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Old 17-03-2013, 13:35   #1
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Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Considering a 'first boat' to get me out on Lake Michigan... And maybe beyond. Could use some experienced input:

First considering a 'temporary' cheap Pearson 26 to get more sailing experience with Lake Michigan coastal cruising this summer, while continuing to save and shop for a bigger blue water cruiser. 16.4 SailArea/disp. I don't love it, but love that it gets me out there learning cheap.
1972 Pearson P26 sailboat for sale in Michigan

Next considering a Chris Craf Capri 30, bit more expensive at 10k; eats more of the future 'bluewater cruiser' fund as a temporary first boat. concerned 14.7 sail area to displacement might be frustrating slow?
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

Also considering bigger boats that wouldn't be temporary starter boats, as they would eat up more of the boat fund; but are reasonably inexpensive. Not the full 40 footer I dream of, but maybe a good compromise?

A Mariner 31 seems real nice and well geared, but 11.78 sail area to displacement seems low? This a big difference? Will I end up wishing is just gotten a Pearson with SA/disp or 17 for a lot less cash? Could this boat circumnavigate?
1971 Mariner Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Chris Craft Sailyacht 35: more boat, sorta goofy layout, but might make for real nice trips up to mackinaw...possibly blue water capable? It's no Baba 40, but maybe big enough to be the final boat? 13.1 sail area to disp. beats the mariner, but doesn't have quite the same salty appeal.
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=21944&url=

Thought or input on any of these?
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:57   #2
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

The Pearson is probably the best built of the bunch. The old Mariner's I've seen were pretty poorly built to start with. They might have been built at different yards over the years though....
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Old 17-03-2013, 14:38   #3
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I'd suggest the Pearson or other small, inexpensive boat for a season or two--you almost can't lose money on a boat like that, and it will teach you much more about what you really want when you go for the bigger boat.
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Old 17-03-2013, 15:03   #4
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

I like the Pearson. I've never sailed that design, but I did like the 30 and the 34 that I have sailed.

I wouldn't rule out the larger Chris Craft for a first boat, either. If the specs in the add are correct, at 18,000 lbs it is a pretty heavy 35 footer. Perhaps that translates into heavy, strong, quality construction. Then again, perhaps not. I don't know anything about them. Out of the lot you posted, it will at least take you further and teach you more about what you really want and need in your future bluewater vessels.
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Old 17-03-2013, 15:36   #5
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Pierson is good selection. Check the yacht clubs and marinas. There are always boats by owner for sale. Judging from our yard, Torresens in Muskegon, there are a lot of boats that haven't see the water in a few years. Many boats for sale and a buyer's market. Line up a bunch of prospects and spend weekends hopping around.
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Old 18-03-2013, 12:49   #6
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I would suggest something a bit different to help you get started having learned to sail on Lake Erie myself before sailing school. Start by finding out the average wave period of where you'll be sailing on Lake Michigan. It seems to me I once heard the average overall Great Lakes period is about 23 +/- feet.

On Erie, it's roughly 21feet. Multiply that by 1.5 for a minimum length of vessel you should be considering. In this case, a minimum length of 30-32 foot makes real sense. Mine was a 36' C&C. Trust me, getting caught between square Great Lakes waves sucks in any length boat! And storms can form in what seems like only minutes - lots of microclimates. However, being in a short boat takes "sucking" to entirely new levels of horror on the lakes!

I think it's great to get experience on the lakes. On the other hand, some experiences are overrated - especially ones you can mitigate through better decisions. Choose your battles in this area wisely.

Good luck in your adventures.
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Old 18-03-2013, 12:58   #7
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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Originally Posted by Max Sail View Post
Considering a 'first boat' to get me out on Lake Michigan... And maybe beyond. Could use some experienced input:


Thought or input on any of these?
The trick to buying a "temporary" boat is to get a killer deal on it - the idea being that you will be able to resell it at a later time for as much or more than you paid.

The purpose of a temporary boat is to teach you what you DON'T know -- what you don't want in a last boat, what you don't know can go wrong on a boat, what you don't want to deal with on a day to day basis, etc.

From this point of view, very popular boats that have a well established pricepoint and can be easily updated, fixed up, etc are great picks. If you have the time and desire to do some handiwork, get the boat that is faded and worn on the outside, but solid and capable with good hardware on board.

To further save on resale costs, get a boat that can be stored cheaply - on the hard at a low-priced storage location, or on a trailer in your back yard.
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Old 18-03-2013, 13:46   #8
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

The days of moving up 2-3' at a time and breaking even or even taking a small loss as you go are over. I believe you will loose a significant portion of your investment because you will inevitiably put thousands into her and you'll be lucky if you get back 10cents on the dollar on any upgrades or additions when you are ready to move up.

I'd suggest you buy as close to what you want first time out and avoid the wallet draining twofootitis. Of course for this approach to be successful requires much mmore upfront research.

Chriscraft 35' a little quirky as you suggest but I have always loved quirks. A friend of mine lives on one in Toronto and it is a very robust boat , quite blue water capable.

PS. The Chris is a hard sell because they are so little known. If you do decide to make an offer don't be afraid to low ball. Remember Michigan has more boats than any other juridiction on the planet other than Florida and no one in Michigan has a job. In other words a buyers market.
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:43   #9
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

The real expense of a boat is owning it, not getting it. Keeping it. Maintaining it. Are you going to store it for free? Then a trailer-able boat. A community club. Where for the winter?
If what I say is true. Perhaps your asking the wrong question.
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Old 18-03-2013, 21:43   #10
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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The days of moving up 2-3' at a time and breaking even or even taking a small loss as you go are over. I believe you will loose a significant portion of your investment because you will inevitiably put thousands into her and you'll be lucky if you get back 10cents on the dollar on any upgrades or additions when you are ready to move up.
IYeah there will maintenance and repair costs, but that will be true whichever boat you get. The question is whether you can buy one boat today at a great price, then choose your time to sell it in the future to get a good price on the sale when you change your lifestyle.

I'm suggesting a boat you can own and sail without massive upgrades - because you said it would be a long time before you are ready to go to blue water. If you plan to do some harbor sailing and simple liveaboard from now until then, then you shouldn't need to do any extensive refitting - just general maintenance, which you would have on any boat.

Spit and polish is pretty cheap, if you have the time to spare and enjoy doing that kind of labor.

If you're going to immediately start refitting, or if you DON'T have the time and interest to do some fixup on your own, then I agree with boatpoker - better to buy your bluewater cruiser and make your upgrades investment count.
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Old 19-03-2013, 12:32   #11
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Sail View Post
Considering a 'first boat' to get me out on Lake Michigan... And maybe beyond. Could use some experienced input:

Thought or input on any of these?
We picked up a Pearson 30 pretty cheap last winter. Your intention seems to mirror ours, find something cheap that is usable now to see if you like sailing. We managed to find the cheap boat and, after one season, decided that we really enjoy spending time on the water and sailing in general.

Now, all of the things that made the boat cheap on the initial price are being upgraded. This winter has been very expensive compared to the purchase price. But, thanks in large part to Peter Kennedy Yacht Service and Defender, we will have a much better equipped boat this summer.

The only drawback of the Pearson 30 for me is the headroom. It is 6'-1" at the base of the companionway steps and probably 5'-10" in the cabin. Being 6' has been frustrating at times.
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:27   #12
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

Yes, unless you're JPMorgan, get a boat cheap enuf that you can almost throw away if you find out if you enjoy (or not) owning a boat. Owning is different from loving sailing. You'll find out how she fits into your life. We owners are a rarefied strange group. I often wonder about why we do what we do. And you can always sail on someones boat. Enjoy
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:51   #13
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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And you can always sail on someones boat. Enjoy

This advice gets repeated so often, yet to date I have not yet met a single person who wants me to sail on their boat, except on charter, and so far the charters I've seen offered cost as much as some boats, or a nice piece of a downpayment on a boat.
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:54   #14
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Mariner 31's are nice boats - look at the older Columbia and Islander 30'ishs.

Solid builds and many around for ~$10k range.

Our first boat was a 33' Islander and it was a perfect intro/stepping stone for us.

Also helped us learn that you don't need everything looking perfect - just ain't worth the cost sometimes.
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Old 19-03-2013, 15:26   #15
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Re: Come shop with me: Which would you choose?

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This advice gets repeated so often, yet to date I have not yet met a single person who wants me to sail on their boat, except on charter, and so far the charters I've seen offered cost as much as some boats, or a nice piece of a downpayment on a boat.
I have to say this has not been my experience. Not that I am unhappy sailing on my boat which is on a mooring ball at a nice marina along with about 200-300 other boats. I often have guests on my boat and am often a guest on other folks boats. It is common for half a dozen of us to get together and go fishing, lobster diving, spearfishing, hook and line fishing, or just go for a good old fashion sail. Afterwards we often meet for dinner (especially if we get our limit of lobsters) on one of the boats and folks chip in with drinks, side dishes, desert or what ever but I don't really consider this a big expense.

Not to say there are some folks who do not get a second invite, but it is not a matter of money. Another thing you may want to consider is location. There are lots of folks in and around the marina who like boats and sailing. Depending on your location you just may be in an area where nobody sails. All in all I find that there are lots of boaters who are happy to have guests, as long as the guests don't impose on them.
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