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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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A lot of this answer depends on what you want out of sailing. One of the neat things about sailing is that it can be so many different things to so many different people. When people talk about ''boats to start on'', that phrase conveys a lot of different meanings.

For example, it could mean a boat for someone who is learning to sail or it could mean a boat for some one who is an experienced sailer but who has never owned a bot.

Assuming that you are a new sailer with minimal experience, that question leaves the door open for differing answers depending on your goals as a sailer. For many, learning sail simply means knowing enough about sailing to get the boat in and out of the slip and to sail and motor to where ever they want to go. They really don''t care about sailing the boat well and developing boat handling as sail trimming skills. (I am not putting a perjouritive sense to this.) If that is what makes them happy then more power to them. I have heard of people buying 50 foot boats and larger for their first boats. I say more power to them, and although they may learn a lot with a boat that size it is hard to really build sailing and boat handling skills on a boat that large.

If your goal is to become a skilled sailor, then I would suggest that you stick to a responsive, fin keel, spade rudder sloop under 28 or so feet with 25 feet being a bit more ideal.

That said, 28 to 30 feet is a nice size for a boat. It is big enough to offer reasonable accomodations, and depending on the design big enough to take a little bit of bad weather and also offer some decent cruising range. It is still small enough that you can manhandle the boat, the contol loads tend to be manageable and if properly designed is easy to single-hand.

Jeff
 
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