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Old 21-06-2013, 20:05   #1
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Looking for my Vessel

Hello all, nice to meet everyone. I am in the process of buying my first boat, which I will be living on part time, and learning to sail, and hopefully someday making a passage on. Im a full time RV'er and plan to start spending my winters on the boat somewhere warm. I have been researching this for about 3 years now, but im kinda at a stand still on which direction to go, I've asked around about whether I should start small, and learn on something cheap, or get one fully outfitted to cruise, and I've gotten many different answers, and I welcome them all. Just wanted to get you guy's perspective. These are the one's im currently looking at, a 30' cape dory (boats.com/boat-details/Cape-Dory-30-Cutter/133106071) 30' tartan 3000 (sailboatlistings.com/view/33664) and a 30' S2 (sailboatlistings.com/view/29647). I really like the dory, but from what I've read, the tartan would be a bit faster, and prob just as seaworthy, and I really like the S2's center cockpit. But I also could buy a nice pearson 25 for 3 grand close by and that would get me sailing. Im completely new to sailing and would greatly value your opinions. PS- sorry for the long post.
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Old 22-06-2013, 12:47   #2
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Re: looking for my vessel

Of the boats you've mentioned I've not had much experience other than by reputation. I like Cape Dory.
If you are single the 25 is large enough for liveaboard but just barely. A couple could be ok on a 30 if you are used to a smallish sized RV.
For learning to sail I like the idea of taking a basic sailing course first then buy the boat if you still like the idea.
There will be many other opinions here so wait for some more input. Good to have you asking questioins now rather than after you've bought your boat.
kind regards,
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Old 22-06-2013, 13:07   #3
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Re: looking for my vessel

Do not under estimate the difference between 25 and 30 ft. Its way more than 5 feet because the width and height inside makes the difference. If you are used to an RV you be aware of the feeling occasionally of "cabin fever" when its wet and cold.

Were are you based and will you have to deal with a cold winter before heading for warmer climes?

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Old 22-06-2013, 13:31   #4
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Re: looking for my vessel

The Cape Dory looks very well equipped for some serious offshore work and cruising. The and the CD boats have a reputation for robust build. If you are going to be single handing and or cruising, the Cape Horn self steering is a must. Things like the Edson diaphragm pump are big bucks to buy new but are serious water movers if you ever needed to use in anger. Windlass and good ground tackle though the chain looks to be in need of regalvanizing or replacement. Both wind and solar to supply electricity off the gird. Only thing I'd add is a roller furler. The Cape Dory has shorter waterline and is probably heavier displacement so will not perform in light air as well as the Tartan but will be way more comfortable at sea. Depending on the wind, you might get there sooner or later but in better shape when you arrive. Would reclaim the forward V berth for sleeping port though lived without a V berth for several years on my current boat

The Tartan has stupid wheel. Why anyone would want one of those in the first place is beyond me but on a 30' boat, give me a break. If you plan on doing any cruising the problems interfacing the wheel with a self steering vane could be big issues. The boat is minimally equipped for cruising, no way to generate electricity other than the engine or hooking to shore power, no self steering, no cabin heater should you ever decide to head north. Interior room is probably better but does it have the storage of the CD. Have found that room is not a big thing, storage is the issue on a small boat. The Tartan looks to be a good daysailer/live aboard at the dock but will take large outlay of cash to go anywhere.

Why do you need a separate aft cabin?? More than two people on a boat is too many. Great way to cause animosity and ruin friendships. Doubt that the S2 is as well built as the CD or Tartan and the center cockpit a detractor not a plus.
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Old 22-06-2013, 16:37   #5
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Re: looking for my vessel

I really like the dory, and I don't mind spending for the extras if ill eventually use them.
My home base is Indiana, but I'll prob keep the boat in Florida, around the port charlotte area. (Not by choice, I just own land there that's close to the water). I wouldn't mind doing the great loop some day, so while I want a seaworthy boat, something that doesn't draft to deep would be nice.
Im getting some sailing lessons from a friend that's retired navy, I have no plans of loosing interest, been building this dream for a while now. Im certainly no stranger to cabin fever, I rv to a lot of remote places, so the rv I drag is no mansion.
After reading yall's replies, I think I'll go for the dory. I was just concerned of the speed, as in, would it be better to get across faster, so you have less of a chance of getting caught in bad weather, but I guess it would be wiser to just have the boat that would survive.
You guy's should be really proud, years ago when I started getting the itch to sail. I jumped right in and almost went directly into a boat instead of an rv. I seen these reel shinny things called Macgregor's, I was sure I'd found my boat, lol. Their cheap, and don't stone me for this, but I like the interior's lack of teak. As you can see my understanding has changed much since hanging around here. thanks guys
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Old 22-06-2013, 17:18   #6
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Re: looking for my vessel

I've sailed boats labeled as slow and made faster passages than people with supposedly faster and larger boats. The lighter displacement fin keel boats do well in light air and/or surfing downwind. Have seldom found light air offshore, however. Granted I've sailed the trade wind routes but have way way more days at sea with more than 10k winds than with winds less. Coastal sailing, you might find a fin keel getting there before you but doubtful that will often happen on offshore passages. No, the boat won't be a surfer but it will handle well under self steering and make the passages way easier. Big advantage to a full keeled boat is in lobster/crab trap areas. Almost no worry of dragging a crab pot with you and having to go over the side in frigid waters to free it.

Have owned a couple fin keel spade rudder boats and found their real advantage was maneuverability getting in and out of the slip. How much of your sailing day will that be???
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Old 22-06-2013, 17:34   #7
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Re: looking for my vessel

Well I reckin that the time I spend getting in and out of the dock will vary as I progress. I'll prob be doing it a lot in the beginning. Once I learn to properly handle the boat I would like to be able to drop the rv, set sail, and only return to dock to restock fuel, food, and such.
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Old 22-06-2013, 18:36   #8
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Re: looking for my vessel

I've seen this Nor'sea 27 listed a couple times. They're known for being well built.

1976 Nor'Sea Sailboat

I like Cape Dory's too. If I didn't get my Nor'sea, it would have been a Cape Dory.
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Old 22-06-2013, 18:51   #9
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Re: looking for my vessel

Have owner S2 and Cape Dory. The S2 is just as well built, in some ways better. Has some issues with leakes around chainplates. A much better sailing boat. For long term comfort the aft cabin need to be modified to have the bunk fore and aft if a C model as well as moving the holding tank. Great engine access, OK water tankage. Super economical for marina living in a 30' package. With a few reasonable changes could be sailed anywhere.
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Old 22-06-2013, 19:42   #10
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Re: looking for my vessel

The Nor'Sea seems nice, a little more than I want to spend right now. I couldn't find anyone talking down about the S2's either. But the one I was looking at is in Washington, don't know how id get her to Florida without a trailer. But im currently haggling with the fella that has the dory, so well see what happens.
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Old 22-06-2013, 20:19   #11
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Re: looking for my vessel

price is always negotiable.

Considering the age of the boat, the Nor'sea might be able to go for $30k. That asking price seems a bit high to me. I paid almost $10k less than that one is listed for. The hard thing about buying a Nor'sea is figuring out the market since they tend to sell without being listed (like Yacht World, Sailboat Listings, etc.)

Good luck with the Cape Dory. I haven't heard a bad thing about them. Sometimes, they sell on the owners association site. Welcome to the Cape Dory Sailboat Owners Association's Home Page (look for "CD Message Board" on the left). I don't know about the S2 but looking at the one you listed does look like a nice boat.

Good luck to you.
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Old 22-06-2013, 20:58   #12
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Re: looking for my vessel

Thanks for the link Rhapsody, ill start lookin around there if I can't get the one im currently looking at, prob a good place for info regardless. The fella with the Nor'sea would havta cut his price in half to suit me. Not that I haven't swung deals like that before, kinda got to be ready to duck when you hit'em with numbers that low, lol. I really hope I can get something soon, ill keep you guy's posted.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:53   #13
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Re: looking for my vessel

Westerly Konsort

Hard to find in the States but worth the search in my biased opinion. Cures cabin fever - but always wave to those on-decker types on the rainy days. Then step back inside.
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Old 24-06-2013, 12:37   #14
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Re: Looking for my Vessel

Those are all american boats and don't know anything about them. one piece of advice, don't buy anything that doesn't have standing headroom for you in the salon. walking around like the hunchback of notre dame under deck gets real old, real fast.

you'll hate it. I'm 6,1" and my headroom is 6,3" gotta love it
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Old 24-06-2013, 13:16   #15
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Re: Looking for my Vessel

I am guessing that 30' to you is "big" and 25' is "small" (FWIW, me on 30' - and for me that is big enough).

My answer would depend on how long until you start your travels, if in 3 years time (and will be staying in current locale) then IMO the nearby 25 footer for $3k is a slam dunk choice (as long as it is not a complete wreck which will swallow thousands simply to get away from the dock)....if going this year then the bigger boat is the right choice........things of course get kinda trickier if the time period is inbetween!, pretty much a toss up with pros and cons each way.

I favour the smaller (and nearer to home) approach because gets you time on the water for experiance (as Skipper and boat owner) and simply fun - that will give you the chance to save time, aggro and money later (when you buy the more expensive boat). Of course gotta factor in that you will lose money on the smaller boat in cash terms, but how much is up to you (anything you put in won't be coming back!, so buy wisely) however what you learn will save you cash later and inform your choices for the bigger boat.
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