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Old 12-07-2016, 09:57   #1
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Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived on.

Hello All,

I'm new to the forum (and fairly new to sailing) but know this question will get a lot of varied opinions. That being said I'm not trying to open up a can of worms and am open to all advice and suggestions.

Long Story Short: Live in the DC area, want a boat that can be single-handed from the Potomac down to the Caribbean (originally from Florida and have spent a good amount of time down there) and lived aboard if needed. Looking for the fastest thing that is still comfortable to live aboard, has a good shower and headroom, shallow draft, A/C or some form of cooling, adequate solar, and can be had at a good used price. Essentially I'd like to be able to live aboard/ maintain this as cheaply as possible in the future (both anchored out and at a marina).

Here are 3 examples of ideas I've gotten off of craigslist. Let me know if I'm being an idiot or in the ballpark. I'd like to buy all cash, so trying to keep this under $30k after essential repairs. That obviously is going to limit my choices. This would be my first sailboat to own so if you think it's better to get a cheap 25 footer first and try it out let me know.

> 30' Hinterhoeller Nonsuch Ultra Sailboat 1984 #243. New Algrip Hunter Green/White topsides, Wesrerbeke 27, Datamarine Depth and Speed, Raytheon Autopilot, Dodger/Awning, Radio, 3 Lewmars, 6 foot matching dinghy and more. Asking $29000

> 1978 Tartan 37 Centerboard Good condition. Recently repowered with Volvo Penta 55 HP diesel. Roller furling genoa. Dodger & bimini. Refrigeration. Electric windlass. stereo and TV. Many extras, just needs a little cosmetic TLC. No A/C. Asking $35000

> 2000 Beneteau 36CC Sailboat Selling my Beneteau 36 foot Center Cockpit Sailboat. I am the second owner and have kept the boat in excellent condition. The boat and I have cruised the entire western and eastern Caribbean over the last four years. Prior to that we lived and sailed all over the United States. It is well maintained and sails like a dream. Asking $74500

^ Obviously the last one is not in my stated price range, but I threw it in since I'm probably being unrealistic about staying under $30k all-in.

Also: I'm ~6'3 so would need 6.5 minimum headroom.

I know this has been asked before (and would appreciate any links to threads of a similar request) but thanks a ton in advance for any advice!
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:11   #2
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

In this batch of boats the Tartan is the better made boat.

Dude - you are 6' 3" and probably should stay in land. But if you are going to buy a boat look at Hunter. They are not the best built boat but offer larger interiors then other boats of the same length.

Just about any boat in ok condition can sail the ICW to Florida to the Bahamas to the Carrib.

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Old 12-07-2016, 10:20   #3
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Not much to add to the topic, but all the best in your search!
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:29   #4
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

If you want cheap maintenance (a relative term) and teh ability to anchor out or be on a mooring, scratch AC.

I believe there is a thread on boats with more headroom if you search "headroom."
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:35   #5
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

The Columbia 30s have headroom that should work. Bill Tripp was a "tree-topper" himself and I've noticed his designs often accomodate taller people. The 30 has a fin keel but a healthy skeg for better directional stability. Decent sailors that happen to be roomy.

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Old 12-07-2016, 11:38   #6
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
In this batch of boats the Tartan is the better made boat.

Dude - you are 6' 3" and probably should stay in land. But if you are going to buy a boat look at Hunter. They are not the best built boat but offer larger interiors then other boats of the same length.

Just about any boat in ok condition can sail the ICW to Florida to the Bahamas to the Carrib.

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How would you feel about the following option?

36' Hunter Sailboat - Turn key - Reduced for quick sale

It is right near where my family lives so I could fly down and take possession easily. Getting it back to DC would be a pain...
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Old 12-07-2016, 17:12   #7
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Instead of craigslist, there is also sailboatlistings.com (owners) and yachtworld.com (brokers).

Once you decide on some basics, you can do advanced searches.

And IMHO, most boats can be sailed single-handed if the lines lead back. I would recommend at a minimum roller furled jib, self-tailing winches, enough headroom to be comfortable (this is a real issue for you), and in somewhat decent shape unless you are good at maintenance.
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Old 12-07-2016, 17:38   #8
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Nothing is in your price range. If you have a 30K price range, you really have 20K price range because you are going to need to spend an additional 1/2 the price of the boat on upgrades and motor overhauls, and equipment you need for safety, etc.
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Old 12-07-2016, 17:42   #9
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

None of the boats is 30k all in. Unless you haggle very vigorously.

A 30k may be 60k all in. Easily. Unless you are an experienced owner buying their nth boat.

Of the two remaining "30k" boats I would take the Tartan because it seems to have the more live ' able interior and the smaller cockpit.

Have fun searching for, buying and sailing her,

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-07-2016, 17:54   #10
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

I bought a 19foot pocket cruiser or $7k. After new motors, and equipment and new rigging, everything, I'm pretty close to an additional $7K. And after the first year, I'm into the second year of retrofits to fix the things that needed to be done after the first year--like discovering I didn't have enough docking cleats, or the new eyes that connect to the dinghy with carbiners so that it can't drift away while I'm boarding, or the new motor mount for the back up engine, or the new ladder, or the new interior plastic boxes, or the new asym spinnaker after I discovered that I only sail in very light wind or the new dinghy and then the rubber inflatable bumpers for it when I almost sank it in seas that were too steep, or the small Honda outboard that I needed for the mooring(another $1k for that) that turned out to be 1000 feet away from the dock. It goes on and on and on.

Its all good, but its all necessary.
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Old 12-07-2016, 18:00   #11
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

That's actually a decent price on the Nonsuch. Those are well made boats that sail well & are very roomy for their length. You'll find a lot of generalizations about how much you'll have to spend after you buy a boat but they're just that. Every boat's different & if the boat is in good shape you shouldn't have to throw a bunch of money at it. I'd want a surveyor who's familiar with them, especially the mast which is stayless & expensive to replace. I'd also have a mechanic check out the diesel as surveyors typically don't do that. I'm not a big fan of Hunters which are built to a lower price point but the main thing is condition. Don't buy a project.
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Old 12-07-2016, 18:14   #12
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

The Nonsuch and the Tartan are nice boats. Either will work for you if the headroom's there.... subject to condition. I love the Tartan 37's though. Old boats can eat up a lot of money though. Look closely. The Nonesuch may be less money to keep up and etc.
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Old 12-07-2016, 18:23   #13
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Sail a Columbia, Bene, Pearson, Irwin, Morgan or one of the many other boats suitable for for your plans.
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Old 13-07-2016, 09:23   #14
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

You might consider looking in the Caribbean where there is a plethora of used charter boats and prices are lower and in the bvi there is no tax.
I have met a fellow by the name of Chris Simpson at BVI Yachts Sales who is
as honest and as knowledgeable as they come. Caribbean Marine Surveyor Bill Bailey is a well respected local who can asses what you are buying.
I just went thru the process and after two years landed up with
what might be described as a McMansion but...it makes me happy
Best of Luck. The forum is an awesome source of information going forward.
Burt
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Old 13-07-2016, 09:28   #15
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Re: Opinions on cheap coastal/ Caribbean cruiser that can be single handed and lived

Look at the Pearson 35. A lot of boat for very little money. Big interior, shallow draft. Solid. If you are lucky, you'll find one with all the bells and whistles you desire.
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