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make a porsche into a mini-van?
I am a novice sailor looking to buy my first boat. I learned to sail on a Laser and a 20’ O’Day sailor, so I am quite a landlubber. I want to go coastal cruising with my girlfriend around Chesapeake Bay and the ICW, then cap off a summer of cruising with a single triumphant run at the Bahamas. (The thought scares me now, but I hope I’ll have drastically improved my knowledge and skills with three months on the boat.)
I have the opportunity to get a fantastic deal on a Cal 9.2 (under $8000). Normally, I think the Cal 9.2 might not be the right boat for me (seems like she’s built more for speed than cruising), but my question is, should I take a great deal on a less than ideal boat if the deal is so good I might be able to re-rig and re-equip the boat for my intended purposes? My impression is that this boat is normally a $15-20K level boat, so I am under the impression that I could spend $10K or so to set the boat up exactly the way I need and still have a pretty good deal. In other words, should I buy a Porsche if the deal is so good I’d have enough money left over to make her over into a mini-van?
My knowledge of cruising is coming exclusively from reading. I have no practical experience at it at all. From what I’ve read, though, here is why I think the Cal 9.2 wouldn’t normally be the right boat for me and the things I might try to change on it:
1.) I want to cruise with my girlfriend for most of the summer. Unfortunately, she is afraid of boats and particularly afraid of the idea that a boat might heel over. So I’m looking for a boat that I can practically guarantee is the most stable it can be, even in bad weather. I’ve read that the Cal 9.2 is fairly bouncy in rough water, so I’m thinking it might be too jumpy for us. I’d like to assure my girlfriend that there is no possible way for this boat to tip over. Unfortunately there isn’t much I can do about this except live with it. Are my concerns being overblown here, though?
2.) Water tanks seem tiny (20 gallons, 10 gallons for waste.) I don’t mind the idea of foot pumps to push water to the lav and the galley (I think, don’t really know), but I think I might want more water than this for cruising. Can I upgrade the water system easily?
3.) As my girlfriend has no experience sailing and I have limited, I’ll be doing most of the driving single-handed at first. This boat comes with 9 sails, but all I think I could handle by myself is a mainsail and a jib or gen. At the moment the boat is rigged with a tuff luff headstay (whatever that is), but I’d rather have roller furling, I think, for ease of use. Does it make sense to rig this boat a little more simply after the sale? All I want is a main and a jib on rollers if I can have them, but maybe I am being stupid here?
4.) The boat has an icebox, no reefer, and a decent head, but no shower. I’m willing to try to work around these things, but am I being unrealistic here for the kind of cruising I want to do? I don’t mind marina showers and icebags every day or two. Should I think about adding a reefer? Is it even possible to add a shower?
5.) The boat has tiller steering, but does have an autopilot so I’m thinking this is okay for now.
6.) Her draft is about 5’ 9” (I think). I’m thinking there might be a few 4 foot areas where I want to go. Not much I can do about this, but should she be disqualified on this count?
7.) Lastly, I’ve read a few places that this engine (Universal 13 hp?) shouldn’t be run in saltwater. Is that right, and if so, that sounds like reason to disqualify her for the Bahama run.
That’s all the analysis I’m capable of at the moment. Please let me know if you think I’m being misguided here and thanks so much in advance for the advice.
Last edited by shakespearebro; 02-09-2009 at 08:29 PM.