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Old 11-04-2012, 10:11   #1
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best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Hi, newbie here but have been lurking for a while. I'm sure this type of question has come up before, but I couldn't find anything when I tried to do a search. I currently have a Catalina 34 which is a great boat for the type of sailing we have been doing, mostly weekend cruising with one 10 day trip along the coast in the summer. I have a wife and a 5yr old daughter. With the stress of work and the fact that my daughter is young enough to miss a year of school with out many problems I was thinking about buying a larger boat and taking a year or so off to cruise. I was thinking anywhere from Mexico, the keys, bahama's and Caribean.

I have been sailing for over 10yrs, but am basically self taught. I certainly get from point a to point b, but I wouldnt call myself an expert by anymeans. That being said I would want something fairly forgiving. Is there a boat out there that would be a safe, large enough for a family of 3 to be comfortable living on for $80,000 or less that would be capable of safely cruising to the areas I listed?

Thanks, and sorry if a silly question.

Steven
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:40   #2
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Most definitely. You could use your existing boat for the Bahamas and Carribean. But there should be a lot of boats at $80 k in the 35-40 range. It's a bit of a wide open question.... but often it takes a year to ge a new boat up to speed with all the required equiptment to go. (if it's not a project boat) Battery charging, sunshade, refrigeration, water making, nav equipt, and dingy storage schemes being some of the big stuff. Most of the carribean is overnighters at the most. (T&C's to DR, Mona pasage, Anegada Passage, Grenada to Trini) So it's basically daysailing most the time.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:20   #3
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Catalina 36 Mk 1 certainly has enough room for your family and are available way below your max dollar amount.
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Old 11-04-2012, 13:55   #4
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Bahamas there are some shallows there - look for a boat with lifting keel or else one with draft to let you go where you want to be.

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Old 11-04-2012, 14:54   #5
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Would you mind saying why you do not think your C34 is a suitable boat for your plans? The reason I ask is because I have the same boat and with 2 adults and a child, there is adequate room IMO. I know the boat lacks storage but your stated plans will enable you to provision regularly.
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Old 11-04-2012, 14:56   #6
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Most definitely. You could use your existing boat for the Bahamas and Carribean. But there should be a lot of boats at $80 k in the 35-40 range. It's a bit of a wide open question.... but often it takes a year to ge a new boat up to speed with all the required equiptment to go. (if it's not a project boat) Battery charging, sunshade, refrigeration, water making, nav equipt, and dingy storage schemes being some of the big stuff. Most of the carribean is overnighters at the most. (T&C's to DR, Mona pasage, Anegada Passage, Grenada to Trini) So it's basically daysailing most the time.
I thought about possibly just doing it in my Catalina 34 and just staying around the Keys or Bahamas. The Cataliana 34 is great for weekends and is very roomy for a 34 footer, but there is very little storage and on our week long getaways each summer it becomes a bit tight. Although I feel like my 34 is a fairly well built boat and suits my current needs I would like to have something a little more solid for an adventure like this. I have seen several Morgan 41's and some 40-43ft Endeavours in my price range. I dont know much about them, I have read that they are somewhat slow but solidly built? For a liveabord I like the idea of a center cockpit ketch, I have only sailed on one, a Pearson 422 or 424 not sure but it was nice. I think the Pearson would be a good possibility but the one I sailed on had nearly a 6ft draft.

Thanks for the replies.
Steven
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Old 11-04-2012, 15:08   #7
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

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Would you mind saying why you do not think your C34 is a suitable boat for your plans? The reason I ask is because I have the same boat and with 2 adults and a child, there is adequate room IMO. I know the boat lacks storage but your stated plans will enable you to provision regularly.
Mainly just because of the lack of storage. When we go off for 10 days in the summer it just feels too tight because we have stuff everywhere. I know we could probably make it work, but I would prefer something bigger. I also got caught out in a storm last summer that seemed to develope out of no where. It didnt last very long, but was very intense. It had me wishing for a heavier boat.

Don't get me wrong though I love my Catalina. For 98% of what we have been using the boat for it is perfect for us. I couldnt think of a better weekend boat for our needs.
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Old 11-04-2012, 15:40   #8
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Honestly, unless you have bags of money best to take the boat you have unless the engine is shot, sails are bad, etc. Get yourself a good autopilot and sort out your charing system battery banks. That way if your wife doesn't like cruising or you don't/ something changes you're not out all the tradeup costs. If you love it, pickup a bigger boat down in the Caribbean at a good price during hurricane season.
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Old 11-04-2012, 16:00   #9
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

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Mainly just because of the lack of storage. When we go off for 10 days in the summer it just feels too tight because we have stuff everywhere. I know we could probably make it work, but I would prefer something bigger. I also got caught out in a storm last summer that seemed to develope out of no where. It didnt last very long, but was very intense. It had me wishing for a heavier boat.

Don't get me wrong though I love my Catalina. For 98% of what we have been using the boat for it is perfect for us. I couldnt think of a better weekend boat for our needs.
I understand. In my case I have two teen boys and a wife. It's tight, but we are weekenders so we deal with it. We've passed the 'whiff test' with boating and know we are in for the long haul and would love a bigger boat now. It's the transaction costs and the following 2 years of dialing it in that cause me to pause. Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2012, 16:06   #10
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

I'm with the rest of the folks. It's only for a year, take the C34. It sounds like there would be time restraints with your daughter. To find a boat, outfit it and shake it down would probably be a year in itself. I would speculate, after a year of cruising on the C34, you would have a better idea of your cruising plans in the future. As far as shoal drafts and cruising grounds, you might have to compromise a little. but you'll still have a blast
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Old 11-04-2012, 16:28   #11
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

There are many boats that suit your needs. My wife and I have been cruising the Bahamas and Keys since 1975, before we had children and still now long after our children have moved out, on our Morgan Out Islands. This is a comfortable cruising "truck" with a shoal draft and admittedly not a performance boat, but it has been a great choice for us.
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Old 11-04-2012, 16:30   #12
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

If you feel cramped for a weekend, then you might need a new boat !!If you think your to crowded for a weeks cruise, then ya probley need to take less stuff !! cus if a 34s to small a 36 or 37 or even 40 ft will be mostly the same !! either you need to cut back on what ever your packing aboard for a week and see what ya REALLY Need, cus 2 adults and 1 small child sure don't need all that much storage for a cruise like your talking about !!you don't need that much more clothing, in fact less !!And food is available most everywhere in the Caribe !! Just what extra are ya packing for a week ?? LOL Really I think ya have a big enough boat ya just need to make a list of what ya think ya need and start cuttin back on those thing ya JUST don't Really need !! Justa thought! the wife and I and 2 girls and a boy cruised better then 40000 miles in a 40fter for 16 yrs! and felt Close but never really felt cramped !
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Old 11-04-2012, 16:51   #13
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Perfect Bahamas boat if it's in decent condition: 1986 Krogen 38' Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Your wife will love the interior space and the separate stall shower. It won't be great in light air, but will get you through rough weather.

But I like traditional boats. If you like mass produced chlorox bottles, buy a Hunter or Catalina.
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Old 11-04-2012, 17:44   #14
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

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...........But I like traditional boats. If you like mass produced chlorox bottles, buy a Hunter or Catalina.
There are many reason to select or reject a boat, but I would not be one to reject a boat because many were made or because of construction with synthetic materials.
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Old 11-04-2012, 17:47   #15
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Re: best boat under 80k cruising keys, bahamas, carribean.

Happy Wife = Happy Life If she feels cramped you will have a miserable time of it. Figure out what is important to her.
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