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Old 07-11-2012, 11:34   #16
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

I've had tiller and wheel. Tiller gives you more feel for balance of your boat and at 30-32 it is rather important that you pay attention to sail trim.

Of course, you are the one buying the boat and gear so the choice is up to you. If you were to go for a 35 footer or above then a wheel might be a bit better to ease steering.

My friend had a wheel installed on his Tartan 27 and after the cables jumped their blocks or broke twice in the channels here in the Hawaiian Islands he tore out the wheel and went back to tiller. He made the repairs to his steering while in the channels and had to make himself seasick each time. Head down in a space under the cockpit in a bouncy channel is no fun.

kind regards,
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:01   #17
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You can sit in the cockpit with one hand on the wheel and have your back supported, with a tiller you are are having to move your body alot to steer and cant reach it sitting back and relaxing.
That must be the difference. I sailed an Olson 30 for years, but can't remember ever having sat in the cockpit. At least not while underway.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:23   #18
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Get yourself a copy of "Inspecting the aging Sailboat" :

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library): Don Casey: 0639785803447: Amazon.com: Books

I would use it to screen candidates, and decide whether to go ahead with the full survey by a pro.

This book is included in the "complete sailboat maintenance manual" so it would be worth getting this if you plan to be maintaining a boat eventually.

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo: Don Casey: 9780071462846: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:30   #19
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

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Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
Thanks for the time and very much appreciate your input.
I can't help with specific models (wrong part of the world) - but pretty much anything with a half decent production run would suit your needs. The price of that might well be on looks - but beauty is in the eye of the beholder , and besides she is not intended as a forever boat. Always easier to sell stuff that folk have half an idea of what it is.

You certainly sound like you have a better handle on what you are getting into than some (many? ) others who arrive on CF.

My feeling is that your biggest challenge will not be on the sailing (including solo) or even the maintanence side, but will be in the buying of a boat that does not turn out to be a money pit - a surveyor is no guarantee of avoiding that, but given your present boat knowledge using a good one will up your chances considerably. and also get an engineer to look at the engine / installation if that also outside your comfort zone (Google up replacement costs for the reasons why!).

Boat buying much like other things in life - mostly not rocket science, with results usually reflective of the effort put in by self to learn WTF is going on. Not to say that keeping fingers crossed and taking a blind punt cannot also work, but........

Anyway, welcome to CF .
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:48   #20
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

The C30 and C34 share the same systems. Many folks have noted that having good support is crucial to a successful first boat. The C30 Association website is good, so is our C34 website: Main Message Board

Good luck, and happy hunting.
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:49   #21
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

I think Rover made a great post with great viewpoints that I frankly have never heard before. However, for the OP's immediate purpose I don't think it's necessarily applicable. A wheel is comfortable, easy to use, and allows the sailor the pleasure of playing "Lord and Commander" on his weekend "cruises". When the wheel is too cold to touch, and the winds too much to stand, he probably will be at the dock bar watching the Giants on TV with his new yachtie buddies!
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:25   #22
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Thanks all. About wheel vs tiller, I appreciate all the different perspectives. In the end, I guess it comes to personal choice.

I really liked the way Ericson 31 looks like, it is a beautiful boat. I will pay a visit to it over the weekend. I also found a surveyor who seems to have a good reputation, for time when I get more serious with a boat. I talked to him on the phone about the process and he suggested to do an initial check for the 'softness' on the deck, chainplates and the engine as immediate red flags. Is there any other suggestion or guidance you can offer for an initial visit?

Thanks again,
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:27   #23
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

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.... The Ericson diesel says it was built in 1977 but has 10 hours on the engine. Either there has been a rebuild or a typo...
Thanks. Talked to the owner. Apparently the engine has been recently re-conditioned and has been 10 hours on it since then. Hopefully it is in good shape.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:30   #24
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Get yourself a copy of "Inspecting the aging Sailboat" :

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library): Don Casey: 0639785803447: Amazon.com: Books

I would use it to screen candidates, and decide whether to go ahead with the full survey by a pro.

This book is included in the "complete sailboat maintenance manual" so it would be worth getting this if you plan to be maintaining a boat eventually.

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual: Including Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair, Sailboat Refinishing, Sailbo: Don Casey: 9780071462846: Amazon.com: Books
Thank you, already on my Kindle ;-) I got the complete maintenance manual, I think I will need it anyway.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:41   #25
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
Thanks all. About wheel vs tiller, I appreciate all the different perspectives. In the end, I guess it comes to personal choice.

I really liked the way Ericson 31 looks like, it is a beautiful boat. I will pay a visit to it over the weekend. I also found a surveyor who seems to have a good reputation, for time when I get more serious with a boat. I talked to him on the phone about the process and he suggested to do an initial check for the 'softness' on the deck, chainplates and the engine as immediate red flags. Is there any other suggestion or guidance you can offer for an initial visit?
Is that the Cruising 31 with the clipper bow? If so, check to see if an earlier owner added a sprit. Many did, and some were done better than others. Also, check whether the boat still has the original Barlow winches. I believe they came standard with 20s. If so, you'll probably want to replace them. That's always been a critique of the older Ericson line, that they scrimped on the winches.

I don't remember whether any of the chainplates for that model were bulkhead mounted. If so, check for rot. Replacing those chainplates could become a HUGE job.
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Old 21-11-2012, 13:07   #26
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Hey folks, an update from me. I have visited all the boats I mentioned in my first post. It quickly became clear to me that a 30 foot boat wouldn't fit my need for spending several nights on the boat and I was quickly 'upsold' to 34 foot range by a smart broker. Actually to a specific model: Catalina 34 which seemed to fit the bill for everything I had in mind. The broker had several C34's but price point was not right for me.

After some digging, I found a boat in Los Angeles that seems to be in a pretty good shape and priced at a level that I would be interested. I made a bid and after a few exchanges we agreed on a price! Now the time for a sea trial, marine and engine surveys. If all goes well, there will be the issue of bringing it up to SF Bay. I decided to take the approach of sailing it up by hiring an experienced delivery captain and a crew. I will certainly be onboard to share the thrill and experience! (I have another thread for this)

Thanks for all the suggestions, this forum is great. Wanted to provide an update to fellow CF'ers.
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Old 21-11-2012, 13:30   #27
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Good luck with your choice. Whichever wheel steered boat you get be sure that the emergency tiller can be installed and actually steer the boat. Not all can, believe it or not..
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Old 21-11-2012, 13:49   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenedos
Hey folks, an update from me. I have visited all the boats I mentioned in my first post. It quickly became clear to me that a 30 foot boat wouldn't fit my need for spending several nights on the boat and I was quickly 'upsold' to 34 foot range by a smart broker. Actually to a specific model: Catalina 34 which seemed to fit the bill for everything I had in mind. The broker had several C34's but price point was not right for me.

After some digging, I found a boat in Los Angeles that seems to be in a pretty good shape and priced at a level that I would be interested. I made a bid and after a few exchanges we agreed on a price! Now the time for a sea trial, marine and engine surveys. If all goes well, there will be the issue of bringing it up to SF Bay. I decided to take the approach of sailing it up by hiring an experienced delivery captain and a crew. I will certainly be onboard to share the thrill and experience! (I have another thread for this)

Thanks for all the suggestions, this forum is great. Wanted to provide an update to fellow CF'ers.
Congratulations. As someone who apparently went through the same decision process recently, I think you made a great choice. Definitely check out the c34.org website, there is a ton of useful information there and many, many, helpful C34 owners.
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Old 24-11-2012, 20:50   #29
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Hi Tenedos,

My name is Jim (aka Salty Collie) and I wanted to introduce myself party because I found your story very interesting and fascinating but also because we seem to have similar dreams. I too live in SF bay area up by Santa Rosa, and I was impressed about your getting your basic cruising certificate even before you got your driver's license. I noticed your attending a school locally in the San Francisco area and I wondered if you might share what school your attending? I have been looking for a good sailing school but not sure which is the best one and plus word of mouth is so much better don't you agree?

I too have dreams to be a live aboard and then with experience and crew and boat sail the south Pacific towards Tonga, Tahiti. I would love to exchange ideas on how your getting your skills honed in to one day start and complete your awesome adventure.

If this sounds like any interest to you please give send me an email and I would love to further discuss these great destiny's.

Mostly respectfully,

Jim
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Old 24-05-2013, 23:20   #30
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Re: 30-32 foot boat for a newbie

Folks, here is an update on this thread 7 months after initiating it. I went back and forth a lot, and finally ended up buying a Catalina 320 berthed in San Francisco. I became the owner yesterday! In the meantime, I finished my BBC and sailed a lot more in SF Bay on chartered boats. I will be sailing to Benicia over the extended weekend the first time with my own boat. Needless to say, I am VERY excited!

Thanks a lot for all the suggestions and support along the way!
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