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Old 21-11-2013, 11:12   #1
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Lots of info!!

Good day all! I have been lurking around here now for a little while just reading and reading trying to gain knowledge on boats and cruising. I have no immediate plans to purchase a boat but am looking at something a couple of years out. Planning never hurts!! I would like some owners opinions and some pros and cons of 2 boats. I have been reading up a lot on the different makes and models of sailboats, layouts, seaworthiness, comfort levels ect. and found that Benetau Oceanis models have a lot of what we are looking for. Then, I found (classified adds) Catallina sailboats were looking pretty good as well!! A brief description of what I would be looking for would be something in the 40-43ft. 100-150K range. Usage would be at first weekend sailing in the great lakes then onto extended trips possibly down the ICW and on south and living aboard for months at a time while cruising. I am also partial to the dual helm models as it seems to free up a lot of cockpit space as well as the 2 cabin models as it will mainly be the wife and I. Since I have only sailed briefly on a Beneteau, I'm wondering about the ease of handling on both makes, sailing characteristics ect. With that info I plan to charter both makes at some point to see the difference first hand but for now some opinions and likes/dislikes would be great reading!!!
Thanks!!
Mike
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:10   #2
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Re: Lots of info!!

Wow!! 187 views and no comments on either boats! Am I in the proper forum??
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:16   #3
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Re: Lots of info!!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mike.

There's nothing in your title to draw Benetau or Catalina owners to the thread.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:36   #4
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Re: Lots of info!!

If you plan to travel the ICW I would make the draft of the boat a consideration. Once you get to 6' or more it can get tricky in spots. Also keep in mind that bridge clearance on the ICW is supposed to be 65' but can be a bit less in high tide conditions.

Regarding handling, which aspect of handling are you thinking about? Could refer to how responsive the boat is to steering while docking, how the boat performs under sail or power, hoisting and trimming the sails?

On the first two, docking and performance, I don't think you will see a dramatic difference between most Beneteau models compared to most Catalina models. Regarding sail handling, if short handed this is something that can be tuned to your preferences pretty easily by routing the lines and cleats to the mast or cockpit or however you like.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:17   #5
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For the Great Lakes anything with a draft of over 5.5' will be a pain. You limit your choice of harbors of refuge, anchorages and marinas. Around 5.5' seems to be a common controlling depth and several marinas discourage boats pulling more than 5.5' from entering. Dredging operations seem to be underfunded.

Anything over 5.5' is also a pain for the ICW. I would encourage you to go outside whenever weather conditions permit, but people we met with 6' drafts felt forced to go outside because dealing with the shoals in the ICW was stressful.

The boats making the trip from the Great Lakes, Quebec and Canada to the Bahamas are predominantly Bennetau, Hunters and Catalinas. The owners seem to be quite happy with their boats.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:37   #6
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Re: Lots of info!!

I think the lack of replies relates to the vast number of options you have in that price range. You would be better served if you did some research and narrowed it down a bit (ketch, sloop, cutter), (full keel, fin keel), (racer/cruiser, cruiser/cruiser), (lots of teak, no teak), (creature comforts, bare bones).

If you supply a short list of the boats you like and are leaning towards, that would help.

If it were me, with that kind of money, I would buy 3 boats. A wooden sailing dinghy, a 30ft day sailer with a huge cockpit, and a circa 1980 36ft production cruiser.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:58   #7
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I would buy a smaller boat (27 or 30etc) to start as a weekender and to learn on. Easier to fend and handle and pretty forgiving. Do a few weeks of overnights and find out what you personally want in a boat and then upgrade.

When we started out on on the boat thing we went cheap. Not because we could not afford a boat all kitted out or even a new one, but rather we did not know if we wanted to sink money into a hobby that it turned out we did not enjoy.

Now we know what we want and need for the next few years we are building what we want from a hulk to our specs. A lot of work but fun in a way.

Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:10   #8
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Re: Lots of info!!

Beneteau, Catalina, and I'll include Hunter will be just fine for your initial plans and adventures. However, as we found, when your adventures begin to include longer stays and living aboard for months at a time and spending time at anchor.... these boats will be lacking in many areas. They certainly look nice at the boatshows.

For extended stays aboard... begin to include boats like Tayana and others which are build with long term cruising in mind and completely self-contained. Eg: genset, watermaker, hand grabs throughout, rounded corners etc. Why not buy a boat that will serve both purposes right from the start?
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Old 04-12-2013, 22:11   #9
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Re: Lots of info!!

Lots to think about!! And yes I should have mentioned the names in the subject line. Noob mistake!! I have been reading a lot on the different keel styles and it would seem the shoal draft would be the best bet for our intentions. As for starting in a smaller boat I can see a few disadvantages with that. First, would it not be much more costly (taxes, registration brokerage fees ect) to buy a small boat just to buy a larger one 2 years later? As for sailing experience I have little but pick things up very quickly as well as being very handy (industrial millwright) so figuring out boat systems, electrical and diesel should not be too tough. I heard the saying learn on what you will be sailing so hopefully that will be the case. Also, I've read most boats are at anchor 90% of the time anyway so it better be comfortable!! No plans in the near future for any kind of bluewater passage but who knows that may change as well. Boat show is coming to Toronto in January so it will be nice to see all the different offerings there. Thanks for the input!!
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:54   #10
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Re: Lots of info!!

Cost wise not really.. Usually you pay by the foot for everything so the 12 or 14 feet between a 44 and 30 adds up in operation budget in those years your not using it full time. Registration and taxes in Florida are negligible ($8) on older boats so that in not an issue really.

We planned on keeping our smaller one for 5 years and then hop up to a 38 or so. After 10 or 20 nights on the boat we pretty much decided we needed bigger, but only for sleeping space and a galley,shower. So we only went up 3 feet. With just 2 of us most of are time when the sun is up is spent in the cockpit anyway.

Another thing about starting smaller is that it makes it easier to admit mistakes. If we had bought a 36 to start and invested in a bottom job, sail repair, running rigging, ground tackle and all those things all boats eat like candy we would be less inclined to admit we needed something different and move to something better, which we are doing with a better idea of what we personally want.

Go look at some boats and get a feel for it.

Another thing to consider about a bigger boat is while your pulling into a slip with current and wind if you screw up you can't just fend off with a boat hook. Under 10k#s you have a better chance of not hurting yourself or another boat. Also if you smash your bowsprint into a piling because you misjudged you can shrug it off, your not into it for thousands. With a small boat you can be foolish and unfurl your genoa in to much wind without positive control of the furler on a beam reach and round up and shoot out of the channel into the mud, no worries, its a small boat so even the possibility of rudder damage is not the end of the world.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Garbone View Post
Cost wise not really.
+1 Too true.

There are a lot of inexpensive 30 footers for sale on the great lakes. You might save money by getting an inexpensive boat first to help work out what you want out of the boat. Seem to remember lots of nice C&C's up there. Pick up a copy of Good Old Boat, it's publishers are based on Lake Superior.

Boat maintenance can easily cost you about 10% of the cost of the boat every year, add that to the extra cost of winter storage and the slip. If your Bahamas dream is five years out that could be 50% of the cost of the boat

You will learn a lot of the 30 footer about sailing but also about boat management and maintenance. These lessons will save you $$$ when you get you big boat for the Bahamas. You might even learn you don't like the sailing thing and save $100k!
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:12   #12
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Why to start with a smaller boat

This might have been mentioned before but just in case it wasn't.

If you don't have a lot of boating experience and this will be your first cruiser size boat there is one really good reason to start with a smaller boat and later buy a bigger. Until you have spent a good bit of time on a boat it is 99% certain that your opinions and preferences on what you want and like in a boat will change.

What I "thought" I liked when I first start sailing is very, very different from what I like today. I have owned or lived on 5-6 boats and every one has changed my ideas to some degree on what I like in a boat.
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Old 06-12-2013, 14:30   #13
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Re: Lots of info!!

Owning a boat is a very personal, very application dependent thing.
I agree that owning a smaller, say, 30 boat first would be a good thing, spend time on it, see what you like and don't like, then take the plunge on a bigger boat.
I've owned and sailed many different styles of boats over the years and my tastes have changed over the years. The boats I had fit the purpose at the time.
I too was a journeyman millwright when I was younger before I went back to college, the skills I learned did work very well with my boat habit. They also allowed me to get insurance / auction boats and repair them to keep it affordable.
I don't have any bias against Catalinas ans Bene's as cruising boats, the larger newer models are more suitable for that purpose, even though I currently own a purpose built cruising boat.
Sail awhile, you may find you need a different boat than you originally thought.
There are plenty of affordable (cheap?) 30 footers out there that will be relatively easy to sell when you decide to go bigger. At least you'll know what you aren't willing to put up with and that can be just as important.
THe cost of ownership isn't linear, the costs go up dramatically once you get over 30 feet, just look at sails as an example if you want to see how cost changes with size.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:16   #14
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Re: Lots of info!!

Some more great advice!! Maybe I'll take a look and see whats out there in the 30-34' range as a "beginner" boat. Any preferences? I will look up some C&C boats to see what they have to offer.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:50   #15
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Re: Lots of info!!

C&C's in that range are well built boats but are really racer/cruisers, comfortable enough but no t really made for long term liveaboard. I've had a couple, the last one was a 38 with a custom keel (deeper/thinner foil) to enhance upwind performance. My wife and I moved to a bigger dedicated performance cruiser for the comfort and amenities, the 38 was fine for my wife and I but even then was a bit spartan for extended living, when the boys came along it became too cramped for extended cruising.
On the other hand it was a great sailing boat with tremendous feedback and feel. For a couple you would be OK on one in that range but the used ones were IOR design boats so they tend to have pinched sterns which limits interior volume.
Great sailing boats though, if you own one for a couple years you will learn a lot about sail trim and balance, the are very responsive boats with excellent tactile feedback, overall very sh*t grin producing boats when under sail. Limited tankage for long term cruising though. But if your looking for a boat to learn on for a couple years it's a good boat, a notch above the Bene's and Catalinas of their era in build quality and design. Great for coastal cruising. They did make a "Landfall" series for cruising which bundled great sailing hulls with more creature comforts but they are harder to come across. Since they used balsa cored decks it's wise to check how well maintained the boat you might be considering was taken care of, deck leaks can cause issues with the core, look for soft spots in the decks, you don't want to have to deal with fixing that kind of issue. Ask the owner when he last rebedded the deck mounted hardware and chainplates. But that goes for any balsa cored deck on any make.
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