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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Doesn't Anyone Start on Small Boats Anymore?
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Thread: Doesn't Anyone Start on Small Boats Anymore? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-25-2009 02:51 AM
CalebD Gotta say it but I am with the resident conservative crank on this one, that being Sway or Guy as many of you know him.
The longer the footage of a boat the less it is used and the more it costs to operate it or not.
Sailaway went to Kings Point US MMA near Great Neck, Long Island, NY and was forced (likely) to sail in some quite small craft on LI Sound as I found myself doing without the a$$holes in the crash boat with a bull horn shouting at us to tack and tack again.
There really is something to be said about ease of use for sailing. A Sunfish can be rigged in about 10 - 15 minutes and be ready to sail which is almost the same for most beach Cats like the Hobie or even a Laser. It does not take much more to break down and store them either.
Many trailer sailors lament the time it takes to rig the mast, provision and launch their boats plus the break down time. Most recommend keeping the trailer sailor rigged at a mooring so you wil use it more as there is less time involved with 'dry' sailing it. This involves bottom painting the boat and securing a mooring that will hold the boat AND a tender to get back and forth from shore.
The simplest boats are the Sunfish, beach Cats and various mono hull day sailors which can be set up withing 20 minutes or less. They get used the most as it does not require much effort to get out and get everything secured when back at home base. This is why Opti's are popular yet expensive for their size (more than a Sunfish).
I will say to all you later in life sailing bloomers that you should enjoy yourselves as much as you can on your whatever footage boats you have but even if you learn to sail your 30+ foot boats you will not have the same understanding of how the wind, waves, and tides to be able to sit in a Walker Bay sailing dinghy and be able to deal with it all as well on your gargantuan behemoths that seldom scrape their bottoms on the bottom.
I have no dog in this fight but I can say to all of you that you do not know what you have missed once you have gotten your a$$ wet while sailing on a diminutive boat or capsizing in it.
I spent 3 weeks this summer teaching 12 - 17 year old kids how to sail in an admittedly confined area with PFD's on the Sunfish platform and I wished there were not as many rules that had to be followed. I still have some high school friends who sailed on a Minifish (smaller then a Sunfish) from Hempstead Harbor to Fort Schuyler (Throggs Neck Bridge in da' Bronx) a year or 2 after HS graduation and they did not wear any helmets or PFD's.
I do not look down my long nose at anyone who has learned later in life on bigger boats. I just think that you all missed a small part of the puzzle of how it is done. In a sense engines are for losers but I will not leave my mooring on the Hudson when ours is not working as the current is nearly 2 knots.
I learned to windsurf in my twenty somethings and I can swim well enough. I can sail the tiniest teacup back to shore or swim if the water is rough.
Big boats are great but they just do not leave the dock often enough.
07-25-2009 02:48 AM
tjvanginkel I say if you wanna sail, buy a sail boat.

Everyone has different comfort levels and ideas of fun. We bought a 26 footer as our first sail boat and it has been a perfect fit for us. It is small enough to not be intimidating and big enough to give us the comfort to make sailing fun for us. Because it has a heater we can sail year round where we are (the pnw) and just have to take turns ducking below in January to warm our hands.

If we had a 18 footer we would have only sailed 3 months of the year, where's the fun in that?

However if I was living where the water is warm I would have a Hobie for sure!
They are fun!
07-25-2009 01:26 AM
sailaway21 Buncha hooey....

People do buy boats for different reasons, some even to be marina queens. But anywhere you look, the vast majority of the actual sailing is being done in small boats. Far more big boats sit tied to the dock, rarely going out, than small boats. And a good percentage of those big boat buyers bought the boat for voyages they'll never get around to making.

The small boats are out sailing on the bay when it's too rough to go outside...the big boats sit tied up because there's not enough room on the bay and it's too rough to go outside....

Catamarans alone put big boats to shame in not only numbers but usage. Cats really get used and seemingly everyone on any type of a lake has one.

I know a guy with a thirty foot or so Hereschoff ketch. He sails it, but he sails his Sunfish more! If he could have just one, he'd probably keep the ketch, it's special, but he'd sail less.

tjk's point about selling a boat is valid really only for big boats. If you spent $2000 on a boat, you'll likely have no trouble selling it for the same price quite easily. Or you'll not have to sell it because you'll just park it in the side yard, sort of like tjk's Sunfish!

And small boats are just more fun to sail, period. The only hiking out big boat sailors do is either to the bank or the poor house! (g)

Sure big boats are more comfortable. Most sailors just don't identify sailing with comfort first. I guess I'm slighting marina queens everywhere, now. You want comfort, buy a La-z-Boy. You wanna sail, buy a small boat.
07-24-2009 10:31 PM
doubleeboy The main reason we bought a 39' as our first and likely last boat is the damn tax in WA. Buy a boat, pay 9.25% tax to register it in WA which you must if you are going to keep it there year round. So you start small, buy, pay tax ,sell, pay broker, buy, pay tax, etc.

For us, at our age knowing we likely won't be sailing for 20 more years it made more sense to pick the type of boat that would suit our needs and cautiously grow into it. Conversely the family who have a 36 footer next to us at marina, have owned if for 1 year, are already thinking about a 40 footer next year. That's a lot of money to leave on the table for the tax man and boat brokers. Half the sailors we meet tell us we are nuts, the other half say we got it right, they wish they had done what we did. Who knows, we are having the time of our lives, and that is what matters. Grey haired kids!

michael
07-24-2009 08:53 PM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtboy View Post
It's the "over analyzer's" who always buy the wrong bike (and I suspect boat).
That kind of describes me. I study things to death. I drive people crazy discussing things--incl. sales people. But I have found, thru the years, that I'm more likely to end-up regretting a purchase if I don't perform my due diligence than if I overdo it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtboy View Post
These are emotional decisions, be rational but not too rational. If you don't just LOVE your boat (or at least what it's going to be like when it's finished) then you'll never be happy with her. When making a decision like buying a boat, listen to your heart more than usual.
This is what happened with both our boats--both Abracadabra and our little stink-boat. Each time we did our homework, looked at a number of boats, discussed what we really wanted in a boat (which tended to evolve as we looked at more boats), etc. In each case, within literally minutes of laying eyes on the boat we ultimately bought, we knew she was The One .

Jim
07-24-2009 08:17 PM
Dirtboy
Quote:
There have been several articles in our area about folks buying huge cruising bikes or high powered sport bikes as their first motorcylcle. They end up in trouble, injured or worse.
I see that first hand, daily. Many motorcycle sales, just like yacht sales, are ego driven. Thing I've noticed about the ego driven sales ...... some of those folks are pretty quick upstairs, got a steep learning curve, they tend to do okay. But the ones without the brain power get themselves in trouble right away.

It's the "over analyzer's" who always buy the wrong bike (and I suspect boat). They come in shopping with a notebook, making notes of all your answers to their questions ... price ... cc's ... warranty ... etc. When they do buy they are almost always on the wrong bike and are unhappy. It took me a few years but I figured out what they were doing wrong; trying to make a rational choice on a non-rational purchase.

I mean, no one needs a boat, not unless it's how you make your living. Just like no one needs a bike. These are emotional decisions, be rational but not too rational. If you don't just LOVE your boat (or at least what it's going to be like when it's finished) then you'll never be happy with her. When making a decision like buying a boat, listen to your heart more than usual.

Hey, this is a sailing forum and I don't want to bore you with motorcycling but I just want to say: I'm an old fool, and that means old school. I started small and worked my way up to very powerful machines, it took years but doing it right has had rewards. I can beat all but one of the young guys at work around the local race track (Man do I love that! LOL) and still able to ride with some of them off-road (the young ones just leave me in the dust, Man do they love that! LOL).

I still say start small, learn the joy's of solo sailing (it builds confidence like nothing else) and always buy something that just "has that look."


Sorry for the long post.

DB
07-24-2009 05:57 PM
BillBrush My first and so far only boat is an 11' Sea Snark. You don't get much more basic than that. So the answer is "Yes" some people still start small.
07-24-2009 04:29 PM
casioqv I don't have a lot of experience myself, but my Catalina 22 seems to me like a good boat to learn on. I had a little experience with a Sabot beforehand but not much, and the C22 is a lot easier to sail- yet it's big enough to cruise/overnight on for me, my wife, and my dog.

Plus, I got it for $800, and couldn't even find a good condition Sabot for that cheap!

Tyler
07-24-2009 04:05 PM
baboon I think part of this is the American way of doing things. There have been several articles in our area about folks buying huge cruising bikes or high powered sport bikes as their first motorcylcle. They end up in trouble, injured or worse. How many people are in a deep financial hole because the bought way more house than they needed? Restraint is a thing of the past.
07-24-2009 03:52 PM
snider [QUOTE=painkiller;508155]Who cares? What's it to you?
QUOTE]


I must care!! I took the time from my busy sailing schedule to post it on a public forum!! Actually I mostly wrote that so I culd read my own words. I've lokoed at a lot of boats lately, most of them would be nice except they were bought without really thinking about what the owners were getting into, then they were left negleted. A lot of the offshore races I get called to do are older peeps who bought to much boat and want to be an "Offshore Racer" I usually don't end up going for lack of preperation, and they seem to not know what they are getting into. So it was mostly a rant on my part. If someone learns or takes anything at all from this great, otherwise, take from it what you want. Either way it had an impact
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