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Old 16-05-2007, 08:59   #1
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Help me figure out what boat to buy...

I am looking for a good daysailer type boat for my family to use here on Lake Lanier for the next few years before we buy the "Big Boat" and go on our planned extended family voyage.

We want to gain sailing experience, have fun, be able to overnight it on the boat and not spend a ton of money. We do not need A/C, refrigeration or much else in "amenities". We live 5 minutes away from the marina where the boat would have a slip so we would use it a great deal but it is easier to just run home to sleep.

I want something in the 28' to 35' size range. Preferably with a small cabin. It needs to perform well in very light wind, be easy to handle and it does not need to be capable of weathering any sort of heavy seas as it will be a lake boat.

I am big time partial to good looking boats! The new Morris 36 daysailer is gorgeous.... exactly what I would love to have... but, errrrrr several hundred $K out of my price range! I have also looked at some old wooden racing boats... R class 1920s and such that are drop dead gorgeous to look at and would be tons of fun but I want to SAIL, not repair constantly so a wood boat is probably out. The Alerion 28 or larger is also very nice but also out of my price range.

So, any suggestions on specific boats that may fit? Older, cheaper (prefer under $30K), in need of some fixing up is ok (I have the proverbial awesome set of tools) classic good looks.... ie: looks like a classic wooden day sailer but is fiberglass and a more modern underbody?

Thanks for the help!


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Old 16-05-2007, 10:03   #2
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Well, it is not a classic look or classic design, but you can spend your time sailing versus screwing around working on it:

Buy a catalina 250. Nice sailing little boat for what it is. Has a head seperate from the cabin. You can sleep aboard. Little galley, etc. Not a bad boat for a beginner and family outtings.

You can get a pretty new one for under 30k. The idea that you get an old sailboat that works well and just requires "some" work is a dream that will become a nightmare. Won't happen. You will be sitting there working on a leaky shoebox that can't hardly leave the slip and costs you more than you paid for it... while the kids just got really bored with sitting on the docks all the time and the wife realizes that boats are nothing but holes in the water. If you can talk the family into doing any real cruising after that experience then George Bush will hire you to explain to the United Nations why Iraq was not a mistake.

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Old 16-05-2007, 10:49   #3
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There's tons of boats in that size range you could look at. For fun performance sailing you could look at a J-28 or J-30. For a lot of practical room for the money a Catalina 30.

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Old 16-05-2007, 10:54   #4
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The right boat is pretty subjective. CD leans heavily toward the Catalina because he likes them and has had good experience with them. Others will like different boats and hate the Catalina. You need to get out on the docks and look for boats in your price range and kick a few tires. Each can be great or terribly neglected to the point that you don't want to buy them at any price. A good survey will determine that. Whenever possible try to hitch a ride with another boat owner to get the feel for the boat, how it handles and if the accommodations suit you. Perhaps do a few day charters on vessels that are similar to what you are looking at and for.
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Old 16-05-2007, 11:12   #5
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My plans have recently changed...I have a 1979 30' Islander Bahama that I am about to put up for sale ON LAKE LANIER.....PM me or email me for the would be an ideal boat for you and I'll even teach you how to sail it....
The boat is at Aqualand...
To incident I am prone...
Cast me out and watch me skip along.....
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Old 16-05-2007, 11:26   #6
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Islanders are good quality production boats. I'd certainly look at Rangiroo's.
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Old 16-05-2007, 11:30   #7
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You've got a big problem. As far as I know any boat that big AND needs to be good looking will be old and in need of lots of stuff, or old and out of your price range. Why so big? You found about the only NEW good looking boat being made today. How expensive was it?? If you end up going smaller there are lots of good looking Cape Dorys, Albergs, PS Dana, etc. They are smaller than you mentioned, by a lot in some cases. You'll most likely find that there just aren't many good looking boats being made today less than 40', and NONE less than $100k.

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Old 16-05-2007, 15:23   #8
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I second the islander 30 Bahama. A friend of mine took one around Vancouver Island. Doesn't have the classic looks but has pretty comfortable cabin and head down below. Sail pretty well and manageable with a family or single handed. You can get them for less than $30k pretty easy too.
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Old 16-05-2007, 16:09   #9
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Years ago I bought a Catalina 25, sailed her for a couple of years and sold her in two weeks for exactly what I paid for her. She was a great boat, that sailed well, often being the only thing moving in light winds with her huge drifter. On the doownside the headroom was bad and I learned to positively hate Johnson outboards. I have to agree with Chuck, a good thing about the Catalina was simply being in the marina and crewing on the other boats.

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Old 16-05-2007, 17:14   #10
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I will check out the Islander, will be getting in touch with Rangiroo.

Perhaps there is a market for a cheap, simple, classic styled daysailer? Hmmmmmm start a boat biz anyone ?

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Old 16-05-2007, 21:20   #11
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Schock is making the Harbour 25 - but it's about 80K... If there are any Hughes 31's in your area - they are pretty good boats, in your price range... C&C 27 or 30 is also a good bet. The older ones (Mk 1) are in your price range. CS 27 also. Aloha 28 is a great boat - classic looks, well-built and much faster than it looks... lots of options. Abbott 27 is another one...
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Old 16-05-2007, 21:57   #12
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Bang for the buck, I think an older Catalina 27 could be had for under $7,000 , sailed for 3years and returned to the market at the same price...Good luck
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Old 16-05-2007, 22:15   #13
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A lot of boats out there. Check out some of the boat for sale sites. Not buying new, you will have to make the judgement on how good it will last for the 3 years that you will needing it. Also if you want to keep it docked, dry stored, trailer or at your house will determin what type of boat. What I recommend is that you take some local sailing courses and be around the docks and area. Talk to the local people and see what they say. You could get by with a 25 footer with an outboard.

You might find a great deal with somebody who needs to sale theirs.
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Old 16-05-2007, 23:04   #14
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"We want to gain sailing experience, have fun, be able to overnight it on the boat and not spend a ton of money. "

We had the same goal when we started looking. We also required a head for the ladies and strongly desired inboard power and lighting.

We ended up with a great boat for us. A little larger would have been nice as sleeping more than 4 is going to be cramped.

However we just did our first ovenight trip and it worked out fine.

The smartest things we did was to do a partnership and buy a much cheaper boat than we could afford.

The partnership is nice to defray the fixed costs and repair costs and reality is we get along great and neither of us will use the boat "every" weekend so sharing makes sense. Most likley we will be on the boat together most weekends. Partnerships are not for everyone, of course.

Buying a smaller and cheaper boat was the best thing. Of course we look at the 34-36 footers and sigh... But after the purchase we dropped about $1,500 on a few items and personalizing. Didn't even blink as it was already in the kitty.

The best part is after 4 weeks of ownership we have been offered 50% more than we paid for it ;-)

I think you are smart to be looking in the 30ft range and I would recommend going smaller and more "ready" to sail than a fixer upper. It would be a real downer for the family to wait "weeks" for the "new" boat to be ready.

We were on the water the first 2 weekends before we hauled to have seacocks replaced, toilet repaired and a stay fitting replaced and were glad she was in "sail away" configuration.

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