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Old 17-07-2016, 20:13   #1
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Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

I'd like advice on a fast coastal cruiser in the 38'-42'ish range. We'll be sailing Florida's coast with trips to Bahama's and Keys (from St Pete).
Here are a few qualifiers:
  • I'm targeting $80k with $20k for upgrades/refits ($100k total)
  • Draft less than 6ft (for Keys & Bahamas)
  • Fast hull (moderate/light displacement) with strong sail plan --I like speed

    Would like to purchase in Gulf Coast area to keep in St Pete

Any ideas and advice? Any links of boats for sale or examples?

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Old 17-07-2016, 20:45   #2
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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

Did a couple of coastal overnighters on a Cal39 helping a friend deliver his boat. Marathon to Pensacola.

I liked that boat a lot. Seemed pretty sporty to me. He's having fun in the bay races with it now.

Lots of room, but I live on a 32' boat.

It didn't like quartering seas on the stern. Noticed this hand steering the night watch after the autopilot tuckered out. Headsail was sheeted in too tight, but still a bit of a handful after trimming.

Got caught between two huge t-storms that merged on top of us. Handled it fine reefed and motorsailing, pinched into it doing a six mile diameter circular course at two or three knots. Ended up back on the course line just as it cleared up. Awesome night time lightning show.

Anyway, a Cal39 might be worth considering. Probably around $50k.

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Old 17-07-2016, 23:36   #3
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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

I was going to suggest a Cal 39 as well. Especially as there are some that are shallower, draft wise. And they're reasonably quick boats. Though smaller inside than something more modern of similar length.

If you want to compare the relative speeds of boats, you can simply look at their racing handicaps. PHRF ones are in seconds per mile, so they're easy to compare & use as a yardstick
Though to be fast from point to point, unless you're sailing a slug, the big issues are; sail choices, sail trim, & weather routing, plus playing the currents & tide.

But rarely will a cruiser be "fast", especially once she's got all of the necessary gear onboard. Unless, that is, you buy a racer that's converted to cruise, & live a more spartan lifestyle in order to keep her light.
That said, you may find this thread useful. A cruiser you can race? Especially if you follow the link that I put in there. As it leads to a question similar to yours, that I asked a while back. Which folks were kind enough to answer in detail.

Also, there are some good articles on speed, here
Along with a (passage) speed calculator here

The other thing is that you probably want to spend less on the boat itself, initially. As you'll likely be spending at least half of the purchase price of the boat on tuning up systems, & fitting her out. Though it depends on your sailing plans & goals.

It pays to make a list/spread sheet of how you want to fit out your boat, & then plug candidate boats into it, so as to see their real cost, total. As if you need to replace some of the primary hardware on her, like rigging (running, standing, or both), sails, re-do her electrical/charging system, etc. Then things add up quickly.
Nigel Calder offers some insights on the subject in this article A Refit Reality Check | Cruising World

And if you're thinking about spending significant periods of time cruising. Such as more than a few weeks at a time. Then it's easy to spend as much tuning her up to your standards, as you spent on the boat. Often times, more. And even most relatively new boats need this kind of owner attention, as do brand new ones.

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
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Old 18-07-2016, 13:57   #4
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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

Great advice and ideas. Thanks for the links.
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Old 18-07-2016, 19:25   #5
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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

Have a friend with a Cal39 for sale. Equipped for transatlantic :
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Old 18-07-2016, 19:45   #6
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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

beneteau first 42, 435
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Old 18-07-2016, 20:33   #7

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Re: Fast coastal cruiser 38'-42' range?

that 39 looks sweet.

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