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  #11  
Old 09-02-2011
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What's the hold up? Get your ars out there and buy a boat. Learn by doing, and have WAY too much fun.
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1978 41' Morgan Out Island Sloop. Refitting and redoing her interior for an extended voyage.

1969 Crealock/Columbia 36 Sloop completely refitted in 2000 and new Yanmar in 2006. (for sale)
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2011
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Hey just a quick tip about about any potential monohul purchase. My 22 doesn't have a roller furled headsail and that's a bit of a pain while sailing shorthanded because when I have to change the sail plan forward it's all by hand with the tiller lashed.
Another thing my boat has a plaining hull which makes it great for trailoring and accessing shallow water spots in good part to the swing keel but it feels like a cork bobbing on the water and has a shllow cabin as compared to the displacement hulls I'v sailed on.

I hope this helps you out.
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Last edited by cahow; 09-03-2011 at 03:10 AM. Reason: xtra spaces
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2011
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another alabama sailor

I hear you. I'm from and still live in Alabama, never sailed growing up, and had the same "strange" desire to start sailing. Living in Birmingham is not exactly an optimal port of call for a sailor but nonetheless I bought a 1988 Catalina 22.

My complete lack of experience (and money) did not stop me from learning how to sail. Courses cost money and are likely overrated because my wife and I had a blast teaching ourselves how to sail. The key is just taking the plunge and buying a boat.

I like the very trailer-able 22' because we have taken it to the lake (Martin/Guntersville/Weiss/Hartwell/Lanier), bay (Choctawhatchee), ocean (Atlantic-Charleston/Savannah). Our next trip is either going to be in the Mobile bay or Horn Island. Stepping a 22' mast is very easy with 2 people (ie my wife and I) but I've heard that a 25' has a much heavier mast.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Thanks to all for the comments. I'm incredibly stoked about learning to sail.

Kamala, I've considered a 22' boat, but I wanted something that would be comfortable for a day trip with the entire family. I think a boat that size would be perfect for me and the wife, but I'd like to be able to take the boys out too.

Am I biting off more than I can chew with a larger boat...like 25'? Should I start with a smaller boat to learn? I've heard people say they quickly got tired of their small boat and sold it after a year to move up in size.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUspiciousAU View Post
Should I start with a smaller boat to learn? I've heard people say they quickly got tired of their small boat and sold it after a year to move up in size.
Damned War Eagle,

As others have suggested, don't be in too much of a rush to buy your first boat. My suspicion is that many who buy small then move up within a short time do so because they were unsure of themselves initially. Using the "crawl, walk, then run" analogy, do your crawling phase on other people's boats. It'll get you up the steep initial learning curve and go a long way towards boosting your confidence.

Another thing to consider given your initial sailing grounds is draft. When we came south from Lake Michigan a couple of years ago, we detoured up the Tenn river to see my brother in Decatur. As I recall, there wasn't a lot of deep water outside of the channels (but then again, we draw almost 6' so I kind of ignored anything less than 10' unless we were forced to.)

Welcome aboard and best of luck!

(btw: The Auburn jab was a hanging curveball that I had to take a cut at -- I'd never be able to go back to Gator Country with any dignity if I hadn't )
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Old 09-05-2011
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PorFin, I live in Decatur. You're right, around Decatur, the water gets pretty shallow outside the channel. But closer to Wheeler Dam, it's very deep shore to shore. That's the area for best sailing, and likely where I'll try to get a slip.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUspiciousAU View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. I'm incredibly stoked about learning to sail.

Kamala, I've considered a 22' boat, but I wanted something that would be comfortable for a day trip with the entire family. I think a boat that size would be perfect for me and the wife, but I'd like to be able to take the boys out too.

Am I biting off more than I can chew with a larger boat...like 25'? Should I start with a smaller boat to learn? I've heard people say they quickly got tired of their small boat and sold it after a year to move up in size.
If you are going to just keep it in a slip then I would definitely get the bigger boat. My father-in-law told me that 22' was too big to start with but I thought that was ridiculous. The only thing that has kept me from getting a bigger boat is the fact that we mostly trailer ours. The second I move somewhere that we can easily put the boat in a slip I'm going to go for the upgrade.

That being said, we frequently go out with 4+ people on our boat and never feel crowded. I always just tell people on the drive to the boat that no matter where you sit on a sailboat you are going to be in the way.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2011
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I am going to swim against the tide here (as I tend to do)... but I would argue the cockpit of my 22 footer is bigger than most 30 footers. I can sail (and have) with 5 adults aboard, and have not even thought twice about it (make sure to have safety equipment for each person aboard).

Do as others have said... hop a few boats (as volunteer crew), and see what you like and don't before you buy... Or hell, just buy cheap, so upgrading is easy.

Now having a decent below-decks is handy (25 foot range and better). With kids it gives them a place to duck out and go play... It comes down to how you are going to sail. Expect some kids to love it, others not so much.

I've been sailing since I was 5 or so... gave it up for years, and picked it up for real recently (last 4 years or so). I have ALWAYS had that love of the water, and bigger and bigger sails.

Welcome aboard. Oh and congratulations... that feeling of wanting to sail, starts around December, and doesn't let up until about November, the following year. There are a few cold days that turn you off to sailing sometimes, then it starts all over.

The butterflies of excitement build as you learn to do bigger and bigger sails (meaning larger longer trips)... and learn to sail heavier and heavier winds.
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