated boat. It''s doable but not the best route.

BarryL 08-12-2004 11:55 AM

Novice Sailors buying boat

Just because you buy that boat doesn''t mean you need to learn on it. You could take any number of courses on other boats. It might be a good idea to do that first, but it doesn''t really matter. You could take a course on a 25'' boat, then work on your boat.

Good luck,

Jeff_H 08-12-2004 06:23 PM

Novice Sailors buying boat
This not a question with one right answer. Much of the answer depends on what your goals are. There are people who care about learning to sail really well and others who only care to learn to sail well enough to get out of the dock and get back again.

Depending on the specific 36 footer you may be able to learn to sail well enough to get out of the dock and get back again but the learning curve will be much more steep. And by the same token there are a lot of 1970''s era 36 footers that you could never learn to sail on.

If you really care to learn how to sail well, you would be much better off buying a reponsive, 23 to 28 foot fin keel, spade rudder sloop of some easy resold brand.

It might help us to answer your question if you mentioned the make and model that you are considering.


WHOOSH 08-16-2004 03:45 AM

Novice Sailors buying boat

You only asked half of the question. The other side of it is whether, as newcomers, it makes sense to accept ownership of an older, larger boat. I think that''s a far more critical issue than learning to sail on the boat, which can be easily done with the help of friends, an instructor or on your own...or a combo of the above.

The level of maintenance, replacement and upgrading needed on a 30 year old boat is not for a novice IMO.


mdougan 08-16-2004 05:44 AM

Novice Sailors buying boat
Just a couple of additional points to consider...

You may not know exactly what type of characteristics you want in a boat until you''ve had time to sail on a few. So, generally it''s recommended that you sail on OPB (other people''s boats) for a while before buying... then, you can make a more informed choice.

However, finding a boat that you''re absolutely in love with is not always an easy thing to do, so, if you''ve managed that, then what the heck!

But, as others have suggested, perhaps take some sailing lessons on smaller boats to develop the necessary skill and confidence to enjoy your own boat.

Billpjr 08-18-2004 12:43 PM

Novice Sailors buying boat
Don''t get too bogged down in "what ifs". 36'' is not too big to learn on and will get easy to handle after a few months. Go for it. If it reaches a point that you don''t like the boat, sell it. Then take what you learned and buy a different boat. Keep going until you have "arrived". While you are doing all this take classes or courses that help you learn seamanship and boat handling.

sailingfool 08-18-2004 07:58 PM

Novice Sailors buying boat
54 Attachment(s)
A frank answer :
YES, you would be crazy to buy a 36 foot boat as novices.

aide from the comments as to the practicality of learing to sail and boat- handle in that size boat, as novices you should go into such a purchase ready and willing to lose your shirts financially. Unless you pay a premium price for the unusally well maintained and updated boat, the purchase price of a boat that age is more like a down payment, just the begginng of the ownership cost. Figure 2-3 times the purchase price for probable repairs and/or upgrades. If you were an expereinced and knowedledgeable buyer, then you are at least somewhat armed for dealing the seller who has perfect knowledge about the boat and its needs.

Even reasonably supported by the not common expert surveyor, you are lambs going to a slaughter... financially speaking..

Good luck, as you''d need a lot of it...

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