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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-19-2011
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What Boat to Buy?

So a little background first. I'm 22 years old, working as an electrical engineer. My parent's own a 44 foot Kelly Peterson sailboat that they're fixing up to go cruising. They're down at the beach and retired, and I'm full time in Charlotte, NC, so I won't get to sail with them, especially once they leave to go cruising.

When I was in high school I owned a Laser (a really beat up one, with warped blades and old sails) and enjoyed it, and we had an O'Day 22 that we kept in a slip and I really enjoyed that.

I'm trying to decide what kind of boat I want to buy. I really want something that's a blast to sail (such as a Laser), but part of me also wants to have at least a daysailer, or possibly a cabin daysailer (overnight) so I could take friends out sometimes.

The Laser isn't exactly cheap, at $3000 for a decent setup, but I wouldn't need a slip. Anything bigger and I'm gonna want to keep it in a slip, so that I don't spend 2 hours rigging it by myself.

I'll spend a lot of my time sailing singlehanded, but occasionally want to take people out.

So what can I get that's fast, fun to sail, easy to singlehand, under $5000, room for maybe 4 people. Big cockpit, tiny cabin (just enough for a couple people).

I can afford to spend some money on maintenance and a slip, but I'd prefer a boat that doesn't take a TON of work. I'm also pretty handy, and my parent

Does that boat exist? If not, should I go back to a Laser, sail that, and join the local yacht club and make friends and just sail their big boats as crew and get my big boat fix, and just tell my friends they're SOL?

Some boats I've considered: Lightning, Laser, 420, FJ, San Juan 21, Highlander, J22 (expensive), U20 (dreaming).

tl;dr: Tell me what boat to buy, and talk me out of buying a 25 foot boat from 1965 that's in terrible shape and pretending it'll be cheap to fix it.

Thanks, and sorry it got long.
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Old 01-19-2011
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If you can find one up there in good shape a Mirage 5.5 would fit your needs.
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Old 01-19-2011
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sailing on OPB's is going to be the most cost effective. Be good, helpful, courteous crew. Your skipper will then ask you if you now other people that sail. Voila! your friends are sailing too.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehardaground View Post
sailing on OPB's is going to be the most cost effective. Be good, helpful, courteous crew. Your skipper will then ask you if you now other people that sail. Voila! your friends are sailing too.
The local yacht club (Lake Norman Yacht Club) isn't super cheap, really. I've sailed there a few times on different boats (Thistle, 420). I think it's $1075 a year plus $2800 initiation, although cheaper when you're younger than 36 (which I definitely am).

It's also a really long drive for me. It's around the other side of the lake, so it's about an hour for me, when I could get to my own slip in 30 minutes.

And my friends aren't sailors. They're just friends I'd like to take out for a sail. They wouldn't get a ride as a crew on a boat, they'd be useless as anything other than weight on the rail.

Honestly, the number of times I'd actually get friends to go out with me are probably minimal. I should just buy a Laser maybe, or maybe a 420 so I could take a friend or two for at least a day sail...

There's just too many choices, haha.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Is there a local sailing center that has a range of boats with annual memberships? Here in Boston, the Boston sailing center is really popular since it isn't too expensive and you get a decently wide range of boats to choose from depending on the weather, your guests and what you feel like.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klem View Post
Is there a local sailing center that has a range of boats with annual memberships? Here in Boston, the Boston sailing center is really popular since it isn't too expensive and you get a decently wide range of boats to choose from depending on the weather, your guests and what you feel like.
This is a great idea. Thanks. There actually is one. $225/year, or $110/year if you do 3 years at a time.

They've got Sunfish, Flying Scots, and 420s. They won't let adults sail the 420, not sure why. They only have 7 Flying Scots, but I guess there's probably enough to go around.

One problem is that the boats aren't allowed to be used between March 31 and Oct 31 on weekends (or long weekends) after 11 AM. No restrictions in the winter.

For that price, it's worth it to me to buy a Laser for myself for racing, and then just go up there and sail a Flying Scot when I want to take some people out. $110/year is extremely cheap (for anything, let alone sailing!).
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Old 01-19-2011
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I'd say go travel around (if you can) and just see what you can get your hands on. Walk the docks, check all places that boats live.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Get Steve Henkel's book, The Sailor's Book of Small Cruising Sailboats, which covers over 300 boats under 27' LOA. While not the best book there is, it covers a lot and has some good lists of what boats would be good for what purposes.
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Old 01-19-2011
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This is a great time to buy used smaller sailboats. I have a Catalina 27 that sounds just like what you want, Drinks for 6, sailing for 4, over night for 2. There are many different brands of that combination around and most are a good deal for the shopper.
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Old 01-20-2011
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Merit 25

I think a Merit 25 would suit very well. Fast day sailor with fractional rig. Has a head and cabin so you could weekend or longer with close freind. 4 foot draft fixed fin keel, 8 foot beam 2900 pounds with 1950 ballast. 277 sq ft rig.
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