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  #1  
Old 02-01-2011
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First sail boat question? Tall rig.

After much thought I have decided to buy a boat that I can learn to sail on right now and move up to a larger boat at a latter time. My experiance with sail boats, I have none. I have and still are power boating in the Chesapeake bay and through out the James and patomac rivers. My needs today are,

1. Room for the wife and I to sleep and camp on the boat for a few days at a time.
2. Some type of climate control for year around use.
3. Small enough that I can afford a slip without cursing every time I right the check.
4. Not a project boat. I am good with my hands but the boat will be about three hours away from my home and have delt with that before.
5. We will be learning from scratch so it must be easy to sail and learn on.

I am looking at a 30ft Catalina 1986 that seems to fit the situation but confused about it being called a tall rig. I see alot of them called tall rigs out there for sale. Can someone that boats in my area tell me if this is a good thing or a bad one for this area. I would be keeping it in the DC area but would like to take it down the coast.
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Old 02-01-2011
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When you talk about boats which are produced in large numbers, the builder will often offer a series of options which allow the same hull and interior (the expensive part to tool up) to be adapted to different sailing venues. These options often include different height rigs and different draft keels.

A tall rig is just what the name implies, meaning that the mast is taller and consequently the sail area greater. In a light air sailing venue like the Potomac and Chesapeake, the taller rig means more sailing days and the need for fewer sails. (Its a good thing) A smaller rig is not necessarily any easier to sail or learn on if you live in a venue like the Chesapeake.

Jeff
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Old 02-01-2011
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A larger 30' and up are actually easier to sail as they are more forgiving than a <24' or a sailing-dinghy, hence they might not teach you as much as the smaller vessels would do in a shorter period of time. I agree with jeff, look for a tall rig, but don't count std. rigs out. When finding a boat from a private party I'm sure that the PO would be happy to show you the ropes a couple of times if he/she lives close enough and likes a drink or so. Take a couple of sailing lessons at a local club and/or crew. You are a boater so handling a boat short of the sailing aspect you already have under control. It isn't that hard to just enjoy no motors while underway on a boat.
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Old 02-01-2011
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Hello,

A Catalina 30 would be a good choice for you.

I'm not an expert but note that the Catalina 30 comes in a number of flavors. The older ones (from the 70's) came with wheel or tiller steering, gas or diesel engines. In the 80's they all went to wheel steering and diesel. In the 90's the walk through transom appeared. That makes getting on / off the boat from the water or dingy a lot easier. The engines also got a lot bigger. In the 2000's the boat was discontinued in favor of the 309. The boats were available with Standard Rig (SR), Tall Rig (TR) and Bow Sprit (BS) so you may see an ad that lists something like a 1985 Catalina 30 TRBS: that would be a Tall Rig with a Bow Sprit. Most, but not all Tall Rigs had the bow sprit, but not all.

Anyway, for your area the TR would be an advantage. This would not be true on San Fransisco.

I don't know how many Catalina 30's with AC you are going to find.

Lastly, here a place where you can learn lots and lots about the Catalina 30.

International Catalina 30 Association

Also note that there are lots and lots of other similar boats like the O'day 30 or 31, Tartan 30, Newport 30, Sabre, Pearson, etc.

Barry
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Old 02-03-2011
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Sometimes a tall rig does not have much more sail area. My boat was offered in a tall rig configuration with more weight in the keel, but the sail area was about the same (the boom was a bit shorter). I was told this is to get the sail area up higher where the wind tends to be more consistant.
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Old 02-03-2011
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Went sailing on my friends Catalina 30, it's a really nice boat!

All boats have their attraction, I have a 26M and where it does not have the cockpit or cabin space or the Catalina 30 (beam is wonderful!). I can put in on a trailer and take it anywhere. That's important when you still work and have kids! We negotiated a long weekend in the Keys with my parents and kids over spring break. Sailing it would take 2 days to get there (no flyer), trailering 5-6 hours (that works!) or motoring fast (yuck) about a day. Trailering and a condo + slip win!

Brand new, you are talking less than $30K fully fitted out and ready to drop in the water.

I have learned a lot with this boat and have some much clearer ideas about what the next boat needs to be.
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Old 02-03-2011
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Even though I'm a novice sailor, I have personally sailed by friend's Catalina tall rig. Sails like a dream.
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Old 02-03-2011
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HeartsContent, Checked out that boat of yours and I was impressed. It took me about three days of internet shopping and one hour at the dock to but my last boat but this sailboat shopping has me confused because I have never owned one. Looks like there are alot of options out there so I think it is time to call some friends and spend some time on the water before making a decision. Any offers out there to go sailing soon in the Virginia area?????
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That's just the problem the choices are overwhelming to a new sailor and there are a lot of good choices. You will see folks happy with a wide variety of boats here.

Where I see most folks get into trouble:
1) the boat, storage/dockage and associated maintenance is outside their financial means
2) they cannot find crew to take it out and are not comfortable or capable of taking it out by themselves. What I have noticed is that the most active sailboats tend to be the smaller ones where the owner can easily single hand - probably 22-27ft.
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