square one non-sailer needs guidance

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Freaky_1, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Freaky_1
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Hello,
    I have never ridden the wind and know very little.
    I want to find the right boat or design to learn to sail over the next year.

    This will be a lengthy post folks, but some more preface is in order.
    I have been working, working on and building boats for 40 years plus, but I've never sailed. Around the Carolinas I'm known as a commercial fisherman or a "boatwright" depending on who you talk to. Though I've worked on all manner of vessel including sail, I've never hoisted a sheet. I've worked on their hulls, decks and nearly all parts of their structures, I've never messed with a mast other than helping folks unload then and hook them to a hoist for fitting.

    Most of my life aside of time as a B52 crew chief, I've worked on vessels on the hill (the hard), in slips or been at sea fishing.

    I had planned to retire to a trawler and started building the cruiser-trawler of my dreams 3 years ago. Well as my years have fallen behind me, I've become more and more interested in sailing. Luckily, a couple who had been wanting her since she started looking like a hull back then stopped by last week and actually offered me money. She still isn't finished. The galley is empty and all interior needs some degree of completion. Somehow I did the impossible. I made a minor profit on a build. I finished my end of the contract today. They signed off happy and take delivery in the AM.

    OK so now I need to learn to sail. I don't want a cruiser, I want something to learn to sail first. I've had tons of suggestions for a pocket cat and could throw together a quick and dirty floater for the purpose, but I don't want to. I want something I can enjoy and get use of even after moving on. My desires are something in the 18 to 20' open monohull with long keel or such. However, I need more education before I know if what I desire is actually what I want (aka need).

    I love wood, am happy with glass (aka grp) and am open to most anything save for the Styrofoam things people keep trying to sell me as bare hulls. I really love junk rigs and ultimately want to go that direction (admittedly an aesthetic thing for me more than anything).

    Soooooo. I need a boat. I would like to find something readily adaptable to JR since I like them . so on and so forth.

    If I'm going to do it, I'd rather start with a boat that needs setup. I don't just need to learn to operate a sailing vessel, I need to learn to set stays and the lot.

    Still reading this far on? You are awesome!

    Summed up, I "want" an open monohull with a true keel. I may not want such after guidance (directions to better places for my education are guidance as well).

    I'll mostly be learning on a large Lake if it's a consideration.

    Thank you for your time!
    Frank
     
  2. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Find a U.S. Sailing center, take their Basic Keelboat class.

    It's like anything else: experience is what keeps you alive when things go wrong. A class will keep you alive long enough to get some of that experience.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Being a former instructor at a US Sailing Center, I can tell you, that you don't need anything of the kind, though the experience can help refine some skills, once you have some. Sailing is very intuitive initially and you'll quickly figure things out, well at least how to make it go, in the general direction you'd like. Your education will be faster with someone along that has some experience, but mostly you can figure all you need to know, in a month on a local lake. Jammer's scare attempt is how he understands life and his repeated ridiculousness, exemplified in most of his posts, are indicative of this mind set. Pay no attention to the likes of this, he's a mud hut builder and little more.

    You may want to reconsider the "open monohull with a fixed keel", as these are difficult to trailer and launch, which is why dayboats are predominantly shoal draft (retractable appendages of some sort). It makes launching in any puddle convenient and dragging behind the pickup, a fair bit easier too. If you're bent on a fixed keel boat the choices are comparatively limited, but available.

    I'd recommend a monohull as well, but one that has some potential to grow, as your skill sets improve. There's not much worse than out growing the boat after a season. The Core Sound series comes to mind, as offering a easy trainer, with some performance abilities, once you figure out how to not capsize the puppy. Fortunately, you have to really work hard to capsize one of these, as they're quite forgiving of the novice.

    In fact, the best thing you could do is simply go out a buy a worn out production boat, maybe put some new hardware and sails on it and go have fun. The worst that'll happen is you hate it and you're left to sell a slightly freshened up, worn out production daysailor. This will get you on the water the quickest and the cheapest. If you want more, you can consider the upgrade options.
     
  4. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    Well, the one thing you can be sure of is that you don't really know what you want out of a sailboat yet. Try and recall what you'd have wanted as a fishing boat before you'd had the experience you have now. Would you want it now? Thought not!

    In those circumstances the best bet is surely not to buy a boat, but rent one in one form or another, which is one advantage of a sailing centre type approach, although it wouldn't really do for me I must admit.

    However if that's not practical, as it often isn't, then get something that's easy to shift (frequency and duration of adverts may well give you a clue) and plan to shift it for much what you paid for it after not too long. A first boat isn't a marriage, and there's no point in trying to fall in love for ever...

    And I suggest don't get a fixer up initially. Sure you are competent at working on boats, but the difference between a well set up and a badly set up sailboat is a whole world of irritation and annoyance. When you don't have a huge amount of experience in sailboat setup then its a bit trickier to get things right.

    So complete opposite to the previous advice. Expect to outgrow the boat after a season, and plan for that.
     
  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    A couple of basic questions first. Will you usually have a crew? How far from the water do you live? If you have access to a boatyard, will you be keeping the boat on a trailer there, or in a slip, or on a trailer at your house? Where in the Carolinas are you?

    I would concentrate entirely on getting on the water as often as possible. The most sailing I ever did was in a 16'er. If I had 45 minutes before dinner, I could walk down to the dock and go for a sail. Small boats teach you the basics the fastest. Once you have something that lives in a slip year round, there is a whole different skill set, but it sounds like you are ahead of the curve there.
     
  6. Charlyipad
    Joined: May 2014
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    Charlyipad Senior Member

    Hi Frank, you might want to look around for a used Oday Javelin. Great little boats to learn on, reasonably comfortable, simple sloop rigs. hard to capsize, room enough for a couple of kids, but easy to single hand and trailer launch. Buy yourself a two dollar used "how to sail" book from amazon and you are good to go!

    Good luck!
     
  7. Freaky_1
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Thanks Folks!

    Some things I should have mentioned.

    1) I live part of the year on the lake in the family marina. This is where the boat will live.
    (In answer to questions, I'm from and call Alabama home, but my commercial life is on the ICW at Little River SC, as well as Mayport FL and a boat yard close to my slip in SC. So I move around quite a bit as needed.... Retirement will end this in a year).

    2) This particular boat will live in a marina at zero cost for haul out or such and I have no plans to trailer

    3) Hopes are that this first boat will be useful as a utility later in life. I have property on a small island on the lake that would be nice for a small shanty for when I'm "home" and when that time comes it would be nice, but that doesn't mean I can't go for a different boat when that time comes in a year to 1.5.

    4) I'm retiring in just over a year. I was going to move aboard my trawler and will still be selling the house and retiring to the water at some point in the near future. Eventually I want to live aboard a full time cruiser and explore a little more than what I have. I am not looking for that boat yet. First I want some experience on the lake as I have time there anyway.

    5) I'm taking some time off (in 4 days actually) to go visit some friends in FL who are going to teach me the basics. They own a small fleet of day and hourly rental sailing dorys and "pocket bay racers" (which my old bones has no interest in). They've offered me a heck of a deal on a Dory but don't think it's the right boat for my situation.

    6) This first boat is to enjoy and learn. It would be nice to have one that fits future needs for when I'm home from a stint touring in my retirement sitting patiently at the marina, but it's not a clad requirement.

    7) Nothing is carved in stone. What I prefer at this point is with zero experience and I'm hoping to borrow on you good folk's experience to come to my final conclusion.

    8) I have time and can go as late as the end of next spring if need be.

    9) I don't want anything fancy and won't be sleeping aboard this boat. She'll haul 2 souls but will be handled by one. My Bride's health prohibits her doing more than enjoying the ride. This is in large part why I "think" I want an open hull.

    10) I'm no spring chicken but if my time has taught me anything, it's that we can't be set in our ways. Otherwise the Atlantic would have long ago beaten if not taken me. I'm open to education.

    Going to eat a burger and will come back to reply to specific posts.

    Many thanks!
    Frank
     
  8. Freaky_1
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Many thanks!

    In a unique situation, haul out and storage are free but fixed keel is still just a desire and not remotely a requirement. Open is for reasons mentioned above, but again not a requirement if other experience yeilds.

    Will be googling core sound series after this, thanks!

    Worn out production would be great.

    Thanks again,
    Frank
     
  9. Freaky_1
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Many thanks!

    First, I know that I certainly don't know and am wide open there. My current desire is just stating what I "like" from ground zero. I do expect to change such. Thanks!

    While there is one rental facility on the lake, I'm currently holding 3 of their boats hostage. They're WAY past due on parts, repairs and service bills so it's pretty much out.

    While I prefer to retain my first sail boat, I'm not adverse to letting her go if she doesn't fit future needs and / or desires.

    Many thanks!
    Frank
     
  10. Freaky_1
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member


    Thanks!

    Answers:
    Very close. My front porch doubles as my dock.
    Um, at my house which is in the boat yard. When I'm home she'll be floating. Have no intentions of a trailer at this point though I have more than a few at hand if needed. We have a dedicated crane and can haul or splash in minutes.

    When home, boat is my primary means of transportation so I plan to sail it often.

    While I am away fishing often (from SC but AL is home) I'm gradually shifting into retirement mode. I have two great crews and can trust my skippers to captain so I'm taking less and less trips. Ultimately, the boats will be theirs to operate and manage and then I'll be fully retired. I may sell one boat if needed, but I'll either be keeping one or both to take care of the people who have been keeping me in business (crew) or selling to them if such is viable.

    In short, time I have and I can have much more when I want. This my friends is a testimate to some really great folks called crew that I consider family. Off topic, but let it be known that both men and women crew my boats and all are excellent hands.

    Thanks again!
    Frank
     
  11. Freaky_1
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Many thanks!

    I'll go have a gander on Google about them now.

    I should also mention that I may well have some minor knowledge of some of these models from the marina but not even enough to recall names so I truly know squat about sailing. This is a sad fact as it's heavily engraved in our history. My Grandfather was the first to mess with anything other than sail. He was a shipwright specializing in steam engines but he still worked as a fisherman aboard the family boat(s) which was sail. May sound silly, but now that I'm interested in sailing, I almost feel as if I've let a tradition fall.

    Thanks again,
    Frank
     
  12. Freaky_1
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Another question!

    Since I know so much nothingness, would mast and mast position matter rigging something as the Core Sound 20 or similar sized Oday Javelin if swapping it to JR (junk rig)?

    JR isn't a necessity, but it is the strongest held of my "would like to's". Silly reason, but I just love the things.
     
  13. Freaky_1
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    Sorry, one more thing.

    Anyone know squat about a late 70s buccaneer 20? Just had one offered to me for $100 by a client. Boat is in great shape so buying it regardless. Her sails and ropes are dead but no biggie.
    She'll likely either be fixed up and sold on or if a gentle handler and good boat, kept as a rental.

    Sorry wasn't expecting this and not quite ready to fall in for a boat for myself just yet. Still too much to learn. Am planning on extending our services to include rentals next year (the marina). Might be worth hiring on a skipper to instruct or just take clients on a short sail of the lake... Something to think on down the road.


    Edit to add:

    This is going to snowball isn't it?
    Sat down in the war room (public sitting, meeting, eating and gaming room here at the marina) drawing up a BOS on the Buccaneer and another regular brings me a picture of his neighbor's Oday 20 (don't know if javelin or not) in shiny blue on a clean looking galv trailer for $500. Trailer is worth that! As for the boat, they hired someone to move it from FL to North Alabama (somewhere around Huntsville). The boat, trailer and mast made it, but the movers ran off with everything else. Might be worth looking at for the same purpose as the other.

    Oh boy.
    Frank
     
  14. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Freaky; do price some sails before you jump on one of those "bargains". The O'Day or the Buccaneer could quickly turn into a 2 or 3 thousand dollar investment before you get to sail it even one time. Either of those boats would make a good beginner boat. But beware of costs of all the stuff you will need.
     

  15. Freaky_1
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Freaky_1 Junior Member

    On trust me, both of these are out of the running for my boat.

    The Oday is in fact a jav and in amazing condition. The "pilfored" stuff turned out to be stowed and the owners never looked. After pointing out that fact, they still only wanted the $500. I'm dragging it to FL with me. Some friends want it.

    The Buccaneer may end up being a rental. It may end up being sold. It may end up being a lug barge for the marina. Who knows? It won't be my setup.

    Though 20' is my max, I'd really prefer something a touch smaller.

    BTW, the Buccaneer came with an old 7.5hp Elgin which I sold to a friend for the $100 I paid for the whole kit.

    Long story short, I'm not rushing out to buy my boat. These fell in my lap. I do however sell boats and have technically owned many a sailing vessel, but always as inventory. I may well buy or trade for more, but lest something really fits the bill, all will be foster boats waiting on their next good home.

    I just posted about those two as I found it funny and wouldn't mind knowing more about them.

    That said, I really like the Oday, but I don't think it's what I want. I don't think she'd be so fun to jump in and ferry the groceries. Not really concerned with any type of cabin.

    Frank
     
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