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Old 02-10-2013, 18:39   #1
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Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Hello Experts,

I am going to purchase a coastal cruiser at 30ft or under.
I am a novice at sailboats.
I have no sailing experience.
I will probably overnight two or three times a week.
The weather is sometimes heavy here in the Puget Sound.

Geez...this forum is huge. I am having a hard time finding suggestions.
What I’m looking for are suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

I prefer to research and purchase cheaper, comfortable, better built boats…and maybe pay less and go a little older to get it.

I would really like more cabin than a true coastal cruiser and I need it to be comfortable down below. Single handing the boat is a major factor.

So please…give me some opinions. I really need suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

• 30ft or under
• Able to single-hand
• Overnight accommodations
• Comfortable
• Good build quality
• Good size cockpit

Thank You Very Much.
Your time and comments are GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 02-10-2013, 18:49   #2
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Welcome to the forum.

I am partial to pilot house boats given the amount of precipitation around here. I've never been aboard a Gulf 29 but they look pretty good on paper.

GULF 29 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Good luck with your search

Steve
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Old 02-10-2013, 19:11   #3
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

If you could specify a price range that would help. Are you only looking at mono-hulls or miltis too? How important is performance to you? You like traditional looks, or modern looks? Overnight accommodations for 1? 2? 3?
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Old 02-10-2013, 19:34   #4
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

They are very rare, but the bodega 30/ golden gate 30/ farallon 29 is a very nice boat. They were sold under various names as listed and many were owner completed.

Unless you want something trailer able.
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Old 02-10-2013, 19:36   #5
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Ill say it again Bombay clipper 31. Wide rugged available in shoal draft 3.6'- sleeps 4 very comfy can get under 20k and oh yeah same boat /hull as an island packet 31
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Old 02-10-2013, 19:43   #6
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Headroom is a consideration if you will spend much time aboard. I have seen cruises terminated by back problems from stooping.

On the Gulf of Mexico and Bahamas, draft is also a major consideration. I am not familiar with your cruising waters, other than that we caught great crabs anchored at Anacortes.
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Old 02-10-2013, 19:48   #7
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You say "coastal" which would make the Catalina 30 a very attractive choice... My favorite 30' cruiser is the Brewer designer Nimble 30
It's a real bluewater boat in a small package. I have about 10,000 miles in one and loved it

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Old 02-10-2013, 19:50   #8
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I'll second the Bombay Clipper 31. Was aboard one a couple of years ago and was impressed. We had wayyyy too many people aboard and that thing was rock solid. Lots of room for the size, also. A big solid guy and his grumpy toddler were sacked out in the V...looked a little crowded but it was hard to tell. I think the owner said he paid $5-6 grand for it. He'd taken it to Monterey and all over the bay. He learned to sail by YouTube videos. Funny guy. Might be a little overbuilt for the sound in light wind. If $25k is in your range, there is a sweet Cal 34 for sale in the Sound that fits all your requirements that would be great also. It's been lovingly cared for by good owners who are upsizing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 20:13   #9
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Welcome!
I was looking at a Gulf 29 pilot house when I found my center cockpit with a hard windscreen and canvas dodger. I definitely like the protection in foul weather. I'll probably build a hard dodger when my canvas wears out. I think my saloon is roomier and more open than the Gullf 29.

Also, my experienced cruiser neighbors had a Gulf 29 that they were outfitting for long distance cruising. I chartered a few Catalina 30s, they are ubiquitous and solid. I also liked the Bombay 31 and (I think) Baba 30 for roominess.
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Old 02-10-2013, 20:20   #10
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Something along the lines of a Catalina 30 is very practical. My 30 footer was a Cape Dory 30, step aboard each of those and see what speaks to you.
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Old 02-10-2013, 20:36   #11
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

This one is No Brainer.....
the Best Coastal Cruiser Under 30Ft is the ONE YOU HAVE or the one you find in your Price Range! Don't make the mistake of the "perfect boat paralysis". There is no such thing as the perfect boat, except for one paid off!
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Old 02-10-2013, 20:44   #12
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Easy, Westerly Centaur. Meets all your requirements.
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Old 02-10-2013, 21:54   #13
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Try this. Oday has a big following.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/boa/4104703812.html
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Old 02-10-2013, 22:10   #14
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Hey...what SV Third Day said is spot on.

Research is an awesome place to start but be open-minded. Boats seem to be a "right place at right time" thing, and your requirements are VERY liberal. Being able to single hand may be your biggest limiting factor. My boat is only a 38 but single handing would be very difficult, even with a staysail that's self tending and roller furling jib. In fact I'm struggling with putting my stay on a roller furling to clear up deck space...but I know as soon as I do, I'll use it way less because it's hard to tack with one big jib, let alone two.

I am still VERY new to boating and was in your shoes very recently. I researched boats TO DEATH and can spout off all kinds of info about hull configuration, displacement, layout etc, on most boats in the 35-45 range.

People's opinions vary and are VERY strong. Insulting someone's boat is akin to telling them their kid is ugly...legit. It will come down to personal preference and what's out there.

You will hear people trash production boats like Hunter, Catalina and Beneteau, and that's just their opinion. And it's crazy. I've sailed a couple Bene's and they ROCK. Fast, responsive, a freaking blast to sail. People that have Hunter's and Catalina's love their boats as well. (I just can't speak personally...they haven't invited me aboard.) :-) if I was land based and staying in the Bay Area, I'd have never bought my old, heavy, full-keeled boat. Ever. I'd have bought a fin keeled, spade rudder fun machine. I knew I was headed south and back to Caribbean, and hopefully to the Med someday. Those were my three goals. I found a boat that was smaller than I wanted but fit my goals.

You will get LOADS of opinions from this thread. Read them all. But you have God's playground there in Puget Sound...one of the prettiest places on Earth. Look for a boat that will let you enjoy that TO THE FULLEST. One that's not too big or labor-intensive, and that you can actually sail away. Almost anything in that range will get you out to Orcas and San Juan, and let you experience all that area has to offer.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:09   #15
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Re: Best Coastal Cruiser under 30ft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
If you could specify a price range that would help. Are you only looking at mono-hulls or miltis too? How important is performance to you? You like traditional looks, or modern looks? Overnight accommodations for 1? 2? 3?

• My budget is $13,000
• Mono-hull
• Performance is important
• Traditional looks
• Overnight accommodations for 1
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