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Mad Jack 07-30-2013 10:38 PM

Starting From Scratch...

I believe that I need about 30' of sailboat, but not sure. Livable space, for myself and a lady.

Ketch or sloop? How does one decide on such a matter?

And what do the masters recommend by way of makes?

Thanks ahead for your insights, sincerely.


blowinstink 07-30-2013 10:49 PM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
Read read read and read some more. Read Eric Hiscock and Allard Coles, and Moitessier and Beth Leonard and Hal Roth and anything else decent you can get your hands on. It is not that they tell you what you should choose but they teach you about what matters in the choices you make. And then, you make the first of the consequential decisions about your future which are what cruising / sailing is all about.

jimgo 07-30-2013 11:24 PM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
That is an incredibly open-ended question. Tell us about your experience level and your needs. Are you living aboard full time? Cruising 2-3 weeks a month? Overnighting/weekending with maybe a 10-day trip a year? What's your budget? Will you be staying in the Chicago area?

chrisncate 07-31-2013 12:27 AM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
Catalina 30, end thread.

Ketch is irrelevant in the 30' range, so forget about that.

SHNOOL 07-31-2013 06:31 AM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
Chris you beat me to it.
OR only other option is a Morgan 30.

krisscross 07-31-2013 09:38 AM

Re: Starting From Scratch...

Originally Posted by Mad Jack (Post 1066927)
I believe that I need about 30' of sailboat, but not sure. Livable space, for myself and a lady.

Ketch or sloop? How does one decide on such a matter?

And what do the masters recommend by way of makes?

What kind of a budget you have in mind? And what kind of sailing do you want to do?

chucklesR 07-31-2013 09:48 AM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
I've got a couple living, or more accurately camping (for the summer) 200 yards off my dock on a Pearson 26 he bought last year for 400 bucks.
I think it's sleeping bags and blow up mattress as until this spring it didn't even have hatch boards.
The boat has no motor, a 45w solar panel and I think he takes his car battery back and forth when he rows his aluminum jon boat in to get water.

Livable is open to definition. These are young healthy college kids playing house in the summer.

Mad Jack 07-31-2013 01:44 PM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
Thank you for those replies.

And please forgive me for knowing too little to even pose a proper question...

My own experience level is somewhere between nil and novice. I have a basic knowledge of seamanship.

My main reason for finding and joining this site is to learn, which I really do best by observation, and by interaction with those who possess expertise. I am in the right place for that, I think.

I just want to be as prepared as possible.

I would like to live aboard her full time. Probably out of the Gulf Coast of southern Florida. I do have one eye on the Keys, also.

I would like to be able to sail some distances, though, and to cruise for as long as a week. And I definitely must be able to single-hand her.

My budget for this is yet indefinite, but it certainly won't be unlimited. Nothing too extravagant. I'll likely be looking for a good bargain.

Chrisncate: I'm sorry, but I do not understand. Why would you say that the question of ketch or not is not an issue at 30'?

Again, thanks, good people.

Skipper Jer 07-31-2013 01:54 PM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
OP, Chrisncate is right. At 30 ft a ketch is more trouble than its worth. With a ketch you have doubled the number of mast, main sails, halyards, spreaders, chain plates (with leaks), compression points and for what? If it was me on a limited budget, first time around I'd be looking for a mid 70 to early 80s era Hunter. Built like a tank and already
depreciated (not much more to lose when you go to sell her).

Cruisingdad 07-31-2013 02:26 PM

Re: Starting From Scratch...
For S FL, get a boat with 6 foot draft or less. I would not get a boat with a mast height near 65 either. 60ish would be best.

There are a gazillion boats that could fit your specs. What kind of money? Over 100k? 200K? Under? Just the two of you?

It is easy sailing down here, but can be pricey. I think the best boats for the gulf and keys are the typical production boats with lots of hatches and easy handling.

Give us more specifics and we will try and help.


PS I do not believe sailing experience is a big deal. You can learn sailing. It is easy. THe hard part is learning to live fulltime on a boat. That can be challenging!!

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