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Old 07-08-2008
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First boat for heading off East Coast (VA) 50 Miles & Back

I am fairly new to sailing so I have read the above stickies. But maybe someone could give some insight on this...

I live near the coast of Virginia, about hour and half from Va Beach. I would love to be able to take a sailboat out about 30-50 miles then come back in.

Budget is a concern, so with that in mind what kind of boats would make this trip feasable? With safety and budget in mind?

I don't need anything big I don't think. I wouldnt mind being able to take a few people maybe, but, dont want a bigger boat to just be able to take 6 or so, 4 or less would even be ok.

Also, I am not wanting to go out and just get a boat and make the trip. I would like one capable of it though, so when I am ready I can go...

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2008
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It would help if you said what your budget actually is. There are a lot of boats in the <$20000 range that are more than capable of doing a trip of that kind. Without more information, it is hard to make any relevant suggestions.

I would highly recommend that you sail on as many different types of boats as you can, so you can get a feel for what you like in a boat and what you dislike in a boat. This will help you narrow down what boats to look at when you go to buy one for yourself. Be aware that most people buy their first boat, and then based on what they learn from owning their first boat, buy a second, and it is often the second boat that they keep for years. This is mentioned in Don Casey's This Old Boat.

Many boats 25'-35' are going to be good candidates for sailing with four people for a daysail. A smaller number of them would be good for sailing with four people for an overnight or weekend cruise. Even fewer would be acceptable for a longer cruise with four people. Be aware that most sailboats will sail with more people than they can comfortably feed or sleep. My friend says the following about his 38' boat: Sails six, feeds four and sleeps two.

Good luck and welcome to sailnet.
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Thank you very much. I had not stated my budget because I really dont know what to expect. I would assume I would like to see what results came from about 20k or less.

I have looked into chartering some sailboats here locally or maybe signing up with Sailtime. I am in the process of trying to find someone with a sailboat who may just want a hand and save my 400 bucks a day.

So a trip out about that range would be considered daysailing? I guess with allot of factors the time would vary. But, for heading out to the Gulf Stream and back, about 30-50 miles. How long does that take? I do know I would never need more than 4 for sleeping, and that # more than likely will only ever be 2.

I have checked some boats out, and the Contessa looks nice. May be out of my budget though.

I understand your idea of the 1st boat then 2nd for what you do or dont like. I always seem to lean towards getting something I can learn on, grow into. Sail around near shore then head out for my trip when the time is right. Knowing my boat very well. If I could do that with my 1st boat, then get a 2nd that would be even better, would be great...

Thanks Again...
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Old 07-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSJR1 View Post
I live near the coast of Virginia, about hour and half from Va Beach. I would love to be able to take a sailboat out about 30-50 miles then come back in.
Do you mean sail the boat 30-50 miles off-shore, turn around, then come back in? If so, why would you want to do that?

If you are new to sailing, I'll just mention that this is not how most folks use their sailboats. Typically, coastal/weekend sailors will daysail in the general vicinity of their marina, or do a series of hops from one coastal destination to another. Very few people point their bows out to the open sea without intending to make an ocean passage to a distant destination. Doing this requires a very different level of preparation and equipage.

Perhaps what you meant is that you hope to do some coastal sailing, ranging as far as 30-50 miles from your marina, with a few guests aboard? There are MANY boats that would fit the bill, but as Sailingdog mentioned, your budget will narrow the field considerably.
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Playing in the Gulf Stream is not advisable. If you have a northerly wind, things can get really nasty, really quickly. JRP's advise is solid.

Here's a rough search that will give you an idea of what is out there.

Contessas are very solid little boats. Not the most manueverable, and not the best in light air, but very seaworthy, like most of the folkboat derivatives.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Do you mean sail the boat 30-50 miles off-shore, turn around, then come back in? If so, why would you want to do that?

If you are new to sailing, I'll just mention that this is not how most folks use their sailboats. Typically, coastal/weekend sailors will daysail in the general vicinity of their marina, or do a series of hops from one coastal destination to another. Very few people point their bows out to the open sea without intending to make an ocean passage to a distant destination. Doing this requires a very different level of preparation and equipage.

Perhaps what you meant is that you hope to do some coastal sailing, ranging as far as 30-50 miles from your marina, with a few guests aboard? There are MANY boats that would fit the bill, but as Sailingdog mentioned, your budget will narrow the field considerably.

Sorry, maybe I am off base. My friends and I take allot of fishing charters off the Va and Nc coast. Though I love fishing, I really just enjoy hitting the stream and the bluewater. So we were chatting and thought we could just take a sailboat out to the gulf stream and back for fun. Maybe after time letting a line off the back to see if we get lucky.
Is this not something people do? and if not why?

I knew that 50 miles off and in these waters things can get alittle shaky sometimes. Kind of why I was curious what boats would fit the bill and if it coul deven happen for less than 20k...
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Sailboats

Hello,

You can certainly take a sailboat, head offshore for 30 - 50 miles, hang out, then sail home. Just note that sailboats are slow! Plan on moving at around 5 kts. So if you really want to go 50 miles out, plan on 10 hours there and 10 hours back.

The only real concern with a trip like that is the weather. If the weather is Ok, any boat could do it. But if the weather starts to deteriorate, you are going to want a boat that can handle the weather and provide a decent ride.

If you want to take 4 guys, I would suggest a 30' minimum. There are decent boats available for $20K, they won't be new and they won't be perfect, but they are out there.

Good luck,
Barry
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Okay, I see where you're coming from now.

I think the issue here is the difference in perspective, with you coming from a powerboat background. In the proper PB, you can easily haul-butt out to the fishing grounds, do some fishing, then come back the same day. If unexpected foul weather is forecast, you can turn tail and get safely to port often before it arrives or at least before it builds to unmanageable. You don't even need a Hatteras or Post to do this, you can do it in a modestly equipped Bertram or even Grady White.

In a sailboat, you have to change your expectations radically. Heading out to the fishing grounds in the Gulf Stream, 50 miles off shore, will typically mean a 24 hour sail round-trip, and that's with no loiter time when you arrive at your fishing spot. With average sailing speeds in the 4-5 knot range, you will be committed to riding out whatever weather arrives while you are enroute. That means full safety gear, including EPIRB, liferaft, etc etc. $$$$$

Also, while many sailors do trail lines from their boats, sailboats as a general rule do not make the best fishing platforms. The cockpits are not designed for landing and subduing fish, and the abundant standing and running rigging makes handling fishing gear somewhat problematic. Typical production sailboats do not loiter well either -- they like to be moving along under sail for best dynamic stability in any kind of seaway. It can be tricky for someone inexperienced to handle the boat under sail at the slow and varying speeds and courses for trolling and bottom fishing.

Your budget will make it even more difficult to find a sailboat that suits your needs. At <$20K, you are looking at a fairly dated, small sailboat, that could handle the sorts of conditions you might encounter while out that far. With a small sailboat, my earlier prediction of 4-5 knot average speeds might be overly generous, given that you will likely need to beat at least one way to or from the fishing grounds. Probably best to expect 3.5-4.5 knots overall average, assuming a decent breeze.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WSJR1 View Post
So we were chatting and thought we could just take a sailboat out to the gulf stream and back for fun. Maybe after time letting a line off the back to see if we get lucky. Is this not something people do? and if not why?
Generally, this is not done. Primarily because it is expensive to outfit a coastal boat for this kind of sailing. Those who go to the expense to properly equip their boats will typically be voyaging further afield (like Bermuda and beyond), rather than turning around and coming back to homeport after reaching the 50 mile mark. Frankly, most sailors would view this as a largely pointless exercise (and somewhat boring! ), unless it was a shakedown trip in preparation for a more distant voyage.

Hopefully this info gives you a bit of perspective...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Okay, I see where you're coming from now.

I think the issue here is the difference in perspective, with you coming from a powerboat background. In the proper PB, you can easily haul-butt out to the fishing grounds, do some fishing, then come back the same day. If unexpected foul weather is forecast, you can turn tail and get safely to port often before it arrives or at least before it builds to unmanageable. You don't even need a Hatteras or Post to do this, you can do it in a modestly equipped Bertram or even Grady White.

In a sailboat, you have to change your expectations radically. Heading out to the fishing grounds in the Gulf Stream, 50 miles off shore, will typically mean a 24 hour sail round-trip, and that's with no loiter time when you arrive at your fishing spot. With average sailing speeds in the 4-5 knot range, you will be committed to riding out whatever weather arrives while you are enroute. That means full safety gear, including EPIRB, liferaft, etc etc. $$$$$

Also, while many sailors do trail lines from their boats, sailboats as a general rule do not make the best fishing platforms. The cockpits are not designed for landing and subduing fish, and the abundant standing and running rigging makes handling fishing gear somewhat problematic. Typical production sailboats do not loiter well either -- they like to be moving along under sail for best dynamic stability in any kind of seaway. It can be tricky for someone inexperienced to handle the boat under sail at the slow and varying speeds and courses for trolling and bottom fishing.

Your budget will make it even more difficult to find a sailboat that suits your needs. At <$20K, you are looking at a fairly dated, small sailboat, that could handle the sorts of conditions you might encounter while out that far. With a small sailboat, my earlier prediction of 4-5 knot average speeds might be overly generous, given that you will likely need to beat at least one way to or from the fishing grounds. Probably best to expect 3.5-4.5 knots overall average, assuming a decent breeze.



Generally, this is not done. Primarily because it is expensive to outfit a coastal boat for this kind of sailing. Those who go to the expense to properly equip their boats will typically be voyaging further afield (like Bermuda and beyond), rather than turning around and coming back to homeport after reaching the 50 mile mark. Frankly, most sailors would view this as a largely pointless exercise (and somewhat boring! ), unless it was a shakedown trip in preparation for a more distant voyage.

Hopefully this info gives you a bit of perspective...
That really does... I think we must have missed some things. We were tlaking and I guess may be wrong slightly. We go for the weekend, usually Fri night, get up Sat go out fishing, come back stay sat night in a hotel then home Sunday.

We were thinking we could go out there sailing and maybe hook some fish. Except still plan on the same time frame...

Guess we need to look into it further. I just love the water and thought Icould go out there and back. If I was that close to the water, to me, I might as well get a line wet.
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That really does... I think we must have missed some things. We were tlaking and I guess may be wrong slightly. We go for the weekend, usually Fri night, get up Sat go out fishing, come back stay sat night in a hotel then home Sunday.

We were thinking we could go out there sailing and maybe hook some fish. Except still plan on the same time frame...

Guess we need to look into it further. I just love the water and thought Icould go out there and back. If I was that close to the water, to me, I might as well get a line wet.
I didn't mean to discourage you from exploring sailing as a way to get out on the water. On the contrary -- IT IS GREAT WAY TO ENJOY THE WATER!! It's just that you may need to adjust your expectations about what you can accomplish in a <$20K sailboat.

You could easily find a modest coastal cruiser for this amount, one that you could sleep and cook aboard (saves the hotel $$). And you can fish from a sailboat too -- but fishing is most easily done while anchored for the night in a protected cove. Rather than setting your sights on the Gulf Stream, focus on a boat that could take you gunkholing in the Chesapeake or along coastal VA. Use it as a learning platform, build experience, then perhaps someday you can upgrade to a more robust design and point your bow out to Bermuda!
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