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Old 03-08-2010, 20:05   #1
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The Question of the Ages - What Boat ?

Its the question that's been asked many times... what kind of boat is best for me?

OK, so, right now I am in the market for my very own boat (been borrowing a friend's 23' all summer) and I find myself asking the same question, trawling forums, books and reviews.

Got 3 young kids 3-7 years old, sail 100% on big lake (Champlain), occasionally have 1-3 guests on the boat (yes 8 is crowded on the deck of a 23'!).

Not super interested in going fast, but would like do do the odd 1-2 night trip with the whole family. I can't see us doing week long trips.

I don't think I'll be trailing the boat all over creation. Champlain has years of exploration in it, but I might bring the boat home over winter to work on it easier (we live an hour + away from the marina).

Budget is $6-9000 all in.

My conclusions so far are...

28' to 30' boats seem to be a jump in price. In my budget range that means older 70's boats.
24' seems a minimum size for young family of 5
24'-28' range seems to be 80's boats in my budget

and here is the big one....
Much of the boat price seems to be in after market equipment, and at the end of the day, much of this seems to be the same. The same electronics, motors etc etc.

So, do I go for an older boat with an older foundation (hull/rigging, etc etc) that is a little bigger, or something smaller and newer?

If I move a move, at most once a year, do I need the swing keel water ballasted trailer-R-Us boat?

Please advise!

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Old 03-08-2010, 20:10   #2
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And one last question....

As a first starter boat... should I just be looking for the best deal I can rather than asking this question anyway?

Should I just keep an eye on sales in my state and snap up the best deal in my budget? Do I need to agonize over whether this boat or that has a 3' waterline length more than an other?

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Old 03-08-2010, 22:15   #3
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Just my opinion but the age of boats doesn't have as much to do with their condition as does the prior owner's care. I'd shop for an older boat that has had a few rigging upgrades and a little diesel engine and not be seduced by flashy electronics, water ballasts and modern looks.
For a trailerable, get the largest your towing vehicle can handle. Some boats that are not made for trailering can be put on a trailer for a couple trips a year.
Before purchasing just post on the forum what you are looking at so we can have a chance to talk you into it or out of it depending on what the majority of the forum members know about your proposed purchase.
Hope this helps a little.
kind regards,
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:49   #4
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Very good points about owner care, thanks....
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:03   #5
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You can get a good Grampian 28 for under 10K in Toronto. Take your summer (kinda redundant as who sails in the winter here) vacation and sail it to Lake Champlain. A wonderful trip through the NY State Canal System.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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