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a bag of it 05-24-2013 03:02 PM

First Boat Buying Advice
Hey guys, I think I've finally done enough research to post my own thread about my specific needs. I started out with dreams of living aboard and sailing down the east coast, but realistically, that will not be an option for at least a couple years. I figure I'll finish school and once I get a real job I will be able to afford a much more seaworthy boat that I will be able to enjoy living on a lot more.

Some background: I am about to turn 21, no debt, no family (of my own), no real obligations at all except my summer job 4-5 days a week. I have 3 summers experience taking sailing lessons on a 420 dinghy when I was younger, so I have a good understanding of sailing basics, but I have no experience on a larger boat. I am currently living with my parents for the summer (rent free) in Scituate, MA.

Moorings here have an unreasonable waitlist, and slip fees are prohibitively expensive, so consequently I am looking at trailer sailers. I would like a boat that can easily be rigged and sailed solo, but capable of sleeping two adults comfortably. I am looking to sail around Scituate, the Boston harbor islands, and possibly make extended weekend trips to the cape and islands or Maine. I have access to an F-150 with 5.4 V8 so towing capacity should not be an issue.

My max budget is ~$5000 but ideally I would love to find something closer to $2-3000. This budget is for everything including trailer and anything necessary to make it ready to sail. This will primarily be used as a daysailer or over nighter, so cabin comfort is less of a priority than sailing ability, speed, and MOST importantly, FUN FACTOR. I'm sure that there are tons of boats that fit these requirements, but I'm hoping maybe you guys can point me towards some boats I either hadn't considered or thought wouldn't suit my needs.

Here are some of the boats I have been looking at:

Catalina 22 - always reccommended, but does not interest me as much as some others, not really sure why, seems more like a slow family cruiser

Potter 19 - this boat seems almost ideal, but at the upper end of my price range

Rhodes 19 - also not really in my price range, not as comfortable looking as the potter but faster? and more fun?

Potter 15 - less appealing than the 19 for obvious reasons, but more affordable

various O'Days - for some reason I'm not attracted to these boats, but you guys could easily convince me otherwise

MacGregor 26 - on here because it appears to be the largest trailerable boat

MacGregor 23 & 24 - probably more realistic in my price range

Let me know what you guys think, I'm definitely still in the early stages of this purchase, so I'm not really set on anything. Let me know if I left out any important information that would be helpful. Also, last but not least, where are some good places to look for boats other than craigslist, yachtworld, sailboatlistings, etc...

benesailor 05-24-2013 03:13 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
I like the idea of a older catalina 22 or macgregor 23. Great starter boats and trailer well.

That being said; grab anything you can afford, who cares; you'll grow out of it in 3-4 years and have something else.

DRFerron 05-24-2013 03:21 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
Welcome to SaiNet.

It sounds like you are off to a good start.

I started out with a Venture 2-22 (later MacGregor). For the Mac 26 on your list you don't mention if it's the true sailboat or the hybrid. It will make a difference as the hybrid won't sail as well.

Others will have more useful advice, I'm sure, but I would say to pay attention to your gut about boats that don't "speak" to you. This is a decent-sized committment and purchase and if you don't like the boat from the beginning, you'll probably be less likely to drag it to the slip, deal with rigging it and sail it. Not to mention the continued, never-ending maintenance and work a sailboat requires.

I always suggest joining a local sailing club so that you can get experience on different boats before taking the plunge. Especially if, when you are ready to sell up or get out, you more than likely won't get back the money you put into it.

Good luck!

eherlihy 05-24-2013 03:38 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
I would suggest that you join a local sailing club before you buy a boat. You can gain experience, and possibly get a line on an older boat that you like within your budget.

I suggest that you check out, and attend a meeting.

CarpeAquam 05-24-2013 03:51 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice

Originally Posted by benesailor (Post 1034959)
That being said; grab anything you can afford, who cares; you'll grow out of it in 3-4 years and have something else.


I picked up my Starwind 22 "project boat" for $900 with the trailer and it was ready to sail (just not pretty). Another $800 bough a good outboard and left me with plenty to spend on it. I wanted a project boat so I could learn how to make repairs before I buy a boat that is too nice to mess up. There are sometimes REALLY good deals if you aren't set on specific model and are willing to look.

a bag of it 05-24-2013 04:18 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice

Originally Posted by eherlihy (Post 1034973)
I would suggest that you join a local sailing club before you buy a boat. You can gain experience, and possibly get a line on an older boat that you like within your budget.

I suggest that you check out, and attend a meeting.

It's too bad, I just missed their may meeting which was yesterday. Are there any other clubs in the Boston area or south of Boston that you would reccommend?

jephotog 05-24-2013 05:29 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
I would suggest two different paths. Either a light weight day sailor like a Potter 15 or 19 or the club. The reasoning being the bigger and more seaworthy of a boat you get the less of a trailer sailor it becomes and more of a trailer boat. As a boat gets heavier it becomes harder to launch. I could launch my Chrysler 22 solo but it would take hours. Unless you can prop up the mast and drop in the boat in less than a half hour you will be sailing less than you should. So if you are going to get a trailerable boat make sure it is easy to set up and launch.

Alternatively I think joining a club is a better alternative. My club is cost $200 to join and $30/mos that applies towards a rental. If you have a couple friends who like to sail you can get them to pitch in $20 and go out for an afternoon. Its hard to ask them to contribute when its your boat. As you get better and are ready to step up, round up some more friends and get a bigger boat for the day. You can also do a lot of free sailing by racing. Just show up on the dock for Wednesday night beer can racing, if its windy and you are carrying at least 12 cans of beer your sure to find a ride.

Barquito 05-24-2013 05:41 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
How about the Precision 23 or S-2 7.9.

primerate84 05-24-2013 05:50 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
I would echo the comment about joining a sailing club and experience sailing on different types of boats. If you are looking for a day sailor, a nice boat to start off with is a Flying Scot, 19 feet with a big cockpit and pretty easy to sail. It's also pretty "beamy" so it will be stable even in strong puffs. Main, jib and spinnaker. You could probable pick one up used in good shape for $2,500 to $3,500. I started out on one and kept it for 8 years. Even sailed it on Lake Erie.

sailingfool 05-24-2013 05:55 PM

Re: First Boat Buying Advice
You are not likely to find something for $2-3000 you want to sail on the ocean outside Scituate. Being young and single, better you take your money to Boston Sailing Center: Sailing School, Sailing Club - Lessons, Memberships, Racing, Cruising, Charters, Instruction where you can tune up your social life also. Or take the best instruction in town at ASA sailing school, club, & charters in Boston, Massachusetts and use their boats.

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