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Discussion Starter #1
I've done a little sailing, want to buy a boat, but do not have enough knowledge to make an educated decision. I've taken a sailing class, become certified, but probably did not retain too much. I'm looking for more extended exposure on a boat, but not sure how to get started. I'm available most any time and can be at any place with minimal notice. Any suggestions?
 

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Bogey-

First, read the POST in my signature to help you get the most out of your time here on sailnet.

Second, you might want to start by saying very clearly what you're looking for.

Are you looking to crew on someone else's boat?

If so, it would really help if you said what area you're located in. There may be people here looking for crew, but if they don't know where you are located, they're not going to ask you.

It would also help if you gave a bit more information about your sailing experience and yourself. If you've only sailed on one-person dinghies with a lateen rigged sail, then you won't be much good as a bow man, helping run a spinnaker, at least without a bit of training.

Joining a local sailing club or yacht club can often be a good idea. Many have round-the-can races once a week during the season, and most will have boats looking for steady and reliable crew for the races.

Are you looking for advice on what boat you should buy?

If this is the case, it would help if you said what kind of sailing you're looking to do with the boat—daysailing, round the buoys racing, weekend and short cruises, crossing oceans and bluewater voyaging...etc., as the type of sailing you intend will often determine what boats would be better suited for you.

It would also help if you said how big a boat you were thinking of getting, whether you would be sailing the boat single-handed most of the time, and what your budget was. All of these can affect what boat would be best suited for you.
 

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bogey
welcome. lots and lots of possible answers to your questions
depends on where you are, what kind of sailing you want to do, how much money you want to spend (if you are buying a boat)

sailing isn't brain surgery, jump in, you'll do fine
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd think I'd like something in the 36' range, would want to live aboard, and until I get more experience, do not attempt to do a crossing. Right now, I would be single handed. My budget is somewhere in the $50K area.
 

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If you buy your own boat and need a building up of skills then find a mentor to guide you.
 

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welcome, bogey
there is so much info on this forum---start reading some older threads --the ability to ask informed questions here is likely to get a plethora of informed answers---also, this place is rife with comedians, so remember to take some responses lightheartedly--
 

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I'd recommend you check James Baldwin's list of pocket bluewater cruisers as a starting point. John Vigor's book, 20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere is also a good place to start.

If you're got a budget of $50,000, I would recommend holding at least $10,000 for refitting, upgrading, modifying and repairing any boat you do get. Sailboats are not like cars, where they're going to be ready to go out of the slip. Most will require some modification, upgrading or refitting to have it work the way you're going to use it. That is true of both used and new boats btw.

You still haven't said where you are located.

I'm also curious as how you came up with the 36' range for your boat, given your relative lack of experience. :)
 

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I'm looking for more extended exposure on a boat, but not sure how to get started. I'm available most any time and can be at any place with minimal notice. Any suggestions?
Find a local sail club. Racers are always looking for crew. Join the club and attend its events. There'll almost certainly be cruisers in the club, too. You can learn a lot from experienced sailors who've been there and done that. You might even find somebody in the club that's upgrading or moving and has a boat for sale that'd suit you. Advantage there: Probably plenty of sailors around who know the boat. One of the sailors I talked to when we were in the market had never used a surveyor, because every boat he'd ever purchased was a boat he knew well, from a fellow club-member.

Good luck,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in Atlanta, GA. I came up with the 36 ft number after going to several boat shows. I getting the impression however that 36 ft may be too big for a single handed novice.
 

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Umm, yeah, it just might be a that... also, making mistakes on a 36' boat can be expensive, and some of them can get you killed. :) Just something to think about. :)

Beth Leonard, author of the Voyager's Handbook, which I highly recommend reading if you plan on cruising at all, said a bit about how learning to sail and cruise was far safer and better on a smaller boat. She described about how a smaller boat was more forgiving of mistakes in many ways—and those errors could often be fixed with brute force, which wouldn't be possible on a larger boat. She said that the level of seamanship and sailing skill needed to safely handle a larger boat was greater due to the greater forces involved. She also pointed out that certain things on a larger boat aren't going to be easier, even with electric winches and windlasses—how the electric windlass doesn't help you carry the heavier larger anchor from down below to the bow and so on.

I'm in Atlanta, GA. I came up with the 36 ft number after going to several boat shows. I getting the impression however that 36 ft may be too big for a single handed novice.
 

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bogey

There are several sailing clubs on Lake Lanier. This one has a monthly meeting you can drop in on Photo Gallery   Newsletters They have both racers and cruisers events. A boat is not required, one of their past Commodores didn't own a boat.

As for Liveaboard, not allowed in GA I've been told. Definitely is not allowed on the lakes.

Advice? Join a club and get experience. Maybe get a trailerable boat and try out the lakes. Then take it out to the coast for more experience.
 
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