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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-16-2012 08:02 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Sixteen feet or less. The 14.2 you mentioned would be ideal if it's in good shape. Sunfish, Laser, Butterfly....all good.
09-16-2012 06:26 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

A lot of good advice here, as per usual on Sailnet. I would add a couple of things:

1. It's best to learn to sail on a small boat - the smaller the better. Down to the size of a Sunfish is great. Reason? When you make a mistake, you know it immediately. (You go for a swim.) When you've done it right, you know it immediately... and it feels really good. Word of caution, if you start on something like a Sunfish, have someone with a little experience show you how to right the thing in shallow water - where you can stand on the bottom until you learn how to do it.

2. There's a lot more to sailing (and boating in general) than just learning how to handle a sailboat. Rules of the Road (known as the ColRegs - collision regulations), navigation (on a small lake that may seem like it would be no problem, but when you come back to your marina the first time after dark, you'll be amazed at how unfamiliar everything can look. Take the time to take some courses. I always recommend joining the US Power Squadron. You'll meet a lot of other boaters, many very knowledgeable, and the courses they offer are excellent and very inexpensive.

Sailing is a wonderful hobby / sport. You never stop learning. And you'll find that most boaters are very helpful and friendly. If they're not, let us know. We'll arrange to push them overboard. In a safe and friendly way, of course.
09-16-2012 02:22 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

X 2 on the Catalina 22. You can find them between $2K to $5K ready to sail. Make sure you have enough depth in the lake your planning on sailing in & continue your research. decide which boat you want & do as much research on it here and on other forums as well before you buy. Make sure the lake your sailing in has enough depth for the centerboard/draft on the boat you choose. I originally learned on a sunfish. Study the points of sail and have at it.
09-16-2012 12:43 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Hi Ed here. I agree with those other fellas. Get yourself a day sailor, pocket cruiser, trailor sailor. Craigs list is not so different than any other ad source. You of course need to look over any potential purchase and know what your looking at. Research what a potential vessal will draft and be mindfull of the depths of the waters you will be sailing. Swing keel sailboats dont need a lot. Just make shure all the rigging is there,mast, boom, rudder/tiller, SAILS, anchor. Check for soft spots in the fiberglass. Get in climb around. If you are handy at fixing stuff a boat that requires a little TLC should not be out of the question. If not, finding a boat ready to go will be more costly but an added bonus to that will be a seller that has not neglected there hobby and will be eager to show you that everything is in good order. Either way you cant lose, a well maintained boat holds its value pretty well. So start small and work your way up. Good luck.
09-16-2012 09:14 AM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Don't fear Craigslist. It's just a way for buyers and sellers to make contact. After that, as with any transaction, exercise caution.
09-16-2012 08:54 AM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

WOW!!! Thanks to all of you. Looks like I came to the right place. To answer the questions, not in order... I have a small (Ranger) 4wd with a tow pkg so i am good to several thousand pounds... I've been watching various places that sell boats on-line and am getting an idea about pricing. I live in Gallup, so the closest sailable water is Bluewater lake.. small but a good place to learn (I think). for now, i want to keep to the <20 ft range. ...rgscpat ... havent posted enough to send a pm yet. send me your enmail and we can talk...
09-16-2012 07:06 AM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

I'd personally go the dinghy route. We did the same thing while living in Tucson (bought a Buccaneer 18, which is just a few feet longer than a mutineer). It also depends on the venue for dropping the boat in the water. If you need to back a trailer with a big heavy boat, you may need an extendable tongue (they do that for 3200 lb J-24's), a big hassle, in addition to stepping the rig- that gets old very fast if you are not keeping the boat where you can keep the mast stepped and ready to go. If you have access to a lake with a club that uses a hoist (and you keep your boat there), all the better. Hoisting a heavier boat takes maybe 30 minutes and you're on your way, once you're practiced at it. Buying a smaller boat like the mutineer or capri 14.2 (which is what the AZ sailing foundation uses) are great learning boats- pretty difficult to capsize and easy to put in the water from a ramp. I'd drive to those places you're interested in and look at the boats- bring the instructor with you.

By the way, rgscpat- who's your son? I took their ASA classes back in 2008. Great program!

09-16-2012 04:43 AM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Gnusailor, I live in Albuquerque and sail at Heron Lake (north) and Elephant Butte Lake (south), among other places, and have helped with boating safety classes. Send me a message about your interests and we should be able to get you together with my people. Also, my son, who lives in Arizona, volunteers with the Arizona sailing foundation as a dinghy sailing instructor (US sailing certified instructor).

The season is ending at Heron, where the marina is owned by the New Mexico sailing club and operated as a co-op, but is just re-starting at Elephant Butte Lake as the lake slowly begins to recover from a very low-water year.

What sort of sailing do you think might interest you? There's a huge range of possibilities. Pat (sailing the Desert Sea)
09-15-2012 10:59 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Or, go to the lake. Talk to sailors. You're sure to run into someone who needs a crew. Let them know exactly what your experience level is (don't oversell yourself) and that you wojuld like to learn. You will probably make a friend, get a ride and start learning that afternoon. Additionally, you will get some insights into what type of boat you may want to purchase (or not purchase).
Good luck and have fun!
09-15-2012 10:41 PM
Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

Hard to recommend a boat without knowing what you have to pull it with.

But...yeah...get yourself a good little trailer sailor, one that's easy to pull and quick to rig...and get out there to put that book knowledge to good use!

Do spend the money on a boat ready to go. I, like many others, bought a bargain fixer upper.....never again. All my future boats will be ready to go with a minimum of work needed. It's true when they say that "this boat costs $xxxx" it up front, or do alot of work and pay it over time....but either way you're gonna pay.
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