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Old 04-01-2008, 02:12   #1
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Selecting a 37-42 footer...

I have been looking at 37-up to 44 footers recently, mostly older boats because I like the charachter of older things(personal flaw) and thought I would get some additional input.Initially I was inclined to pick up a "fixer upper" and restore the boat, but have changed that a bit more to the worn rather than worn-out craft. I have looked over pretty much everything- Morgan OI's, Tartans, Pearsons, Catalinas, Island Packet, etc etc. My "absolute" criteria so far has been:

displacement to push through waves
thick fiberglass hull, although I have also considered a steel hull
large protected rudder
solid diesel motor, with good spares availability- no use having some trick motor if you cant fix it in the feild.
have considered all rigs, but am leaning towards a ketch rig
as "private" a floorplan as possible given the size of the boat, as I am positive we will have overnight guests. I would really rather have a 37-40 footer that slept 5 comfortably than have a 37-40 footer that sleeps 8-10 on top of each other.

Other things I consider nec but I can modify or add:
  • electrical head
  • hot/cold pressure water, I like the idea of both engine and electrically heated water
  • freshwater shower in at least one head, I would LOVE stall style shower rather than the more typical untis found on boats this size range
  • generator
  • watermaker
  • refrigerator/freezer, because I hate even the thought of hauling ice, managing ice, cleaning up after ice, or pretty much anything else dealing with ice other than putting it in a glass
So far what I have found that appeals to me are:

the Gulfstar 37- Other than the berth layout I really like these boats. nicely built and well-proven.Love the robust rigging construction. The only thing I dont like is the lack of an aft cabin. Im also havent found one Ketch rigged yet, and do not think they were offered as such.

The Irwin 37 center cockpit- great layout, but they just do not feel quite as sturdily built as other I have looked at.

If anyone has any input on boats in this range that I might have overlooked or have the benefits/features of both the Gulfstar and the Irwin, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:45   #2
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Have you had a look at the Hardin 44. It has a good lay out for privacy and will sleep as many gests as you mention. With regardsaccesory systems you probably going to need to update or replace some. Alow for that in price. Mapleleaf is another good boat to look at so is a Formosa 41. Best of luck in your search.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:58   #3
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Check out: WESTSAIL - CRUISING BOATS FOR SALE Scroll down to the Westsail 42 and 43. Both are the same hull different cabin layouts. Think you'll like the 43 Song, the only think it doesn't have is a split rig but one could argue that it does considering it is a cutter. Well made boats, can still get OEM parts for them and strong owners group. Besides, we have a 42 and find it is the most comfortable boat we've been on.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:01   #4
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Am oppressed with a similar character flow… for some reason radar arches, open sterns, scalloped looking cabins and the like don’t flip my switch…

The only vessels on your list I am modestly familiar with are the Irwins (used to have a 42) and a passing acquaintance with the OI of similar size… Am not fond of the 37CC because the cockpit felt sort of like riding on the top of a pick-up truck compared to the 42… despite a fair amount of interior room Irwins aft-cockpit designs seem better to me in that size range – but at best, Irwins are “Chevrolets” Predictable in quality, I had few blisters on the 42 and the fiberglass stayed in good condition compared to many more up-scale boats in our marina, but Irwin’s electro-mechanical systems can be a concern without a thorough going over… In the ten years or so that I had my 42, I think I replaced almost every major system in the boat – they didn’t all go at once, but every few months I was redoing the bilge-pump, shower sump, breaker panel, fridge, etc., etc… I lived aboard for around five years and the upside was that the shower/tub was wonderful and none of the upkeep was rocket science, but the Irwin frustration of that era was the hull-liner which made getting at things occasionally exceptionally wearisome…

Would I buy another Irwin… sure, depending on the situation and an acceptable survey, although larger boats lost their fascination for me some years ago… sounds like you’re not planning on rounding Cape Horn and for general use, Irwin can give good value… The Morgan OI I had a passing familiarity with was (to my eyes) homely and uglier, but somewhat better quality although it didn’t sail upwind as nicely as the Irwin. The mechanical systems were more accessible on the OI as well, if my memory can be relied on…

If you enjoy puttering, fixer-uppers can be wonderful… but if it is done mostly to save initial investment and the owner can’t do 99% of the work themselves (and has the time to do it), I think one will find the fixer-uppers can get much pricier than holding out for a vessel that needs minimal initial maintenance or upgrading – especially with the more complex systems that you seem to be envisioning…

Good luck…
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:57   #5
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Dwalker,

I think your criteria are fine just not all that specific. It's pretty basic solid ideas but not enough to help you pick the boat you may want to buy. many many boats fit those criteria. Too many is what I really think. From your choices you seem to be liking it appears as though cost is the one serious issue you have not mentioned. The cost matters at some point and includes more than the purchase price.

A "well worn" Gulfstar or Irwin is still going to require a fair amount of time and money. Lots of really nice boats cost about 5 times as much as the not as nice ones. The potential boat costs cover a wide range and "well worn" might be $20,000 and 2 years work on the cheap side after you buy and pay for it. The two years won't include insurance and perhaps slip fees too. There is no upper limit and I really think the lower limit is about $10,000 after the sale and $20,000 more common.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:01   #6
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Thanks for the input everyone!

Pblias- Cost is always an issue, be it looking at a $2500 daysailor or a $250000 live-aboard. In this case, I would not be very likely to buy a $20000 boat unless it was some freak deal that even the surveyor felt like reaching into his wallet for. Initially, I was thinking of a "fixer upper", because its another personality flaw- I prefer to build or rebuild than just buy. However, the reality is that I live in the middle of the country and simply cannot afford the time to go through a $20000 boat.
I then looked at much more expensive boats- mostly in the $100-150k range, as the natural assumption was these would be more sound, require less re-fitting, and just be "nicer". Well, some are and some arent. There are few "bargains" in this price range and while they were all likely ready to step right on and sail, they all also seemed to need something.
So the arguement now is if I am going to spend an additional 10K plus to refit a higher price boat, why not just buy a lesser expensive boat, spent the same money to refit, and (hopefully) end up with a nice boat the way I want it for about the same money as having bought the more expensive boat. I harbor no illusions I will SAVE a dime buying a $50k boat and re-fitting it, just that at the end of that road it will be as close to the way I want it as I can afford and I (and as importantly, my wife) will know and understand each and every system onboard.
Pretty much all the boats I have looked closely at- the Morgan OI's and 416's, Gulfstars, and Irwins have been between $50 and $90k, dependant largely on age and current equipment.

I know I gave broad strokes as to my requirements, so I will add a few more-

-The boat needs to be able to be singlehanded with relative ease
-While I am not looking for a racer, good windward performance is becoming more and more important to me.
-We have no plans for extensive passagemaking, but do want to feel reasonably comfortable that should the desire be there, I would feel comfortable doing so.
-We also have no immediate plans to live-aboard in a marina for extended periods. Loosely, we want to be able to moor the boat in Florida/California/wherever, be able to fly in, do whatever maintenance is needed, and cruise and meander about for a bit, say running to the bahamas/USVI/BVI/etc and then stow the boat and head home.


Honestly, the layout, sail plan, hull design and rigging are much more important to me than existing electronics, electrics, interior upholstery, etc. as that is all stuff that I feel like we are likely to want to change anyway.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:28   #7
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I know that this is not the size boat that you are lookig for , but there may be some information here that you can use.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:39   #8
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In case you misunderstood the comments I made above about the $20,000 I did not include the purchase price.

Quote:
I harbor no illusions I will SAVE a dime buying a $50k boat and re-fitting it, just that at the end of that road it will be as close to the way I want it as I can afford.
Well I think we all agree you don't save money owning a boat. I wouldn't harbor the illusion that the less expensive boat will take the same money to refit and that is how you put the reply. Boats in those price ranges need more than a $10,000. Being affordable would require you to be able to do a lot of work yourself instead of hiring it out. You probably would like to do it too. Not being located near the boat precludes that possibility as well as the on going maintenance. While I think it is possible to do a lot of the work yourself it takes a lot of time to do it. That is one of the reasons hiring it out gets so expensive so quickly.

It seems the one new requirement of:

Quote:
We have no plans for extensive passage making, but do want to feel reasonably comfortable that should the desire be there, I would feel comfortable doing so.
This one criteria alone is a lot of extra money that you may not appreciate right now. Making the decision now that you will do it means more money than saying you doubt you ever will. It completely change the requirements and expenses more than a little bit.

Quote:
Loosely, we want to be able to moor the boat in Florida/California/wherever, be able to fly in, do whatever maintenance is needed, and cruise and meander about for a bit, say running to the Bahamas/USVI/BVI/etc and then stow the boat and head home.
Catching up on maintenance of a boat sitting for months at a time might take a weeks each time. This says nothing about the normal things that you have to fix because after all this is an older boat. You really can't just "moor the boat" and walk away and come back like you can a cabin on the lake. Do you have expectations on how much maintenance should be required and how you would complete it? Locating a boat requires a secure location and those costs plus insurance.

Financially buying the boat is really pretty cheap. At least you know the total price. It's only after that that it gets expensive. Re fitting is always an unknown. The stuff you know about plus the stuff you find out when you complete the stuff you know. Plus the stuff that gives out after all that all the while maintaining all the stuff that works. Being new has to also include the stuff you break. This is all normal even on the higher priced used boats. They all have their own fun stories that goes with them that you can read about in the many threads here.

I'm hoping to sharpen your requirements with more details so you can get your expectations realistic and hopefully end up with something that is fun. It is all supposed to be fun too!
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:18   #9
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If you think passagemaking is something that you will probably want to do, (and my guess is you probably will at some point) you want to check out the Peterson 44. It's a much better boat IMO than those you mentioned early on, especially if passagemaking is on the agenda.

Great voyaging boat, fast, excellent liveaboard. It's a cutter rig, but otherwise it meets all your criteria.
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Old 04-01-2008, 21:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalker View Post

-The boat needs to be able to be singlehanded with relative ease
-While I am not looking for a racer, good windward performance is becoming more and more important to me.
-We have no plans for extensive passagemaking, but do want to feel reasonably comfortable that should the desire be there, I would feel comfortable doing so.
-We also have no immediate plans to live-aboard in a marina for extended periods. Loosely, we want to be able to moor the boat in Florida/California/wherever, be able to fly in, do whatever maintenance is needed, and cruise and meander about for a bit, say running to the bahamas/USVI/BVI/etc and then stow the boat and head home.


Pardon me for jumping in and ignore the advice if you like.

Ou club has several "bluewater" boats. Heavy displacement vs. LOA, built like battleships.

90% of the time we have breezes less than 10kts. Most of these guys don't go out in these condidtions becuase, "It's no fun."

If you buy a heavy disnplacement ocean going boat and then spend most of your time in coastal conditions you might want to reconsider.

Buy the boat that works for 90% of you sailing goals.

You might want a cruiser/racer. Better performance but can meet your other goals most of the time.
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Old 04-01-2008, 22:37   #11
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I have actually dwelt on that very issue quite a bit- but where and how do you draw those lines? I dont want to feel like a cork in a washing machine, and as I said, good speed is becoming more important.I looked into several cruiser/racers, but honestly I(and more importantly, the wife) like a bit of comfort.That said, I am also a little wary of buying too large a boat. Most of the time it will be myself and my wife aboard, and I truly see us doing more coastal cruising with maybe a week at sea.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:48   #12
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If you want fun get a sailing dinghy to carry aboard. If you want a boat to live on a cruise on get comfort. IMHO in my book hands down it's about comfort if you want to spend time on a boat.

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:15   #13
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Add the ENDEAVOUR to your list...... the 40' Center Cockpit passes your check-off list:
heavy 25,000lbs
aft-cabin privacy
Perkins
large protected rudder
VERY liveable
thick fiberglas construction
Just a thought..... good luck!
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:18   #14
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Quote:
I have actually dwelt on that very issue quite a bit- but where and how do you draw those lines?
The bank account is a good place to start.

Actually living aboard takes a lot more room than spending say just a few months cruising around per year since you have a home to store more of the crap it takes to live your life. 2 people living aboard can fill a 45 ft boat with no problem. Short term cruising can be done well and comfortably in a 35 ft boat. Long term cruising is as much about your stuff fitting aboard as anything. If you want a boat that won't bounce much and is fast you need a long water line with less stuff aboard. Boat length is always a compromise as so much about owning a boat is $/ft.

Draw the line by finding the largest small boat you can. If you think in those terms you can make the money work as well as all your goals. The bigger boat will always have more comfort and speed but the work and expenses grow faster. Overloaded boats don't handle well and are uncomfortable.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:43   #15
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Look at these boats. You can get them for under $100k. Good sailers and seaworthy.

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