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Old 05-15-2008
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Question Help me with the "Perfect" boat

Ok, hi. been sailing 3 times, on boats in general more than that, just wasn't "helping". I loved every second and have always wanted to learn and do it, and decided when i get back from Iraq I'm going to (I figure i owe myself some fun). I'm not really on here for advice on learning, although it wouldn't go amiss, but more on choices for first boats. I'll be taking classes in basic keelboats before I make final purchases, but It'll still be new territory for me

I know from common sense that there's no such thing as a perfect boat, but i'd like some knowledgable advice on choices. i'm east coast at the moment (Georgia through north carolina area) and looking for a live aboard/coastal while i'm in school, with the capability to go cross ATL if its possible in the same boat, but realistically I have to say it won't happen for at least 2 years or more, so can't really factor into my plans. anyway i figured it'd help to have a list of things I'd need/want so you guys can maybe throw out a few model suggestions...

first-off is what i NEED in a boat, things that can't be comprimised:

Cost: $45,000 max. I have some money in savings and good credit for my age (20). but can't really see being able to afford AND maintain a ship larger/more costly than that

size: 30-45. I expect to be single-handing for most of the time. friends along for trips and whatnot, but as far as actual crew it'll be me and possibly one friend who has an interest. i'd prefer it were able to hold 4 over a month-long trip as a good general idea. i've read that 35-40 is soloable, correct me if i'm wrong,

purpose: liveaboard+costal /w bluewater capability. I don't need one thats blue capable off the bat, but a ship that's able to become capable with a little work on storage space/water container or whatever else i haven't learned about yet, lol.



as far as WANTS, things that are compromisable:

good storage space and room for size. i've read that beam has alot more to do with room than length, so maybe a fat girl is the type for me.

5'-ish draft. now i'm a toddler at all this but i've read that any more than that limits movement in many island areas in the atlantic and gulf, also a bridge clearance thats safe is good... 55'??

1 shower seperate from toilet. its not a must but i'd prefer that for obvious reasons.

reliable electronics. LOL, I know that sounds like a joke but you know what I mean. a ship with a reputation of shitty wiring isnt the best for me. my potantial first mate is one of those people that just looks at something and can fix it, I know my way around a computer and engine, but it's always taken time to get that way. he says he's just puerto rican, whatever, lol.

head room? i'm 5'11" so i'm ok in most areas but my friend that will be along for the ride is 6'5" and i'd like him to be able to have at least partial comfort, not a dealbreaker though.


so, anyone who has an idea on what would work for me, thank you
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Old 05-15-2008
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I would look at the sticky on seaworthy bluewater boats under the buying a boat thread for a bunch of ideas..then visit yachtworld.com to look at pictures and see what is available within your price range. Once you have it narrowed down a bit...then ask some questions of owners here and on the email lists available under the resources tab. Given your budget...I think you should be limiting yourself to under 35' boats.
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Old 05-15-2008
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Can you merge his two threads???

Thanks.
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I think it's a mistake to think that the first boat you buy will be your "perfect boat" Because judging from your circumstances you will be quite a different sailor, making dramatic improvements with each passing year and thus your definition of a "perfect boat" will change. In other words I think it's a mistake to spend $45k on your first boat.

I would start out with something under 30 feet, 25 would be perfect and sail the "sheet" out of the boat. You will learn much about sailing and more importantly the kind of sailing and boat you want.

My real estate agent told me it takes three homes to get to your dream home, I think the same applies to boat.

Good luck and hurry back.
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Old 05-15-2008
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Apkaplan's advice isn't bad, unless you've had enough experience on different boats and know what you want in your "perfect boat". However, from your OP, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Don Casey, in his book This Old Boat, says pretty much what Apkaplan says... that most people will keep their first boat a few years, and then buy their second boat and keep that for decades, after learning what they like/dislike, want/don't want in a boat from owning the first boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 05-16-2008
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Try a Union 36. The decks leak, but it is not a bad boat. No boat is perfect, anywhere.
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Old 05-17-2008
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Hi Orion

In my eyes, you should focus first on sailing studies. find a proper sailing school and start learning. you will meet there people like you with similar dreams, you will also meet experienced people from whom you would be able to take good advices for questions you have.

Sea can be one of life's best gifts, but when circumstances deteriorate it can be cruel and unforgiving. theres more to sailing than just a few sailing lessons.

You have some money in the bank, thats good , let it stay there for awhile. dont blow it all in one go. builed your sailing skills and knowledge of what it takes to keep a boat.

my bottom line would be. give yourself some time to have agood tast of it, before you get into the buisness of buying a boat.

Good Luck on whatever you decide to do
Izos
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Old 05-17-2008
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There is no perfect boat - there is only a boat out there that will do much of what you actually plan to do with - that's your perfect boat - not mine. I have a Bristol 29.9 - she is a bluewater warrior princess - most of my sailing is offshore, so I want a boat that can be handled by short crew in heavy weather and won't give up on you in a real blow. Paloma has been through two Force 10 gales (winds gusting over 60 and seas 28-30 feet) - neither expected - but neither time did we feel that we were at risk. But, that probably isn't what 75% of the other sailors on this net want or think they will ever need.
So my perfect boat isn't theirs - and proably not yours.
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Old 05-17-2008
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Old 05-17-2008
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TDW,

Maybe but the op is new to sailing and is trying to get ideas. He knows nothing about sailing but caught the bug.
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