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Old 02-03-2010, 12:21 AM   #1
Zog
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Hi all,

I'm getting closer to the purchase of my first ever sailing boat. Still maybe 6 - 12 months away, but am starting to put some thought in to what it is that I will end up buying. I will be learning to sail in this boat so don't want anything that is going to be too difficult to handle for starters. I do have a fair bit of sea experience, I've worked on fishing boats and skippered my own boats on and off for 20 years, just don't have any sail experience.

Ideally I would like a boat that is large enough to spend a few days to a week aboard by myself, and maybe 3 - 4 days with 2 or 3 on board. I live 200kms from the coast and don't want the cost of a marina berth so the yacht will need to be trailerable. Above all, it needs to be capable of handling itself in rough weather, should I happen to get caught out. I know a lot comes down to the skipper, but some boats are better than others in this regard.

The Sonata 7 is one boat that I think fits the bill. The Southern Cross 23 is another, I think it might even be the same boat under a different name. Anyone have any experience with these boats?

Any thoughts on what I should be looking for would be appreciated. I will mostly be sailing around Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands.

Cheers,

Dave.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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Hi Dave,

The Whitsundays what a lovely stretch of water to sail - many memories.

Here is brief history of the Sonata's - they must be good to have such a following!

SONATA
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link. It seems to suggest that the Southern Cross moulds had the deck altered and became the Sonata 7, so they should both have similar attributes.

How hard would a boat of this size be to set up by a single person? I guess my main concern would be getting the mast up by myself, the rest would be fairly straightforward I imagine.

The Whitsundays is a beautiful area for sure. It's about 65 - 70NM by water from my nearest harbour to the bottom of Whitsunday Island, well within the range of a week long trip I think. There is always the option of towing the boat up to Airlie Beach and launching there, but that would ruin the adventure as far as I'm concerned. I think the destination would be that little bit sweeter if you have to work a bit to get there.

The Percy Islands are about the same distance from Mackay, but to the South East, another possible destination in the future.

There are a few islands only 15 - 25NM out as well that will be my first sailing targets. No shortage of potential destinations here for a few days or a week, unfortunately most are out of the range of my powerboat, so I have not visited many.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Cheers,

Dave.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zog View Post
How hard would a boat of this size be to set up by a single person? I guess my main concern would be getting the mast up by myself, the rest would be fairly straightforward I imagine.

Cheers,

Dave.
My experience of dropping and lifting a mast was in the Norfolk broads of England's East Anglia in a Sabre, (similar size to the Sonanta) as I remember there was no difficulty in lowering or raising the mast with its pivot in the Tabernackle, (as a one man job, after the first time!) The shrouds were running shrouds which were adjusted to compensate for the mast angle.

Richard
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Hi Dave,

I found a pdf file in my data bank with the instructions on raising and lowering the mast on a NorSea 27 (now that's a good boat)

The procedure will be very similar :-

NorSea_27_Mast_Drop.PDF

Richard
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info Richard. Raising the mast by myself is my biggest concern. I thought about looking for a smaller boat, around 17-18 feet, which would be easier to set up and probably easier to learn to sail. But without some of the creature comforts on board, it would only be suitable for day sails. I think I would get bored with that pretty quickly, but with a bed and somewhere to cook a feed I'll be happy to sail off for days at a time.

Thanks again for your advice.

Cheers,

Dave.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Hey Dave One member of our Chrysler group has a C-22 forsale cheap and is in the New York city/ LI area

I have one and its a great boat to start with and or have for day or weekend sails.

I moved up to a C-26 but will keep my C-22 for lake hopping.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:26 AM   #8
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That's a nice idea, unfortunately Dave's abode is in North West Queensland's Outback - Australia.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
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HaHa, thanks for the offer mate, but a bit of a long trip for me to have a look. Not sure that single handing from New York back to Australia would be ideal for my first trip under sail, but at least I would know what I was doing by the time I got home

I'm not quite ready to buy yet, I want to be 100% debt free before I make another purchase. That means about 12 months to get to the debt free part, then another 8-10 months to put away enough cash to buy the boat outright. That timeline may change depending on the possible sale of a few things I have here but don't see the value in keeping anymore.

Thanks again for the help guys.

Dave.
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