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Old 28-11-2010, 08:42   #16
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No one has asked the $64 queston: How much are you willing to spend?
I have asked the budget but we didn't get that info yet...
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Old 28-11-2010, 08:51   #17
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Look at a late model Island Packet 27 or 29. Much better quality than the Catalina, more spacious, slower but much more seaworthy. Also more expensive.

As for Catalina, the 27 is the Volkswagon of small cruisers with almost 7,000 built. However, only a fraction of those have diesel engines.
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Old 28-11-2010, 09:44   #18
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I think you'll find that most of the anti-production boat (including Catalina) comments pertain to discussions about crossing oceans. Coastal cruising is a whole different ballgame.

Our first boat was a Catalina 27 and we sailed her quite happily for five years. As beginners, I think we might have gotten frustrated with sailing a heavier boat in the Chesapeake Bay, since we often have light winds here. I gather the San Fancisco Bay has an abundance of wind? In that case, something a little more solid might mean more sailing days for you.

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Old 28-11-2010, 09:53   #19
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I got my bristol 27 in san francisco for $1000. I sailed up in the delta, then to morro bay, then to catalina and now I have continued on to newport bay where I am now. I am glad I got a bristol not a catalina.
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Old 28-11-2010, 21:31   #20
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We're lookin in the 4,000 and under range... Been looking at Ericson boats.. like the looks of them and the layout inside.
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Old 29-11-2010, 14:37   #21
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Well, you can forget about an Island Packet on that budget. You're going to be stuck with a Catalina 27, Ericson, older Cape Dory, Pearson or Bristol. I hope you are handy with tools and enjoy making repairs, because the maintenance on a boat, especially an older boat, is nothing like a car. Unless you can do it yourself, figure on 15% of the purchase price per year.
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Old 29-11-2010, 22:28   #22
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What do you folks think about Columbia's ???
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Old 29-11-2010, 23:21   #23
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Our first boat was a Catalina 27 and we sailed her quite happily for five years. As beginners, I think we might have gotten frustrated with sailing a heavier boat in the Chesapeake Bay, since we often have light winds here. I gather the San Fancisco Bay has an abundance of wind? In that case, something a little more solid might mean more sailing days for you.
I disagree. Strongly. A Catalina 27 is a great beginner boat for SF Bay. There are hundreds out here.
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Old 30-11-2010, 00:26   #24
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The 60s vintage Columbia 29... Sparkman Stevens design, full keel/cutaway forefoot. Built to last and good sailors. Forgiving and they track really well. They aren't too pricey when they can be found.
My first keel boat was a '65 Columbia Callenger. Though they have been on The Bay for a good while I believe they are a better SoCal boat.
Columbia made some good strong boats.
The Columbia 30 from Bill Tripp has a 50% ballast to displacement ratio which ought to make her nice and stiff. Plenty of room inside though a little high in freeboard and a smallish cockpit... ought to keep her drier I suppose.
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Old 30-11-2010, 00:40   #25
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I hear the "15% of initial cost per year" bandied around an awful lot; I'm going to respectfully disagree in this case. Perhaps it's true on larger/newer vessels. On an older boat (for $4000 you'll likely be in the late 70s range is my guess - some good boats out there for that!) you can easily spend far far more than that... but still not be out a lot of cash. $600 really doesn't get you very far in Boat $; you're really only paying for your annual haulout . Say you're adding a new system (e.g. shore power, or hot water say) You may outlay another $1000; not so much at the end of the day, but a sizable chunk of the boat cost, plus routine maintenance on impellers, belts, lines, zincs, etc. Just saying it's easy to justify adding A LOT to a small boat that started out barebannes. Nor is that necessarily a bad thing

Remember, the smaller systems are not that difficult to add in yourself. Stoves can be switched, electronics can be added. Good hull, reliable engine, safe rigging, workable sails, no major structural concerns; you'll figure the rest out, or learn to live without

We cruise with a couple on a Catalina 27; they love it, and regularly do week long cruises in the PNW. She's fun to sail, no raceboat but you're here asking at Cruiser's Forum, not a Sailing Anarchy. You'll be challenged, and learn all that you need without breaking the bank. If you love it, then perhaps you'll buy a different boat, for different purposes later on. No one's first boat is the "perfect" boat. Ericson's are nice boats; I prefer them as IMHO they're the better sailor.

My favourite suggestion: get out and sail on any boat your interested in. People like to show off their boats! Put an ad on Craigslist (or here even) asking if anyone who has a certain make of boat close to you if they'd be willing to trade an afternoon doing some sailing for some of your time helping with their spring haul (it's coming sooner than you'd think!) This will also give you an idea of what it's like to paint antifouling, a key boat chore.

Best of luck!

NB: Catalina's and Ericson's are dime-a-dozen (in a good way!) We found our less well known model for a song. Don't be afraid to look at lesser known models; there are some real gems out there!
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Old 30-11-2010, 01:07   #26
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Thanks alot folks for all your help... We are looking forward to sailing and working on a boat and making it ours.... Seen alot of Columbia's for some good prices, alot Ericsons. They seem to use the Atomic 4 engine alot, i think i'd rather have a diesel..Also i thought we only wanted a wheel, but after seeing and thinking about it, we don't mind the tiller, seems like more room.So as we read and study, our taste is kinda changing... lol.
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Old 30-11-2010, 02:44   #27
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So as we read and study, our taste is kinda changing... lol.
I would advise looking for a sound hull, proper rigging with life left in it, a well maintained engine, and ditto for the electrical system. Those are the four holes that the most money gets poured into. Whether you can do it within your budget is another question - everthing under 5K I've seen in the past 27ft+ has been a maintenance nightmare.

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Old 30-11-2010, 03:33   #28
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Krowbar,
One of the best ways to find a boat that will suit you and yours is to join a yacht club, go sailing at the week end - get to know the cruising boats from the owners - if there are marinas near you, walk the pontoons and berths, talk to yachties.
Richard
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:56   #29
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I hear the "15% of initial cost per year" bandied around an awful lot; I'm going to respectfully disagree in this case. Perhaps it's true on larger/newer vessels. On an older boat (for $4000 you'll likely be in the late 70s range is my guess - some good boats out there for that!) you can easily spend far far more than that...
Well, yes. The initial expenses to repair and refit an older boat can be much, much higher. The 15% just covers ongoing maintenance.
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