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Old 24-04-2007, 22:56   #1
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Which Boat????

Hi everyone,

I'm sure this has been asked a hundred times, and I have found some good info by searching back through old threads, but not enough yet, so here goes.

At first I thought I wanted a larger boat because, 1) I am tall, 6' 1" and I hate being crowded, 2) I'm spoiled from land life and wanted more room for my "stuff", 3) I thought a larger (read heavier) boat would be more stable, better handling in "heavy" weather, and more comfortable underway.

I've talked to other sailors, brokers, sales people, and of course, read all I can find time for on here. I have heard so much I'm totally confused. So, I'm hoping to get some guidance from you folks.

I've decided there are advantages to a smaller vessel, probably in the 36/40 range. I know there are folks who have circumnavigated in smaller, like Donna Lange,the Pardeys?, and others, but, I'm not that much into self denial or self abuse. I do want a certain level of comfort, but want to balance that against good sailing qualities and strong build/design.

I plan to 1)buy a boat on the west coast, get some additional experience in the area, then head through the canal to the Caribbean, or 2) just buy on the east coast, take it to Florida, near family, and start out from there for waters south, caribbean, s. america, etc. Eventually, I may take it across to the Med, and maybe in the future back to the Pacific, and to Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand???? maybe, in a few years, not immediately.

I keep reading/hearing about the good/bad qualities of different boats, some I thought were good craft, like Irwin, Cal, Gulfstar, Beneteau, I've now been told are basically crappy, heavy boats that have to be motored a lot, and won't hold up to "blue water" sailing.

So, I would like suggestions, by name, and even model of boats in the 36/40 range that you guys think will fit the bill. I can't afford things like Hylas, and Hinkley. I know there damn fine boats, but out of my budget. Heck, even the Juneaus are beyond my scope. So, I'm looking for solid, well designed, good sailors, under a hundred grand, ready to go basically, enough head room thoughout the boat for me, i.e.over 6', good storage, living area, that will heave to in a blow, take some pounding should I get caught in a storm, and not make me crap my jeans. God knows, I'm not going to head into one deliberately, but we all know that plans don't always work out.

Ideas anyone, all suggestions gratefully accepted....and thanks,

RichT.
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Old 25-04-2007, 01:32   #2
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Rich - Can we presume that you want a little company while out and about? So, room enough for TWO ehh?

As has been so often talked about on this forum, there are SO many variables with boats and the individuals involved, that it is virtually impossible to have someone else come up with a boat 'just right for you'.

My suggestion is that you go about it in a different (and, IMHO, more logical ) way: find some boats that you believe will fit the bill and get some pros and cons from the board with specific boats in mind. There IS no substitute for doing your own leg work and narrowing the field based on what YOU like, and then getting input from the experts on this forum.

Yachtworld has a tremendous number of boats for sale with good descriptions and lots of pictures (the internet has become an excellent tool - improved 1000% even in just a few short years from when I was looking). Nothing will beat (nor should it) actually going and seeing boats - hell, that is half the fun!

But the vast knowledge available on this forum can be best applied by taking your PRE-selected models, and helping you understand their strengths and weaknesses, along with hints and tips of how to find a good one, or which ones to avoid. Leaving it wide open won't help you find the best boat for you.

Oh, and Happy Birthday. I'll try and get over to the Hi-Cees on Friday and buy you a beer.
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Old 25-04-2007, 02:15   #3
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Got to look...

It's depressing, and time consuming but there is really no alternative to looking yourself.

Start lining up haulout facilities and surveyors first. Buying a boat can happen very suddenly.

Try and find out what similar boats have actually sold for.

Allow at least half a day each (including travel).

Private owners are good because you can sit down and talk to them and get a feel for what it's like to sell a boat.

Do keep in mind that there are some total rogues and scoundrels out there.

After you've seen a dozen boats you will be able to look at a listing and know if it has possibilities.

Deduct at least $25,000 for a crook engine and the same again for fibreglass problems. Other problems may have lesser costs but they are all expensive to fix.

Don't make any offers right away. Give some story that implies you have plenty of time. Call back 3-4 weeks later to see if the boats been sold.

And, of course, everthing is subject to a satisfactory survey.
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Old 25-04-2007, 11:38   #4
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I'm 6'3" and went through the exact same issues in finding a boat that "fits."

If smaller is what you want, try:

Late 70s vintage Tartan 37 - Kinda spartan but good sailing performance.
Early 80s Bristol 41 (hard to find for less than $100K)
Endeavour 35 - surprising room for 35ft
Endeavour 42 - my personal choice for <$100K. Watch for tank issues.
IP35 - may not find one for less than $100K

If not overly concerned about sailing performance (OK no flame mails please - just my opinion!!) then:

Endeavour 40 - roomy but watch for tank issues
Endeavour 43 - roomier still but same tank & fwd mast step issues
Tayana 37 - if it has enough space for you is a sturdy cruiser
Endeavour 37 Plan B - I liked the layout. Performance not great.

As others have said, there is NO substitute for getting out and seeing these for yourself. Time consuming but can be half the fun of the adventure in itself.

Just my $0.02 based upon my search experiences... Happy Hunting!!

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Old 25-04-2007, 15:59   #5
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I think the smallest boat that works is really what you want. Every extra foot is more money up front and at a marina and for bottom paint and for allot of other things. You are lucky at 6 -1 you fit in a whole lot of boats above 6 - 3 it gets harder.

Being just a bit too tall takes it's toll on the top of your head. Not fitting in the bunk really sucks most. I'm only 5 - 7 so I fit everything except coming up from below on the bridge deck. We all have to duck some place.

Not all boats of nominal size are the same volume. Our 36 is as big as many 40's. Tayana 37 and Tartan 37 are good choices and easily found maybe close to home. I think there are others too. I'm not huge Endeavor fan though a neighbor bought one new and sold it after 18 years and loved it so it's not like it does not have it's good properties. You just have to survey the decks close as it is a common problem in the whole brand once they get to be as old as they are. Not that that isn't the case with any used boat. It's the survey more than the pedigree.
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Old 25-04-2007, 20:16   #6
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Quote; SV Elusive
"there are SO many variables with boats and the individuals involved, that it is virtually impossible to have someone else come up with a boat 'just right for you".

Thomas, you are so right. I realize I need to do a lot of research on my own, however, was hoping to cut down a bit on the legwork by shortening the list up front. Since I have not sailed on a lot of the boats noted here, I can't get the answers I need just by looking at the web postings. And, few brokers, at least the ones that I have met, will give you a really straight answer. If I go to yachtworld, and put in 30' to 40', 60 to 100K, without specifying builder or model, I will probably get 4000+ boats. Too much for me to digest, and too much to wade through. So, what I was hoping was get some consensus of the boats which might come close to my needs, and refine it from there. I have looked at a ton of boats online, and several in person. One problems is that when you tell a broker you want to look at a particular boat to see if it is one you might be interested in, they don't seem anxious to do an "open house" of the craft. Like Mercedes salesman, they want to "qualify" you.

PS, sorry, but I won't be at HiCees this friday, heading to Lauglin tomorrow for the bike rally. But if I can take a rain check, will be back the following week.

[QUOTE=Pblais]
Not all boats of nominal size are the same volume. Our 36 is as big as many 40's.

Paul, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I have been on Thomas' boat, a 43Endeavor, and it is huge. I also looked at a 43 Albin Nimbus, and I could not stand up in the aft head. Same with the Hans Christian 36. I know it has a great reputation for seaworthiness, but I found it to be very cramped. So, until you get in, walk around, you don't know. I looked at a 35 Irwin, roomy salon, nice aft berth, head was a bit short, but a friend who sails, remarked to me, "Irwins are only for old geezers from Florida, and they won't hold up to passage making". I doubt if Gene Gammon would agree, but then he is in the business of selling Irwins....

And, yes Thomas, I would like to include the criteria of having adequate room for a companion. Don't know if that will happen, but want to keep the options open.
So, I'll keep searching, and if anyone has suggestions, toss em out. At least it gives me some direction to go. Thanks to all,

RichT
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Old 25-04-2007, 22:52   #7
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I think you are doing the right thing and asking around. Yatchworld is an excellent place to start. Remember, click the "advance" button to ad more criteria, such as engine type and boat location. You will get less than the 4000+ you received the other time. If this is your first larger boat, it might be better to stick to Fiberglass as any hull problems can be seen easily unlike other materials that tend to be hidden, like rust on a steel boat under insulation in the interior.
I knew I might have to single hand on occasion, so I stayed with the size you are looking for also. I wanted something that could take a pounding designed by a trued and tried designer. I ended up with an Ingrid 38 designed by Colin Archer and re-drawn by William Atkins. Both excellent designers. Alas, she is full keel and is not too quick to manouver. She is surprisingly good in like winds. But to each his own. I'm sure you will find what works for you.
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Old 25-04-2007, 23:12   #8
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Aloha Rich,
If you've done searches on this forum then you know my recommendation is for nothing longer than 36 LOD. But, that's just my personal recommendation. There are so many opinions by so many sailors that it is really hard to make up your mind unless you go aboard and talk with a lot of owners.
I don't know of very many boats 36 and larger that don't have 6'1" headroom. Maybe some racers? Each design has different interior space. My 42 doesn't have much room down below. She has low freeboard and an 11'2" beam. About equal to a modern 36 footer.
Celestial Sailor has a great boat. Very seaworthy. There are many on this forum that have wonderful cruisers and can recommend their brand of boat to you with tales of their personal experiences. I like the Tartans, Islanders, Hans Christians, Pearsons, etc.. and I don't know why folks don't care for Cals but there are some good Cals that could do what you want.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 25-04-2007, 23:15   #9
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Rich T:

Can I suggest the Islander 36? Nice boat, good support from Islander association, easily found under $60k leaves $40k for fix up. Skeg Rudder. Built tough but tabbing needs reenforcing. Check out their website www.islander36.org/ My bank account wishes I had bought one instead of the Sceptre 41
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Old 26-04-2007, 10:26   #10
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Hi Rich,

I have owned several sailboats. O'Day, Rangers, Pearson and now my current Westsail 32. I had some reservations about the Westsail given their reputation by those sailors who have never owned one.

Surprisingly, it sails very well and is strong as an Ox. Around 1976, the coach roofs were changed and provide 6'4" of head room. Storage capacity is incredible. I solo my boat MOST of the time and can handle her in just about everything. I have roller furler on the headsail with a hank on Staysail. I like my sail choices as it provides for most if not all sailing conditions.

As someone mentioned earlier, the Colin Archer designs were sea worthy. Westsail gets their roots from Archer with a few refinements by others along the way, including Creelock who went on to do Pacific Seacraft.

Here's the best news. A well equiped W-32 can be purchased for 50K. Those that have been totally restored with new engine and systems can be purchased for $75K. If one wanted to build a Westsail today, with the same heavy construction, it would cost $175 to 200K.

There are many Westsails for sale on the west coast. There is always a good inventory not because people are trying to get rid of them but because over 800 were built and most are still sailing. Take a look at them.

Whatever you buy, get out there and sail.

HERON
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Old 26-04-2007, 10:37   #11
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Thumbs up

Thanks guys, this is all helping me down the road.

Celestial, you are right about yachtworld being a good place for research, however, you have to know at least some of the parameters to start with. Fibreglass is an obvious. Although I know there are great wooden boats out there, I'm not inclined to put forth the extra effort of maintaining one. I did look at one steel hulled boat, which, due to it's weight, probably was built like the proverbial brick ****house, but probably would not have been the best in light air sailing. There are a lot of great boats out there that I am totally unaware of, for instance, your boat. I had never even heard of an Ingrid, even though I was aware of Colin Archer.

Skiprjohn,, I have been on several boats larger than 36' that are marginal on room. Although almost all have 6' or more in the main cabin or salon, many are cramped in the forward or aft compartments, if they even offer them. Some on the other hand are quite roomy. Unless I can physically visit and evaluate every single boat it is hard to know, whereas, those here, who have either owned or sailed on those vessels, already have that awareness.

Charlie,
I have looked at a couple of Islanders, and they were pretty nice. I know they have a reputation for being well built, and seaworthy. I have heard, on the other hand, that they are "slow" and a bit more difficult to single hand. Any thoughts on this? The ones I did look at had pleasing lines, and nice brightwork, but were a bit lacking in equipment. But, as you said, for the money, I guess I could add the other things I want, like modern electronics.

I really appreciate all the advice and suggestions. Gotta run out of town for a couple of days, but keep those cards and letters coming, and I'll check back in on Sunday.

RichT
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Old 26-04-2007, 10:49   #12
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Thumbs up Westsail

Heron,
Thanks for the input. I have heard good things about the Westsail. I also recently became aware of the Allied Seawind, which, from what I have heard is also a well made, good sailing vessel. Question, does Westsail make a boat larger than a 32, say a 36'? I really think that given my size, and keeping in line with Elusives thought that I would probably like to have a companion along, boats in the 30/32 range are marginal for me. I would like to stay in the 36/40' range. I've looked at the Irwin 37 and it seems to be a good compromise, but I'm hearing some negatives about it's "blue water" capability. Sluggish, won't hold up? Any Irwin 37/38 owners out there who can shed some light on the subject???

Again, thanks to all, this is really helping me move forward and giving me a lot to think about, and learn from.

RichT
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Old 26-04-2007, 11:00   #13
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"Charlie,
I have looked at a couple of Islanders, and they were pretty nice. I know they have a reputation for being well built, and seaworthy. I have heard, on the other hand, that they are "slow" and a bit more difficult to single hand. Any thoughts on this? The ones I did look at had pleasing lines, and nice brightwork, but were a bit lacking in equipment. But, as you said, for the money, I guess I could add the other things I want, like modern electronics."

In production sailboats slow or fast is a matter of waterline and displacement. Longer waterlined boats are faster in a fair breeze. If the wind should be light then lighter boats will be faster to accelerate. An Islander 36 with the same length waterline and weight as any other production boat will be just as fast.

From what you write, the best thing for you to do is get aboard as many boats as you can to see what you really feel comfortable in.

I forgot to mention that a Westsail which has been completed by a quality craftsman is a good sturdy boat and one worth looking at.

If you decide to buy a boat because of its fast reputation but then add a bunch of heavy gear and "all your stuff" it will not be a fast boat no matter how it started out. You can rig nearly any boat for single handing.

Regards,

JohnL
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Old 26-04-2007, 13:14   #14
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Hi everyone

Which boat? There are so many designs out there, and each one of them must have met someone's ideal.

If you look at displacement : the heavier displacement boats tend to be more solidly built, have greater load capacity (all that cruising gear!), and have more powerful rigs. They don't have to be 'slugs'.
On the other hand : Light boats tend to give more exciting sailing; but if you add a lot of heavy kit you'll probably end up with a slow boat and possibly a broken boat. Light boats are designed to accelerate fast. If they are weighed down there's greater loads in the rig and hull.

Long keels tend to give good directional stability .... i.e. they track well. This is okay unless you plan to manouvere in marinas: going astern in the required direction can take quite a bit of practice.
Fin keels give much better manouvreability. However, the slimmer they are the more likely you are to broach downwind, and it's harder on the nerves too.

Draft : 5' 6" to 6' on a 36'er is about the right ballance for good sea-keeping without being too restricted by draft. Less than 5' and you've got to start worrying about rolling down wind, and making a lot of leeway to windward

If you're 6' 1" you're going to have the same problems as I have : There's a lot of 35'er's that just don't have the headroom in the heads and galley areas. Having to stoop in the shower is a real pain. Also remember when you've got a decent size pillow under you're head you're going to want 6' 6" of berth length at least - difficult to find.

If you're going to cruise you'll need at least 60 gal of water storage ... or say 40 gals and a watermaker, and probably 50 gals + of fuel ...... and all in purpose built tanks. Putting 5gal cans on deck clutters up the deck, reduces stability, and loads up structures that just weren't designed for it.

I prefer boats with deckhouses, but there's not much choice less that 40'. A deckhouse will allow a protected piloting position. Day sailors can get away with a large open cockpit. When you're cruising you'll quickly want protection from the sun and the rain.

Okay .... these are just a few points that may help you whittle the vast number of secondhand boats out there to around 200 possible designs!

Good hunting!
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Old 26-04-2007, 14:31   #15
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Another consideration with a "fast" boat is that they can be uncomfortable in lumpy seas. A heavy displacement boat would be more comfortable in heavy seas and no slower.
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