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3 Weeks Ago 05:00 PM
Re: What size first boat?

Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
It may have been N. Hereshoff who said that, "anyone who absolutely must stand upright on a boat, can go on deck.
Just after I purchased my first big boat, a 49' Phil Rhodes/Stone built class B TransPac ocean racer, I found a pair absolutely gorgeous Herreshoff (1930's maybe, I don't remember) 36' ketches with clipper bows and wineglass sterns. I was in love and mad with desire.
We were soon to begin our circumnavigation and I was in a real quandary. They were called Patience and Prudence.
I finally wrangled my way onto one of them, and as I stepped through the all teak cockpit with it's bronze binnacle, cleats, winches and proper ship's wheel (no sterile destroyer wheel here), my mind was furiously trying to figure out how to sell the Rhodes quickly and snatch up one of the pair and keep more or less on schedule.
Even back then, I'd had enough time messin' around on boats that it was a rare day when I banged my head anywhere on a boat. I nearly knocked myself unconscious as I went down the companionway. And several times more when I tried to stand upright any where below. She was gorgeous, just gorgeous below, but there couldn't have been 5 feet of headroom.
As I tried to imagine my wife and I living for a number of years, at sea or on the pick on this boat, my desire faded and sanity speedily returned to my life.
We set sail for Hawaii a few weeks later on the Rhodes, not without the occasional twinge of longing I'll admit, still not on the right boat for that adventure. But that's another story.
3 Weeks Ago 03:41 PM
Re: What size first boat?

I found v-berth to be very tight when I first tried it and at 48yrs old, I wasn't the agilest getting in an out. I then tried sleeping on the starboard side settee, but the foam in the cushions was well worn so that wasn't exactly comfortable, especially when turning side to side. At that point, I was a bit discouraged about staying on the boat overnight. I live about 1.5 hrs from Rock Hall, MD where I keep the boat, so staying over was needed.

For whatever reason, I tried the v-berth again (Feet to the bow, head to stern), since after all it was pretty much untouched and the cushioning was almost non-used. it was after a few weekends I really got use to it and found it to be quite comfortable to the point one or two nights were as good as my bed at home. With that, I developed a few techniques (grabbing the lip of the hatch to spin) for getting in an out of the v-berth that really helped. It's been good ever since.
3 Weeks Ago 03:19 PM
Re: What size first boat?

It's been 12 years since the last post, I'm sure he found his boat by now.

BTW - at 6'1" how do you ever use the V-berth in the C27? I'm 6' and the tiny V-berth in the C27 was a deal breaker. It is made for toddlers.
3 Weeks Ago 02:13 PM
Re: What size first boat?

I had almost the same criteria and I too am 6'1" I went with a 1985 Catalina 27 and have no regrets. Headroom is 6' but a small trade to have everything you mention in your original post.

Some of my preferred features that were making small boat shopping difficult were:
- 6 foot headroom (I''m 6''1"!)
- inboard diesel
- wheel steering
- galley w/pressurized water & propane stove
- head w/shower & holding tank
- ability to single hand

i agree with going with a smaller boat. I was in the same position about 3-4 years ago looking at a 34' boat as my first boat. The broker talked me in to a 1985 27' Catalina and said, "I want you to come back and buy another boat from me, so learn on this and I'll see you in 5 years." At the time, I had only had two hours of sailing.

Years later I was glad to get that advice. The Cat 27 isn't overwhelming, I can single hand the boat and affordability is a big plus. Learning to sail is only a part of owning the boat. Getting to know every inch of your boat will take a year or two, and when things break, it's important to have the knowledge and confidence on how your boat works.

Good luck with your decision.
01-19-2005 10:39 PM
What size first boat?

I''m looking to buy a ''25-''35 boat to learn to sail with the optimism of being able to sail her around the world when I''m ready. I can''t find any objective pro/con evaluations amongst makes and models in a table presentation. Does this exist on the net? Also, the best "deals" seem to be on the Newport boats (28 in particular.) What is the reason these are so cheap compared to the same sizes of other manufacturers (what''s the tragic flaw?) I''m new to this and apologize if outright criticizing certain brands is in poor taste. Thanks for any help!
08-25-2003 08:25 PM
What size first boat?


Oops! There I go speaking beyond my knowledge again. That''s what I get for believing a boat broker.

Thanks for taking me to school.
08-23-2003 05:25 AM
What size first boat?

Actually Rick, with Cals the ''2'' after before or after the size indicates that it was the second generation boat of that same size so for example a Cal 2-29 was the second 29 foot model that Cal built. Both had tillers.

08-18-2003 12:00 PM
What size first boat?

I''ll first profess that my actions are probably not appropriate for new sailors. My second boat, bought 37 years after my parents sold my first one, is a 32'' Pearson. Although I had a lot of sailing experience in my distant past, I continuously questioned my sanity for buying such a big boat for the first I owned her.

I got over it. For me it was the right choice, but it wouldn''t likely be for others.

I agree with the tiller assessment for learning, but I like a wheel. In addition to the little Catalinas, you might look at Ericson 27s and 29s, and all manner of little Cals. I almost bought a Cal 2-29 and have been on a very sweet-sailing pop-top Cal 25. With Cals, the 2 before the lenght indicates a wheel.

Good luck.
08-15-2003 11:26 PM
What size first boat?

You asked about tiller advantages: not only is the lively feedback from tiller steering valuable, the sense of just what your ship is doing and how hard she''s doing it, but you also have a graphic indication of rudder angle. Some wheel steering systems do offer good feedback, others are like driving an old truck. Tillers are always immediate; as alive as your boat.
My first boat was an 11 ft British Moth, which I built from plans in Popular Mechanics, many many years ago.
08-15-2003 05:59 PM
What size first boat?

My first boat was a San Juan 24 and it was a great boat to start on. It weighed 3600 pounds and was very responsive. Headroom was around 5''5" more or less, but you could stuff 4 or 5 people in there, but I never had more than 2 overnight. It was a very basic boat with just a water jug and an outboat and a compass, but many of them are set up for racing and have all the sailing gear you could want and most of them can be bought for under $5k. I had mine for 8 years before I was overcome by the desire for comfort and a larger boat.
The SJ24 has a 4 foot draft fin keel with 1200lbs lead ballast and a huge spade rudder.
You could replace the tiller with a wheel and there was room for a motor inside, but I used it to store extra sail bags.
Another good first boat is a J-24 which is also fast and inexpensive and probably better known. Both are good in light air that is common in the summer in Puget Sound.

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