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mathewsaunders 11-16-2011 12:33 PM

So we're buying a boat.
So, my girlfriend and I are paying off all of our bills, then selling everything to buy a sail boat and live on it, then sail around the world. We don't want to spend a lot on a boat, but we want one we could live on comfortably, and still take sailing across the world. Neither of us have any boating experience which is why we want to live on the boat next summer in the Okanagan, and practice as much as we possibly can.
So, I guess my question is, what kind of sailboat should we get?
Every time I search online, it asks if I want a daycruiser, racer, etc, but I have no idea what those are as I am completely new to this. Now, my girlfriend and I are minimalists and we just need something big enough for me her and our small dog. We do not need anything fancy, and we want to have to fix it up.
Any suggestions what kind of boat, or size, or year, or brand or anything at all would be greatly appreciated.


Donna_F 11-16-2011 12:49 PM

Hello Matthew.

My suggestion is to learn how to sail before making this type of major lifestyle change and investment in a boat. Take a class so that you learn your legal responsibilities as a boater. What if either of you decide that you don't particularly care for the lifestyle? Or hate sailing? Or hate the constant upkeep of a boat (believe me, it is never finished).

While it is fun and exciting for some, others may find that same fun and excitement stifling and unbearable.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

mathewsaunders 11-16-2011 01:04 PM

Thanks so much!
Where this whole idea spawned was when I lived on my uncles houseboat in Victoria (he was ALWAYS fixing it!) I absolutely loved it! I love the water, I love the minimalist lifestyle. But you do have a great point. So, how would I find out if I like it? I can't see taking a class in sailing determining that, do you have any suggestions?

Donna_F 11-16-2011 01:20 PM

Well, someone here could point you to the Canadian version of a local ASA course. They might have some that are held on the weekend. The Canadian Power and Sail Squadron runs courses.

I also suggest to new boaters that they join a local sail club or association (as opposed to a more expensive yacht club). These typically have dues under $50/year and gives you the opportunity to sail on other people's boats as well as to benefit from their experience.

Buy a notebook. Take notes. Ask questions. Read. Get out there and experience it. Then make major decisions. How quickly that all happens depends on you.

rugosa 11-16-2011 02:16 PM

DRFerron is so right - check out the local sailing scene in your area. Associations, clubs, marinas. Most clubs have weekly races as well as overnight/long distance. We sail Lake Ontario on 75 year old friends boat, race main & jib on Wednesdays, and in exchange for sweat and time doing his maintenance get full use of boat too. We kicked in the $50 each crew fee at his club, money all goes to junior club, a super cause & he's not paying yard rates for his maintenance, only materials. If you can commit to regular race crew you will learn the ropes, experience a variety of conditions, and even work your way up to learning how the boat works/experience you will need when you head off in the future.

Congratulations on moving one step closer to living the adventure!:cool:

peterchech 11-16-2011 02:18 PM

There seems to be a difference between people who like to sail and people who like to cruise, with some overlap of course. I have noticed that some people just love sailing, but cruising is not as appealing to them (most of them are in j-24's or hobies). Others love the cruiser lifestyle, and sailing is just a small part of that (ur at anchor %99 of the time when cruising)...

A great site for minimalist cruising ideas is Atom Voyages | Voyaging Around the World on the Sailboat Atom

You can pick up a 22' cabin cruiser in decent condition for nothing these days. Might be a little small to live on, but you could get one for 2k or less and leave it on a mooring, taking weekend cruises just to see how you like it.

I don't live aboard, but I love hanging out at my marina with the liveaboards there. I have a great time, everyone is really friendly (esp if you bring beer) and I love just hanging out in the cockpit as the sun goes down. I think the boaties are what makes it so great, as much as anything else.

Donna_F 11-16-2011 02:23 PM


Originally Posted by peterchech (Post 797564)
There seems to be a difference between people who like to sail and people who like to cruise, with some overlap of course.

That is true. And, it helps to like sailing in order to be happy cruising. :) Then there is a third group who like to live on the boat but never want to leave the dock.

mathewsaunders 11-16-2011 02:23 PM

Thanks so much for all the replies, and so quick as well it's awesome. Yeah, what my girlfriend and I plan on doing is just cruising I suppose. We just want to go from destination to destination, stay there for a month then move on you know? We have no intentions on racing, or anything like that. Just collecting money from our cleaning company and our advertising company and relaxing. Thanks again people!

Donna_F 11-16-2011 02:29 PM

Usually I suggest racing for non-racers only because it puts you on the fast track to learning how to sail. It really is a way to get a lot of sail maneuvering in in a short time. You'll learn a lot in just a couple of races if you happen to get on a boat with a good crew.

mathewsaunders 11-16-2011 02:32 PM

That's a really good point. No knowledge is wasted knowledge so I should look into it. Right now I'm up in Fort McMurray, so this will be put on hold until I go back to the Okanagan. But I'm gong to start researching clubs right now.

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