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zimm17 07-27-2010 01:45 PM

I'm new- what kind of boat to look into?
Okay, square one, post 1.

I'm 35, married, baby on the way. Being stationed back to Northern Virginia and we want to get a sailboat when we get there next summer.

I'm Navy, have my Officer of the Deck for a 40,000 ton LHD and I've also taken the basic sailing course on base (16' Catalina). I'd take the intermediate (22' Catalina) and advanced (28' Catalina) before buying a boat.

We'd be sailing primarily in the Potomac river- between D.C. and the Chesapeake. Mostly day sailing, but lots of overnight weekend trips too. As well as just enjoying the boat at the marina for dinner/cocktails/entertaining.

I should add, that I think I'll need as shallow of a draft as I can get- the Potomac is notoriously shallow if you get outside a channel.

I've been a powerboater my whole life (yeah, yeah, don't throw anything at me), but my wife enjoys life much more at 7kts than 70. Plus she wants the galley, head, stateroom, and low fuel cost/good for the environment that sailing gets you.

What class of boat should I be looking at? I have a year to reserach, but I need some pointers in the right direction. Anyone have any good articles, links, advice?

CapTim 07-27-2010 01:52 PM

This site/forum is full of stuff... everywhere you turn, you'll learn something :)

MarioG 07-27-2010 06:03 PM

I have a real nice Chrysler C-22 swing keel w/trailer for sale at a great price, located in central NC It is great for day weekend sails we did 13 weekend outtings last season. Email me if interested

Ulladh 07-27-2010 06:17 PM

If you like the Catalanas that you will be training on, they would be good choice.
Check out the boat others use in your home waters and offer yourself as crew to see if they fit your desires.
Visit the boat show at Annapolis this fall and develop a desire for something unaffordable.
Eventually you will find the right boat, just like a lost puppy at your door, and it will be love at first sight.

zimm17 07-27-2010 07:22 PM

Thanks ulladh. Sorry mario- I'm still a year from moving to D.C. so not ready for a boat yet.

mccary 07-27-2010 07:35 PM

Before you settle on a specific boat and a place to keep her on the Potomac. I would suggest you consider the Chesapeake Bay, the sailing grounds are much better and offer nearly limitless possibilities. The commute from Northern Virginia will not be as bad as you think. I live in Gaithersburg, MD and keep my boat on West River (about 10 miles South of Annapolis), about 75 minutes from home on an average trip. I can go from my slip to the river in just minutes and depending on wind be in the Bay in less than an hour (or longer if winds are not favorable). They are hundreds of cruising anchorages around and plenty of just day-sailing space.

As for a boat, I am partial to my Catalina 27, but there are hundreds of sizes/makes to choose from as this is a great time to buy a boat. There are deals a plenty.

JackTar6 07-28-2010 12:04 PM

Catalina 30
You should also consider a Catalina 30. They are easy to sail and great for weekend trips, very roomy cabin. Also, they are many of them in the area, especially on the Chesapeake Bay. I agree that the Bay is much better sailing than the Potomac. There are also many marinas to choose from out there. I would stick to a Laser or Hobie Cat on the Potomac.

zimm17 07-28-2010 12:25 PM

Thanks, great info. My dad also chimed in and said the same thing- commute to Annapolis. That okay with me. I'll start reading about 30 footers.

dylanwinter1 07-28-2010 12:36 PM

don't buy a big boat - don't take any lessons
My advice is to buy a small sailing boat with a reliable outboard and teach yourself to sail

use it for daysailing - picnics with the family

what you do is to motor into the wind - turn around and unroll the gib and sail downwind - its lovely - leave the main furled

then repeat the excercise a few times

try sailing across the wind a bit

once you are confident doing that put away the gib and play with the main a bit - find another boat - watch what they are doing and follow them - putting your sails in the same positions as theirs.

keep the cheap boat for a year - then decide what to do

all that training will get in the way of simple sailing fun and yu will save yourself one heck of a lot of money

the other good thing about a small boat is that you can sail it single handed

no need for crew - and if your wife decides she does not want to go sailing you can still go out - besides with a wife and a child on board you will effectively be sailing single handed anyway.

so buty a small catalina or even a west wight potter

of course I know nuffink so take no notice of me - splurge out $50,000 ona 30 footer with two bogs and winches as big as trash cans and run into the usual eye watering marina bills


glmark 07-28-2010 01:01 PM

I bought a 1980 Hunter 25 this year to sail around Wisconsin's largest inland lake. I find that it's fun and easy and draws 3'6". BUT when we entertain there is not much room in the cockpit. Nobody in their right mind wants to sail in the cabin. Go bigger if you'll have guests. Other contributors have also mentioned that a transom hung rudder and aft mounted traveler give the cockpit more useable room. One other thing, the combination of 90 degree weather, 100% humidity, rain, and mosquitos make overnighting in the boat less than a joy. Plan on buying an air conditioner and a boat big enough to accomodate it.

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