Join Date: Mar 2001
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Search for the perfect first boat
Enjoyed reading all the forums here. I have next to no sailing experience but have begun reading heavily and will start with lessons this summer. I''m starting to research used boats although i do not expect actually buying for a year or two- until i have spent enough time on the water for my needs/wants in a boat to solidify a bit better. However, I do have a number of questions pertaining to the best boat for my needs:
The boat will be for myself and my girlfriend with the occasional guest or two. We would like to spend a few years sailing around New York and ideally as far as Cape Cod and points in between. We are not interested in racing only crusing. Their are 3 main issues which i think will impact our choice of boats;
me: 6 feet 4 inches
her: 5 feet 2 inches
My intial idea was to look at boats in the 28-32 foot range but finding 6'' 5" of headroom seems next to impossible in anything under 38-40 feet. I refuse to have to crouch in the cabin, I must be able to stand up.
Secondly, my girlfriend has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) which limits her strength and stamina significantly. So what ever we get should be easily single handed by me. I don''t know if there is anything we can do to make a boat more user friendly for her?
Finally the budget is naturally our limiting factor. Since I don''t yet have a handle on all the reoccuring costs, i can only speculate that our budget for a used boat would be in the 20-30K range.
Given the above factors, do any of you have any boats to suggest? I suspect we''d be more likely to want to go out for a week or two or at least several days at a time rather than just day sailing.
I''d also like to know the pros and cons of either learning on a small dingy then moving up vs. learning on the boat you actually wish to own. I am thinking about buying a small boat to sail this summer like a Laser, escape etc. From what i''ve read this seems to be the best way to learn (ie, in a small boat) If any of you have opnions on the best small boats to learn to sail, do share.