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Old 27-10-2013, 08:21   #1
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Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

Our house is finally up for sale and we are closing in on starting our two year(?) cruise. It has taken us three years to get things in order, but now all that is left is to actually sell the house, sell our Com-Pac 23/3 and buy our dream boat. We have cut our short list down to two boats. They both fulfill our needs, are readily available and most importantly we could afford them.

Our cruise will be based out of Orange Beach, AL hopefully beginning in July of 2014. We plan on staying in a marina for the summer while we take 1-2 week sails in the upper Gulf to ready both ourselves and the boat. After the hurricane season we would cruise along the west coast of Florida down to the Keys and back for our first year. If all goes well and we enjoy the cruising life we would spend our second year (or more) hopping across to the Bahamas and outward. No big ocean passages planned, so that helps determine what kind of sailboat we need.

Boat wish list;

Heavy displacement. We are definitely cruisers, not racers.
Headroom for Mike 6'3"
Shoal draft
30 to 35' length (Sure we would love a bigger boat, but our budget says no.)
Cutter rigged
Classic looks
Budget is $40-60k

The Island Packets are readily available right now. There are several late 80’s and early 90's in good condition that would fit the bill. A Baba also fits the bill and there are three or four in our price range that are surprisingly nice. We aren't fans of teak decks, but darn if these boats don't pull at our heartstrings. The IP's would certainly require a lot less work to maintain and is probably the common sense choice. Unfortunately those darn Babas keep calling our names.

Any words of wisdom on these choices?


Soon to be cruisers - Mike and Brenda
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Old 27-10-2013, 10:16   #2
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When you are rowing ashore, gazing at your dreamboat at anchor, it needs to pull at your heart or you won't bond with it. That said it has to make "sense" to both of you. I would buy the most capable boat you can afford that you feel comfortable living the dream aboard. If you ever think you might trade up in the future, consider the resale market. I hope this helps start the ball rolling. Al
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Old 27-10-2013, 10:22   #3
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

Tough one. The Baba's a nice boat but getting long in the tooth and all that exterior teak is a nightmare. My buddy lived on his for a while. Lovely interior, but seemed a little...obstructed/busy/too much stuff for the size boat. I prefer a little more "open" feel. I dont think the Baba is shoal draft either... arent they about 6 ft draft or so?
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Old 27-10-2013, 14:24   #4
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The Baba 30 has a draft of just 4' 9". There are some available from the mid 1980's, so not really that old considering our budget. We love the look and feel of a boat

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with teak everywhere, but we'd prefer a Baba that has the teak decks removed.

I agree that a sailboat has to make you smile when you see her afloat in the bay. Our Com-Pac 23/3 was always the prettiest boat on the lakes. At least in our humble opinion.



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Old 27-10-2013, 15:20   #5
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

One thing about the Baba... it's Ta Shing built... doesnt get much better than that. Not sure about the later ones. Seems like there were some later ones built without the teak decks...?
Also, check out the Tashiba 31 and Panda 34 as possibilities.
For ref: there's aBaba 30 up here in the PNW for $30k: http://seattle.cra igslist.org/see/boa/4140779410.html
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Old 27-10-2013, 15:34   #6
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

IP's, IMHO, are engineers boats, they are functional and made for the task. Like my mother always said, "there nothing more fun that going to a party with a bunch of engineers."
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Old 27-10-2013, 16:04   #7
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While I really liked the IP, I could not get past the fact that the chain plates on the models we looked at were buried and could not be seen.
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Old 27-10-2013, 17:56   #8
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We've owned our Baba 35 for 25 years and have been cruising full time for 13 years. No complaints about the boat. The teak is only a problem if you choose to varnish, oil it or put Cetol on it. Ours has been bare for about 15 years and is a nice silver color. Pay no mind to those who say it will check, split, etc. Wash it with seawater as often as possible. The Babas used old growth teak, not to be confused with the plantation grown stuff you find today, which is not as durable.

Teak decks can be a problem, especially if some former owner scrubbed them too vigorously, or worse, bleached, sanded, and oiled them. If the seams are kept caulked and bungs are replaced as needed, they last a long time. Ours are 35 years old and still sound and watertight.

Chainplates are easily replaced on the Babas. It took me a day or two. They're bolted in, and any machine shop can make new ones for a modest charge. Cruising friends on a 15 year old Island Packet are now worrying about replacing those glasses in chainplates. They can't be inspected, and they do fail eventually.
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Old 27-10-2013, 19:06   #9
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

have you considered a bayfield 32 or an island trader 37?

Here's an island trader in your budget 1981 Island Trader Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:08   #10
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I'll certainly be checking the age of the chain plates if we are inspecting an IP. Thanks.

The Bayfield 32 is a nice old classic, but the v-berth size concerns me. I'm on the taller side and this v-berth looks to become really narrow near the bow. The Island Trader looks awesome, but with our limited budget the maintenance and anchorage costs would eat our cruising kitty (more of a cruising kitten in our case) up to quickly.

It looks like that Baba in Seattle is already gone. The ad has expired.

If I was just a little richer I would buy the Baba 30 for sale in Bayfield, WI in a heartbeat. Freshwater two owner in unbelievable condition.
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:26   #11
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
IP's, IMHO, are engineers boats, they are functional and made for the task. Like my mother always said, "there nothing more fun that going to a party with a bunch of engineers."
Your analogy does kinda fit! Functional, not that pleasant to the eye.... but then a Valiant 40, with that big boxy cabin trunk isnt much different!
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:30   #12
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

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Your analogy does kinda fit! Functional, not that pleasant to the eye.... but then a Valiant 40, with that big boxy cabin trunk isnt much different!
I think the IP hull/house color says everything!!
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:35   #13
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

I know Baba 35 and in my opinion it is a good boat. Not sure 1.68 is exactly shallow draft though.

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Old 28-10-2013, 09:36   #14
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

You might look at a PAcific Seacraft 34 (crealock)

I bought mine in your budget range, there are others for sale right now that could be bought close to your budget. It is perfect for us as a couple and for me singlehanded, and the build quality it high.

Anyway, FWIW, it is not too far from the other two you listed, I would think there are many more that would fit your requirements.

The Catalinas have lots of space, good coastal cruisers, lots on market, and sail well. No big passages you say, so that really opens up possibilities.
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:37   #15
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Re: Baba 30 / 35 vs. Island Packet 31 / 32

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I think the IP hull/house color says everything!!
Yeah, I was going to mention the color but thought it was just me.... who in the world picks that color as the std color?
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