Novice at sailing and first time buyer. - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 10-06-2011
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I bought my boat in the winter and sailed her all winter. We had four people aboard with their gear and guitars for 2 or 3 days at time. 27 feet. It was crowded, but doable. Sails took up a lot of space :P

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27
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post #12 of 23 Old 10-06-2011
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Your likely to get 2 different trends as responses, I will aim to explain why... You seem to say "blue water" sailing some... then you follow up with "trailerable." These are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they tend that way.

Just remember "Jack of all trades." You really should determine whether it is blue water, or trailerability that matters most to you... Not to say you can't have both, but rather it will help you determine what boats to start looking at.

On the low side, the 22 footers are trailerables like the Cat 22 (swing keel), and capri 22 (wing keel - I have), and J-22 speedster. These are small-ish boats, you cannot stand up in them (sitting headroom only)... they sleep 2 comfortably for a weekend tops (but like a 2 man tent, you COULD live in it, but it'd be spartan). Your Hunter 23 is slightly bigger than this... but still very trailerable (Precision 23 bigger yet, and Com-pac 23 bigger still). These are almost only outboard sailboats.

Next tier you have a 25 foot range. In it are J-24 (small and racy), Catalina 25 (swing, wing, and fin keels)... Older boats, Hunter 25, cape dory, Pearson 26 (bigger)... US Yacht 25 (also bigger). These are "big trailerables." Total tow weights in the bigger ones pushing 7000lbs (require full size trucks to pull). These come in both outboards and the bigger ones sometimes have inboards.

Then 27 footers, push the outside of trailerable, 27 foot, cat, hunter, Nor'se, and dozens of other models too numerous to count. While they CAN be trailered... it requires a 250 class tow vehicle. These are MORE blue water capable. Rigged with inboards, an wheel steering usually, the 27+ boats are more the type to go in the water and stay there (at least for the season).

Everyone here would love you to get the boat you want. ONLY you can determine what factors MOST in what you want. It may help us to know exactly where you will be sailing. Obviously salt-water, but what will likely be "Home water?" How deep is that water (will also determine your keel size). How likely you will trailer, be honest, will also help narrow your choices.

My 22 is pretty trailerable, but it still stinks setting up and tearing down. I spend between 20 minutes and 1:30 to setup. A day sail that way, better be a GREAT sail. I could see several places that qualify for that kind of 3 hours of my life lost to sail 6-8 maybe. It isn't something you wanna do every weekend though. A 25 footer, it that much harder, and frankly having at least 1 crewmember to help launch it is REQUIRED. A 27 footer, likely 2 people (again, there are exceptions to this).

Ok, now wait for the firestorm for me only mentioning the production boats.
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post #13 of 23 Old 10-06-2011
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It takes some shopping around to figure out the market-I find sailboat shopping to be more complicated than most other shopping-not only do we need to make choices about interior livability, but also seaworthiness, not to mention price. Even if there were no bugetary limits, there would still be compromise.

I was interested to find that my Catalina 27 is a perfect size for the two of us to take off for a couple of weeks, (and maybe later, longer). Once we added a third for a weekend of the week-long trip, and that was okay but starting to get cramped. I don't know about having 4 adults aboard for more than a day sail.

Different boats have different amounts of interior space per foot of length, but I'm told mine has lots of room for a 27 footer. But by the time it has several headsails aboard, (which take up one of the 5 berths), and the duffels for 2, (which take up most of the V-berth), and provisions for a week or so, the space kind of evaporates.

I impulse bought mine in the fall and never regretted it-but since then I've seen similar boats listed for less, (probably meaning more work to get them up to par), and for more.

I've been happy with my outboard, but wish for the increased range/better fuel economy offered by a diesel. But it has been cool to take it home over the winter for service, and for the coastal trips we take, it hasn't been much of a problem to alter the itinerary to fuel up when lack of wind means using the motor more.

Lots of people love Catalinas, (and mine is serving its coastal cruising purpose wonderfully), but most speak against taking them offshore.

After owning your first boat for a while, you'll get a better idea for what kind of sailing you're going to do. (I bought mine with primarily day sailing in mind, & now flirt with the idea of long distance cruising.) I'd say buy for the sailing you think you'll do in the next couple of years as best you can, and maybe that'll still suit you in several years, and maybe you'll want to get a different boat later.
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post #14 of 23 Old 10-06-2011
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Where in the northeast are you? There are two good sailing clubs in Boston Harbor that have a wide range of sailboats - day sailors to 40' offshore boats you can take for a week long cruise. Sailing there for a season on a range of boats would help you better understand what you like/want. And you'll spend way more time sailing since you won't have to spend a minute maintaining the boats . Check out Boston Sailing Center and Boston Harbor Sailing Club. Join for a season and sail as much as you can for no other cost.
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post #15 of 23 Old 10-06-2011 Thread Starter
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I am in NYC. I will be sailing, hopefully, around Long Island, up and down Hudson river or up and down eastern coast.
The idea for a trailer able boat is to be able to store in land during winter to avoid expensive marinas around here. Or take a week off, haul it say to boston or maryland or further, sail in the waters there then haul it back. But from the advice I am getting here seems that its not the way to go, at least not for the reasons I wanted a trailer able boat. It not a kayak..lol

If I had the space, I would not mind a project boat... but believe me....even finding a parking spot is not easy....lol.... not that I was gonna store my boat on the sidewalk....lol...neighboors allready give a hard time then I try to change spark plugs.

But anyway...I am taking a sailing class this weekend, out in the water Saturday and sunday, so Monday I might have a better idea.
I will check the clubs around but the reason i want to own a boat is to just get on the boat and get away for a weekend if I felt like it, with out much planing or reservation.
Your sugestions are already helping. Thanks all.
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post #16 of 23 Old 10-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Just checked that my Discovery will tow up to 7700lb; trailer with brakes and low gear
That will cost me about a dollar a mile and it will not take me anyfaster where I want to go....
Or...... could I raise the sails and let the boat push my truck instead??
This trailer able idea is getting colder by the minute....lol
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post #17 of 23 Old 10-06-2011
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For what a slip would run you, you could grab an old honkin big truck that'll tow 8000lb. Trailer brakes? What trailer brakes? We don't need no steenkin' trailer brakes. My old RamCharger weighs over 5000lb, and even though it's a 2wd, (they also had 4wd), it tows and pulls up wet ramps beautifully thanks to that weight and a big footprint. Parts are cheap and it's easy to work on. It has big brakes that get the job done. Just something else to consider.
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post #18 of 23 Old 10-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Haha..I hear you.
My land rover discovery weights about the same not including the offroad add ons, and it has decent horse power and tourque...it hauls a** thru rock, mud, sand, water over the hood and up steep inclines, like no other truck I have driven, IMO best offroad toy.
But I have no experience towing big heavy trailers and I quoted the owners manual " 7700lbs with brakes on trailer"
maybe its time to install the heavy duty breake kit that I bought months ago and that's sitting on my storage.
But back to boats... is there like a "KBB" for boats? Would be good to know what's the actual value, before considering of buying any boat.
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post #19 of 23 Old 10-07-2011
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Some thoughts and comments.

NADA and BUCValu have listings for the values of used boats. But their values are not very accurate due to limited data and use of depreciation curves rather than real market data. Values of used boats vary tremendously based on condition, and the sites don't take this into account very well.

The largest boat you can reasonably trailer is about 25 foot. That would work for hauling and storage for the winter to save a bit of money, and maybe a trip to cruise some waters farther from home, but forget about doing this every time you sail.

The pluses and minuses about inboard and outboard engines have been pretty well outlined in previous posts. With regard to power, 1.5 to 2 HP per 1000 lbs is a decent rule of thumb. Less than that is fine for motoring in calm water, but not enough for pushing the boat against wind and waves. More will not buy you much speed with a displacement hull, but might help a bit when motoring in heavier weather.
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post #20 of 23 Old 10-07-2011
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You know, one of the hardest questions to answer is the one you've posed. As a self reported "newbie" to sailing, understand that there's so much personal choice involved in this decision, that it might be wiser to start with something that doesn't necessarily meet all of your wishes, but that gives you the on-water experience and fluidity that boat ownership proffers. Having said all that, if you were say my brother or friend and asked me the same questions you've posed, I'd recommend that you shop for the best condition 22'-23' boat that you can find that comes on a trailer. 7700lb towing should allow for that with ease and safety in mind. I'd recommend this to them because as is usually the case, the odds are you'll be looking to "trade-up" a lot sooner than you think. Now, I know the response will come, "why settle if you know you're going to trade up anyway?", but bear with me as I expound. You'll probably want to "trade up" even if you purchase a 30 footer because at this moment, there's no way to be 100% sure of what your needs and/or wants really are. By starting with the smaller boat, already on a trailer, you obviously cut down the winter storage issues, you also allow for the portability that you desire, and you've picked a boat that allows you a wide berth opportunity of relative safety to learn the nuances of sailing (which will be ongoing as you progress, btw). With that in mind, finding a 22' trailerable sailboat in Autumn for around $2k should be a breeze, but make sure someone that knows sailboats exclusively is involved with checking her out before purchase.

As to the question, "should I wait until Spring?", I'm of the opinion, "no". Yes, someone is going to be willing to sell their boat a little cheaper because they can save the "haul-out/winter storage" fees that they know they will be facing. Also, spending the winter getting to know your new boat, doing minor on-board projects, etc., will be invaluable in your learning. Whatever you decide, keep us posted and good luck.
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