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Old 09-11-2015, 15:04   #1
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First Boat

I've started looking into purchasing a liveaboard sailboat and was hoping for some advice, or a direction to go. I'm planning to purchase the boat, hopefully, within the next 2 years. The way it looks now, I should be able to afford something in the $30,000 range.

I was hoping for a blue water vessel, but am not stuck on that idea. As far as must haves: a separate shower stall in the head, decent head room as I am tall and don't want to bang my head when I stand, decent locker space, refrigeration, and she has to be ready to sail. I don't mind a little work from an older boat, however I can't afford to completely redo a boat.

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2015, 18:20   #2
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Re: First Boat

There are quite a few options but the first one that came to mind is a Rawson 30. They are respected as "bluewater" and are quite roomy for a 30 footer. I am not sure if they had a shower in the head, but you could probably rig it up if not. I think you could find a nice one in your price range. Many of the older Columbias were made well and are quite roomy too. One in good shape is probably over 30K but you never know.
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Old 11-11-2015, 14:21   #3
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Re: First Boat

Thanks for the insight! I've seen quite a few of the Columbias in my searches and they are beautiful boats. From a quick search the Rawsons look fantastic as well. I'm assuming a shower wouldn't be horrible to put in. Hopefully while I'm out on the west coast I can find a few to see in person.
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Old 11-11-2015, 15:02   #4
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Re: First Boat

It is a little hard to recommend boats without knowing more of your preferences. Have you seen the bluewaterboats.org site? That is a good start but doesn't give you prices. I personally also like the old school designs like the Pearson Vanguard and the Rhodes 41, but they are not roomy by modern standards. They are very solid and sea-worthy boats though, as the Rawson is, and less expensive due to age. One that has been well-maintained could be a great bargain though. I have a Columbia 29 of that vintage and I love it. But it is small on the inside and no room for a shower. There is a thread here called "boats for less than 30k" or something like that you might check too. If you find a boat that looks good to you, you can always post it here for folks to give you tips on it.
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Old 14-11-2015, 00:02   #5
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Re: First Boat

Not sure where you are but I came across what looked to be a nice older boat from the 60s in Los Angeles area (though the ad said 1975, not sure why) that appeared to be in great shape, obviously well-maintained. I think it was an Islander 34, kind of a rare find. They were asking $20K. So there are boats like that. I'd recommend something like that: a well-made boat in very good shape for around 20-25K and leave 5-10K of your 30K for "little" stuff to fix or add. May seem extreme but stuff just seems to add up. Not sure if ad is still current but I'll post the link:
Cruising Sailboat 34' Islander

I am not necessarily saying I'd jump on this right away if I had 30K but I'd certainly give it a good look!

A friend of mine recently bought a Cheoy Lee 30 in very nice shape, which is pretty roomy inside and well-made, it had some key upgrades but the engine needed some work to get the cooling working and it needed bottom paint, but that was 12k. So it can seem daunting at first when you start looking, but if it were me I'd be shopping for the older, stronger and well-maintained boats.
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Old 14-11-2015, 01:47   #6
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Re: First Boat

Another site worth visiting in order to gain some boat buying wisdom is John & Amanda Neal's page, specifically Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction and Boat Consultation
They teach voyaging, various levels of sailing, all the way up to stuff related to gaining one's RYA cert, & various other items of interest.

Also, try not to get in over your head, if you're considering buying a boat in need of work. As just fitting one out for cruising, often takes couples a year or three, literally.
And for a great read on the realities of boat upkeep, & re-fitting, have a read from the Guru, Nigel Calder A Refit Reality Check | Cruising World

Or, there's the fun, multi-media version, of buying a boat, plus the (hellish) realities of a refit
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