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Old 09-06-2009, 09:10   #1
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Location: Virginia Beach
Boat: Albemarle, 27 - Largodelight
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Help! Need an Economical Cruiser

I have been a boat owner for decades but for some reason I am stuck finding the prefect affordable cruising boat. I can work on and repair most boat systems and I have access to good yards but I don't want to get into a risky boat or a money pit. I have looked at so many boats and all the good vs. bad qualities have me trapped into not making a decision. My first choice is an Island Packet 38, early 90's model but the economy has killed my funds so I am forced to a smaller more economic decision, almost a pocket cruiser.

I want to retrace my last cruise to the Bahamas via the ICW from VA to FL then across the Gulf Stream to the islands but take my family this time. We will be cruising for two to three months a year from Dec to Feb and back to VA with three onboard. I need ideas from those who may have some insight on lesser known production boats that may be older but of high standard with a low price due to low production numbers. I was onto a Bayfield 36 but missed out when someone made an offer ahead of me but she looked to be as good a boat as an older IP 35.

Please offer suggestions on some production boats you may have insight on!

Price? I am open here but well under $100K is the ticket. I would be ever so happy to be under $50 and go for small. The boat must have some what of a market place to be resold in the future. I would rather have a smaller safer boat than go for interior volume.

I have a list of items in mind of what should already be installed on it but a stable platform with cruising gear is a must. I don't intend to make any open ocean passages longer than 3 days.

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Old 09-06-2009, 11:22   #2
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Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
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Largo delight,
Tartan 37 (It can sleep one couple and a single), Morgan 34 (very spacious for its size), If you are considering cats a Gemini 30-33 (?), I stayed on one but don't remember the exact length. The Gemini had three separate staterooms and sailed pretty good. There are a lot of boats that fit your criteria, good luck!
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:46   #3
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::rueful chuckle:: Unfortunately, boating in general doesn't fall into 'economical'. The best financial sense for the cruise you hint at would, in fact, be to fly to the Bahamas and charter a boat for a couple of months and then fly home. You would end up with the least cost in transit, least risk, and the maximum stay in paradise, with the least investment.

That said, if you're looking at purchasing you have the choice of going tight focused on newer reasonably equipped and ready to sail away, or older and well-respected hopefully well equipped and can be made ready to sail away. Keep in mind the goal of this is to purchase and fit-out the boat for the cruise, sail away and back, then sell the boat as soon as you're back to avoid the ongoing storage and maintenance cost as the criteria for 'economical'.

For example on Yachtworld, in the latter category there's a Cape Dory 36 in Lancaster that appears ready to go today, if you and your family can live with the layout. In the former, a 35' Jeaunneau Sun Odyssey in Annapolis
, though the description may suggest it needs some jewelry. Both of these boats should be comfortable for a family for several months aboard, and each should be reasonably quick resales on your return. The CD has a reputation for durability/reliability/robustness, while the 2003 Jeunneau should be young enough to avoid any of the more worrisome expenses during a cruise such as you outline.

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