First Boat

Riggy

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[ QUOTE ]
Sure the Bristol Channel has large tides, but they dont really run that quick below Cardiif. At Swansea we dont have a problem with it, and our access is probably just as good as on the south coast.

Just because the tidal range is large doesnt make it a bad cruising area.
Most of it is myth put about by South Coast raggie types. True, for slow sailing vessels it can be a bit challenging, but for Mobo's it's really no different from anywhere else. Equally there are plenty of people who sail out of here and enjoy it immensly...and you know what, more often than not they return in one piece.

Steve.

[/ QUOTE ]


Didn't mean at all to imply the Bristol Channel was a bad cruising area, just didn'y know if it was a safe bet for a newcomer to the water without any knowlege /experience???
 

mainshiptom

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Before you do anything hire or charter a boat for two weeks in the summer and use it !

That is what i did but even then as soon as you get your first boat you will be thinking about the next one up !

Tom
 

hlb

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Devo and Cornwall has some of the best cruising areas of the country. Loads of safe harbours and beaches to visit with by comparison, a small tidal range. Most harbours are in deap water, so no locks or tides to worry about much. I've been known to go all year without the need for a tide table. By contrast the bristol chanel has massive lock gate enterance to most harbours and when you do get out theres nearly no place to go without watching your watch every five minutes, your surounded by mud banks half the time and following buoyed chanels. Every where you can get into is marinafied instead of lovely old fashioned harbouryfied, come and go as you pleaseified. Been up there a couple of times. Would not go back, it just does not compare. Now wheres by bunker!! /forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif
 

Planty

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Hiya John, Welcome to the madhouse, (Boating & The Forum), like others I would'nt shy away from an American Boat, though majority are petrol which for some unknown reason I would now not particularly fancy.

My first experience was a Searay 225 Weekender, very nice first boat, well specced and heavy construction so took the early knocks everyone manages, but not terribly well stuck together, (cabin door fell off at first sight of choppy sea) but a very fine boat none the less. After one years useage and a lot of help from other forumites and bundles of tuition, certainly would have tried Cherbourg, on the right day and with company. Upgraded after 11 months so never made it until in bigger boat.

Can't say about S24 but seems a good boat, they sell 100's. Now have Sealine myself, as with all boats, little niggles but no worse or better than most, just blooming good value for money.

As for where to moor a boat, if coming from your end and being a newbie, I would definitely start in Poole Harbour, loads of places to explore, normally calm waters, open sea nearby, lots of "reachable" other ports. Cracking spot to learn and get the partner and children comfy. As for cost, Salterns, ridiculously expensive, Rockley Park ridiculously cheap, but very friendly and great fun, (and a beach too!)

All the very best with your year, PM me for more details. Paul
 

jjc

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Hi

was out over the weekend in the Seven estuary and across to Cardiff & Penarth, was on my friends 36' which is in Portishead. The marina there is at present undergoing major work to the area so the prices are very good. I could see no problem with the marina and will soon be moving my boat there. From your location the travelling would be much easier and a boat that is local to you always gets looked after better.

John
 

[2068]

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I think you can say that there are some US built boats that are quite clearly targetted at lakes (e.g. Large Bowriders, Pontoon Boats etc.). It's not the fact they're built in the US that makes them unsuitable, more that there is only a market for some of these oddities in the US.

Comparing apples with apples, US built sportscruisers such as Bayliner are equally suited our waters, apart from that the interpretation of "interior trim" sometimes equates to glueing a carpet to the ceiling, which isn't to everyone's taste.

dv.
 

John1000

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Thanks

I will make enquiries to these marinas but as a complete novice with no knowledge of boats, am bit worried of making a mistake.

My budget is around 30,000, so not a lot of hope for a diesel which would make this hobby more economical.

The US boats appeal for the design and looks, but as previously mentioned some people at the boat show were skeptical about their quality when compared to Fairline and the such.
 

jimg

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I had my first ( sea-going ) boat in the Bristol Channel for a few years as I lived in Bristol at the time. However, in the end I moved it down to Devon and I used it far more as the seas are more settled and more places to visit. OK I had a 2 hour journey each weekend, but boy what a difference! In fact I live down here now and shudder at the thought of some of the sea conditions we ended up with in the Bristol Channel. You are talking about a fairly small boat, which is a major consideration.
 

Elza_Skip

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I would certainly consider Portishead. When I got my first boat last year they still had plenty of space and half the price of the south coast. We have been up through the shoots to Sharpness a couple of times.

Access out onto the Bristol Channel is about 3.5 hours either side of high water and the facilities seem quite good. there is also a chandlery there and various boatyard facilities. Around the marina it is still of a building site but it is developing quickly and I am sure that it will soon be a sought after area.

The Bristol channel does not have a many places to visit as the south coast but they are developing with the new marina at Watchet and even a new one due to open up river at Lydney (it's true I saw it yesterday!)

Although the tides are strong, they are no worse than parts of the Solent (Try the western approaches on springs with wind over tide!)

Lastly, the nearer you are to your boat the more you will use it and you can also put your name on a waiting list for another marina in the meantime.

Feel free to PM me if you want more info and there are several forumites in the area
 

Elza_Skip

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I'd say Portishead is well worth considering. We have used it a couple of times, access is 3.5 to 4 hours either side of HW, facilities are good, chandery and boatyard right there.

It is a bit of a building site around but developing fast.

When we got our first boat last year they had plenty of space and half the price of the south coast.

Boating on the Bristol Channel is OK, you just need to do a little homework and there are new places to visit opening all the time. Only yesterday we found out about a new marina due to open at Lydney.

Most important thing for your new boat is to be near to her so you easily get to so even a short time window means you can get out and make the most of the investment.

AS this will be your first boat, I suggest you buy used, that way as you use her and find out what you really want to do you can move on after a season or two without losing much capital

Vernon
 

hlb

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M Farter has done quite enough sploshing about round lands End. Padstow HM even sends me a Christmas card every year.!! I've just got pissed off with all the homework, scribbling with pencils and setting alarm clocks Getting up with hangovers!! Even the wife is having a divorce after making countless butties at 20 knots!! It's a dam site less hastle to go to Britany for the week. Just point and go!!!
 

BrendanS

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I think it's fair to say that I was commenting on the range of US boats on sale in the UK. Although you may find some US bowriders for sale, few of them are large, and I haven't seen many mainstream dealers selling US pontoon boats
 

John1000

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Got a call from Mark at Jaykay marina sales about a Sealine S24, so will make some enquiries about marinas in this part of the world.

First marina I looked at was Chichester, but a real drag to get to (three hours plus) and quite pricey.

Certainly look at Devon after the replies here. Though heard Poole was the most expensive in the country.
 

tico

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Oi! Steve..... what you trying to do? make South Wales as popular as the solent?

Keep putting people off with tales of monster tides, humungous waves, foriegn language and sea monsters!!

That way it wont be so busy and cheaper. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

jimg

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Have a look at Darthaven, Dart Marina, Noss Marina on the River Dart or Brixham or Torquay. I am pretty sure you will get into one of them, but it is best to ask in person rather than just phone. You will love it down here, there are plenty of people from Bristol here who make the trip down here.
 

enterprise

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Don't worry over remarks aimed at American boats, imagine all those law suits if there were any hint of poor workmanship/not fit for purpose, they would be out of business.

Compare it to Ford, they make decent enough cars that have all the comforts of many high priced european models but you never here the word quality mensioned when someone talks about ford.

Searay are proud of the fact that they build quality, but its in there interests to educate the buying public to some of there competitors shortfalls.

The prices of there main US maket rivals product (Bayliner) are substantialy cheaper, they do use cheaper fittings (ie Zamec & plastic instead of stainless) but the cost of replacing these is no where near the discount on purchase price for what essentialy is the same boat.

Owners are understandably keen to justify there choice, some are based on experience, some on heresay but you have definitely done the right thing by asking for opinions, just draw your own conclusions.

Personaly we have owned a Bayliner Cierra & a Sealine s24.
The Bayliner was trailered (24ft) & although basic due to age we upgraded it to suit our prefered usage.
The only reason we sold was that it was hard to find pontoon berthing on the south coast when we wanted to use it. (like everyone else Bank holidays & weekends).
We bought the Sealine because it came with a berth in our prefered marina.
The sealine is no better or worse than the bayliner, just a lot more money & yes I do agree, slightly better finnished, but not that you can tell without looking for it.

My sudgestion therefore is to locate a marina you like & then trawl the local brokers.
Contact them & give them a list of what you are looking for, they will undoubtably find something to your liking.
This has advantages, having a contact point in the area of interest & if the boat has been local for some time it gives you further contacts, for servicing etc.

Buy second hand & spend on some essential safety kit including training for both yourself & your family.
Get the family on your side by asking there opinions on all the boats you view, it's then not only you that has to live with your ultimate decission.

Diesel/Petrol, there is a lot going for the diesel argument but dont let it put you off the petrol alternative, if you dont mind the running cost(this comes down to what you want to do with it) then short hops in a petrol boat are not going to retrieve the difference in outlay.

Berthing £3000 or there about in Devon, fully serviced berth.
Parking is extra.

The distance you travel is probably irelavent, from your location the south coast is very accessible, with no frustrating tides & calmer conditions, it is an ideal location.
Don't assume because you have a boat your family will want to be aboard all the time, look at other activities around your base,it's no fun sitting hours on end aboard because the tide or weather are not ideal for boating.
You need to make owning a boat a pleasure & not a chore that the family have to endure every weekend & holiday, having something else for them to do can make the difference between longterm ownership & longterm hassle. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 
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