T Nation

Buying a Sailboat


Me and a couple friends just decided we are going to buy a sailboat. We were surprised to find some 22 ft sailboats for only around $2000. Any sail boaters out there with advice on what boats are the best deals or what to look for? Also what expenses to expect.



What to expect with a sailboat and 2000 dollars?

Probably not to leave dock.



Sweaters to tie around neck: $50-$75
Khaki Shorts: $30-$35
Aviator Sunglasses: $40-$50
Docksiders: $50-$60
Waspy attitude: Free with purchase of the above items

Happy Sailing !




sailing/boating is not a cheap hobby.

Just for basics you'll have to get your sailing license if you dont already have it.
You'll have to pay slip/docking fees wherever you're going to keep your boat.
You'll have to pay for the upkeep of sails (which is crazy expensive some times for just a little sheet of material)
You'll have to pay to get your boats hull scrapped (unless you have scuba gear and wanna do it yourself)

Those are just some basic stuff. You guys will have to get your boat ready to pass Coast Guard inspections and if its not up to par you'll have to fix whatever discrepancies that they find


are you getting some hoes as well?


comes with the boat


We are planning on keeping the boat out of the water when we aren't using it to avoid docking fees. It should make it easier to clean too


save your money, buy a bigger boat.


Thats a big hastle but doable. Do you have a place to store the boat?


Yeah ive got a barn big enough to keep it.
Do you sail much?


I havent in a long time. I got my license through my old job and enjoyed sailing for a while but havent been out on the water in a long time


I have a J24 racing sailboat, and compete in short course regattas. Take rrjc's advice, or you'll end up in Davy Jones' locker. 2,000 dollars MIGHT get you into a used Laser, Lightning or a Club 420. PM me if you're serious about sailing, but do your research first.


Here's my J-boat in a 2008 regatta


So you wanna be a "trailer sailor"? Good for you! If you have the place to store it, then you just saved yourself a significant portion of the cost of ownership. I own a 25' boat, and I pay ~$2500 a year just in slip fees and putting on the hard in the winter (I sail on the Chesapeake Bay just north of Annapolis). After throwing in the "everything else", owning a boat this size costs me about $3500 - $4000 a year (Mine has a motor, though).

You could go with something like a flying scott and probably stay within your budget. A big decision you need to make is if you are going to have an engine or not. I'm not sure where you sail, but personally I think having an engine is responsible as it can get you out of trouble quickly and easily should the need arise. I prefer being a little overpowered vs. underpowered. So a 5 or 7 HP outboard ought to do it for a 22' boat. I have a 10 HP on my 25' (4500 lb displacement). The outboard alone will run you about $600 - $800... It adds up quick!

As for getting a license, check you local guidelines. The coast guard regulations say that you need Captains license (100 ton Master or Limited Master) or "six pack" (OUPV) ONLY if you are going to be taking people out who are paying. If you are sailing recreationally or with friends, no license is required. http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/faq.asp . Having said that, you should certainly take a boating safety course and understand the "rules of the road" before you go out on the water without someone more experienced. You can take classes with the ASA and learn a lot from basic keelboat to coastal cruising. http://www.american-sailing.com/

If you're just interested in day sailing, you may want to consider a catamaran. A 16 or 18 foot cat will cost you about $2000 and you can fit 4 people on it. Cats are FUN - with less displacement, they sail about 3X faster than monohulls. They are the "motorcycles of the sea". I own a Prindle 16 that I keep at my Uncles house on his beach and LOVE it!

One word of warning though: sailing is ADDICTIVE! You are going to find your self looking at bigger and better boats, doing those calculations in your head, etc... just make sure you are responsible about it. Don't buy more than you can handle. A 22' or even up to a 27' is a very good starting size. I would go for tiller steering vs. wheel because need to develop a feel for good sail trim and the tiller facilitates than more readily. I grew up sailing, and learned on a wheel so I've actually had to re-learn a few things as a result. Go with a tiller at first.

A good way to get experience is by racing. I race with the Annapolis Yacht Club. I'm not sure how it is where you live, but when I first started racing, I just showed up on the dock with my gloves and case of beer and started asking around. Before I knew it, I was a permanent crew member with a great bunch of people.

Good luck!


Sage legal advice:

If it flies, floats, or fucks, RENT IT.


She's PURTY! J-boats are fun to sail!


He's right, you know. Depending on how busy you are, the cost of ownership is probably FAR MORE than if you rented a boat 5 times in the summer.

But we sailors are a rowdy bunch who rarely listen to sage legal advice! LOL




No way.

A 22 foot comes on and off the trailer easy. You don't need a slip, you can dry-dock, and even taking down the mast is only a couple hour project... not bad for a long-weekend. That takes care of taking care of the hull too...

Sailing license? They're not running a commercial operation. Pretty sure you don't need one on a 22 footer...

You sound like you're used to dealing with much larger boats.