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Hey All

I'm new to sailing and this forum. Looking at purchasing a sail boat to learn on. I have a good amount of experience on the water but non with sailboats. I've always wanted to learn how to sail. I been casually reading up on sailing and checking craigslist for boats. I think I might have found one.

1971 O'DAY 17' SAILBOAT DAYSAILER (it won't let me post the link to the Columbus, OH craigslist)

Not sure if this is a good boat for beginners or not. Anyways any advice would be appreciated. I looking at just sailing on some of the small lakes around Ohio, nothing major or too exciting...yet
 

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Bring On The Wind
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Windseeker
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warning, you might end up sleepless planning docking procedures, thinking about provisions, trying to improve your tacks, your gybes. you will likely start talking about lines, wind shifts and sail trim to people with glazed over eyes. your hands will callous and your skin darken. when people talk to you about life shore you may go sailing in your mind, only to realize they just asked you something. you will possibly start watching at tree branches waving, flags flying and smoke drifting across in a manner that is bordering on the obsessive. it is likely you will look at metal products bought in home depot and think "this is inferior metal".

on the other hand....

that boat looks like a good start to me and possibly an end, if you feel you need the outboard have a hard look at it replacements don't seem to be cheap though with a boat that size a smaller electric troller might work for you just fine(tm). Nice to see an active class: DaySailer.org - Day Sailer Association that means you'll have people to question about issues and look for to get information on how to get the most out of the boat.
 

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YES! You won't find a better beginner boat than the Daysailer, although there are many that are just as good.

BEWARE! That particular boat is over 30 years old. The ad says it was posted 26 days ago - around my neck of the woods that would be a red flag. I'm assuming you don't know much about inspecting boats; I chose to read a couple of books on making boat inspections before I bought a sailboat. If you feel confident, ask the owner to take you out sailing in the boat before you buy it. Have cash in your pocket. If the boat sails well and it's comfortable for you, close the deal and pay for the boat after you get ashore.
 

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Windseeker
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As jwing mentions there are books to help you look at old sailboats - I'd recommend "inspecting the aging sailboat" by Don Casey. I haven't bought a small boat and there may be more appropriate reading for you but this book will have a bunch of things to look for in the gelcoat, woodwork, sail condition etc that will hold true for you.

I'd go for a sail with the owner, and take your friend who knows most about sailing with you.
 

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Great boat! When my wife and I were first married, we had an old Sailstar Explorer (very similar to the O'Day) on Narragansett Bay. Dollar for dollar, probably the most fun we've had in a boat.

If you plan to trailer the boat, make sure the mast is hinged above the deck to facilitate stepping the mast. Otherwise, it is quite a chore. (Of course, you can always have a yard cut the mast and add a hinge. That's what we did.)

I second the idea of getting someone experienced to look the boat over for you.
 

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Welcome to Sailnet!

Great boat! I grew up on such a boat, lake and ocean! Okay, so my old man was a little out there. But I have many fond memories, and when I think about some of them it scares the living sh** out of me and wonder how we survived. I was too young to know any better and had complete faith in the old man.
 

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Sailor of Small Waters
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warning, you might end up sleepless planning docking procedures, thinking about provisions, trying to improve your tacks, your gybes. you will likely start talking about lines, wind shifts and sail trim to people with glazed over eyes. your hands will callous and your skin darken. when people talk to you about life shore you may go sailing in your mind, only to realize they just asked you something. you will possibly start watching at tree branches waving, flags flying and smoke drifting across in a manner that is bordering on the obsessive. it is likely you will look at metal products bought in home depot and think "this is inferior metal".
Oh thank God, I thought it was just me!

I just bought a learner boat and I'm already showing the symptoms above. Good to know it's normal.

I have no experience with the Boat in question, but it was on my list to look for while shopping as it came highly recommended. GL!
 
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A perfect day!
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Just a thought...if you haven't settled on a boat yet.....
Check out the O'Day Mariner. It's 19 ft, a little bigger than the Daysailer, has a little more freeboard, (rail height above the water line). It's a proven sailer, very easy to sail and stable too, plus a little more room for others. Google it!
Also, it's still being built. Design bought by another company so you can find a newer model. Good luck!
Chris
 

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I started out in your situation last January, had been shopping boats on CL and asking questions where I could. Here is some of what I learned:

1. If you don't love the boat then she's not for you.

2. You can go small to learn on, but you can learn on a bigger boat too. I started out looking at smaller boats and ended up in a 26'. I won't have to sell my starter boat to upgrade, or bother with launching every time I want to go out (slip fees though). If you've decided you love sailing, think about buying the boat you want, instead of building up to it.

3. If you don't love the boat then she's not for you.
 

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Land lubber
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I started out in your situation last January, had been shopping boats on CL and asking questions where I could. Here is some of what I learned:

1. If you don't love the boat then she's not for you.

2. You can go small to learn on, but you can learn on a bigger boat too. I started out looking at smaller boats and ended up in a 26'. I won't have to sell my starter boat to upgrade, or bother with launching every time I want to go out (slip fees though). If you've decided you love sailing, think about buying the boat you want, instead of building up to it.

3. If you don't love the boat then she's not for you.
I wholeheartedly disagree. I purchased a Mac 25 for my wife and I to learn on. I am not in love with the boat. It does nothing for me that way. What it did do:

1. Fit my price point
2. Trailerable (no slip fees).
3. Easy to resell and recoup my entire investment (if not a little profit on top) when we are done with it.
4. (hopefully) will allow us to make an informed decision on what we are really wanting when it is time to upgrade. We also plan to join a sailing club next year which will allow us access to several different size and brands of boats before buying.
 
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