New to Sailing/Boating - Looking for honest advice

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by BellaOutdoors, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. BellaOutdoors

    BellaOutdoors New Member

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    Hello, would truly appreciate honest advice on the following: we are a family of four interested in getting a boat.
    We have no prior experience in boating or sailing, other than being on the boats of friends and family. We have rented motorboats in the past and enjoyed it. We are interested in both motor boats (just sounds easier/fishing) and sailing (technical aspect/more eco friendly?). Our main focus would be for entertainment for our family and experiences for our children.

    Initial budget for purchase would be around $10k. We would not trailer the vessel and instead would either dock it or dry-dock. Given this information, what are the pros and cons for purchasing a motor boat vs. a sailboat? What books or blogs should we read to learn about boating/sailing? Would you recommend taking sailing lessons or joining a sailing club first to try it all out? We are avid readers/learners, so any recommendations are welcome!

    Thanks in advance for your tips!!
     
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  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    That is a really complicated issue. For now, I recommend taking sailing lessons, preferably with your family. The Offshore Sailing School offers nice programs on boats that are family friendly.
     
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  3. eseibel67

    eseibel67 New Member

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    It depends on which resource you are more willing to part with - time or money. Sailboats and powerboats have different appetites.
     
  4. jleonard99

    jleonard99 Sunny Sailer

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    Well here are some key differences as an owner of both. Powerboats are great as you can take your kids tubing or skiing, also you can drive them more times of the day and week. Powerboats are less reliant on many factors. Sailboats a fun, and beautiful, but are reliant on wind. Location is also key, if on a small lake big sailboats are not the best decisions, as bridges cause issues. If on a big lake or open body of water they work well. Depending on your kids age, they may find a powerboat more fun. I would recommend buying a powerboat and then a cheap or small to goof around on or mess around, the kids would love a sunfish or a laser for that. The best of both worlds. Best of luck in the decision making process.
     
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  5. Ender

    Ender New Member

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    I moved on to the Delaware river almost 2 years ago, and have 3 children. My first boat (ever) was a Dayton Marine Catyak II. I found it on Craigslist and traded some military gear for it. I sailed it alone about 3 times, and then added one child, which is when the sail shredded. It hasn't been in the water since. My next boat was a Hobie 16. Since my wife is nervous about taking our 2 year old on it, as it really needs two people to sail, none of my family members have been on it. I found that boat on Craigslist for $400. I then got 2 Sunfish (also off of Craigslist, I've got to stop...) which have brought ME tons of enjoyment, for about $200 each. I got a new sail for one for $100 on eBay. All that said, sailing being what it is, I don't think a large sailboat is the way to jump into boating.

    I traded some more military stuff (leftovers from a past life) for a 20' SeaRay Cuddie Cabin powerboat. THAT boat has been on the water most weekends last summer and the last few weekends this summer. I put new seats in, a depth finder, speakers, led lighting, transom lighting, sunshade, anchors, tubes, waterskis, and inflatable toys and boats for my kids in it, as well as 5 total fill-ups on gas. My total cost on this boat including registration, ramp permits, gas and extras is still under $1800. My total boating foray over 2 years has cost me about $2700, and has gained me a powerboat (worth its weight in gold to my family) and 4 sailboats that irritate my wife due to my decreasing yard space...

    Get a nice used powerboat, and a small sailboat. You can beat the heck out them and not be pulling out your hair due to cost, and your family will be thrilled.
     

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