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Old 04-02-2015, 11:13   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 321 32'
Posts: 6
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Question Shopping for a Sailboat - Seeking Advice

I am shopping for my next sailboat. What advice do you have?

I owned a Catalina 30, Mark II, fin keel for seven years. I also sailed an Ensign for six years and a Beneteau 41 for two years. I am 66 years old and my wife is 62. We are decent shape for our ages.

Below are the features that I would like in my next sailboat. My desire is to buy a cruiser/racer that is a little bigger, with a little more privacy, and a little faster than my old C30. I want to single-hand on occasion, JAM race, and take trips on Lake Erie with family and friends. Ideally I would like to buy a boat that I could sail with friends and family on regattas, long-distance races like the Trans-Erie, the Port Huron Mac, maybe the Chicago Mac, and possibly even the Trans-Superior. I want a boat that can be raced short-handed. I do not want to bear the on-going cost of performance sails, Dacron is fine.

Features by Priority

Priority A

Less than $100,000 including taxes and transportation to Cleveland
Scoop or similar transom with easy to use swim ladder
Overall length 32 to 38 ft.
Waterline length minimum 26.5 ft.
Able to sleep myself, wife, daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons ages 8, 5, and 2
Want some sleeping privacy for the adult couples
Draft maximum 5 ft.; will consider centerboard or other variable keel
Beam maximum 12 ft.
Lake Erie PHRF rating lower than 185
Sail area/displacement ratio of 16 to 21

Priority B
A6 CE category minimum
NMMA certified construction
Roller furling jib
In-mast furling or lazy-jacks
Refrigerator and freezer
Fresh water only boat

Priority C

VC17 bottom paint or similar
Electric anchor windless
One of more sail handling winches electric
Air conditioning
3-blade feathering prop or ultra-reliable 3-blade folding prop
Bimini and dodger
Set-up for asymmetrical or cruising spinnaker

Any advice or counsel on suitable boats will be appreciated.

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Old 04-02-2015, 15:44   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Boston Area
Boat: Beneteau 423
Posts: 209
Re: Shopping for a Sailboat - Seeking Advice

Have you thought about five years from now when the grandkids are 13,10, and 7. A Beneteau 361 seems like a good fit for the short term if the family can handle a little up close an personal. For growth, maybe something up from there a bit like a 39' though you might have go above you $100K limit.

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Old 05-02-2015, 05:27   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 43
Re: Shopping for a Sailboat - Seeking Advice

We looked at a 361 this last weekend. The forward V is VERY pinched at the end and the aft berth has such a limited access as to require both to exit if the aft person has to pee...
Galley was nice, but the berths killed it for us and it's just the two of us...

I'd find it hard to fit the simple sleeping needs the OP mentioned...

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Old 05-02-2015, 10:20   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Charleston, SC
Boat: Tayana 37
Posts: 704
Re: Shopping for a Sailboat - Seeking Advice

What about a Catalina 36 MKII? It would seem to meet all your requirements. Here's a link to one i saw on YW.

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