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  #1  
Old 11-14-2000
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Brand New To Sailing

I am brand new to Sailing. Never!!!
I have decided I really don''t want to buy a house but would rather live on a boat.

I am looking for all the input I might be able to receive about boats which one person can handle.. Docking in south florida...
Live aboard..(it would be my house)..
Finance, insurance, what kind of boats to look for...Sailing school..

For anyone who might be interested in supplying me with some information I would grately appreciate it.

Thanks
MB
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Old 11-14-2000
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Brand New To Sailing

Dear MB,

I''ve considered the same thing. However, selling everything and living on one is a huge step, and I''d spend some time doing bareboat chartering before I even thought about living on one.

Dave...
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Old 11-14-2000
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Brand New To Sailing

You need to give us a bit more to go on. For example:

Do you plan to sail the boat or simply live aboard?
-You can buy reasonably cheap roomy boats but it is hard to find a reasonably cheap liveaboard that also sails well.

What are your long term plans?
-Is this a boat that you will live on for a while and then head off over the horizon (needs to be more seaworthy) or is this a boat that you will just live on in port and maybe some day buy a serious voyager?

What sort of work do you do?
If you go into an office you need better clothing storage space than if you work at home or are in a more casual trade.

What sort of budget do you have?
- You can buy good liveaboard boats for as little as $20K-30K but really well rounded boats that are well built and sail well are conciderably more expensive. Its hard to find a distance cruiser with decent performance under $100K and the really great boats are way up from there.

How comfortable do you want to be?
-I lived aboard a 25 foot Folkboat that I bought for $400 back in the early 1970''s. I lived in the anchorage outside of Dinner Key, Florida. I had just gotten out of college and was looking for a bit of adventure before going on with life. The boat had almost no interior and I slept on a rubber mat that I rolled out on the deckboards at night. The galley was a water jug, a small basin,an igloo cooler and a single burner alcohol stove. The head was strictly bucket and chuck it. I don''t remember being uncomfortable. My current boat is a bit more comfortble but I can''t imagine living aboard either boat today.

There are a lot of good boats out there but there will only be a subset that will work for any individual. There is no boat that I know of that will work for everyone. So let us know more about you individually and I am sure that the good folks around here will try to help you find a list that works for you.

Good luck
Jeff

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Old 11-14-2000
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Brand New To Sailing

Dave,

You are absolutely correct.. I do need to give more information, but I was hoping people would do exactly what you did and ask certain questions.

I am a pilot and live in Atlanta. What would happen is I would live on the boat on my days off and then park it somewhere???, while I go to work for four days or so...

I want the boat to serve as my primary residence and be capable to sail on the weekends. Possibly to the Keys, Bahamas, up the coast, etc.

I would like as much room as I can possibly afford. And that strictly depends on the financing.. I haven''t checked with banks concerning terms, and rates... Whether or no it will be treated like a toy or a home!!!

I am sure I will want fiberglass.. And all the ammenities of home.. Bath, nice bed(considering), kitchen,...?? Two bedrooms would really be better..

How big of a ship can a single person handle. I am sure it depends on how it is rigged!!!



In docking terms..??? What is a typical setup.. Do you have to keep a boat at the dock, can you get power, sewage, water,.... There are so many topics which just take time to cover..

Thanks for the reply... And keep the information comming.

Mike
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Old 11-14-2000
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Hello Mike,

Well, we have two things more or less in common. I also live in Atlanta and was a pilot (CFI) in a previous life. I’m sort of in your “boat”, no pun intended, in that I’m looking to buy a boat in a year or two in anticipation of retirement. Let me pass on some things I’ve learned about the process.

Learning to sail – it’s something you have to do, but it’s easy. There is a set of rules and skills you must have to keep from buying the farm, but it’s nowhere near as tough as getting an instrument rating. Plus it’s fun.

I think it would be very possible to live on a boat and commute to your airline domicile. My brother and I are checking out Marinas and we’ve run across places that provide mooring, mail service, washing machines, etc. Cities like JAX, TPA, Pncla, Savanah, etc. would work fine. I’m contemplating buying something and keeping it in one of those cities to use on weekends until I retire fully.

RE room, it’s hard to get a handle on what’s real. The brochures just don’t give you a sense of reality. My brother and I met (he lives in Fla) a couple of weekends back at a sail show in St. Pete. They had a +lot+ of boats in the water, ranging from 22 ft to 50ft plus. We wandered through many of them (mostly 30 feet and up). What struck me was that interior room seems to go up exponentially with length. A 47 is huge compared to a 38 which is huge compared to a 30. Unfortunately price goes up accordingly, also!

RE utilities, I think you can easily find marinas that provide shore power, cable TV, phone hookups (although a cell phone will take care of that). How water and sewer are handled is less clear to me.

A boat can be your home for tax purposes. It can even be your second home, and the interest expense can be deducted accordingly.

Buying one isn’t that tough either. If you are a USAA member, give them a call, and they’ve got some brochures on the subject. Financing is typically 15 to 20 years, and a survey is required. Insurance is cheap. The one thing I can’t get a handle on is maintenance costs – bottom scraping and painting, rigging, sails, etc.. Some people have given me figures like 5 to 10 pct of value, but it doesn’t seem very accurate to me. If you find a book on that subject let me know.

Speaking of books, let me suggest “Choosing a cruising sailboat”, by Roger Marshall.

Hope this helps. (and if anyone else can contribute anything, please jump in)

Dave…
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Old 11-15-2000
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Brand New To Sailing

You do have a lot of questions here but let me see what I can do before leaving for my 8:30 meeting. To begin with I would suggest that you are really asking about three different boats, A boat on which to learn to sail, a boat to learn to singlehand big boats, and a liveaboard. While the second two might be the same boat depending on the comfort level that you can live with I suggest that the first boat- the boat on which to learn to sail should be smaller and more responsive. The sailing schools thse days seemed to locked in on 24 to 26 foot keel boats as an platform to teach adults. Learning to sail is not all that hard but to learn to sail really well takes a boat is responsive so that you cna learn sail trim and boat handling. The fact that you are a pilot helps a lot and you get to define the level of expertise that you want to aspire to. Not every distance sailor really is a good sailor. By that many distance cruisers have a near total ignorance of proper sail trim yet they get to where they are going albeit very slowly and/or with more heel angle and leeway than they might otherwise have. There is no sin in that but if you are concerned in sailing well then you might want to consider learning on a smaller, lighter, more modern design than might be suitable.

I suggest that you start out by renting an apartment and buy a boat to learn on. Call it your primary (or secondary)residence for tax purposes. If it has a head, berths, galley and you spend a minimum number of nights aboard (used to be 10 nights but since I paid my boat off I don''t know if it has changed).You will out grow this boat if you want to live aboard but you will also end up a more competent sailor.

Financing on boats can be pretty reasonable. They actually have a smaller forclosure rate than homes.

32 feet is about as big a boat as a person can single hand easily without special gear and special skills. Ideally you will develop the needed skills on your first boat. But an intermediate step may be required to get to the comfort level where you cna handle a larger liveaboard boat by yourself.

When it comes to liveaboard boats I think that 38 feet is as small as this can be done comfortable if you have to go to work and look like you haven''t slept in your clothes the night before. 38 feet is also as large a boat as I think a new sailor can single hand and even then there will be some scary times.

40 to 42 feet can be single-handed but again it ups the anti- a lot. On the other hand since boats grow in all directions there is a lot more room on a 42 footer than a 40.

Liveaboards with jobs typically live with the boats tied up at a dock. Electrical power gets pluged in and in Florida you might have Air conditioning while you are at the dock (AC under way needs a generator which is complexity that I would never recommend) Water can be hooked up with a hose or you fill the tanks when necessary. Waste goes into a holding tank which means weekly or more frequent trips to the pump out.

I will talk about specific boats for each type on my next post later today.

Regards
Jeff

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Old 01-04-2001
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Brand New To Sailing

how about a dinghy...
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Old 01-09-2001
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How about an Islander Freeport 36. Look for the "B" model with the large berth amidship.
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