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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 01-20-2010
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Well, if you want to be inspired, and inspired quickly. I would get on the plane, and spend the bucks for the classes NOW. If you are trying to get on a boat in 6 months. This will let you know if it is for you. You will learn the basics, and be able to pick everyone's brains for information.

GThen you are back hoping researching, and walking the docks. Getting a good idea what will fit you, and I believe for under 20k you can find a boat. Now that you know the basics you can rent small daysailors to improve. If you are going to try, and do it. Then do it now. You don't need your cruising boat now, but you do need shelter, and something to hone your skills.

I took 40 hours of lessons. Within 3 months bought my first boat, a 30ft. Columbia named Frolic. I sailed the bottom paint off of her in 18 months, and left S.F. Ca. for Mexico. Do I need to mention I survived?....lol..PM me if you like.......i2f
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2010
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I took classes at other schools but they were only basic and I had trouble finding more advancement. You can take a home study navigation class now and you may be able to challenge the 101 class while you take the 103-104. I know its pricey you can save some by doing the Chesapeake in May and that will allow you to do off shore classes when you feel ready. I took the 8 day rock hall class and that was just what I needed to get over the hump. I just completed 1200 miles From the C&d canal to Hollywood Fl. Motored the whole long way, but what a blast. I would suggest if you do the Rockhall class you try for the spring or fall as weather in the summer can be too calm. The first sailing class I ever took was a coastal navigation class and I had never been on a boat at that time, but that really helped me tremendously.
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  #23  
Old 01-21-2010
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[QUOTE=rmeador;561993]zz4gta, I realize a boat is a poor investment. In the past year and a half, I have looked at buying apartment buildings in several cities, single-family homes, and condos. I decided they were terrible investments in any location I actually wanted to live. I'm convinced that the real estate market is far from reaching the bottom.

I agree on this one, though like boats, if you know your market, know what you want, and see real estate as shelter rather than your retirement fund, there are deals to be had.


One of the things that initially attracted me to boats is that I thought I could do it for about the same cost as renting, but actually have something I own and live on the waterfront. And, of course, I'd have a boat, which is a major goal of mine. It seemed win-win.

We refer to our boat as our waterfront cabin! Bottom line is, you'll be happier living on a boat because you really like being on the boat. The economics in the end probably aren't the best driver of your decision making... all boats are pretty darn small compared to almost any land accomodations. If you're looking for comfort per square foot, you'll also consider, god forbid, a power boat.

I was unaware that $40k was considered a lot for a boat. I thought that was the low end. You really think I can find a boat that is in decent condition and large enough to live aboard for less than that?

For a half decent boat that doesn't have a lot of issues in the size range your talking about, yes, $40k isn't a lot of money. Sure, there are people who run into pretty mind blowing good deals and/or have the skill sets and time to do their own work, so one can wind up with a pretty good boat for less money than you'd think. On the other hand, there are many fine boats that will cost much more. This is all in that calculus of experience and having a better idea of not only what you can afford, but what type of boat really does it for you. And yes, logic doesn't always win the day.

About the $1500 dollar bottom job, assuming it's just a paint job we're talking about, this is an approximate breakdown for our boat:

Haul (two way with pressure wash) was $7 per foot (x 34'... $238.)

Paint, 1 -1/4 gallons of VC17m... about $250. We have less wetted surface than most 34' boats, so this figure will be lower than usual. Took about 4 hours to prep, and we rolled it ourselves, so no labor. Bottom paint ends up being about $200 per gallon any way you cut it.

We were out for 4 days at $34 per lay day... $136. Other chores, buff, polish, and waxing the hull (Have a buffer, had the necessary compounds, but one could rent or borrow the tools and the other materials would be around $50) Changing zincs ($16)

sooooo... we're at about $640 before tax (add 9%) This is an annual minimal cost. Our boat is 23 years old, so we feel that a yearly haul out and inspection is the better part of valor even though most would consider the boat to be in excellent condition for its vintage.

Just remember, some boats are well worth restoring because of their basic quality, but even if the actual resale price were to appreciate over the time you own the boat, it's pretty much a sure bet that once you include all the labor, moorage, upgrade costs, etc...., you'll still be in the hole which leads back to the original idea; you should live on a boat because you really want to live on a boat .

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  #24  
Old 01-21-2010
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Just for comparison I bought a 1974 Pearson 30 for well under $15K. The boat had lots of extras. I am in the process of updating older systems and adding some more extras. I rewired the entire boat last winter including an very nice distribution panel, added a 36W solar panel, replaced all of the cabin ligting and updated my mast top lights with LED's. I sanded the bottom down to the barrier coat and repainted with Micron 66 (not cheap). I am in the process of replacing all of the pkumbing this winter as well as the head. I am/will still be under $15K. The boat surveyed for $15K when I bought it. If you are willing to buy an older boat and do some fixing up you can have a very nice boat for around $20-$30 K for a liveaboard.

Remember, we are just giving you our opinions. It is your money and your life. Do what you want, just be prepared to reap the benefits and deal with any consequences. Have fun while you are at it.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 05:53 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01-22-2010
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Living Aboard

I jumped to the end here, sorry if I'm repeating what others have already said.

If your primary objective is to live aboard, your first priority is to learn how the mechanical, electrical, plumbing of the boat works. You do not want to be calling a boat mechanic for every little thing and for a boat in the price range mentioned above there will be plenty to call about.

It is a very good idea to take some sailing/boat handling courses, but to be honest, you could learn the skills necessary to move the boat around under power during the sea trial.
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2010
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Ok, so tomorrow morning I intend to sign up for the 8-day Maryland School class in the Caribbean in March. It just occurred to me, however, that this will get me ASA certified, not coast guard certified. Do I need to take a coast guard class in addition? Will it impact my insurance rates on whatever boat I buy? And does anyone have any suggestions for any other comparable classes that might be cheaper? Thanks.
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  #27  
Old 01-27-2010
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Call the insurance company you're thinking about using to find out about the discounts they offer.
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  #28  
Old 01-27-2010
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Lightbulb More research ...

rmeador,

The USCG doesn't have a sailing certification program. ASA course content is USCG appoved.

Your insurance company may offer a discount if you have taken a USCG appoved boater safety course. Some states require boaters to take a USCG approved boater safety course. USCG Boating Safety Courses

The price you are about to pay for the Maryland Sailing school is driven by location where the training is given. The same live aboard school environment for ASA 101/103/104 certification can be found at any number of locations. Take a look at San Juan Sailing as a cost comparison. We learned quite a bit about tides, currents, navigation and anchoring that we wouldn't have experienced at most other schools. Our school boat was a Beneteau 361.

The Pacific Northwest isn't the Caribbean but you are on a budget and a tight timeline.
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  #29  
Old 01-28-2010
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If you look in SAIL magazine in the back they have several companies that offer ASA 101/103/104 for around $1200 in the keys during the winter, just a thought.
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  #30  
Old 01-28-2010
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Filmsomething, I assume you mean one of those classes, not all of them for $1200, right? I did end up signing up for that class from the Maryland School. It's for ASA 101 and 103 in March. If I can convince one of my friends to go with me, they'll knock $300 off the price for each of us if we share a berth... but even if it ends up being more expensive than something else I could find, it's still a vacation in St Thomas
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