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Old 18-05-2009, 12:20   #1
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Coastal - Bahamas - Caribe: Caliber 28 ?

Hey all --

Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge (even second-hand would be better than nothing -- I think) of these boats? I seem to have recently become the go-to person for friends and acquaintances wanting to get back into cruising after years away from boats.

Two women friends in particular are looking to chuck it all and get boats that will safely and comfortably take them (separately) up and down the east coast, to the Bahamas, perhaps further to the Carib, and then ...?

They both have pretty similar wants -- something small enough to be single-handed by middle-aged and fairly fit women (50-somethings; I hope they don't read this!), comfortable for living on alone or with one other person and an occasional guest or two, not more than $50K all-told, and something they can feel safe and secure on doing this kind of cruising.

One was looking at Freedom 30/32s (and I don't know anything about them either but a couple folks on here have been real helpful), and the other was leaning toward Island Packet 31s but they're a little over the budget even though they're old. Then the subject of these little Calibers came up. (It would be nice if anyone asked me about boats I actually have some experience with.)

So ... what do you think? I've seen four Calibers for sale and they're all a LOT less than either the Freedoms or the IPs. Worth bothering with? Or keep looking?

Thanks!

Mike
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Old 18-05-2009, 14:02   #2
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I'm not very familiar with the Caliber 28, but the 4 foot draft would appeal to me as a Bahamas boat. Standing headroom is something important to me in any boat I'll be spending a lot of time on.
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Old 18-05-2009, 14:44   #3
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I've never looked at a 28. I did take a close look at a 38 (?) a few years back for some friends who were considering one. My overall impression was about a 7+ out of 10. Good boat, well constructed, but not greatly constructed. Probably better than your average production boat, but not super sturdy either. Fine for the Bahamas/Carribean for sure. Hope this vague description of a larger boat helps in some manner....
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Old 18-05-2009, 17:05   #4
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Yeah, I'll bet the 38's pretty nice. I've only seen a 35 "in person." The 28's sort of small, but then so is my friend so maybe it would work. Thanks for the input. Hope there's someone on here who's actually sailed one or at least been aboard!

Mike
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Old 18-05-2009, 17:15   #5
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How about one of these? One just sold in Fl for $17500, geez what a steal... 1979 Ericson Independence Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

pretty little boat...
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Old 18-05-2009, 21:39   #6
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The Independence is a pretty little boat. I used to have an Ericson 29 myself and loved it, although it was a bit cramped with that narrow beam.

I think the reason both these gals are drawn to the boats like the Freedom and the IP are because they feel more spacious than most boats that size, especially with the sort of mini-cabin quarterberth. The Caliber 28 doesn't have that privacy in the quarterberth, though, but it somehow feels a bit more "solid" than the Hunters and Catalinas and the like in that size and price range. (That's really not based on much actual evidence, though -- just an impresion.)

But keep 'em comin' -- suggestions and ideas. Thanks again!

Mike
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Old 18-05-2009, 23:51   #7
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I did several trips to the Bahamas ranging from 1-3 months on 26-footers. Personally, I like a bit more space, but boats under 30 feet can be quite capable. 26-footers have circumnavigated.
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Old 19-05-2009, 10:51   #8
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Yeah, I lived on the 29-footer and went down the whole ICW top to bottom over several months and it was fine, so I know what you mean, Nautical62. Thanks.

Anyone got any other boat suggestions for the kind of usage (and the people) described in my original question? It's all helpful and we appreciate it.

regards,
Mike
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Old 19-05-2009, 11:14   #9
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I think a more feasible option than the Calibers and Freedoms would be the shoal draft versions of good boats in the 30 ft. (plus or minus) range that were built and sold by Islander and Ericson back in the late 70's early 80's. Maybe Hunter and Catalina as well.

I can certainly recommend the Islander 32 Mk II, a Bob Perry design with a 4 ft. shoal draft available as an option. Very solid boat, great looking with a nice interior and there are some out there with a tiller which would be my choice.

One problem with Calibers and Freedoms is there are relatively very few available on the used market.
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Old 19-05-2009, 12:12   #10
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I agree with others suggesting that you expand your options. I my view you do not need a bluewater boat for east coast/Bahamas/Caribbean cruising. Thereís nothing wrong with having one or just plain wanting one. But, most any Good Condition cruiser class boat is capable of this kind of sailing.

You can spend a week at sea crossing the Caribbean. But most people donít do that. For most people Bahamas/Caribbean cruising is glorified daysailing between islands which are rarely more than a day apart. You can sail all the way from Florida to South America and never be more than 24 hrs. at sea. Thatís the way most people do it; and they do it slowly and leisurely. I define cruiser class as:

1. Standing head room for normal sized people - generally starts around 27'.

2. Inboard diesel engine capable of charging batteries and maybe making hot water.

3. Fixed ballasted keel or swing keel, but with significant ballast.

4. Big enough to safely carry whatever stuff is necessary to support your boat and your intended lifestyle.

For older boats in the sub $50K range, present condition is far more important than original design. And, you see a lot of Catalinas, Beneteaus, and Hunters cruising the Caribbean.

27' is fine for a single hander, but most of the single handers we saw were sailing 30+ footers. The size boat you want for extended cruising with 2 people is generally considerably larger.
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Old 19-05-2009, 17:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZ View Post
The Independence is a pretty little boat. I used to have an Ericson 29 myself and loved it, although it was a bit cramped with that narrow beam.

I think the reason both these gals are drawn to the boats like the Freedom and the IP are because they feel more spacious than most boats that size, especially with the sort of mini-cabin quarterberth. The Caliber 28 doesn't have that privacy in the quarterberth, though, but it somehow feels a bit more "solid" than the Hunters and Catalinas and the like in that size and price range. (That's really not based on much actual evidence, though -- just an impresion.)

But keep 'em comin' -- suggestions and ideas. Thanks again!

Mike
I heard that narrow beam boat was stable and had fairly comfortable motions?

would you feel comfortable making long passages in that ericson 29?
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Old 19-05-2009, 21:31   #12
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One problem with Calibers and Freedoms is there are relatively very few available on the used market.
But you know what's weird, Speedoo? I thought the same thing, but just now I checked three sales sites (including yachtworld) and found only ONE Islander 32 Mk II (in nasty-looking shape) and several of the Freedoms and 4 Caliber 28s. Go figure.

Slomotion, thanks for your input. I agree that a "real" bluewater boat isn't necessary -- and I do know that one of my friends does just want one. The other *might* go for a Beneteau; she's a pretty stylish lady herself!

Endoftheroad, if you mean long open-water passages, well, I'm not so sure about that. I loved that little boat and always felt safe on her, but she was pretty tender. Pointed well and turned on a dime.

Coming across Cape Cod Bay one night in a really big blow, the waves were high enough that a friend who was a little seasick was lying down below (to get out of the storm) and when we dropped off those waves he actually became sort of airborne as the berth dropped out from under him. But the little Ericson plowed on across to P-town just fine.

She also went through Hurricane Bob back in -- was it '90? -- just fine on her mooring while most of the other boats in the harbor went up on the beach. And she sat out Tropical Storm Danielle at Sandy Hook on two anchors (boy, was it ever hard to get those suckers up afterwards -- no windlass and they were SET).

BTW, this one was a '77 that had been converted to Diesel, Volvo Penta, but only 13 hp. It seems like the later models that came with diesel were all underpowered, too.

Jeez, I sort of wish you hadn't asked about her. Now I'm feeling all nostalgic and wishing I still had her!

regards,
Mike
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Old 19-05-2009, 22:53   #13
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But you know what's weird, Speedoo? I thought the same thing, but just now I checked three sales sites (including yachtworld) and found only ONE Islander 32 Mk II (in nasty-looking shape) and several of the Freedoms and 4 Caliber 28s. Go figure.
I found 7 Islander 32 MkII's on yachtworld, which is fairly typical. If they were from the late 70's, they are Mk II's, even if the broker/owner does not title the boat that way. A couple are owner-finished Iona's, I don't know about those boats.

islander Boats For Sale
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Old 20-05-2009, 06:27   #14
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the caliber 28 had a fin keel that was thru bolted and not quite as reliable as the integral keel on the later models. calibers are far better boats than whatever catalina or beneteau or hunter you throw at me (which is about all you can see on yachtworld) IMHO.
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Old 21-03-2013, 01:20   #15
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Re: Coastal - Bahamas - Caribe: Caliber 28 ?

I'm a proud owner if a Caliber 28. 1988 vintage. Happy to help those with questions.
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