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Old 12-05-2008, 12:26   #1
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pocket cruisers

hello there, I am nineteen and in the market for my first sailboat, ive been sailing all my life and my dream is really to do the cruising thing one reads about, pacific islands and the tradewinds. What im looking for in a sailboat is simply well built, seaworthy and inexpensive for I've about 7000 dollars to work with. the cape dory twenty five, pearson ariel 26, bristol 26 seem to me, to be the proper boats. between these boats and others for that matter can anyone offer any thoughts or suggestions as to the best choice for my budget? thank you
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:29   #2
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Morgan Out Island 28
Albin Vega

Any in your price range are going to need repairs
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:49   #3
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this is true however i reckon im good for that, ive worked in boatyards since i was twelve, itll be fairly spartan cruising. thank you though, albin vega would be beautiful although they tennd to be more expensive, ill have a look at the morgan
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Old 12-05-2008, 13:53   #4
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I am nineteen and in the market for...a sailboat is simply well built, seaworthy and inexpensive for I've about 7000 dollars to work with.
How far you can go on $7K depends a whole lot on your abilities and resourcefulness – although I’d guess you already knew that… you may be able to set up a reasonably equipped micro-cruiser/pocket-yacht for that, but it won’t be a Flicka, Dana or anything remotely near that end of the food-chain, and it’ll be very light on techno-gizmos… my guess is you’ll have difficulty fitting a Cape Dory in your budget as well… the trick is to find an undervalued model, that is within your capabilities to evaluate and to refurbish…

I don’t now the Ariel well, but my guess is you’ll use up most of your working capital in the purchase, indeed you may exceed your finances in the purchase alone… likewise for some of the Bristol 26s, although there you may enjoy a bit more daylight… Still if a basic small cruiser is your wish, I see no reason that your budget won’t get you pretty close if you are willing to be an informed bottom-feeder… So far we’ve got well less than half of your budget in our little rascal (including buying a motor and a dinghy), but we’re doing all the work ourselves (with the help of enthusiastic grandkids), at our pace and when it’s done it’ll probably be slightly over your $7K budget… and more if we find any fascinating, glitzy doodads we can’t live without… Even as expansive as paint, wood and epoxy have become these days, boats in this size don't need a whole lot… but sails, cordage, the all-importan rig and the like are not cheap, so try to make sure your treasure comes equipped with ones that’ll see you through a few seasons at least…

Look for boats that don’t enjoy a passionate following, but that (in your mind) will fill the bill for you… then shop and shop, and shop some more -- until you find one that is inexpensive, and only requires repairs that are within your capabilities (or within your interest to learn…). And be prepared to be a broadminded and committed scrounger…Good luck…
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Old 12-05-2008, 14:08   #5
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There is one Contessa 26 available in New and Used Yachts for Sale - YachtWorld.com for about your budget.
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Old 12-05-2008, 14:43   #6
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Originally Posted by petelesperance View Post
hello there, I am nineteen and in the market for my first sailboat, ive been sailing all my life and my dream is really to do the cruising thing one reads about, pacific islands and the tradewinds. What im looking for in a sailboat is simply well built, seaworthy and inexpensive for I've about 7000 dollars to work with. the cape dory twenty five, pearson ariel 26, bristol 26 seem to me, to be the proper boats. between these boats and others for that matter can anyone offer any thoughts or suggestions as to the best choice for my budget? thank you

Frankly, at that price you are more likely looking at a day sailor.

Another one you might consider but also will not fit your budget is the very well made Rhodes 22 by General Boats in Edenton, NC. They’re smaller than the two you listed but they have lot of features, are NMMA certified, a buy back program, and have an active owners group. Oh, and enough foam to be pretty much unsinkable.


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Old 12-05-2008, 14:55   #7
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Hey, finally someone younger than me.

Just keep looking, you'll find one. I spent 3 years looking with a budget well under what you've got. Eventually I got lucky and found my great little kingfisher 20+ for about half of your budget. It's probably smaller than what you were considering, and honestly it's smaller than what I was considering too. But it's still a great little pocket cruiser. Just keep looking. Don't take the first thing that comes along if it's not exactly what you want. I was looking at a 35 footer that needed a bit of work. Almost bought it too. But in the end realized the work, even if I did it myself, would put me way over budget just with materials.

I know I've said it a couple of times already, but I can't stress enough, keep looking. I looked all over the southeast for any boat within 200+ miles of here, hoping I could find one within budget and in the end I managed to find the one right in the same city as I live.
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Old 12-05-2008, 15:27   #8
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The Contessa 26 has a pretty good track record for long distance single-handed sailing. Here's a cruising website that might interest you:

Boat » Bigoceans | Tiny Boat

Bon chance!
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Old 12-05-2008, 15:59   #9
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hello there, I am nineteen and in the market for my first sailboat, ive been sailing all my life and my dream is really to do the cruising thing one reads about...
I was once in your shoes...almost. I was 18, had been sailing most of my life, and dreamed of sailing the seas and traveling to far-off places. I didn't, however, have any money. I joined the Navy, with plans to pursue the dream again after serving my four years. Well...things didn't work out the way I had it planned. Now I'm 45 and three to four years from finally realizing my dream. Better late than never, but I often wish I had made a bigger effort to do it when I was younger.

DO NOT give up your dream if it's really what you want to do. You CAN find a boat for 7,000. Yes, it will probably require some work and quite possibly some modifications. But if you've been around boats and worked in boatyards, you can easily do it! You'll need to equip it for safe, offshore passages, and that will take money. But it's all possible and within your reach.

Don't let some of the people on this forum, no matter how well-intentioned, dissuade you from going for it! You don't need a newer, 36' boat with a refrigerator, watermaker, SSB, chartplotter, etc. Go small and go simple and you're more likely to go (to paraphrase someone else).

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2008, 16:02   #10
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Frankly, at that price you are more likely looking at a day sailor.
Here's an example. Frankly, that's bullshit. You can find plenty of boats for 7,000.00 that are very capable of crossing oceans with some work and modifications!
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Old 12-05-2008, 16:14   #11
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I want to "take off" and have others fund my Pay Pal account for the trip too.
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Old 12-05-2008, 16:17   #12
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interesting reading

You might find John Vigor's book, "Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere" an interesting read.

Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere: John Vigor: Books

Good luck with your search...
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Old 12-05-2008, 16:38   #13
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Truth is, there is very little market for little pocket cruisers; you can steal a beauty within your budget. There simply are very few sailors looking for something under 30 feet.
I see quite a few really good small yachts selling in your price range on ebay; I suspect the posters telling you they are more expensive haven't taken a look recently at pocket cruisers selling prices.
My one suggestion would be not to be intimidated by the idea of travelling a distance to find the boat that suits you; there are far more weekenders or racers in this size than true offshore boats; especially in America. I can't think of a single American built pocket cruiser I would recommend over a Scandinavian or European built; just my opinion, no offense to others.
I think you've got plenty of background to know the difference between quality construction and crap; however a few indications will be:
leeboards, a sea hood over the companionway and a bridgedeck, hand laid glass vs chop mat, (no balsa core), handholds below, an assortment of quality cleats with big backing plates, an efficient cockpit combing, big cockpit drains, a bow roller capable of stowing and deploying a good size anchor or two and a well thought out chain locker; and probably most important, a solid hull deck fastening..no rivits.
If its got a wind vane, somebody has already probably proved its pedigree. The boat you are looking for should have the same craftsmanship of a 30 foot offshore boat.
Have fun shopping.
Response to Therapy: Nick's a fantastic young guy.
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Old 12-05-2008, 16:58   #14
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Response to Therapy: Nick's a fantastic young guy.
I'm a fantastic old guy. Might give it a try. Although I am looking at more like a westsail 32 if no money or a Manta with.
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Old 12-05-2008, 17:17   #15
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Victoria 28?

eBay Motors: VICTOIRE 28 FOOT, SLOOP (item 320250745556 end time May-15-08 11:46:56 PDT)

I vaguely recall reading somewhere that a boat with that or a similar name is a great blue water small cruiser. The underbody of this boat is what I'd want for your purposes. The displacement and the fact it's built in Holland suggests that it's a good sea boat.
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