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JayBoy
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I am 25 years old, My dream is to sail across an ocean. I grew up on the shores of lake Erie riding jet skis and otwing friends on tubes via jet boat. My goal this year was to learn how to sail. I got to help sail a 50' boat in San Diego earlier this year and loved it. I am looking into good starting boats. finding some decent options around the 3k range. Roughly 24' boats. I want something that can be sailed alone, but be spacious enough to relax with a few friends. I plan on following shore in this boat. no full crossings. I would only consider crossing lake Erie. So, I need advice. what kind of boat? I need to actually learn as well. I plan on taking a 3 day course in the fall. I just need to know what I am looking for. Any advice is appreciated. This is a lot to try to learn without any guidance. Thanks in advance!
 

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Administrator
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Welcome to SailNet. Welcome to sailing.

Before the hammer comes down from those with reading comprehension problems, the OP does say that he is looking for a "starter" boat. Not quite our usual "kid with no experience who wants to buy a 40' boat and sail the world" post.

I'm moving this to the Learning to Sail forum.

In the meantime while our members wind up to answer, if you scroll down to the bottom of this thread there are links to similar questions. If you putz around the Learning to Sail forum you will see more, and even more if you use the search box above.

And for a first boat, I'll put a plug in for a Catalina. Ours has been good to us.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Welcome to sail net. Try doing a search as this thread is often repeated here. You will have a hard time finding a 24footer in the $3k range.

Do you own a truck you could tow with? If not you need to budget a 1000 a year or more for a slip or mooring. The first year of ownership could cost more than the purchaser price. You might want to consider a smaller boat or joining a club if a 24 footer is out of your price range.
 

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JayBoy
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Welcome to sail net. Try doing a search as this thread is often repeated here. You will have a hard time finding a 24footer in the $3k range.

Do you own a truck you could tow with? If not you need to budget a 1000 a year or more for a slip or mooring. The first year of ownership could cost more than the purchaser price. You might want to consider a smaller boat or joining a club if a 24 footer is out of your price range.
Have access to a truck. I am fine with the slip cost. I have never been in a boat club, my local club is 164 a/mo. Can you typically meet people and be crew on their boats to learn? I'm not sure how the club thing works.
 

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Are you looking for brand name suggestions? There are so many, that could be tricky, a lot of the time, folks figure out what's available in their area in decent condition for a price they can afford. Craig's list and Kijiji are your friends.

A few common boats on the great lakes that can often be had cheap in the size range you want include; Tanzer 22, Catalina 22, Shark 24, Tanzer 7.5. Don't get too hung up on name brand, look for features and condition.
 

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JayBoy
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Are you looking for brand name suggestions? There are so many, that could be tricky, a lot of the time, folks figure out what's available in their area in decent condition for a price they can afford. Craig's list and Kijiji are your friends.

A few common boats on the great lakes that can often be had cheap in the size range you want include; Tanzer 22, Catalina 22, Shark 24, Tanzer 7.5. Don't get too hung up on name brand, look for features and condition.
Yah I have seen a lot of Tanzer. I have a small List of necessities which are

-Single or double handling
-motor, preferably outboard (if I have to work on it)
-center council
- can do a jib sail
-cabin space to sleep two

Any recommendations on keel types for great lakes is appreciated. Would like to take it to the ocean for coastal sailing later on so if there is a keel good for both, that's a plus.

cheers my friend!
 

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All the boats above meet your listed criteria.

If you are planning to trailer the boat, I would consider a "swing keel".

If you are not planning to trailer the boat a "fin keel" could be a good option.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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7,336 Posts
Craigslist, eBay and (god help me for stating this) FaceBook's Boats For Sale By Owner Only would be good places to begin your search. A friend of mine has a Hunter 216 with a crack in the deck that might be a good starter boat, and he is selling it for under $3K. I *think* that he is including the trailer too.

Your best bet is to sail with as many different captains as you can. I would suggest that you create an account on GoSailing.com, and look for opportunities. You may also want to take a course or two. For example; I had been looking for people to help me move my boat from Rhode Island to Florida, and one of MY criteria is that any crew member should have ASA 104 certification under their belt. The net result is that I have a bunch of retirees as crew. I would have loved to find a 20, or 30 something with qualifications.

Good luck and welcome to SailNut!
 

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As for clubs, search Google for "sailing clubs" or "sailing associations" in your area. My first club that I joined when I was new to sailing cost $45/year. I'm still a member even though we've moved on from our 22 footer. And they have since lowered the annual dues cost. It's a great way to meet other sailors, hang out, crew on boats like you'll possibly own, get a feel for if you really want to make the investment (which, by the way, doesn't end after you buy a boat. That's only the beginning.) Those clubs are also a good way to learn of a boat for sale as often they sell within the club and only resort to Craig's List or Ebay if they have to.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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By sailing club I was referring to a club that had boats and for $45/month you can rent them cheaper. Being in Cleveland your choices may be limited, in San Diego I had 3 or more to choose from.

The other option is find the local yacht club. Buy some white soled shoes and sailing gloves. Show up to race nights or on weekends and ask around if anyone needs crew. Right now you sound qualified only to be "moveable ballast." Remember that phrase if they ask you what you can do. If you show up often eventually you will be given a job and start learning a lot. The bigger the boat the more crew needed, especially on windy nights. Unfortunately the yacht club seems more like smaller boats racing.
http://www.eycweb.com/Home/Racing.aspx
There is no need to join a yacht club, if you race someones boat that belongs there you should be welcome on race days anyways.

Go to the library or bookstore and get some books on sailing. You have a lot to learn. Read as much as you can, you will be more likely to be welcomed back if you can "talk the talk", it's obvious you have been on a sailboat around once. Center console is a fishing boat thing. Instead of "do a jib." You are looking for a sloop.

Meetup is a good place to get some sailing opportunities.
https://www.meetup.com/topics/sailing/us/oh/cleveland/?_cookie-check=RgSZmDJCHbSC6btG


For the kind of boat you are looking for save up $5-6k for next summer, you get what you pay for.
 

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My advice:

1) Read Your First Sailboat, by Daniel Spurr;

2) Don't get hung up on specific makes and models. Shop locally for boats that: are in your price range, have most of the features you are looking for (you'll know better if you read the book), and can be sailed the day that you buy. You really won't know about boat ownership until you own one, and you won't learn a heck of a lot about sailing unless you sail a lot, as the skipper. Therefore, if you end up enjoying sailing, your first boat will probably not be your last - but it may be the most informative.

3) Smaller boats are less expensive to own, maintain, repair, and improve. By a larger margin than you would guess until you know. To illustrate: check out prices of new sails for a Hunter 19 ($1179) vs. a Hunter 22 ($1538) vs. a Hunter 240 ($1929). Catalina 25 sails are over $600 more expensive than Catalina 22 sails.

4) Get a boat with a tiller, not a wheel. While learning to sail, tillers give feedback that wheels don't.

5) An active and helpful owner's association is more valuable than you can imagine right now.
 

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A Catalina 22 is a great starter boat. Easy to handle and big enough for 2 to spend a night or two.
Want more room and more creature comforts, look at a Catalina 25. Way bigger than a 22 and still manageable.
Both will come with outboards although there are a few, rare 25's with inboards.
 

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Mirage 33
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I cut my sailing teeth with the Tanzer 7.5 in my profile and would recommend one as a learner\capable lake boat for sure. I sail mine on the North Channel of Huron and on Huron itself. She has an outboard just like you prefer which is easy to fix, but can be a hazard in bigger lakes waves (over 4ft+).

Mine has a shoal draft. A few things about that. A proper shoal draft will do the boat justice, poorly designed ones (a cut off fin with extra weight dumped in the bilge) generally don't do well. Tanzer opted to make their shoal by making the keel shorter but elongating it (like a hockey skate blade). It sails well for what it is and it's VERY forgiving. My tanzer 7.5 shoalie only needs 3ft of water to float, and I launch from the trailer with my pickup truck, no crane or boat lift needed.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me. Here's what I would highly recommend you look for in gear in order to single hand:

-Roller furling headsail, preferably a name brand like Harken, these are very common.
-An updated chartplotter, Garmin makes excellent sounder\plotters for cheap (mine is a 44dv).
-An autopilot. These aren't just for overnight passages, if you're out there sailing alone and just need to use the head this is vital, heaving to, or lying ahull in a small sailboat to use the washroom is sketchy, you need an autopilot to keep you safely on track.

Small boats, like my Tanzer, easily have the lines led to the cockpit, so even if they aren't already it's a simple job to do. Also as you asked about bringing friends to hang out, my cockpit easily fits 4 of us, and we've done week long trips with 3 of us easily on the boat including sleeping everyone inside. See my youtube link below for some video clips if you're curious. Hope that helps!
 

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JayBoy
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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, Thanks for all the great feedback. I just bought the mentioned book and will read it over the next few days. I got pricing to be a member at the yacht club down the street and its about 200 a/mo. they have sister clubs all over the US however which is good seeing as how i'm always traveling for work. I was also wondering if i need certain shoes or gloves? does that matter? opinions? maybe let me know some major do's and donts? thanks again everyone, glad I can talk to you all!
 

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Have access to a truck. I am fine with the slip cost. I have never been in a boat club, my local club is 164 a/mo. Can you typically meet people and be crew on their boats to learn? I'm not sure how the club thing works.
Come down to Edgewater Yacht Club between the 15th and 24th of this month and see if you can get a spot crewing. It's Race Week (it's one of the biggest, if not the biggest race on Erie), and there will be a lot of activity. Worst case scenario, maybe you can set up some sailing time after Race Week it over.

-- Bill
 
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