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Old 17-08-2016, 07:05   #1
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"Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

Are my requirements that abnormal/unrealistic? Am I misunderstanding the benefits of what is primarily on the market? I'm looking for my first large (32'-38') sailboat and am getting discouraged. Seems my selection criteria doesn't really line up with what is in the market.

Use case: Lake Superior/North Channel weekends to two week plus long cruises

My pseudo requirement subject to change on how pretty she is are:

- Head next to the companionway. I don't understand heads forward next to the v-berth, ruins the layout and messy getting rain gear off and alike.

- U or J galley. I don't understand the straight galleys on the side of the boat. I have not spent time on a boat with a straight galley but it seems usability while underway would be most challenging.

- Dedicated nav station, ideally forward facing. This seems to be almost the most limiting, perhaps that's due to my size/budget. Intent is for a space out of the way for notebook/reading/iPad/office type work, a place of ones own so to speak.

- Keel, fin/bulb. Wing are the predicament in this market, I'm concerned about pointing ability/performance. 6'0 or less draft would be ideal, maybe push it to 6'6. I think in Superior I would be fine, issues would be in the North Channel getting away from a wing keel.

- Main, traditional. I'll likely regret this but for a light air location I'm worried about the performance hit of a furling main. Boy those must be convenient.... For the size of boat I'm looking at I think a traditional is not unmanageable. I have no first hand experience with furling mains.

- Modern, 1995 or newer (2000+ ideally). There are a lot of things I just don't like on older boats.

- Nothing stupid. Ok, little ambiguous but it seems at least with production boats in my budget there tends to be that one really stupid thing the designer did which really adds no value to me. Sinks in the berths, massive aft cabins at the expense of lazarette storage space, shower stalls which are really unusable for a 6'0 medium frame guy.

Size - 32'-38'

Brands - well cared for, clean, good condition solid boat matters more than the brand.

Budget - $120k or less (freshwater market boats), can stretch this up a ways but I don't know if I really should have to.

I can find lots of options of front heads, furling main, wing keel boats with a straight gallery and a massive aft cabin with no storage.

Thoughts? Welcome to boat buying where nothing is ever perfect and this is the trend of the market for the last 20 years?
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Old 17-08-2016, 07:53   #2
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

Have you owned a boat before?
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:05   #3
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

Although possible to obtain all of those, you are going to be searching for a long time. I would re-visit your list and see what you can compromise on. Any boat you buy will always have a few compromises to what you preferred.

Have you actually gone to see some of these boats or just searching online? I'd be willing to bet if you got out sailing on some of these you would be happy to trim your list because you liked the overall package.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:06   #4
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

have you sailed more than merely sailing lessons???
have you previously owned a boat??
the more you sail the more you learn. the more you learn the better your search
get on the sailing thing and keep eyes open.
it took me from 1990 until 2004 to find my cruising boat, and i learned to sail at age 7, back in 1955. it took me from 2004 until 2008 to pry it out of the previous owners paws....
findng a boat you like and sail well is not magic nor easily done, and is somewhat like seeking a mate- you donot find em easily and no one else can find it for you.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:08   #5
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

I'm not that in tune with the market, with your budget and requirements you can get a Hanse 315 easy. Seems to fit all your specific wants.

All boats are a compromise.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:18   #6
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

Regarding the head location, they may exist but I cannot remember ever seeing a boat in that size range with a head aft. Boaters generally prefer entering the living space when coming down the companionway. There's usually very little room for a head beside the cockpit where a quarterberth would be so the head would need to be taking up space from the main salon. That just would not sell to 99.9% of the boat buyers.

Yes I agree that it's a hassle dealing with wet gear in the main salon but that's just the reality of smaller boats. Maybe you can find a boat with space to rig a wet, hanging locker by the companionway. Otherwise I think you are beating your head against the wall looking for an aft head.

By traditional main I'm assuming you mean not in the mast furling? That one should be easy. If it's boom furling it is easy enough to eliminate that so I wouldn't worry about that one.

All the other stuff in my experience should be easy to find. If "all" the modern boats you find are wing keels, aft cabins (not that common in 32-38' in my experience) then I would buy a real cherry, well maintained older boat. For your budget you could get a good one.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:24   #7
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Regarding the head location, they may exist but I cannot remember ever seeing a boat in that size range with a head aft. Boaters generally prefer entering the living space when coming down the companionway. There's usually very little room for a head beside the cockpit where a quarterberth would be so the head would need to be taking up space from the main salon. That just would not sell to 99.9% of the boat buyers.



Yes I agree that it's a hassle dealing with wet gear in the main salon but that's just the reality of smaller boats. Maybe you can find a boat with space to rig a wet, hanging locker by the companionway. Otherwise I think you are beating your head against the wall looking for an aft head.

As a head location, I see some European designed boats have separate aft locations, even 30 feet.


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Old 17-08-2016, 08:26   #8
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

Have you looked at a Sabre 36, 362 or 38?

They meet most of your criteria, have a good pedigree and are in your price range.

sabre (Sail) Boats For Sale
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:35   #9
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

I like the idea of a head near the companionway too, but I think the combination of a seaway galley (which is usually a U shape aft) and a head aft excludes having any quarter berth, thus losing a lot of useable space on a smallish boat. That is likely why it is not too common to have both.
Regarding nav stations, most often I have found I use the main table as it's bigger and more comfortable, even on a mono at 47 ft. . So on your lower end like 32 ft... keep that in mind.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:44   #10
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Regarding the head location, they may exist but I cannot remember ever seeing a boat in that size range with a head aft. <snip>
Catalina 320 and Catalina 34 both have aft heads.

They tick off all the other wants except a forward facing nav station - the nav is rear facing on both and shares the seat with a settee.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:54   #11
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Have you owned a boat before?
Smaller power boats, nothing in this size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
have you sailed more than merely sailing lessons???
Bareboat charters in Superior and BVI.
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Old 17-08-2016, 08:59   #12
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Catalina 320 and Catalina 34 both have aft heads.

They tick off all the other wants except a forward facing nav station - the nav is rear facing on both and shares the seat with a settee.
Catalina 320 has always been attractive, checks off almost every box except the nav station. That boat is the reason for my 32' criteria, most everything else of interest is 35'+. It's been awhile since I've been on one, need to make sure I still fit in the berths being 6'0.

Catalina 34 are on interest, great price point. Catalina 350/380/387/375 have always been very interesting but they seem to all break down with one of my "requirements".
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Old 17-08-2016, 09:03   #13
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
Catalina 320 and Catalina 34 both have aft heads.

They tick off all the other wants except a forward facing nav station - the nav is rear facing on both and shares the seat with a settee.
I was going to say this based on his price range and years Catalina may be one of the few boats to hit the majority of his criteria. Boats are a compromise. Layouts in particular. Heads were often forward to get them as far as possible from the galley which is typically placed at the bottom of the companion way. Newer boats with more beam place the near the companionway as the extra width gets some space there. I imagine on the great lakes wing keels are popular. I know a fellow with a deeper draft fin keel boat in Chicago and he mentioned to me several times he wished he had shallower draft some of the places he goes.

Full Nav stations in boats under 40' are somewhat rare they used to be more common, but the market has moved away from them in boats under 40' as most coastal cruisers don't want to give up the space.
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Old 17-08-2016, 09:08   #14
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

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Originally Posted by Dave Lochner View Post
Have you looked at a Sabre 36, 362 or 38?

They meet most of your criteria, have a good pedigree and are in your price range.

sabre (Sail) Boats For Sale
Limited selection in my market, really does seem to check almost all the boxes. I'll focus more on this line thanks. My budget might need to be adjusted a bit.
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Old 17-08-2016, 09:18   #15
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Re: "Normal" requirements - why so hard to find

I don't think there are many boats that meet all of his criteria,
My IP hits about half, and I think that would be common, especially if he wants a newer boat, I think it tough to find one that is not a furling main, they are / were apparently a big selling point.

I hate to say it, but I think Nav stations are over rated, in my opinion, if I want to lay out a big chart or stitch two together, I use the Salon table, and so far I have had no use for my Nav station under way, so far that has been all pre-trip planing, and with all the electronic aids?
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