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Boating: A Short Treatise

Boating is one of my favorite pleasures, and living in Florida, there is ample opportunity. Whether your taste be ocean going sailing ships, freshwater motor-boats, or swamp-skimming airboats (to name a few options), there are a huge number of vessels and locations to accommodate your maritime fervor. In my next couple blog posts, I will explore various kinds of freshwater and ocean-going ships available to the prospective mariner. First up: Sailboats.

 

There is really nothing cooler than being on the open ocean – unless it’s being in a sailboat on the open ocean. Florida is the perfect place for sailboats of all styles. There’s no reason to go out and buy a brand-new 40 ft. Beneteau; there are plenty of slightly smaller, used sailboats at a tiny fraction of the cost that will serve you well for many years. You can find a used Newport 27′ for 10 – 15k (depending on how much work you are willing to put into it), making owning a sailboat a very real possibility for anyone in the middle class. Newports sail wonderfully and are perfect to learn on, and while they don’t have the amenities of a Beneteau or other luxury boat, their cabins are still comfortable and ample.

 

Another popular option for Floridians looking to sail are catamarans. If you like some serious speed, catamarans might be right up your alley. Again, it’s fairly easy to find a 14′-16′ Hobie or Prindle Cat for around a thousand dollars, and in my opinion, they are way more fun than the jet-skis that the kids seem to like today – there is far more finesse and skill involved (though it should be noted that sailing is quite easy to learn). Plus, smaller catamarans more or less demand that you trapeze out over the side of the boat in order to balance when the boat goes up on one pontoon – which not only is a lot of fun, but impressive to all who are watching as well.

 

There you have it: a short introduction to some of the ocean-going vessels that you can purchase. Happy sailing, and watch out for reefs and ocean-dwelling zombies that will pull you to a watery grave.