Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Duluth, MN
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First sailboat for a very tall guy with a very tall family
I am looking for some advice on selecting a used sailboat for my family. This will be my first sailboat purchase but not my first sailing experience. I sailed an 18ft Laser several dozen times many years ago and enjoyed it very much. Now that I can afford a decent sailboat I want to get back into it and share it with my wife and kids.
I am looking for a fiberglass sloop not older than 1980 and under $75,000. The problem is that in order to get the 6'6" headroom I want and need down below I am forced to go to a much larger boat than one would normally choose for a first sailboat. Unfortunately there are not many boats than can provide that kind of headroom and still fall into my budget. I did find a few "project" boats but I don't want to go that rout. It needs to be almost ready to sail and of course have no major problems that are found during a survey.
I would like to purchase the shortest sailboat in my price range that will give me at least 6'6" headroom without going over my budget. So far I have only found 1 boat that meets this criteria. Here is a link to it. I am considering this boat but I am still looking of course.
It seems like the older boats don't have as much headroom as the newer boats of the same size and I have no idea why that is. If I could afford it I would buy a newer, shorter boat with the headroom I need and I would be happy with that. Not very many boats list the headroom and some have listed it incorrectly as well.
The only thing I don't like about this boat is no cabin heater, lots of hours on the engine, and a stand-up nav station but that certainly wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.
I have ruled out boats outside of the US just because of the transportation cost and the amount of time in saltwater which leaves some uncertainty in my mind. Mostly because I can't afford to travel all over to inspect boats and I also don't have the time either.
All of my family is very tall so the headroom is very important to me. My mother is 5'11, my dad is 6'4", 2 of my sisters are 6'1" and the other is 5'10"(the short one in the family). My brother-in law is 6'7", my 12yo is 5'5" already and still growing, my 6yo is 4'2", my 4yo is 3'2 and alot of my friends are also over 6'. Obviously long beds and lots of headroom for living aboard is a must.
Headroom and long beds isn't the only thing I am looking for though. It needs to be fairly roomy, easy to sail, with nothing major needed to be done to it to make it seaworthy, and if it all possible not need any majorly expensive things in the future. I can do most repairs that don't require a high degree of skill myself and I am in pretty good physical condition. I don't think lifting heavy sails on a big boat would be a problem for me and I would most likely have some help as well. The one thing that I really like that comes with a longer boat is that I can go faster than the shorter boats because of the hull length, and I love to go fast. A fast would is great too but not a must.
I also need to figure out if it would be cheaper to pay someone to sail the boat here and put them on a plane to go home, or to take the mast down and put it on a trailer and have it driven here on a truck. I just want to know the entire cost of getting it here before I make a decision on a boat because for a big boat it will be a significant chunk of change to get it here.
I probably won't be making a decision until a few months from now. I am hoping to find a boat that is on the great lakes that has already been hauled out for the winter. This is because it will save me several hundered bucks to have it hauled out for a survey because the owner will have already done it. Any ideas and advice on finding the right boat for me and my family will be greatly appreciated.