Join Date: May 2007
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Re: I bought my first boat.. now i have a million question
Ditto on holding off on upgrades for now.
There are two things every sailor has to learn:
1. how to sail well
2. how to manage the maintenance of your vessel
Don't discount the importance of boat "management". That old 30 footer has some more surprises for you besides the chainplate attachments. Save your capital for these inevitable surprises.
Sounds like a PROPER repair of the chainplates is your first order of business. The loads on your shrouds are considerable, and if one of them fails, it could be inconvenient at the least, and expensive and dangerous at most. Heck, you can pretty much count on expensive.
Some folks maintain their boat with a phone and a checkbook, while others, like me, prefer to do their own maintenance for the savings, the satisfaction, and the assurance that the job's been done and done right.
A hank on jib on a 30 footer is reasonably easy to manage, and as others have already mentioned, it allows you to swap out headsails to suit conditions.
Good luck with your new boat. There is no better resource than sailnet. This site has an incredible accumulated database, so make good use of the search function.