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Old 22-05-2012, 08:40   #1
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Choices for a Starter Boat

Hello All,

New to Cruiserforum and new to sailing. We are considering a sailboat purchase to do some coastal and ICW sailing in the Gulf. With the dizzying array of boats to choose from, I would like to get some advice on models that are known to be solid and seaworthy and ones to avoid (if any). Something for the beginner sailor.

Here are some criteria:

1. Seaworthy/Safe
2. Easy to sail (beginner)
3. 25' range
4. Crew of 2
5. Comfortable
6. Cost < $50k used.
7. Good resale value
8. A boat readily available in Southern US

I know this is pretty open-ended, but if you would let me know your personal favorites and least favorites, it would greatly help me narrow down my search. Any advice is appreciated.

Scotty
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Old 22-05-2012, 08:47   #2
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Do you intend to trailer it?
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Old 23-05-2012, 06:15   #3
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

No, I hadn't intended on trailering it. Will keep it docked/stored in the Houston area.
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Old 25-05-2012, 11:06   #4
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Scott, many don't care for them and I have grown to no longer consider one either, but.....a McGreggor 26X is relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain/clean up, sufficient for 2 for weekend jaunts, capable in the ICW but not really for off shore, has water balast and easy to trailer. It's an easy boat to learn how to sail. They also can have up to about a 65 hp outboard to move out of weather or ski if you want. Being a power/sail boat it doesn't do either really well but it is functional and handy for a beginner.Buy a used one and might get your money back in a couple years or so. I 've been on one for a couple days out and was fun as a weekender.
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Old 25-05-2012, 11:17   #5
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavewacker View Post
.....a McGreggor 26X ...
I think you forgot about the OP's safe/seaworthy requirement.
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Old 25-05-2012, 11:36   #6
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

You can get a lot for $50k. I guess you want something fairly newish for that money in that small size. Does Island Packet make anything that small? The Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 is a "big " small boat and very seaworthy. No point in limiting yourself to boats with a narrow trailerable width. Although the Hake 26 is a cool little boat, not sure if they are any used ones. Com-Pac 23?
All these boats have good resale value. Maybe a newish Catalina 27?
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Old 25-05-2012, 11:46   #7
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

First, there is no need to spend $50k for what you want. You can easily get a used Catalina 27 for example and fix anything that might need fixing for less that $20k, and it will meet all your requirements very well.

Bank the remaining $30k, or more, toward your operating costs for about 5 years, maybe more.
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:34   #8
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Hi there,

I have a Hunter 260 (model year 2000) for sale that would fit your criteria. We just moved up to the big cruising boat, but the Hunter would be great for the sailing area that you describe. Send me a PM if you are interested in pics and a description.

Thanks
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Old 25-05-2012, 13:03   #9
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

This boat is for sale for $7000. An o'day 28. It could fit your needs nicely and you would have plenty of $$ left to get her in the shape you want.



Contact Isle of Hope Marina- (912) 354-8187.

I have no connection in the boat other than me always looking for a good deal.
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Old 25-05-2012, 13:10   #10
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Thanks for the tip Ohdrinkboy. Ironically, we'll be vacationing in Savannah in a couple of weeks and I will check this one out.
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Old 25-05-2012, 14:27   #11
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

I bought a 1983 C&C 24 almost two years ago after taking US Sailing 101 on a J-24. IMHO, the J-24 is a more of a racing boat. The C&C is more of a cruisng boat. Some claim the C&C 24 is over built and over designed, but I like its sturdy nature. I paid far less than $50k. Look in the $10-30K price range for a solid used boat and then spend therest of the money to outfit it as you want to. I recently took ASA on a Catalina 36 and loved the larger cabin and the inboard vs.the outboard, but I feel more like I am sailing on my 24 than when I was on the 36.
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Old 25-05-2012, 14:45   #12
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

Hey Scott,

My two cents... go down to Clear Lake/Kemah, take a few days to look around.
You can find what you are looking for for MUCH less than 50k or even 20k.

For fun sailing... C&C, Irwin, Cape Dory, Albin Vega (if you can find one). I would avoid Catalina, Hunter,anything with a thin skin. Older boats (70's era) laid up by hand that are still around are often quite robust and fine vessels. Can probably find one less than 10k - 15k that will suit. You probably can't find replacement insurance on an older boat but at the price...might not matter

Also, Galveston bay is not the best day-sailing area as it is shallow with shoals...Galveston is pretty much a full days run from Kemah. If you are really planning on some gulf sailing, you need a good strong boat and good skills.


cheers,

mm
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:11   #13
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

For boats under 27' I'd want something that is really fun to sail. I'd get something like a Santana 25, Ranger 26, Seidelmann 25, Morgan 27. They'll be fast, easy, and fun to sail and still have cruising accomodations.

I'm not familiar with most newer model boats, but I'm sure for $50k your options are almost unlimited in that size range. For much nicer (but slower) boats than the ones above, I'd look at an Island Packet 26, Com-pac 27 (or 23), or a Dana 24. These will give you some potential for much further cruising as well...

Also I looked a Jeanneau Tonic 23 for sale last year (he was ony asking $3k!) and was really impressed with the layout and space. I didn't get to sail it but I'm sure it's not a slow boat.
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:41   #14
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Re: Choices for a Starter Boat

If you really want to spend 50k???

Used 1995 Nonsuch Ultra, New Bern NC - 101733033 - BoatTrader.com

Simple,fast, fun, roomy!!

mm
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