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Old 10-05-2010, 08:00   #16
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I was at one of our local marina's yesterday, and while it was closed, there were a few ads up for boats for sale on the board. There was a Catalina 27 in what appeared to be good condition (still sitting in the water at the marina) for just $3,900. Not sure of the year, and from what I've read, not intrinsically a good open ocean boat, but hopefully that's some sort of indication of the type of things out there.

It seems that now would be a good time to buy a boat, with many people not having the extra money to take care of things like that right now. I might be able to find some monster deals.

I'll be keeping a close eye on what's available and see if I can find something great.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:43   #17
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Well, thy say the trip from Tonga to NZ can be difficult. I've never done it, but my brother-in-law has (in his 75 footer) and they encountered 25-30 ft. seas and had to tow a drogue for several days.

I would not want to make that trip in a marginal boat.
I have, and in this light I made my specific comment. Please read my earlier post in the same thread to see the whole of the context.

I would be the last to suggest a marginal boat for the trip, and the last to equal size with safety. But all other things equal (meaning - both boats ocean ready and seaworthy) then sure thing bigger IS safer.

Now how big is actually hard to say, since the big boat, much is it better protects the crew, is also much heavier to manage - bigger sails, bigger winches, harder work. Too small is also no good - a too small boat is more vulnerable to even moderate breaking seas, and when the seas are not dangerous then still there is much less comfort (too much movement) in a small shooter.

From my personal experience, a well designed 26-28 footer is already 'good enough' to go. But budget permitting I would always recommend equally well designed boat of 32-34 ft for a single-hander or a couple - as the happy minimum for any extended off-shore work.

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:02   #18
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Agree with Barnie...
32-34 footer is a great size for singlehanding (I own a 33 footer and mostly single hand).
This size is big enough to be comfortable and carry a good amount of gear and provisions, yet small enough to handle alone when conditions get a bit nasty. My boat when loaded out for cruising displaces about 15,000. Heavy enough to keep moving through waves and chop, light enough to sail in light air.
I have been on 30 footers that I would not hesitate to sail across the Pacific and I have been on 60 footers that I would be afraid to sail across the bay!
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:15   #19
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Although this is nice.

De Villiers Design - LISO 39' Cruising Cutter
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Old 13-06-2010, 15:03   #20
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With $20k you could find yourself an older Cal 34, Ranger 33, Cape Dory 30, Bristol 30, Islander 30, Albin Ballad 29, Scampi 30, Tartan 30, Albin Vega 27. (lots of other choices).
Non of these are full-keel so they sail well. All of these (in the right condition) I would trust to cross oceans.
I've seen a couple of Rangers for sale but have not been aboard because in my internet searches I've yet to find them recommended for distant voyaging. Am I missing something?
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Old 14-06-2010, 07:38   #21
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I know of a Ranger 33 that has sailed from California to Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti etc.
I know of a 26 foot Pearson Ariel that did the same passages.
Of course there are some boats that are simply not going to cut it (Clipper Marine, Buccaneer, Venture, etc). But most boats that are designed for Ocean sailing will do just fine. It is more a matter of the overall condition of the boat, the gear onboard, and the ability and experience of the skipper.
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Old 14-06-2010, 07:39   #22
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PS; You might also look at the older Ericson 30's. Nice boats and can be found in your price range. Good luck.
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Old 14-06-2010, 09:14   #23
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The earlier post on the Cal-40 hit a nerve. I spent several years on one and it was a great boat for single handling. The boat moves well under a reduced sail plan, ie, the same square feet of sail actually produced more speed than many smaller, full keel heavier disp boats. With some luck you might find one that the previous owner raced and put little time in with the smaller sails. I did fine with an old main with three reef points, 110% Genoa and storm jib. I'm not saying this was ideal but the idea was to go. If I had listened to all the dockside cruisers I'd still be 'outfitting' it today.

Good luck..
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Old 14-06-2010, 09:17   #24
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For mid latitude sailing, such as a hop to the carib from USA or even from Euro and onward in the trade, you can get by with a number of boats. The reason you don't see catalinas etc on some recommended boat lists I think has more to do with heavier weather areas. I would not, for example want to take a Catalina 30 offshore solo from SF to PNW non-stop. People have sailed to Hawaii on everything. Whether they sailed them back is another story btw.

20k doesn't sound like much if we are also talking outfitting it
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Old 14-06-2010, 10:47   #25
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get a crew position on that or similar run then decide if you want to do it again and in what type of boat
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Old 14-06-2010, 11:16   #26
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Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not buying this week by any means so I'll see what else folks have to say here and elsewhere. Still, I've yet to find a solid endorsement of the Ranger 33 as a good choice for passage making. "Great coastal boat with a few crossing oceans". Somehow, as a first live-aboard that I'll take a whole lot further than Mexico I think I should pass on this boat unless it's being offered as a veteran of distant waters.
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Old 14-06-2010, 17:12   #27
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Pearson Vanguard. Simple, stout and in your price range. However, you best plan for 50% of purchase price to bring any boat up to snuff. Older boats might not be as fast as Jeff's new ones, but they are built like a brick SH. Ken
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Old 14-06-2010, 17:45   #28
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Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post
With $20k you could find yourself an older Cal 34, Ranger 33, Cape Dory 30, Bristol 30, Islander 30, Albin Ballad 29, Scampi 30, Tartan 30, Albin Vega 27. (lots of other choices).
Non of these are full-keel so they sail well. All of these (in the right condition) I would trust to cross oceans.
With $20K I could do a lot with the Albin Vega I got for nothing and STILL have enough to provision to NZ and pay my way through the Canal. Money shouldn;t be the gauge for something. The level of work you're willing to do should be. But since it isn't 19th Century anymore, many of us have forgotten this...
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Old 14-06-2010, 19:27   #29
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Have a good look at the Islander 36 yachts. Well built, easy to single hand, good resale.
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Old 14-06-2010, 19:50   #30
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Hi all,

Been browsing the forum for a while, finally broke down and registered today

In the next few months I'd love to get my hands on a boat that's good for single-handing off shore sails.

I know I'll need something with a full keel, but other than that, I'm not sure what I should be looking for. A heavy boat, something light? 30' or bigger/smaller?

Thanks for any ideas you can shed (or books you can recommend on the subject).
Welcome to the board. Now read read read. ANd get off of the BB's and read books. When you find a boat you like go to the owners group (either another BB devoted to that brand or model or a listserve). Eiother way, before you wear people out with questions, read some of the archives.

Places to start: There is a list of crusing boats that floats around the net to endless comment and critique -- search for "mahina" you'll find it either through the BB's or through a google search. Read Vigor's 20 small boats to take you anywhere (you can even access a chunck of it free on Google Books -- sorry John -)). There is another more recent version of the same (maybe "affordable" in place of "small" in the title). Read Beth Leonard's book voyager's handbook. Search the archive for lists of books -- there are tons.

Get one of those pocket sized "100 sailboats" books at the library or bookstore so that you stop asking whether you want a light fullkeel boat . . . basic knowledge will attract more usefull answers. Plus you love this stuff, right?

Do you know how to sail? Might want to think about that too.

FWIW, there is (was?) a cape dory 30K floating around for a meager 10K that looked like it was in damn good shape. Check the CD board. You can spend so much more on a 2500 boat that looks okay than on a 15000 boat that *is* okay. You need to figure out how to assess what you are looking at and what it will cost to turn it into what you need. That might just be the most daunting task early on . . .. Make friends who can help you out sizing up boats -- just don't let them talk you into a project they won't be there to work on with you! Buy the boat in the best condition you can afford. "Bargain boat" is an oximoron.

Enjoy the search it is part of the fun.
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