SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am from Seattle and working on putting together my dream. My underway experience is three years sea time with the United States Coast Guard out of Woods Hole, MA. I've in the North Atlantic off Georges Banks and Grand Banks in January when the seas were less than amicable. I look forward to gleaning information from all you old salts. Since my experience with vessels that are powered with canvas is limited I'll be asking a ton of questions. Be gentle, its my first time.


Respectfully,
CrimsonBrain
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
Welcome!

I have to ask: Was your time in the CG above or below deck? My SO was an EM in the CG at Sitka and then Cape May (the Alert) and was great with our engine and electrical stuff but couldn't tie a knot to save a life and being on watch meant "engine watch". :) I've since brought him out of the bilge.

So, what is your dream as far as sailing goes?
 

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
DRFerron,
I was a deck seaman (engines and I aren't tight). Stationed aboard the former USCGC Bittersweet, and the USCGC Sanibel (WPB - 1312). Absolutely loved it being a deck seaman. However my father a 22 year retired BMCM said "Don't go Boatswain's Mate." I went SK. However, I do know basic Navigation (GPS and Loran, and triangulation from reference points) and I know knots.

Here is my dream. It's my 5 year plan.

I am currently living in Seattle, WA and am a social worker (just graduated with my masters from the UW).

1. Learn to sail, and sail in expert fashion. I am currently a crew of one, so single handed will be my focus.

2. search for and acquire a live aboard sailboat. I plan for this boat and I to be together for a long time, so the boats I am looking at as far as liveaboard should have space, be comfortable, and classy. I likes me my comfortable.

3. Save up the money, and spend 2+ years circumnavigating the globe, single handed.

5. The Boat:
a)The boat must be able to be single-handed safely and be a decent ride in in blue water (obviously, circumnavigation) which includes rounding cape horn.

b)Must have enough space to have company aboard, if I feel like it.

c) should be a newer vessel.

d) Owner's stateroom aft. I've spent way to much time in forward berthing. I know that ride.

d) Several other details which I can't remember of the top of my head.

What I've been looking at:

Beneteau: 48, 50 and the new 55

Jeanneau Sun Oddessy 50

Hunter 50

I would like to keep the boat to within 5 years old when I purchase her. Those are the basics. It's beautiful in my mind.

Ready - Reality---GO!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
Great start. I would suggest that you keep an open mind. As you learn more, don't hesitate to adjust your plan as your knowledge grows.
 

·
no longer reading SailNet
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
Wow, those are big boats for just starting out! You might want to look at less expensive to maintain options too. There are a lot of upper 20s to upper 30s boats that would meet all of your requirements and have a fraction of the annual maintainance cost (and initial purchase price). As an example a friend has a Pacific Seacraft Orion that is only 27', but meets all of your needs (for a limited definition of company).

I'm in Seattle and learned how to sail here a few years ago. With your background in navigation and knots you'll be able to concentrate on the sailing aspects and probably pick it up pretty quickly. I had some experience in those areas from a related sport that helped me a lot when learning how to sail.

I learned how to sail at the Center for Wooden Boats and can recommend them as a resource. I've also sailed at, but haven't taken classes at, Wind Works which teaches the full US Sailing curriculum on larger boats (and charters a variety of sailboats). CWB is a great place to concentrate on sailing (they teach sailing on motorless 20 foot keel boats) while Wind Works and the ASA schools have longer courses that also go into motorized docking, navigation, and other seamanship skills.
 

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Alex,
I had no idea that the CWB conducted sailing classes, which is cool. I wanted to ask about sailing smaller craft and the translation to larger boats. So if a person learned to sail on a smaller craft, would it directly translate to sailing larger vessels? I have been looking at sailing classes at Wind Works.
My concern about the smaller boats is comfort and live aboard-ability. I haven't been on a sailboat smaller than 40 feet, in fact the Beneteau dealer suggested a sub 50' boat for sailing. Thanks for the recommendations, I hope I can use you as a resource for further research.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
Alex,
I had no idea that the CWB conducted sailing classes, which is cool. I wanted to ask about sailing smaller craft and the translation to larger boats. So if a person learned to sail on a smaller craft, would it directly translate to sailing larger vessels?
The physics of sailing are the same no matter what you sail. What you have to learn when moving to a different boat is the set-up of the rigging.

My concern about the smaller boats is comfort and live aboard-ability.
Learn on a smaller boat then buy the bigger live aboard boat later.

I haven't been on a sailboat smaller than 40 feet, in fact the Beneteau dealer suggested a sub 50' boat for sailing.
Of COURSE he did. :laugher:laugher
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Welcome! Thank you for your service in the USCG. I was a civilian employee for a while at the EECEN in Wildwood Crest. Y'all are the unsung heroes of our armed forces.

I agree with Donna and Alex. Try buying an inexpensive, used, "disposable" boat like a Catalina 25/27/30 (depending on your budget) and give sailing a try. That will also allow you to get a feel for what the ownership costs are like, how much time the care and feeding of a private boat requires, etc. As Donna rightly pointed out, be ready for your plans, and your wants/needs to change once you've gotten your feet wet.

The 40'+ boats are beautiful and will give you lots of room, but as Alex pointed out, the maintenance and marina costs of such boats can be a killer. From what I've read (I'm very new), the "sweet spot" for circumnavigation boats/blue water boats seems to be in the upper 30's to very low 40's. That gives you enough room to stretch out, enough carrying capacity, and enough storage to live comfortably. As you go bigger, the size of the sails necessarily increases, and with it comes the need for more strength, unless you're going to add mechanical or electrical systems that assist you (but also add more point sources for possible failure). Something in the upper 30's should still be "do-able" as a single handed boat if you are able-bodied, but BOY can it get tough some times.
 

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Jim,
Thank you for your service. Getting my feet wet isn't a problem, I've been wanting a boat for decades, and now I am just getting around to putting the dream into action. So, the desire to sail and live aboard isn't a passing folly. I do agree with getting a smaller used boat for my training boat and figuring out the balance between dream and reality. And of course finding the balance between comfort and having a user friendly boat. I really appreciate any and all suggestions, and recommendations.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Jim,
Thank you for your service.
While I appreciate the sentiment, and not to drag this thread in a different direction, I was a civilian and could quit at any time. For me, it was "just" a job (though I enjoyed it, and that isn't REALLY an accurate characterization of how I felt about my work there). You and your brethren made a real commitment and are the ones who deserve our thanks.

As to your goals, you are in a better position than most of the "I need a bluewater liveaboard tomorrow" posters here to understand what this really entails. That being said, since you're still a novice to sailing, I would respectfully suggest that it may not be all that you think it is. I could be wrong, and you may very well understand what you're in for or at least be willing to tolerate the fact that it may very well deviate from what you're envisioning, and you don't care because you will have lived/realized the dream. In that case, I look forward to reading about your adventures! But for many, the purchase of a large boat represents a significant investment, and there are many boats out there whose owners had dreams and aspirations that were similar to yours, and then realized after jumping in with both feet that it isn't what they expected. The boats sit idle at a slip, or on the hard, deteriorating by the day as the owners try to sell the boat, their finances hanging on by a shoestring (if they are lucky). I've said it many times before here - my goal is to make sure you're going into this with your eyes open, and as informed as possible about what you're getting into. As long as that's the case, then I wish you well in your endeavor.

What is your plan for learning to sail? Will you take ASA courses, or buy a boat and learn on it?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
DRFerron,
What are you saying that the Beneteau rep, is a sailsman?
Dealers want to move their boats. Most care more that you can buy it than if it's the right boat for you at the time.

My approach was to research every boat I considered to within an inch of its life. That's just the way I work. When I went to boat shows and boarded the boats I wasn't interested in a sales pitch. I wanted my questions answered. When I researched the C30 my questions were based on lurking on owners email lists and brochures and minimally how we used our 22. Now that we're moving up in size and to a much newer boat my questions are based more on how we use the 30 and how our needs changed and what didn't work for our needs on the 30. Also, participating in a Catalina sailing club with every boat from 27 to 47 involved, I hear at raftups and parties and whatnot what works and doesn't work for the owners. We ask questions. We could see boats that were lived in/sailed and not just with potted plants thrown on tables by dealers to make it look nice. Mostly what I learned was that the same things broke on newer, bigger boats but those things were more expensive to fix. Quite a few have taken their Catalinas to the same locations I hope to visit so I ask how the boat worked for them.

Some people firmly believe that you should just buy the biggest boat you can afford and don't putz around with learning on a dinghy or whatever. To me, my approach allows us to slow down, make sure that as few purchasing mistakes as possible are made and still enjoy sailing while relishing the "journey" to the larger boat. Hopefully our major sailing mistakes will have been learned on the less expensive boat and we'll know better for the next one. It's my version of "enjoy the journey not just the destination."
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimgo

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Donna,
Yes, I agree that not actually being any part of a sailing community or boating community in the area is a drawback, and most of my research has on my own, lurking sites like this, watching videos as a matter of fact I've seen Ian's video on single handing the 57 foot Jeanneau. Very impressive. I hope to rectify the situation about getting closer to the boating community as I get into sailing classes and post on the various sites. There is a boat show coming up in January, and I am looking forward to that. Definitely talking to other boat owners would be helpful and asking the right questions of course. Bringing me to these questions:

1. What was the greatest surprise(good) you got when you purchased your boat?

2. What was the greatest shock you received when you bought your boat?

3. What are somethings you would have done differently during the research and purchase of your boat?
 

·
Crimson_Brain
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
While I appreciate the sentiment, and not to drag this thread in a different direction, I was a civilian and could quit at any time. For me, it was "just" a job (though I enjoyed it, and that isn't REALLY an accurate characterization of how I felt about my work there). You and your brethren made a real commitment and are the ones who deserve our thanks.
I am certainly sentimental

As to your goals, you are in a better position than most of the "I need a bluewater liveaboard tomorrow" posters here to understand what this really entails. That being said, since you're still a novice to sailing, I would respectfully suggest that it may not be all that you think it is. I could be wrong, and you may very well understand what you're in for or at least be willing to tolerate the fact that it may very well deviate from what you're envisioning, and you don't care because you will have lived/realized the dream. In that case, I look forward to reading about your adventures! But for many, the purchase of a large boat represents a significant investment, and there are many boats out there whose owners had dreams and aspirations that were similar to yours, and then realized after jumping in with both feet that it isn't what they expected. The boats sit idle at a slip, or on the hard, deteriorating by the day as the owners try to sell the boat, their finances hanging on by a shoestring (if they are lucky). I've said it many times before here - my goal is to make sure you're going into this with your eyes open, and as informed as possible about what you're getting into. As long as that's the case, then I wish you well in your endeavor.

What is your plan for learning to sail? Will you take ASA courses, or buy a boat and learn on it?

I definitely understand. and please feel free to tell me if my eyes are bigger than my stomach, I am always biting off more than I can chew. Thank you for stating that. This is a 5 year plan, so there are a lot of things that need to come together for it to happen. You bring up an interesting question in my mind about learning to sail:

1. What is your thinking on the classes first, then buy a boat Versus Buy a boat and learn on it. I am sure there are positives and drawbacks to both. My thinking was that I would learn to sail through classes. However, as DRFerron pointed out about the Wind Works sailing club in Seattle, it seems awfully expensive to go through their courses. Taking all their courses would probably run in the thousands of dollars (basic Keel boat, coastal cruising, navigation etc.) although they are an ASA certified instruction, and clearly I need to be trained up. I don't want to take a soaking in the process.

1. What were some unpleasant surprises for you when you first started sailing?

2. What are some bits of information you would have liked to have had that you didn't get when you first started sailing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
Donna,
Yes, I agree that not actually being any part of a sailing community or boating community in the area is a drawback, and most of my research has on my own, lurking sites like this, watching videos as a matter of fact I've seen Ian's video on single handing the 57 foot Jeanneau. Very impressive. I hope to rectify the situation about getting closer to the boating community as I get into sailing classes and post on the various sites. There is a boat show coming up in January, and I am looking forward to that. Definitely talking to other boat owners would be helpful and asking the right questions of course. Bringing me to these questions:

1. What was the greatest surprise(good) you got when you purchased your boat?
That I could actually make the damn thing sail.

2. What was the greatest shock you received when you bought your boat?
From the survey we knew that our engine had issues but we expected to get a few more years than we did from it. The new engine (engine and labor and whatever was needed to make a higher HP engine fit) cost more than we paid for the boat but we were too fed up with things breaking on EVERY trip that we sucked it up and went for it.

3. What are somethings you would have done differently during the research and purchase of your boat?
We almost made some mistakes in the purchase process. Fortunately, the broker refused to let us follow through and thus saved us a lot of money. Other than that, I'm happy with the way I went about things.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
I found a local (county-run) introduction to sailing program at a local lake, and learned the basics that way. $85/person for my wife and me, and I think we had 3-5 classes one day a week for a few hours a class in a 14.5' with an instructor. The way it worked out, it was just her and me with the instructor each time. After that, I wanted to learn to sail more, but I'm too frugal to pay for classes. Plus, I wanted sailing to be a family thing, and it's not really a family thing when I'm the only one taking the class. So, we went the "buy first, learn later" route.

As to your questions about surprises, etc., I'm not the one to ask.
 

·
no longer reading SailNet
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
1. What was the greatest surprise(good) you got when you purchased your boat?
How much I liked racing.

2. What was the greatest shock you received when you bought your boat?
I like working on it and had a pretty good idea of what my budget should be, but it is even more expensive than that.

CrimsonBrain;10792313. said:
What are somethings you would have done differently during the research and purchase of your boat?
On my second boat I think I did a great job because I knew what I was looking for after the first boat.

On my first boat I should have looked longer and spent a little more to get a boat that was in better condition. I bought a boat that had a super solid hull, deck, and a brand new motor. However I spent a lot of time and money replacing sails, running rigging, interior cushions, plumbing, electrical, rudder&tiller, and many other major components. That cost more than if I'd bought a boat that had been upgraded more often throughout it's life. On the other hand it's really nice to bring an older boat back to peak condition and I like knowing every single component on the boat and having it setup the way that I prefer.

That boat is actually for sale now on Craigslist by the owner who bought it from me (it is a Catalina 25).

I will say that the Seattle Boat Show isn't all that useful for sailors. There are only a small number of sailboats on display and you could see almost of them any day of the week by visiting the brokers on Lake Union and at Shilshole Marina. Go for the bargains on gear (like inflatable PFDs), don't go for sailboat shopping.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
While I generally agree with Alex's point about the costs, I will add two caveats: you don't (always) HAVE to make the investment up front, and YOU get to pick the gear that is installed. For my C25, I wanted to get new(er) sails, etc., but I knew that that could wait because the boat was basically usable in the condition in which it was purchased. I did want/need new covers for the cabin cushions, but I did those myself and kept my costs down that way. So, while I do agree that in the end it is cheaper to let someone else do the work (you only pay, at most, the depreciated value of the improvments), taking an incremental approach to improvements can also work. It also leaves money in your budget for unforseen issues that crop up. Here's an example of the kind of stuff that can crop up (also discussed in my blog):
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/98109-apparently-im-not-meant-have-boat-38.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
I am in the same boat. Buy a small boat 22-25 with an outboard CHEAP, fix it sail it,
suffer with it, when your through with it sell it. If you get what you paid for it your good. Keep looking for THE boat all the time. I haven"t done it is all second hand.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top