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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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The policy I used when trying to decide on which airplane to buy seems suitable for the sailboat choice as well. Get what you really want, the bigger more capable craft. But be very conservative in the way you use it until your doubts fade and your rough condition experience increases. Be especially cautious about increasing the difficulty of reachIng a safe haven. Get experienced help onboard to develop your judgment and exercised skills when weather is somewhat challenging and do so with only sailors on board. Armchair help and advice just inspires overconfidence. Reduce your limits when short handed. You aren’t a professional scheduled service so be very loose on predicted arrival times so you don’t feel pressured to go when you should wait.

I don't know the comparison of flying and sailing holds up. There are very few boats or situations inherently dangerous in sailing as there is in aviation.
 

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Catalina 250 WK
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The point is that you’ll live longer if you allow time to learn a technology that can kill you. There more to learn with a bigger boat, so it will take longer. It’s the same with more capable aircraft.
 

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The point is that you’ll live longer if you allow time to learn a technology that can kill you. There more to learn with a bigger boat, so it will take longer. It’s the same with more capable aircraft.
I guess the one good comparison is an overreliance on technology is bad in both pastimes.

If something goes wrong in a sailboat, at least I know how to swim.
 

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Tartan 37
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It's really a personal choice... Everyone has different influences that would determine what is the best choice for them... $30k though for a 35 - 40 foot boat that wouldn't need a significant amount of money to meet the "safety first" factor I think will be hard to find if not impossible.

The first sailboat I owned was a POS 20' sloop... Which we sailed the bottom paint off of. When the first child was on the way, we started shopping for the next boat... Which we still have 15 years later (37' Tartan) because having been around boat people all my life... I did not want to experience "twofooteities" as I had seen with others...

Truth is... If I were to do it all over again knowing what I know now... I should have purchased a different boat. A better choice would have been something around 38' - 40' that was only a few years old ( late 90s or early 2000 model) with a swim platform, larger cockpit, larger head, two cabins, etc... And probably would have spent about the same amount of money.

Without a doubt... The money, sweat, blood and memories (ongoing btw) is and was worth it... Priceless really.

I know this for certain... Anything smaller would not have worked for us...

You know your abilities, financial situation, future and current plans... No one elses will be the same as yours so just go for it and have no regrets! 😂😜😎
 

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based on the experience, sailing area, short trips and a first boat, don’t even think of the larger size - regardless the economics.

As a first boat you also don’t want to waste time and a lot of money on repairs and upgrades, so you want a relatively newer boat (north of 2005), that is well designed for an easier handling, very well maintained and from a well known builder. The more modern boats will provide you more space for a family. it isn’t likely that such boats will be available below $10K.

I would look at Catalina or Beneteau 28-30’

We are a family of 5 (kids 9,6,3) and are considering our first sailboat. My experience is limited to snipes, lasers and powerboats at this point. We live in the North Channel of Lake Huron and want to begin exploring this area and the coast of Superior. Our flexible works schedules would allow for multiple trips throughout the summer ranging from 3-12 days.

We keep going back and forth on whether to try it out on a small boat first then upgrade if we like it or just go big right off the start.

Small Boat (Uner 30 feet)
Pros
*Lots of good boats, ready to sail under 10k
*Less financial risk, easier to sell
*More maneuverable
*Less maintenance
*Easier to learn on?

Cons
*We will be very crowded
*We may decide quickly we want a bigger boat and be stuck waiting for the little one to sell

Big (35-40 feet) Budget 30k
Pros
*Safer, blue water, rough weather boat
*More space/more enjoyable
*Won't have to upgrade can keep for lifetime

Cons
*More money, more financial risk
*More difficult to handle, maneuver
*Harder to sell if we don't like it
* More maintenance

Anything I'm missing?

We know that we love spending time on the water. We love exploring. We love camping, paddling, hiking.

Where to begin?? Any thoughts appreciated.
 

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I wouldn't equate bigger=more capable. Maybe on the open ocean, but the North Channel isn't open ocean. It's a multi week trip just to reach salt water.

Certainly there are some big boats there, but the bigger boats wouldn't necessarily be capable of navigating some bays, channels and marinas.

For example, the Gergian Bay Small Craft Route is a series of rocky channels, some of them pretty tight that runs from the North Channel to Southern Georgian Bay. A couple hundred miles or so of very interesting cruising. Maximum draft- 5 feet. Not only would a deep draft vessel be less capable than a shallow draft vessel on that route, it would be totally incapable.

There is the easy route to get to Georgian Bay from Lake Ontario. Trent Severn Canal. 240 miles of great cruising. Maximum draft- 6 feet.
 

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based on the experience, sailing area, short trips and a first boat, don’t even think of the larger size - regardless the economics.

As a first boat you also don’t want to waste time and a lot of money on repairs and upgrades, so you want a relatively newer boat (north of 2005), that is well designed for an easier handling, very well maintained and from a well known builder. The more modern boats will provide you more space for a family. it isn’t likely that such boats will be available below $10K.

I would look at Catalina or Beneteau 28-30’
By your criteria he has no way to go sailing with his family unless he buys a mass produced relatively New chlorox bottle

Sorry , I have to stay true to my beliefs that sailing is not for elitists and there is plenty of room for beginners to fix up a boat his / her family can afford. Many people have started off that way. Many people graduated to larger boats.
 

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Tartan 37
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The OP suggests this is not their "first" boat but rather their first "family" boat... Get what is comfortable for you meeting several of the criteria... Family size, sailing area, budget, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #29
There has been a few comments on the price of 30k being unreasonable for what we are looking for.

A couple of listings I'm considering:

Hughes/Northstar 40' 80/20
$29,000 CAN
Described by the owner as ready to sail, with no major upgrades required.
(I have not seen or had this boat inspected yet)
But seems like it would fit the bill.

Another is a Hughes 38 listed for $29,000
Has a whole list of upgrades and is described as well loved and in excellent condition.

Am I missing something? Or would these not be good options for our budget?

Thanks.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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There has been a few comments on the price of 30k being unreasonable for what we are looking for.

A couple of listings I'm considering:

Hughes/Northstar 40' 80/20
$29,000 CAN
Described by the owner as ready to sail, with no major upgrades required.
(I have not seen or had this boat inspected yet)
But seems like it would fit the bill.

Another is a Hughes 38 listed for $29,000
Has a whole list of upgrades and is described as well loved and in excellent condition.

Am I missing something? Or would these not be good options for our budget?

Thanks.
I thought it was this thread but think it was another in which someone posted 'If you spend $30k on a boat, expect to spend another $60k on it the next 2 years.' The numbers might be over reaching but not unreasonable. I see it a bit different. If you buy a $20k 40 foot boat, expect to pay $60k in the first year, there is a reason a boat might be cheap.

The bigger a boat is the more systems onboard, everything is bigger and heavier and cost more to replace. I would guess a 40 foot boat would cost about $15k a year to keep up, maybe less depending on slip fees but the average over years will add up. The moment you need to put in a new engine or replace another big ticket item, the average cost of ownership will show itself.

Do you have $25k put aside to spend the next year if the engine were to fail? Can you afford to spend $15k a year to own this boat. Also expect to spend a significant amount of time working on the boat yourself, if not budget $5k more a year to pay someone else to do it for you.

Owning a 40 foot boat is a big commitment in time and money. You should be realistic of your time and money budget, can you afford it then go for it.
 

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Elijah,
The boats you mentioned are fine options. Especially if they are in as good of shape as the owners say they are. If these were american owners I would be leery of them (Americans are such liars when it come to selling something) but since they're Canadian I'm sure all will be well.
 

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Looking for the laugh emoticon. I think we all know boats are just as likely to be misrepresented no matter who is selling them.
But at least a Canadian will apologize for it.
 

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While not a direct answer, I’d get the boat you think your family will most enjoy and/or be comfortable on, assuming you can afford it. If you lose them on the first boat, you’ll never get them back, with a bigger boat you promise will be better. That goes double for early conditions you take them out in.

You might also consider the resale ability of whatever you buy, if you think the risk they hate it is reasonable. Don’t buy something esoteric, or brands few in your area know of. Especially don't buy one with damage history or needing project fix ups. There’s nothing absolutely wrong with these examples, they just may take you much longer to sell, if this didn’t work out.
 
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