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Old 23-06-2009, 22:10   #1
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Hard to Find the Right Boat

I am looking for my future boat and I have a lot of questions... Of course I would love to buy a Spirit yacht or a Friendship 40 but those are out of my budget for now.

So my real options are from a J-24 to something like a First 10R.

What do I want/expect from the boat:

1.- Day sailer
2.- Option to stay on board a few nights if necessary
2.- Easy to sail single-handed
3.- Safe enough for the south Atlantic
4.- Good lines (I found few boats really beautiful)

I learned to sail in a lightning but I think is time to go for something bigger. I love the J-24 but I'm concerned about its safety (capsize and velocity of flood)
The Beneteau 34 (or 10R in the US) is much bigger and expensive but seems to be perfect if it is possible to single handle it. And will allow me to participate in the South Atlantic Rolex Cup, a 180 mile race from Buenos Aires to Punta del Este.

Other boats I took a look at were the Najad with center cockpit.. love them to. but in that range I have to look used boats and that is another story.
And other brands with similar characteristics to the above (built in Argentina and designed by Soto Aceval Sailboats

Any thoughts?
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Old 23-06-2009, 23:43   #2
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I race J24s and would not recomend it as a day sailer. The primary problem is that there is really nowhere comfortable to sit for long periods. The cockpit side decks have no backrest (see my avatar). We have done a couple of 6-8 hour deliveries and you are whipped after that. The cabin on most J24s will be spartan at best. Aux power is an outboard.

For ocean racing I would also not recommend the J24. It is a can racer. We have a couple of regattas with passage racing and I can imagine being completely beat up on a long passage like 180 miles.

Have you looked at older Bristols or Albergs?

Before you start hooked into racing remember that all it takes to win is more money than the other guy.

As for what to buy it might be interesting to know your budget. It also would be nicer to understand better your desire for offshore racing vs. cruising as these desires can be at odds with each other.
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Old 24-06-2009, 00:32   #3
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I always loved the J-24... there are a bunch over here and some people have it as a fun day sailer but don't go offshore.
As for the budget it depends. is not only the down payment what I am concern but maintenance of the boat, insurance, etc... the J-24 sleeps on land and will give me fun but I will loose the stay on board side (and I still wondering if a J-24 is safe enough). I am a young lawyer and I can spend more or less money in an almost new boat (50-100k), but as much money I put on a boat I will have to make sacrifices on other things. I also have a house in the beach that I am considering selling if I go for a boat comfortable enough to sleep in. (I have 20 days of vacation per year, so it wont be that bad to stay my vacations on board in Punta del Este)
As I am young I'm always looking at speed but everyday I am more and more convinced that comfort and safety must be first in a boat. I am not considering in race my own boat. Only participate in one competition if I can't make it with the team of my yacht club. I race with boats of the club but for that particular competition (for its prestige, spots get more solicitated.
My plan is to sail on sundays and with good conditions. only in summer I wish to have a boat that allows me to go from Montevideo to Punta del Este (about 60 miles) for less than a month. Stay on board is not my primary goal as I have places to stay... that is what I was considering the J-24 or something between 25 and 30 as day sailers only, or going for something bigger to stay on board that period of time (which will increase the annual costs of having a boat).

thank you for your comments and I will look for your suggested boats.

Jorge
PS. sorry for the grammar, I tried to be as clear as possible but english is not my first language.
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Old 24-06-2009, 00:53   #4
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Thanks for hitting the thanks button!

I also love the J24 for bay racing. It is technical enough and fast enough to get a rush without being too wet. It has survived a long time as a one design for its utilitarian design.

As for safety that is not really a big concern for me. However, the J24 can be overpowered quickly and there have been boats lost in round up events usually when gybing under spin in racing conditions with the hatch open. We have sailed through pretty good asian thunderstorms with 30-40kt gusts and will usually drop the genny and sail under main only at those times. It is difficult to shorten sail no the J24 especially single handed. We never have had cause to hang the jib as the conditions here aren't strong enough for long enough to warrant the sail change. I have never been "scared" by anything we've done with the J24.

Our club does twilight racing and my boat (maxi 77) is a heavy (for its length) swedish boat. We win on handicap in teh right breezy conditions and have a great time with it. We get killed by the J24s the Beneteaus and the other racing boats. We kill the hunters - Yay! - although we usually end up finishing a race in 2 hours that the front runners do in 1 1/2 or less. That's not always fun. In light airs it can be frustrating.

We do weekend trips and a lot of day cruising and for that our boat is great.

If I were looking for an occasional racer that I could single hand that would predominantly be used for weekends, club races and vacation I would be looking at around 30 foot, furling genny, well laid out, comfortable with a little zing.

Older Benneteau Firsts and Jeneau would be my personal focus.
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Old 24-06-2009, 08:29   #5
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Not a racer, maybe look into the Tartans, they are more racer/cruisers. I have a benneteau 34 on my pier, the owner singlehands a lot, beautiful boat.
Good luck on your boat search,
Erika
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Old 24-06-2009, 11:29   #6
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Our boat, a Westerly Fulmar, would be perfect for your requirements. It has a fractional rig, fin keel, 32' and lots of room for staying aboard. It also can move out it's own way quite nicely. I am not suggesting you might find a Fulmar down there, but that there are lots of options beyond the larger name production boats. There is a 30 cruiser for sale right next to us, that could also fit the bill: 1984 Elite Yachts Feelings 920 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Our boat is the one behind the sale boat in the first photo.

Too far for you, but just showing that there are options. A fractional Rig is a good tip that it may be a boat that fits your needs. I am not saying that you must have a fractional rig, but just that most fractional rigged boats were designed to be more performance oriented.

Chris
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