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-   -   Is Boating right for me? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/100515-boating-right-me.html)

eeyorebob 06-17-2013 10:06 AM

Is Boating right for me?
 
This is a question you should ask well before you decide on purchasing your first boat. The easiest and best way to do this, is to go out with your friends several times. This will make sure that boating is actually an activity that

a) you will enjoy
b) fits in with your lifestyle
c) you actually have the time to commit to boating

Other things to do are visiting boat shows, this will not only give you boat envy! but will also give you some idea on what (if any) you can afford to buy. Have a good look round at all the different types of boat, and the specifications available. Once you have done this, set a budget! and make sure you stick to it, this is likely to mean your first boat will be a second hand boat, there is nothing to be ashamed of in buying a used boat. You should ensure however, that it is given a good check over by someone who knows what they are looking at. Think of it a bit like a car, you would buy a second hand car, but you would ensure that a garage or a mechanic gave it the once over for you before you parted with your money. A boat should be just the same, it is a very large investment and you don't want to end up with a lemon.

BarryL 06-17-2013 10:45 AM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Hey,

Interesting post.

When I decided to try sailing (10 years ago) I didn't know anyone who sailed. I had a small amount of money to put in (under $5000), so I figured "why not?" and just jumped in. With $5000 to spend, going to boat shows would not be productive.

I blame it all on my wife. We were sitting in traffic returning from a weekend in our 27' motorhome, when she said 'you know, we live on an island, we should get a boat.' One thing led to another, and the next thing I know I was on all sorts of sailing sites looking up trailerable sailboats.

After a month or so of research, I looked at a number of boats and then bought an early 80's Catalina 22. I paid $4500 for the boat, and I figured that as long as I didn't sink her I had to get back SOME of the money if I determined that sailing wasn't for me. No one but me inspected it, but C22's are pretty simple, and, thanks to the internet, I knew some things to look at.

We spent the first season trailer sailing the boat. The sailing was great, the tow / rig / launch / recover / stow / tow home stuff was not. Second season was on a mooring and that was great.

Been sailing happily ever since.

Barry

eeyorebob 06-17-2013 12:16 PM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Well, yes there is that side to it. If you don't know anyone that goes sailing it could be difficult to try it out. Another option could be to look at joining a sailing club if there is one nearby. This will help you discover some of the basics that you may not have thought about. I'm lucky, I live near the coast, so there are plenty of clubs about here that I can pop along to and chat with (if I was starting out now i mean).

If you don't have anyone with boat knowledge when you are looking to buy your boat, I'd suggest you definatly DON'T go second hand, but go to a boat dealer who is local to you, they offer guarantees and usually are on hand for repairs etc, it would be difficult to transport a broken boat back to another dealership/yard outside of your local area. Do not feel pressured into buying a boat at a boat show (may be a good idea to leave your credit card behind at home!) as often you will come across high pressure selling and you could get talked into something you really regret

jephotog 06-17-2013 12:50 PM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeyorebob (Post 1045033)
If you don't have anyone with boat knowledge when you are looking to buy your boat, I'd suggest you definatly DON'T go second hand, but go to a boat dealer who is local to you, they offer guarantees and usually are on hand for repairs etc, it would be difficult to transport a broken boat back to another dealership/yard outside of your local area. Do not feel pressured into buying a boat at a boat show (may be a good idea to leave your credit card behind at home!) as often you will come across high pressure selling and you could get talked into something you really regret

I don't believe there is a lemon law with boats. Whether it be an individual or dealer Caveat Emptor is the name of the game. Only on brand new boats is there any type of warranty and while you get that new boat smell, it comes at a great price. If you are buying used pay a surveyor to inspect it first, unless it is something like a catalina 22.

Your best bet is to join a club, meet some people, play on their boats, before making a jump into ownership. My club in San Diego, cost me $149 to join for $249 they would include the first sailing class you need to take out the smaller boats. The cost is $30/month but that applies to your rental each month. So for about a $600 investment you get 12 months of seeing if boating is right for you, then you can take your credit card to the boat show. However the last boat show had boat starting at around $135,00, which greatly exceeds my credit card limit. The boat shows are not time share demos where they turn on the pressure cooker at the end to get you to commit. I don't think many people buy $250,000 boats as an impulse buy it is more a place to see what you could do with your money if you were to win the lottery.

DRFerron 06-17-2013 12:52 PM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeyorebob (Post 1045033)
...

If you don't have anyone with boat knowledge when you are looking to buy your boat, I'd suggest you definatly DON'T go second hand, but go to a boat dealer who is local to you, ...

I disagree. There's usually someone around who can tell you if the boat will at least float. That's all I wanted to know when buying my first. I had no knowledge of what it took to maintain a sailboat but that was one reason for buying an inexpensive, not overwhelmingly large, used boat: so I could learn and poke around and try to fix stuff without having paid a ton of money for the boat-and still have it float so I could sail it. There are a great many resources out there to teach a novice how to repair fiberglass, paint a hull, gelcoat, rig, etc. So any of the big stuff can be taken to professionals. I didn't mess with anything that potentially impacted its ability to float. So when I wanted the head thru-hull glassed up (there was no holding tank), I had a professional do it.

The experience of learning how to do things on my own rather than always paying someone to do it, was invaluable.

miatapaul 06-18-2013 12:40 PM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DRFerron (Post 1045051)
I disagree. There's usually someone around who can tell you if the boat will at least float. That's all I wanted to know when buying my first. I had no knowledge of what it took to maintain a sailboat but that was one reason for buying an inexpensive, not overwhelmingly large, used boat: so I could learn and poke around and try to fix stuff without having paid a ton of money for the boat-and still have it float so I could sail it. There are a great many resources out there to teach a novice how to repair fiberglass, paint a hull, gelcoat, rig, etc. So any of the big stuff can be taken to professionals. I didn't mess with anything that potentially impacted its ability to float. So when I wanted the head thru-hull glassed up (there was no holding tank), I had a professional do it.

The experience of learning how to do things on my own rather than always paying someone to do it, was invaluable.

I agree, unless you are very wealthy start used, and older. The basic fiberglass shell is good for a yet to be determined time but are reaching 70 years now for production fiberglass sailboats being common and they are still mostly floating. So we have not yet found the useful life of fiberglass. Now if you are not knowledgeable about boats, hire a good surveyor if the boat is more than you are comfortable loosing on a whim. If it is a bigger boat you will need a survey for insurance (if you want to get comprehensive coverage) anyway so why not get it as a contingency of purchase? A survey may miss things, but gives you a good starting point to understand the condition of the boat. Also as things need to be repaired it is best to do it yourself so you are familiar with the systems, so if they go bad out on the water you have a better chance of fixing it.

Also new boats will have issues to start with. Remember even modern boats are basically hand made and will have flaws that need to be fixed. It is more like the 60's and early 70's when you bought a "new" car and would return to the dealer with a few pages of things that needed to be fixed. Granted most of them will be covered under warranty, but not all. Often electronics and some hardware is of minimal spec so it is not uncommon for upgrades to start in a year or two anyway.

blutoyz 06-19-2013 10:22 AM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Most of us can not spring for a new boat....

Also...why would anyone drop the $$$ on a new boat without knowing if they like it...that is just plain silly

SHNOOL 06-19-2013 11:39 AM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blutoyz (Post 1046054)
Also...why would anyone drop the $$$ on a new boat without knowing if they like it...that is just plain silly

I've seen people do some amazing things... this HAS been done, and would NOT surprise me to see it done again. A fool and his money...

New does not guarantee functional... it only (sometimes) guarantee's that it'll be fixed without cost. These two concepts are mutually exclusive. This was learned by me at the age of 11, when my father bought his brand new 27 footer in 1981... with backwards rigged wheel steering and NON-starting diesel.

Used does not guarantee much either. I agree whole heartedly with much of what is said. A surveyor is invaluable, but a person should read and learn as much as they can before they dive in, at least as much as to learn what the surveyor is saying. For this, I think this website (and a couple others like it) are invaluable tools to learn as much as you can.

Let us not forget the libraries of books about boating... of which I STRONGLY recommend the Capman's Guide to piloting..

JulieMor 06-19-2013 12:01 PM

Re: Is Boating right for me?
 
It was 1970. I was 19 years old. I stepped aboard a 1935 Alden designed 38' sloop that was meticulously maintained. To the owner, this boat was his baby. It had won two Macs, one in a storm so bad only 8 boats finished the race. She was a beauty.

I was aboard for only a short while when I knew this was home. I had never felt that way about any place I had ever been. As the years went on, every time I stepped on a sail boat, every time I was near the water, I felt this peace and tranquility. Like being wrapped in a warm blanket with a cool breeze in your face, without a care in the world.

I never made a check list. I never asked anyone if this was the life for me. I never read any articles to make sure. I just knew.

Sometimes, that's all you need to know.


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