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Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS - Du­four 2800 Sigma 33 Moody 27

£14,000 first cruiser. A young cou­ple want a boat to start their sail­ing ad­ven­tures in. With a limited bud­get and a de­sire to sail, Gra­ham Snook helps find their ideal boat

Andy and Sarah are both ex­pe­ri­enced sailors, hav­ing sailed with fam­ily and friends and un­der­taken some lengthy coastal pas­sages. There’s only one prob­lem – this has al­ways been on other peo­ple’s boats, and now they want a first yacht of their own.

The joy of be­ing, young, mar­ried and child-free can­not be un­der­rated, so it makes sense for Sarah (30) and her hus­band Andy (31) to make the most of their free time be­fore mort­gages, kids and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties come on to the scene – and what better way than to buy a boat? Okay, there are many ways, but we’re a yacht­ing mag­a­zine after all.

Andy’s a doc­tor, Sarah, a teacher, which gives them the free­dom to move around the coun­try, so con­crete roots aren’t what the cou­ple want or need at the mo­ment. There­fore, while it could be ar­gued that a house should come be­fore a boat, the cou­ple want to take hol­i­days, and pos­si­bly sail around the UK be­fore com­mit­ting to bricks and mor­tar in a place they re­ally want to be.

Hav­ing come from dinghy sail­ing, they want a boat to en­joy sail­ing, rather than drift­ing with con­trol, and will hap­pily pay more for a swing­ing moor­ing for a fin keel. They also want to en­cour­age their friends into sail­ing, so a sep­a­rate heads and cabin is prefer­able; the lat­ter would be a boon if a child came on the scene.

The cou­ple’s bud­get of £14,000 gives them plenty of op­tions, how­ever as it’s their first boat, they may have un­der­es­ti­mated cost of own­er­ship, and although they say they are happy to do some main­te­nance, leaving £2,000 to one side will help them in their first year of yacht own­er­ship.

Gra­ham Snook, a boat tester of 20 years, scours the mar­ket to help you find your next yacht

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