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  #11  
Old 08-15-2003
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What size first boat?

My first boat was a San Juan 24 and it was a great boat to start on. It weighed 3600 pounds and was very responsive. Headroom was around 5''5" more or less, but you could stuff 4 or 5 people in there, but I never had more than 2 overnight. It was a very basic boat with just a water jug and an outboat and a compass, but many of them are set up for racing and have all the sailing gear you could want and most of them can be bought for under $5k. I had mine for 8 years before I was overcome by the desire for comfort and a larger boat.
The SJ24 has a 4 foot draft fin keel with 1200lbs lead ballast and a huge spade rudder.
You could replace the tiller with a wheel and there was room for a motor inside, but I used it to store extra sail bags.
Another good first boat is a J-24 which is also fast and inexpensive and probably better known. Both are good in light air that is common in the summer in Puget Sound.

Ken
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Old 08-15-2003
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What size first boat?

You asked about tiller advantages: not only is the lively feedback from tiller steering valuable, the sense of just what your ship is doing and how hard she''s doing it, but you also have a graphic indication of rudder angle. Some wheel steering systems do offer good feedback, others are like driving an old truck. Tillers are always immediate; as alive as your boat.
My first boat was an 11 ft British Moth, which I built from plans in Popular Mechanics, many many years ago.
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Old 08-18-2003
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What size first boat?

I''ll first profess that my actions are probably not appropriate for new sailors. My second boat, bought 37 years after my parents sold my first one, is a 32'' Pearson. Although I had a lot of sailing experience in my distant past, I continuously questioned my sanity for buying such a big boat for the first I owned her.

I got over it. For me it was the right choice, but it wouldn''t likely be for others.

I agree with the tiller assessment for learning, but I like a wheel. In addition to the little Catalinas, you might look at Ericson 27s and 29s, and all manner of little Cals. I almost bought a Cal 2-29 and have been on a very sweet-sailing pop-top Cal 25. With Cals, the 2 before the lenght indicates a wheel.

Good luck.
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Old 08-23-2003
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What size first boat?

Actually Rick, with Cals the ''2'' after before or after the size indicates that it was the second generation boat of that same size so for example a Cal 2-29 was the second 29 foot model that Cal built. Both had tillers.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 08-25-2003
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What size first boat?

Jeff,

Oops! There I go speaking beyond my knowledge again. That''s what I get for believing a boat broker.

Thanks for taking me to school.
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Old 01-19-2005
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What size first boat?

I''m looking to buy a ''25-''35 boat to learn to sail with the optimism of being able to sail her around the world when I''m ready. I can''t find any objective pro/con evaluations amongst makes and models in a table presentation. Does this exist on the net? Also, the best "deals" seem to be on the Newport boats (28 in particular.) What is the reason these are so cheap compared to the same sizes of other manufacturers (what''s the tragic flaw?) I''m new to this and apologize if outright criticizing certain brands is in poor taste. Thanks for any help!
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