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Old 08-10-2015, 10:45   #1
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Help me find the right boat...

OK, so I know there are hundreds of threads for "which boat should I buy to sail around the world"...and yes, I have read many of them.

The wife and I have 7 years until we plan to retire and set sail. At that time we will be in our 40s with enough saved to sail for 10-15 years. We plan to spend a lot of time in the Caribbean and South Pacific, but want a boat that will take us anywhere we want to go.

I know everyone has their opinion and "perfect boat" is a relative term. We live outside Seattle and I have found the local sailing community very happy to take us out and show off their boats when I contact them. So, what I am looking for are recommendations for boats we should "test" sail (sail on) to narrow down what is right for us.

We have done some trips and decided for when we purchase (5 years out):
1. 35-42 feet. For us, smaller is too cramped and we are neither comfortable single-handing larger.
2. Sloop/Cutter Rigged.
3. Draft < 6ft.
4. Protected rudder (full keel or skeg hung)
5. Fiberglass
6. No teak decks
7. Budget of $100K. This will need to include boat purchase and retrofit.

Additionally, my wife really wants an aft cabin but I have not been happy with the motion I've felt on center cockpits in this size range. Compromise advice would be appreciated.

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Old 08-10-2015, 15:19   #2
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

I think with your budget and plans, you can get there from here. But add in some more detail on preferences in boats. Heavier displacement? Keel bolts ok? I have a friend with a Freya 39 that is a real stout world cruiser with fairly good performance too. I have always liked Valiant 40s, but maybe a Peterson 44 center cockpit would be the one to check around for. Aft cabins are sure nice when you are underway. has a bunch of proven designs and check the list of "boats to vote for" too. Pearson 365 or 367 are nice boats. One I really like but may not suit you is a Pearson Rhodes 41. There were a couple for sale in your neighborhood this past summer. You will probably be able to find your boat locally I bet.

1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:35   #3
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

Congrats on your cruising plan ! As far as a boat like the one you describe check out this
BLUE FIN - Westsail 42
The 42 Westsail is a center cockpit . Westsail also made a 43 with a aft cockpit . The 42/43 came mostly cutter rigged , some were ketch and at least one was schooner .
You might enjoy this blog , especially the part about the refit .
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:51   #4
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

Pacific Seacraft 37. They keep their value better than most so you may pay a bit more up front but you will get most of it back.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:47   #5
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

For an aft cabin/center cockpit boat that doesn't look like a skyscraper, you might see if there are any Moody 40's around. Generally well-built and ocean-capable. Decent joinery and a nice setup below for both passages and partying.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:52   #6
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

Are buying now or in 7 years?? Can you sail?? Have you chartered? What experience do you have??
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
underway in the Black Sea
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:40   #7
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

Hey all, thanks for the replies. As I check out your suggestions, I will post what I liked/didn't like and hopefully you can help me refine my search

To answer questions: I have minimal sailing experience but plan to get as much as possible over the next seven years. I have not chartered but have gone out on numerous daysails and a few weekenders with sailors from local yacht club. (FYI: For those looking to experience numerous boats, posting at a yacht club can get you a TON of opportunities.) I will buy when I find the right boat at the right price. I figure it will take me 2-3 seasons of sailing with others to decide what I "think" I want, and then up to another couple years to find the right boat. I'm going to be taking formal sailing courses starting next summer. The wife and I have also discussed hiring a skipper to travel with us for an Alaska trip, or traveling south along the west coast. This will depend on our comfort level, but I thinks spending a month aboard our boat with someone who can teach would be worth the cost.
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Old 11-10-2015, 17:25   #8
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

I would add a Oyster Mariner to your short list....aft cabin for the love of your life....happy wife, happy life!

Brown Eyes Oyster Mariner 35 For Sale - 1982 - Ipswich, Suffolk #119383 at
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Old 11-10-2015, 22:27   #9
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

A second on both the pacific seacraft and the mariner. Have friends with the first, and another had a mariner.

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Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:14   #10
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Re: Help me find the right boat...

I suggest you and your wife join the Corinthian Yacht Club at Shilshole. This is the center of sailing in the Northwest. Put a notice on the bulletin board and in their newsletter "Crew available." (It is not necessary, or perhaps even desirable, for both of you to crew on the same boat.) This club has a Laser fleet. Buying a pair of inexpensive old Lasers, $6-800 ea., and sailing them in their weeknight races while you crew for experienced sailors on the weekend will teach you a lot very quickly. You should also read everything you can about the sport. I think your idea of a couple of Coast Guard courses is a good one.

I would encourage you to buy your own smaller, simple boat rather than waiting some years to buy THE boat. She need not be grand. Something like a Pearson 26, Catalina 27, or Islander 28 is fine for sailing on Puget sound. Weekend overnighters, day sails, and short cruises on your own vessel under your own command will build your skills. With experience and exposure you will eventually both know what you want for long distance cruising.

Forget the aft cabin.


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