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Old 11-02-2013, 10:37   #1
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virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

Good day,

I live on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands and searching for a partner. She should be white or light skinned, classy, nice curves, fast, and fun.

Ok, kidding aside, it is me, my wife, and 3 year old son. We particularly want a sailboat to go over to St. Thomas, BVI, Culebra, and eventually down island with. I have a pretty decent savings but would like to purchase something 20K or less. Ideally we would use our first boat to really get our act together, learn, and figure out what it is we really want in a boat. Both my wife and I have a fair amount of sailing experience. We are also avid water people who love to surf, kiteboard, SUP, dive, swim, etc. Eventually we will upgrade to a nicer, faster, more expensive cruiser but in the meantime want something realtively inexpensive. The boat will be kept on a mooring in Salt River, St. Croix.

If I could have it my way, it would be an aft cockpit sloop or ketch with tiller steering, 35-38 feet in length. Something built strong and stout, but also pretty fast to make those broad reach sails across the pond a bit quicker. And nice pointing ability for when the wind changes to a less than ideal direction. We don't need a lot of fancy electronics, autopilot, a reliable engine, and solar/wind power would be nice.

All that being said, I first was really interested in a Dufour 35 that popped up on Ebay: Dufour 35, great condition, ready to go, coastal, bluewater, liveaboard in Sailboats | eBay Motors. Looks to be a very well maintained boat and it has a tiller, which is a something I really prefer. I started getting really excited thinking this could be the one. After a lot of research, I learned about encapsulated iron keels, which this boat has, and decided it is something I would rather not have in the back of my head every time we go in and out of the Salt River channel or other skinny channels. I also got realistic about having to trasport the boat from Lake Murray, SC to the ocean. Seems like a lot of work for a boat that may not be worth it. Still looks like a nice one though... sigh

So another boat which I had seen on yachtworld.com awhile back but did not give much thought, has peaked my interest. A Columbia 10.7 wide cruiser. Here is the link: 1979 Columbia 10.7 Wide Body Super Cruiser Sail Boat For Sale -

I had a Columbia 21 in college and had a blast sailing in the ICW. I am a bit reluctant to pursue this one because it seems Columbias are not highly regarded compared others from that 60-70's era. Although it is a Alan Payne design which I understand was a good naval architect. I'm not keen on wheel steering, but i have learned all boats are a compromise, and the teak interior looks to be nice and well maintained. The things that kinda turn me off are no autopilot and no solar or wind power. But the price is right, and I would venture to say negotiable down to 13K, possibly lower. If anyone has any input on this Columbia 10.7, I would love to hear it.

There is also a Morgan 35 for sale in St. John, link here: 1970 Morgan Sloop 35'. Another one with wheel steering. Not much info on the internet on these particular Morgan's. Seems like the steel mast step is something to be inspected. I am not a big fan of Morgan's but again the price is right on this one. Thoughts?

So any input on the above vessels, and any suggestions as to other boats I should be considering. I am from West Palm Beach, FL and my mom still lives there, so finding a nice FL boat and bringing it down next fall is not out of the question either. But we would like to get out there sailing sooner rather than later.

Thanks in advance for any help and input. This forum has been a great source of knowledge and entertainment over the years for me. I am just now getting to a stage in my life where buying a yacht is becoming a reality. If only I had a couple hundred grand, I could really get something nice.
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Old 10-03-2013, 19:21   #2
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

I cant really help you on your choices but funny enough I was searching for more infomration on the Dufour 35 as I bought the one you are talking about. It was in great condition overall and is my 1st seagoing boat that will eventually go down to the Islands as well. This one went 1/2 way around the world before making it to flodida and Georgia. Anyway thought it was funny I ran across this posting and realizing it was my boat your were talking about. Good luck in your search
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Old 10-03-2013, 20:25   #3
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

Been there, done that:
Lived aboard in Salt River when Mario ran the marina. (R.I.P.)

Since ya are on a budget, try a Catalina 30. Good boats and easy to sell and to buy.

Any cheap boat will have issues that you have to pay for later, so to search for a 35 t6o 38 for $20K you are dreaming if you want a sea worthy vessel for limited passages such as St. Croix to St. John and back.

I am selling my CSY 33, but way beyond your price range, it is however ready for going around the world and you only have to put groceries onbaord to do it.
(Put $80K into the boat AFTER I bought it, selling for $55K)
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:56   #4
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Aquaguy.
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Old 18-03-2013, 04:31   #5
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

Wow, that's funny Aquaguy. Looked like a beautiful boat in the pictures. I just couldn't get over the thought of an encapsulated iron keel.

Good luck and keep us updated on the boat.
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Old 21-03-2013, 14:19   #6
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

On that budget, I'd try to find one in the Virgin Islands.

To float one down from the states would be fun, but would eat into your refitting costs.

Ask around at the second-tier charter companies, or check the marinas. There are plenty of boats there, so I'm sure something will meet your needs -- now or soon.
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Old 22-03-2013, 04:33   #7
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Re: virgin Islands resident looking for an island hopper

Oh believe me, I keep a close eye on the local marketplace. There are definitely some nice boats around for sale.
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