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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 02-16-2008
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so I've done it!

Primarily I'm posting to vent excitement, but any info or comments are more than welcome. Gosh, and if anyone in the Melbourne Florida area wants to go sailing, gab, or grab beer, get in touch; I plan on being here for another month before heading out.

I posted only once so far, a couple or few months back, about wanting to learn how to sail. I did make good on my wishes to head to Florida to learn and buy a boat. I have spent about a month in FL. I took an asa 101 course at Sara-bay sailing school, in Sarasota and then took up the task of looking for a boat that would suit me for minimalist live-aboard situation while I get more experience.

I found a j/24 for a steal and will be moving in in a couple days. I'm still anxious about moving from dock to water and the other way around. Any advice there? I just haven't managed to feel the right distances and speed for tight maneuvering yet. As for choice of boat, the j/24 is very small, but I am used to spartan conditions after the 5 months hiking that Appalachian Trail, and like the simplicity of the fixtures. Access to all parts of the deck and hull is opened up in this boat, and sailing seems to be very responsive and simple. I have inspected around 15 boats prior to this purchase and hesitated to buy them for being too big for me to handle alone and for having limited access to the hull/deck from inside the cabin.

I'm really excited now! I've just about got new dockage lined up for the next month before heading north to NYC to pick up my passport and head south again for South America.

Last edited by TomScanlan; 02-16-2008 at 10:37 PM. Reason: adding location
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Old 02-16-2008
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Congratulations! Don't think a J/24 would enter my mind as a boat to get to South America in though.
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Old 02-16-2008
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Best wishes, and good luck in this great sport.

The J-24 is a day-racer, trying to cruise one will be a challenge. Lots of pocket cruisers around if that's what you're aiming for.

On the other hand, if you learn to sail in a J-24, it's a nice, responsive, dinghy-like keelboat, and will teach you well for any type of boat, whether cruiser, racer, daysailor, or anything in between..
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Old 02-16-2008
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Congratulations on your step forward. The J/24 is an interesting choice of first boat. I would echo John's sentiments - the J/24 is not exactly the boat I'd go to South America in. It's far from capable in bluewater. I hate to be the bearer of bad news in case you don't already know it, but J/24's have a tendency to sink if they capsize, and they have a very very low ballast to displacement ratio so it's fairly unstable. Make sure to lock down the cockpit lockers hard before sailing to make sure water doesn't get in if there's a knockdown. There is no positive flotation. Make sure to get a complete survey done on it before you take it south. Since most J/24's have been heavily raced, and raced hard, issues with the standing rigging, hull deformation, delamination, etc. are fairly common. These could all cause a lot of issues in a bluewater crossing. The only reason I'm such a pessimist here is that I want to make sure somebody tells you this stuff... On the other hand, you will learn to quickly adjust sail trim and to react quickly - the J/24 tends to be a spritely boat and sails more like a dinghy than a larger boat.
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Old 02-16-2008
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Congrats but please think twice about heading to South America in her. Get some sailing under your belt so you can adequately judge her seaworthiness. Best of luck with her.
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Old 02-16-2008
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I'm sure it is not my cruising boat of choice, but my hope is that I can continue to get comfy with sailing in this boat and still be able to re-sell with a gain in value. I think I got a really good deal.

Heck, I can't even sit inside without craning my head down But it does give me an inexpensive home while I'm learning the cruising racket, and I feel very secure in the safety of the hull.

In any case, I think I can live with the cramped quarters for 6 months to a year. I did live in Manhattan studio apartments after all!

With all that said, PBzeer, is there a reason a j/24 couldn't make it down to south america? And nolatom, I've been looking at boats in a very small budget, and this one nailed under my hopes. I did look at some larger (28-32') donated boats in my price range, but I didn't trust them to be very seaworthy without major work. I'm willing to live with some tight quarters in the semi-short term. I know I'll kick myself in 3 weeks when I'm frustrated about having to crawl around below decks, but then I'll remember that I'm sailing and stop being so fussy.
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Old 02-16-2008
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I could be mistaken

But I dont think he was planing on taking the boat...Sounds like hes arranging morage and flying to NY then on to So.Africa...I hope...


Edit Well guess I was wrong....*yeks

Last edited by Stillraining; 02-16-2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 02-16-2008
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labatt, I did hear about the capsize worry. They tip 90 degrees and that's it. I am concerned about that, but expect to be in mostly protected waters up to NYC. By the time I head south again I hope to have the funds and knowledge to get a boat that I really want to cruise in.
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Old 02-16-2008
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Ah, I do plan on sailing up to NYC, not flying. I just don't expect to be in a j/24 the whole time. My primary reason for getting this boat was so I could be learning, live cheaper than out of motels while learning, and be ready to buy a boat that suits rougher waters.
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Old 02-16-2008
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The J 24 WILL be wet and uncomfortable offshore at best. It really is not the best choice for any serious long distance offshore action.

But size and comfort aside, the most worrying aspect of the J24 is their documented history of sinking after a serious knockdown. This is bad enough in a race situation, but at least there there are others around to rescue the crew and as far as I know no one has died in any of those incidents. If this occurred offshore the consequences would be far more severe.

These events have occurred in relatively sheltered waters as a rule, so I'd imagine that things might go wrong even sooner in offshore conditions.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but ill-advised offshore ventures seem to be a current fad and I'd hate for you to join their ranks.
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