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Old 06-04-2011
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new member just staring lessons

Everything I've been reading about for the past year was a pipe dream--until I found this forum. I don't have any family or friends that sail. I hoping to learn enough here to get started.

I took my first 5 days of sailing lessons last year, and that's all I want to again this year.

I'm looking for the right forum to ask about a good first boat.

And also; are you notified by e-mail if someone responds to your posting a question, or do you login to check for replies?

Thanks, for your help.
Tim
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Old 06-04-2011
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Many boats will be a good first boat. A lot depends on money, where you will go, and what you will do with this first boat. If you are more specific with your specifics. Others will chime in with what they think is the perfect boat for you.......i2f
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Old 06-04-2011
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I wasn't sure if this was the right forum for asking a specific question.
Just started taking sailing lessons last year and will continue taking more this year. I am thinking about buying a boat next year and taking lessons on it until I'm comfortable alone.

I like older style boats with the traveller back by the helm. But I don't know when it make sense to upgrade and restore an older boat, rather than buying a newer model. I know a faster boat will be more fun to sail. But being 60 years old and just learning to sail, I'll be content with a boat better suited for single hand cruising. Sail 4 and sleep 2 is enough; no need for wide aft or aft cabins.

Budget is around 40,000 for a stiff boat under 31' for safe family sailing. Hull form for good stability in Lake Erie's chop, wind waves, and and severe downdrafts off thunderheads. Sails well in light winds with a powerful enough rig to drive through chop with short wave base, sharp wave faces, and close frequency. Most often used for day sailing around Cleveland, but hopefully within a few years, going to islands around shallower end of lake. Longest trip could be 70 miles across the lake to Rhondea Bay, Canada.

From what I've read, here's what sounds good. Sloop with rig design and deck layout to learn solo cruising, not racing. Simple sail plan, end boom sheeting, uncluttered deck, all lines led aft. Main sheet and powerful self tailing winches within easy reach of helm. Well designed, easy to use, reefing system. Boom high enough for bimini. Self tacking or roller furling head sail. Good visibility to leeward under head sail, and all around visibility from the cockpit. High enough freeboard aft that it's not a wet sail to windward. Reliable easy to use autopilot, inboard diesel with enough power for emergencies. 6' headroom in cabin, nav table, good ventilation. Not much use of interior hull liners, good access to plumbing runs, electrical systems, and all areas of hull. Well built boat with backing plates instead of just washers on undersides of deck hardware, V ed midships to keep water down in bilge, and good lights for night sailing.

I appreciate your recommendations.

Last edited by tpm1950; 06-04-2011 at 06:07 PM. Reason: tried to make it clearer
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Old 06-05-2011
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I would think about a cutter for cruising. It is nice to furl the head sail, and let out the staysail when it starts to get snotty. Staying off the foredeck is my goal. Especially when single-handing. There will be many good choices with that amount of money. Going to sites like yachtworld.com will give you tons of information......i2f
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Old 06-05-2011
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Thanks i2f, I do like Island Packet and Cape Dory designs. And I keep hearing that a partially furled headsail on a sloop is not as good as a smaller sail on an inner forestay. I guess it's the light wind conditions on Lake Erie that kept me from thinking about cutters. But I'll try to find how many local sailors prefer a cutter.
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Tim,

You aint gettin' any younger! Drop the lessons and get out there! We bought our boat in 2008. We had never sailed, did't have a trailer for the boat, or a truck to tow it. But, we had already discussed the options and obstacles. That was November. We sailed in June the next year, after a Sailing and Seamanship class from the USCG. We have made more mistakes and had even more fun. So, get out there young fella! Catalina, C&C, Hunter, J. All great boats. And at your budget, you can find a really sweet ride.

Fair Winds!
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Old 06-06-2011
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Sounds like there's not a lot of back and forth once you decide to do something Don. I tend to do a little more head scratching. But I'm glad to hear the budget is enough to buy a boat, and then upgrade it to what I need to start sailing. I'm jumping in late enough that my first boat may be my last, so I want to make sure she will serve me well.
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