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First boat advice ... again


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Hi all,

A little bit of background about us. We (me and my partner) are beginner sailors. We started just about a year ago with introductory sailing course in Port Nic and then sailed several weekends (a few races and some cruising from Mana). We have been talking about buying a boat pretty much from our sailing inception but it was more of a dream than a plan. But we have realized recently it does not have to be just a dream and it might be feasible for us to own our boat.

Our idea is to buy a small boat we can take out as often as possible. I started with a little bit of research here on the forum. I really like Raven 26. They seem like good stable affordable boats. We prefer cruising and Ravens look they should be able to do (eventually) Cook Strait crossing. For now we would sail it just in the harbor to properly learn everything. Any other recommendations on good boats for beginners? We want definitely something smaller to limit berth and maintenance costs but at the same time stable and forgiving. Our max. budget is 15k but would rather like to aim to 10k or less.

I did not limit my boat search to Wellington (as it seems majority of boats on sale are around Auckland – we would pay transport on road in that case). So I started with querying marinas in Wellington about their free capacities at the moment. It seems all 3 marinas in Wellington are full with waiting lists for 10m berth. The only option for berthing boat in Wellington (bought outside of Wellington) is probably mooring in Evans Bay (Clyde Quay is full). I understood it is possible to place a new swing mooring with WCC permission? Or rent existing one? Does anyone know more?

Other option would be Mana, where are some free berths at the moment (or pile mooring in Porirua – haven’t found out more yet) but we would prefer Wellington harbor because it seems more suitable for beginners and we would probably get on the water more often (after work week day sails)

Thanks for any thoughts and advice.

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Well, because BP says I should say something, here you go.

You could do a lot worse than a raven 26. Tough little boats, well up to a cook strait crossing.

Wellington harbor is fine for an afternoon sail, but there is nowhere to go. Mana is great for a cruiser, and its a reach to, and back from, the sounds.  We used to do it on a Friday night after work. The Mana Cruising Club will assist with this, and do fleet crossings for beginners. 

Be careful, and make sure your boat is ready. Cook strait is not an easy sailing area, and once used to it, you can sail anywhere. Big tidal streams, big winds and waves are pretty normal. Day sails out to Mana Island (couple of club moorings there) to begin with. 

Pick a nice forecast for your first crossing of the strait. Read the MCC central districts cruising guide. Work out the transits for the brothers, cape Koamaru (100m + clearance here, beware of stella rock), hold that to white rocks, then head for the light on the end of long island.  That was how we did it in the days before GPS....

Happy to answer any questions on this area, or on Raven 26's..

We all started at the beginning! good luck

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If you want more information on swing moorings look at http://www.gw.govt.nz/Swing-moorings/

They are cheaper (sort of ) and that's about all that's good about them, need a dinghy, hassle to get to, maintenance and risk etc.  but if it gets you sailing....

There is a Van der stat going quite cheap in Seaview marina at present. Previous owner kept it in goon condition and this one seems to have looked after it

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On 9/05/2021 at 6:00 PM, Island Time said:

Well, because BP says I should say something, here you go.

You could do a lot worse than a raven 26. Tough little boats, well up to a cook strait crossing.

Wellington harbor is fine for an afternoon sail, but there is nowhere to go. Mana is great for a cruiser, and its a reach to, and back from, the sounds.  We used to do it on a Friday night after work. The Mana Cruising Club will assist with this, and do fleet crossings for beginners. 

Be careful, and make sure your boat is ready. Cook strait is not an easy sailing area, and once used to it, you can sail anywhere. Big tidal streams, big winds and waves are pretty normal. Day sails out to Mana Island (couple of club moorings there) to begin with. 

Pick a nice forecast for your first crossing of the strait. Read the MCC central districts cruising guide. Work out the transits for the brothers, cape Koamaru (100m + clearance here, beware of stella rock), hold that to white rocks, then head for the light on the end of long island.  That was has we did it in the days before GPS....

Happy to answer any questions on this area, or on Raven 26's..

We all started at the beginning! good luck

Thank you! I am aware of Cook Strait (well at least from what I have read so far). That is the goal. Get confident enough to do the crossing. If we end up in Mana we will definitely join Mana Cruising Club and take the opportunity to do the fleet crossing.

 

Not many Ravens on sale at the moment...What do you thing about this one?

https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/boats-marine/yachts/keeler/listing/3084130849?bof=gQOBdH3j

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20 hours ago, grant said:

If you want more information on swing moorings look at http://www.gw.govt.nz/Swing-moorings/

They are cheaper (sort of ) and that's about all that's good about them, need a dinghy, hassle to get to, maintenance and risk etc.  but if it gets you sailing....

There is a Van der stat going quite cheap in Seaview marina at present. Previous owner kept it in goon condition and this one seems to have looked after it

Thank you,

Yes, I have noticed. Looks like too much a project for us and I have been told to avoid GOP boats.

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That boat needs a fair bit of work, including paint. Wiring is a mess, there will be a big learning curve!

Also, Ravens are of the age where osmosis is a problem, but they are really thick hulls in solid GRP. So, as long as the hull, motor, and rig is OK, you can fix most stuff if you are prepared to work LOTS of time and effort. If not, then its better to wait for one that has had all this done to it, and pay the asking price. You might think that's to high, but it will cost more to fix a boat - way more! This is why there are not many in great order. Choose carefully.

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I think there have been lengthy discussions on here about the guy selling that Raven too.... someone saying he was a bit dodgy  - buying broken boats, making dodgy repairs and selling them as good, or something similar. Be(extra)ware maybe. 

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12 hours ago, MartinS said:

I have been told to avoid GOP boats

Don't be so hasty with that.

Like anything 40 or so years old, there are plenty of sad GOP, ply, carvel, steel and aluminium boats around.  There are also good ones.

In your price range you will probably be kissing a few frogs before you find a prince and whatever you buy will need maintenance or repair of some sort in the first year, so don't discount any particular construction unless a surveyor tells you to stay clear.

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I am sure there is plenty of great GOP boats. I am not totally against GOP, I just thought GRP will be easier for maintenance and maybe less maintenance? We want to sail not repair/build... I know there will be always some work to do but the less the better.

i came across other boats which looks good to me. What do you think about compass 790 and Tracker 7.7? If you were to compare those to Raven 26?

Cheers,

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33 minutes ago, MartinS said:

I am sure there is plenty of great GOP boats. I am not totally against GOP, I just thought GRP will be easier for maintenance and maybe less maintenance?

Again, in your price range the construction specifics are irrelevant.  Raf more important is the recorded upkeep of hte boat during its life and hte opinion of your surveyor.  A well maintained yacht of any construction will be a much better buy than a neglected yacht of any construction.  Which is not to put you off grp, just to widen the scope of your hunt.

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Hey Martin, 

I'm in a very similar boat (pun intended) to you..  Learned to sail at Port Nic' just before Covid,  and made a start at making the dream come true last Novemberish.
I bought a Compass Southerly 23 off a guy in Napier, and it's now afloat in Mana Marina.   It's been a hell of a learning curve, and I've only actually been out sailing once, so far.
I am enjoying being a boat owner though, it's even more expensive than you think, and can be frustrating, and worrisome. But it's bloody magic as well,  all at the same time. 
I've been finding it really easy to find excuses to not go out sailing.  All the "what if's"  are easy to find.  What if this breaks, or that breaks,  or if this happens or that happens, or [insert irrational reason(s) here] 
The people out at Mana have been awesome so far though.  Really friendly and welcoming of new people.  I can't recommend them highly enough. 
I mentioned my worries to one guy, and before I knew it,  we were off.. and nothing broke and everything was just as the dream said it would be.  
I realise I'm not really adding anything to your question , other than to big up the Mana angle.  You could definitely do worse than get yourself set up in Mana.
Good luck with your boat search.

 

 

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On 14/05/2021 at 3:41 PM, MartinS said:

i came across other boats which looks good to me. What do you think about compass 790 and Tracker 7.7? If you were to compare those to Raven 26?

Cheers,

I will have a crack at answering this as no one else has.

My impression of the 790 is that it is a sound and capable cruising boat. One even sailed from NZ to Northern oz all by itself. There seems to be a few well maintained examples that come up. I personally like the look of them and would happily own one.

As for the 7.7 I think it is probably built a bit lighter and is narrower in the beam so not as good for cruising and overall it was not on my short list when I was boat shopping.

Both boats do have keel bolts so something to bare in mind. The encapsulated keel on the mk11 Raven is a big plus for me.

Another boat to consider is the Reactor although it is much less roomy than the Raven or 790.

I am like you in that I narrowed it down to solid glass boats. Too many bad stories of boats with rotten decks, window sorrounds etc...

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On 18/05/2021 at 7:57 AM, Sabre said:

I will have a crack at answering this as no one else has.

My impression of the 790 is that it is a sound and capable cruising boat. One even sailed from NZ to Northern oz all by itself. There seems to be a few well maintained examples that come up. I personally like the look of them and would happily own one.

As for the 7.7 I think it is probably built a bit lighter and is narrower in the beam so not as good for cruising and overall it was not on my short list when I was boat shopping.

Both boats do have keel bolts so something to bare in mind. The encapsulated keel on the mk11 Raven is a big plus for me.

Another boat to consider is the Reactor although it is much less roomy than the Raven or 790.

I am like you in that I narrowed it down to solid glass boats. Too many bad stories of boats with rotten decks, window sorrounds etc...

Thank you. That's really helpfull. Looks like there is less boats in our price range on trademe at the moment.

Regarding the keel boats, what is the disadvantage here? Is it expensive/difficult to change them when they are rusty?

 

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I guess you mean keel bolts? it is the condition of the ones currently installed that would be of concern as you cant see the shank without withdrawing one (or two) Check with the seller of any yacht you are interested in if they have checked / re-newed the keel bolts and when, if they have been done. It isn't a major to pull them , or it shouldn't be. re-sealing the surounding area with whatever is the recommended bog is important as well as using suitable strength bolts if you decide to replace them. Boats are holes in the water through which you pour money, but there are many worse ways to become poor.

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