Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I would recommend that you go with an older boat and spend time re-fitting it. I seriously doubt that you are too old to learn. Get Don Casey's book This Old Boat, as it describes the skills you'll need in pretty good detail. Most of the skills involved are rather basic.
The two skills that you might not have any experience with are fiberglassing and electrical work. Fiberglassing requires much the same skills as painting. Electrical work, especially just 12 VDC, is relatively simple as well. Most of the other stuff is mostly common sense.
If you do most of the re-fitting yourself, you will learn a lot about the boat, and you will be able to minimize your future maintenance costs quite a bit.
Going simpler is probably better than going with a boat loaded with gadgets... as the more gadgets you have, the more you have to repair/maintain/replace.
I'd also recommend John Vigor's "Twenty Small Sailboats To Take You Anywhere." Several boats in that book are favorites of mine. The Alberg 30, the Cape Dory 28, the Southern Cross 28, the Albin Vega, are all good choices, and rather a good deal below your budget.
I generally recommend that you reserve at least 20% of your boat buying budget for refitting, repairing or upgrading the boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 06-14-2007 at 10:53 PM.