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  #1  
Old 07-25-2009
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Budget and Boats

Just need to know what forum to post this but I am new to buying a sailboat and have a budget of 8500 give or take. I will be sailing off the southern coast of Texas, near Port Lavaca and in the bays. I want to use it for weekends mostly in the Bays/protected water but I would like to take her out in the Gulf of Mexico on good days.

1. What is the smallest size I can get away with? And what are your recommendations for brand of boats that would best fit my needs in salt water areas mentioned above?

2. I've looked in many sites and cant seem to find what im looking for. Does anyone know where to look or if they know of a good dealer in the texas area.

Right now I have been looking at the Hunter 25 footer but I want to know if there are better brands to be looking at. I don't really care about cosmetics, just want something strong and dependable.

Thank you,
Brandon
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Old 07-25-2009
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Yippeekayay—

First, welcome to Sailnet. I'd highly recommend you read this POST to help you get the most out of sailnet.

Second, you really shouldn't be posting variants of the same post in multiple threads.

Third, you really need to figure out what you want in a boat before you go running around looking to buy one. The best way to do this is to figure out what you want to do with the boat, and then work backwards from that to what boats will be best suited for it. Are you looking for a trailerable boat or one that you'll keep in the water? Trailerable boats are often far less expensive to own, but often not as seaworthy.

While there are a lot of boats that would be suitable for the bays and such, far fewer would be suitable for venturing out onto the Gulf of Mexico, even on nice days.

I'd also point out that you'll probably want to save at least 15-20% of your total boat buying budget for refitting, upgrading and repairing the boat you do end up buying.

I'd highly recommend you look at James Baldwin's Boat List, as it has quite a few small seaworthy boats that might be in your price range.

I would also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether a given boat is worth going any further with, and may save you the cost of a survey on a less seaworthy boat.
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Thank You

Thank you for all the good tips. I will look at that list. I have read your boat inspection tips already so that should prepare me somewhat.
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Old 07-25-2009
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Please read my last post on the "Build a Trailer" thread.

You are probably over thinking the situation. The first boat you get is not likely to be your last one if you stick with sailing. In the beginning, you are not going to cross the gulf, or sail around the world. Those ambitions are for later after you get some experience. Just find a boat in your price range that is in good condition, buy it and see how it works out. Most any brand will be fine. Later as you gain experience, you'll learn what is important to you, and the next boat a few years down the road can be tailored to your sailing objectives. Avoid the temptation to buy larger at the expense of good condition...you don't want to have something that is always broken and requires constant effort and money to repair or restore (sometimes called upgrades by the people doing it.)

And before you buy, visit the book store and buy/read some basic books on sailing...leave the bluewater, around the world ones until later. You need to get the basics mastered first. Advanced sailing can follow later.
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