So time has come to finally start the journey into saildom. I have to admit it was more than I was expecting. The first and most important thing to think about is what kind of boat will do you want; followed by the more important question, what kind of boat can you afford? As it turns out my position is leaning more towards the latter, which by the way is a good thing. I have learned a lot about my first boat recently. The most important thing is saleability, your first boat is not your last and you will upgrade at some point, so it is a good idea to find something that meets several requirements:
1. In your budget, this is not to say what you can afford, but rather what you can afford to lose. You see your first boat will be a learning experience, on all fronts. So make sure it something that in worst case scenario you will not be too terribly upset at seeing the boat at the bottom of [insert area of sailing here].
2. Repair costs, while this would seem to go into the first point, it is something that needs real consideration, as a larger boat will have more expensive parts, and dockage fees this is something that should be looked at as a monthly expense. If you cannot afford this you cannot afford the boat.
3. Saleability, as in if you somehow manage to not sink the boat or rub your nerves raw in the attempt to sail(or sink) and you want to move up to a bigger, faster, or prettier boat you can get rid of the previous boat with little trouble.
4. Right size, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew, I know this is something you have heard since grade school, but it is especially true with boats, something that is too big will result in a hazard for all, you need to be able to control your boat, start smaller and move up from there. Sailing is an art, and as such cannot be calculated or planned for.
5. You, of course you need to like the boat. As an art it needs to be likable, you must want to visit it, spend time with it, like any relationship in life you must want to be a part of it, otherwise it will sit in dry-dock and rot. There is always the ascetics of anything you will spend money on.
With this in mind I plan to start the journey now, the first thing to do is of course review some boats, find out what is good and see where it goes from there. I will be reviewing four boats to see which one will be crowned the winner of the Das Newf name.
The first matter at hand is of course the budget, as it turns out the Budget subcommittee has found out what our afford to lose amount is and it is much lower than I would have wanted, but then again we do need to eat. We have looked at our options and our want lists and have come up with some things to look at. We will be looking at boats between the 22 ft and 30 ft. This range was chosen because they would accommodate an overnight trip for two at the lower end to weekend sails with friends on the higher end, this way we can enjoy sailing with friends. The range also give us creature comforts of a head, and a bed, and a basic engine to look after and use, without the need to spend lots of money on costly repairs. It also fits into the monthly budget on the higher end.