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alcapown 02-03-2011 09:27 PM

Joining the hobby/first sailboat
Hello gentlemen, sailboats have always been a passion of mine, and something I have wanted to get into for quite some time. I have looked at some boats online, and I am just wanting a nice start up boat, to learn the hobby and become a good sailor. I found this one which I will link at the end of my post, and just wondering you guy's opinions, and also any advice for start up you can offer whatsoever.

Just a little about myself, currently the boat would be sailed on freshwater river, Chickamauga to be exact, or Tennessee River, Nickajack etc. Any place that people take there boats out in the Chattanooga, TN area, is where I would intend on setting sail. :) Im currently in college, thus my budget is unfortunately that of a college student, haha. But this boat appears to be in great shape, ready to sail, and perfect for a beginner, but you tell me for I am clueless, except what online research has offered lol. Thanks for listening, and I look forward to being an active part of this community for years to come, and a sailor for even more. I can't tell you how excited I am about it, sorry for the wall-of-text, heres the link to the boat im considering..

1986 Siren 17' Sailboat with trailer

Also, he posted youtube videos in his ad which I viewed, seems nice. Thanks, and I await the replies.

alcapown 02-03-2011 09:34 PM

Parents split, so also have a house in Destin, FL, but it will primarily be used in Tennessee, freshwater. Figured I'd add that, just in case.

CalebD 02-03-2011 09:48 PM

Welcome to sailnut. Yes, there are some nuts here and I'm one of 'em.
My hat is off to you for choosing a 17' trailer sailor that a college student might be able to afford. You also deserve points for not stating your ambition for doing a circumnavigation in said boat.
The boat and the trailer both seem/sound fine but you did mention the Tennessee River in your post. The boat does not come with an engine as far as I could tell from your linked ad and you should have an engine and an anchor (also not mentioned in the ad) if you plan on sailing on a river where there will be currents. The asking price of $1800 for a 17' boat w/trailer but without a motor seems a bit high to me. Even a used outboard 5HP motor will cost you close to $500 if you are lucky.
If you are just planning to sail on local lakes you can use oars or paddles instead of an engine. An anchor is also a really useful piece of equipment.

alcapown 02-03-2011 10:05 PM

Thanks for the reply. Do you think I should avoid this boat then, or maybe see if he's willing to negotiate? Or do you think I could find a better deal, and if so any particular sites? lol. Also, I was wondering if you think I should take "sailing lessons", because it would be my first time, or do you think self teaching should suffice, I think that would be fine but then again I'm new to it.

CalebD 02-03-2011 10:37 PM

I don't advise you to avoid or buy this boat. I'd encourage you to do a little more research into the similar boats available in your general area and compare them. I am too lazy to.
Negotiation is everything. If you indicate to the owner that you are serious and go look at the boat you might be able negotiate the price down a bit because there is no engine, apparently.
"sailing lessons"? I wouldn't buy a sail boat unless I already knew how to sail but your mileage may vary.
Lots of people teach themselves how to sail, usually by learning from another person and then gaining further experience.

ShockValue 02-04-2011 01:17 AM

I think Caleb's advice is sound as far a motor and anchor goes.


Craigslist Rule #4: Even if you think it's a good deal, offer them less money anyway and see if you can get a steal :)

Minnewaska 02-04-2011 06:48 AM

Taking as few as 2 days of basic sailing lessons will teach you enough to make her go, as well as avoid an enormous amount of frustration and self taught bad habits. Some colleges offer sailing as a phys ed class. Best of luck.

beanctr56 02-04-2011 11:44 AM

It looks like a nice boat. I would want a motor, maybe a 2 or 3.5 would work. One thing to keep in mind with that type of boat is that it does'nt have any ballast and could capsize in strong winds (20-30mph). Rick

zedboy 02-04-2011 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by beanctr56 (Post 694464)
One thing to keep in mind with that type of boat is that it does'nt have any ballast and could capsize in strong winds (20-30mph). Rick

Not totally accurate - the swing keel does have some weight to it - 130 lbs. They will self-right if knocked down 90 degrees. But they are tender.

For the record, $1800 wouldn't be a terrible price in Ontario. $3k is typical here in good condition and with a motor - and there are lots of them, they were made here. But maybe Tennessee is cheaper in general...

Silvio 02-04-2011 01:07 PM

I don't have much to offer in the way of oppinion on the specific boat but if either of my own college aged kids asked your questions here is how I would respond.

Before you spend your hard earned savings on a hobby that you are completely new to I would reccomend you give it a low cost try first. I give this same advice for SCUBA diving, skiing, equestrian sports, etc. You get the idea.

I would reccomend before investing in any equipment other than personal safety gear, e.g skis, a horse, SCUBA gear, go take a lesson or two and find out if you are prone to a previously unknown extreme fear of being on the water. 8-)

Hopefully you will discover that sailing really is all that you have imagined and you will develop a life-long passion for al things sailing. A couple of lessons before hand is pretty cheap insurance and knowledge gained is never wasted.

Just thoughts from an old man that has wasted lots of $$$$ learning lifes' lessons.

Welcome to the board and have fun sailing!

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