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View Poll Results: Which of these boats should I buy?
1981 Irwin 30 0 0%
1980 C&C 36 2 20.00%
1983 Pearson 323 2 20.00%
1983 Pearson 34 2 20.00%
1982 Hunter 33 1 10.00%
Keep looking 3 30.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2019, 11:54   #1
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Buying my first boat, the short list...

I'm making some progress buying my first sailboat. Let me know your thoughts.

Looking for a 28-35 ft boat, under 25k, that I can reasonably single hand (maybe race?) but also is good for taking wife and maybe another couple (or my teenage kids) for overnights,trips, etc.

Boats I've seen:

'86 Beneteau first 32: I really like the style of boat. Only issues, is it needs some cosmetic work down below (quarter birth, head, v-berth) which current owner is planning to do (does all repairs himself, a real boat guy) but just not done yet. Also headroom a bit to low for my 6'2 height down below.

Conclusion: I like the boat, tiller steering is a plus for me, but the work needed below is sort of turning me off to it (or will turn my wife off to it).

'81 Irwin Citation 30' (they have it listed as 'Performance sloop' but I think it is a Citation). Really nice look and layout down below, no complaints. Up top she is pretty bare bones, no lines leading to cockpit that I could see. Electronics are minimal or don't fully function. Don't like the brown paint job and brown canvas on the sailcover and dodger. The hatch windows have crazing, and at least 2 side windows may need some new caulking or fix up. But otherwise seems fine.

Conclusion: Even though I don't love it up top, down below is very nice and I have no really have no major complaints so she is still on the short list.

'83 Pearson 323 a nice looking boat, has been with same owner since '87 (saw his bill of sale). Has great updated electronics (good chart plotter mounted near the wheel), good inventory of sails. New propeller and shaft. Down below she is decent. No major issues. Just enough headroom for me. Engine was removed for some repairs not long ago (apparently turned out to be minor freeze plug needed replacing) and they replaced all hoses/lines. Newish water heater. Saw the survey owner had done for insurance in 2015 and it found no major issues and said boat was in good condition for her age. My only complaints: Not sure if this is common but the backstay sort of hits top of my head if I stand back too far. Also from what I understand she is sort of slow in light air and not too fast overall, owner showed me cert of PHRF of 225 I think,that he got as rating from his club. One other slight negative is no quarter birth.

Conclusion: Could just about go for her right now.

Planning to see at least 3 of these tomorrow if I can get brokers to get back to me:

'80 C&C 36
'86 Irwin citation 32
'83 C&C 35 mk3
'83 Pearson 34

I think thats about all I can take, then I will have to decide! So far the Pearson 323 is in the lead. Tempted just to buy it (no broker, owner is ready to sign it over), but of course everyone says get new survey and sea trial first. Is survey required for Insurance if owner has one from 2015? Anyway I know it is good idea.

Let me know your thoughts or anything I'm missing. I'm in central CT and trying to look locally but willing to travel 2hrs to see the right boat.
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Old 02-06-2019, 15:28   #2
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Update:
Today I saw:
'80 C&C 36
'83 C&C 35 mk3
'83 Pearson 34

Right now I'm leaning towards making an offer on the Pearson 34.

The C&C 36 was a cool boat. Setup well for racing (lines leading to cockpit, big winches). Negatives: rod rigging and gasoline engine (atomic 4). Good space down below. Tempting. Not sure how much of a negative the gasoline engine is. Sort of intimidated by this one.

The C&C 35 has been on sale for 3 seasons. It looks pretty good but something tells me the owner isn't taking care of it. When I visited there was moisture on the cusions down below. I told the broker and I don't think he even cared. Those cushions need to get dried out fast or they will mold I would think. Broker told me to offer much lower than asking because seller has to get rid of it. Sounds like a good deal for someone but maybe not for me.

The Pearson 34 seems to be in good shape. Nothing obviously wrong. A nice interior. Comes with an inflatable+outboard, but it needs some newer electronics. Has an external autopilot that was not hooked up but supposedly works (will check at sea trial if I make an offer). Some good size double speed winches for jib sheets and one on coach roof. Curious if anyone has experience single handing a Pearson 34.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:06   #3
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Final boat I might see (I hope) is a 1982 Hunter 33 (Cherubini). Looks good on the website.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:55   #4
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

The older the boat, the more important original build quality is.

Look at some Tartans!!! Full disclosure, Iím a Tartan guy.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:21   #5
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

I've got a few hundred miles on a Pearson 34. It was not really set up to single-hand and I never did. Really, the only thing you could do is route the main halyard under the dodger and it would be ready for single-handing. A good, functional autopilot will help.

I liked the boat and looked at several, but I've not seen one really set up for cruising with solar, refrigeration and davits, etc... Make sure you have plenty of reefs in you main and headsail options if you don't have roller furling. The boat did not like to be overpowered.

How well equipped is the Pearson, or how many comforts are you going to have to do without?
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:34   #6
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

In Order, I'd go for the Pearsons, C&C & then Hunter, keeping in mind that ALL of these models/MFG's had issues with BLISTERS during the window You've selected, although the older '80 C&C has probably the least likelihood.


Owned 2 Irwin's of that vintage & earlier;
buying both/either was a mistake (It's like re-marrying the same person after being apart a couple yrs....very rarely does that 1 work out; Ted's boats were Infamous for Blisters during this time frame)
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Old 04-06-2019, 14:23   #7
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
The older the boat, the more important original build quality is.

Look at some Tartans!!! Full disclosure, Iím a Tartan guy.
Yeah I wanted to see a 1983 Tartan 33, but broker told me it needs to get 'cleaned up' for the season and current owner only sails it once a year. Broker was going to get back to me when it was ready for viewing but I guess I could get back to him and just see it in whatever shape its in.
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Old 04-06-2019, 14:32   #8
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Get the one in the best condition.
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Old 04-06-2019, 14:35   #9
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
I've got a few hundred miles on a Pearson 34. It was not really set up to single-hand and I never did. Really, the only thing you could do is route the main halyard under the dodger and it would be ready for single-handing. A good, functional autopilot will help.

I liked the boat and looked at several, but I've not seen one really set up for cruising with solar, refrigeration and davits, etc... Make sure you have plenty of reefs in you main and headsail options if you don't have roller furling. The boat did not like to be overpowered.

How well equipped is the Pearson, or how many comforts are you going to have to do without?
The Pearson 34 has an external autopilot that was not hooked up when I saw it but supposedly works (will confirm before purchase if it comes to that). Has some basic electronics but nothing fancy (no chartplotter). Mainsail only has 1 reef point, so that might be an issue based on your comments, but it is new (1 season use). Genoa is roller furled, 110 and new 135. Propane stove and 2 tanks, hot water heater, refrigeration unit. Good size #46 winches 2 speed and one 2 speed #30 all Lewmar. Has davit. Bimini and Dodger. Cockpit cushions. Has a solar panel but could be small (could only see shadow as it was mounted outside on elevated shrinkwrap ), Tender (but outboard is extra or not included). Bottom of boat had fresh 'sharkskin' coating and looked very good to my untrained eye.
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Old 04-06-2019, 14:38   #10
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by captmick39 View Post
In Order, I'd go for the Pearsons, C&C & then Hunter, ...
Anything specific about the Hunter I should know (aside from blisters you mentioned)? Looks like a nice layout "Cherubini" design. And seems better setup for single handing.
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Old 04-06-2019, 14:53   #11
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulg222 View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


'83 Pearson 323 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>My only complaints: Not sure if this is common but the backstay sort of hits top of my head if I stand back too far.

That's simple, split the backstay. You'll need to research how to do new chainplates and attachment points at the transom.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:47   #12
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

To sail with teenagers you need the biggest boat you can afford. We have friends who had a Pearson 34. Pretty boat. They cruised a bit. While it seemed to sail reasonably well, it may lack performance for racing. A sailmaker can add another set of reefing points, but unless you're somewhere like SFO Bay, where it blows hard a lot, you might not need them. (Why would you go out in weather like that?)
Lots of boats have rod rigging. Why is it a negative for you on the C&C36? Any rigging calls for scrutiny and maintenance. We had a wire shroud that had been inspected and dye-tested drop to the deck a few weeks after a transatlantic voyage. (Surprise!!) You never know. Replacing the A-4 could run $5-10K, depending upon how you do it. We got stuck once out on a cruise with a balky A-4, mom and three kids aboard. Engine got changed shortly after. "Intimidating" equipment can make sail handing easier once you know what it does. A better-performing boat will be more fun to sail - especially on those days when you don't need any reefs - and may enable maneuvers in tight spots that might leave you grounded if you tried to do them in other boats.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:26   #13
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

I'm going to focus on the fact that this is your first sailboat.

It's obvious that you have done your research and know what you want and how to look. You sound like you have boating/sailing experience though you don't mention any.

I think you may be better served by buying something a little smaller, 30-32'.

Everyone agrees that a saiboat is always a compromise between all the things you think you want to do with the boat. For example, wanting to singlehand and wanting to cruise with wife and teenagers lead you in opposite directions regarding (among others) the size of boat.

remember you can always trade up - actually I think we can say that you WILL trade up - how many of you still sail your first big boat? 25K should get you a nice roomy 30'-ish that needs no work. For a singlehander, everything gets bigger and heavier and harder and more expensive with a bigger boat.

then again - you can trade down too, and having extra room is always nice.

good luck and fair winds!
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:04   #14
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

There was an excellent thread here a while back about how to do a "pre-survey inspection" that would have saved me alot of money when I was boat shopping for some of the same hulls in the same budget. I made an offer and filled out all the paper work with a broker. On the day of the survey the surveyor got about 1/4 through the boat and pulled me aside and said you'd be crazy to buy this thing. I ended the survey at that point. No reason to go any further with it. That boat happened to be an Irwin 30 citation which the surveyor said was very poorly constructed from the start.

All the issues would be completely obvious to me now that I've got a few years of sailing under my belt or if I could have printed the inspection checklist I mentioned above (might be able to find it searching).

Additionally, I would not focus too much on stuff like water heaters, auto pilots and electronics. Make sure stuff like the rig, rudder and engine are solid and then use the other stuff as negotiation items.
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Old 05-06-2019, 16:01   #15
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Re: Buying my first boat, the short list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yalla View Post
...For a singlehander, everything gets bigger and heavier and harder and more expensive with a bigger boat...
I'm curious how much it matters whether boat is better set up for single handing. Like the C&C has lots of lines leading aft with multiple winches on coach roof and clutches. The Pearson 323 has the traveler in front of the companionway. The Hunter 33 (haven't seen in person yet) seems to have cockpit winches set further back towards wheel.

While I don't have experience single handing I expect I will be learning fast as I want to do as much sailing as I can and won't always be able to get family/friends to join.

What is most important in single handing (aside from the sailor, and I guess the boat size)?
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