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Old 17-04-2012, 08:44   #1
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30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Hi, This is my first post, but surely not my last. I have lurked for longer than I am comfortable admitting, but decided it was time to jump in. I have a family of four, with the two kids both under 4. We are planning a trip down the ICW and then over to the Bahamas in the fall, and are hoping to have a boat purchased by June. So, to the question:

What would be your choice of a thirty footer to go for six months in? Our budget is 20k for the boat and outfitting, and we are fine with both simplicity and minimalism in gear and stuff. We have spent over a month on our Tanzer 22 on Erie, so anything 30 foot is going to be a huge upgrade : ) The wife and I have been looking for months, and have some favorites, but hoped to hear from some of the more experienced salts here to be sure we are not overlooking any boats that should be in consideration. Thanks for your time.

M&K
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:08   #2
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

I would start here: (Sail) Boats For Sale
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:16   #3
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Catalina 30. Not fancy, just a great work horse, good sailor, spacious, good price.
Erika
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:32   #4
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Not to be too self-serving, but we are selling our Grampian 34' ketch. It has been upgraded with the goal of sailing the ICW to the Caribbean. It is a large, comfortable and sea worthy cruising vessel in your price range. It has a full aft cabin (for the parents ), a large forward cabin and a comfortable salon.
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:50   #5
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Consider an Allmand 31... big big boat for 31, shallow draft (probably wont sail to weather that well... do you care?) Huge double aft berth as well as the V berth. Should be able to get one for $10k and up. Saw one recently in NC that was loaded and prepped for the Bahamas but owner changed his plans.... I'm not saying it's an offshore round the world boat, but def equal to a Bene or Catalina etc....
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:44   #6
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

I would be less likely locked into a particular brand and more into finding one that is well equipped and in good shape....all at the right price. Just like cheechako's example. Lots of boats can make the trip. Decide on some basic parameters and start hunting.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:38   #7
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Thanks for the responses. You guys are awesome. I will look into the Allmand and the Grampian although at 34 feet the Grampian my be larger than we are looking for.

I appreciate the advice to look for a boat in the best shape vs a particular model or design. That makes sense on our budget. It's just so hard to not fall in love with a particular design that catches your eye.

I have given a lot of thought to the Tartan 30, but would love to find something like a cape dory 28 or 30 in my price range.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:45   #8
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

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Catalina 30. Not fancy, just a great work horse, good sailor, spacious, good price.
Erika
I 2nd the Catalina 30. Was my first boat and they are rock solid and roomy
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:05   #9
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

On the subject of the Catalina 30, I am not really worried about the sea keeping ability, as that has been talked about in a hundred other threads. My question is about the wear and tear aspect. For those for those of you who owned or own them, how do they hold up to use day in and day out? Thanks again.
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:41   #10
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

I have a cape dory 30 ( and it is for sale ) but I did not consider it for you because of the family of four statement, I just don't think they are roomy enough for a family, though it's been done before. I lived aboard my CD30 for a couple years very comfy for one or two, after that it gets cramped.
Having said that, the CD is a beautiful vessel, she sails sweetly, and the deeper you dig into the bilges the more respect you get for the designer and builder. Whew! Ok I shut up now.

The Allmands are built like brick houses. I sailed a Allmand pilot house across the Atlantic and was hit by a bad storm. We, the captain and crew, handled the storm terribly, while the boat took our ineptness with stride. Tartans are fantastic, my parents sailed a 37 around the world (hull #2), but the draft may be a problem. other boats I'd offer up are Island packet 27, oh and ComPacs, they a a bit light but good quality, roomy, and shallow draft.

Hope that helps, we ( Rain Dog) will be in the Bahamas next year, hope to see you out there

Erika
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Old 17-04-2012, 13:09   #11
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

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On the subject of the Catalina 30, I am not really worried about the sea keeping ability, as that has been talked about in a hundred other threads. My question is about the wear and tear aspect. For those for those of you who owned or own them, how do they hold up to use day in and day out? Thanks again.
They hold up very well and Catalina is still in business, so you can get support or parts if needed. They made hundreds of them, so they are all over the world.
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:10   #12
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

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They made hundreds of them,
25+ years and almost 6500 hulls....
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:25   #13
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

JoeDiver,

Thanks, I new it was a lot. Catalina's seem to hold their value well to.
Actually we sold ours for $10,000 more than we paid for it 9 months later.
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:33   #14
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

Grampian would be a great boat, Catalina is another well proven boat as well. Also Kirby, C&C and CS as well all very hearty boats with a good record for great lakes squalls. Basic electronics VHF-DSC, Chartplotter and cruise guides for the area your going ( actually those could be your biggest expense ) fridge would be nice when on dock.
Have you given solar or wind some thought to extend your anchoring duration.
Also a boat from the great lakes will not have a Y valve as a standard install. So you may want to have that installed along the way as it could come in handy.
water maker would put you over budget for sure so look for added bladder storage or jugs. A short wave receiver would ba an asset as well to tune into the weather shows, as you work your way down you can get the freq for the area your heading to.
Lastly and could be most important is to have big tumblers for sundowners with copious amounts of rum
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:36   #15
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Re: 30 footer for a family of four to the Bahamas

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Thanks for the responses. You guys are awesome. I will look into the Allmand and the Grampian although at 34 feet the Grampian my be larger than we are looking for.

snip.
Your kids are small and you might not think you need the space now, but they grow up fast. Also, 6 months to the Bahamas means you need to stow a lot more gear than 1 month in the US.

If it's in your budget 34 is not a big boat once you get used to it, which will take a few days. After a week you will wonder how you ever got along with less.
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