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Old 07-24-2016, 08:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2016
Home Port: Salt Lake City
Posts: 1
Default Newbie

Hey all!

My name is James, and I'm looking to get into sailing in the all-too-distant future. Just a little about me: Right now I am 31 years old, so I have a fair amount of time to get into the hobby/sport. I am a second year surgical resident (6 total years). What that means is that right now I work 80+ hours per week making a modest salary, but once I complete my residency and go into practice, I can expect to make a very good salary. Currently, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, but I'm originally from Nebraska. Every chance I get, I try to go boating/fishing, but currently my only vessel is a 10' kayak.

I hope to eventually land in the Santa Barbara/Southern California area. My family is originally from the area, and I have very fond memories of my uncle taking us out on his sailboat when I was younger. I have wanted to learn to sail for some time, but being from Nebraska, there were few opportunities.

Currently, my plan is to take a sailing course on the great salt lake here in Utah, so that I can learn the ropes.

Here in landlocked Utah, most boating is done with standard motorboats. I will probably acquire one of these at the end of the year for fishing/waterskiing. (Any suggestions on cuddy cabin vs open bow are appreciated...) My ultimate dream, however, is to acquire a sailboat to use in the southern California waters from San Diego to Santa Barbara and out to the channel islands.

While I wish this plan could come to fruition in the near future, I realize that it will be 6+ years before it becomes a reality. My main questions at this point is what I can do now to prepare for when I am more financially able to achieve my goal. Additionally, what size/type of boat should I be in the market for? Are used boats from the 1970s-1980s still viable or should I be looking to purchase something almost brand new? What guiding principles should I adhere to when looking to buy my first boat?

Thanks for your input,

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Old 07-25-2016, 07:57 PM   #2
redbopeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Welcome aboard, James. It sounds like you're in a very busy part of life. Both my husband and I are from Indiana (another place with rivers but not so much in the way of places to sail) and decided we'd sail "someday" but basically took the opportunities to make it happen when they presented themselves.

We learned to sail a couple years after deciding that we'd like to sail, liveaboard, and cruise. But life has twists and turns so we rented boats or sailed on other people's boats for many, many years. Lucky for us we had promised ourselves we'd be living aboard and sailing by the time we'd been married 25 years. Thus, armed with a deadline, we did it.

25 years is a long time--but between the beginning and the boat purchase (2006) we had a lot of sailing fun and small boat fun, no worries!

Suggest you enjoy your local opportunities for recreation and when you have a breather, take the chance to learn to sail. Small boats will do the trick you need not get into something big. Eventually it will all become clear to you, after you've sailed a bit, what you'd like--or IF you'd like to have your own boat.

Enjoy the forums!
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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