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Old 08-15-2011
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New to Sailing - thinking of a Sense 50

Hello everyone,

I am somewhat new to sailing - I have been sailing as a guest and recently as crew but have never owned a boat. I am 60 and am thinking of buying a Sense 50. My wife and I would be the captn and crew so single-handed sailing capability would be important. Some people I have spoken to think I am crazy and others say that there should be no problem with the proper preparation and at least a one week sail and learn cruise with an instructor. I have completed a coastal navigation course and have my power craft operators card. My rationalization is based on an analogy - if my father had taught me to drive a transport truck rather than a car when I was sixteen there would be no fear of a big truck - so most of the cautionary comments have come from sailors that have moved up from a 25 ft boat to a 35 - hence my analogy above. Notwithstanding my view, I would appreciate any opinions and comments.

Thanks
John
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Old 08-15-2011
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Absolutley a perfect first boat. Have fun.
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Old 08-15-2011
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Welcome to Sailnet.

A 50 foot boat is quite a lot of boat to singlehand. It's also a lot of boat for a novice sailor and a novice sailor to singlehand.

Your big truck analogy is interesting and somewhat scary.

My gut feeling? I'm struggling with the fact that I don't know you from Adam but from the little information given in your post, I'm reminded of when you pile up your plate with food because it all looks good, then can't eat it all and say that your eyes were larger than your stomach.

I saw the demo at the boat show. The boat is interesting.

It's your money and assuming that you have researched the cost of maintaining and operating a boat of this size, go for it. It kind of sounds like you have your mind made up already.

You will no doubt get responses both for and against starting out with a boat this size. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 08-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert's_oyster View Post
Hello everyone,

I am somewhat new to sailing - I have been sailing as a guest and recently as crew but have never owned a boat. I am 60 and am thinking of buying a Sense 50. My wife and I would be the captn and crew so single-handed sailing capability would be important. Some people I have spoken to think I am crazy and others say that there should be no problem with the proper preparation and at least a one week sail and learn cruise with an instructor. I have completed a coastal navigation course and have my power craft operators card. My rationalization is based on an analogy - if my father had taught me to drive a transport truck rather than a car when I was sixteen there would be no fear of a big truck - so most of the cautionary comments have come from sailors that have moved up from a 25 ft boat to a 35 - hence my analogy above. Notwithstanding my view, I would appreciate any opinions and comments.

Thanks
John
Following your analogy, I think you're forgetting one thing. If all 16 year olds were taught how to drive in an 18-wheeler, the vast majority would crash it on their first outing. Especially if they were taught for a WHOLE WEEK.

Sailing is not hard to learn, learning what to do when things go wrong takes some time. Learning what to do when things go really wrong on a 50 foot boat will take longer.

I had a Hunter salesman tell me that if he couldn't teach me to singlehand a Hunter 50CC in a day, he'd give me my money back, so maybe I'm the crazy one. Of course, I've been sailing a 36 for 25 years, so that would probably help.

Lastly, if you should happen to fall and break your arm, make sure your wife can handle the boat all by herself.

Mike
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Old 08-16-2011
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In my short message I didn't mean to over simplify the complexity of sailing in general and specifically a 50 boat. I realize that ability comes with experience. My intention would be to sail with crew that could take over if required and help with deck duties in the meantime. I have been lining up 'crew' when I have been speaking to friends that sail for the past 6 months - I think I have about 4-5 months of volunteer crew members signed up at this point. In addition, I wouldn't attempt any long distance or night sailing for quite a while. There is nothing wrong with day sailing. This boat (Sense 50) is also a boat that could be lived upon for part of the year and that is part of the plan - likely on the west coast of Canada.
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Old 08-16-2011
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John,

I'm glad that you returned to say that you understand the complexity of sailing.

My experience with novice sailors buying huge first boats has been as a CG Aux instructor and those boat owners thinking that since they have a big boat that they are practically immune to weather conditions, don't need to know how to plot a course on a chart because the chart plotter and GPS will miraculously get them there and won't fail and don't need to learn how to actually operate the boat because the autopilot will do everything. I had one student who had no idea what a wake was and he'd just bought himself a brand new 40 foot boat. He signed up for the class after he stood on the dock and realized that he had no idea what he was doing.

It sounds like you have a good plan for getting experienced crew to help you learn. I would also suggest that if you have any friends who own boats with fewer bells and whistles, that you ask to crew on their boats every now and then so that you get a feel for things like close maneuvering without the bow thrusters, docking, raising and lowering sails without the help of electronic furling systems. The larger the boat the less it is influenced by current and the less you feel how the boat responds. But there will come a time when you decide to visit a location where that may be important.

Also, I heartily agree with Mike's statement that your wife should be able to handle the boat. Accidents happen.
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Good Feedback

Thanks for the feedback. I believe that I forgot to mention that I have completed a coastal navigation course so would be comfortable navigating with paper charts, in fact it can actually be a lot of fun working out routes etc on the paper versions. I have a mapping and cartography background anyway so at least that part of sailing is now foreign to me.

If I was 40 years old I would start with a smaller boat and gradually work my way up in size. I am sort of jumping up the line because of my age. I am cautious and plan everything out in detail with contingencies - it has been part of my career to do this so being reckless is not in my nature. As for my wife, I will make sure she is totally comfortable with being a co-captain. In fact, it is more like she is captain and I am first mate!
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Old 08-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert's_oyster View Post
Hello everyone,

I am somewhat new to sailing - I have been sailing as a guest and recently as crew but have never owned a boat. I am 60 and am thinking of buying a Sense 50. My wife and I would be the captn and crew so single-handed sailing capability would be important. Some people I have spoken to think I am crazy and others say that there should be no problem with the proper preparation and at least a one week sail and learn cruise with an instructor. I have completed a coastal navigation course and have my power craft operators card. My rationalization is based on an analogy - if my father had taught me to drive a transport truck rather than a car when I was sixteen there would be no fear of a big truck - so most of the cautionary comments have come from sailors that have moved up from a 25 ft boat to a 35 - hence my analogy above. Notwithstanding my view, I would appreciate any opinions and comments.

Thanks
John
John,

With today's boat, the manufacture will appropriately make their bigger boat andeasier to sail, it is their goal to make every successful couple to sail without going to hell of learning the hard way.

Sense 50, Jeaneau 409 and 473 are the good examples. With the furling jib and boom furling main, reversible electric wrench, bow thruster and rotational sail drive, we can learn it in half day and good at it than those take years to develop there skills.

It looks like that you are successful in life not by luck but by your intelligence, I am sure you can learn it faster then others.

Go ahead get your boat and start enjoying it. Take some ASA courses and slowly work up your confidence. Not all humans are created equal. Some are smarter than others.

I jumped into the big boat (37 ft) just about year, I singled handed the 3rd time I sailed. It is not about how big the boat is, it is about how the boat is set up and understand how the boat moves upon from the external force.

Obviously, some people need to spoon fed from 22, 30, 37, 43, 57 and 60 foot. If 60 meets your need, go with the 60. However, just be practical on what you really need and what areas you will sail her.

Take your time to buy the one you need and want. Walk out if they give you the high pressure sale talk. Let them know you are in control and it is not their call.

Good Luck and have fun.
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Old 08-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert's_oyster View Post
If I was 40 years old I would start with a smaller boat and gradually work my way up in size. I am sort of jumping up the line because of my age. I am cautious and plan everything out in detail with contingencies - it has been part of my career to do this so being reckless is not in my nature. As for my wife, I will make sure she is totally comfortable with being a co-captain. In fact, it is more like she is captain and I am first mate!
hehehe.....I missed this reply when I posted mine. I must be a slow typist, Oh.... wait, I can't write.
You are not alone, many of us choose sailing later in life. Some are by choice and some are by necessity. Although we are older now, we are not as agile and strong we once were, we make it up with more experience in life, a bit wiser, more connections, and financially stronger backing.

I do envy you, after all these sailing trips with my wife, she still refuses to be a crew on the boat. She claims she is a passenger. She said: Don't fall off, I only know how to call 911. I am glad that I added more life insurance two years ago.

Consider yourself lucky.
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Last edited by rockDAWG; 08-17-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-17-2011
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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
I am glad that I added more life insurance two years ago.

Consider yourself lucky.
For her policy or yours?
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