Friday, January 31, 2014

Is this the year you buy your first sail boat?

When we purchased our Newport 30 a dozen years ago, we had no idea how much fun and pleasure she would bring into our lives.  Day sails, night sails, weekend trips and week long trips have been a ton of fun and the beauty of the SF bay has taken our hearts.  If you have been dreaming of buying a boat to get you on the water, this is your year.  The market is very soft for buyers.  Sellers are taking a bath on their former boats and it's very possible to pick a nice 30 footer for under $10k.  Islander, Catalina, Pearson, Rawson, and Cals are all boats that will take care of you on the water and be a joy to sail.  In my experience, 30 feet is a magic number for sail boats.  They can hold a bunch of gear, loads of friends and will get you where you are headed.  Start looking on Craigslist, check Latitude 38 and go to marinas and see if they have a board with classifieds for the marina.  There are a ton of online resources to help you along the way and checklists that will help you find that perfect for you boat.  Go look at the boats and once you find it, get a professional to survey and then take her for a sail.  If your funds are limited or you just are not ready to put down all that cash, get some partners involved.  We have six partners involved in our boat and we each pay $100 per month and sail her like crazy.  Here was my criteria for choosing our first boat:  30 feet, legal head, sleeps 4, diesel, 6'4" headroom, wheel steering, and ready to sail.  Our 1981 Newport had all these qualities and more: a dodger, good sails, and a spinnaker.  The point is, it takes about $6500 (can be more if she needs repairs) a year to take care of all the expenses (insurance, bottom cleaning, repairs and slip fees).  Even splitting that in half with one good friend, you are on your way to making a positive lifestyle choice that will change your life!  I looked at 2 other boats before we bought the "Addiction".  Many people can take 2 years to find their $10k boat.  I say that's 2 years 2 long!  Get one, make the adjustments/repairs you need and go sailing!!!  You will thank me later.

Our 1981 Newport 30 III during the Vallejo Race under full sail. Circa 2003.  We purchased her for $16k in 2000.  In the current boat market, we might get $10k if we were to sell her (we are not).

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