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Old 18-08-2008, 19:45   #16
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I have been on Hunters and I have been on full keel "bluewater" boats. They are different. You can feel it in the solidness, the weight, the size, form and function of the rigging, the interior layouts and so much more.
Dan says it even better. With a load of stuff in 40 Plus knots of wind there is a clear difference in boats. The light boats seem to vibrate while the heavy boats seem to run smooth. Wind force changes a lot as you go from 20 knots to 40 knots. Most coastal boats do 25 knots just fine if you are in the know. After that with a cruising load you can feel the difference easily. No one really chooses to sail in 40 knots but on long legs it can happen.

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Old 18-08-2008, 20:08   #17
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Having delivered..

Having delivered & raced on a fair number Hunters, and owned a few Catalina's, I can honestly say that I would not buy one with the description you give.

A few years ago I delivered a Hunter to Nova Scotia from MA and got into a fairly standard fall Norwesterly blow. It blew 25 - 40 and that boat felt like she was coming apart on every wave. Furniture & cabinetry moved and creaked and bulkheads moved and creaked and a few screws popped or ripped from wood. When we finally got to Yarmouth a few of the cabinet doors would not open and the head door was also jammed. There were gaps where there were no gaps. Those who have experienced this phenomenon, on production boats, will know exactly what I'm talking about. This particular boat, a Cherubini designed Hunter, would not have taken much more of this before something failed or broke. The boat had a good designer but a builder who built to a price point..

Hunter's are great for coastal cruising but not for extended off shore use. FWIW my Catalina's did the same thing in 20-25 plus they began creaking and moaning but I still owned three of them for COASTAL CRUISING!

Well built boats with tabbed bulkheads and robust construction feel TOTALLY different in 20-25+ than a production coastal cruiser.

Living in Maine I have had the opportunity to sail many, many well built boat and also lots of "production" boats. The difference is like trying to take a Yugo 4 wheeling and then taking a Hummer 4 wheeling..

Our Canadian built CS-36 makes zero moaning noises in rough weather but she is roughly 17,000+/- pounds and the same size sloop in a Hunter or Catalina weighs in at around 13,500+/- pounds. Both boats are solid glass hulls with fin keels & spade rudders the extra weight comes from robust construction where it counts..

If you asked about sticking around the Carib I'd say fine but the east coast of SA, south of Grenada, can get fairly rough with relatively few choices for "duck & cover"..

Having be caught in more than my fair share of storms I would choose a boat that can handle days on end of 40+, been there done that, and not show much if any fatigue. A production boat from one of the big three IMHO, unless some of the Beneteau First series, is not that boat.

As others have said it can be done but where you have little to no experience you'll be much better off with a more robust boat under you.

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Old 19-08-2008, 07:29   #18
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that was solid reply...thank you! If in your mind, i should stay away from "production boats" what would you recommend. Like i said i do have some what of a budget. but am not apposed to going a little smaller. My wife and i really don't have much stuff as it is. everything that i own already fits in my VW vanagon. ANY non-productions boats would be greatly appreciated.

I found a "list" im gonna share but i dont know how accurate it is:

Boats to Consider for Offshore Cruising

Updated January 2008

Through our Weekend Offshore Cruising Seminars and personal consultation I have helped thousands of sailors locate the best ocean cruising boats for their planned voyages and budget. If you need knowledgeable, experienced (257,000+ ocean miles) and unbiased advise from someone who has no financial interest in the boat you select perhaps I can help. Details on or by contacting John Neal at Mahina Expeditions,, tel 360.378.6131.

Able 32, 42, 48 * USA Superb quality, expensive. Chuck Paine designs.
Alajuela 33 * USA Good value, well built
Alberg 35 * USA Early f /g boats. Well proven, not expensive.Narrow, short waterlines, graceful overhangs.
Alden 38, 43, 44, 46, 48, 54, 58 USA Classy, well built, beautiful & expensive.
Allied 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 39, 42 * USA Good value. Functional, practical.
Amel 36 53 FRA Strong, well designed. Excellent passagemaker, great value. Low maintenance.
Amazon 29, 37, 44 * CAN Steel boats, attractive modern designs.
Amphitrite 43 * FRA Waquiez built, strong & roomy with good storage.Odd deck design, but great boat and good
Annie 28 * USA Every boat built by Morris is a work of art!
Bayfield 29, 30 32, 40 * CAN Good value. A bit “plasticy” interiors but ok.
Bluewater 60 * USA Modern, top quality Chuck Paine design.
Bowman 36 58 * ENG Strong boats. Excellent passagemakers.
Brewer 42 * CAN Improved version of Whitby 42.
Bristol 27 45 * USA Good boats. Later models were better quality.
Bristol Channel Cutter 28 USA Well built, not my personal choice. Good company.
Cabot 36 * CAN Ted Brewer design
Cal 2 30, 34, 36, 39, 40, 2 46, 3 46, 48 * USA Bill Lapworth designs. Many 2-46’s have circumnavigated.
Comfortable, reasonably priced but look very carefully at bulkhead attachment.
Caliber 28, 33, 35, 38, 40 USA Fairly well built. Michael McCreary designs.
The 47 is not an attractive boat.
Cambria 40, 44, 46 * USA Fast, well built, gorgeous and expensive.
Camper Nicholson 31, 32, 35, 38, 39, 40, 43, 47, 56, 58, 70 * ENG Out of business except for shipbuilding.
Watch for serious blister problems on all models.
Cabo Rico 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 45, 47, CRI Crelock and Paine designs. Expensive, semi custom.
Cape Dory all models * USA All models are well designed & built.
Cape George Cutters 31, 36, 38 USA Some owner completed. Strong & fast. Sometimes great value.
Cascade 36, 42 USA 1965-67 design still being built. Narrow. Many owner-finished.
Centurion by Wauquiez (not Beneteau) 36-59 FRA Centurion’s built before Wauquiez sold to Beneteau are solid,
but w/limited tankage. Later Beneteau-built models are not appropriate or impressive
except for dockside living.
Cherubini 44, 48, 62 * USA Semi custom boats. Beautiful, great sailing& expensive
Contessa 26 & 32 * CAN, ENG Tania Aebi & B.J. Caldwell both circumnavigated in 26's.
Contest 31, 35, 36, 38, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 48, 55, 60 HOL More common in Europe.
Well built, new boats are very attractive.
Countess 44 by Pearson * USA Ancient John Alden design.
Corbin 39 * CAN Roomy and strong, but watch for hull blisters.
Crealock 31, PH 32, 34, 37, 40, 44 by Pacific Seacraft * USA Good value and well built. Graceful overhangs,
canoe sterns, short waterlines means these boats may hobbyhorse upwind.
CSY 37, 44 * USA Sturdy, roomy & reasonably priced but old.
Dana 24 by Pacific Seacraft USA An solid and expensive (for the size) slow pocket ocean cruiser.
Deerfoot Yachts * Var Fast & innovative, aluminum & fiberglass hulls.
Dickerson 36, 37, 40, 41, 50 * USA Nicely proportioned & well built boats. Earlier 36’s are very reasonably priced.
Durbeck 46 * USA Big and roomy, long overhangs, short waterline.
Endurance 35, 38, 40 * Var Peter Ibold design, some owner completed. Built by various yards in ENG,
USA & Canada.
Esprit 37 by Nordic * USA Perry design. Comfortable, well proven, good value.
F & C 44 * ARG Modem Frers designed cruising ketch.
Farr Pilot House 50, 56, 60, 63 SWE Sexy, powerful, fast and glamorous.
Excellent quality.First boats were built by Najad.
Fast Passage 39 USA Some built in Canada, some by Tollycraft. WA. Excellent boat.
Fisher 30 46 ENG Sturdy and slow motorsailers. Great for high latitude cruising.
Flicka 20 USA Solidly built Mini ocean cruiser, but slow, slow, slow.
Francis 26 * USA Beautiful design from Morris, an excellent yard.
Fraser 41, 46, 50 * CAN Good modem cruisers.
Freya 39 * USA Good value. Many owner-completed, so quality varies. FAST, full-keel design capable of 200 mpd!
Garcia 46-50+ FRA Gorgeous, fast, semi custom, high quality aluminum.
Gladiateur 33 * FRA Very sturdy, short on tankage, Waquiez built.
Goderich 35, 37,41 * CAN Attractive Brewer steel boats. Short production run.
Gozzard 31, 36, 44 CAN Good design & construction. Totally committed quality company.
Hallberg-Rassy, 31,312,33,35,352,36,38,382,39,41,42,42F,43,45,46,4 9,53, SWE
Well built, comfortable, with good tankage & storage. Newer Frers designs have better
sailing performance than earlier Enderlien boats. Excellent resale value. Excellent
systems integration and detail.
Halmatic 30 * ENG Similar to Nicholson 31. Watch for blisters.
Hinkley 30-64 USA Attractive, highest quality, and expensive. Hold theirvalue well. Modest tankage & storage.
Hood 38 * FRA Waquiez built, Hood design. Strong, fast, & attractive. Short on tankage.
Centerboard rattles downwind. Solid choice.
Hylas 46,49, 54, 54 Raised Saloon TAI Frers & S & S designs. Good sailing qualities, tankage & storage. High
quality on later Jachney-era models.
Island Packet 32, 35, 350, 37,38, 40, 420, 44, 45 USA Roomy & comfortable with good tankage
& storage but some odd features. Continually improving. Good value, exc. company.
J-Boats/32, J/42; J/44, J/46, J/160 USA Fast, light. Excellent sailing performance. Minimal
tankage and storage. Fast downwind, pound heavily upwind. Ck keels!
Jason 35 from Miller Marine * USA Some owner completed. Several have cruised extensively.
Jongert 50, 55, 60, 67, 73 HOL Heavy, expensive, extremely well built steel and aluminum yachts. Not going
to win any races, though!
Justine 36 * USA Gorgeous Paine design, Morris built cruiser.
Kaiulani 34, 38 * USA Lovely steel Brewer & Yohe designs. Very limited production.
Kanter 42, 45, 60, 65 CAN Steel & aluminum boats, semi custom. Highest Quality.
Chuck Paine & Ted Brewer designs.
LM 27, 28, 290, 30, 315, 32, 380 DEN Some have inside steering. Well built and impressive.
Linda 28 * USA Gorgeous design, Morris quality.
Leigh 30 * USA Very well built, attractive Morris.
Little Harbor 42-90 TAI & USA Ted Hood designed, heavy displacement. Semi custom. Expensive and solid as
a rock.
Luders 33, DOVE * USA Older, well built by Allied.
Malo 36, 38, 39, 45 SWE Quality offshore boats with good sailing performance.
Attractive, reasonably priced. Strong company, good service.
Mariah 31 * USA At least one circumnavigation. Pacific Seacraft built.
Mason 33, 43, 44, 53, 54, 63 * TAI Some of the very best Taiwan built boats.
Mercator 30 * USA Inexpensive, obscure. One has circumnavigated
Moody 38, 42 , 47, 54, 64 * ENG Good designs but some quality-control issues.
Morgan 382, 383 * USA Excellent Ted Brewer design for around $60K.
Morris 26, 28, 30, 32, 34,36, 42, 44, 45, 454, 46, 48.6, 52 USA Chuck Paine design.
Superb quality, highest quality US yard building cruising boats. Expensive. Semi-custom.
Mystic 57, 60 * ENG Dubois design, Bowman built, beautiful.
Najad 330, 361, 370, 390, 420, 490, 520 SWE Quality, attractive boats. Excellent sailing
performance. Good tankage, storage and high level of craftsmanship.
Nauti Cat Motorsailers 35,40,43, 53, FIN Later S & S designed models are much better
performers than earlier tubby models.
Niagara 31, 35, 42 * CAN Well built & roomy. Superb value.
Nordic 34,40,44,45 * USA Attractive boats, some solvable problems with mast step deflection on the 40 & 45.
Norseman 400,447 * TAI Strong, fast, and attractive. Have held their value well.
North Wind 43,50, 58 SPA S&S designs, quality construction, good company.
Ocean 60, 71 * ENG Powerful boats, many have had blister problems
Ocean Cruising 42 * USA Only a few built by Hank Hinkley. Classy.
Orion 27 * USA Offshore capable. Pacific Seacraft built.
Oyster 42, 45, 485,49,53, 55, 56 61, 62, 63, 66, 70, 82, 100 ENG NZL Some have
inside steering. Attractive, expensive and first class! Weak resale value and larger
models make this an excellent, though expensive choice.
Pacific Seacraft 34, 37, 40, 44 * USA Well built boats, good resale. Graceful overhangs.
Pearson 35, 365, 422, 424, 520 * USA Fairly well built, not flashy but reasonably priced.
Passport 41, 415, 435, 44, 456, 470, 50 TAI Modem Perry cruising design. Good
Pretorien 35 * FRA Strong, fast & attractive. Built by Waquiez. Best value for a boat under $85,000.
Modest tankage.
Rhodes Bounty II * USA Ancient Pearson fiberglass design, classic but very old, so will need tons of upgrading.
Is it worth it?
Regina of Vindo, 38, 43, 49 SWE Attractive, well built, quality deck saloon. In a class of
their own for quality and design.
Rival 36 41 * ENG Strong, good-looking and sailing boats.
Rustler 36, 42 ENG Totally impressive, quality boat and company.
Sabre 34, 362,38, 402, 42, 402, 425, 452, USA Built in Maine, great quality, but limited
tankage and storage.
Sadler 34 * ENG Unsinkable, fast, great performance. Good choice.
Saga 35, 43, 48 * CAN Modern Perry design. Fast innovate and narrow. The 43 is a
very tried and proven design.
Santa Cruz 52 USA Strong, fast and fun!
Saturna 33 * CAN Attractive, Bill Garden designed pilothouse cutter.
Scanmar 35 * SWE Limited production but good design.
Sceptre 41, 43 CAN Modem pilothouse with good performance.
Seawind 30, Seawind II 32’ * USA Excellent boats. Good value. First. Built by Allied Yachts
Seguin 44, 51 USA S & S design. Excellent boats. Semi Custom.
Shannon 32, 36, 39, 43,43 II, 47, 53. USA Good reliable boats. Hold their value well.
Skye 51 * TAI Similar in appearance to Swans. Deck problems.
Southern Cross 28, 31, 35, 39 * USA Good boats. Attractive designs. Fairly well built.
Spencer 35, 42, 44, 54 * CAN Older, solid boats, built in Vancouver, B.C.
Stellar 52 TAI Total quality S&S design, well built, great detail work.
Sundeer 56, 64 * USA Excellent & expensive. Innovative design & incredible performance. Good systems layout.
Built by TPI.
Swan FIN Newest designs aren’t well suited for ocean cruising.
Shearwater 39, 45 RSA Strong, traditional and attractive.
Sweden Yachts SWE Expensive & well built. Racer cruiser designs, short on tankage
and storage.
Tartan 3500, 37, 3700, 41, 4100, 4600, * USA Well proven several 37’s have
circumnavigated. Some designs have centerboards.
Taswell 43, 49, 56, 58, 60, 72 TAI Quality, attractive, good sailing performance.
Excellent tankage, storage and design.
Tashiba 31, 36, 40 * TAI Perry designs. From the best yard in Taiwan.
Topper Hermanson 40+ * USA Semi custom steel or aluminum Van de Stadt designs.
Trintella HOL Roomy and well built. Newer designs are aluminum and exp.
Triton 29 by Pearson * USA Good value, sturdy. Earliest F/g production boat.
Valiant 32, 37, 39, 40, 42, 47, 50 USA Major blister problems on Valiant 40 hull numbers
116 250. No problems with any of the excellent Texas built boats. Proven designs, strong
Vancouver 27 * CAN Also built in Taiwan & England.
Vangard 32 * USA Good value. Phil Rhodes design, built by Pearson
Vega 27, by Albin Marine * SWE At least six have circumnavigated. Inexpensive, fast.
Victoria 30, 34 ENG Chuck Paine design, Morris built.
Vindo 29, 34, 38, 39 SWE Attractive, well built, but high maintenance.
Vineyard Vixen 30, 34 * USA Attractive design.
Westerly 26 36 ENG Not flashy, but fairly well built boats.
Westsail 28, 32, 39, 42, 43 * USA Sturdy boats. 39’s are rare & attractive. Perry design.
Whitby 42, 44 CAN Brewer designs that sell for $85 120k. Good value. Roomy and fairly well built.
Windship USA Expensive custom boats.
Yankee 26, 30 * USA S & S designed. Inexpensive and capable. Great value.

Atlantic 42, 55 RSA Chris White design, quality construction.
Catana 401, 431, 471, 521 FRA Good design, but customer service lacks on delivery
Dean 441 RSA Modern, solid, and fast.
Foutntaine Pajot 38, 43, 44,46, 56, 60, 75 FRA Attractive designs, good quality.
Kronos 45 FRA Wauquiez-Beneteau built.
Lagoon 38, 41, 47, 57, 67 FRA Benetau built, good charter boat, O.K cruising boat.
Leopard 38,42,47, 62 RSA Good design, Possibly best built production cat.
Manta 42 USA Well designed and built. Great cruising boat.
Outremer 40-64 FRA Fast and strong.
PDQ 32, 36, 42 CAN Long successful production run.
Prout 38, 45 * ENG Reasonably priced, well proven, long production run.
Seawind 33 AUS Quality boat.
Soubise 46 FRA Excellent, super fast and high quality, semi-custom.
Voyage 380, 440, 500, 580 RSA Lightweight, good value

Out of business
ARG Argentina
AUS Australia
CAN Canada
CRI Costa Rica
DEN Denmark
ENG England
FIN Finland
FRA France
GER Germany
HOL Holland
NZL New Zealand
RSA South Africa
SCT Scotland
SWE Sweden
SPA Spain
TAI Taiwan
Var Various
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Old 19-08-2008, 08:38   #19
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While the list may not be all inclusive it includes a lot of good boats. If you were to look at many of these up close you could start to get the idea of the better qualities that you want.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
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Old 19-08-2008, 11:12   #20
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The list by John Neal is helpful in some ways, and not helpful in others. He lists a lot of boats that can be described as bluewater capable, but the list is so long, it can boggle your mind when you try to figure out how to prioritize what you want to investigate. And, just like any advice you get here on Cruisers Forum, Neal's list is based on opinion, personal preferences and finite experience. Ultimately, you'll have to have learned enough to comfortably make up your own mind.
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Old 19-08-2008, 11:34   #21
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Great advice thank you
So on that note.....have any of you come across, or USED a capable blue water cruiser, with a minimal budget, of lets say 25k? Would love to hear from people who have done it with that kind of budget.
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Old 19-08-2008, 12:05   #22
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The budget issue gets pretty complicated. There is what you pay for the boat, what it takes to fix it, and then what it takes to outfit it properly.

If you took the list above there might be a half dozen of them that might fit the requirement but they would all probably be 1970's boats. The condition at that point becomes more important than the brand. You might just assume all new standing and running rigging and sails just as an introduction. At that price point you can't hope to get a specific boat but more like one of several that were a special situation you happened to fall into with a small bit of luck.

Some of the old Allied's might be had. Forget anything in the list longer than 32 ft since at that price you can't afford the repairs. You'll need to go pretty lean. No refrigeration or complicated electrical / electronics. Even an EPIRB and a GPS are going to add $1,000.

With a budget of $50K you might actually get something you could haul enough stuff in. Below 30 ft it gets to be hard to fit all your crap into the boat without riding dangerously low in the water if you are living aboard. It's not unlike living in a small pickup truck.
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:05   #23
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Let me clarify....I am okay fitting the boat out after....I just want something that is at least Functional at 25k. By this I mean can be in the water and possibly moved aboard and then upgraded as I go...piece by piece. thanks
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:30   #24
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Originally Posted by Acoustic View Post
Our Canadian built CS-36 makes zero moaning noises in rough weather but she is roughly 17,000+/- pounds and the same size sloop in a Hunter or Catalina weighs in at around 13,500+/- pounds. Both boats are solid glass hulls with fin keels & spade rudders the extra weight comes from robust construction where it counts..
From what little I know (confirmed by a serial N. Atlantic crosser) the CS 36T may well be the type of boat you might want to start your search with. I did the research and wound up there. However, I bought a Catalina 34 due to the ammenities.

It's a nice boat. I wouldn't want to go across the Atlantic with it but then, I won't.

Good Luck!!
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Old 25-08-2008, 09:01   #25
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Had to expand here......I was actually looking at a 34 1987 Hunter. I will do most cruising in the Chesapeake Bay, but would this boat be suitable for crusing to Florida, to Bahamas, Turks, then to Virgins?

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Old 25-08-2008, 17:11   #26
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Originally Posted by corkscrew View Post
Had to expand here......I was actually looking at a 34 1987 Hunter. I will do most cruising in the Chesapeake Bay, but would this boat be suitable for crusing to Florida, to Bahamas, Turks, then to Virgins?

That was still the Cherebuni design. I'd do that passage in good weather anyday.

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