First Boat... long term goals - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-24-2016 Thread Starter
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First Boat... long term goals

If i can, I would like to keep this discussion broad. Looking to gain as much general information as possible so I can make an informed decision. I have been reading everything I can find including articles and threads on specific boats that have caught my eye while browsing, but the amount of information is overwhelming and sometimes (often) contradictory from article to article! So any pointed advice/discussion based on first hand experience/preference would be welcome and appreciated. Ill try to keep the rest short!

Brand new to sailing with big dreams of transatlantic passages and circumnavigations one day! I know there is no do all vessel, and i know currently my biggest hindrance is experience, i plan to address that. At some point though you just have to buy a boat, so which one? Price is a consideration, but I have the time and patience to spend 2 or 3 years making a boat voyage ready while i learn to sail. Hull type? keel shape? ketch or sloop? specific boats you sail or recommend?

Considerations:

32'-42' ish (i expect to sail with a crew member, occasionally 2, occasionally single handed)
No plans to race, so speed would be farther down my list to comfort and safety.
Capable during coastal trips and in the islands, with the ability to cross the ocean safely when the time comes.
Day trips and weekends are not my long term goals. I understand they are a reality while i learn, but I would sacrifice the normal considerations for a boat designed for those kind of trips short term, if i knew i was putting time and money into the boat that would carry me to my long term goals.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-24-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

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Originally Posted by Thursty30 View Post
I have been reading everything I can find including articles and threads on specific boats that have caught my eye while browsing, but the amount of information is overwhelming and sometimes (often) contradictory from article to article! So any pointed advice/discussion based on first hand experience/preference would be welcome and appreciated. Ill try to keep the rest short!

You haven't read everything as this question is asked over and over. Have you done any sailing?

Brand new to sailing with big dreams of transatlantic passages and circumnavigations one day!

Common winter dreams.
My recommendation is that you sailing and once you have come back and ask a specific question. But in the end you have to make the choice and once you have sailed a while you will be able to come up with boats best for YOU.

I hope everything works out for you.

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Last edited by Don0190; 02-24-2016 at 05:33 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-24-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

No, I haven't read everything. Its an expression. You are correct, as i sail i am sure i will develop my own opinion. In the mean time If you do the kind of sailing i aspire to tell me about a boat you like to do it in and why you like it! or adversely tell me about a boat you don't like and why. I am well aware of my own inexperience, just trying to gather knowledge.

Thanks,
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-24-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

Hey,

I think a better plan would be to buy a small cheap boat now. Sail it, learn about sailing, maintenance, etc. Then, in a few years, if you still feel the need to cross oceans, you can sell the cheap boat and buy the right boat.

I would suggest something around 27'. Buy one with most of the features of 'big boats' like inboard diesel engine, wheel steering, AC/DC electrical system, hot and cold pressure water, marine head with holding tank, galley with ice box and stove / oven. This way you will get the feel for how those things work, the required maintenance for them, how to use them, etc.

Don't get too hung up on makes and models. Most fiberglass boats from the 70s-90's are more or less the same. Buy a sloop, those are the most common and easy to sail. It doesn't really matter if it's a Catalina, Hunter, O'day C&C, Tartan, Sabre, S2, Pearson, etc. Find one in your area for the right price and in decent condition. Expect to pay $15-$20K for a nice boat or $10-15K for a not as nice boat. Then go sailing and learn and have fun.

Good luck,
Barry
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-24-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

I agree with Barry.
Dont lock yourself into a big boat until you've sailed a year or two and know what you want from it.
Small boats are easier to learn on and easy to sell.
Here on the east coast Catalina 27s can be had for $3000-5000.

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-24-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

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I agree with Barry.
Dont lock yourself into a big boat until you've sailed a year or two and know what you want from it.
Small boats are easier to learn on and easy to sell.
Here on the east coast Catalina 27s can be had for $3000-5000.

+3 on the size. Keep it 25-27. Easier to handle and learn on, and also much less expensive to maintain. Boat condition should be the deciding factor when buying.

42' sailboat is alot to handle for a first timer. I would hate to be your slip neighbor as you back that in and out.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

If one is trying to get up the curve quickly, I always recommend one of the week long, liveaboard, Fast Track to Cruising sailing course/certifications. I've seen them do amazing things with total newbies. Offshore Sailing School is one I've known more than one to use, including my wife.

Just don't come back and necessarily want to buy the boat you trained on. That's a common student affliction in many avocations. They suddenly want whatever the instructor used.

However, while the courses are all day long immersion, there is downtime to pick your instructors brain in good boats to own from there. There is substantially more to consider than the filter the OP provided. Sail plan, underwater configuration (lots of pros and cons) and hull shape, how much water depth in your cruising area, quality of construction, cockpit location, need/desire for creature comforts like showers, tankage, etc, etc.


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post #8 of 10 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

Buy a smaller cheaper boat, make sure you actually like sailing! Learn to sail, crew on as many boats as possible after a couple years you will have a much better idea of the boat that suits YOU.
Too many thing go into a boat purchase that cannot be accounted for, like your taste in boats. Some people love the current mass marketed designs from Hunter, Beneteau etc, Personaly they are not to my taste. I'm more of a fan of the older classic designs like the S&S's, Hinckley etc. Pretty much the boats I grew up on and around.
I'm also more concerned with how living on it at sea works as opposed to living at a dock. Other people it is the exact opposite, have to be living the life at anchor with tv's, A/C, Ice makers. LOL things I don't even have in my house!
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

I will have to agree with the majority here. I am currently doing just as they are saying. No sailing experience until I sailed the 27' boat we bought. We have been sailing since the first of the year and I already am developing an idea of what I like and don't like. We plan on keeping this boat a couple of years. At that point we will buy a bigger boat, keep the boat we have or sell the boat all together. We are insuring we like sailing and that we can handle living aboard. We are in our early 50's so we are making sure we can manage the lifestyle change.

Good luck with any decision you make!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: First Boat... long term goals

FWIW the consensus appears to be learn small then go bigger and I agree. That being said there are lots of people who learned on a 36 footer and did just fine. There's also that guy in the marina/anchorage who is in over his head and yelling at his mate and bouncing off other boats. That ain't fun.
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