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Old 07-04-2016, 14:33   #1
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What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum but I've been around reading lots of posts and opinions on different sailboats, pros and cons.

I am fairly close to making the decision to purchase a boat and would like some opinions on what boat would fit my needs best.

My first boat needs to be one I keep for 10-20 years (unless I win the lottery but that's another topic).
It must fit my local puddle. Maximum draft 4 ft. This is a very strict limit, the admiral can't read a depth meter.
Must fit the local marinas. Around 27 to 30 ft LOA.
Must be Ocean tough. I will use it locally mostly but do plan extended cruises, from time to time, say from North East to Caribbean and maybe twice across the pond.

I can find only 2 boats that truly meet my needs.

Nor'Sea 27 - one major flaw - can't find one for sale. It's also its strongest selling point considering how many were built. Owners don't seem willing to part with theirs. And the aft cabin model just sings to me

PS Orion 27 - one major flow, it's not a Nor'sea

Any other suggestions? I appreciate any input.
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Old 07-04-2016, 14:58   #2
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Welcome, gerolamo

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerolamo View Post
Maximum draft 4 ft. This is a very strict limit, the admiral can't read a depth meter.
If that's true, she can't tell time either ... So that comment makes no sense, imho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerolamo View Post
Around 27 to 30 ft LOA.
Must be Ocean tough.
What do you consider "ocean tough"?
Everybody has their own opinions, preferences etc. which determine what makes them trust a certain boat to take them offshore. What are yours?
And how "ocean tough" is the crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerolamo View Post
Any other suggestions? I appreciate any input.
What is your budget?

Max. 30' LOA, max. 4' draft fits a LOT of boats. What else is on your Must Have (dealbreakers) and Nice To Have list?

You can only find 2 boats that meet your criteria - tho many, many boats meet the ones you posted, so please post the rest of your criteria as well and save us all the trouble of posting boats that don't tick the necessary boxes.

What local puddle / location are we talking about? How far are you willing to travel for a boat?

Do you have any boating or sailing experience? And what about your wife (and other crew members)?
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Old 07-04-2016, 15:00   #3
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Duh, Orion 27
I'm not near my computer right now so I can't look up the specs but isn't the nor sea narrower in order to make it trailerable? If you're not going to take it on the highway might as well go wider. Cape Dorys and Vancouver 27 might be worth looking at too.

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Old 07-04-2016, 15:16   #4
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Way to many unknowns. Most critically is what's the budget.

For an unlimited amount of money your profile screams for a Pogo 30. But it is by no means cheap.

Otherwise there aren't a whole lot of boats I would want to take across the Atlantic in this size range. Even a trip to the Bahamas in a shallow draft sub 30' is a little much. Sure some boats will be fine, but the crew may mutiny.

Until you have a lot of sailing experience I would buy a boat for what you are doing now, and worry about replacing it when you get to that point.
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Old 07-04-2016, 15:40   #5
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

OK, some clarifications are in order.
My "local puddle" is around Montreal area, Canada. Not particularly large or deep bodies of water, but nice sailing if you don't have to constantly worry about the bottom. The "admiral" reference is a joke, don't take it the wrong way. But rocks are easy to find around here.

Ocean tough... hmm, that's a tough one... because I'm not. My experience is with lake sailing. The whole point is to find a boat I can get to know, and take in the ocean when I'm ready. One I can take 2-5 years to refit while sailing in the lake.

My budget is around 50K.

What else...
Protected rudder, bulletproof hull and rig, gentle motion, decent performance, comfortable inside for 2.
Definitely not a racer, or with a centerboard I might lose underway.
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Old 07-04-2016, 16:17   #6
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

I think if you type your inputs into Yachtworld search you will get all your local options, no?

We are in a boat "very similar" to Nor'Sea 27 and I did meet one owner and we had a most interesting chat. After the chat, I am sure Nor'Sea is not on my shopping list.

If you are interested in similar boats, I would look at builders like Morris, PSC, HCH, Southern Cross, Sea Sprite, Baba, Vancouver, etc etc etc

If you buy one boat for keeps, I would aim at something 32 to 36 rather than 27, unless you only want a local boat for the summer. There is a major safety and comfort step up when you go from 27 to say 32, all other things different. Also, some 32 boats offer better storage and tankage than some 27'ers, though this is not a rule set in stone.

Elsewhere, you can get a more than adequate 27 to 32 ft moderate 'classic' hull for 10 to 40k USD. But then you would have to start with an ocean passage to get her to the West Indies or the East Coast.

Some tips that you may consider:
- cockpit - not too big, nor too deep,
- cockpit not too small (so that you can comfortably sleep in it),
- draft - as deep as practical - (6ft to much for Bahamas they say),
- draft - not too shallow (pointing and safety in the open),
- preferably lead ballast,
- preferably no rudder cut-out,
- preferably no large genoas,
- preferably sandwich above waterline,
- preferably no balsa,
- preferably clean new diesel,
- preferably no teak deck ...

;-)

I could go like this for ever ... because we have a 27'er ;-)

Cheers, have fun shopping, buying and out fitting. Sailing is not bad either. You can PM me any time if you decide to stay in this bracket.

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Old 07-04-2016, 16:41   #7
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Tartan 27 if the encapsulated chainplates have been eliminated.
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Old 07-04-2016, 16:46   #8
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Shannon 28. There's one in Maine within your price range. Buy it. Go now.

Edit...oops...5ft draft. Buy it and give it to me?
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Old 07-04-2016, 17:36   #9
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerolamo View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum but I've been around reading lots of posts and opinions on different sailboats, pros and cons.

I am fairly close to making the decision to purchase a boat and would like some opinions on what boat would fit my needs best.

My first boat needs to be one I keep for 10-20 years (unless I win the lottery but that's another topic).
It must fit my local puddle. Maximum draft 4 ft. This is a very strict limit, the admiral can't read a depth meter.
Must fit the local marinas. Around 27 to 30 ft LOA.
Must be Ocean tough. I will use it locally mostly but do plan extended cruises, from time to time, say from North East to Caribbean and maybe twice across the pond.

I can find only 2 boats that truly meet my needs.

Nor'Sea 27 - one major flaw - can't find one for sale. It's also its strongest selling point considering how many were built. Owners don't seem willing to part with theirs. And the aft cabin model just sings to me

PS Orion 27 - one major flow, it's not a Nor'sea

Any other suggestions? I appreciate any input.
The Nor'Sea is way over priced and tiny.

There is one docked here that hasn't moved in 7 years. I finally took a look below and it was nothing spectacular

Maybe you should look for a Contessa 26 , Albin Vega, or Bristol 27 if you want something small, ocean tough, with a 4' draft
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Old 07-04-2016, 20:37   #10
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Thank you, a few good options I have not considered.
But if I stick with the 27 range Orion seems a pretty good choice. (one vote and no thumb downs )

Bristol CC 28 nice, but a little pricey.
Shannon 28... I wish

Barnakiel, thank you for your great tips.

Regarding Nor'sea, can anyone share some experience to understand why it gets the thumb downs? As I understand the build quality is top-notch.
I'm 5.7 so the small interior is not necessarily a problem.
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Old 07-04-2016, 21:54   #11
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Near mtl and max 4ft you must be on lac st-Louis! Why not keep your boat on lake champlain and get rid of the 4ft limit. As a bonus you get a sailable body of water. There is a nice westsail 32 for sale on the fleuve st Laurent that fits your budget with room to spare. Also a nordica 30 close to rimouski (draws 5'). Bonne chance!


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Old 08-04-2016, 07:24   #12
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Orso, you are correct. Lake St Louis is a 15 minutes drive, Lake Champlain is 1 hr. In the lake I could be sailing every day
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:24   #13
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerolamo View Post
Thank you, a few good options I have not considered.
But if I stick with the 27 range Orion seems a pretty good choice. (one vote and no thumb downs )

Bristol CC 28 nice, but a little pricey.
Shannon 28... I wish

Barnakiel, thank you for your great tips.

Regarding Nor'sea, can anyone share some experience to understand why it gets the thumb downs? As I understand the build quality is top-notch.
I'm 5.7 so the small interior is not necessarily a problem.
Since one of the thumbs was mine.

The following comes from talking to one owner and having a very good long look his boat, then looking at another one (hoisted dry in San Miguel Yacht Club).

- she was very narrow, in case of short boats, this gives very limited storage, very small interior given this LOA,
- she was very shallow and made huge leeway beating, poor upwind work,
- she was much heavier than designed, even though she had the small ballast package,
- narrow, shallow, low ballast = ROLLS your guts out while running in any realistic seas,
- leaks throughout - mostly thru the deck and cabin,
- teak deck, weight and maintenance,
- cutaway in the rudder, weaker rudder and less efficient,
- uncomfortable cockpit,
- low quality finish,
- very dark wood (likely something oiled).

The one in San Miguel did not seem very well finished either. This was (I believe) the heavier ballast version - the extra ballast seemed to be added in some form of add-on boot at the lower end of the original cast. ;-(

Do not take me as bashing. I am not. I can easily imagine going in this boat to the end of the world. Just since there are so many choices, my personal likes/dislikes push me towards more sporty designs (say a Grinde or a PSC34). Or at least ones with apparently higher finish (say a HCH34).

I think if there is one laying around, one that you really dig, you should give it a chance. If you want to spend some time offshore, look for the heavier ballast one, taller mast one, IMHO avoid aft cabin version (unless you have a strong reason to have one). Avoid teak deck and keep her very light. You may become a very happy sailor soon. And that's the exercise, mostly.

PS Something is telling me there was a publicity seeking girl sailing one, there was that blog ... google her up there may be good pictures and some valuable info there (unless she is selling hers already).

Dah, found her:
Teresa Carey's Sailing Simplicity & the Pursuit of Happiness

This guy we met:
Nor`Sea 27 | Art of Hookie

Cheers,
b.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:18   #14
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

Thanks Barnakiel,
The owner finished versions are a concern for sure. The added on balast is something I did not hear of before... hmm.
I keep hearing of it being narrow, I did not consider it being an issue, but I have to get inside one to check for myself.
I could go Island Packet 27 on the other hand, no narrow beam problems there I hear, quite the opposite
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:32   #15
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Re: What is the best sailboat for me... besides Nor'Sea 27?

How about a keel/centreboard boat like a Bristol 29.9? 3ft draft when you need it, centreboard for when you dont. Much more boat than a Norsea, for less money.
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