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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Looking at the situation you are getting into, there are three things you should know (that I wish I had known):

1. Make sure that the boat is dry on the inside. Weekends aboard will be hell if you are dealing with leaks on you, the bedding, your stuff...plus these leaks are indicative of structral problems or at least impending structural problems. I'd hit the boat with a hose at the very least to see if the hatches, deck joint, mast boot, or anything leaks.

2. Consider not just the boat, but the parts that wear out. Is the running rigging worn out? Are the sails usable or just rolled up rags? Replacing worn out rigging, sails, winches need to be considered when comparing boats you are looking at. These things can really add up and could possibly exceed the $5000 budget you have if you have to replace everything.

3. Understand that you are buying into a life-long addiction. You say now that you'll keep it small, keep it simple, and so on. Next thing you know, you'll be strolling around the boat shows and tapping into your kids' college fund to get a chartplotter and a fancy folding prop.
[/B]S/V Wind Orchid
Catalina 350 (hull# 273)
Annapolis, MD

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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
I had a big, long post and accidentally hit something and lost it. Which is probably good, because I tend to ramble. Here's the nutshell:

1) Get towing insurance; its cheaper than a single tow, and with a new boat, you may well need it;
2) Think carefully about how you expect to use the boat, and try it out to be sure it meets those needs (e.g., how many people will you typically sail with, and how will they fit in the cabin/cockpit?);
3) Think about where you're going to keep the boat, and make sure that the slip/marina is protected so you aren't blown about as you enter/exit;
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;
5) Depending on the boat you buy (I strongly encourage you to consider a Catalina 25 or 27), get a trailer;
6) Expect to put at least another $2000 into the boat; maybe not right away, but probably over the course of your first season.

I'm still a novice at all of this - I've bought 2 boats in 2 years. But the boats I've bought were in the same range as the ones you're buying, and I went aboard a TON of them (easily 10-15 the first time, and at least that many this time, too), and if you wind up in the NJ/Philly area, I'd be happy to go along with you to look at a boat or two as a second/third set of eyes.
Catalina 27 is a very poor choice, a grossly unbalanced rudder which you can't leave for a second without her broaching off course. Very poorly built. There are far better choices, for cheap.
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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

The costs of keeping the boat in water. Your size can high for trailer sailing depending on your vehicle but marina costs and the ease of maintaining in the backyard can be a big savings.
Walt Elliott
Kingston WA
Puget Sound
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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?

One thing to keep in mind is that some advice, while technically correct, is based on someone else's sailing priorities. If you want comfort, convenience ... that might be different than what the racers and purists want or consider important. Some people are all about performance, some are artisan restoration nuts, some are readying for trans oceanic adventure, and others want to relax in coastal waters. So much knowledge and experience here. Safety and reliability are the common denominator.
Severna Park, MD
Pearson 35 - s/v Tiger Lily
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