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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks.

Just came here and signed up because it claims this is the largest forum for sailing. I have took a serious interest in learning to sail a boat. I've never stepped foot on one, nevermind sailing one. I have been looking into taking lessons on how to get the task done. But, my main curiosity is the cost of a decent sized boat. On craigslist here in Daytona, I find a lot within my price range of $4-8k. I'd rather buy in cash than finance. Am I in my right mind to accept the fact that such a large boat (20 something feet long) can be a good buy? Or should I assume there is something wrong with the boat? Again, I am completely new to this whole gig. The other thing is, I am wondering the size of boat I should consider? What I would like to have, and be able to do is:

Spend a week or two in the boat
Sail larger rivers and along the coast (close to shore)
Sail large lakes
Sail comfortably, I dont care about speed so much
Something good for fishing
Can house 3 to 7 people (mostly 3 sleeping within)
And decent quality

I have no idea if I posted in the right area. I just saw "Introduce Yourself", and thought I would start here.

My overall reason for selecting sail over motor boat is due to the savings on gas and pollution, and it being safer for the folks below the water swimming around.

thanks for any answers provided, in advance!
 

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Brett,

Welcome to SailNet.

Based on some of your assumptions about sailing, I would suggest that you first take a sailing course. An on water course will help you to determine if you even like to sail. Once you do that, you should revisit your list and see if it changes. I would also suggest Googgling for a local sail club to join. They are inexpensive and often will give you the opportunity to sail on other people's boats so that you can see just how varied the choices are.

As it stands, it seems to me like you should be looking at boats that can be trailered (to get to the lakes and back out to the coast) and have an adjustable keel (for the gunkholing in rivers). You'll also need a vehicle that can safely tow the boat.

As for boat size, unless you go with the high end of 20 feet towards the trailerable limit, 7 people will be a tight fit even then. Unless you love each other a LOT.

Spend some time in the Learning to Sail forum. Others with your same questions have received good advice. Ask questions here and best of luck with your new adventure!!
 

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Im definitely looking into learning how to sail. Not sure if anyone is familiar with the Halifax Sailing Club here in Daytona, but that is what I am considering. I do have a truck that is capable of pulling the boat, so that is already out of the way. I watch sailboats pass by everyday, and see them anchored out on the river while I sit out on my patio. Im certainly not a lazy person, I do know it takes work to sail, but I am up for it.
 

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Hi Brett,

Sounds like my story but you have more of a clew.

Donna is right. Or, let me add my opinion, then compare. I'd suggest picking up a The Complete Trailor Sailor by Brian Gilbert. Lots of great info on exactly what you're looking to do. Especially in the back. Pages and pages of specs, photos, sketches pros and cons on about 50 boats from 12 to 28 feet. They can help you to kow what you like, hate, can't live without and never knew you always wanted. Allow me to be sexist for a moment. A boat is like a woman. She can be pretty, slim, classy, rough and tumble, well maintained, need a little paint, nice curves or wide of beam. Doesn't matter. Do you have chemistry? Find what makes you heart flutter, then pursue her.

You're looking in the 25 foot range. 21 foot isn't very big by sailing terms. Take a sailing class if you can. If not, there are vidios and books. STUDY! But be SURE to take a Sailing and Seamanship course from your local USCGA. Absolute must. Boating without it is literally like driving in a foreign land not knowing the laws, literally. Shoal keel for your thin waters.Consider dry sailing, storing on a trailer at the marina. They can launch for short money whenever you need it. Most of all, sail all you can and make lots of dumb mistakes. We all did.

Now, you can get a decent boat, on a trailer, in the 25 foot range for your money. No problem. And if you're lucky, you'll hate sailing and save lots of money. BOAT-Break Out Another Thousand. If not, your mistakes are made in a smallish boat, not on her big sister. Good plan. If you can hold off until next year, the boat prices will drop in November. But don't rush into a boat that needs a lot of work. She needs to be sailable from the start, maybe some new cushions or running rigging, but nothing big. Nothing kills a relationship like a needy partner.

Well, work is calling. One more night and I get to take the family up Maine, to the islands for a couple of days. Yeah, be jealous. I'm OK with that.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Perfect reply, Don! I will certainly look into that book! This is basically what I was looking for. Someone to point me in some direction to start educating myself. I love books! I will have to look into the USCGA course, though. I never really gave much thought into that, but thought any course I took on sailing would cover that?

BTW, Maine is beautiful. Used to go there all the time when I lived in Massachusetts. I just never made it to Acadia, like I've always wanted. One day! Maybe even sail there! Haha. Just need to get this going and see what its all about. I love the intricacy of it.
 

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Brett,

The course is around $75 and takes a day. The biggest thing you will get out of it is the rules of the road. In Maine, certification is not required. SO . . . a yahoo with a credit card can rent a boat, have 350HP strapped to his aft, and blast through the channel at highway speeds. You know, the no-wake, shallow draft channel with rocks that are identified by buoys that he doesn't understand, cutting off the incoming limited-by-draft ferry and the smaller-than-him boat approaching from his starboard side, all because he was fussing with the now-half-gone 30 pack in his cooler. Yeah, S&S from USCGA is prime. Good news is that in the next few years, Maine will probably adopt a certification program, just like NH, requiring some sort of licensing for boaters. The card that I carry from the USCGA is it, so, unlike retirement, I'm way ahead of the curve.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I see boats down here cruising though the Halifax everyday at faster speeds than they have posted. Im a kayaker, and Im not a fan when they blow by me sending a huge wake my way. My backyard is the Halifax, so I see what happens out there and understand what you are saying. I've noticed a lot out there that I am not familiar with on the water. I also would need to know how to get the draw bridges in action around here. So the USCG course is probably a good idea. I dont expect to buy a boat anytime soon. There is just too much to learn before I can just go buy a boat and start sailing. I want to be comfortable with the terms around the boat, and have a half-assed idea of what I am doing. I did buy the book you mentioned today. I also plan to look into the books DR mentioned. I learn mostly by doing, but books are a good starting point for me right now. There is a sailing course for beginners in August I plan to sign up for to get the ball rolling. It is very interesting to me. I guess their starting point in the course is a Hobie. Looks like a good way to start with the concepts of catching the wind.
 
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