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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Starting a Sailing plan/goal

Hello all, I am stating to put together a "plan" of sorts to get into the life of sailing. I am going to be taking sailing lesson and picking up a smaller inland sail boat to really learn and practice on. I am looking to set up a 5-7 year plan to save up enough money for a large boat to accomidate my family of 7. What I am wondering though is, which size of a boat am I going to be looking at getting to be able to have my family sleep on for a couple days/weeks? eventually I would like to have the ability to perhaps make the "Great American Loop". Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

John
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-18-2011
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I don't know how to put together a 5-7 year plan to buy a boat that will sail a family of 7 in non-homicidal comfort. Not to say there isn't one, I just don't know it, much of it depends on finances (I suppose ?), and the rest depends on learning to sail and your family liking it too, enough to try the great American circle up the coast, west on the waterway and lakes, and south on the big muddy.

Learning to sail, figure on about two years depending of frequency of how you use the smaller boat. Maybe longer up there with frozen-lake time. Then, you may want to look for a used boat with a newish and fairly strong auxiliary diesel, since your first leg would be down the Mississippi which will be a lot of motorsailing. Maybe a center-cockpit type to give you separate cabins, in the 40-45' range, like a Morgan Out-Island type or similar? Get a good surveyor, and you may score a pretty good deal as older used boats are fairly cheap compared to new ones, at least here in the south.

My learning to sail didn't follow a "plan", at least not one I was aware of, since I learned as a kid, raced, coached in college, delivered boats, and taught sailing frequently. That said, I'd think you could do lessons, sail a lot in the smaller boat (better for learning the sailing basics since less inertia and more "feel" than the big boats), then a couple of years weekending and lake cruising in the big boat.

The route that's your dream is realistic, since river and coastal will have you close to help, supplies, and spare parts. The 'having your family like it' part I do not feel qualified to talk about and will leave to others ;-)

Last edited by nolatom; 10-18-2011 at 05:55 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-18-2011
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5-7 years is a long time - with 7 of you, that's some of the kids presumably growing up, going to college hopefully, changing demands on limited finances etc. Make sure you build in plenty of flexibility - a good passage plan ensures an easy sail to a secondary port/ bolthole in the event of a storm!
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-18-2011
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I would see if your dream and your wife's are remotely close

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-19-2011
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The cost increase to buy and run a boat is something like exponential for each 10' of length. Probably the same holds true for each additional person. ie: it is going to be a lot bigger boat to be comfortable with 7 than it would be with 5. Maybe a catamaran? We had 10 on a 43' cat for a week. If you are going to be mostly on inland waterways, maybe a sailboat isn't even what you should seek. Maybe a houseboat type thing.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses, I really appreciate it. The frozen lake time does suck big time, i will just have to hit the water harder when the lake warms up. My Wife is pretty cool with the idea, I happen to think that may change alittle once she actually gets on the boat because of the rocking and stuff, I hope Im wrong of coarse and she really loves it. My children in 7 years will have not even graduated high school yet my oldest is 7 with the youngest being 1. As of now the children love to be on the water boating/tubing etc. so I hope they will keep thier love of the water. I like the look of the Morgan, I was thinking about a center cockpit forward and aft cabin boat. Thanks again all.

John
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Maybe a catamaran? We had 10 on a 43' cat for a week. If you are going to be mostly on inland waterways, maybe a sailboat isn't even what you should seek. Maybe a houseboat type thing.
I thought about a Cat, though I have never seem one out on Lake Michiagn around here anyways. We thought about the houseboat scene and really dont think it is for us, maybe though. We live about 30 minutes Outside of Lake Michigan So we have the choice to choose a marina out on the big lake. So we really wont be in the inland waterways that often if ever. I really appreciate you imput, Thanks again.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-19-2011
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What nolatom wrote, also at some stage before you buy the big boat, charter a boat big enough for your families needs in a beautiful location warm water, sun, and plenty of things to do for the whole family.

Then go look for your dream boat.

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