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Old 06-01-2012
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I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

So, I moved to the D.C. area about 2 yrs ago with my wife. A few months ago we we decided to stay here for the long haul and I began searching for boats (My wife's brother has a powerboat and I love going out on the Potomac).

After looking for a while I realized I wanted a sailboat more than a powerboat. I want a boat for cruising and grilling etc, hopefully building up to some decent length trips. I don't want a crappy used powerboat to just fly around and have no real fun.

Should I take a course at the local marina? What are your guys opinions for getting started?

Last edited by stegosaurus!; 06-01-2012 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

I would consider joining something like the chesapeake boating club. They are associated with a sailing school to get you started. Joining the club gives you unlimited access to their boats and at higher membership levels you get access to the larger cruisers. Strikes me as a great way to get some experience and figure out what you want/need before you go all-in.

I believe there are other similar organizations around, and someone told me there is one in Alexandria, although I have no details.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Its not all cookouts and daysails. Its also equipment breakages, haulouts, and expensive marina bills. Try before you buy!

Or at least, join one of these fractional sailing clubs (Pinnacle, Windpath, Sailtime, etc).
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Maybe the OP should read the first post of this thread before he jumps in.
First Captains' Log . . . Enjoy

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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Its not all cookouts and daysails. Its also equipment breakages, haulouts, and expensive marina bills. Try before you buy!
AGREED! Also, know before you buy. Take a weekend class to learn how to sail and learn the rules of the road, your legal responsibilities as a boat owner, ask questions about what to expect financially. Lurk around this forum (especially in the Learn to Sail and Seamanship forums). There is a lot of great information for new boaters.

Honestly, my first thought when I saw "...talk me into it." in your subject line was "Why? If you're reluctant, just don't do it." If you need to be talked into spending your free time doing repairs, upgrades, maintenance, learning about rigging, discovering just how expensive replacement parts can be, worrying about your boat during hurricanes, learning about what equipment is legally required, etc. then you won't be happy as a sailboat owner.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Try it ! Admittedly I'm biased since I coach here... The Sailing Academy and Captial Sailing Club located 30 minutes from the beltway in Tracy's Landing MD. We have basic to advanced and the sailing club is a great value..you can concentrate on learning to sail and try different boats without doing any maintenance and then make the leap to your own boat.....
There are also other places like ours so go visit them, meet the coaches and see the boats.....
enjoy
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Honestly, my first thought when I saw "...talk me into it." in your subject line was "Why? If you're reluctant, just don't do it." If you need to be talked into spending your free time doing repairs, upgrades, maintenance, learning about rigging, discovering just how expensive replacement parts can be, worrying about your boat during hurricanes, learning about what equipment is legally required, etc. then you won't be happy as a sailboat owner.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
The "talk me into it part was more of a , point out what is great about sailing. I am absolutely not hesitant. That is actually a flaw. I'm not hesitant enough honestly. I am the kind of stubborn person who would rather do something myself even if it takes longer or costs more in the end. I don't like relying on other people's work etc. I am a little worried though about when I get to the buying stage. I plan on taking a course at Belle Haven Marina in Alexandria; it's right down the road. I am scared I won't be able to budget in a surveyor though. My budget is probably 4000 max and probably less. I can't afford to pay a surveyor and then not get the boat. Conversely that opens me up to disaster... ?
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

You'll either love it or hate it, no middle ground. Sailing is great beacuase you are moving in harmony with nature, the ocean or river, the universe. When you actually get from point A to B using nothing but the elements and grace, you feel......well.... a wonderfull sense of accomplishment. You've done something a lot people either can't or don't have the patients to. It never ceases to amaze me when I sail into some place that "I actually sailed all the way here" It leaves you feeling a sense of connection with ancient man. Keep it simple. Good hull, stout rig, decent sails and a rudder that goes back and forth when you push and pull on the tiller. All these repairs and costs every body is whining about comes from all the pressure pumps, and electrical gadgets they fill their boats with to make it more like a house. They need water to come on automatically when they open the faucet. they need a.c. and gen sets to charge battery's for the electrical pump they need to move water automatically. Keep it simple! $4000 will get a good little sloop. A little catalina with a shoal draft or a macgreggor 26 on a trailer. Cheap and easy to handle and maintain. What do you have to lose? better to have tried and failed than never tried at all.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Let's clarify some terminology- there is "sailing" and there is "cruising."
Sailing is fun. Cruising is a different kind of fun, requiring a different mindset.

Sailing is like driving a 10 000 lb. truck down a winding icy mountain road with bald tires and no brakes. if you know what you're doing, or believe you know what you're doing, it is a whole LOT of fun. If you're clueless, it can get real unfun real quick. At the very least, start by crewing on a boat during the local clubs regular weekly races. EVERY skipper is ALWAYS looking for fresh railmeat, either to replace crew or to simply find a greenhorn who doesn't know that the skipper is a moron.
If you like it, then consider buying a boat of your own, and take at least a basic keelboat course so you aren't a danger to yourself or others. You're boating in a busy area. Remember: big truck, downhill, icy, no brakes, bald tires.
Don't work backwards, and buy a boat then decide whether you are going to like it.
Once you're good with sailing, now it's time to find out how you feel about cruising.
How do you know if you'll like cruising?
Try a cruising simulation:
1.Empty your clothes closet and dresser into the tub. Turn on the shower for 10 seconds.
2. Remove clothes, pack in garbage bags, park them in corner of your kitchen.
3. stuff a phone book under one leg of the table and smaller books under one leg of each chair. Every couple of hours, move the books to different legs.
4. Make sure there are fewer chairs than people.
5. Remove the hot water knob. Leave hot water dripping slightly.
6. Remove three burners from the stove.
7. Unplug the fridge.
8. Remove the toilet seat. Take toilet seat to kitchen. Put toilet seat on 5 gallon bucket. With a book wedged under one corner. Bathroom is now off limits. Except for fully clothed cold showers. Twice daily.
9. Sleep on the countertops.
10. Set all timers and alarms in house to go off at random times.
11. At least once a day, tear up three $100 bills.
12. Carefully plan your meals. Remove all other food from kitchen. Take one quarter of your provisions and place in sink under dripping hot water.

Lock yourself and your spouse in the kitchen on Friday night. If both of you come out and at least one of you is smiling on Sunday night... you might like cruising.
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Last edited by bljones; 06-01-2012 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: I've never sailed in my life... talk me into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
All these repairs and costs every body is whining about comes from all the pressure pumps, and electrical gadgets they fill their boats with to make it more like a house. Keep it simple! $4000 will get a good little sloop. A little catalina with a shoal draft or a macgreggor 26 on a trailer. Cheap and easy to handle and maintain. What do you have to lose? better to have tried and failed than never tried at all.
This helps. I don't need the boat to be a house. Just like when I go camping I bring only a tent and minimal supplies (I wouldn't even bring the tent if it weren't for the Mrs.) I have been looking at boats for about 7 months. In the last month or so I started realizing everything I wanted out of a boat pointed towards a sailboat. Then I realized everything I wanted out of boating aligned with sailing. The best part of going out with my brother in law was when we would get to the no wake zones and I could just take in the nature and feel the breeze and not be whipping through the water. What got me to post this was this boat: moving, must sell: beloved Windrose 24' sailboat, with dock slip it seems so perfect for what I want and the 5word month's of paid slip is nice. Too bad he's in a rush to sell because it gives me no chance.
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