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Buying Your First Cruising Sailboat - What You Need to Know  

By Steve Thibodeaux Steve Thibodeaux

 

Buying your first cruising sailboat should be done with careful consideration to a few key elements. Doing your homework and taking your time will pay off in the long-run and ensure you have the right boat for your style of cruising. Many times, people think they've found that exact one for them after only looking at a couple of boats and not evaluating how they're going to use the boat.

Here are some things to think about:

Buying A Boat More For Racing Than Cruising - You may be interested more in racing your boat than actual cruising. Sailboat racing is very popular all over the United States with just about every area having clubs that host races. Visit the clubs in your area and find out what type of boats club members are racing. More often than not, these club members are looking for crew to help on the boat during races so take advantage and get a first hand look at both the racing and the boat. One-design racing fleets are those in which clubs host races for certain make/model boats. Ask questions and get to know all the different racing formats available in your area. This will better give you an idea of the type of boat that interest you and you can then narrow your search to that type of boat. Although most newer designs can be raced and used as pleasure cruisers, certain boats will give you an edge when racing and if that's your passion, look more for a boat built for speed then creature comforts.

Buying A Boat More For Cruising Than Racing - Cruising consist of two types, one is the ocean voyage, long distance cruising better known as blue water cruising and the other is inland lakes or near shore cruising. There's a distinct difference in the type of boat you should purchase for each. Blue water yachts are typically stronger built and thus more expensive and are fitted with things like solar power generation, dingy davits, and tons of storage for supplies. Weekend lake cruisers don't have to be built quite as strong since most conditions inland aren't as much of a strain on the boat. Thus, their costs are typically quite a bit less.

Ask Yourself The Right Questions - Buying any cruiser should involve asking yourself questions like how many people are typically going to sail with you, will there be much spray in the area I sail and will I sail in colder weather which would require a dodger on the boat? If swimming off the boat is something you'll be doing a lot of, consider a boat with an open transom and swim platform. If you're going to be doing a lot of single handed sailing, look for a boat with all lines led aft and winches in easy reach of the helm. Rolling furlings on headsails are popular today and sure beats the hank on type both for ease of take down and ease of reefing. More and more boats are being built with in-mast or in-boom main sails however the cost is considerably more.

Again, do your homework. Ride on different boats. Take good long sea trials in those you're interested in and even bring an experienced sailor with you if you can to help evaluate. Buying the right boat up front will add to your pleasure on the water and after all, isn't that what sailing's supposed to be - pleasurable?

Steve has been sailing for over 20 years and writing articles on the subject for nearly 4 years. In addition to an avid sailing interest, Steve's marketing interest brings vendors of quality, low priced gas fireplace parts to his website Gas Fireplace Parts and accessories like Gas Logs For Fireplace and many other supplies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Thibodeaux




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