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Hi all, I'm new to sailing, so new in fact, I don't have a sailboat and actually have never been on a sailboat. I will not be deterred however and within the next year, I will be living aboard. My plan is to purchase the largest boat that I will be able to sail alone once I've spent a year or so learning to sail. I will want as much space as I can afford and will be seeking a boat in the 35 to 41' range. In research on this site, I came across a thread that mentioned a 41' Hardin Seawolf, researched it a bit, and fell in love. It looks like it would require a crew to sail though. Is that the case? Thanks in advance for your patient ear and advice.
 

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In the past the big issue would be handling sails buy your self with modern furling systems that is no longer a problem

If your single handing then you really want a boat built around a self tacking JIB becasue again it makes it easy for a solo sail
 

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You can sail a very large boat by yourself, 50' 60', not out of the question.

It's the docking, anchoring and picking up mooring balls that get real tricky alone.

Lots & lots of people sail very large boats double handed so no need for a 'crew'. The second person aboard makes a huge difference.

If you have no boat handling experience, you will have a VERY difficult time with a 41', especially alone.
 

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I agree with xort, Sailing is not the issue, its all the other stuff.
 

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Sailsoon, if we are talking about a Hardin ketch Thats a lot of boat to single hand. They weigh 30,000 pounds. Thats a good thing for a comfortable motion when at sea, However docking alone is a whole other issue. Tacking that monster ought to be a treat also.

The ketch rig just adds more things to tend to (I know Cam will disagree). This would not be my first pick for a boat if I was going it alone.

In fact, I would be looking for something 32 to 35 foot range and fractional rigged sloop.
 

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No...actually I don't disagree. For single handing I would be looking in the 35-38' range myself and looking at a simple sloop or cutter rig with everything rigged to the cockpit for furling and reefing. (And a reliable auto-pilot!).
Soon2...the choice of a boat will depend on your resources and your future intentions. So far we know you want a lot of room and that you will be singlehanding and like a salty looking vessel. Need to know more.
 

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As I read your post it really sounds like you are looking for two boats; one to learn to sail on and one to live on and long term cruise. Boats that are big enough to live on, especially if described as 'the biggest boat that I can single-hand', are usually too big to learn on if you intend to learn to sail well.

Ideally, if you really intend to learn to sail well, (and not everybody cares whether they actually learn to be good sailors but that's another topic) then I suggest that you would be well served buying a small (23 to 30 foot max with 26-28 feet being more ideal), tiller steered, used but in good shape, responsive, fin keel-spade rudder, largish production run, ideally fractionally rigged, sloop.

You can own a boat like that for a couple years, sail the living daylights out of her and sell her for pretty much what you have in her. You will be years and many dollars ahead of the game in terms of learning boat handling skills and what it takes to own and maintain a boat. The deductible for the repair costs for single accident with a boat big enough to live on could well exceed the entire cost of owning and learning on a smaller boat.

When it comes to the biggest single-handers that you can can handle, the traditional rule of thumbs were based on displacement and not length. Before the advent of modern deck hardware, and lower drag hull forms and rigs (easier to handle) the rule of thumb used to be a range 2 1/2 to 5-6 tons (long tons) per person. That would suggest that anything over about 11,000 lbs would start to press the convenient limit (roughly a 38 footer max). With modern gear and efficient rigs that number can be extended so that it is possible to handle a much bigger boat, but as boats get bigger they become dependant on higher levels of skill, lots of luck, and much better equipment than a new sailor is likely to have.

Lastly, the Hardin's were a miserable boat to sail. To me they are a characture rather than good sailing boat. So while they may shiver your timbers, I suggest that spend as much time as you can, sailing as many boats as you can, of as many types as you can, and I suspect when you are done doing that you won't have to ask us what kind of boat you should buy and will know why the Hardin is probably not a great choice for whatever you want to do with a boat.

I do not mean this as a put down in any way. We all had to start somewhere. I think that I completely understand where you are coming from. When I bought my first 'live aboard' in 1973 it was a totally inappropriate choice that simply captured my imagination.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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I like the way you think! Okay, I don't usually open up so quickly, but I'm among friends, right? My other half just a couple of weeks ago decided that 22 years was Lomg enough with her other half and now, though I'll miss her landlubber ways, am ready to move on to the water I've missed so much for these past 2 decades. I'm not trying to escape. I'm just ready to run off win my second bride--the sea. So, all of my new helpful friends, I"m thankful for advice received and of that yet to come. When not working, I plan on being a devoted student to the sail and sea. I want to sleep at night to the heart beat of sea. Then, after learning to sail along the shorelines and hrogh the bays of the Gulf of Mexico, I want to sail without boundary. I need a lot of space because I have avery cool dog, a lot of camera gear and just in case a like-minded beautiful woman wants to join me some day. I think that covers all it requiremts. Thanks again for the help.
 

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zanshin on here was sailing a Jeanneau 43 by himself, not has a 49 deck salon model, he has had out a few times over the last 2-3 weeks IIRC. He might have had a bow thruster on the 43, don;t quote me tho. Not sure the whole specs of the 49 off the top of my head. But a quote on the Jeanneau-owners site, he mentioned that the extra 6' was more than he thought it would be manuvering. I'm sure he will do fine figureing out tho.

For me, a mid 30' boat is plenty for what I do. For others, something bigger is nicer. I would also stick to a sloop style, or a ketch/yawl that is self tending for the most part. hanse has a few newer models that have self tending jibs, as does Tarten, which may rufle some feathers on mentioning this brand, but the 3400 or the 3700CCR setup have self tending jibs. Either should work for your needs, the 3700 is probably the better of the two, and if you go back to a 98-04 models would be best. The 3400 is new wit int he last 3 yrs or so, again go used.

marty
 

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Bummer...but I guess every cloud has a silver lining. So...if you want to cross oceans and only buy ONE boat...then you should be looking at bluewater boats in the 35-38' range. Check the sticky of bluewater boats here in posts #6 & 8 for some ideas then check yachtworld.com for some pictures and prices to help you begin to narrow things down.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying-boat/39936-updated-offshore-cruising-boat-list-january-2008-a.html

The upcoming Miami sailboat show might be a good place to get started if you're looking to kick things into high gear. Lots of new boats and sailing seminars as close proximity to all the brokerage boats in Miami & Ft. Lauderdale.
Strictly Sail

We're here when you need us.
 

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Thanks again and sorry for the stupid typos. The rum & cokes are starting to wear off and I'm off that damn iphone.

Cheers
 

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Alain Colas sailed a 70m (210+ feet) 4 masted sailboat alone back years ago. Became "Phocea" later on.
The sailor (and money for the necessary systems) is a greater limiting factor than the boat in my opinion.

Since you don't know how to sail, may I politely suggest buying a live aboard in a reasonable range (28-32 feet) for cheap-ish AND a go out everyday dinghy type. Sunfish, laser (tricky for beginner). Learn wind/handling on the small boat.

In any case, no big fan of single handling sailing offshore passages as there is no way to properly comply with Colregs Rule 5.
Eric
 

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I need a lot of space because I have avery cool dog, a lot of camera gear and just in case a like-minded beautiful woman wants to join me some day. I think that covers all it requiremts. Thanks again for the help.
Ah, what you are really looking for is a chick magnet. A boat that a) reinforces the image of a roguish, devil-may-care adventurer while b) being suitably comfortable and homey enough that a woman will want to voyage to far off lands with you.

Good advice to get a smaller live-aboard and a dinghy to learn the fine art of sailing.

What is your budget? Don't tell me, just get a figure in your head. Now, cut it in half. Take that new figure, and go shopping on yachtworld. See what you can buy. The rest of your budget will go into refitting, and upgrading your new home, with some left over for lessons and a charter trip. No point buying the boat if you can't sail it, can't afford the upkeep and the unexpected. and if you decide that sailing is not the dream you thought it would be, you have some cash in your pocket to pursue your next dream while you sell off this one.
 
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