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Jason_Els 02-20-2005 11:52 PM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?

I''ve sailed a few times and took some lessons but I''m really interested in getting my own boat to learn sailing. I have 10k to spend though a little over wouldn''t break my bank. I''ve checked-out the Vanguard line and saw the Laser2 and 49er and boats like that but I have very little interest in racing; I''m much more interested in someday sailing to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and even across The Pond. Hell, even NYC. While I don''t expect to be able to do these things in a starter boat I''d like to learn how to sail a cruiser.

Right now I''m lucky in that I''ve got an 11-mile long lake to learn on with a few marinas and the Hudson River is only 20 miles away with all of its splendid sights and ability to take me places in relative safety. In a year or so I''m planning on moving to Vermont so I''ll have Lake Champlain to play in. I''d love to sail from Newburgh up to Lake Champlain via the Champlain canal system.

I''m also looking for sailing schools where I could learn this summer. Is there any accreditation association or some way I can find a good sailing school where I could get my CG license?

Thanks for the help!

maestro 02-21-2005 08:55 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
Jason, where are you living??? 20 miles from the Hudson is nothing but a 15-20 min drive. I sail on the Hudson just North of Newburgh. Currently my boat club has 2 Catalina 22''s for sale (cheap) a Catalina 25 in MINT cond. for sale (SUPER CHEAP but owner needs to sell) these boats would be good learners and can handle going all over the Hudson river (or trailor the Cat 22 to lakes)

As for sailing YC (Chelsea YC) has an ASA certified Adult sailing program ( get ASA certified in Basic KeelBoat...the first certification). There is also a great sailing school in Haverstraw (Great Hudson Sailing Center) that has a couple of great teachers (they are an ASA school as well)

Another option, if you''re close enough is offereing to crew at any YC''s club races.(including mine!!!)(even if you''re not a racer or want to race, there is no other learning tool as good as racing a boat (and crewing) Boats always look for eager sailors who''d like to help out on the weekends.

Just some otions.

As far as a good boat to learn on.........smaller the better, until you''re comfortable. A Laser might be a bit complicated to sail well as it has a TON of control lines for racing. But if you''re going to be mostly on a lake it would be ok. A boat up to 25 ft. would be a good learing vehicle. I learned on an O''DAy 22 while I have seen others learn on sunfish.

AS for a CG licence..........AFTER you have a basic sailing understanding, to get a CG licence, you need a min. 500 days on the water PLUS you need to pass a quite difficult test which includes sections on Navigation, Bouys, Lights, Seamanship,just to name a few. I''ve been sailing for about 10 years now and am just thinking about getting my CG Licence . I''ve been told from CG. Licenced sailors, honestly, if you''re NOT going to use the Licence for it''s intended purpose (which is purely for someone who wants to deliver boats or get into the charter business) don''t get one.

Best of luck

Mike C.
O''28 "Da Capo"

Jason_Els 02-21-2005 09:25 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
I''m in Warwick, NY. The Hudson is 20 miles as the crow flies, but about 45 minutes to the nearest marina from where I am.

You belong to the Chelsea Yacht Club? I''d like to avoid having to go down to the city if possible but Haverstraw is quite accessible. Thanks for the tip. Would any of those Catalinas be within my budget and are they in decent shape? I know so little. Ugh. It''s frustrating.

owlmtn 02-22-2005 12:04 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
Jason, Practical Sailor has a set of two books "Boat Buying" containing all their reviews of sailboats from 18 to 50 feet, with most of the attention focused on boats between 25 and 35 feet. It''s a great place to start learning what to look for, and what the various types and brands of boats are capable of. Jim L
ps. we sail on Lake Champlain (tartan 30)

HHJ 02-22-2005 06:54 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
Despite the name, Chelsea Yacht Club is NOT in NYC. it''s actually near Poughkeepsie.

trecksail 02-22-2005 01:11 PM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
Hi Jason,
Are you planning on doing any boat camping or entertaining on the boat? If not, I think it''s better to start with something smaller and much cheaper than the 10k range. Of course it''s nice to get something ready to go. But half of sail boat ownership is maintenance so fixing one up as you go gets you ready for bigger boats as well. It also seems pretty well accepted to learn to sail with a tiller as opposed to wheel steering. I really think I was able to learn to "feel" the wind and water action thanks to that suggestion to become a better sailor. Asking about which boat will get you an unlimited number of suggestions mostly based on bias according to what each person actually owns. Which ever boat you end up owning and bringing to life will be the "best". Just a personal belief - just get the smallest boat possible now and enjoy it. It''s not marriage, everyone moves up.


Silmaril 02-23-2005 06:12 PM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
From a post I made last year on the "Seat of the pants..." thread:

Well, I would have to say that the best way to start to learn the sport of sailing is in a smaller centerboard craft, in the 14 - 16 ft range. Main, jib, spinn.

The S&S designed tandem of the Lightning and the Blue Jay was a very well thought out concept to take a beginner through the basics and then graduate to a more sophisticated craft.

I liked the Blue Jay because it would teach you the basics of sail control and trim angles. The basics of balance in the boat, how the trim of centerboard affected your speed. Your weight was used to balance and your felt its affect on boat dynamics. The Spinn was easily handled and taught you all the basics, pole height and angle to the wind, spinn sheet trimming, the occasional planing situation.

The Lightning introduced the concept of seperate controls for the wire and the cloth along the luff of the jib, and the management of draft on a sail. The main shape was dictated by the adjustable backstay, luff tension and mainsheet. Along with barberhaulers for the jib leads you could also manage your slot. The Spinn was substantially larger and had to be treated with respect by a three man crew in anything over, say, 12 kts of wind. The centerboard, now a 300lb piece of steel, needed to be minded. Its'' fractional rig coupled with its'' sophisticated tuning cababilities, you could easily manage the sailplan to winds in excess of 20tks.

Mastry of the Blue Jay would probably only take about 5 to 10 days stick time with a competent tutor.

The Lightning would take another 10 days to learn to sail well, but maybe years to master. It is a truly great design.

Once you became comfortable handling the Lightning, everything else is just a bigger or smaller example of the basic techniques.

The most startling thing going up in size is the amazing increase in loads on critical systems. You learn to respect and manipulate the loads safely, how to manage your sailplan for the conditions. How to change gears and why.

The more time you spend out on the water in different craft and conditions, the greater your knowledge will be.

It is always important to test out and become familiar with all the possible rig combinations you may encounter on a boat. That includes setting the storm sails, or practicing how to quickly shorten sail in a blow.

Dry walkthoughs are helpful. On calm day, its easier to become familiar with a setup than it is on a pitching deck with spray blowing in your face.

Jason_Els 02-24-2005 02:02 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
Thank you all for your generous assistance! I appreciate it no end.

I''m looking very carefully at the Hunter 170 and the Sport-class Catalinas though I don''t know how expensive the Catalinas are as their registration doesn''t work and I can''t find out anything on their prices. The Europa Yachts also are intriguing but I expect they''re way too expensive. Ideally I''d like something with a cruising keel so capsizing isn''t a threat. As I expect to solo nearly all the time, capsizing could ruin my sailing career in short order.

Sailing, I realize, is not the cheapest sport around but what I''d give for a small boat with a cabin for 2 and a decent head for under 20k.

Someday I''d like to be able to afford a Nor''Sea 27 or Dana 24; a compact but solid pocket cruiser or larger but for now I''ll be happy with something easy to learn on.

I checked out the Lightning and it looks interesting. I had heard of Lightnings before but didn''t know what they were. Nickels Boats is the only manufacturer I can find who currently makes them and I can''t see myself getting into one of theirs for less than 20k.

I''ve considered used boats too but I''m leery of them for the obvious reasons but might be persuaded if I could find an engineer I trust.

Thanks again and more replies are surely welcome! :)

PCP 02-24-2005 08:13 AM

Good Boat to Learn on Under 10k?
You seem to think that a cruise keel is safer than a fin keel. It is not. Normally the manufacturer gives a bit more weight to the cruising one to compensate the fact that it has a higher center of gravity.

In the end they have (normally) exactly the same effect in a boat, regarding stability.

The difference is that with a fin keel you can point a little more to the wind and with a cruising keel (shorter) you can anchor near the shore or have access to shoaler waters, and that''s all.


TuxedoPk 03-07-2006 03:09 PM


Originally Posted by Jason_Els
I''m in Warwick, NY. The Hudson is 20 miles as the crow flies, but about 45 minutes to the nearest marina from where I am.

Jason- You're a lot closer than you think. South Shore marina on Greenwood Lake is only a 25 minute ride from Warwick. (I'm in Tuxedo Park)

They rent 25' Catalinas and down. It's not a bad little boat to get some extra time on the water experience within a real short distance.


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