What size boat to learn to sail solo? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 36 Old 12-07-2016 Thread Starter
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What size boat to learn to sail solo?

I am currently looking for a boat to liveaboard and learn to sail here in hawaii. I will be sailing alone. What is a good size boat for both cost of maintenance and ease of learning?

Currently can't post links for another 5 posts, but there are a few listed that might be in my price range

30' Catalina Cruiser 1980, $24,000
33' Cape Dory 1987 $29,000
33' Bluewater Offshore Cruiser 1979 $15,000
38' Atkins Ingrid 1972 39,000

All of these are listed under ala wai yachts boats for sale.

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post #2 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

before you worry about a boat you need to have a live a board slip. They are hard to come by in the islands . not many marinas allow them and the ones that do have a very long waiting list as in years long. I think they are only available on Oahu. They may also have a minimum size limit on the boat. the other problem is the crime rate in the marina that have live boards is out of control. also not known for being a safe place after dark. I would go down to the marina and talk to them direct. calling on the phone will most likely just get you a big no.

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post #3 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Yipes, Hawaii doesn't sound like a pleasant place to live aboard.

For one person learning to sail I would aim to keep your boat size small. Aside from the reasons above, I can't think of any reason somebody would want to learn to single hand on a boat much over 30'.
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post #4 of 36 Old 12-07-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

I've found some places with available slips for liveaboards. I will also get on the waitlist for Rainbow Bay since that is on base.
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post #5 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

If your focus is learning to sail, find a way to get access to a dinghy. Much faster response times = much faster learning. If you buy a boat to live on, find a way to sail a dinghy too. If you can, race.
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
If your focus is learning to sail, find a way to get access to a dinghy. Much faster response times = much faster learning. If you buy a boat to live on, find a way to sail a dinghy too. If you can, race.
Yeah I guess at Rainbow Bay they rent out 19' boats for like $5-10 an hour from what I heard, but you have to stay in the harbor. So regardless of when I buy a boat to live on, I plan on taking an ASA 101 class and then renting at Rainbow Bay until I get very comfortable.
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post #7 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

But to answer the question about size and single handing, once the logic and mechanics of sailing rigging lines blocks winches etc are understood, most people should be able t ok S H almost any size boat up to about ,Oh about 45'

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post #8 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

Rainbow Bay is where I learned to sail!

It was just Navy Special Services then. I could rent a Rhodes 19 for $3 an hour and they were on the bike path to my apt. in Pearl City.

Is the marina on the Hickham side still there? They had better access to blue water. Back in the day, it was $5 an hour to rent an R19 there, but the boats were newer and you could go out. At Rainbow Bay we had to stay inside Center Loch.

No advice, any info I have is 30 years old.

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post #9 of 36 Old 12-07-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

Another thing to consider is slip fees - anything over 33' usually goes up dramatically in price.

For the pacific passage you are looking to do, I would think the Cape Dory 33 would fit the bill nicely. I would scratch the Catalina 30 off the list for a Hawaii-Cal passage.
I'd still suggest looking at that Albin Singoalla - it is a rare larger version of an Albin Vega - very well respected singlehander offshore boats. For the price, you could put $20k
into it, and still be in your budget with new rigging, etc - at at the end of the day would have a better boat that those you listed, IMHO.
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post #10 of 36 Old 12-07-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

Slip fees don't look too bad maybe 600-700. That plus the boat payment will still be considerably cheaper than my rent now. I will save $6-7k alone on rent in a year which I wouldn't feel bad at all putting into the boat.

Lazerbrains, I will definitely take a look at it. Im not limiting my option to what I listed; just trying to get a better feel for what kind of boat to look for.
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