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Old 08-07-2012, 10:48   #1
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Boat Recommendation for Young Family

Hi, lurker here. I know there are a number of similar posts to this one, and I have seen great input, but I am curious if you can make some suggestions for my particular situation.

My goal: day trips with my family (wife and 2 kids: 7 and 10), with the occasional overnight to Catalina. No long cruises. No racing. Comfort over speed. The boat would be located in Marina del Rey, close to my home. Iíd want to be able to single hand it: I sometimes have a random afternoon off and want to be able to sail for a few hours by myself (in fair weather only).

My experience: I grew up sailing on small boats, on lakes and rivers, then moved to SoCal and stopped sailing for years. Crewed on a friendís Catalina 27 a few times, rented a Catalina 22 a couple of times to sail an afternoon along the coast and ensure the family likes it Planning to take ASA 101-104 over summer. In summary: dated experience with small boats on fresh water, but very much a newbie when it comes to larger boats on the ocean.

My constraints: with work and other family activities, I have limited time, so I am not looking for a project boat. I am pretty handy but am not interested in tackling large maintenance tasks. Wife envisions a nice looking salon over something more spartan. With four people and the occasional overnight, I donít want to be too cramped. Would prefer something under 35 feet, I think.

My budget: Iím thinking something between $50-60K for the boat. Say, around $600/month for a slip (is that about right for Marina del Rey?) I figure maybe $5K/year on average in maintenance? What are typical insurance rates?

With all that, what would you suggest?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:44   #2
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Re: Boat recommendation for young family

Her is my best shot...
An older Catalina 30 is a very comfortable boat and you can get one in very good shape for a reasonable price. I had a friend on Lake Michigan that sailed well into his 80's on a Cat 30, did the Mich Solo in his 70's (150 mile round trip). The boat was always a popular gathering spot at the harbour because of the creature comforts.
That's my story and I'm stickin to it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:48   #3
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Re: Boat recommendation for young family

Quote:
Originally Posted by FollowingSea View Post
Hi, lurker here. I know there are a number of similar posts to this one, and I have seen great input, but I am curious if you can make some suggestions for my particular situation.

My goal: day trips with my family (wife and 2 kids: 7 and 10), with the occasional overnight to Catalina. No long cruises. No racing. Comfort over speed. The boat would be located in Marina del Rey, close to my home. Iíd want to be able to single hand it: I sometimes have a random afternoon off and want to be able to sail for a few hours by myself (in fair weather only).

My experience: I grew up sailing on small boats, on lakes and rivers, then moved to SoCal and stopped sailing for years. Crewed on a friendís Catalina 27 a few times, rented a Catalina 22 a couple of times to sail an afternoon along the coast and ensure the family likes it Planning to take ASA 101-104 over summer. In summary: dated experience with small boats on fresh water, but very much a newbie when it comes to larger boats on the ocean.

My constraints: with work and other family activities, I have limited time, so I am not looking for a project boat. I am pretty handy but am not interested in tackling large maintenance tasks. Wife envisions a nice looking salon over something more spartan. With four people and the occasional overnight, I donít want to be too cramped. Would prefer something under 35 feet, I think.

My budget: Iím thinking something between $50-60K for the boat. Say, around $600/month for a slip (is that about right for Marina del Rey?) I figure maybe $5K/year on average in maintenance? What are typical insurance rates?

With all that, what would you suggest?

Thanks!
To hit your price and size points look at 1970's thru mid-90's boats.
To hit the moorage price point smaller may be better, depends on how the marinas there charge, usually there are several standard slip sizes, a boat shorter than the slip will still incur the same cost.
Given the need to keep the wife happy look at the major brands: Catalina, Hunter, Beneteau, Jeanneau, 1980 or newer vintage.
To hit all at once I would look at mid-80's to late-90's.

HUNTER 32 VISION sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
1989 Hunter 32 Vision Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Hunter Vision 32 boats for sale - www.yachtworld.com

1985 catalina (Sail) Boats For Sale

BENETEAU 311 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

1988 Beneteau 350 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 08-07-2012, 13:32   #4
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Re: Boat recommendation for young family

Catalina 30 is a great recommendation. Look for one with either the diesel with 20hp plus or an Atomic 4 in good shape. Diesel is preferred long term and for resale, but the A4 will do. The 11hp diesel is not powerful enough. You should be able to find one well under your budget with good sails, etc. Inspect the boat on your own using the "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" section of this book, which you should buy now:

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo [Hardcover]

(about $34 on Amazon, worth far more to a sailboat owner)

Find the best surveyor in your area and have the boat surveyed before you finalize the purchase.
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Old 08-07-2012, 16:16   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Boat recommendation for young family

One more thought or two....
Boat US / West Marine one in the same now.
It is worth joining Boat US, they are the insurance and resource part of the companies. They have authorized surveyors that will make sure you get coverage that Boat US will stand behind. West Marine's prices can be beat by most anyone. (oh well)
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Old 04-09-2012, 15:38   #6
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Re: Boat recommendation for young family

I have a young family and recently bought a boat for cruising. Got a 26 ft Columbia Mk II, we only have one kid (7) and there is more than enough space for another.

Given that you only want to do day trips with an occasional overnight, if I were you I'd recommend that you go with a smaller boat and save your money. Might be a bit tighter for the overnighters but you'll save on moorage, sails, bottom paint, haulouts, and maintenance going with a smaller boat over the long haul. Smaller boats are easier to get in and out of slips and marinas and given your dated experience and lack of ocean experience might save on some screaming when approaching the docks. I cant count how many people I've seen screaming at their wives approaching the mooring. Big, expensive boat with an inexperienced crew and driver at the helm makes for some hectic docking moments and angry, annoyed wives stomping off to cool down for a while.

With your budget you can get pretty well anything you want used. I bought a boat for $4K with 6 sails and full racing rigging that doesnt need anything other than a hull cleaning and it seems to be serving my family just great. Guess it all depends on how Gucci you want to be. The refrigerator, microwave, television and shiny stainless steel winches add to the price quite quickly - and maintenance costs rise exponentially by the foot.
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