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post #1 of 62 Old 08-27-2016 Thread Starter
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It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Howdy Folks,

Since there's this handy "Introduce Yourself" section of the forums, figured I'd... well, introduce myself. The short version? I'm the noobest sailing noob who ever noobed.

My wife (30) and I (31) live outside of Portland, Maine. Up until a week ago I had never so much as set foot on a sailboat—not for lack of interest, though, and I finally decided the hell with it and signed us up for a weekend of sailing lessons (the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat class). And we had a blast. Duh.

So now we're in that harrowing purgatory of wanting to buy our first boat but trying to stumble our way through the indecision-paralysis caused by our total lack of all knowledge whatsoever. In the last three days I've read John Vigor's Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (mostly so I could get a quick idea of just "Here are some boats, and here are some things about them, and maybe those are things you will want to consider when looking for your own boat"—we have no delusions that we'll be cruising any further than Bar Harbor at any point in the next few years, let alone, say, Fiji) and I've started on Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual (namely the first section, on inspecting aging sailboats). It still feels like the blind leading himself, though, but hopefully it'll start coming together at some point. We also are hoping to line up another lesson next weekend (happy birthday to me!) to both focus on some tasks we're not really comfortable with yet (read: Docking without breaking everything) and to pick the instructor's brain on boat-shopping.

But in the interim, I figured I'd drop in here, say hi (Hi!), and if I don't get booed off the stage I might starting picking y'all's brains for sailboat purchase ideas as well. When you're as new as I am, every little bit helps, after all.

So, in summary:

Who: A Boring CPA named Walker
Age: 31
Experience: ASA 101 and literally nothing else
Where: Greater Portland / Casco Bay, Maine
Boat: TBD
Nervousness: High

Glad to be here (both the forums and the greater sailing community in general), and hopefully I won't prove too much of a nuissance.

Edit: And since I haven't yet tracked down which of the many subforums would be the most appropriate for a thread on soliciting boat purchase advice, if anyone wants to point me in that direction before I eventually stumble upon it myself, I'd be much obliged.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA

Last edited by Landwalker; 08-27-2016 at 09:04 AM.
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post #2 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

I would begin with a copy of Royce's Sailing Illustrated. It's a great little book written in a fun format that covers just about EVERYTHING you might want to know about sailboats.
If I were you, I'd not be in such a hurry to buy a boat. Sail as many different boats as you can, so what you buy is suited to your needs and not just your eye. Biggest mistake in boat buying is to go for the boat that catches your eye.
Join a yacht/sailing club and sail with the members. Walk the docks of local marinas and trade rides for helping wash or maintain the boats. If you have the time, offer yourselves out as delivery crew and do a bit of traveling under sail. After you've sailed on 15 to 40 different boats, you should have a really good idea of what sort of boat will best suit your needs AND budget. Good luck.
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post #3 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
Howdy Folks,
Nice first post. Welcome to Sailnet.

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post #4 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

www.southportlandsailingcenter.com/

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post #5 of 62 Old 08-27-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I would begin with a copy of Royce's Sailing Illustrated. It's a great little book written in a fun format that covers just about EVERYTHING you might want to know about sailboats.
If I were you, I'd not be in such a hurry to buy a boat. Sail as many different boats as you can, so what you buy is suited to your needs and not just your eye. Biggest mistake in boat buying is to go for the boat that catches your eye.
Join a yacht/sailing club and sail with the members. Walk the docks of local marinas and trade rides for helping wash or maintain the boats. If you have the time, offer yourselves out as delivery crew and do a bit of traveling under sail. After you've sailed on 15 to 40 different boats, you should have a really good idea of what sort of boat will best suit your needs AND budget. Good luck.
Thanks for the book referral—I'll definitely look into it.

The good (I guess?) news is that we aren't hurrying to buy a boat, since we are painfully aware that we don't know what we don't know. Hence the reading, and the couple (so far) of lessons, and hopefully some other avenues of gaining knowledge/experience/half a clue. It's not easy going slow, since, as you point out, sometimes something just looks eye-catchy and you'd like nothing more than to grab it and get out on the water. But between the ignorance and the knowledge that we'll have to turn around and get it in storage within a couple of months at most, we're trying to take a pretty measured approach.

I might take up your suggestion to just bum around marinas and see if anyone will take me along for the day. Unfortunately we're about a 30-minute-each-way drive from the likely candidate marinas, so there's that mental block to overcome, but after next weekend it may be worth investigating. This time of year, neither I nor my wife could justifiably spend even a few non-weekend days helping with boat deliveries due to the seasonality of our work, but if we don't have a boat of our own by next sailing season, I'll definitely look into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
South Portland Sailing Center [because I can't post links yet, even as part of a quote]
Yep, that's where we took our ASA 101 class last weekend (20th-21st), and where we're hopefully taking some more non-class lessons next (Labor Day) weekend. Kyle was a great instructor for us, and the Pearson Ensign "student driver" boat was a lot of fun even though it wouldn't be the boat for us. I would recommend them to anyone in the greater Portland area looking for lessons.

Edit: Also, I've already spoken to Kyle and offered to crew for him whenever he competes in any races in the area, so that's another small step in the "figure crap out" direction.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA

Last edited by Landwalker; 08-27-2016 at 03:08 PM.
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post #6 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Become a sailor and you'll no longer be a boring CPA, you'll be a sailor who finances his sailing addiction by being a CPA. Your clients will notice an extra lightness in your step and improved attitude which will bring you more business. You will buy a sailboat, then a bigger sailboat as your business flourishes. Life will be good. I promise, and I am always right about these things .

On top of that you live in one of the nicest places to sail on earth. Short season, sure, but that just makes us appreciate it more. Great first post!
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post #7 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Dont rule out dinghy racing as well as keel boat racing for crewing opportunities to gain more skills. Learning to fly a spinnaker on a dinghy like a Lightning or Flying Scot will translate nicely to a larger keel boat.

There must be 10+ Pearson Ensigns at my club that race 1 design. People frequently need crew. Find out when they race and where they gather before the race.

Do you feel that the Pearson Ensign is too small for you and your SO? For more cabin space boats in the 25' - 30' range should fit the bill.

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post #8 of 62 Old 08-27-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Boooo! Just kidding. Great intro.
I agree you will be a sailor who
finances his hobby as a CPA. I once
had a CPA who was also a surfer.
That combo wasn't great and I now
have a different CPA.
I'd recommend chartering. Lots of
great places to see and many different
types of sailboats to try.
Dinghy sailing is also enlightening.
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post #9 of 62 Old 08-27-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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There must be 10+ Pearson Ensigns at my club that race 1 design. People frequently need crew. Find out when they race and where they gather before the race.
I definitely will do / am in the process of doing that. Have a list of a couple of people I need to get in contact with about that—hopefully I'll be able to get a couple of races in before the season ends (which is pretty early up in Maine, although it's mid-80s this week so the end is yet to come).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Do you feel that the Pearson Ensign is too small for you and your SO? For more cabin space boats in the 25' - 30' range should fit the bill.
The boat itself isn't too small, but it doesn't seem like something we could be comfortable overnighting on. I know I'm not going to find a boat with enough headroom for me (at 6'4") and precious few with enough berth-room unless I'm able to break out a six-figure check (which is not a thing currently in my power), but it would be nice to find a boat for us that's got a little more down below than, if I remember what Capt. Kyle called it, a "cuddy cabin" / storage locker. So, yeah, we're pretty much looking around 26±4 feet, depending on what a particular boat can offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capedocca
Become a sailor and you'll no longer be a boring CPA, you'll be a sailor who finances his sailing addiction by being a CPA. Your clients will notice an extra lightness in your step and improved attitude which will bring you more business. You will buy a sailboat, then a bigger sailboat as your business flourishes. Life will be good. I promise, and I am always right about these things .
That's what I'm hoping for!* God knows I could use a springier step... Most days I'm more Eeyore than anything else, which just isn't a great place to be. Even I can barely stand being around me these days!

* Well, I'm hoping to win the lottery, retire, and sail as full-time as I possible can. But so far Maine Lottery isn't upholding their side of that arrangement, so until they manage to process my application for independent wealth, I'm stuck trying the old-fashioned way.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

For now join a sailing club with a boat you can borrow for overnights and buy two lasers, or one V-15. Then sail the snot out of whatever you get. At this point it's all time on the water, it almost doesn't matter what you are on. After you have a good bit of sailing under you then take a look for a weekender.
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