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Old 01-04-2010
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New to sailing, would like some advice

Hey all, my name's Jarrod and I'm new to the whole sailing thing. I went out a couple times last year with some friends up in Baltimore and it hit me like a fever. Within days I was begging to go out in the bay again and again, suggested modifications to the boat(to the point where the owner offered to sell me the boat.. ), plotted courses I'd love to take, and got myself caught up in the basics.

Anywho, I started saving up the money from my barely-pays-for-college job and got myself all set to buy a 22' sailboat and some sailing lessons when medical disaster struck my family. I ended up having to drop out of college, move in with the parents, move down to Florida. . . there went all my savings.

Mid December my uncle decided to move to the Philippines permanently and offered me his 22' boat for a mere $500. (I asked what was wrong with it, he went into great detail to describe the work it needs. . . will be awhile before it's on the water. Such is life) . Quite quickly the fever built again and now I'm itching to get everything I need to done and go out on the water again.

So, the advice I'm looking for is. . . is it possible to own and maintain a sailboat with a really, REALLY small budget? Imagine ramen noodles as a daily meal and you'll see where I'm getting at. If so, where should I look for parts I need? Marine plywood and fiberglass resin is a bit pricey at the local home depot.

Also, I learn best in two ways, 1) by reading detailed instructions. 2) actually doing something. Since #2 is barred until it's seaworthy I'll have to settle for #1. I already bought The Dummies Guide to Sailing . Should I get something else, too? I have a great deal with the local bookstore I can get practically any book for free so feel free to list anything and everything you can think of

I'm really excited to be part of this website and I hope I don't annoy you all too much with my newbie questions. Hehe.

Jarrod
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Old 01-04-2010
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Hi Jarrod,

Did you already purchase the boat from your uncle? If yes, then I guess you're committed already.

If not, and given the description of your financial circumstances, my advice would be to hold off on boat ownership for a bit until you can get onto a little firmer financial ground.

Here is an instructive thread that we often refer young sailors to: Youngbuck Trying to Start... Be sure to read the thread in its entirety, but if you don't have time at least read the last few pages where LOD offers some retrospective lessons learned.

Boat ownership is relatively expensive. Often the best approach for someone in your circumstances is to offer to crew with other owners. You can get a tremendous amount of sailing time and great experience this way, at very little expense to yourself. Check around at local sailing clubs, particularly those that have racing programs. Show up on big race weekends and there's bound to be a boat looking for more crew. offer to help with maintenance chores and you'll always be welcome aboard!

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Yes, I already purchased the boat from my uncle. I should have mentioned how soon these financial circumstances were to end, I suppose. Oops! All the medical bills that are left will be paid off by August so at that point money won't be a problem. I've since dropped my barely-pays-for-college job and work as an IT Specialist. Not great pay, but compared to others who are college age and have yet to finish college, pretty darn good.

At the moment I have few other expenses. Not having a car is both good for the wallet and great for the health ! I've had to bike 30 miles a day 6 days a week since coming down here.

I went ahead and read the entire thread. It's full of great advice and the experience there is eye opening. I'll try and be less antsy and get out there 'as soon as I can', rather than have a hard deadline in mind.

In the meantime, I will do as you suggested at the end of your post. Thanks for the advice
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Old 01-04-2010
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welcome to the obsession

You're where I was about a year ago. I got my first boat in March last year and sailed her from May - Oct. All I needed to do to get her ready for the water was a basic anti fouling bottom paint and cleaning. After a year, though, I have a long expensive list of things I need/want to do.

John is right: it's not an inexpensive hobby/obsession. I will spend more money on the boat because I can afford it and because I want her to perform better than she has. I know she can do it but I know half the performance is my skill which is pretty rough.

I'm not familiar with the thread that John recommended but as far as books go, I would recommend Don Casey's books on sailboat repair/refinishing. I have his all-in-one encyclopedia of sailboat repair (that may be the title).

I also recommend using Google to search the threads here. The built-in search tool isn't very helpful. In the Google search box you type the word/phrase you want to search for followd by " site:http://www.sailnet.com/forums/" and you'll get returns. Some of them will be old, and some will link to other threads.
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Old 01-04-2010
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My answer? Yes you can.
I am 15 years old.
I own a San Juan 21, and manage to keep upkeep on her. What I did was I asked around at the local Yacht Club if anyone had any spare parts, line, resin, etc. So many people do. I have several hundred dollars worth of parts, some still in boxes, ready to go on my boat.
I paid 1500 for my boat, and the usual upkeep on it is about 300 a year. I haven't spent any money in repairs yet, I do all of my own fiberglass work with the materials that were given to me.

I'm not saying it's for everyone, but you just have to make it a priority in your life, and work towards it. (having awesome friends works)

Do you have any pics/info on your boat? I'd love to hear more..
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Originally Posted by jmwk View Post
Yes, I already purchased the boat from my uncle. I should have mentioned how soon these financial circumstances were to end, I suppose. Oops! All the medical bills that are left will be paid off by August so at that point money won't be a problem. I've since dropped my barely-pays-for-college job and work as an IT Specialist. Not great pay, but compared to others who are college age and have yet to finish college, pretty darn good.

At the moment I have few other expenses. Not having a car is both good for the wallet and great for the health ! I've had to bike 30 miles a day 6 days a week since coming down here.

I went ahead and read the entire thread. It's full of great advice and the experience there is eye opening. I'll try and be less antsy and get out there 'as soon as I can', rather than have a hard deadline in mind.

In the meantime, I will do as you suggested at the end of your post. Thanks for the advice
Okay, you're already "all in" so you might as well make the best of it. By the way, that bike ride is one of the best things you've got going for you right now. A lot of cyclists would be envious.

Oh yeah, in my prior post I had intended to mention the Annapolis Book of Seamanship. This is a very good, all-around reference tome for sailors. But it's not a maintenance book -- as the name suggests it's concerned primarily with seamanship: Boat and sail handling; rules of the road; navigation; weather; storm tactics; anchoring and docking; electronics; etc.

It's a good one to thumb through during the off-season (is there an off-season in Florida? ) and then to place aboard the boat for reference during the sailing season.
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 01-04-2010 at 05:16 PM. Reason: added quote
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Old 01-05-2010
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JohnRPollard :

The bike ride is amazing. I'm loving it so far. Especially when it's 74 degrees out in the middle of the winter!

That's one of the books that keeps cropping up when people have asked about books, so I think it's definitely one that I'll be on the lookout for. Thanks again.

leland515 :

Great idea! Thanks much there. I'll have to try it. I had intended to do my own fiberglass and reconstructive work anyway. I've got quite a bit of practice on that from canoe building.

I don't have any pics as yet, but as for information : it's a 22 footer built in 1975 by my grandfather. My uncle took out the cabin structure that was in there and replaced it with most of one taken from a 29 ft again built by my grandfather. As soon as I can I'll take some photos of it and try to upload. It looks nice, but still needs work

MtHopeBay :

Glad to hear someone was in the same boat (oh ho). Is there a specific title I should look for by Don Casey or get everything I can find?
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JohnRPollard :

The bike ride is amazing. I'm loving it so far. Especially when it's 74 degrees out in the middle of the winter!
You're killing me. When I rode this morning, it hadn't hit 30 F yet. And the wind was honking on the nose heading out (nice boost coming back though). Full winter apparel and still pretty chilly. Had to dismount several times for some ice and snow banks.

Sorry, back to boats...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwk View Post
JohnRPollard :

The bike ride is amazing. I'm loving it so far. Especially when it's 74 degrees out in the middle of the winter!

That's one of the books that keeps cropping up when people have asked about books, so I think it's definitely one that I'll be on the lookout for. Thanks again.

leland515 :

Great idea! Thanks much there. I'll have to try it. I had intended to do my own fiberglass and reconstructive work anyway. I've got quite a bit of practice on that from canoe building.

I don't have any pics as yet, but as for information : it's a 22 footer built in 1975 by my grandfather. My uncle took out the cabin structure that was in there and replaced it with most of one taken from a 29 ft again built by my grandfather. As soon as I can I'll take some photos of it and try to upload. It looks nice, but still needs work

MtHopeBay :

Glad to hear someone was in the same boat (oh ho). Is there a specific title I should look for by Don Casey or get everything I can find?
Sounds like a solid vessel, can't wait to see pictures/have more details on what needs to be done to it. Mine is also a 1975 btw.
What part of Florida are you in? I'm thinking of planning a sail to Pensacola this summer. Or if you're really itching to go sailing, I'll have my boat in the water soon over here.
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Old 01-05-2010
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jmwk,
Start here:

Amazon.com: This Old Boat, Second Edition: Completely Revised and Expanded (9780071477949): Don Casey: Books

As an old boat owner who does all of his own work, on a shoestring budget, I have found all of Casey's books to be great resources- easy to read, easy to understand, and most importantly, easy to execute, even for novices.


You may get lots of gloom and doom replies, in the sailing-is-not-cheap/there-is-no-way-to-do-anything-but-the-most-expensive-approach/ might-as-well-give-up-now vein.... and they are right.


Except when they are wrong.

It takes a special type of individual to rebuild a good old boat. First, that individual has to get badly bit by the bug. Second, that individual has to be romantic enough to see the potential in the neglected hulk. Third? Organized enough to figure out what needs to be done, and in which order to do it. Fourth, this rare person has to have the skills to carry out the work, and/or the ability to develop the skills he/she does not currently possess. Fifth, the time to develop the skills, perform the tasks and raise the coin to buy tools and materials is vital. Those on a schedule need not apply. Sixth, one has to have the uncanny ability to stretch a dollar beyond the breaking point, and still get back $1.07 in change. Seventh, the successful applicant will never lose sight of the end result for more than one frustrating day at a time. Optimism is the one tool that will see a project through to completion when every other tool is dulled and broken.

So, the successful boat ressurectionist will be a practical, romantic, logical, pragmatic, thrifty dreamer with lots of time.

Anybody under the age of 25 or a complete idiot is perfect for the job.


Have fun and do not be afraid to ask for help. we have all been there, and some of us even enjoyed it.
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