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  #1  
Old 02-14-2010
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Philadelphia PA lesson advice/ Budget

Hi everyone,
Like most people here, I have always loved being on the water and near the beach. Recently, having taken a trip to the AC boat show and checking out boat after boat, I was quite drawn to the sailboats. I have browsed pretty frequently on here and classifieds, coming across several boats and prices that are doable within the next few years.

I am looking to take some lessons with my wife and I, although she doesn't think she'll be able to handle it I am 30 years old with two small kids 4 and 2, and am looking to make this an adventure for the whole family instead of the usual motorcycle and muscle cars, both of which I have sold in the past few years.

I have seen the ASA classes, and having no experience at all besides a few motorboats, how realistic is it to learn to sail without killing my family and myself. Also, my wife and I have come up with several questions mostly related to upkeep and maintenance:

1.) How much do sails and rigging usually run when they need to be replaced?
2.) What are the typical slip fees for a marina for a year?
3.) What does the yearly maintenance look like once you pull the boat out of the water?
4.) What is better a fixed keel or swing keel for a beginner?
5.) What should I be mindful of when buying a used boat, probably will be from a marina, but how good are they usually with not selling you a moneypit?

Again, if anyone is from the area and wouldn't mind helping out a newbie learn or want help with your own boat, I would definitely be up for helping to go out sailing. If anyone has anything to add, please do and thanks for taking the time to read.
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Old 02-14-2010
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How realistic is it to learn to sail without killing my family and myself.
Easy, some common sense, good judgment, and some basic knowledge combined with some experience goes a long way. Worked for me


I'll answer your ?'s as best I can relative to my boat ownership

1.) How much do sails and rigging usually run when they need to be replaced?
Sails, about $6000 for what I would want
Rigging - running, about $1000 for everything
Rigging - standing, not sure, haven't done it yet, was in great condition when I bought the boat

2.) What are the typical slip fees for a marina for a year?
I pay about $3000 plus electric on the Chesapeake near Baltimore

3.) What does the yearly maintenance look like once you pull the boat out of the water?
Its about $1400 additional to store on land for the winter. Paint=$200, Wax & related stuff=$200, Teak Treatment=$100, Zincs twice a year plus haul out=$200, Engine=$100 (filter, oil), thats the min for yearly maintenance.

4.) What is better a fixed keel or swing keel for a beginner?
Hard to answer, I have a centerboard = more maintenance

5.) What should I be mindful of when buying a used boat, probably will be from a marina, but how good are they usually with not selling you a moneypit?
Read Sailingdogs post under the Boat Buying Forum here:
Boat Inspection Trip Tips

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Last edited by T37Chef; 02-14-2010 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010
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FWIW, you may consider looking at boats on-line first, Yachtworld.com in the region. I would also suggest when you research marinas you look on the Eastern Shore of Maryland so you access to the Chesapeake Bay, look in Rock Hall/Swan Creek, Worton Creek, Fairlee Creek. I would stay away from the Chester at this point, the mouth can get ugly

You can learn a lot by crewing on a race boat, try SpinSheet - Chesapeake Bay Sailing to learn more, they have a sign up section. I did this years ago.
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Old 02-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdilliplane1 View Post
I have seen the ASA classes, and having no experience at all besides a few motorboats, how realistic is it to learn to sail without killing my family and myself. Also, my wife and I have come up with several questions mostly related to upkeep and maintenance:

1.) How much do sails and rigging usually run when they need to be replaced?
Depends on how the boat is used and what care you take of them and what materials you replace them with. For instance, carbon fiber sails are very expensive and live relatively short lives—like three seasons or so. Dacron sails will be a third the price and can last 10 years, if taken care of and the boat is only sailed during the shorter northern season and normally covered to protect the sails from UV.
Quote:
2.) What are the typical slip fees for a marina for a year?
Depends on the length of the boat and the marina location. Many marinas in the Buzzards Bay area are about $85-110 per foot for the season. So a 30' boat will cost between $2550-3300 for the April 1-November 1 season.

Winter storage is about $30-50 a foot out of water, more if you're storing the boat indoors. So figure $900-1500 for the winter for outdoor storage. Add shrink wrapping into the deal, and you're talking about another $600 or so.
Quote:
3.) What does the yearly maintenance look like once you pull the boat out of the water?
Depends on what you're doing and who's doing the work. Bottom painting, pressure washing, winterizing the boat, and other common maintenance tasks are all within the capabilities of the average owner. Doing it takes some time but is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to having the boatyard do it at $85-100 per hour labor rates.

Quote:
4.) What is better a fixed keel or swing keel for a beginner?
It depends on where you're planning on sailing the boat, whether you want a trailerable boat, which could have lower storage fees, since you could possibly store it on the trailer at home in the off-season, etc.
Quote:
5.) What should I be mindful of when buying a used boat, probably will be from a marina, but how good are they usually with not selling you a moneypit?
I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether a boat is worth looking into further. If it is, get a survey... and make your offer contingent on sea trial and survey.

Quote:
Again, if anyone is from the area and wouldn't mind helping out a newbie learn or want help with your own boat, I would definitely be up for helping to go out sailing. If anyone has anything to add, please do and thanks for taking the time to read.
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Old 02-14-2010
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1. Cost for sails vary with boat size, check FXsails ad on sailnet, less than $1,000 for a Catalina 22 mainsail, more for larger boats.

2. Slip fees Philadelphia area;
more than $100/lf May through October near Penns Landing,
less than $50/lf May through October as Essington
Winter on hard, haul, store and splash about $40/lf October through May at Essington.

3. Yearly maintenance cost will vary by boat size, but I usualy budget low $1,000 to high $2,000 but this is for a 20ft boat and I do all my own work.

4. Swing keel gets you into shallower water but needs to be maintained, fixed keel restricts the boat to water deep enough for your draft.

5. Before you buy, take at least ASA 101 and if possible rent a practice boat from where you learn to sail.
Then look at a lot of boats in the waters you intend to start sailing in, and talk with the owners.
Then look at a lot of boats for sale inculding ones that are too big, too small, too cheap, too expensive.
Then narrow your search, but don't think of this as your perfect last boat, a first boat should be one that you don't mind scratching up a bit.

Check threads from Rythmdoctor on his search.

Last edited by Ulladh; 02-14-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010
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The answer to all your questions is "it depends".

It depends on how large a boat you buy and if you keep it on the Delaware River, at the Jersey Shore or on the Chesapeake Bay. It also depends on the boat you buy. A boat in good shape, that has been well taken care of won't kill you on maintenance and repairs. A boat that has been neglected will have lots of unhappy surprises -- no different than a car or a house.

Slip fees on the Delaware River will be a lot less than at the shore or on the Chesapeake. A slip for a 22 to 25 foot starter boat at Riverside Marina will cost just under $1,000, about $150 to $200 more next door at Winters marina. The difference is Winters has much nicer docks. You can find something cheaper on the Rancocas Creek but the current through there is nasty. Slips down on Delaware Ave will be more expensive and less kid friendly. Other people on here can fill you in on slips further south on the river.

On Barnegat Bay figure around $2,500, on the Chesapeake slip rates vary widely but generally get more expensive the further south you go towards Annapolis.

Winter storage depends on if you keep the boat at the marina, or if it's on a trailer and you bring it home. Maintenance on small starter boats (around 22') isn't all that much because they're simple and have simple systems. Maintenance costs go up as boat size goes up. Everything on boats is priced by the foot. Obviously the more you can do yourself the lower your maintenance costs.

If your wife is afraid of getting started think about taking a class. There are a lot of good sailing schools on the Chesapeake Bay. Drop the kids with your parents and turn it into a long weekend vacation. You'll both feel much more comfortable afterwards. Especially if you can go out once or twice on your new boat without the kids as a confidence builder.

I wouldn't worry about sails right off the bat. Most boats you'll actually want to buy will have decent enough sails to get you started.

I'd second the suggestion to look up posts by RhythmDoctor, he just went through the same process and his posts will answer a lot of your questions. He was even shopping in the same marinas.

And welcome. Just keep in mind that sailing is addictive.

Jim
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Old 02-15-2010
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sailing

ok everyone, thanks for all the replies. I live right in ne philly so there are many slips close by in bensalem, riverside is right over the bridge. We have talked and most of our trips would be daytrips although we would love to sail to either the jersey shore or chesapeake, although how long of a trip is still a mystery? Anyone know how long and if you've made that trip please please share!! I have room at my house for storage if i can find a boat and trailer together to save on winter storage. I also am not opposed to launching the boat to be able to save on slip fees, although I don't know how much of a hassle it is with the sails and everything. Guys, please keep the advice coming and if anyone has taken lessons in the area please share
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Old 02-15-2010
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Jd

Sailnet community will give you alot of good advice.

Here is some advice from a someone that is new to sailing.

Take sailing lessons. Lessons will teach you the basics that you need to know. Also lessons will give your family confidence in their sailing abilty.
We took lessons about a year-ago. (me, wife and daughter)

I bought books about sailing. (How to sail, How to buy a sailboat.....) I bought magazines about sailing.

I tried to learn everything I could about sailboats.

After lessons I started looking for a sailboat. I knew what I was looking for because I had done my home work. I thought that it would take me a year to find a sailboat. WRONG---found what I wanted in 3 months. I took the advice that many sailors gave me and had a survey done on the sailboat. The best money I have ever spent. If you buy a boat HAVE A SURVEY.

Looking for a slip---call all the marinas. Go to the area and may-be you will find one of the less known marinas that will give you a better slip price.
We looked everywhere, found the one we thought we wanted but the price was tooooo much. We found a little marina that only had sailboats and few knew that it was there. We got power and water freeeeeee. The perfect place. So look everywhere. Turn over every stone. Seek and you shall find.

The family has confidence in their sailing ability, the right sailboat has been bought, and it is tucked away in its new home. We are sailing and having FUN.

YOU CAN DO IT !

Good luck.
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Neshaminny State Park Marine in Croyden has two launch ramps, the free one gets silted up but the one in the marina, was $10 a few years ago, is well maintained. Neshaminny may also be a good place to talk with sailboat owners in a few weeks when the snow stops and they start doing spring maintenance on their boats.
Neshaminy to Penns Landing depending on tide and wind is an easy four or five hours, another one and half to three to Essington, another six or seven to Delaware City, then through the C&D canal. Possible to start early at Neshaminy and get to Delaware City before dark in the summer.
Cape May for me is three days with overnight at Delaware City, Cohansey River or Fortesque, but less than 24hrs is possible with the right boat, tide and wind.

Also check Wissanoming Yacht Club between The Tacony and Betsy Ross Bridges on the PA side.

Last edited by Ulladh; 02-16-2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdilliplane1 View Post
Guys, please keep the advice coming and if anyone has taken lessons in the area please share
There is a member here from your area who belongs to a yacht club on the Delaware. I remember a post where she talks about her YC. Search for posts by DeniseO30.

For lessons, I went with the ASA program. Their website will point you to various schools on the Delaware, Chesapeake, and the Jersey shore.

I go to Nelson's in Island Heights, NJ and have been very happy. They also have a fleet of boats that you can rent. Sailing Schools, Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Rentals and Sailing Charters at Nelson Sailing Center
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