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Looking for my first boat.....

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭✭ Petrol Head_Pilot


    I've a few questions regarding buying a boat as a newbie.

    I'm interested in the Shetland 610 & Fletcher 21 GTS etc but I'm open to recommendations as I haven't a clue!! I'll be on lakes and the odd coastal trip so I'm not sure what type of boat is best. I'll only ever have max 5 at a time at that will be rare, mostly 2/3 on board.

    I hold a PADI open water divers license and I've driven boats before so I have experience but I'm really a beginner. Most of the courses I have seen reference sailing or ribs and I was wondering can anyone recommend a course?

    Can I get a marine engineer to check a boat before I buy it and have you any other general tips?


Comments

  • #2


    Can I get a marine engineer to check a boat before I buy it and have you any other general tips?

    I'm in the same position as yourself and am looking for a first boat (yacht). You can and definitely should get a surveyors report on any boat you are considering and preferably with the boat out of the water so they can inspect the hull.


  • #2


    A surveyors report is a good idea if you are buying a larger cruiser and are looking to protect your investment. I'm not sure how valuable a €300-500 survey will be to small older boat. A lot will depend on condition. Check the hull for damage and blisters, inspect all fibreglass areas for cracking. Small spider cracks are common and not a big issue but larger ones along the gunwale are due to impact and the transom area around the outboard is an area for concern.
    Many older speedboats and sportscruisers have wooden floors glassed in. If there were badly sealed or cheap ply was used they can rot under the carpets. Try to find a boat with properly moulded fibreglass floors rather than carpetted plywood.
    Buy a boat with a good clean fresh outboard by a reputable brand like Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda.

    For training, look at doing the Powerboat Level 1 & 2. It's one course but covers a lot. https://www.sailing.ie/Training/Courses/Powerboat
    List of training centres https://www.sailing.ie/Training/Find-Training-Centre

    curioub, I would recommend doing an adult sailing course. Some clubs and training centres do courses on cruisers rather than dinghies.
    Lots of great options and you could tie it in with a summer holiday this year.


  • #2


    Donie75 wrote: »
    curioub, I would recommend doing an adult sailing course. Some clubs and training centres do courses on cruisers rather than dinghies.
    Lots of great options and you could tie it in with a summer holiday this year.

    Yes, looking into Competent Crew course now!


  • #2


    Bear in mind that insurance would only be offered on the basis of having a valid/recent survey.

    And to add to that, buying a boat, and spending any amount of money on it, one would be mad not to have it surveyed by a competent surveyor. If not for peace of mind on your investment, for the fact that you will be putting to sea/lakes in a boat, and would want the peace of mind that the vessel is sea worthy. As the master of a vessel putting to sea, you are responsible for the safety of the vessel and its passengers.

    In terms of courses, I believe the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat school run great courses.. Even if their power boat course is in a Rib, it's still a power boat and generally the same principles will apply..

    I would also highly recommend doing a VHF Short Range Certificate (SRC) course/test...
    In an emergency situation, you might literally have only seconds to transmit a distress call, so knowing how to do it calmly and correctly could be the difference between a good and bad outcome...
    In addition to that, VHF communication is crucial for coastal navigation, from receiving weather forecasts and small craft warnings, to assisting the Coast Guard if ever called upon to do so, as well as navigating in and around harbours as well as shipping lanes/channels....

    It's also a legal requirement for a boat with a VHF transceiver onboard to have a Ships Radio Licence (SRL) for the vessel, and in turn to get an SRL, one must have a SRC (VHF operators licence).


  • #2
    Bear in mind that insurance would only be offered on the basis of having a valid/recent survey.

    I was actually wondering about this. I presume they will also request my Powerboat Certificate?

    I have completed a Marine VHF Radio course but that was a good few years ago so it's out of date and I also completed the safety of Life at Sea training with upturned rafts etc. This this was all completed as I was a security agent for an international company but its a long time ago.

    I'm also a Private Pilot so radio work won't be an issue, unless I request approach to Dublin in a Shetland 610 😂😂

    In regards to sonar equipment would a fish finder be suitable for showing depth etc or is there a specific device for small sea going boats?


  • #2


    I was actually wondering about this. I presume they will also request my Powerboat Certificate?

    No, only the valid survey. When I bought my boat almost 3 years ago, all I needed was the survey for the insurance. I then travelled over to Portsmouth and sailed it home with a delivery skipper.
    , the only cert of any kind I had was my recently acquired VHF cert, and my Basic Sea Survival Course I did way back in 1992 with BIM (My father was the instructor).
    I have completed a Marine VHF Radio course but that was a good few years ago so it's out of date and I also completed the safety of Life at Sea training with upturned rafts etc. This this was all completed as I was a security agent for an international company but its a long time ago.

    As far as I'm aware, they don't expire... my brother has one about 30 years, and it's still valid (as in there's no expert date on it). The only thing is that some time in the last 15 or so years (while I was away from boating), DSC (Digital Selective Calling) came into play on marine VHF, and the vast majority of fixed VHF radios have it these days, and even some handhelds. So a cert acquired before DSC would not be valid for DSC use...... but in reality, it wouldn't really matter as long as you familiarised yourself with DSC and know how it works, as they're not going to not answer a DSC distress call from you because your cert didn't cover DSC...
    In regards to sonar equipment would a fish finder be suitable for showing depth etc or is there a specific device for small sea going boats?

    I believe fish finders also function as depth sounders in that they'll give you the depth of water under the transducer. Though if the boat comes with nothing, and you've no interest in looking for fish, a simple depth sounder would suffice which would be cheaper than a fish finder.

    Those boats you mentioned in the OP, would only need around 20-30cm of water to float in, so I wouldn't imagine they'd ever have a need for a depth sounder. Also, they look like boats I would be happy to be in a lake/river in, but not the sea.... maybe the Fletcher, but it would need to be an extremely calm day....

    This is what my boat has, a Raymarine i50 Tri-Data (Speed (through the water), Depth & log/sea temp) (there are depth or speed only also). There are loads of different brands to choose from. Raymarine, B&G etc... and some of the stuff nowadays in terms of plotters etc.. are akin to digital cockpits in aircraft..

    2063891_l.jpg
    I'm also a Private Pilot so radio work won't be an issue, unless I request approach to Dublin in a Shetland 610 ����

    You'll be grand so on the radio.... just no more "descend flight level three zero" to be dealing with...., and probably not as hurried and professional sounding :D

    Safe Boating and Best of Luck with whatever you choose to buy.


  • #2



    You'll be grand so on the radio.... just no more "descend flight level three zero" to be dealing with...., and probably not as hurried and professional sounding :D


    Agreed, but a Shetland 610 on 22 at DUB would bring new meaning to Caution Wake Turbulence!


  • #2
    @AndyBoBandy, Thanks for all the info and the link. I never thought about getting a boat from the UK but it might be a option if the VAT has been paid within the EU.

    I'll keep searching and research before I even look at a boat. I'll need to get one that Sea worthy so I'll have to expand my search from Lake and river boats.

    Thanks again and happy sailing 😎


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