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Old 02-07-2008, 12:33   #1
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First sailboat purchase....need help!!!!!!

I am in the market for a sailboat. I am a reasonably experienced sailor, on small boats, cats and the like. My interest lies in spending about 20 to 30k into a used cruiser and weekender. The concerns: I am almost an empty nester and my wife has no clue how to sail, my 2 boys will also want to take the boat out and they are not experienced but also not inexperienced, so I need an easy to sail, easy to learn, and forgiving boat in case I fall ill and my wife has to take over boat. I will be off the coast of the Carolinas for up to a week at a time plus the occasional weekend trip. My wife loves comfort so a nice galley, nice head and roomy stateroom would be ideal. I am willing to purchase a boat in need of repairs, although I do not want to rebuild or take on a project that will keep me off the water for an extended period. Some of the boats I have looked at:1984 30' hunter, 1983 34' citation, 1979 33' Islander, 1970 35' Pearson, 1980 34' Irwin. These are a couple I have been looking at, my question is I have seen 40 and over for at the high end of my price range. The above listed boats tend to be in the 25K or less range but I do want some money to equip the boat to my tastes. Which boat, and add more if I have overlooked any lengths or manufacturers that I need to investigate and purchase.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.
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Old 02-07-2008, 13:02   #2
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Catalina 30's are readily available in your price range and would also seem to suit your requirements. I would certainly suggest that whatever boat you decide upon, you try to get one with a diesel.

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Old 02-07-2008, 16:57   #3
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Try Newport, Neptune, Gulf sailboats built by Capital Yachts for a look at the Newport. There are several Newport owners on this forum. I really like mine.
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Old 02-07-2008, 18:15   #4
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if this question has been ask once on the board it has been ask a hundred times. Do a little searching and you will find enough information to keep you reading for a month.
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Old 02-07-2008, 18:15   #5
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I am not trying to discourage you, but you should charter a boat and take your wife out a few times before buying. Maybe you've done this and she loves sailing, but if that's the case, I missed it in your post. Maybe you could take some classes with your wife and the boys and make it a family event.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:30   #6
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My interest lies in spending about 20 to 30k into a used cruiser and weekender... I do not want to rebuild or take on a project that will keep me off the water for an extended period. Some of the boats I have looked at:1984 30' hunter, 1983 34' citation, 1979 33' Islander, 1970 35' Pearson, 1980 34' Irwin...
Goad: I think you’ve pretty much named the likely vessels… if interior room is paramount, then you’ll want the fatter boats that started coming along in the early 80s, probably leaving the earlier Bristols, Albergs, Pearsons and the like aside – I personally like the former longish keel ones better, but their generally narrow beam gives away the semblance of roominess that many desire -- especially dockside…

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve never found much useful in chartering… I already know what I’m looking for, and the Admiral (at least former ones) won’t begin to gain enough experience in a weekend – cabins can be “inspected” dockside, but opinions differ, so whatever works best… Still, I’ve done the charter thing in the past, spending hundreds to confirm that neither I nor the Admiral was much entertained, or educated…

Have modest experience with Irwins and Hunters of the earlier vintages… generally acceptable, and predictable quality – the Chevrolets of the water… expect some rather significant electrical update requirements (and be happy if you don’t need many…) on any of these used vessels (both 12volt and 110), that’s the bad news – good news is, other than dealing with the hull liners that began to fascinate cost-conscious (i.e., cheap) builders in the early 80s, most electrical stuff is pretty easy – even for numbskulls like me… with a bit of shopping and a critical eye, $25K should get you into an entirely serviceable diesel powered vessel in that era… Like you, I don’t mind a boat that is a bit of a project – but I prefer ones I call sailing-projects… I can sail while I fiddle… but doesn’t require long lay-ups for major work…

Oh, somewhere along in here someone will drag out the “get-a-survey” monolog – generally excellent advice, and likely an insurance requirement in any case, but in this general price-range, your informed eye and proclivities are probably equally (if not more) important…

Good luck…
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:39   #7
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Goad,

Here's a customized search engine, just for Cruisers Forum. Plug in the right keywords, and you'll find a ton of info. Cruisers & Sailing Forum

And take AVSkipper's advice. You can't know what you like in a boat until you try it. Get out and charter some different models. You'll also be able to gauge what your wife likes or dislikes about boats and sailing.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:48   #8
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if this question has been ask once on the board it has been ask a hundred times. Do a little searching and you will find enough information to keep you reading for a month.
Respectfully, it's just not that simple. And it could take a month to wade through hundreds or thousands of posts--95% of which will not apply even if you are smart with your search words.

Every sailor's needs are unique--performance, comfort, cost, live-aboard or not, bluewater or coastal cruising, etc.

The amount of information on this forum is staggering. I have a very clear idea of my needs and budget and have been trying to come up with a list of 7-10 boats to keep an eye out for. I did plenty of searching (here and elsewhere) before posting a similar question in another thread to make sure I was providing all the information necessary for simple answers from anyone who was willing to share their knowledge.

I belong to several Internet forums on different topics and even moderate one. When the answer to a question is easily found, the "go do a search, newbie" response is fair and warranted. If a someone comes here, though, having taken the time to think though his/her needs and budget and asks for a few suggestions, I think the "go do a search" comeback is lame. It isn't that easy.

You could have typed "check out the Catalina 30s" (or whatever) in less time. Or not replied at all.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:29   #9
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:28   #10
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The main reasons I suggested chartering were 1) to try boats and see what you like and most importantly, 2) to find out if your wife really enjoys sailing before you tie of $30K in a boat. What if you buy a boat and she hates it?

I've had plenty of friends aboard on charters who say, "sailing is so much fun" or "I'm really looking forward to it." Once they feed the fish, the novelty wears off.

The clear disadvantage to chartering is sometimes the boats are not in very good shape. The Catalina 320 I chartered last weekend was nearly a wreck. The sails were shot and it took on quite a bit of water. It probably needed $10k in repairs. As a perspective boat owner, it is helpful to see boats that look great from across the channel, but have a number of issues up close.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:43   #11
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Goad,

Here's a customized search engine, just for Cruisers Forum. Plug in the right keywords, and you'll find a ton of info. Cruisers & Sailing Forum
We interrupt this program to say “Hats Off” to whoever set this up… I’ve never been able to extract much useable info from the other search feature (doubtlessly my incompetence, probably not the search-feature… I seem to either get nothing, or an avalanche too large to sift through), but this one seems to support many normal Boolean search discriminators… thanks to whomever… Great!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast…
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:02   #12
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UPDATE >>>.......<<<< Several items...... Wife has been on many boats... the question of sailing is not a question of like but more of a question of comfort. We have been on several friends boats. We also own 2 power boats..... we all 4 love the water. I am just a sailing nut, the rest of the family is just less familiar with sailing than I. We have been on a 30 ft Hunter many times.... The interior is slightly cramped for the wifey... and I found the Hunter to be easy to sail but a little "light" in the blue, great for the waterway. I have come very close to landing on a 1983 Irwin Citation that is a 34 footer.

Two questions, first: what is the collective opinion of this manufacturer and this length
second: at 34 foot will she be easy to handle in normal moderate conditions and besides a roller furling and autopilot, what other "systems" will make this boat easy to sail single handedly.

Again I thank the collective knowledge.
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Old 03-07-2008, 18:15   #13
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These are "old" boats...

The boats that you are looking at are all "old" and will probably need considerable maintenance/upgrading.

The more expensive offerings could well be better value as they may have been better maintained and equipped.

As this is the "Cruisers Forum" I think that I can mention that they are possibly a little small for full time cruising for two or more people.

The level of equipment (after a quick look at Yachtworld) would seem to be limited for a boat intended for cruising. The ones I saw looked suitable for overnighting only. The boats looked very "clean" with few "goodies".

You might like to add jiffy reefing or similar to your requirements, as well as a good autopilot, dodger, bimini, anchor/chain/windlass, davits/inflatable/outboard etc.

Are you able to look at boats $40k+? These would seem to offer much better value for money if you don't want a project boat.

Have you considered the 36' Beneteaus or Catalinas. These would seem to be more female friendly, with the possibility of good resale if your wife pulls the plug.

Yachtworld 34' C&C 1982 for $39,900 did catch my eye.
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Old 03-07-2008, 18:33   #14
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I'm with Boracay - A beatuifully restored old wooden boat will get a "that's nice" from most females I have noticed. The men are drooling.

The modern "plastic" boats (Hunters, Catalinas, Newports, Benneteus) all get - "Wow, that's a beautiful boat" type responses.

I may go out on a limb here but it's the same as a house, nice kitchen with good cabinet space, "excellent" clean bathroom (plastic helps here), bedrooms with storage - and I use land based terms on purpose - all get the nod with the significant other.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:49   #15
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and I use land based terms on purpose - all get the nod with the significant other.

You said a mouthful there – regrettably, you are at least 110% correct, although you may be sleeping on the couch for the next month… having had almost as many Admirals as boats, my barometer is that if they won’t make an effort to switch to proper terminology, it will be a decidedly uphill battle; nearly vertical… but those bathroom thingies do help break the ice, and hopefully keep the conversation going… keeping the “crew” happy, if not necessarily engaged, often takes as much planning (and expense) as ensuring the seaworthiness of the vessel and modern manufacturers seemed to have appreciated this – or, run the risk of going under…

Conflicting design criteria has, however, on occasion left me dissatisfied with the result; on a couple of occasions have great dockside spaciousness, but less than confidence inspiring seaworthiness, which in the end was probably okay because despite blue-water plans (mine), we only barely got outa sight of land, and then only long enough to say we did it… your criteria are doubtlessly correct; however, I will add this caveat… when Admiral, skipper and vessel find themselves at odds, at least two of the three will avoid the other one; permutations vary, but the result is predictable… and infrequently, all three may eventually avoid each other… if just selecting a seaworthy boat was the task, it would be so simple…
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