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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 07-21-2006
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New to sailing; "Your" wisdom and advice is heeded

Hi All,

I am new to sailing, but have been around boats and the ocean since I was very little (I am 43 now). I have been lurking, reading posts, many posing the very same questions I have; and learning. I noticed something about myself as I've become adsorbed with the sailing world; at first I recognized that obviously I needed to learn on a smaller boat (currently looking at a fixer-upper Catalina 22) then move up. But that devil on my shoulder..."you can afford something bigger, why start small only to wish you had something bigger?"

As a long time motorcyclist, I've given the very same advice to new riders that "you" have been giving to us sailing newbies. Start small, learn the basics first! Don't run out and buy that 190mph 1000cc sportbike, you will not develop (or perhaps even survive) into the motorcyclist that enjoys the sport for a lifetime.

So, I say to "you", thanks for knowledge, and wisdom, and I look forward to lifetime of learning and enjoying the art of sailing.

Doug
Huntington Beach, CA
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Old 07-21-2006
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Best of luck and good sailing to you. I think you're doing the right thing, in my experience the best sailors come out of small boats first. Also, you won't invest too much in that first used boat, and can then sell her for about what you paid, and decide what's next.

I started on the small Honda rice-banger twins, pretty much stuck with them except once when I had a '48 Indian fixer-upper....
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Old 07-21-2006
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New sailing thoughts

The catalina 22 is a good boat and popular day sailer and starter-boat. I do not know what your budget is, but a catalina 250 (fixed keel) might be even better. Try and put it in a slip (versus trailering) adn you will find you use it vastly more. I owned a 250 for a short while and it is a fun to sail boat. The only negative of the smaller boats is they will not have big boat sytems. Also, if you are planning on anchoring out and live in a hot location, you will find the summer unbearable as a/c is not a really good options (even hatch mount) on a boat that small. I am no accountant, but if you did get a 250, you should be able to write off the interest (second home) on your taxes. Might make the price a little more bearable.

FYI: After the 250, we went to a 320, then 380, and now a catalina 400. I am a fan of their boats and are a very good value in a very expensive lifestyle (notice I did not say hobby)!!

Feel free to ask if you have any questions about their boats. I know them pretty well.
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Old 07-21-2006
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I agree that buying too big a boat is a good way to get into trouble. The suggestion for the Catalina 250 is a pretty good one, as you probably will sail more if you have to do less to get sailing. It will cost more to go that route, both as the boat is probably a bit more money, and the slip fees are a bit more than storing it on the trailer in your back yard.
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Old 07-23-2006
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Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate your input and recommendation of the Catalina 250. At this point, I am open to several options. The real advantage to the 22 that I am currently considering is that it comes with a slip in Newport Harbor (Southern California) at a terrific monthly rate. I would almost be buying the right to the slip, and getting nice boat to learn on as a bonus.

nolatom, don't you wish you had that 48' fixer-upper now?
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Old 07-30-2006
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if the smaller boat comes with a slip, then you've addressed the most consistent piece of advice you gotten about having less to do to go sailing (i agree). in order to deduct the insurance on the boat payments from your taxes, the boat needs to have a galley and an enclosed head - portapottie under the v-berth doesn't count. but a boat small enough, affordable enough that you can pay cash and not deal with monthly payments or interest at all, will save you much more than the 'tax break' ! <*grin*>
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