Join Date: Jul 2011
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J, yes is the answer to your question, and the high desert guy offers good advice.
With respect to what category of vessel you should be considering, I was thinking of pocket cruisers, but they demand, at the least, an intermediate level of sailing experience and are capable of sailing anywhere a larger vessel will. But not at the same level of comfort.
If you could find a nice early 21' Venture, you can easily learn all of the basics of sailing, and then some. Not have a ton of money invested, and when it comes time so sell pretty much recover the initial investment. They are good lake sailers, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'out to sea.' Up or down the coast aways for a Sunday afternoon sail...yes.
The one nice thing about this economy is that it's a good time to buy good stocks, with the mindset to hold on to them for a while. Equally, there are many really nice sailboats of every description waiting to bought at very decent prices, and I think this will be the case for the next 24 months or so, so there isn't a lot of pressure to purchase right away.
I'm a minimalist, and own an S&S designed, Yankee Dolphin, built by Yankee Yachts in 1971. It's 24' long, and the quarters are tight, and it has everything I need for lake, and coastal cruising. She's presently in the process of a complete refit, and looking forward to an early 2012 launch.
A Dolphin finished 2nd overall in I believe the 89' Transpac, first in class. You can expect to find Dolphins in average condition, with decent sail arrangements ranging from 4500 to 14000. But, under no circumstance should you purchase a 40 year old vessel without having first researched the vessel, and then having a thorough survey performed.
Thanks for your service. And my word of encouragement is that we can be happy it isn't the middle to late 80's when mortgage rates ran as high as 18%. Or the early 70's when we could only buy gas three times a week, and that meant waiting in line for up to three hours.