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Old 08-07-2012, 21:10   #1
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Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

Hello, I wanted to introduce myself first. Name is Tim, age 53, been sailing off and on since I was 12. Grew up in Chas, SC and live in Mount PLeasant SC. Growing up sailed sunfish and James Island One Designs in lakes on James Island, and the Harbour. In college sailed a Sol Cat 18FT Cat off the coast of Chas and the Harbour. Later bought a 83 Catalina 25 Fin Keel and sailed in the Chas Harbour and off the Coast of Chas. Now, my wife and I have decided to begin looking for a Coastal Cruiser that we can take up and down the East Coast, Bahamas, BVI, etc. Our budget is max of 60K, and plan to buy in two years. So right now I am researching, and just wanted to get some opinions. I've got the Practical Sailor Buying Guides Vol I and II. Even though right now, I don't ever plan on a Atlantic Crossing, do want to get the safest boat that fits my needs. I am really torn, as I love the traditional Alberg, Cape Dory, Pacific Seacraft etc, but I like the room of the newer fin keel designs, for when some of the kids (grown) join us for days sails, which would actually be about 30% the sailing, but I do need to consider this. 70% of my sailing will be right off the coast of SC, trips to Beaufort, and Jax FL, with the occasional trip up the coast to Maine, or down to BVI with my wife. So having said all of that, my budget is again 60K, sizes are 33-39. So I really like the mid 80's Cal 33, and Pearson 33 and 37, this should give you an idea of the "style". If I have left other quality Mfg's out that I should consider that meets my needs, and style, please mention. Following are the boats that I am considering, and would like opinions on quality of construction for general safety. I know all of these would fit my needs, but again, I do want to buy the best quality in the "style" that I like.

99% of the cruises will just be my wife and I. We may take one other couple on the rare occasion. The kids will just be day sails around the Harbour.

Are the Cal's and Pearson's that I am considering that much better than the Catalina/Hunter/O'day/Bene? How does the Morgan and C&C fit into this group?


Mid 80's Cal 33
Mid to late 80's Pearson 33 and 37
1984 Beneteau First 38
Mid 80's C&C 35
Mid 80's Morgan 384
80's Catalina 34-36
80's O'Day 34
80's Hunter 34-36
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Old 08-07-2012, 21:36   #2
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

Let me be the first to welcome you to the Board. I lived in SC for awhile and sailed as much as I could out and around Chastn. Great place and it gets hot there. But you know that. You have a great list of boats and I wanted to comment on one of them, the C&C. I own a C&C 34 and it does everything I want and does it well but I'm on Lake Superior. I feel that where you are one of the things high on your "must" list should be opening ports for max ventilation. Sure, they'll leak on an older boat but otherwise you'll have a sweatbox. Unless your C&C 35 has been converted and/or hatches have been added, suggest you keep on looking. Wish you the best in your quest.
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Old 12-07-2012, 00:11   #3
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

Welcome to posting on CF,

I also have a C&C, a 35III k/c. She is a combo cruiser/ racer, but is now mostly used for cruising as we have hung davits, a furler, and radar on her. I would check out the C&C 35 or 38 80s vintage. Also the Sabres ( 34, 36) and Tartans (34 and 37) from that era. They certainly fit the bill for mainly coastal sailing and a trip to the Carribean.

For trips to the islands keel depth will be a consideration so I would try and stay under 6 ft. ventalation is important as well as build quality. The production boats ( Catalina, Jennea, Benetau,) will give you more volume in their salons/ cockpits as a rule, but that may be at a sacrifice of storage or other important areas. Look for large safe gunnels,,,cabin tops with room

The main thing to remember is that you will be sailing it most of the time with the two of you. Is it set up to man most of the stuff from the cockpit? Is it slow, hard to sail to windward, stable in a seaway? Is the boat underpowered for its weight.

What I did before I bought our C&C 15 years ago ( I was moving up from a 28 Islander), was narrow my search to 3 boats I like the setups on which fit our usage. I went on 80 boats till I had that done. Then I looked for them and when it finally come down to it I had a choice of 2 specific boats which I ,like, firt the money. I then chose the one in the best shape. Everyone will try and sell you on their favorites...only you know whats fits for you and will when you find it.

We are currently in the same situation looking for our last sailboat purchase for retireing and longer term cruising. Over the last year we toured many mnay boats and have it narrowed down to 3 kinds ( 43/44 Mason, 41.1/45.5 Bristol, and 43 Hans Christen Cristina) we are now waiting to find one which meets our sriteria. We actually found one and offered on it this winter and lost out to someone else. Patience will get you want you want.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:18   #4
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tim.
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Old 12-07-2012, 18:04   #5
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

It's probably above your budget, but we have 2 different friends with Catalina 400s. In my opinion, for coastal cruisers, these boats are about as close to perfect as you can get. I just love them. The have it all: Queen size aft stateroom, separate shower, 2 heads, aft cockpit you can hold a dance in, very comfortable salon. They sail very well too.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:03   #6
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We have a Morgan 383 that is our "last" boat, we sail it on Lake Superior and have no trouble with 8-10' waves, 40 knot winds. The hull is great, modified fin, skeg on the rudder. We will take it "out" in a few years, and will start out in your expected cruising grounds, but I'm pretty confident it could go anywhere as long as i maintain it.

We have slept 6 short term, but it is better for 4 and best with 2 long term. Accommodates 6 in the cockpit under way, 4 more comfortably. Great galley, settee, and head. Ours still has the pilot berth and a custom aft curved seat in the cockpit. I see you have the 384 on your list, our 383 came with the larger rudder and the traveller over the coach roof, too. I believe with the 384 you get dorades, not sure what else. With these Morgan's I think you should budget for upgrades as you look, I put another planned 50% after purchase into my boat and well well worth it. Of course, as do most people, I love my boat. My buddy has a more contemporary production boat, with more room below, and more comfortable access to everything, but I don't like it in the wind and the waves (and neither does he), and that's where you sail.
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Old 28-06-2013, 09:34   #7
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

If you look at keel-CB boats it will open up a lot of cruising and gunk hole areas that a six foot keel would not allow. The Inland WW is a lot easier with 4 ft draft. There are a lot of good old CB boats out there. Morgan-Tartan-36C&C etc.
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Old 28-06-2013, 10:22   #8
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Re: Introduction and looking for Coastal Cruiser

Welcome from a fellow South Carolinian. Good luck with the search. We keep our boat in Beaufort but live in Chapin.

BTW Columbia is hotter than the Holy City, but you might have us on humidity. It was 96 here with heat index of 111 yesterday. Wait til it gets hot....

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