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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My name is Matt and I live in New Baltimore, MI. I've been into boating for about 12 years now. Only power boating. My wife and I bought a 35 Silverton in 05 and just sold it this year. We have a 24 Rinker we just bought new last year we use for tooling around Lake St. Clair and the river systems.

The past couple years I've been wanting to get into sailing. We had range limitations with the Silverton and eventually we stopped taking trips because of the rising cost of gas. We enjoyed taking trips to Lexington MI, Catawba OH, Put-in-Bay OH and Bayfield, Cananda. My plans were to journey up to the Georgian Bay, Mackinaw, the UP and Lake Michigan but the costs are too high. So, the obvious choice is to get into a sailboat.

At the moment I do not have a boat. I am in the hunt. With my wife and two kids, I'd like to have a 35' to 37' and would even go a little higher if the price is right. I'd like to find a well used boat that requires work so I can make most repairs myself and really get to know my vessel inside and out. I'm thinking of making a purchase in a few months and plan to keep it on the hard in a yard over the winter so I can work on it.

I work from home here in New Baltimore for an IT company. My wife owns her own business here also. We have two kids (7 & 9) and they have been boaters since they were born. We are extremely active with our schedules and only take vacation to tropical places surrounded by water. It's a recurring theme in our lives. We love to cruise and are going for our annual 11 day Southern Caribbean cruise this year in November.

That's just a brief background. Looking forward to meeting many here on this site. Also, I've been following many live-aboards on FB in the Sailboat Liveaboard group; which is a far off dream of mine.
 

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Matt,

Plenty of boats to choose from but what about a price range? When you consider buying, be sure to add mooring, launch, haul and maintenance. Maybe it's already in your plan but it adds up to lots. And keep in mind that two words that don't normally reside in the same sentence are "fast"and "sailboat". The next couple of months you'll see some good deals popping up. Be ready to pounce. Also, iMHO, don't get a boat that needs TOO much work. You'll work to hate it and sell never sailing.
 

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JackCalico, welcome aboard.
Two kids, parents with no sailing experience, Lake St Clair and adjacent Great Lakes?
S2 9.2C.
Decent build, relatively popular on great lakes, sails well, great cabin, under $20K.

But get out sailing first and see if you like it. It is slower, quieter, but you don;t spill your drink, and you can afford to buy better booze with your fuel savings. Come east and we'll take you out on lake erie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Don. Thanks for your reply and good advice by the way. I'm looking to spend under $50k for the right boat. Back when we bought the Silverton, we went from a ski boat right to the big boat. I'm sure glad we did. We knew many people who spent and lost lots of money gradually going up in size. First from a 22' to a 30' then to a 35' to a 42', etc. Many people told us we did it the right way. Buy as big as you can the first time. It didn't take much time to learn to handle and maintain the Silverton. Unfortunately a boat is not an investment and I want to go as large as comfortable in my first shot.

I've already talked to a couple brokers and presented my requirements. I didn't want any major problems like broken keels, major issues with the mast or something that was underwater for a few months. Just the type of cosmetic repairs such as minor engine repairs, leaky windows, upgrade to LED lights, appliance replacement, and such. I've found that many boats have been moderately refit with newer rigging and sails. I also don't want to buy a boat that doesn't need anything either.

As far as speed, there's nothing I like more then being on the water. Spending the day clipping at 7 knots under sail vs. speeding up and down the river at 3200 RPM's sounds fine with me. I like the strategy and planning that goes into sailing. Powering a boat doesn't take too much skill outside of the basics like weather, depth, etc. As I'm getting older, the slower, methodical and strategic approach seem to be what I'm craving most.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey BlJones. You touched on a point I was going to make. I'm reading two books right now. The Voyagers Handbook by Beth Leonard and A Sail of Two Idiots by Renee Petrillo. The first is great book that discuss all the technicals and breaks down the boat buying and maintenance details. The second is more entertaining read about two people who bought a boat with no experience and the three year journey to follow. It explains all the things they wish they'd done different up front that would've made it easier on this while sailing.

Which comes to my point. In my research, I've concluded that a cruiser is more my style. I've always been fond of the journey over the actual arrival. For example, in our Silverton, we'd make trips up the St Clair River to Lexington and Cananda. We'd leave early in the morning. Instead of burning our engines, I'd putter along at about 8 knots and just enjoy the scenery. Some years ago I thought a Trawler was the right long term choice for me as it would provide comfort over performance. But, Trawlers are just too expensive and also require huge amounts of gas. If Money was no object, I'd still go that way. But in a sailboat, comfort, space and stability are top on my list. More because I plan to travel with my family and I want them to be comfortable.

That said, I would be interested in both looking at your boat and sailing. Other then this weekend (because it's a holiday) let me know when you want to sail. I would certainly be interested with cruising with you. You can PM me and we can set something up. I know that being on a boat and being on the water is going to go a long way in my decision.

Thanks.
 
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