Hi, not new to sailing but will be new to "big" boat ownership if my plan comes to fruition.
I grew up in England sailing Mirror dinghies and Lightnings with my cousins while on our summer vacations, and that planted the lifelong love of sailing deep within me!
Then spent a couple of seasons crewing in races when my friend bought a Benetau first, didn't do too well but loved it and then a few years racing on various boats and windsurfing until I finally discovered the beauty of one design racing when I started crewing on J24's in Cowes (huge annual regatta on the Isle of Wight) and loved the more direct competition of it.
While traveling in Australia I spent 8 weeks sailing up the East coast to the barrier reef on a motor sailer. Awesome trip but a little frustrating because however much I tried tweaking the sails I couldn't get it over about 5 knots! But it did give me a little taste of the cruising way of life.
Fast forward a few years and I found myself living in NJ looking for a cheap way to get back into sailing and bought an old Hobie 16. Had an awesome (sometimes painful time learning to sail a cat) and then got back to one design when started racing them and enjoyed a fun few years of that.
Fast forward again I find myself living in Ohio and on my 3rd Hobie 16 but when my 1st child was born the boat was parked way down the yard for what I thought would be a couple of years. Another kid and 12 years later boat was finally pulled from the weeds but too far gone to make it worth the restoration
Anyway, now that I have bored you all to tears, what I wanted to say was that now that I am ready to jump back in (the lake
) and am looking to purchase my first keelboat. Something in the 30/34' range. Currently looking at a couple of Catalina 30s. So, the reason I detailed all the above was really to show that I have no experience in captaining a keelboat and need all the help I can get. Don't know much about anchoring, docking, diesels, electronics, navigation and especially how to purchase a good older boat without ending up with a project boat (I understand that they are ALL ongoing projects at some level!). so will be looking for help.
I will be posting in the purchase forum soon looking for help and advice.