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Old 05-02-2013, 11:14   #1
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Help deciding??

Hi to all and thanks for your comments and coming suggestions.

We are in our 60's, want to cruise Fla. Keys, Bahamas and Carib. Islands beyond, for 3 years. Only one of us has experience and can handle a boat, so we'd choose a 32' to 37' monohull as limits between ease of handling anchors, lines, etc. and comfort, tankage, equipment, etc.

Require 4'-0" draft (maybe 2" more) Maximum, to get into our canal. Prefer a centerboard to alert us of shallows while exploring. We hate to go aground !. We like a safe and roomy, shoal and good sailing boat to keep up w/ others and make landfall in daylight.

Have 3 choices so far:

A- Morgan OI 33', 50 HP Perkins, modified full keel, 3.9' draft, 11.8' beam, 14,500# displ. Bank repo. ...no previous history. Davits, solar, canvas enclosure & electronics. Repainted deck is now peeling.

B- Another Morgan OI 33' 1979, with a rebuilt, huge 65 HP Perkins. Owner says it's better ?. Redone interior in oak. No extras, priced same as above.

C- Sabre 34', 1981, 28 HP Westerbeke, 3.8' draft, 10.5' beam, 11,400# displ. Centerboard on long fin and spade rudder. Nothing special, priced $4k more than each Morgan but probably sails better to windward.

Questions and suggestions;... I realize these are very different species:

1- Which is better for our Florida and Carib Island crossing purposes; A lighter, better windward sailing, but cramped below and overloaded fin keeler with cruising gear tied to the lifelines; or a beamy, full keeled, heavy motorsailor type with wide decks & a huge diesel that sails poorly to wind and will surprise us with hitting bottom with no centerboard?

2- Have heard that full keels are difficult to get off a grounding, compared with a similar grounding on a fin type.

Can you suggest any other boat? A Bristol 35, would have all of the good points, a Pearson 35 is too narrow, an Island Packett is kind of too expensive per foot of vessel, Tartan 37 getting too big. We might decide to resell in 3 years; want good value, safety and comfort. ....and your advise!!! Thanks
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:01   #2
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Re: Help deciding??

Using a center board as a depth sounder will very shortly result in a busted off center board. Don't even think about that as plus for a C/B boat.

You have to decide whether you are a sailor and will live with a little less space or a power boater that will occasionally sail. Boats are not condominiums. Storage space is way more valuable on a cruising boat than wide open interior space. Full keel may be the better boat in a grounding. A full keel will very comfortably sit on its keel and protect the rudder. Can' count the number of times a fin keel has run aground and successfully kedged off but with a bent rudder shaft.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:40   #3
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Re: Help deciding??

I would go for the one with better sailing ability. Florida and Caribs do no seem to lack wind.

I like long keel for groundings - at least no worries with structural damage.

b.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:16   #4
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Re: Help deciding??

I wish I could give an unbiased opinion... But one of my boats is a 33 OI !

I'll just give ya some general observations then....

I've sailed on a lot of boats, and a lot of people me not to buy the Morgan when I was looking... I am elated I didn't listen to them... YES... They can be slow and fickle in light air... Anything less than 10kts of wind, and you will be making 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 kts at best.... 15kts and you will be just fine... You will be limited to about 6-7kts in any upwind reach...have however made 10+kts running winged with 130% genny

Owning the boat made me a better sailor than I already was... more pre-thinking involved... There are times where you need to backwind momentarily to get her on a new upwind tack.... She heels much less than most boats, and is extremely comfortable in weather... The need to reef is usually in higher winds than you would like to sail in...

The original 50 hp is plenty.... I get about 1gal/hr cruising at 6, can get 7.5 TOPS

Feel free to ask any questions!
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:28   #5
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pirate Re: Help deciding??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
I wish I could give an unbiased opinion... But one of my boats is a 33 OI !

I'll just give ya some general observations then....

I've sailed on a lot of boats, and a lot of people me not to buy the Morgan when I was looking... I am elated I didn't listen to them... YES... They can be slow and fickle in light air... Anything less than 10kts of wind, and you will be making 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 kts at best.... 15kts and you will be just fine... You will be limited to about 6-7kts in any upwind reach...have however made 10+kts running winged with 130% genny

Owning the boat made me a better sailor than I already was... more pre-thinking involved... There are times where you need to backwind momentarily to get her on a new upwind tack.... She heels much less than most boats, and is extremely comfortable in weather... The need to reef is usually in higher winds than you would like to sail in...

The original 50 hp is plenty.... I get about 1gal/hr cruising at 6, can get 7.5 TOPS

Feel free to ask any questions!
Well.... can't get much better than that...
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:48   #6
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Re: Help deciding??

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Well.... can't get much better than that...
Well... I may have made it sound a bit too rosy... I did forget to mention that she backs like a pig... And... I hate ducking the end boom sheeting when moving to the helm on the windward side...

Other than that... (oh I'm sure there's more)

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Old 05-02-2013, 16:04   #7
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Re: Help deciding??

It depends too on how far down in the Caribbean you end up going. In the winter it blows like stink south of the Bahamas. When we were down there on a 32-foot cat we didn't shake out the second reef in our main all winter long, and many days we were out sailing with nobody else in sight because it was too rough for most. People did tell us later that we brought some unusually strong winds with us. In any case, it can be a tough slog to windward to get from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico and the Virgins, and then on to St. Martin. After that you are more off the wind, but there is still plenty of it down to Trinidad. I personally would go for the Sabre, but I don't mind Morgans at all--I think they are good cruising boats with a lot of room and comfort for their length, but they are not sparkling sailors.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:50   #8
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Re: Help deciding??

Great responses from each of you, thank you all!. Sounds like many 'previous experiences' talking.
No one made fun of my....'bumpbottomfobia' ! Was that also 'experience' talking?
I thought that leaving the centerboard exposed, only just 4 or 5 inches past the keel, would give me some actual warning, besides the depth finder, in known and expected thin water, to warn me to stop, pull the C/B up and turn away. Thanks for the warning. Had done it with a steel swing keel Catalina 22 years back.
There were a lot of votes for the Morgan OI 33', specially from HappyMdRSailor, (no one said if a 65 HP had any advantages over the standard 50 HP ), although the Sabre 34' was also well accepted. Also, 'Kettlewell Cruising' is a very nice site to visit.
No one said to get a larger boat, or suggested another, more appropiate vessel.
I would consider and welcome any other shoal draft cruiser to handle those light winds in the Gulf coast of Florida,( our home waters), and those strong winds South of the Bahamas.
Question: Can any 32' to 37' cruising boat sail in light winds, reefed in heavy winds, have good storage space and maybe have a C/B as a bonus to relieve my 'bumpbottomfobia' ?.
I know you can come up with some boats like that, before I decide on those boats I mentioned.!! Going to see them this week.
Thanks again!. Slowpoker
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Old 06-02-2013, 13:06   #9
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Re: Help deciding??

I don't know the OI 33 but I learned to sail on and OI 36. It was a great boat, very sturdy and the roomiest 36' boat I have every seen. Draft is still under 4'.

Similar concerns as the OI33. Upwind performance is pretty dismal, you make a lot of leeway but the boat motorsails upwind very well. Off the wind I found the boat to be fast enough. Very comfortable at sea as well.

Also agree that 65 hp is more than you need on a boat in this size range. 50 hp is more than enough, even for a 36'.
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Old 06-02-2013, 13:09   #10
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Re: Help deciding??

You mention the word motorsailor, so I see no issue with the OI 33 if you are willing to go for a motorsailor. The facts are that you motor a lot to get fom point A to point B when coastal cruising.
OTOH, arent there some Pearsons with centerboards that would be better sailors? I think there's a 38 ft kind of flush deck type...?

follow up: I guess it's a 40 ft centerboard. Beamy but kinda pinched on the ends... probably IOR based design. Roomy inside, I cruised with a couple that had one, but no windows etc due to the flush deck.
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Old 06-02-2013, 13:13   #11
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Re: Help deciding??

Glad you like the input!!!

Any boat you lean towards and buy.... You will love... (mostly )

I think others here are better on suggestions for other boats as options... I usually try and stick with advice from experience....

If you want to forward me links to the boats you are liking right now, I would be happy to offer an opinion(s) It may save you a trip to one or the other??? Or give you some bargaining leverage...

Lets hear from some other guys about other boats!


PS 50HP is good, but I certainly wouldn't want less... 65 might be a bonus
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Old 06-02-2013, 15:58   #12
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Re: Help deciding??

I really like the Tartans, both the 34 and 37. They are very nice sailing designs, with well thought out interiors.
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Old 06-02-2013, 16:17   #13
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Re: Help deciding??

The Hunter 36 has been around for a long time. Compare its layout and its tested performance, with anything you have in mind! For a bit more comfort, aim for no less than 35+ footer. It is a plus, for the single handed sailor. Mauritz
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Old 06-02-2013, 16:30   #14
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Re: Help deciding??

Im no sailor, and minimal experience, but sound to me that you just a need a modified full keel little fat boat with a big diesel motor. Wish my Seafarer 34 was a little fatter, and a bigger motor. I'm ok with it though. cause its built like a friggin TANK!!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2013, 16:45   #15
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Re: Help deciding??

Quote:
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Im no sailor, ....
I think you meant to say "I'm no expert......"

You certainly are a sailor.....LL
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