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  #1  
Old 09-27-2007
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38 year old "Newbie" has been bitten by the sailing bug

Well, it's happened, I've been cursed with the thought of purchasing a boat...The connumdrum is that do we want our own boat or should we do fractional or charter?...I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with a nice Yacht Club here in the city and a Sailtime base nearby in Toronto...Am taking my CYA course and VHF stuff next summer...Need some tips and advice from people in the know...Future plans for the family (next 10 years) are to do 6 months in Florida and 6 back home..We own our own business so while it can amount to 24/7 work, we can make the time when we need too...What can I do, boat ownership at 38 years old seems like a lot of responsibility, that's why fractional seemed the way to go...Any advice?

Thanks
Craig
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Old 09-27-2007
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I mean this in the nicest possible way...

If you aren't ready for responsibility at 38, you never will be. But judging from your picture, you have raised a kid to more than half your height and passed one of life's hardest tests of responsibility. I would charter first if I were you, because you walk away and decide what to do next and where after each one. But I am not you.
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Old 09-27-2007
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Buy a small boat to sail around on Lake Ontario. Teach yourself, your wife and your child how to do it properly. While there are some that will have the gall to dispute my opinion ( ) the only way you can really understand how things work is to be on a boat that is light enough for you to feel the effect of your adjustments to rig, sails and weight placement.

Look for a Siren (the sailboat).
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Old 09-27-2007
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I agree with the last two posts. Do something simple and temporary first. Sailing looks like fun, but after doing it, it's not everybody's cup of tea.
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Old 09-27-2007
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It really depends on what your ultimate goal is. If your looking to just get experience sailing, fractional ownership may be the way to go. If you're looking to eventually go cruising on your own... ownership may make more sense. The maintenance and repair skills you'll learn in owning a boat are critical for anyone wanting to go long-term cruising.

Given your plans, at least in your original post, you really would probably be better off owning, rather than doing fractional ownership.

IMHO, if you're not capable of the responsibility of owning a boat at 38 years old, you're probably not capable of the responsibility of cruising for six months down in Florida either.

Chartering, at least initially, may be a good way to go...but only until you figure out if sailing and cruising long-term is what you're really interested in doing.
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Old 09-27-2007
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I was in almost your exact same situation, 38 now, new to boating. I agree with the others, just get a little boat and try it out. I took some lessons with ASA that I found helpful, you might too. Otherwise it's all just about getting out there on the boat and figuring it out, which you are going to end up doing whether you take lessons or not.
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Old 09-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newts11 View Post
...What can I do, boat ownership at 38 years old seems like a lot of responsibility, that's why fractional seemed the way to go...Any advice?

Thanks
Craig
At 38, I could move mountains and was bullet proof...
At 58, I like to look at mountains and quite competent at dodging the bullet...
You do the math...
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Old 09-27-2007
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Maybe I missunderstoof his post. If so, I apologize.

I thought it meant should he buy a boat outright or buy a boat with frac ownership or charter ownership.

I this was your question, outright. IN MY OPINION, the charter business is really tough on boats. I realize they go through them with a fine tooth comb before you get them back, but it is not the things they see that concerns me - it is the ones they dont.

If you are contemplating buying a 38 without any previous boat ownership, it would do you well to try and crew a bit first. Maybe charter a bit. Find a friend with a boat. Boats, in general, are easy to buy and hard to sell. THere are a lot of things you can learn before making the plunge. However, my family and I cannot imagine any other life. I am 36, been sailing large boats for about 12 years - one designs before that. Speaking of one designs, that is a great way to learn how to sail and really enjoy it.

Just some thoughts. Hang around sailnet and ask questions. You will get a good feel. Buy Chapmans Piloting and Annapolis Book of Seamanship. THey are great introductions and should be a part of every boat. I still enjoy reading them.

All the best.

- CD
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Old 09-28-2007
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newts11,

If you have been truelly bitten by the "Sailing Bug", then you are stuck. Just like the love bug, you are hooked for life and need it like an adiction. All you need to do now is to find out what kind of sailing you have a love for.

I agree with the others, get an education in sailing as well as to rent a small sail boat or hook up with someone who has a boat you ride along with. Sailing clubs are always looking for crew members for races and no experience is necissary. Basically, "get your feet wet". That will give you an idea as where to go from there. You just might shuck it all. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But then again you might get totally obsessed

Last edited by dorourke; 09-28-2007 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 09-28-2007
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Doing the snowbird thing ehh. Sounds great. If I was in your shoes I think charter is probably the way to go.Only because I wouldn't be around to look after my own boat for 6 months at time and thats how boats die a slow sad death. Unless you know someone down there or up there to look after it properly . Thats the responsibility part I think your apprehensive about and justifiably so. There is another thing to think about that may work for you and thats time share on a boat . I would never do it but its something you might look at. This may be a stupid suggestion but here goes anyhoo , what about a trailerable boat ? There are some beauties available out there with all the stuff you will ever need . That way you can have your baby with you either in Canada or Florida. I dont know what kind of boat you want but at the asumption its a cruiser ,the whole family can live on ,bear in mind there is
one out there that will fit your bill. The question is what do you want from a boat ? Whare do you plan on sailing? How far , how long ? These are the questions you need to ask yourself and family. As far as being responsible yup
you got to be on the ball with a boat,all the time. But thats the beauty of it
I think this comes from Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own " Of course its hard thats what makes it great, if it was easy everybody would be doing it"
or something like that . Dont let that stop ya sailing is great even on the bad days.
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