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Old 02-08-2008, 20:37   #1
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Four Boats

I'm looking for a modestly priced blue water capable cruising boat. Not that I plan to circumnavigate, but who knows? I'm not an experienced sailor, but I'm learning (in the process of obtaining bareboat license).

So I've looked at ads for a zillion boats, went to see a couple, a Pearson 35 and a Cape Dory 30B. Briefly sailed the Pearson 35 (with the owner's help). It was ok, but I did not fall in love with it.

(I've decided that yacht salespeople are just preppy car salespeople, but I digress.)

My current shortlist contains 4 boats. The asking prices are in parentheses. All are 1976-1985 vintage.

1. Aloha 32 (35K) Sloop, Canadian built, little sister to the Valiant 35. Seems comparable to the Cape Dory 30-33 models but with a nicer interior and more headroom. But how blue water capable?

2. Allied Seawind II 32 (ketch) (30K) A tank. They tell me ketches are easier to single-hand. But I've never sailed one. Vigor says the Cutter version is better, but they're twice the price. I have an appointment to meet the owner and sail this one.

I'm a little worried about daysailing this boat. If I hit something in Narragansett Bay, I'll be fine, but the other guy may sink.

3. Amel Kirk 36 ($25K) Older French cruising boat. Sloop. Has a wierd aft cabin that looks like a waste of space, but the rest of the boat seems ok.
The keel is sort of a semi-fin; the French just do things a little differently. But Amel is still in business, so parts are available.

4. Freedom 32 ($35K) Unorthodox-- This is described as a catboat sloop with self-tending jib. It looks like a fin keel (this is the deep draft version, but I think they have one with a shallow draft-- does it matter?). Beautiful cabin. They say it's fast and easy to sail, and I'm all for that. But how blue water capable is it? It's beamy, so the CSF is well over 2.


I've rejected most of the "pocket cruisers" as too small. My wife needs her hot shower and other amenities. I rejected a Baba 30 as requiring far too much varnish. (I'm too old to varnish.)

Any thoughts on one or more of these 4 boats? Any responses would be appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2008, 21:38   #2
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I like the Aloha and the Allied. I'm not familiar with the other two except the Freedom is a bit unorthodox as you say and not quite what most folks are looking for so might be hard to resell. If you are looking for a boat to cruise shallow water it may not do if it has a deep fin. Deep fins in any boat point to windward better but get squirrely going downwind compared to full keels. Of the four you mentioned I'd go Allied #1 and Aloha #2, Freedom ? and the French boat ?
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PS. Ketches are easy to sail and have more sail options with small sails to reef or douse. I'll bet none of the boats you've looked at have furling mainsails.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:02   #3
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Thanks for your comments.

Actually I looked at an Albin Vega with a boom furling mainsail. The system looked pretty simple and foolproof. Unfortunately the Vega was out of the water and I did not get a chance to sail her.

I didn't mind the small cabin, except for the lack of headroom. Having constantly to stoop could drive me batty after awhile.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:59   #4
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If your wife specifically mentions 'showers' then you might want to gravitate toward a model with a dedicated shower stall. It's an amenity that she'll really notice.

In my experience, 'weird' cabins make pretty good sail lockers.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:35   #5
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LOL, yes, that aft cabin will simply become a repository for "stuff."

As for the shower, my wife doesn't mind a shower in the head, but there has to be plenty of hot water. I haven't seen too many separate shower stalls on 30-35 footers under 50K.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:43   #6
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Like SkiprJohn I like the Aloha and the Seawind. My only caveat is the ketch rig. The benefit of this rig is that it divides up the sail area into easier to manage sizes. This may make sense on a large boat say above 40 feet or so. But a 32 foot boat does not really have individual sails that are that hard to manage. To me it just makes for a more complicated cluttered up rig in a small boat. Off the wind they will perform well but going downwind and to windward they will under perform a sloop or cutter.
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Old 03-08-2008, 13:02   #7
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LOL, yes, that aft cabin will simply become a repository for "stuff."

As for the shower, my wife doesn't mind a shower in the head, but there has to be plenty of hot water. I haven't seen too many separate shower stalls on 30-35 footers under 50K.
I hear ya. The Tayana 37 (older model) can often be found (almost) in your price range, and it has a separate shower. I don't know how well it doubles as a day-sailer, but its certainly blue-water. Just mentioning in case you might have missed it.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:48   #8
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I saw some ads for the Tayana 37 but 11 tons seems too big. Daysailing one of those would be like taking a sunday drive in a tractor trailer.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:38   #9
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Quote:
I saw some ads for the Tayana 37 but 11 tons seems too big.
Form a first boat point of they can seem too big. You could be sure if you saw one on the hard too. That makes look like a semi truck trailer and the dimensions are often close. Away from the dock and in open water they don't seem that big at all.

A lot of people buy 30 / 32 and after a short time regret not going 34 / 36. The larger 32/33 ft boats usually have the head room. Note the beam as well. A well carried extra foot of beam makes a small boat seem quite large inside and adds the volume you want to haul all the stuff and the space for large water and fuel tanks.

We daysail our boat all the time. It's nice to have some extra water line and day sailing in 25 knots is still comfortable and fun while the small boats never come out.

Look for tanks! Under 100 gallons is not too much for water and under 50 is not too much for fuel. Hot water tanks usually run 7 to 10 gallons. I never saw a 36 ft boat with too much tankage that wasn't a trawler.

If you budget is tight the large boats quickly get up in price or they need double the price to refit them. A basic solid boat with a lot of refit will eat up a great deal of money and require a lot of work that can be hired or sweated.

I would not let boat brokers get to you. You won't see one again until you sell your boat. They don't own the boat and they won't tell you much about them for fear of telling you something you don't want to hear. They do not subject any boat to a detailed survey if they are nice and helpful then that is about it. You really in the end make you deal with the owner. Refusing to deal with brokers shuts out too many boats. The only question they can and will always answer is "How do we buy this boat"?
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:22   #10
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Form a first boat point of they can seem too big. You could be sure if you saw one on the hard too. That makes look like a semi truck trailer and the dimensions are often close. Away from the dock and in open water they don't seem that big at all.

A lot of people buy 30 / 32 and after a short time regret not going 34 / 36. The larger 32/33 ft boats usually have the head room. Note the beam as well. A well carried extra foot of beam makes a small boat seem quite large inside and adds the volume you want to haul all the stuff and the space for large water and fuel tanks.
Paul,
I think they call that Two foot-itis. "Oh if only we had a boat two feet longer".
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:49   #11
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Paul,
I think they call that Two foot-itis. "Oh if only we had a boat two feet longer".
The other trap is cruiser vs. racer or cruiser/racer.

No one boat does it all well. If you want to go fast and have race boat handling, you need a race boat. If you want to plow hurricanes you are better off in an 11 ton ocean going yacht.

A cruiser/racer is a compromise boat. Some are very good compromises.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:15   #12
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The performance of the Aloha will be better than the Allied but the Allied will handle anything.
Wow, these choices are hard, eh?
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Old 04-08-2008, 14:51   #13
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I don't know about the others but the Aloha 32 is a sweet looking boat. An Ellis design like a small Niagara 35. The Ouyang brothers who built Alohas were not noted for their quality especially towards the end (late eighties).
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Old 04-08-2008, 15:14   #14
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I am biased with Columbias. Having done the Baja Bash, and they call it the Bash for a reason. They are roomy, and solid boats. They might be worth a look for you?
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Old 04-08-2008, 15:52   #15
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Hi Curmudgeon,

Make a choice yet?

I think "This Old Boat" did a story on the Aloha 32. You might be able to find it in their archives.
I like Columbias too but there are a few here that don't and his list of four didn't include them.
Kind regards,
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