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Old 10-06-2019, 02:47 PM   #12
City: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Capricorn
Vessel Model: Mariner 29 - Express Cruiser 1969
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 570
I have a suggestion that is slightly different from the usual. Don't start with what boat you want. Instead begin with what area are you going to initially cruising in as you build your experience for your longer distant ports of call.

After you get into boating, you might find expanded local waters are enough to keep you happy, most boaters end up in this category, particularly sail boaters who have this big dream to go thousands of miles away from home, but in reality settle down to local boating. When I say local I'm really meaning a couple of hundred miles up, down and sideways. This is really true in the Pacific Northwest and coastal British Columbia. Many discover happiness can be found in local waters, though local may mean going from Seattle up into Alaska. But most don't go to Alaska, only a small minority, more will go to the Broughtons, even more to Desolation Sound, even more to the Gulph Islands and even more to the San Juan Islands. And for most of these folks, they are living the dream.

You might consider your purchase as a two boat process. A smaller one to gain experience and a larger one for more distant waters. Or you might begin with a slower boat only to discover you want to go faster sometimes, or vice versa, you start with a faster boat but realize for you slowing down is therapeutic. Only experience can answer these questions.

What I have done is found a port that on paper looks like it would be a great place to moor and live. But you should know I have zero experience of East coast waters, marinas, best locations for a boat. I'm just using Wanchese, North Carolina as example of how I would think. So I invite you to call up Wanchese, NC on Google Map so you can see what I am talking about. And pull out a little bit so you can see the wider area.

So south you have Pamlico Sound and North you see Albemarle Sound. I am assuming there is some kind of water way that allows you to go north and south from Wanchese, and if there isn't, pretend there is. I will just talk about Pamlico Sound though the thinking would also apply to Albemarle Sound.

I would head down south in Pamlico area many times on a my boat going to multiple destinations over time. I may be going to Pamlico River a couple of times, then Bay River a few times, then Neuse River a number of times. But I am always covering the same ground time and time again out of Wanchese heading south. The same waters for all three rivers cruising down to them, the the same open waters cruising back to home port. For me over time, the initial cruising would become laborious as the view would be approximately the same going and coming. Eventually I would like to speed up the process and instead of going 7 knots down to the three rivers, perhaps faster initially for the first hour and and a half at 16 knots to cover the initial stage of my journey down, and repeating going faster for the last hour and a half on the return journey. Once I got into more coastal areas, I'd slow down to see what there is to see.

It might be that wind and wave actions become challenging in the afternoon and when I am journeying back, I want to cover ground quickly in the morning.

Now folks in slower trawler would do these trips entirely different and would be very happy with how they were doing it.

So the initial stage of boat buying is really - "know thy self" - which can be difficult with no experience. But you may know enough about yourself to help in the process. You are content doing things slower, but your wife isn't or vice versa. It helps to know the location of where you boat is going to be kept in the early stages of your boating life, or maybe your boat will be at the first marina you go to for the rest of your lives.

Call around to various marinas that you hope to keep your boat in and find out how available are liveaboard slips. This is crucial in the Pacific Northwest.

So start with location, then see what kind of boat will fulfill your local needs 200+ miles North, South, East and West of that location. Then figure out if you want to do some of that location(s) quickly or will you be content to go slow.

Then look for that boat.
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