Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Newbie looking for advice.
While your extensive motorboating experience will stand you in good stead, it's not the same as sailing. And though many may disagree, jumping into a 45 footer in the tradewinds without experience might even be more than a little dangerous.
But you have plenty of time for research - as already mentioned those two brands are nowhere near the sum total of your choices. Do some reading, on this and other forums, magazines, etc, you may find that you don't really need to go that big (with attendant savings in purchase, maintenance and operating costs) I see there's a 'we' in your intro.. presumably a couple then? Has your SO ever sailed - do you know if there will be anxiety when the boat decides to lean over substantially? Even though it's totally normal some people never get comfortable with it, and indeed can be scared off for life if they don't understand the physics of it all.
Definitely charter, take courses, make friends with others who already sail (go for experienced folks here too) before you take the leap. You may well decide a properly chosen 35-36 feet is all you'll ever need.
And it's often helpful, when asking for suggestions on boats to buy, to include a realistic budget figure - what you can afford will determine the 'right' list for you.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)