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EASTWIND 01-06-2014 10:47 AM

new to the site... my next 3 year agenda
happy new years all... I'm new to the site and I hope that by tapping into this sites users I'll avoid some of the pitfalls boaters face when they decide to get into sailing. Some back ground - now looking at retirement in 3-5 years. Grew up sailing on Long Island, work took me away from the coast for a number of years. When I finally made it back to Delaware went to the dark side and have been running a fishing boat, but still missed sailing. My wife and I would like to start to explore the east coast from the Chesapeake to Key West during the winter months. I would like any suggestions a 30'-38' boats that would work for a couple in their early 60's, (shallow draft, easy to sail and roomy interior). My agenda is to charter some of the boats over the next year or two to see which hull fits my needs the best. Any feed back/advice would be great.

jimgo 01-06-2014 03:40 PM

Re: new to the site... my next 3 year agenda
Welcome aboard, East! Your question is sort of the equivalent of saying "can someone recommend a vehicle to get me from DE to Key West". There are hundreds of boats in the 30-38' range that will get you up and down the coast, most even over to the Bahamas. What I'd suggest is to start a new thread in the General section (many people don't read the introduce yourself forum) with some additional information about what you're looking for, your comfort level, physical issues/limitations, approximate boat buying budget, approximate boat maintenance budget, whether you expect it to just be the two of you most of the time or whether there will frequently be guests (and how many), whether your aspirations are strictly coastal cruising or if you're looking for more, etc.

Your plan to charter is a good one; that's a great way to find out what will/won't work for you. Where in Delaware are you?

EASTWIND 01-06-2014 04:16 PM

Re: new to the site... my next 3 year agenda
thanks for the reply, currently in Dover,DE. I moved from Langhorne to here back in 1994. With the kids out of the house we will continue our southernly migration down to Lewes,De in the next couple years. My game plan is to summer in DE and work our way down to the Keys ( where we have a home ) for the winter... maybe take a jump across to the islands? So in a way you hit it on the head I am looking for a vehicle which will let us explore the east coast each fall and spring. I am planning on keeping it on the chesapeake bay.....Thats the game plan

jimgo 01-06-2014 09:31 PM

Re: new to the site... my next 3 year agenda
If the Chessie is your primary cruising ground, I'd buy a boat for that purpose, but one that is also capable of taking you farther when you're ready. If you read a lot of the other boat-suggestion threads, you'll find that there are the blue-water boats, which handle swells and nasty weather well. But they typically have a narrow beam and aren't always as comfortable at anchor. If you're looking more for something that you can live aboard / weekend aboard comfortably, many of the production boats, including the Catalinas, Hunters, Benetaus, etc. may work just fine for you. It all depends on your budget, how much space you need for your stuff, and what you're looking for in a boat. Do you need only one head, or would two be more suited for you? There was a big debate about that on here a few months ago, believe it or not. Do you NEED a separate shower, or is a shower/head combo OK? Would you be more comfortable with a center cockpit or do you prefer the more traditional aft cockpit? Do you want beautiful, ornate woodwork throughout the cabin, or are you more of a minimalist? Are you looking for a new boat or used? Do you need a big galley, or are you planning to eat out a lot? Will you be "on the hook" a lot, or primarily in marinas (this goes to fuel, water, and holding tank sizes)? Do you need a refrigerator and/or AC? How many berths do you need? Are you physically fit enough to handle the large sail area of a 38'?

Have you been to the Annapolis boat show? They recently started doing one in the spring, in addition to the traditional October show. Although many of the boats there are new, I find that getting aboard can give you a good sense for what a typical 30' will give you versus a 38', and somewhere in between. The cabins will have more modern designs, and if you're looking at older boats, you may not be able to find something that really matches what you like, but at least you'll start to form an idea of what you want.

Ultimately, to me, boats are the ultimate in selfishness - they are all about YOU. We can point you in different directions, but ultimately you're the one who has to make the decision.

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