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Old 05-09-2008, 20:40   #1
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Starting with a clean slate

The longer I look for the boat the more I realize that it all boils down to a series of compromises. I think that I have gotten to the point that I know what I want, and am looking for input and recommendations. Here's the short list:

Budget: $50,000-$100,000

Need a boat that I can single hand if necessary, usually it will be crewed by me and my wife. (We sailed a Cal-27 for a few years.) We live in Florida and plan to sail in that area as well as the Bahamas (Now) and eventually the Caribbean and Central America. (15 year plan)

We like to entertain guests, watch sunsets and generally just be on the water. No interest in racing, however, would like to be able to make decent time on a passage. I have no visions of ever crossing the Atlantic, or Pacific but would like a boat that was capable if we decided, way down the road, if we wanted to. I would also like the peace of mind of a boat that could handle the blue waters.

I am leaning towards a centerboard or, if fixed, a maximum of 4'6" draft. Neither of us like the look and feel of the newer boats - Hunter, Ben's, Catalina's, etc. Each time I look around I keep coming back to an Island Packet, Tartan 37C or possibly an Allied - all in the 36-39' range. Realistically, am I looking at two different boats, one for the next 10-15 years and one for extended cruising after retirement or would one of these boats, or others do the job?

Thanks for your input.

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Old 05-09-2008, 20:58   #2
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Don't know the Allied but the Island Packet is a bluwater boat and I believe the Tartan is as well.

Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 05-09-2008, 23:40   #3
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One thing I''m sure of is the difficulting in planning one's life 15 years down the road. Buy the boat that suits your life style now and let the distant future take care of itself.
"Star - bo-l-e-e-n-s, a-h-o-y! Eight bells there below! Tumble up!" - Heman Melville, "Moby Dick"
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:46   #4
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I keep coming back to an Island Packet, Tartan 37C or possibly an Allied - all in the 36-39' range.
We have 3 Tartan 37's in the club and they are a nice boat that take a beating and perform well. The new ones are terrible and are not really Tartans any more. There could be some early 1980's boats that can be had in your budget. The IP's are not so affordable.

Some of the older Allieds could be fine. Friends have a Sea Breeze yawl. It's a 7/8 th scale rule beater and they have a nice motion to them.

All these boats are old and that isn't to say they are not suitable but none of them are what they were 25 years ago so the condition of the boat counts more than the brand. I would seek to broaden your short list a bit more and when ready to buy do a good search on all of them and put your money on the best one you can find. Don't be attracted to the cheapest one. That will be the money pit you don't want. The best one will cost a little more but you'll get more value.
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s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:53   #5
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Originally Posted by dagerman View Post
I am leaning towards a centerboard or, if fixed, a maximum of 4'6" draft. Neither of us like the look and feel of the newer boats - Hunter, Ben's, Catalina's, etc...

Paul has it right – I’m not terribly familiar with the Allied other than one or two I’ve seen over the years, but boat on boat, unless you’re trying to take on a project you’ll probably be most likely interested in the upper end of the relative price range for older boats; mainly because someone will have already done all (or most…) of the upgrades, and the seller seldom gets remotely what they put into a boat in that scenario… of course the newer Island Packet is always there as would be the “cruiser” Valiant, Westsail, etc., etc., but if one is trying to get a boat with more classic lines, then that breed’s heyday was mostly in the late 60s through the early 80s, after which they began to give way to the Cal 40/J-Boat motif, which restyled the largest part of the sailing market…

My $.02 on the centerboard notions is, don’t if you don’t have to… Had one on a Irwin 42, not that all boats are like that… wasn’t always a maintenance headache, but when it was, it was a real one… plus, it added very little to the pointing capability of the boat, so in later years I never used it… shoal keels are generally available in the used market and seem to work well, and if it were me I’d exhaust those options before I’d give the centerboard a second glance…
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:06   #6
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The Island Packets are usually more expensive, but it's for a reason. They're well built. And every one that I've been on has been very well maintained. IP owners tend to take loving care of their boats, at least the one's I've known.

If you see one really you like, but the price seems too high for your budget, it might be worth getting a survey done. You may find that it won't take much, if any, additional dollars to be able to "sail away".
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Old 06-09-2008, 13:02   #7
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I agree with Paul and Larry. With older boats it's all about condition and a well maintained, properly upgraded, old Catalina may serve you better than a 'needs work' Hans Christian. Also, I don't like movable keels on big boats - one more thing to break. You need to expand your options before you narrow them. One example (and it's only one) would be a Whitby 42 - if you can single hand a 39 footer, you can single hand a 42. These boats are more likely to have been used for serious cruising - which means that either they have been beat to hell or have been well maintained and upgraded such that everything works and little needs to be fixed. It's all about condition.

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