What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 34 Old 04-15-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Thank god I didn't know what I wished I had known before buying my first boat! Might not have one now, and then where would I be?
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post #22 of 34 Old 04-15-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Wish I had realized the wisdom of a wheelhouse, and inside steering. Wish I had realized how easy it is to build a far better anchorwinch, blocks , aluminium hatches, etc, than commercially made ones. Wish I had understod the importance of good insulation and a good, airtight woodstove .

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #23 of 34 Old 04-18-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

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Thank god I didn't know what I wished I had known before buying my first boat! Might not have one now, and then where would I be?

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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post #24 of 34 Old 04-18-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Wish I had realized the wisdom of a wheelhouse, and inside steering. Wish I had realized how easy it is to build a far better anchorwinch, blocks , aluminium hatches, etc, than commercially made ones. Wish I had understod the importance of good insulation and a good, airtight woodstove .
It took me a while, too, to realize that I could often fabricate items for my boat, that were better, and more durable, than what I could buy commercially.

I wouldn't say being handy with a tool, and liking using them is a necessity for a boat, but it sure makes it a lot more fun if you are.
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On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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post #25 of 34 Old 04-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain
Wish I had realized the wisdom of a wheelhouse, and inside steering. Wish I had realized how easy it is to build a far better anchorwinch, blocks , aluminium hatches, etc, than commercially made ones. Wish I had understod the importance of good insulation and a good, airtight woodstove .

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
It took me a while, too, to realize that I could often fabricate items for my boat, that were better, and more durable, than what I could buy commercially.

I wouldn't say being handy with a tool, and liking using them is a necessity for a boat, but it sure makes it a lot more fun if you are.
I'm going to be sure to remember this before we just run out and buy something. Thanks!

"Pegu Club"
1975 Bristol 24 Corsair

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post #26 of 34 Old 04-18-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Now on my 4th sailboat, if it turns out you really like sailing, whatever you buy won't be your last boat. Your needs change as your life changes.

First boat recommendations:
- smaller rather than bigger
- simpler rather than complex
- buy from someone you know or trust, or get help evaluating from same

Then go sailing and you'll learn what you really want, in your next boat
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post #27 of 34 Old 04-20-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

I didn't really buy my first but as much as traded for it but it needed alot to get it ready to sail, while I had to buy a parts boat and build a trailer I had time to learn so much by just reading. It took buying 4 boats before I understand that bigger is not always better depending on how you are going to use the boat. My Chrysler 22 was great for doing weekend outtings , real fun to sail with very little expense. the Chrysler 26 was real nice for longer outtings and would be as big as I would have ever needed if I didn't decide I wanted to become a full time liveaboard cruiser.

Endeavour E-32 "Samara"

I am the Capt of my ship but sometimes I think I had more fun just being the cabin boy.
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post #28 of 34 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

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1) Get towing insurance; its cheaper than a single tow, and with a new boat, you may well need it;
With both sails and an outboard I'd advocate inspecting your rudder carefully, carrying a spare tiller, and learning how to read a chart so you don't run aground. Those will dramatically lesson the likelihood you'll use that towing insurance.

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4) Despite the low investment you're making, consider getting professional surveys of the engine and boat (a new engine is $2,000+, a boat survey is $350-400, and an engine survey will be a few hundred) AFTER you've done your initial review;
If we're talking about a less than $5k boat with an outboard and porta potty, there aren't a whole lot of systems on the boat. A good condition used 6hp 2-stroke outboard is in character with the boat and ~$400. I skipped the survey on my Cape Dory 25. I'd been power boating for decades and brought my dad along to look at the rigging.

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5) Depending on the boat you buy (I strongly encourage you to consider a Catalina 25 or 27), get a trailer;
x2 on the trailer - It is MUCH easier to work on a boat in your own yard!
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post #29 of 34 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

[quote=KarlP;1020144]With both sails and an outboard I'd advocate inspecting your rudder carefully, carrying a spare tiller, and learning how to read a chart so you don't run aground. Those will dramatically lesson the likelihood you'll use that towing insurance.
[/QUOTE[
That depends on where you sail, and how recently the charts were updated. Hurricane Sandy played havoc with my area. I'd rather have the insurance. It also comes in handy not only when you run aground, but also when the engine dies in heavy winds and your marina is upwind, when another boat hits you, when you're fouled on something, etc. To me, the $125 or so is worth the peace of mind, and I'm frugal.


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If we're talking about a less than $5k boat with an outboard and porta potty, there aren't a whole lot of systems on the boat. A good condition used 6hp 2-stroke outboard is in character with the boat and ~$400. I skipped the survey on my Cape Dory 25. I'd been power boating for decades and brought my dad along to look at the rigging.
Not all of us have a dad who can inspect the rigging for us. That would make things easier! If you're new to sailing, it also helps to have someone who knows what chainplates are and how they tend to corrode, how to inspect a sail, or any of a number of other potentialyl expensive problem areas. In my case, with my C25, I had a swing keel. There are stories (admittedly not many of them, but confirmed none the less) of the lifting cables coroding so bad as to fail, allowing the 1500lb keel to "free fall" around the hinge point. The keel trunk wasn't designed to handle that much weight crashing into it, and it tends to cause the boat to sink fairly quickly. As with the towing assistance, I think the peace of mind that goes along with having a competent surveyor look at/for those kinds of things would have been worth the cost, and I only paid $1000 for the boat, including the outboard.

I went the used outboard route after the one that came with the boat died, and that was a mistake. Thankfully, the guy I bought it from was an amateur mechanic, and bought it back from me. After 2 engines dying, my wife decided she wasn't comfortable with anything but a new engine. That was a $2200 investment. Again, YMMV.

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x2 on the trailer - It is MUCH easier to work on a boat in your own yard!
Can't take issue with that one!

- Jim
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15


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post #30 of 34 Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

I wish i had known that I was going to be seasick eveytime i got on a boat.
And I still am on every trip.
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