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Old 02-11-2012
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New sailor

Greetings all,
I am very excited to soon begin pursuing my lifelong dream of sailing. I was first introduced to sailing 20 years ago by the father of a friend. I was hooked after my first sail. My experience is very limited. I have spent 20 or thirty days aboard my friends Hunter 27, one weekend trip on a Macgregor 26, and several trips moving my friendís dadís Hunter 41ds from Annapolis to Tampa. I am currently 35 years old and planning to buy my first boat this summer. Over the next several years I hope to own a series of boats, with the ultimate goal of traveling the Caribbean on something comparable to the Hunter 41ds.
For now I am looking for a small, trailerable boat to learn on. Thus far I have basically just doing what I am told while underway and enjoying the experience. I want the skills I learn to be as transferable as possible. I will be sailing on inland lakes in Appalachia. I have found a sailing club on a local lake and plan to spend a lot of time with them.
I would like some advice on my first boat. Many of the club members I have talked to have offered their advice. The recommendations range from 10 to 27 feet in length and from 1 to 25 thousand dollars in cost. Unfortunately, everyone who has thus far offered an opinion has had the boat they recommended for sale. I would like the opinion of some experienced sailors without any financial motivations.
The 3 boats I am most seriously considering are all used and include a Hunter 22, a Catalina 22, and Hunter 15. I am open to any other boat suggestions, and would really be interested in knowing what characteristics are most important in a boat primarily for training and skill building.
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Old 02-11-2012
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Welcome aboard. Hard to go wrong with a Catalina 22.
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Old 02-12-2012
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I have a Cal21(not for sale BTW). It's perfect IMO to learn the "lines". Something in the 20-25' range is good. Small enough to single hand easily but going forward over the cabin is still relevent, especially if something goes wrong. Getting the feel of a weighted keel and a fractional sloop can't be done on a sunfish and a 40'er would be a little intimidating to start.
I would ASSume you have points of sail and tiller steering figured out by now. If not SeaDoo makes a nice boat for you.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Welcome aboard.
First question- What is your purchase budget?
Second question- what do you want to be able to do with your boat? Racing? gunkholing? weekending? picking up chicks?
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Old 02-12-2012
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My primary intention for the boat is learning to sail. I will sail almost every weekend on one of the lakes near home. Boone, South Holstein, Watauga primarily. I will be with a more experienced sailor at first then solo, then with the wife and maybe the kids. Overnighting would be nice but if their is any conflict with the learning process that can wait till my next boat.
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Old 02-12-2012
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One other question. One of the boats I've looked at recently is a sixty something Santana 22. the boat is old but looks great and all of the hardware looks brand new. The price is only $2400. their is lots of info online about the boat but I don't know enough to make sense of it what can you tell me about this boat compared to the Catalina 22 and hunter 22 . they are both newer but they don't look as well maintained and cost twice as much.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Rich,

I did the same thing about 4 years ago. If I may be so bold as to offer advice and things to look for.

1) Head room - the smaller boats lack it. Some in the 25 foot range have between 5'-6 and 6'-0, maybe more.

2) Head room - most of the smaller boats have a porta-potti set in the middle of the salon. TOOOOOOOO open for this boy.

3) Draft - if it's a trailerable, you're probably OK.

4) Sails - make sure they are all there and still serviceable

5) Roller furler - very nice to have and yes, they are trailerable.

6) GPS - if you're goinf offshore at all, a must. Doesn't have to break the bank (Ebay)

7) Rigging - check the standing rigging for corrosion and broken wires. Ask me how I know.

8) Pick up a copy of The Complete Trailer Sailor by Brian Gilbert (or something like it). Gilbert packed all sorts of great information on the subject, but most important for you right now, he includes 50 or so traielrable boats in the back. Specs, sketches, photos, pros and cons. It could really help you to decide what you like, need or hate. For my tastes, Catalina 27 is my dream boat. So, you can't go wrong with a Catalina.

Fair Winds and Fairer prices,

Don
Biddeford, ME
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Richard,
I have put many hours on a Catalina 22 and if you are working 5 days or so a week I can highly recommend a trailer-able sail boat. Here in the northwest and sailing the San Juans it makes it possible to enjoy alot more when you can cut 10 or so hours sailing with a 1 hour drive.
I don't think you can do wrong with anyone of the choices you posted. Some great deals to be had. Shop around and be ready to jump, I would wait until I located a boat that the owner has done all the maintenance for you.
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Old 01-25-2013
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Re: New sailor

Just bought a Cal 21 and looking for an owner's manual. I've had sailing lessons but this is my first sailboat. Any recommendations on a roller furler?
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