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Old 03-10-2013, 12:16   #16
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Look for a C&C 27 earlier model actually 28 feet long, excellent boat, good club racer, easy to single hand and a good interior layout.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:31   #17
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Look for a C&C 27 earlier model actually 28 feet long, excellent boat, good club racer, easy to single hand and a good interior layout.
I have sailed one of these and was very, very impressed with the sailing qualities. It has the traveler behind the wheel which is really nice for single handing if you are hand steering.

Many of them have Atomic 4 engines, which I personally would not want (you will find many threads here on the Atomic 4, some people love them). I am sure you can fine one that has been re-powered with a diesel. It meets all you requirements except traditional looks IMHO.
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Old 03-10-2013, 13:15   #18
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

I’m no expert but I believe John Viger is. I recommend you get a copy of his book, “Twenty small boats to take you anywhere”, and start forming your opinions from there.
I sail a 27’ Capedory. It meets my needs which are similar to the ones you named. They are rather scarce on the west coast. Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:21   #19
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Another vote for a Catalina 30, they are everywhere and you will be able to find one in your budget. You should have no problem single handing this capable coastal cruiser and the cabin is well thought out and very comfortable.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:23   #20
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

I sail single handed out of Seattle and while 30 or under is feasible a 33-35 footer would be closer to ideal. A good hatch dodger or pilot house is a plus for this climate. The ability to sail and power into the wind and chop is also important since the waterways and wind tend to run on the nose or stern. Your budget is a problem you will be lucky to get a good boat or one that could be good with a lot of work and refit.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:28   #21
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I have an Oday 302 that I love. Single handed from st Petersburg to the bahamas and back this spring. Super roomy inside and good performance. Plus the 3'10" draft is nice, as well as the aft cabin, and the 6'2 headroom. Have done long trips with 3 and that's comfortable as well.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:35   #22
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Here's another good resource: Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List

This guy has a well-reasoned spartan philosophy. Not for everyone.

I'll second the previous headroom comment. It's one of the few luxuries I personally feel is very important. Depending on your height, can be tough to find under 30ft.

My inclination is towards a quality smaller boat as opposed to something bigger. For your budget and your need to only overnight one, I'd be inclined to say go small. Singlehanding a bigger boat wouldn't necessarily be a problem though. There would just be a larger learning curve before you would feel comfortable.

As long as you know your boat and cover all your bases, there isn't much that wont get you where you want to go.
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Old 03-10-2013, 17:36   #23
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

We have an S2 9.2 center cockpit for sale....see the ad in the classifieds. It is a very roomy 30' boat that is easily singlehanded. There are links to pictures as well.
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Old 03-10-2013, 18:07   #24
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Research and then buy a Bayfield 29, if any are available in your part of the world. I did, and could not be happier with my decision. Solid construction, roomy inside, rigged to singlehand, cutter rig (giving the singlehander, or anyone, more sail options in various conditions). If you find one like Puffin she'll be all the boat you need.

bon chance
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Old 03-10-2013, 18:30   #25
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

I'll throw my vote in for the Albin Vega. We paid less than half your budget for ours with brand new sails, running and standing rigging, and a new motor. My family of four has spent a good bit of the summer and fall on it and we are leaving in a few weeks from Annapolis for a long term cruise.

She won't hold a candle to newer racing designs but has a fair turn of speed and goes to windward well.

Matt Rutherford sailed his around the Americas. I am sure he upgraded it. You can't really gauge quality from a sample of one. With that said, his journey puts me a little more at ease when I am heaving to in 35kts of wind.
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Old 03-10-2013, 18:35   #26
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

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Originally Posted by laika View Post
Here's another good resource: Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List

This guy has a well-reasoned spartan philosophy. Not for everyone.

I'll second the previous headroom comment. It's one of the few luxuries I personally feel is very important. Depending on your height, can be tough to find under 30ft.

My inclination is towards a quality smaller boat as opposed to something bigger. For your budget and your need to only overnight one, I'd be inclined to say go small. Singlehanding a bigger boat wouldn't necessarily be a problem though. There would just be a larger learning curve before you would feel comfortable.

As long as you know your boat and cover all your bases, there isn't much that wont get you where you want to go.
The list on atom voyages is a good place to start. In addition to the boats listed there, I would also consider Pearson 28 and Pearson 30.

I still remember the days when 30 feet was considered a midsized boat. A pocket cruiser was under 25 feet!
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Old 04-10-2013, 13:54   #27
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

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I’m no expert but I believe John Viger is. I recommend you get a copy of his book, “Twenty small boats to take you anywhere”, and start forming your opinions from there.

Thanks I'll give it a read.
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Old 04-10-2013, 15:26   #28
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Look around... Morris Leigh 30! They're out there and are hard to beat.
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Old 04-10-2013, 16:28   #29
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Since you are not planning on crossing oceans in your first boat, I would look very carefully at the resale value of whatever you buy. It is difficult to find the BEST BOAT the first time around, and on almost any boat you will learn a lot about sailing and maintenance. By the time you start thinking about venturing further into the deep blue, you will have experience, and a better idea of what is right for you. Some of the boats mentioned here are good boats, but relatively unknown, whereas, something like a Catalina will give you a pretty safe resale value if you decide to move up, and they are a decent coastal boat to learn on. Like everything else on this forum, this is just my opinion.__Good Luck______Grant.
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Old 08-10-2013, 23:45   #30
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Any of the boats suggested above would be fine. I would look for a centre cockpit boat like the older ODay 32 and add a real windshield and hard top with side and back curtains so you have a sheltered place to steer. Then you can cruise all year. I would also think about heat. Your heater MUST have a stack/chimney/vent of some kind. Even if the fumes don't kill you, non vented heaters make the boat moist and clammy inside. Dickenson makes some nice propane heaters. My choice would be the Dickenson solid fuel heater.
Don't get a boat that you have to fix up for your first boat. Get a boat that works, and don't take it apart. Listen to everyone's advice, but make your own choices. Boat owners tend to think that what they have is the best, and nothing else is any good. Most boats we see these days are pretty darn good.
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