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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2010
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Yacht club might be a good option -- on the Susquehanna the two public launches are insanely busy on a sunny Saturday. Drunk powerboaters with little tolerance for sailboats. One of the launches has power lines right over it which leaves me with only one two-ramp launch to use. There is no overhead obstruction between the parking area and the ramps so I can take my time rigging it in my parking spot.

There are lots of great books - there's a thread on here discussing favorites. Even a trip to Border's will turn up some really good ones. (Join their rewards club first - they send you a 30% off coupon every week or so)

My friends repeat the "hole in the water" line but the smaller the hole the less money you have to dump in it. And for some reason I never seem to mind improving my boat. If you're living paycheck to paycheck then buying a boat maybe isn't for you, but if you've got a little budget set aside for a hobby (a FAMILY hobby!) then have fun!

My other interest is old German cars and there's a saying there that applies here too. "There's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes" It seems for the most part, it applies to boats too. A $1000 Catalina 22 might need $5000 of work to become a $2500 boat. Whereas a $4000 boat might need nothing more than a coat of wax. And if sailing isn't for you - you can sell it for what you paid. The trick is to find a $4000 boat for $1000.

Selection might be a bit slim right now, but prices are great. If someone is selling a sailboat in February it's because they need money quick! Once sailing season gets close, more people will be selling their boats because they've bought a different one.

Get a list of what equipment comes with a boat. Dock lines, fenders, life vests, boat hook, anchor, compass, porta-potti. that stuff isn't a fortune but it will add up. I found a fish finder / depth finder / GPS at Dick's sporting goods for $150. It's a little screen and it's only black and white, but it's been wonderful being able to see how fast I'm going, and where I am. The speed feature is nice -- you can see what sail trim adjustments do to your speed. Depth finder is great too if you sail in shallow areas. That's another thing about retractable keel trailer boats -- if you hit bottom just crank the keel up and back 'er off. And you can crank it the whole way up and run it right up to an island to explore. Just watch the tides or you'll be there for a while. Dig for clams, whatever!

There's some great people on this forum - and there's a section for "boat purchasing" or something like that. Post the craigslist ad and get some opinions -- if nothing else, you'll learn what to look for.

And take a friend with you when you look at a boat. A second set of eyes might catch a sloppy hull repair or a fraying stay while you're thinking about sipping margaritas in the Florida keys on your new dreamboat. Wives are good at this.
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2010
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Sailing is a great family endeavour. We have four kids age 4 through 17. They have all grown up on sailboats and all love it. We started with a Catalina 22 and then moved to an S2 27, currently we are on a Catalina 27. I think that if you have no experience sailing that taking a basic keelboat course would be a very good idea. Take it together with your bride so that she understands what is going on and is confident taking control of the boat if needed. Remember rule number one when sailing with your wife, dont yell at her. I learned that the hard way..............!
I budget about $4000 per year for slip, winter storage, bottom paint, and "incidentals". Some times it is a litttle less, sometimes a little more. As far as the swing vs. fixed keel it is a personal choice that may be dictated by where you plan to sail. Personally, I like a fixed keel. Nothing to move means nothing to break. When buying a boat make sure to have a surveyor inspect it prior to closing the deal. I purchased both of my Catalinas, used, from Dawn at Forked River Yacht Sales Three Marina Locations On The Historic Forked River In New Jersey . She has been very honest and easy to work with. IF you are coming from the Philly area, make sure to check out Nelson Sailing center for your lessons. I have known the family for 30 yrs and I have kept all of my sailboats at the marina. The sailing school is great, they teach on Ensigns which are great fun to sail. The Toms River almost always has a nice breeze blowing.
Sailing Schools, Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Rentals and Sailing Charters at Nelson Sailing Center
As for rigging replacement, I dont know the cost of replacing standing or running rigging, but I did just order a new North 135% Genoa for my boat, that will cost about $1500 but should last 10- 15 yrs if it is cared for and I dont intend to race competitively. My current sales are 25yrs old and still move the boat, they are just really, really tired.
Best of luck in your search and entry into sailing.
Jeff
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2010
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To add another marina/dealer to the list - I get postcards and emails from G. Winters Sailing Center in Riverside NJ (they're having an open house this weekend) I've never been there or dealt with them so I can't tell you one way or the other -- other than they exist, and they mail me a lot. The open house might be worth checking out. winterssailing.com
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2010
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Liberty Sailing Club is an inexpensive foot-in-the-door. (not the same as the Liberty school, but they're freindly to each other) Lots of sail time for a relatively small investment. This helped me decide what aspects of sailing to persue before buying a boat. That can save you big bucks.

Spring Frost Bite racing is a bargain. (see their web site) That part of the river is not the most scenic place in America but it is close-by if you're a Philly kid. Also, take a lesson or two. it's well worth it.
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2010
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JD! I just came across this thread. I would be very happy to to take you and your family out for a few hours sometime. You can get the "feel" of being on a sailboat. I can't promise the wind though! The Mrs will feel very safe on board, that is a promise. Your welcome to come visit the club and meet some of the many sailors too. Also, there is a whole network of YCs on the river. I'm in anchor YC which has over 20 sailboats.
Friday or Saturday are good days to visit the club. Weekday evenings are good too with the season starting soon. You will be mildly surprised to find out how little it costs to belong to a YC in this area, and there are 30 of them on the river!
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2010
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Wow,

You can't get a better offer than that!! What better way to get a feel for sailing than to go out with an experienced captain as a guest!

I'll put a shameless plug in for NJ Sailing School in Point Pleasant, N.J. if you decide to take lessons. If I end up being your instructor, I'll promise you a great experience.

I like the idea of a trailorable sailboat like a catalina 22. I sailed one for years on the Barnegat Bay and it's a perfect boat for that bay.
You would have plenty of options too. You could rent a different slip every year for a season, use it as a weekend home. Some of the marina's have great amenities for families. Pools, showers, restaurants etc. and then trailor it home for the winter. Forked River, NJ had 3 or 4 such nice marinas
Or you can trailor it each time you go out.

With the trailorable boat, you can experience different locations every year.
The 22 would be a great lake boat as well.

Best of Luck, whatever you decide.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2010
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You really should take her up on her offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
JD! I just came across this thread. I would be very happy to to take you and your family out for a few hours sometime. You can get the "feel" of being on a sailboat. I can't promise the wind though! The Mrs will feel very safe on board, that is a promise. Your welcome to come visit the club and meet some of the many sailors too. Also, there is a whole network of YCs on the river. I'm in anchor YC which has over 20 sailboats.
Friday or Saturday are good days to visit the club. Weekday evenings are good too with the season starting soon. You will be mildly surprised to find out how little it costs to belong to a YC in this area, and there are 30 of them on the river!
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #28  
Old 04-15-2010
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thanks guys, I have sent a pm and will let you know what the wife thinks once we get on the water
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