onepointfivethumbs

Good Post-College Boat?

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I already posted this on Jboat Anarchy but I'm open to options.

I have another two(ish) years of school and my brother has three, neither of us knows where we will end up for work. We talked about getting one of the many used J/24's that pop up for cheap since it's a pretty universal class with fleets on all four coasts, big enough to sleep on, and stable enough to bring girlfriends and a cooler of beer.

However, between replacing core, the verm job, and the laundry list of upgrades mandatory to make the '24 go fast, plus sails, running rigging, and all the ancillary costs of owning a boat, I'm having my doubts on whether the J/24 is the best choice. It seems like the cheapest option but also the biggest headache to get a competitive boat on the line.

Lightnings are a no-go since both my brother and I are 200+lbs, and while I'm not entirely opposed to something like a Star or an Etchells they're a little more limiting. I already own and campaign a Finn and I'm not really looking for another dinghy.

Starting budget $10k plus maybe $5k for refit and $3k operating budget, looking for relatively active fleets on all four coasts.

 

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There are a lot of good options out there.  I am biased toward one of them as many know, but I'm not even going to name it since the bigger issue will be where you end up and how much traveling you want to do.  If there are local fleets of a certain type of boat around, that's always a bonus, but if you have a job and money to travel (and a proper tow vehicle - some of the boats tagged above will require significantly more horsepower than others), that factor goes down a tiny bit and you can optimize toward the boat you like to sail the most.  Always fun to think about but it's all just viperware...errr...vaporware for a couple more years.  Go crush it in school first so that you can get the best job that you can and the rest will figure itself out.  

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20 hours ago, JimBowie said:

Melges 24 meets most of your parameters.  Add two more guys and you're all set.

Except for the fact that a new set of sails on a M24 runs about 12k. 

Thistle?

VX one?

Viper?

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21 hours ago, ASP said:

Except for the fact that a new set of sails on a M24 runs about 12k. 

Thistle?

VX one?

Viper?

M24 on operating cost alone is outside my budget.

100-series VXOnes seem to be running $20k

Vipers are within budget if I get a double-digit hull. 

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1 hour ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

M24 on operating cost alone is outside my budget.

100-series VXOnes seem to be running $20k

Vipers are within budget if I get a double-digit hull. 

you can pick up a decent older M24 for under $20k.  A new set of sails are $10k.  I have always bought good used sails for 50% of original and when i buy new, I spread them out over a couple of seasons.  Maintenance and campaign costs will not be any different than any other boat with a crew of 4.

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On 12/4/2018 at 10:19 PM, wpbeardsley said:

If there are local fleets of a certain type of boat around, that's always a bonus, but if you have a job and money to travel (and a proper tow vehicle - some of the boats tagged above will require significantly more horsepower than others), that factor goes down a tiny bit and you can optimize toward the boat you like to sail the most.  

Sensible advice.

Like all boat purchases, you'll have the best chance of success if you can establish exactly what sort of sailing you want to do.

I acknowledge your stated preference for keelboats. However, if you and your brother are serious about racing, it would be very hard to beat the 505.

Sail prices, and pretty much all other consumables, are much lower than a Melges 24.

If you're content with club racing and sailing with buddies, girlfriends and beer is a greater priority, a J24 or any similar keelboat (lots to choose from) would of course be much more suitable. And there would be no real need to worry about regular sail purchases or otherwise getting and keeping the boat competition-ready.

Good luck with your decision. Please report back on your eventual purchase.

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On 12/6/2018 at 11:27 PM, Svanen said:

Sensible advice.

Like all boat purchases, you'll have the best chance of success if you can establish exactly what sort of sailing you want to do.

I acknowledge your stated preference for keelboats. However, if you and your brother are serious about racing, it would be very hard to beat the 505.

Sail prices, and pretty much all other consumables, are much lower than a Melges 24.

If you're content with club racing and sailing with buddies, girlfriends and beer is a greater priority, a J24 or any similar keelboat (lots to choose from) would of course be much more suitable. And there would be no real need to worry about regular sail purchases or otherwise getting and keeping the boat competition-ready.

Good luck with your decision. Please report back on your eventual purchase.

I actually used to own a 5O5 and ended up selling it because I needed cash. Under that kite, yeehaw!

We'll see what the market looks like a couple years from now, seems like it's a pretty hot topic and everyone likes the boat they sail.

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$12K for Melges 24 sails?  Really?  Even 2018 North's all-on racing set is only $9K.  Where's the extra $3K you quoting?

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On 12/8/2018 at 7:24 PM, pudge said:

Brent,  does the asym lift the bow at all downwind?  I used to own #69, Navy Blue hull, and it did  like to nosedive in bigger breezes downwind, even with every pound of hiking flesh as far back as possible.

 

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32 minutes ago, dolphinmaster said:

Brent,  does the asym lift the bow at all downwind?  I used to own #69, Navy Blue hull, and it did  like to nosedive in bigger breezes downwind, even with every pound of hiking flesh as far back as possible.

 

It may do some lifting, I've never buried it (like 10 knots to 3 knots) that bad. Just the kind of stuffing into the back of a wave that you would expect. 

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2 hours ago, JimBowie said:

$12K for Melges 24 sails?  Really?  Even 2018 North's all-on racing set is only $9K.  Where's the extra $3K you quoting?

Full suit from North is $11,150, Quantum is $9,616. 

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You can get a used competitive Viper for your budget.

$3k will cover your sails budget and more if you time your buying carefully and buy new sails in the fall and supplement that from time to time by getting a deal on used sails from one of the grand prix teams that buys three new sails a year.   The rules only allow an owner to buy one of each sail each year.   The mainsail remains highly competitive for two/three years, so buying a one year old mainsail is always a good deal.

The boat remains competitive without a large maintenance budget. 

For racing at the local club I use 3 year old sails......but I buy new grand prix sails each year for my travel regattas and subsequently sell them.

Power bars and beer is also a budget item not to be neglected.

Coming from a Finn and a 505, you will find the ergonomics/controls of the Viper are highly simplified compared to either of those two boats.  The downside is that you might miss being able to make small adjustments to everything. The upside is that many more people will be able to sail with and against you without needing all the experience and skill of an accomplished 505 crew. In short you can bring your buddy or gf racing.     I race with and against a bunch of former and current 505 sailors and they find the Viper a satisfying experience .....even if the 505 will always be their first love.

If you get a Viper, at 200+ lbs each, you will want to find a lighter third for regattas.   You want to aim to be 540-590 +/-. But you will kick butt on a Wednesday evening race where everyone agrees to sail 2 up.

WPB is right that a general sense of location is helpful.  That said Vipers are pretty widespread now.

I read your post on the other thread.  I am a former J24 owner and one thing the Viper does not offer a twenty-something is cruising to a neighboring club's regatta and sleeping on board.   Those were fun times!

There are lots of great boats....but stick to one design.

 

.    

 

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35 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

You can get a used competitive Viper for your budget.

$3k will cover your sails budget and more if you time your buying carefully and buy new sails in the fall and supplement that from time to time by getting a deal on used sails from one of the grand prix teams that buys three new sails a year.   The rules only allow an owner to buy one of each sail each year.   The mainsail remains highly competitive for two/three years, so buying a one year old mainsail is always a good deal.

The boat remains competitive without a large maintenance budget. 

For racing at the local club I use 3 year old sails......but I buy new grand prix sails each year for my travel regattas and subsequently sell them.

Power bars and beer is also a budget item not to be neglected.

Coming from a Finn and a 505, you will find the ergonomics/controls of the Viper are highly simplified compared to either of those two boats.  The downside is that you might miss being able to make small adjustments to everything. The upside is that many more people will be able to sail with and against you without needing all the experience and skill of an accomplished 505 crew. In short you can bring your buddy or gf racing.     I race with and against a bunch of former and current 505 sailors and they find the Viper a satisfying experience .....even if the 505 will always be their first love.

If you get a Viper, at 200+ lbs each, you will want to find a lighter third for regattas.   You want to aim to be 540-590 +/-. But you will kick butt on a Wednesday evening race where everyone agrees to sail 2 up.

WPB is right that a general sense of location is helpful.  That said Vipers are pretty widespread now.

I read your post on the other thread.  I am a former J24 owner and one thing the Viper does not offer a twenty-something is cruising to a neighboring club's regatta and sleeping on board.   Those were fun times!

There are lots of great boats....but stick to one design.

 

.    

 

Shit, People still do that??You are correct, those were the days... Except for camping, I know of no one that actually stays on boat for regattas anymore.  Given, I have not raced anywhere (besides long beach and even then the big boys were empty after the party ended.) where the average boat size is bigger than a J24, but we used to do it all the time.  4 up on a J24 was um Interesting...  :)

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3 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

You can get a used competitive Viper for your budget.

$3k will cover your sails budget and more if you time your buying carefully and buy new sails in the fall and supplement that from time to time by getting a deal on used sails from one of the grand prix teams that buys three new sails a year.   The rules only allow an owner to buy one of each sail each year.   The mainsail remains highly competitive for two/three years, so buying a one year old mainsail is always a good deal.

The boat remains competitive without a large maintenance budget. 

For racing at the local club I use 3 year old sails......but I buy new grand prix sails each year for my travel regattas and subsequently sell them.

Power bars and beer is also a budget item not to be neglected.

Coming from a Finn and a 505, you will find the ergonomics/controls of the Viper are highly simplified compared to either of those two boats.  The downside is that you might miss being able to make small adjustments to everything. The upside is that many more people will be able to sail with and against you without needing all the experience and skill of an accomplished 505 crew. In short you can bring your buddy or gf racing.     I race with and against a bunch of former and current 505 sailors and they find the Viper a satisfying experience .....even if the 505 will always be their first love.

If you get a Viper, at 200+ lbs each, you will want to find a lighter third for regattas.   You want to aim to be 540-590 +/-. But you will kick butt on a Wednesday evening race where everyone agrees to sail 2 up.

WPB is right that a general sense of location is helpful.  That said Vipers are pretty widespread now.

I read your post on the other thread.  I am a former J24 owner and one thing the Viper does not offer a twenty-something is cruising to a neighboring club's regatta and sleeping on board.   Those were fun times!

There are lots of great boats....but stick to one design.

 

.    

 

Thanks Mambo, Vipers are a pretty strong contender as well. Not making any moves yet, stay tuned and I'll keep everyone posted.

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23 hours ago, shaggy said:

Shit, People still do that??You are correct, those were the days... Except for camping, I know of no one that actually stays on boat for regattas anymore.  Given, I have not raced anywhere (besides long beach and even then the big boys were empty after the party ended.) where the average boat size is bigger than a J24, but we used to do it all the time.  4 up on a J24 was um Interesting...  :)

They were good days. 

Shout out to my former crew J24 Jack and Cindy,  I like to think that the V berth on my J24 at the Camden Castine regatta was the magic ingredient. 25 years later, happily married and kids on their way to college.

Jack trimmed genoa like nobody else and Cindy was fierce on the foredeck.   We were all amateurs then and partied harder than we sailed ...and we sailed pretty hard.   It was all very romantic.  Jack had one drink too many, and made a harmless but clumsy move on Cindy. She popped him one lightly on the jaw that knocked him to the ground (big guy + weak jaw) and then burst out crying. He surfaced to find his head cradled in her arms. The rest is history. I was best man at the wedding in Woods Hole.

There was a great camaraderie among the J24 fleet. Magic fun. We all sailed at the same regattas and the friendships were as important as the sailing.

I think one of the reasons I enjoy the Viper is that there is some of that.

But Im not as crazy as I was then.....I leave sleeping in the car to the younger crowd.  But every now and then, I miss it.

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