Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
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Re: First Boat ..
Knowing where you are located would help with recomendations, but here are a few suggestions...
Rhodes 19 - fixed keel so harder to tailor
There are littlerly hundreds of potential designs depending on what exacally you are looking for. But I would try and find something less than 600lbs, with a centerboard or dagger board, that can be sailed by two, carry 6.
I would stay away from any hiking dinghy, anything with trapezes, fixed keel, or keel step mast (if it has a cockpit). You should be able to get a reasonable condition boat for $4-5,000 get out on the water and start learning. Then I would feel a lot better about recommending you go to a 40' and skipping the 30.
But my best suggestion is to find out what boats your local yacht club races, and buy one of those. There will web plenty of cheap but good used sails around, a lot of people who know the boat well, and can help fix problems. And since boats are very regions specific, it really could be anything.