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  #1  
Old 07-11-2003
ogc ogc is offline
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Boats to learn on

Please tell me brand names and model numbers of good boats to learn on (family boats) in the 25-30'' range as that is the size range I would ultimately like to sail in. Also, if you can give me a good rule of thumb to use when pricing these boats. I have heard $1000/foot, $500/foot, etc. for a good, used boat in average condition, one that will not need major repairs, hopefully, for a few years at least. I would very much like to find a boat in that range to learn to sail in the waters at the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia but don''t want to break the bank. I am somewhat new to the sport but I love it.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2003
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Boats to learn on

There are a lot of excellent boats out there to learn to sail on. You don''t stipulate the size of your family which would generally be a factor. In a general sense it is easier to learn sail trim and boat handling on a comparatively small and responsive boat. I noarmally suggest something around 25 to 26 feet, sloop rigged, tiller steered, fixed fin keel/spade rudder, and comparatively light weight. There are a huge number of boats that fit that description and frankly you can find a boat like that in reasonably good shape for as little as $4000 and as much as $50/60K. My best advice is stick with a used boat that is maybe 10-15 or so years old (although there are a lot of very good 20-25 year old boats that will be less expensive to buy and if properly maintained no more expensive to own). You are probably looking at boats in the $8,000 to $20,000 price range.

The Carolinas reward a shallower draft boat with 4 to 5 feet as a practical maimum. (You will give up a little performance but you don''t have much choice) I would avoid a wing keel given the soft sticky mud of the lower Chesapeake and Carolinas.

Good hunting,
Jeff

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Old 07-13-2003
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Boats to learn on

Dear ogc:
I believe the author of your first response has given you some great advice. I started sailing in April, 2000 and got some great advice about a Catalina 30. It was affordable, reliable, very comfortable for a family sleeps 6 comfortably and sails with great ease. I was told that I could own it for 3-5 years while I learned and then I could have a better feel for what I would want to make a larger investment in. If you can find one that has been well-maintained, it is a great investment.
John
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Old 07-14-2003
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Boats to learn on

Any boats in the lower end of the $4000-$20,000 range that would make great boats to learn on and for the family? Particluar makes and models? Any that I should stay away from?
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Old 07-14-2003
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Boats to learn on

I should have included in my last couple of posts there are four in our family with two kids who aren''t really old enough to help much yet.

Also, in a previous question which I posted in a differt message board, someone mentioned the older boats (15-25 years old) often end up costing much in upkeep and very often have major problems such as blistering and other things and that I SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM THE OLDER ONES. I really like some of the older boats and they are really more in my price range. With that said and with some of the prices listed in one of the previous posts is it truly possible to find a good boat in the $4000 and up price range for a 26 to 30 foot boat? I see them advertised everywhere, internet, newspaper, etc. but none in my local area. I guess I am just wondering if I make these several hour drives to see some of these boats in this price range, if I am just going to find old boats people are trying to unload or if there are really good deals on good boats out there. I just don''t want to waste time on wild goose chases. I have heard so many horror stories from so many people of the boats that sounded great but were terrible when they saw them.

Honestly, I''m not sure if I am asking a question to any of you or if I am voicing my concerns to myself again in a different venue. I guess the only realy way to know what is out there is to go look for myself. But any help from any of you would be of great assistance before I begin my journey. Are there really good boats in the $4000 range for (26 - 30 feet)? (Side note: I don''t mind cosmetic problems if I can perform the labor and save a little money.)
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Old 07-14-2003
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Boats to learn on

ogc,

I think to find a decent 26-30ft.boat you''re going to have to spend a little more than $4k. At my sailing club, I''ve seen very nice boats in the size range you''re looking for priced at $7-10K. I''m talking boats that you could sail away. I''m sure if you looked hard enough you could find a $4K boat, but IMO I think you''re going to spend some major bucks to update them.One other avenue you might want to pursue... boats claimed by boatyards.When I was in Key West recently, it amazed me how many boats were for sale at boat yards.The yards take ownership of boats due to non-payment for various services.Most of the boats require some type of fixing up. The previous owners apparently ran into financial problems before ever finishing their projects. The yards are anxious to sell them and get their money, so they are priced really cheap.I imagine yards everywhere have this sort of problem. A word of caution here though. Have a good understanding of what it''s going to take to get the boat back in the drink, or you might be the next owner the yard takes the boat from. Good luck with your search!
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Old 07-14-2003
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Boats to learn on

I had a feeling this what I might hear. I don''t mind refurbishing a boat, I have plenty of time and many of the skills, but the amount I have budgeted now to be spent on a boat is rather limiting. I may have to wait and save, save, save for that nicer boat. In the meantime, I''ll check out the salvage yards you mentioned as well as the classifieds and other places just in case something interesting comes up. Thanks for you info and I hope to hear from more of you.
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Old 07-15-2003
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Boats to learn on

ogc,
Dont know if you have made a purchase yet, but I can suggest an excellent boat to learn on that wont break your budget. Try a J-22. It responds wonderfully to the helm and is very forgiving.
However, if your main interest is ''how many does it sleep'', you may want to reconsider whether you want to be a sailor or not.
JMc
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Old 07-15-2003
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Boats to learn on

I strongly agree that the J-22 is a great boat to sail and a wonderful boat to learn to sail on. They are one of the most fun boats to sail that are out there and there is no ceiling on what you can learn sailing one.

Jeff
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