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Old 06-23-2012
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First Boat ..

Hello, new to the forums but have read and searched over the years. I have read latts and atts and sail for 10+ years.

I have wanted to sail for a long time. every since I was a teenager. I am in a position now where I could really do some extended cruising and afford a decent boat without much trouble. I want to bite the bullet and just buy something but being such a large purchase and me knowing so little, I want to start small, but not so small that I am wanting to upgrade in six months time.

I keep thinking to get a cheap decent boat like a Catalina 27 or something that is ok for a day trip and easy enough to learn and not worry with cost wise but at that size I know I will quickly want to upgrade.

I found a great article at one point, I think it was great boats for around 30k or something along those lines, and I think that would be a better starting range for me. The article contained several models from the 70s 80s, all I can seem to recall now are the Irwin's and Gulfstars. The Allied mistress is one I recall for being very seaworthy, but the article had maybe ten or so in it. If I could locate that article I would have a better place to start.

I seem to be drawn to the center cockpit design which for a long time had be thinking an Irwin 37 would be ideal to get started on, but I read so many issues with those I have thought twice. The gulfstars 43 CC seem pretty decent and priced in my budget, but I know there were other I looked at over the years that I can recall, Can any of you make suggestions or recall the article I am talking about ?

More about me and what I want, budget will be around 50k, want center cockpit I think, just for the extra room you get down below. looking mostly at late 70s early 80s models. But what would the advantage to having an aft cockpit be ? I Have one small child, maybe more to come, and will be based out of NC. Will spend my time coastal cruising the east coast with eventual fair weather trips to the Caribbean. Cosmetics on the boat not hugely important so long as she is mechanical sound. I dont want a project boat, but I am pretty handy, I can do just about any DIY item to clean it up. Ideally I would find a boat that has already been gone through and refitted in the past 5-10 or so years. Really like the look of well maintained wood, but can strip, sand replace and re-stain that myself if needed. one that I found which looks promising would be :

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=44788&url

Advice ? Thoughts on other makes / models to look for ? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I am sure I will look and wait for a year at least before pulling the trigger. I am just anxious to continue my research.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: First Boat ..

Welcome to the forum !!!

Based on what you said (or more precisely what you didn't) I assume you do not have any actual experience sailing and will be learning on the "new" boat.

I would suggest to take the basic courses 101, 103 and so on.... get your skills before buying; and in the meantime you might have the chance to see and sail some of the boats you have in mind. You'll also have the chance to see what are the features you can and cannot do without.

Personally I think learning on a 43' sailboat like the one on your link is not a good idea; for many reasons. I'm not saying it cannot be done. Most people learn on small boats because they are more responsive and one can notice easier the effects of one's changes in trim, tiller, heel and so forth.

As far as buying something with the idea of upgrading in 6 months I will suggest buying something in good condition, no work needed, maintain it well and then sell it whenever you are ready. If you buy something that needs work you'll end up putting too much money on it that you won't get back or have trouble selling when the time comes.

This is not probably the answer you were looking for; but I hope it help you.
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Re: First Boat ..

Thanks,

Yes that makes the most practical sense, I just hate to get into selling one to buy another in a short time.

I have some friends who know how to sail so hopefully they can get me up to speed before I would ever take it out on my own.

After doing some searching I will have to add a Morgan out island 41 to the list.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: First Boat ..

Sunblock,

You have two very different needs right now when it comes to sailing. The first is learn how to sail, the second is having a boat capable of long distance cruising.

These are just massively different needs, and the boats you need to do them well are radically different. Just like no one learns to drive in an 18 wheeler, or learns to fly a plane in a 747, learning to sail a large boat is frought wil difficulties.

My advice is buy something in the 15-18' dinghy range. You can probably pick something like this up a few thousand dollars, and really learn how to sail. Take the classes, learn what's going on, and then start looking at cruising boats. While doing this try and get invited on as many different boats as you can to really see the features you like, and what you don't like. Right now you just don't have the knowledge to even make good selections.

I like all the boats you suggested, but they are also all very heavy, tend to be poor sailors, and have small sailplans relative to the size of the boat. This may be exacally what you are looking for, but you may realize you like doing fast passages, in which case you may want to look at something else.

The reason for the small dinghy, is that you won't have much money tied up in it, and even if you sell it for a loss, you can just add that to the cost of sailing lessons.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: First Boat ..

Welcome to Sailnet.

While you're doing your research, keep in mind that the expenses (slip/mooring, repairs, annual maintenance, replacement parts, upgrades for older boats) for a 40+ footer will be exponentially more than a 25-28 foot boat. Even a 30 foot boat will be a lot more (as we've found out). At this point, if you've never been on a sailboat (if you mentioned that I missed it), you don't even yet know if you LIKE sailing other than in theory.

Moving too far, too fast may cost you more than buying a smaller boat, gaining some experience and selling it to move up in a year or two. In this economy, it'll be harder to unload a larger boat than it will a small boat and in the mean time you'll still be responsible for storage/slip fees on it.

Good luck with your decision.
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Re: First Boat ..

Thanks for all the feedback, knowing me, I am pretty positive that I will enjoy sailing. But I am worried about the learning curve.

How small do you think would be too small to be good practice ? I do not plan on making the 40ft purchase for at least 18 months, in the meantime I do have lake access that I could use to learn on, but its a small lake and 25ft may even been too big. Could buoy it there for free though, so thats an idea. would a tiller controlled boat be worthy practice ??
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Re: First Boat ..

You'll get more of a feel for how the boat responds with a tiller. With a wheel there are X degrees of separation between you and the rudder (with the exception of Island Packets). Also, the smaller the boat the more you'll feel the impact of current, wind, waves, etc. so while smaller boats can be more "tippy" they are great to learn the rudiments of sailing as opposed to learning how to push a boat through the water.

How small is a personal choice. But even a lot of the racing pros on the big boats (50'+) get onto and race the small boats (Lasers, etc.) during the off season to keep their skills sharp.
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Re: First Boat ..

ok great thanks. Best thing about starting small is a can go ahead an do it vs. having to do more detailed planning. I would still like to read up on those budget bigger boats though, anyone have an idea about the article I mentioned? I swear I saw it linked from this site ... and I really liked one of the designs that I can no longer recall.


so far as smaller boats go, I am guessing I could still do some fair weather coastal cruising on a 25 footer ? ie day or weekend trips only.
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Old 06-23-2012
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First Boat ..

Hiya sunblock, welcome to sailnet! I empathize with your situation as I'm there myself, although I've gone the distance as far as buying a boat is concerned. I'm a new sailor, having had some experience in dingy sailing, I went and bought a small pocket cruiser for a couple grand. A decent, sailable, ready to learn on boat can be found online for very few dollars. I also had my 20 footer on a small lake and had fun learning how things worked even though I spent most days just taking back and forth. There are quite a few small day/weekend cruisers that might fit your bill and lake without having to break the bank during the learning curve. Have fun learning!
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Re: First Boat ..

When I read posts like this I always think that people are being very niave. First off, the OP has never sailed, but learning to sail is the least of your worries. How do you know you will like sailing? Will you get seasick and if so will you be able to control it. I get seasick whenever I go on the open ocean but take Gravol and wear seasick bands and that works for me. Then you have to take into account your significant other, will she like sailing and/or will she get seasick? There's a who thread on "ladies and heels". Day trips are one thing cruising and living aboard while cruising is a whole other ball game. Your world is about 400 sq.ft for 3, maybe more, people. All one need do is look on yachtword.com and see the number of boats for sale to see that there are a lot of people out there who once had a dream but once reality kicked in, for one reason or another, they lost that dream quickly.
Take some sailing lessons. You'll learn to sail and learn whether you (and your wife) like sailing.
Charter a boat for a week and you'll get an idea of what it's like living on a boat.
Many many people enjoy the cruising life and I encourage you to live your dream but go into it with your eye's and your mind wide open. It's great for those who enjoy it but it's not for everyone.
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