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Old 03-03-2008, 10:11   #1
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First Purchase..Help Making A Wise Decision

well I’ve been doing my reading, looking at boats all over the coast, boat shows, and back yard projects that well make you feel, well, sorry for the builder, but I do understand the urge as I was on the verge of just building a farrier designed multi hull before I let practicality(my wife) hit me...now to make some choices. I was looking for help or information on any of the following designs, which ones are the best. Which would be best suited for live aboard, island hoping, possibly an ocean crossing to Hawaii at one point. the criteria is safety first, monohull, smaller than 35 feet, good for extended stays of 2 months or more, room for at least 2 people, and overall good functionality. low draft would be nice. I have a thing for racers, but cant help that as I’ve mentioned in other posts. I am looking to buy before the summer and move the boat down to St. Petersburg Florida as a vacation home and an eventual live aboard once the New York city life wears me out ( will be sooner than later)


1. a-1982 santana 30/30-b-1979 santana 35'
a-1982 Santana 3030 Boat For Sale

b-1979 Santana Boat For Sale=

2.1985 elan sloop (yes needs repairs but it is a dream boat)1985 Elan Sloop Boat For Sale

3. 1983 30 cal 9.2 1983 CAL 9.2 Boat For Sale

4. 32' Beneteau first 30E (this one being my fav. obv.)
1982 Beneteau first 30E Boat For Sale

5. 1983 j30 jboats( dont know what to think kind of like)
1983 J Boats J30 Boat For Sale

1983 J Boats J-30 Boat For Sale


thanks for getting this far if you have any information would be great before i book a surveyor to come see any of these boats with me.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:46   #2
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I don't see anything on your list except possibly the Beneteau that would make a good live-aboard long distance cruiser. Of course you can do it in a canoe if you like. Most of the boats on your list are around the buoy racers. Not much living space, almost no storage and over all very spartan.
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Old 05-03-2008, 20:17   #3
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The only boat that you have listed that may be suitable is the Beneteau. The Elan is worth about $2,500.00 right now and it will cost you far more to fix it properly than it will ever be worth. There are too many other, better boats out there.

Look for a C&C 30, CS30, Northern 29, Express 30, Aloha 30.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:40   #4
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Clearly your current penchants run to the lighter side of the spectrum; excepting the Beneteau the rest are within 10%, more or less, of my little B24’s displacement (admittedly the B24 was a little chunk even in its day, let alone by contemporary standards…) and some have less ballast, so I’d think you’d want to stay well clear of any anchorages that tend to get bouncy… I (personally) don’t worry a whole lot about the resale on a vessel if it’s the one I want – the question of investment value is a different (if not mutually exclusive) query than whether it is the one you want to live aboard, or whatever one anticipates doing with the boat… Even the Beneteau is too light by my standards, but vessels such as the J-Boats are well known for their sailing qualities – so the question that runs through my mind; are you concentrating on sailing traits, or actually living aboard
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:11   #5
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:50   #6
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Imagine2frolic is correct - storage is critical for true liveaboard/extended cruising capability. In addition, even if you can find/make the space to store what you need, many smaller boats with relatively light displacement (such as the ones that you have highlighted) will have their performance much more adversely affected by weight than boats of heavier displacement (for example, 2500 lbs of water/fuel/food/safety gear/tools/clothing will increase the displacement of a 7500 lb. boat by I/3, but a 12,500 lb. boat by only 1/5th).

If you are truly considering live-aboard capability with a potential offshore offshore trip to Hawaii and want 'safey first', then I would recommend looking at more traditional designs with full keels and narrower beam that those you have highlighted. Firstly, they will typically be heavier and thus less affected by your cruising stores; secondly, they will tend to have shallower draft (one of your listed priorities); thirdly, they will tend to have a more sea-kindly motion than a lighter displacement fin keel with wider beam and flatter sections aft; thirdly, they will tend to be better balanced (they will track better and therefore be easier both for manual and self-steering gear).; fourthly, they will tend to have much larger bilges (important if you take on water, but also for storage deep down); fifthly, they will tend to have at least two proper sea berths.

The down-side, of course, is that they will also tend to have less interior space/elbow room. I suggest that if your current needs are to for a boat dockside in Fla. for short getaways, then don't worry about offshore capability in the future. Buy a boat that is popular (which will be easier to re-sell) and has tons of space dockside. The Beneteau would certainly do the trick, as would CS30's (although likely more expensive unless it has huge blistering problems), and why not the Catalina 30? They were well built, performed decently well, and have quite spacious accomodation for their LOA. In addition, because there is such a huge fleet you can often get deals on replacement sails/rigging etc.

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

Brad
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
If you are truly considering live-aboard capability with a potential offshore offshore trip to Hawaii and want 'safey first', then I would recommend looking at more traditional designs with full keels and narrower beam that those you have highlighted....
...and why not the Catalina 30? They were well built, performed decently well, and have quite spacious accomodation for their LOA. In addition, because there is such a huge fleet you can often get deals on replacement sails/rigging etc.

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

Brad

1985 Catalina 30 Tall Rig with Wing Keel Boat For Sale/boat sld yesterday but keeping eye open

thanks for the quick replies. after talking to some people I took all but the bentou off the list. with the recommendation I looked up the Catalina there are quite a few on the market and in seemingly good condition. the one above being my favorite so far. unfortunately price is also of the concern, and I have taken many boats I would love t have but hate to work 10 more years to afford not to mention the time to raise the kitty. i'm looking in the under 20,000s right now cause I could afford it and be able to still sail it. this being the first concern to all of us. but safety is still an issue.

southern star with all the things listed is it still possible in my price range and what are some other boats you would recommend? although I do love the Catalina’s look, and interior.

I’ll be back after I hit the markets tonight, scan through the possibilities. any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Sean
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:02   #8
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Sean, if you really interested in an eventual offshore passage in this boat, then in your price range I would definitely recommend an older, less spacious but more seaworthy full keel boat. There are a number that should be available for around your $20,000.00 figure (although the asking prices will often be higher). Some to consider would be, in no particular order:

Allied Luders 33
Cape Dory 30
Cape Dory 28
Douglas 32
Bayfield 32
Alberg 35
Alberg 30

All of these are full keel and with a reputation for solid construction. The Alberg 30 and Cape Dory 28 will be quite cramped in terms of interior space (albeit the former should be avaiable for less than your price limit and is a proven circumnavigator).

Any Bayfield 32's available at around that price are likely to be mid 70's vintage, although at least all were equipped with diesels and a cutter rig. While hardly a circumnavigator, they do have more interior space than most of the others listed here plus good balance, a sea-kindly motion, shoal draft, fairly deep bilges and a good anchoring arrangement.

The Alberg 35 is certainly capable of offshore passages, although the interior was rather spartan and featured vinyl 'fake' wood on the bulkheads.

The Allieds are also capable of extended offshore passages and were not only well constructed, but quite well finished below (although as with the Bayfield and Douglas 32, it may be hard to find a decent example under about $25,000.00).

The Douglas 32 was not only well constructed, seaworthy and beautiful, it also performed very well indeed ( a terrific, if rare Ted Brewer design).

An earlier post mentioned the Northern 29 - this was a well constructed fin keel with a skeg rudder designed by Sparkman and Stephens that also has great balance and offshore capability. It will be, however, a little tight on storage for an extended passage.

The first thing that you are apt to note with virtually all of these designs is that, due to the relatively narrow beam (and the preference for cockpit storage rather than aft cabins), they have much less living space than the Catalina or Beneteau, for example. These designs will not only have much more storage, important for the reasons already discussed - they will also be more stable, safe, have a more sea-kindly motion and much better balance. And here is the dilemma - should you really buy now for a future offshore passage?

There was a recent article entitled 'The Ten Commandments of Buying a Boat' (which I believe is available on this site) - and the author stressed the importance of buying for your present needs, rather than for what you believe you may need in the future. I wholeheartedly agree with this assertion.

The Catalina and the Beneteau will have much more livable interiors dockside than any of the boats I have listed above. They will also allow you to safely do coastal cruising and, with a bit of planning, even a trip to the Bahamas. Finally (and perhaps most importantly) they will also tend to be fairly easy to re-sell. This is because they are popular models, they are more recent designs and because for most people, it is the interior that sells. Put another way, they are far fewer people who buy boats for offshore sailing than for short-term inland, or coastal cruising with family and/or a couple of guests.

Right now it seems that you are interested in a sailing 'cottage' in which to get some experience. You could do much worse at the price that you are considering than either the Beneteau or the Catalina 30.

Brad
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Old 17-03-2008, 21:26   #9
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Catalina 30 - Selling

Our 1983 Catalina 30 tall rig with A/C is for sale in Dallas TX area..well cared for and good condition..love the boat but are looking at a larger and newer Catalina..but love the Catalinas and the Catalina 30 is a classic!
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Old 21-03-2008, 14:16   #10
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If its dry(balsa) get the j30. If you don't like it you could easily sell it. I'm in hawaii and i have the only one in the islands. I could easily get 25k in about a day with the amount of people who want to buy my boat. BTW I got 6 feet of headroom down below. And if you're worried about reliability in blue water follow hyperlink and scroll down to the "juggernaut" paragraph..
J30 Review
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Old 21-03-2008, 15:13   #11
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I just bought a boat myself, after years of looking. One recommendation I would make to you is to buy the book:

Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, by Don Casey

I also bought:

Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats, by Henry Mustin

I found these books to be very helpful in teaching me to find any potentially expensive issues on a boat before I would bring in a surveyor. Studying them carefully saved me some money, and also helped me learn how to identify a well build and maintained boat.


Good luck!
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Old 21-03-2008, 16:10   #12
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Sean,

What Brad said is the Voice of Reason and you would do well to print and frame his post. I would quote part of it, but it's all good.

Catalina, Hunter and Beneteau are fine costal cruisers. You can have a few friends over for drinks in a ‘spacious cockpit’ and even stay over. If you go below you are greeted by a ‘volumous interior’ without a lot walls confining you and nothing on the ceiling which presents an uncluttered nice open clean line. A open transom that can double as a nice swim platform and even a little door so you don’t slip and hurt yourself when your feet are wet. Features like this won Beneteau Cruising World’s 2007 Boat of the Year.

They’re great features on a costal cruiser but for passagemaking, they can get you killed.

Two quick examples:

1) A wave hits you from behind, knock that little step through door down and fill the cockpit which is only 8 x 2 x 2 feet with water. Before it runs down the stairs into the saloon or back out the transom our even out the couple inch wide drain, how much does it weigh? 32 cubic feet of water at about 62 lbs of water per pound ….. over 1900 lbs which is about 13% of the displacement of the boat. In bad weather you can bet things don’t come as just one. That ‘spacious cockpit’ is a liability.

2) Have your favorite football player or bouncer shove you into a wall from a foot away. Not so bad, eh? Now have him where the wall is 6 feet away. All that space with no handholds or hallway just gives you room to accelerate before you hit something.

On the other hand, what is the purpose of having a minuscule cockpit, and relatively cramped interior if you aren’t going anywhere. You might as well rent a police cell with a view of the ocean.

Now, could you go blue water sailing on a Catalina? It’s been done before and I think one guy even went around the world on a Catalina 27. But he made extensive upgrades prior to going.

On the plus side to all this, you can see how the advertisers use codewords to clue you in on their products…sort of.

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Old 23-03-2008, 11:32   #13
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But, won't most people be making "extensive upgrades prior to going" to most of the older/used boat out there? Even if only sailing to the bahamas if they are smart?
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Old 24-03-2008, 05:36   #14
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Originally Posted by deepblueme View Post
But, won't most people be making "extensive upgrades prior to going" to most of the older/used boat out there? Even if only sailing to the bahamas if they are smart?
You bring up a fair point in that there will be upgrades for a used boat. But in addition to upgrades of the following (and incomplete list of) categories ….
  • Remedial work. [Getting the toilets working, replacing lines & sails, engine work, etc.]
  • Updating electronics. [… a LORAN C ?!? Doesn’t that belong in a museum?]
  • Redundant and/or emergency systems. [Hand held gps/sextant, med kit, jacklines, etc.]
  • Gear. [Foul weather, cruising books, maps]
You also have would have make changes to the boat. I would want better drainage for when the relatively large cockpit becomes flooded with water. That’s pretty easy overall. But what about … well let’s just let the man who did it, Patrick Childress, speak for himself:


Before setting out from Miami aboard Juggernaut, I tackled some 30 odd tasks to better prepare her for the voyage that lay ahead. Here are a few of what I consider the most important modifications.
  • Installed medium capacity electric bilge pump and large capacity electric pump on its own circuit and battery beneath the galley sole. The medium pump took care of the bilge water. The large capacity pump, in case of flooding, would automatically kick in, freeing me to search for and repair the leak or prepare to abandon ship.
  • Installed four large cockpit drains horizontally through aft end of cockpit and piped through to transom.
  • Installed heavier upper and lower aft shrouds. Forward shrouds stayed the same.
  • Installed open faced turnbuckles of a stronger caliber.
  • Installed double backstays with a backstay adjuster.
  • Reworked campanionway entrance. Raised threshold wood to 2½ inches above fiberglass threshold to force water running down slats into cockpit. Made overhang on hatch cover ¾-inch thicker to overhand companionway slats.
  • Opened every nook and cranny for additional storage space.
  • Made new hatch runners for tighter fit. Installed plastic tabs on front of hatch to help reduce spray entering hatch runners and into cabin.
  • Installed aft lower shroud chain plates rather than using deck plates.
  • Installed double headstays.
  • Removed forward bolt on rudder bracket going through tiller and replace with two stainless steel hose clamps. A hole through the wood tiller at this point makes for a weak spot where the tiller can snap under stress.
  • Installed half inch bolt through rudderpost cap attaching cap to rudder shaft. Original bolt is too small diameter and eventually wears an oblong hole.
  • Installed handrails and grab rails in cabin and on deck.
There is a lot more available but I leave it to your level of interest. Still, there are two more things to remember.
1) What will major changes likes this do to the value of a coastal cruiser. Unless you die first, you are going to get rid of it someday, this thread is significant.

2) You wouldn’t want to end up like these three guys, so plan and be prepared. [1] [2]


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Old 24-03-2008, 15:13   #15
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boat choices...

I read with interest some of the replies to your inquiry. I'm a brand new poster here.
Re: Farrier multihulls: Have you ever been on one? I have crewed a bit on a Corsair 31 (Farrier design) in races, etc. Definitely a "Coastal Boat". Tiny inside, with the sole tapering down to a small passageway just wide enough to walk on. Almost no storage, minimal galley, etc. NOT a "liveaboard", but lots of fun. Much earlier on, I thought about building one. The plans are very well done, and there appear to be ample instructions for getting the job done even if you are not a professional. I had a long soul-searching moment, looked at the estimates of time necessary to complete one by myself, and decided I'd really be a fool to try. Doing some math, I realized that I could get a lightly used one and sail much sooner and probably ultimately more economically than trying to build it.
Re: Catalinas and Beneteaus: You will get a lot of strong opinions on discussion forums about these production boats. Many will be negative, and some sound a bit, well, snobbish. Disclaimer: I now own my second Catalina, and really like it. It's a 42-ft Mark I hull. As many say, these boats are built to a price point. Some storage and tankage is sacrificed for open spaces in the cabin. There is some grumbling about the "lack of handholds", and the seaworthiness of the open cockpits. These were not all designed as "blue water boats", although some have circumnavigated. But for coastal cruisers and island boats, I think they are great. It is often said that a boat spends better than 90% of its life at a dock or mooring. Think about what your first use of your boat will be. If it's an immediate circumnavigation, think about a purpose-built boat that is solid as a rock. There are many, and in all sizes. But sometimes it is more prudent to go with a "starter boat" and then move to a passagemaker later on. I know you said your primary objective was to find a liveaboard boat, but as this is a first purchase, a production boat such as these is not a bad start until you sort out what you want to have for an ocean crossing.

Rocky
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