Help with general advice for first time boat!
Hello from Texas!
I'll be moving to San Fran soon and have been looking in to buying my first sailboat! I'm very excited! I have some sailing experience, but all lake and nothing fancy. I am planning on buying a boat that I could live on while I go to school and by the time i get out (about 2 years later)I will have done the proper upgrades to sail it to Asia and beyond or back (haven't decided that far ahead :). I have done some research and asked different people their advice, but any advice would be greatly appreciated! Many people recommend that I get at least a 40 foot boat, others have said 35 is plenty, and of course every boat is different as well, but I just don't want to go into this blind. Also, since I'll more than likely be buying a used boat, how can I tell if there is something majorly wrong with it? Thanks for the advice in advance!
Its not the size that determines suitability it is the construction. There are lots of folks who circumnavigate/cruise in boats that are smaller than 35 feet. Some do it in boats under 30.
As to how to tell if something is majorly wrong, Sailingdog wrote out a very thoughtful and helpful thread here : http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...trip-tips.html
Spend the money for a really thorough, qualified surveyor. Yes, they are expensive until you realize that the $1,000 you just spent saved you almost $50,000 in boat repairs.Then their service becomes "cheap as chips".
Also, spend us much time sailing on OPB's as you can. It will not only improve your sailing skills but will give you an idea of what you want in a boat.
Lastly, take your time. Buying a boat can be a long process. We've been at it for 2 years and are still looking...
Very good advice! Thank you for your imput. 2 years huh? I bet you are getting a little anxious to get one! Kudos to you for having the patience! So if if I just google boat surveyor in San Fran would i find the info I need? or how should I go about it?
I'm not anxious, I'd rather wait for the right boat. We finally found one that my husband was interested enough in to get a survey and sea trial, but decided to pass on. In the mean time, we've been having lots of fun on OPB's. The right boat will come along, you just have to be patient.
As to finding a good surveyor, the good peeps here had some excellent advice which helped us find our surveyor. We will be using him on any other boats we think we are really, really interested in.
Tips can be found here:
Michael, You'll find advice on surveyors in the Bay area right on this forum. Françoise Ramsay gets a lot of praise. I've never contracted her to survey a boat, but I wouldn't hesitate doing so, based on the recommendations given.
Sailing across an ocean can be done in many different boats, including some smaller ones, like the Pacific Seacraft Dana and Flicka. A good list to check out is the one by James Baldwin of Atom fame. There are quite a few boats on that list that are very capable. John Vigor's book, 20 Sailboats to Take You Anywhere, is another good resource.
There is a lot you can do to check out a boat yourself, as Mimsy has pointed out the thread I started on boat inspection trip tips, I won't link to it (thanks mimsy :)), but it is really only designed to help you decide if a boat is worth investing the time and money of getting a survey on it or not—and should not replace a proper survey. :)
I would also point out that even many production boats are far tougher than the crew, and that preparation of the crew is something that is often overlooked.
I would highly recommend that you also:
1) Do as much of the work on the boat and get as familiar with the systems aboard her as you can—as it may save your life.
2) Work your way up to crossing an ocean, and learn how the boat handles in different conditions, by day sailing, weekending, coastal cruising, etc. This can help you check out the systems on the boat before making the big leap.
3) Don't get too big a boat. When you're tired, sick, and working in heavy weather, a bigger boat can overwhelm you pretty easily. Get one that you're capable of handling in all conditions, even if you're not 100%.
4) Remember that people have been cruising long-distances for years in boats smaller than 30'. Larry and Lin Pardey have hundreds of thousands of miles beneath their keel over many years in boats less than 30' LOA. The size of boats has slowly been creeping upwards, but large boats ARE NOT NECESSARY for long-distance cruising.
5) Check out sailfar.net, it is a website that specializes in sailing long distances on smaller boats... which is a very different mentality than most sites or magazines.
6) Remember that smaller boats are less expensive, both to maintain and to purchase. This often means that you can go earlier, and often stay out longer, than if you have to save up for a 40'+ monstrosity. :)
wow thank you so much, i checked this a while back and have been looking at all the boats and those sites a whole lot. I'm super excited to be looking at smaller boats lol. Thank you again!
Glad to help.. If you're a big fan of smaller boats, I'd recommend you take a look at Small boats cruising long distances, & KISS principle cruising | sailFar.net. The motto there is "Small boats....long distances" and they specialize in pocket cruisers.
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