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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > What size first boat?
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Thread: What size first boat? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-19-2005 11:39 PM
letsc
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 09:25 PM
mfatic
What size first boat?

Jeff,

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 06:25 AM
Jeff_H
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.

Respectfully,
Jeff
08-18-2003 01:00 PM
mfatic
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.
08-16-2003 12:26 AM
garyp
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 06:59 PM
Magic_Moments
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.

Ken
08-15-2003 10:10 AM
Jeff_H
What size first boat?

Jim,

With all due respect, 29 feet about as large a boat as makes sense for a first boat fow someone who really wants to learn to sail and within reason smaller being better than larger. As boats get bigger there are still lessons that can be learned but it makes the process much more difficult and time consuming if not impossible for the average person.

That said,within reason your advise has some merit for a person who really are not concerned with learning to sail well.

Jeff
08-15-2003 09:13 AM
jbanta
What size first boat?

On the other hand My first (and olny) boat was a 29 Lancer. It was as big a boat as I could afford. Since that day I have been on her every weekend and she was able to offer me a place to live when my welcome ran out at home. I have never regreted buying a "bigger" boat/ MY advice is if you love sailing and I mean LOVE it but the biggest boat you can afford.
08-14-2003 11:09 AM
CharleyB
What size first boat?

We came to sailing in our mid-thirties and decided to make our first purchase a day-sailer. We were advised by more experienced sailors that this would be a better strategy for developing our sailing skills. I also thought that it would make sense to take some time to determine whether we would genuinely enjoy sailing and use the boat regularly before plunking down 30-50 g or more for a larger boat that we might not end up using enough to justify the cost.

We started with a Pearson Ensign, which is 22 and a half feet, has a great open cockpit and can be found for a few thousand dollars in good shape. We sailed it for about four or five years and gained a lot of confidence doing so. Last August we bought a C&C 36 and have been out nearly every weekend that weather has permitted.

The boatyards are filled with boats on the hard that were purchased by people infatuated with the ideal of sailing or the freedom that they associate with it, but who found that as a practical matter they simply don''t use it.

Maybe you have done enough sailing with your club that you know you will use it. If you''re not sure, I would recommend that you start with something a little smaller.
08-14-2003 09:20 AM
jcrief
What size first boat?

Thanks to all who responded to my query. You have helped me clarify the primary consideration for getting my own boat. That is to learn to sail better by sailing the same boat every time.

I currently have access to many types and sizes of boats through the Sailing Center that I belong to. However, practicing various points of sail and maneuvers on different boats produces varying results so I never know if I''m doing something (in)correctly or if it is a characteristic of the boat.

So, this and the obvious cost benefits has helped me narrow my search to something under 30''. We have a Catalina 28 at the Sailing Center which seems about right except for having a wheel.

I''m going to assume that the reason you all suggest a tiller is for better control and more immediate feedback of the rudder position. Please respond if there are more/different reasons for having a tiller over a wheel.

Thanks again (I''m really liking this SailNet!),
Jack
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