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Old 22-07-2009, 13:53   #1
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Pacific Seacraft Orion 27 - Thoughts?

I've spent the last year or so teaching myself to sail here in the south Puget Sound. I don't currently own my own boat; instead of buying one right away I decided to join a sailing club (Island Sailing Club) and take some classes first, to make sure it's not just a romantic fantasy.

A year has passed and I'm still on board, and getting to the point where I have a budget, I have goals, I know what style of boat I like, and I am starting to feel somewhat confident about sailing.

I'm really attracted to the sturdy and classic looking designs of Pacific Seacraft, Island Packet, and Gozzard sailboats.

I will use the boat for a couple years of Puget Sound sailing for the first few years, followed by my ultimate goal of a long trip up the inside passage, then across a respectable amount of open water to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Lots of this will likely be single-handed.

I spend a lot of time looking at boats for sale (on the docks and online), and came across this one, a 1980 Pacific Seacraft Orion 27. I love the looks of it, it's in my budget, the size is right (I'm a minimalist), it appears to be very well maintained and upgraded, and my gut says yes.

So, I thought I'd run this past the experts here and ask for your enlightened opinions. Do you have experience with this specific boat? Assuming it is indeed in good shape (will survey of course), does this boat appear to fit well with my goals? Is it big enough? Is it missing anything obvious that I would need? Does anything jump out at you and say "BAD IDEA"?
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Old 22-07-2009, 14:27   #2
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I'm no expert, but I have owned a 25 ft pacific seacraft. I single handed her all over the Texas coast. I loved the boat, well built, good quality hardware, and best of all sailed like a dream.
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Old 22-07-2009, 14:40   #3
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Hi, Arch.

I like your approach to the process of buying a boat. Nothing beats putting in some time and effort, both sailing and looking, to make sure that you know what boat's going to be right for you.

I'm a traditionalist, too, and could have been a minimalist. I was entranced by a pretty little Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. But my wife is definitely not a minimalist, and after some more looking and debating, we bought an Island Packet 380. Thus the power of the Admiral. As they say, things usually work out for the best, and we have loved our IP, and sailed it many miles.

We didn't specifically look at the Orion "in the flesh", so to speak, but I studied it's features and am convinced it would be a fine boat for cruising where ever you want to go.
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Old 22-07-2009, 14:47   #4
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Re: Pacific Seacraft

I seem to recall the the magazine "Good Old Boat" had an article about a gentleman who had redone an "orion". Might be a good read if you can get your hands on a copy.
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Old 22-07-2009, 15:16   #5
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I would love to have an Orion. I have its little sister the PSC25. A very solid boat but a bit cramped. The Orion has much more room and some other creature comforts that mine doesn't have. Go for it, they are a "go anywhere" boat........m
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Old 23-07-2009, 08:18   #6
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Like others here, the Orion was very high on my list of wanna boats, but was just out of touch for my budget when I was purchasing. It's a go anywhere on the planet you have the endurance to get to boat, with a high level of comfort for a boat of its size.

Like you, I joined a sailing club to get experience aboard before getting my own boat, and sailed every keel boat they had available. Then I started sailing the kinds of boats I'd decided I preferred, and immediately got into trouble. The boats I liked were heavy, traditional designs which reacted quite differently from the light, mostly outboard-powered little keelers I'd been sailing in the club. I dinged a dock, and embarrassed myself once or twice while learning that the old-fashioned designs just don't slow down as fast, and reverse doesn't have quite the expected effect.


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Old 23-07-2009, 08:58   #7
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Amgine, thanks for the confession, I'll add failure to tack in a channel to your list getting extremely lucky and having just enough space to jibe out of trouble. Generally docking is touch and go for a while after the transition learning how do deal with boats that don't pivot on the spot.

Does anyone know what the rather cute boat in this video is?

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Old 23-07-2009, 09:01   #8
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PS Dana, iirc.
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Old 23-07-2009, 09:08   #9
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Does anyone know what the rather cute boat in this video is?
This boat is the "Carroll E", a Dana 24 owned by Chris Humann here in the San Francisco Bay. He has sailed the Dana in the Singlehanded Transpac (San Francisco to Kauai) several times.

He's also got some kitecam shots of this boat flying twin jibs:
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Old 23-07-2009, 11:46   #10
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Do it. Do it now.
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