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Old 12-06-2014, 16:38   #1
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Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

Hi all,

Looking for some suggestions for my "first" sailing boat, something that's easy for solo operations and will get me to Belize or perhaps even down to Panama from the gulf coast.

As a "nautical newb" with limited experience (i've done some light sailing on the Great Lakes, but in nothing larger than a 14', and I've no salt water experience to date). I'm not expecting that I'm going to buy this thing, sail out of the slip and down to Belize the first day I own it (though it's does make for nice daydream!). I guess my goal would be to attempt the trip within a few months after I'm well and truly comfortable with both the ship, as well as gained more confidence in my sailing and navigational skills.

I've seen some listings in my "ideal" price range of about 10-15K or so, but that's limiting me to the 22' - 25' size, and older vessels. I worry though that a 22' might be a bit on the small side.

Please note this isn't a WTB post, i'm looking for suggestions only. I'm not ready to buy, but instead am looking for some suggestions from folks with more experience than I.

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2014, 16:54   #2
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

You could probably find a Pearson Triton in that price range and they will take you anywhere you want to go. A Bristol 27 would be another good candidate. You might be able to find an Alberg 30, but likely would need a bit more money for upgrades.

You can find Catalina 27's all day long but you'd need to know their limitations and overcome them with a combination of upgrades and good sailing.

There are many others, probably too many to mention, up to about 27 feet that you could have for that price that would get you there if you're careful.

You haven't told us much about what attributes you are looking for in a boat. What's important to you besides just getting there? Will you be going alone? Do you require standing head room? Like to cook or prefer to eat out of a can? Are you more interested in speed and maneuverability or something stiff and forgiving that will take care of you when the going gets tough.

Finding a boat in that price range is not the hard part. Finding one that will fulfill your particular requirements might be harder depending on what those requirements are and you haven't really told us too much about that.
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Old 12-06-2014, 17:50   #3
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

Thanks for the quick response. Those are good questions, and I suppose I should give a little bit more about what I'm looking for to help tailor some responses.

Standing room and a working galley would be pretty high on the requirements list. A shower less so.

This will be a solo trip, and my level of experience isn't high. I've some experience tooling around the great lakes here in Chicago on a Hobbie, but that's about it. So if it's speed & maneuverability vs forgiving.. I'd have to go with the forgiving route. I'd also like something with at least a small outboard (or, god forbid, can be moved about with sweeps if something goes really wrong!)

Does that help to narrow down the potential candidates?
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Old 12-06-2014, 17:56   #4
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

I would second the Triton. I own one that has been in my family since 1962. Early fiberglass boats were built strong - very thick laminations. The rig is stout and forgiving. People have sailed these boats around the world with minimal alterations. For the price you are considering, you could get a well found one with solid decks (their one weak point), good sails and recent standing rigging.

Good luck with the hunt and the trip!
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:39   #5
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

I'm with Crazyoldboatguy. The Triton would probably be my first choice as well, in that price range.
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:53   #6
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

Status quo... The Tanzer never gets a mention :/

I have a 1982 Tanzer 27 that is so solid I'm almost tempted to bounce it off a rock to see what happens.. As was mentioned I've found that the older rigs are much thicker hulled and considerably more forgiving...

But a great boat and worth a look...
Nice lines too

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Old 12-06-2014, 19:05   #7
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

"Starter" Sailboat

Woops, wrong thread. Sorry.

Try this:

Best used Sailboat for Newbie?
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Old 12-06-2014, 19:24   #8
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

I know you said that you weren't looking for a boat right now, but here is an example of something that would take you to Belize easily - should you acquire the necessary skills:

1968 Alberg 30 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

This boat has a brand new, professionally installed yanmar diesel, as a bonus. I happen to know this boat and so I thought of it as an example of a boat that would take you anywhere you want to go, is nothing fancy, but heavily built and same designer as the Triton. At the top of your price range, but doable I'm sure. Somebody needs to take this boat cruising.

Speaking of all these Alberg boats.... I had a great time hanging out with an Alberg gang in Brunswick GA a few years ago, where I'd sailed in St Simons inlet on my Cape Dory 30. James Baldwin was one of them, he had twice circumnavigated with his Triton, Atom. Also, a Spaniard was there, he was about to transatlantic home to the Canaries in his Triton, and he did, via Bermuda and Azores. Finally, the neighboring boat was an Alberg, refitting, and he has just completed a curcumnavigation. These are fine sailboats, there are others that would suit your needs for a Caribbean voyage. Once you narrow down your list of acceptable boats, pick the one that is the best bang for your buck. The best maintained, and with the important stuff in order, ie hull, rig, sails, motor, and tracPhone V3 for Sat Comms
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Old 12-06-2014, 19:29   #9
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

....that thing is pretty nice
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Old 13-06-2014, 06:40   #10
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Re: Suggestions for a 1st boat capable of a trip to Belize

Is your goal to make the passage, or to be in the area? There are boats for sale in the Rio Dulce Guatemala and Roatan Honduras that would fit your requirements.

Mark
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