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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Where to start, what to buy.
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Thread: Where to start, what to buy. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-05-2006 07:49 PM
42ndstreet I agree with Camaradie...Big is easy to sail. My first bareboat was with a 463 beneteau. 7 people(most non-sailors) on board. What a great trip!
Get your wife on the helm.
11-05-2006 07:34 AM
JakeLevi I have been reading Steve and Linda Dashews The Circumnavigators Handbook this weekend, crammed with good stuff,its one thats going to take a couple readings, but one thing he has said, several times is that racing is the most concentrated way to gain experience in sailing that there is. And to teach how to become one with your boat. And he backs it up with a lot of experienced explanations. Something to think about.

Some parallels to horse back riding. An old Indian proverb is Ride your horse every day, and in a year both will know the others heart. Makes sense.
11-04-2006 12:39 PM
chuck5499 i forgot one thing - i sail her a lot as boat are like women - each is different and want to be treated different - the boat and i are getting to know each other and sailing much better - how do i measure - i belong to a local sailing club that has once a month nothing serious fun races and when i first started i could finish maybe - now i place and even the old experienced sailors (may with major racing creditials) have commented to me how much my sailing has improved over the years - but again i sail 3 weeks out of 4 early on and now 3 out of 5 -
so once you get a boat sail her a lot - it is not like driving a car in that all are about the same - each boat has a it's own likes and dislikes and you can only find them by sailing her
chuck and soulmates
11-04-2006 12:32 PM
chuck5499 I agree with NCountry - your major disadvanage is time - i can only tell you what i did but it parells a lot of what NC talked about - At age 55 i took up sailing - a sig other who is about your wifes size and i took 3 ASA sailing course together as the captain/instructor will make you work as a team and not one issuing orders to the other - second i chartered a few times to try various size boats - third i did a lot of reading and studying on boats and what i wanted in a boat - fourth i spent a lot of time a boat shows asking question and learning about boats and brokers - fifth i did find an experienced former cruiser who took time to help me learn even more about boats and this person was also an owner of a boat dealership - he did not pressure me to buy a boat until we both understood what i wanted and then worked to find it - it took 2+ years before i bought my boat and i bought a 40' - now at age 60 and sig other taking off with a new friend i can still sail my 40' single handed as i had her set up for ease of handling for the smallest person on board - my boat by the way is a Jeanneau DS40 and i plan to sail both the east coast, bahamas and coastal central america - good luck
just my thoughts and what worked for me
chuck and soulmates
11-04-2006 12:22 PM
T37Chef I would suggest not to go smaller than 30', the bay can get ugly quick. On the other hand if you go over 35-40' you may find it very expensive and difficult to find a slip. Annapolis area marinas are outrageous, call a few and you'll see. Be weary of marinas that seem to good to be true.

One thing you definitely want to consider is draft, one of the main reasons we selected the centerboard configuration on our boat (4' board up). The average depth of the bay is about 5', if you enjoy gunk-holing you'll want to keep the draft under 5' if you really want to get into some of the prettiest and peaceful coves on the bay.

Otherwise, pick the one you fall in love with. We almost purchased a Pearson 30 (a great boat) that was considerably less, but when we saw the Tartan 37 we couldn't look at anything else. It just felt right!

Send me a email if you like.
11-04-2006 09:45 AM
kavakava We too started small - Seafarer 22, Catalina 27, Gulfstar 36, and now our retirement boat, a Hunter 41. We sail the Chesapeake and hope to cruise down the ICW and spend next winter in the Keys and Bahamas. I agree with the other comments, and wives (mine especially) are especially cognizant of the sleeping accomodations, head and shower, and galley. We like the Hunter design for ease of coastal sailing, all lines led aft, fractional jib, large cockpit, good galley and head, reasonable price, and generous sleeping cabin. We used Bill Yates of Adventure Yachts in Annapolis to find our last boat, and he was extremely knowledgable and patient. He's a livaboard cruiser.
11-04-2006 08:40 AM
JakeLevi Nobody has mentioned it but I'd be reading on sailing/seamanship for couples, read about others mistakes before making your own, go to some sailing schools singly and as a couple, a school could help your wife a lot. You are in a great area to be looking for boats, dont get hung up on local, as you can see a couple hundred miles north or south can show you a lot more then you have local which is a lot. You can probably find a course or two down Fla way for a winter excursion and give you both time to think things over, myself in your shoes I think I'd be looking for a 34-35' boat, more amenities, and able to do more sailing in. But thats me. Not you. Make a list of what each of you wants in a boat and then make it into one list. Maybe do this after the courses.
11-04-2006 01:56 AM
Goodnewsboy I bought a used boat this year and have the following thoughts to share:

1. You should own the boat and not vice versa. Don't spend a fortune on it. There are plenty of good "starter" boats around that can be bought for reasonable money. Choose a few solid designs that you like and then look around the boatyards. You will probably find a few that haven't been used for a while.

2. A boat that needs a good cleaning and some cosmetics can often be bought at the same price as one with a serious defect.

3. Make absolutely sure that you have identified all of the problems before you make an offer. A good surveyor is worth his fee but don't accept his findings blindly. If it doesn't look good to you, find out why.

4. Sails and rigging, especially standing rigging, are important. Check them carefully.

5. Make a list of the items that must be done to get the boat ready for use and price each one. When you add all the money you must spend to put a boat in serviceable shape to the purchase price, the total must be a good deal less than what the finished project might sell for. 80% or less is a good target.

My purchase was a C&C 30 MkI that had been unused for over 10 years without benefit of any intervening maintenance. For what it is worth, here is what it has taken thus far to make it usable:

*Reupholster all interior cushions.
*Repair frozen diesel engine.
*Strip bottom and repaint. (Took advantage of this to apply epoxy barrier coat also.)
*Polish topside gelcoat
*Pull propeller shaft, clean, polish bearing and packing areas and reinstall with new packing and zinc.
*New topside handrails
*Refinish topside woodwork
*New companionway drop board
*New Compass
*New ground tackle
*New VHF
*New dodger
*Refurbish sails (sailmaker)
09-30-2006 05:50 PM
sailingdog You and your wife should both be capable of sailing the boat single-handed, as that is essentially what you will be doing if you cruise as a couple. The boat, regardless of size, should be rigged to be single-handed. I would go with a 30-35' boat, rather than a <30' boat, as it will be far more comfortable for you, and not all that much harder to handle than a smaller boat. Anything larger than 35' is going to be a bit too much for you, especially given your limited experience.

You and your wife should both take a good "coastal cruising" course, but I would recommend that you take them separately, rather than as a couple. In many cases, when a couple takes a cruising course, one of the couple will often learn far less than if they had taken them seperately, since one will often defer to their spouse.

Also, join a local yatch club and race or sail there, as a season of sailing on a racing boat will teach you a lot more about sailing than a season of just sailing by yourself. Also, the techniques you learn about tweaking the performance on a racing boat will be useful when you're sailing a cruising boat in light winds and need to maximize performance.
09-26-2006 12:51 PM
NCountry Puntapete: I generally sit back and read what everyone else has to say. Usually I have a considerable amount of humor associated with what I read on these forums. Some postings are from people that have a genuine love of their boats and they take great care to do all the upkeep to keep them nice. Others are more along the lines of the self appointed experts. You'll have to do a lot of reading in these forums to know who is who.
I started out as a youngster sailing an AMC Sunfish. Later on I owned a Catalina 22 and now I have a 30 Islander Bahama. All of them taught me something about sailing. With that said I'll offer my humble opinion. (and I don't claim to be an expert.)
The sunfish was great for getting the basics. The downside was that it was not something I would go out in when the wind went above 15 knots. It was also a great way to stay wet so it wouldn't be my choice in colder climates.
The 22 was great as a day sailor and for some overnights. It was small in the cabin but since I'm only 5'7" it was cozy. Based on your size I would discourage you from a boat without adequte headroom.
The 30 is actually easier to sail than either of the other two. It also gives me the ability to sail year round. It is a great family cruiser BUT is by no means a boat I would take on an extended cruise and I'll be upgrading within the next 2 to 3 years to a blue water cruiser. (since I've now owned several sizes of boat I feel much better about my abilities to judge what I need in a cruiser.)
With that said I think you have a basic problem "TIME" as in you don't have a lifetime of it to learn what you need to know. Your only option, as it appears to me, is to, A. take a costal cruising course and, B. plan on getting the bigger boat. BUT---make good friends with someone that has that lifetime of experience and listen carefully and strongly consider their judgement when buying the bigger boat. DO NOT let the writers of an internet forum be your reference source in this situation. Don't get me wrong, these forums are a great resource and there are some very knowledgable people that frequent these boards BUT there are also way to many "self appointed experts" that will offer opinions and not being able to see them in person and have a conversation with them is a terrible handicap when trying to decide if they know what they are talking about and if their opinion is valid.
With all that said I would offer 2 pieces of advice.
1. SHOP SHOP SHOP.....spend all the time looking at boats that you can BEFORE you decide on the one you will purchase. You'll see lots of "stinkers" that brokers will try to pass off as great boats and you'll see some real gems that will show obvious pride of ownership.
2. Spend time at any marina you can with a lot of boats and don't be shy about offering to crew on as many boats as you can. You'll gain some very valuable sailing experience as well as learning about many of the features that you will ultimately want on you boat.
Just my 2 cents...........

Fair Winds to all
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