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Discussion Starter #1
Well, since this is my first post, I think I get 1 silly question, right?

I'm looking to buy a smaller sailboat (28') and all I know about boats and sailing is what I've been able to grab from youtube videos, forums, and books. Good luck to me right?

Ok, so one questions I can't seem to get answered is this. If I bought said boat, where do I put it? Can I anchor it in the bay, do I have to pay for a mooring or just stop and tie a rope to an empty post? Do I need a slip or a dock?

My location is West Palm Beach, FL. Peanut Island has sailboats sitting out in the water, I just don't know if they are technically anchored or moored AND if they are moored, do they pay? Or is there a free place to store my new purchase in the water?

Hope I'm making sense! Very nervous and excited at the same time.
 

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Yes you will have to pay to keep it someplace and that and insurance should be the first thing you look into BEFORE BUYING as you may be a bit supprised about the cost
 

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More local members will be able to give you specific information, but in general the boats you see "out in the bay" may be anchored or may be on moorings, the moorings may be private or may be rented.

As I understand it Florida has some sticky harbour rules here and there on anchoring and mooring, so there may well be restrictions. Even in our neck of the woods anchoring is restricted inside certain harbours.

The other option, generally more expensive and often hard to find is moorage in a marina. This option provides better protection, easier access and access to electricity and fresh water when you need it. At under 30' your odds of finding reasonable moorage is better than over 30 feet.

28 feet is a nice size for a starter - good luck.
 

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I found and paid for a slip before I bought my first boat. In fact the slip was more important than any ole starter boat which are plentiful.
 

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It's not a silly question, often storing a boat can cost more than the boat.

Each locality has rules that pertain to that locality. Federal law on anchoring and mooring basically says you can anchor anywhere you do not restrict navigation. Localities, particularly in florida, have been adding in more and more restrictions on that (limiting number of days, locations etc..)
Here is a link to start you off on your search:

BoatUS.com - Tom Neale's Cruising For You

here's the nice part of that (from Florida House Bill No. 7175, Statute 327.60 (2)
"However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.”

Unfortunately, the only way to be sure is to ask your local water cops what the rules are, start with what ever florida calls the department of natural resources (folks with jurisdiction on the water).

Simply put, no you can't just tie off to a post someone, that post belongs to someone. If you just someone elses mooring ball they can charge you for it, and most do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yes, mooring field. That sounds like what I see out in the water. There are a number of boats off singer island, lake worth, and over by peanut island. It always seems like the same ones are there all the time so I am assuming they are paying someone for the priviledge. The next most difficult task is where do I find the places that sell/rent the moorings? I tried online with little luck.

For the person who rented a slip...how did you go about finding one that wasn't more than your apartment rent?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks so much for the helping hand Paul. Unfortunately, this system won't let me send PMs or emails until I have reached the 10 post milestone. Feel free to drop me a line
 

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Of course, you could also look at trailerable boats, which could be stored in your driveway. 28' is starting to get to the top end limit of what is a reasonable boat to trailer though.

However, then you need to figure out where to launch and retrieve the boat. Having a boat in a slip or on a mooring makes it much easier to get away for a short afternoon sail, than would trailering—so you'd probably use the boat more if it is in a slip or on a mooring.
 

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You may want to find a local yacht club and start volunteering for regatta crew. Not only will you learn a lot about boat ownership but if you're good at making friends you might just get lucky and find someone who has dock space attached to their property that might be available for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for everyone's help. This has been more fruitfull than I had expected with such an active and helpful sailing community. I have my eye on a 28' yacht already and am now trying to figure out where I would put it if I purchased, say, Friday. So, the option of getting to know a Sailing Club person or getting a trailerable boat are probably longer term solutions.

Where I could use some insite is to figure out how I get information about available slips/docks in my area as well as any mooring fields close to me. I can see the locations on google maps, but google searches don't seem to uncover who owns these various locations. It may just take a drive up in the area and see if there is an office.

So...follow up questions for anyone who moors in West Palm, around Peanut Island:

- Who owns the mooring fields north and south of peanut island, as well as the one up in turtle beach (I think thats where it is).

- Is there a site I can find that shows various mooring locations and/or docks in my area? That would be handy!

Again, I really appreciate all this help. I am freaking out with both excitement and fear of becoming a sailing junkie.
 

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It might be a good idea to do a bit of research into boat ownership before you plop down the cash for a boat this weekend. Has it been surveyed ? Talk or email with Cardiacpaul. He has offered to help you and can give you a lot of helpful knowledge. He is in the business of surveying, and knows your area. Don't rush into anything.

There are sailboats that are the equivalent of Ferraris and there are sailboats that are the equivalent of minivans - which one do you need/want and what can you afford. Don't - whatever you do - underestimate the cost of maintaining a boat. It will cost you thousands of dollars a year, and while it is well worth it - you need to go into it with your eyes open.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I have spent my fair share of hours going over blogs, forums, pictures, and videos for all things sailboat related. From the cost of zinc coating every year to hurricane season storage in South Florida. There is so much more to learn through experience, but I definately feel I am not going into this blindly. I had trouble finding information about moorings and anchorage but no problem finding the high prices of slips at a marina. I was hoping there was a cheaper alternative for us budget sailors who love to be on or near the water.


...Paul has already given me some great insight throughout the day. Thanks P!

One other point...i'm looking for the mini-van. Comfort over speed. From what I understand, the Newport line is definately not designed to be the winner of any americas cup races.
 

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If you're serious about looking at this 28' boat... I'd highly recommend reading and using the information in this thread. It should let you make a relatively informed decision as to whether the boat is worth proceeding with a survey on or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for the heads up. I actually found the same thread on a previous jaunt across the Internet to find surveying information. I have also found a few blogs out in the world of people who rebuilt project boats and found hidden problems. Some of these include looking at loose chainplates for internal damage to the bulkheads, leaks in the petcocks, overly baggy sails, and the various fiberglass issues on poorly maintained vessels. There is a lot of information out there for beginners and I love how willing sailors are to give their knowledge and experience. Hopefully my experience will become a good one.

The basic information I already have from the sale is: It floats, is moored off shore, and was sailed last week. I understand this is no indication of hidden issues the owner is not aware of, but it gives me more confidence that the boat still has some life left in it. A boat left on the hard with a stuck driveshaft and hidden leaks would be an entirely different issue to deal with.
 

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A boat can have some very serious issues and still be able to do all that.
The basic information I already have from the sale is: It floats, is moored off shore, and was sailed last week. I understand this is no indication of hidden issues the owner is not aware of, but it gives me more confidence that the boat still has some life left in it. A boat left on the hard with a stuck driveshaft and hidden leaks would be an entirely different issue to deal with.
 
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