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dakine929 09-19-2009 05:29 PM

Time to Teach the Kids How to Sail
 
Been having recurring dreams of past sailing adventures. When I was 14, I worked all summer doing odd-jobs around the neighborhood to save up for a Sears Catalog Snark sailboat. When we picked it up at the store and found it to be a giant "Styrofoam Ice Chest" my father suggested a fiberglass kit and quart of marine paint to finish the hull. Once completed, my brother and I couldn't wait for the weekend trip to the nearest big lake to try our hand at sailing. We carried that boat over 1/2 mile to a big pond and spent most of the day learning how to stay in the boat.

I joined the USN three years later and spent the next six years on a different sailing adventure. I did get to sail Navy MWR boats in San Diego, Great Lakes, and Florida. One WestPac we stopped at a smaller island in Indonesia and got to sail one of their MWR boats for a day. First boat I sailed without a real transom!

Spent some time in Hawaii and helped crew several friends sailboats with my wife and children. We then moved to Virginia. Been working some killer hours with a killer commute. I am meandering toward something here....

Before my kids head-off and start their own killer jobs/commutes I would like to teach them how to sail. I usually come home and vegetate through the weekends but would like to mend my habits to something a bit healthier. We started looking at sailboats. We live 1.5 hours from Deltaville with a country drive worthy of the effort. Very serene. No I-95 madness.

By taking out a 401(k) loan and paying myself back the interest (need to justify so play along) I can purchase a 30-35' boat around 20 years old. We are looking at a 1989 Catalina 30' or similar vessel. My wife of 23 years is humoring me at the moment from shear curiosity of seeing what I do next. She has shown a great deal of interest in sailing and would probably appreciate some time on the water her oneself. The kids are game!

Been working with some brokers in MD and VA to locate that first family boat. We want to home port in Deltaville. Any suggestions to make this a positive experience for all hands?

smackdaddy 09-19-2009 05:39 PM

I think it's a great plan! We have 2 boys, 5 and 9 and they are so-so about the sailing. They like being on the boat and love playing in the lake - so we try to mix it up with some sailing and plenty of swim/play time for them. It seems to be working.

Make it happen, dude!

dakine929 09-19-2009 06:44 PM

Smackdaddy,

Thanks for the encouragement. Sorry for the spelling issues on my first post. Not used to this form of comms. I have been reading through numerous postings gathering information on making that first purchase a positive experience. Maryland is a long way away but Tony at Great Blue Yachts has been very helpful. So has Jonathon and Ann at Annapolis Yachts in Deltaville. Now just need to figure out how to find the right boat, make a sound offer, and find a good surveyor.

saildork 09-19-2009 09:53 PM

Dakine, Agree with Smackdaddy. Sounds like you're going in the right direction. If you haven't looked already, take a look at two of the sticky threads in the 'Buyers and Sellers' forum: 1) Boat buying trip tips and 2) Local boat-buying assistance. These might help you find the right boat and make a good assessment of a boat before you hire a surveyor. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.:D

JohnRPollard 09-19-2009 10:01 PM

Welcome to Sailnet!

As for introducing kids to sailing... There are different issues here. If you just want to "introduce" them to sailing, then a comfortable family boat is a nice way to go. But if you want to teach them to sail, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you get a sailing dinghy to tow behind the mothership. You'll want a dinghy anyway for gunkholing the Chesapeake -- might as well be a teaching platform for the kids too.

P.S. Your background story brought back memories -- my very earliest sailing experiences were in MWR sunfishes.:)

dakine929 09-20-2009 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saildork (Post 524372)
Dakine, Agree with Smackdaddy. Sounds like you're going in the right direction. If you haven't looked already, take a look at two of the sticky threads in the 'Buyers and Sellers' forum: 1) Boat buying trip tips and 2) Local boat-buying assistance. These might help you find the right boat and make a good assessment of a boat before you hire a surveyor. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.:D

Thank you for your sage advice. Some folks put in alot of thought and effort developing the buying SOP. Save a copy to take with us next time. Are folks really kind enough to look at boats for you in this part of the country? I will ask for help before signing a contract and getting a surveyor.

Sorry, but I'm not a rugged individualist. Folks scare me when they start talking about "when ships were wood and men were steel" talk. It would be nice to have a thorough understanding of chemical/elecrical/mechanical engineering to be a better boat buyer. Noticed a couple of comments on how mentally impoverished we are in the US of A on our reliance on surveyors. I don't pay my mortgage with boat knowledge ;-)

skippertony 09-20-2009 11:16 AM

HI,
From the voice of experience. Kids are not young very long and life is short.
Do the research and go for it!!!!!! My experience is over researching and not doing anything!!!!!!
Have fun!!!

dakine929 10-27-2009 03:07 AM

We found the right boat. A well-maintained 1994 Hunter 30T. A bit more coinage than anticipated but below the market value. There aren't that many nice boats on the market (at a reasonable, non-mortgage-threatening price).

We moved the boat this weekend to her new home port. 9 hours and 34 kts later we motored into Broad Creek. The move would have taken us less time but we turned around once until the gusty winds stabilized. Not the best of experiences but bruises and sore muscles mend. The Chesapeake develops this chop. A very disconcerting chop with closely knit swells of 3-4 feet.

Two of our children went with me along with the prior owner. I'm glad my spouse wasn't exposed to those conditions on our first daysail!


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