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Old 06-03-2013, 19:50   #1
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Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Looking at 30-31' boats circa 1985 in the $20000-$25000 price range for Coastal Cruising in So. California.

The only manufacturer I am familiar with at this price point is Catalina. Don't know anything about Irwins, Islanders, Newports, Ericsons, Lancers, etc.

Been on a few Hunters, Beneteaus, and Jeanneaus, but they were larger and not something I can afford.

Any suggestions and comments appreciated.
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Old 06-03-2013, 19:56   #2
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Southern Cross 31
Cape Dory 30
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:57   #3
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

You can start with sailboat listings -

While this boat is older and in Michigan - all I can say is WOW - so pretty.

1963 Herreshoff 28 sailboat for sale in Michigan

Now also look here -

1978 Albin Ballad 30 Sloop for Sale (23966) in San Francisco County, CA - Specs and Photos - POP Yachts

One thing I did was extend my search across the country and got some ideas on shipping. If you found the right boat on the other coast and paid 15K for her that leaves you 5K for shipping and 5K in the bank. I'd also add in a round trip flight and expenses to look and maybe line up a few boats in an area. I almost flew to CA to look at several boats in my range. Lucked out and got her here and a better deal.

The 1985 part might cause you grief, if you are willing to go back as far as the late 70's the search results expand by miles.

...and when negotiating, money talks but cash screams.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:14   #4
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Niagara 31, a great German Feres design built in Canada.

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1677
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:28   #5
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

I don't think you can go wrong with a Catalina 30 for your stated requirements, and there are a ton to choose from with a great support network of owners, forums, etc. I also like the Pearson 303. Here's a listing on YW that looks interesting. People that own CS boats seem very happy with them.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:48   #6
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

+1 on the CS 30. That boat looks like it has a decent sail inventory too.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:44   #7
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

CS 30 vote from me, too. The Catalina 30 is far more common, but in my opinion the rudder is too small and there's too much windage and a scary big companionway for working on a lee shore.

Both are great club racers.
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Old 08-03-2013, 16:16   #8
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I am admittedly biased... But Tartans are well built, age well and seem to hold their value.

That said do your homework. Buying a boat of that vintage means you buy 30 years of use, abuse and misuse by the POs. But there are some diamonds waiting to be discovered

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Old 08-03-2013, 17:55   #9
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C&C 29/30
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Old 08-03-2013, 18:53   #10
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Westerly Fulmar 32
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Old 08-03-2013, 20:48   #11
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Ooh, the Fulmar is good, too, if a little rare.

But seriously, for offshore, a Contessa 32 or a Nicholson 35 is more like it.

Or a Southern Cross 31.

Thank goodness smaller cruisers were still made in the '80s. They are sure rarer now.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:19   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Ooh, the Fulmar is good, too, if a little rare.

But seriously, for offshore, a Contessa 32 or a Nicholson 35 is more like it.

Or a Southern Cross 31.

Thank goodness smaller cruisers were still made in the '80s. They are sure rarer now.
But he ask about coastal not offshore cruisers.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:33   #13
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The 30' Bristol is a great boat with classic good looks. I sailed and lived aboard a 1973 model for a lot of years. The newer models have incorporated many changes that I did or contemplated doing on mine and being a foot wider are much nicer inside.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:58   #14
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
But he ask about coastal not offshore cruisers.
My mistake.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:08   #15
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Re: Best 30-31' circa 1985 for the money?

Hinterhoeller Niagara 31 if you can find one.
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