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Old 08-24-2012
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Best 1st time boat

Hi everyone, I am new to this site and new (again) to sailing. I grew up with parents who sailed a C&C 29. My father passed and we sold the boat in 94 and I haven't been sailing since. My wife and I are looking to get back into it. We are in Toronto so it will be in Lake Ontario. I am thinking of a 34-38 foot boat mostly for cruising, with potentially some light racing. Most importantly we have 2 young kids 5-8 (almost).

I am thinking of Hanse 355, Benetuea Oceanis 37, or Jeanneau SO 379. I'll probably but used. Soo, any advice and thoughts would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: Best 1st time boat

Get something fun and easy to own. With kids you will have baseball , school this or that , soccer. So your sailing weekends will be precious. Working on the boat is less fun than sailing it. Kids probably don't want to help with brightwork etc....

Something to consider.....smaller is easier to own for the working set.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: Best 1st time boat

Yes very good advice. growing up on a 29' was fine. I'd like a bit more room but maybe a 34 would be plenty big.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: Best 1st time boat

With kids that age, even with the wife on board you will be single handing as one of you will be chasing the kids. It is not like the kids will be a help with sails or lines, so make sure the boat is small enough for you to handle by yourself. Also they will soon be teenagers, and not want to be with you so you will still want to be able to use the boat after they are no longer interested. You will have a precious short period of time that they will be able to help, and want to help! Looking back it seems that was about two weeks! ;-)
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: Best 1st time boat

I have a C&C 38 that I single hand quite easily on the North Shores of Lake Huron. One of the things that make it easy to single hand is the simplicity of the boat. Keep a small jib sail on, forget the 150's that everyone else seems to be using and don't get too hung up on every line running like a bucket of snakes to the cockpit. All you need are the furling, jib sheet, main halyard and main sheet lines to sail and nothing else for fun great lake cruising. It all keeps a clean deck or cockpit where your family is going to want to spend the nice weather days without a lot of clutter or things to trip over let alone when you do need a hand to pull on a line there wont be 19 different lines to chose from. The previous owner of my boat was an olympic sailor and he and his wife spent their summers doing exactly what you are talking about doing. If it's all about spending quality time and not racing, keep it simple and a bigger boat will work for you. Just my 2 cents. By the way, this was my first boat, the 38 and in hind sight I wouldn't change a thing.
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Re: Best 1st time boat

I should mention that Miatapaul's advice and no doubt some more to come is also wise advice coming from experience that I may have not had and I didn't intend to undermine his advice. My opinion remains and you should base your decision on your specific location and skills. I was told that my first purchase should be a small boat then work my way up but I did "do the time" crewing on OP's boats for a few years which gave me the experience and confidence in my abilities. Anyway, I went back and read my post and want to make sure that I don't take away from from more experienced peoples advice. Like I said "Just my 2 cents"!
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Re: Best 1st time boat

All good advice. I really appreciate it. Please keep it coming. One thing a friend was mentioning was the Beneteau first doesn't have room for a cockpit table and has lines in the cockpit. Is this because it is aimed more at racing?
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Re: Best 1st time boat

Im not really the person to answer this but I will, once again, give my 2 cents. A friend of mine has a Beneteau First. It is a nice boat but what I do find that boats are advertised in such a way to appeal to the inexperienced. For example, advertising a tri-cabin, as in his, Beneteau First has a nice sound to it for privacy when you have company but it comes with the expense of jamming people into a small quarter berth with a door on it which, after using it a bit is pretty unfriendly and took up a lot of valuable room. But it made it a tri-cabin.... The other is, all lines run to the cockpit type advertisement. This could be a very essential thing if you were sailing in conditions that you would be required to handle all lines in adverse conditions without leaving your cockpit but, IMHO not all lines need to be run to the cockpit. Single handed racing vs pleasure sailing. The key lines need to be run to the cockpit for emergency handling during pleasure sailing but a lot of other lines could be left alone and unused until you have the crew to handle them. You can still sail without having all the adjustments of a high end racing boat..
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