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What should I know about buying sailboats?
Beginning sailors are often strongly cautioned not to run out and buy a sailboat. Why? Simply put, buying a sailboat can be an expensive mistake if you don't know what you are doing. For those who do want to take the plunge, however, buying sailboats doesn't have to be just for the rich or the seasoned sailor. Consider the following points:
- Do your homework. With all of the sailing forums on the Internet, you should be able to gather quite a bit of information on buying sailboats.
- Start small. You don't need the newest sailboat to enjoy the water. Start out by searching for a sailboat that is around $1000 or so. You can always sell it later or trade up.
- Consider your needs. What type of sailboat do you want? What do you plan to do on your sailboat?
- Window shop. Just because you don't have a lot of sailboats for sale in your area, doesn't mean you can't check out prices. Check on-line Internet auctions, and pay attention to what is selling and how much it is selling for.
What type of sailboats are there?, Is it easy to learn?
There are many online sailing sites that teach all that a newbie needs to know. Some have sailing simulator programs that are quite realistic, presenting problems and solutions that new sailors will face. There is no need for an expensive sailing school, the same money could buy that first sailboat.
Checking out the video sites is quite helpful, as many people post videos of their sailing experiences. Learning from the mistakes of others on their sailing journey proves that there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Trolling through the online auction sites reveals many small sailboats on the market, along with information on each. Comparing sailboat makes and models gives future sailors ideas of what a beginner sailboat should look like.
What is a catamaran sail boat?
An invention of the South Pacific, the catamaran sail boat is considered a multi-hull boat, meaning it has more than one hull. The catamaran sail boats of today typically feature the following:
- Great speed-Many catamaran sail boats can travel as fast as thirty knots.
- Virtually unsinkable-Catamaran sail boats that are properly equipped with flotation material are considered virtually unsinkable, although they can capsize in extremely high winds.
The following are some of the most popular catamaran sail boats:
- Hobie Cats
- Formula Class
- Dart 15
- Dart 18
What items should I include in a sailboats for sale checklist?
You've found a list of sailboats for sale in your local paper or at an on-line auction, and now you need to know if the boat you are considering is a good buy. It's always best to create a checklist for any big item purchase, and a sailboat definitely falls into that category. Consider the following checklist before you check out that long list of sailboats for sale:
- Accessories-What items, such as life preservers, extra sails, power cords, and instruments, will come with the sailboat?
- Marine Survey-Your insurance company may require you to submit a marine survey. Find out if the seller has just had one completed.
- Condition-Check the condition of the entire boat. This includes the accessories, the sails, instrumentation, radios, hull, deck, lifeline, VHF, depth sounder, battery, winches, boom, lines, tiller, bilge pump, swim ladder, and trailer.
- Repairs-Ask to see a list of any repairs that have been done to the boat, including receipts.
- Cabin-When you are surveying the overall condition of the boat, be sure you thoroughly examine the cabin as well, including the potty, stove, etc.
How do I buy used sail boats?
Some people put off buying a used sail boat because they are afraid they'll make a mistake in their choice. Learning how to buy a used sail boat is much like learning how to buy a used car.
- Research-Do your homework. Decide what you want before you begin searching. You'll need to understand the different types of boats before you can make an informed decision on a used sail boat.
- Uses-Decide how your boat will be used. Are you a Sunday afternoon lake cruiser, or do you want to venture out for several days on the open seas?
- Budget-As you create your budget, keep in mind that there may be additional expenses, such as boating licenses, insurance, and accessories, like sails, lines, life jackets, etc. that you'll need to purchase.
- Internet-The Internet can get you started. You can watch boat sales at on-line auctions. This will give you and idea of what sail boats are selling for.
- Brokers-Not brave enough to search for a boat on your own? Don't worry. There are plenty of boat brokers just waiting to help you out. Check for local dealers on-line or visit your local marina.
What questions should I ask before renting a charter sailboat?
Many people choose to charter a sailboat as opposed to owning one. The more experienced sailor can rent a charter sailboat to sail on his or her own, but less experienced boaters typically want the security of a captain and even crew, especially for larger charter sailboats. Before you charter a sailboat, consider the following:
- Even experienced sailors may need a refresher course. Ask the marina for a brief orientation concerning your charter sailboat and the area you will be sailing.
- Do a thorough check of the boat before you set sail. This means checking the battery, water tank, sail ties, bilge pump, cables, dock lines, fuel lines, fuel levels, throttle, emergency tiller, and sail.
- Before you leave the marina, be sure you file a float plan, understand the VHF frequencies for the marina, know the shore power, and have the proper charts.
What are some basic saily boat parts?
Any sailor, no matter how inexperienced, needs to be familiar with sail boat parts. Until you understand the differences and the definitions of a sail boat parts, you cannot be an adequate sailor. The following is a list of basic sail boat parts and their definitions:
- Backstay-Wire support that runs from the stern to the head of the mast.
- Boom-A horizontal spar which extends from the mast and to which the foot of the sail is attached.
- Bow-Forward part of the boat.
- Stern-Rear of the boat.
- Forestay-Wire support that runs from the foredeck to the top of the mast.
- Genoa-Also called a genny. This is the largest jib sail.
- Hull-Body of the sail boat.
- Keel-Fixed underwater fin of the boat.
- Propeller-Revolving blades under the boat used to propel that boat through the water.
- Lifeline-A cable fence that runs around the perimeter of the boat to prevent sailors from falling overboard.
- Mainsail-This the sail that is attached to the boom and mast.
- Mainsheet-Line that is used to control the boom.
- Rudder-Flat blade attached under the boat at the stern and used to turn the boat.
Where can I find out about a sailing boat vacation?
Sailing boat vacations are increasing in popularity, and you don't have to be a seasoned sailor to enjoy a sailing excursion. Sailing boat vacations cater to many different people, including honeymooners, spring break students, families, and individuals. You can choose from a four-star sailing boat, whose captain and crew will cater to your every whim, or you can consider taking one of the barefoot cruises, which means the captain does the hard part, but you get to help out and take on the role of an active sailor as well. Before you send in your deposit, ask yourself the following questions. Once you've answered them, you'll be ready to charter your sailing boat adventure:
- How much money can I spend?
- How many people will be in my party?
- What activities do I want to experience?
- How important is luxury to me?
- How long do I want to be gone?
- Where would I like to go?
How do I learn to sail?
Many people learn to sail without any formal lessons. They may go out with friends or family who are competent sailors. Before you set sail, however, it is important that you never venture out with a seasoned sailer along. Accidents can happen to even the most seasoned sailor, so be prepared. The following tips will get you started, but remember, most marinas offer sailing courses, and you may also learn to sail by taking private lessons.
- Brush up on your swimming skills. You'll need them!
- Wear bright colors so that you are easily seen in the water.
- Practice raising a capsized boat.
- Always be aware of the boom, and learn how to control it for a smooth sailing experience.
- Practice learning how to sail in low winds and away from crowded waters.