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Old 07-06-2009, 05:26   #1
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Which Boat for LI Sound?

I am looking at buying a used boat and would like your opinions on the following.

I have lots of experience sailing daysailers. I want to move up to a larger boat. I know there will be a learning curve but I am willing to hire a captain to take lessons as I learn. There are 3 of us in our family, but the boat should be easily sailed by 2 people. Occasionally we might have another couple overnight. I would rather buy a slightly larger boat then have to trade up in a year or two.

We will be sailing on LI Sound almost exclusively. I am looking at shoal draft boats due to the shallowness of the waters around Norwalk. Most of the time we will be day sailing returning to home port at night. Occassionally we might sail to a different port for a weekend overnight stay. There is a small chance for an occasional longer trip to Block Island.

I am more interested in comfort vs. performance. But I don't want a slow boat either. We do not intend to race. I would like a well built boat and am willing to sacrifice comfort for quality.

My budget is $170K and I do not want anything older then 5 years.

I am looking at the following boats and would appreciate any advice as to advantages/disadvantages of each, which might be better for our needs, and suggestions on maybe other boats to look at.

2005 Beneteau 393 $170K
2006 Beneteau 373 $155K
2006 Hanse 370e $179K
2007 Jeanneau 36i $146K
2003 Jeanneau sun odyssey $135K
2005 Bavaria 37 cruiser $139K
2007 Bavaria 37 cruiser $170K (new)
2004 Catalina 387 $170K


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Old 07-06-2009, 07:48   #2

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pap, Norwalk is not shoal draft territory unless you are talking about gunkholing in around the islands and rocks. For that you buy and use a dingy. In LIS the typical 37' boat will have a draft around six feet, maybe 6-1/2, and that's perfectly adequate and proper for the area.

What should concern you more is the light air performance of the boat, because july and august are often windless months where you'll be lucky to make two knots under maximum sail from 9AM to 6PM when the air is still. Look into the relative weights and sail area of those boats, see which have a better rep in light air, and if you're planning to sail mainly in the sound--look to that first. Once you go outside, you'll find that having 6 feet plus of draft gives you much better performance than a shoal draft boat would have (and allows you to carry more sail) as well as giving you a better resale value on the boat. Folks don't look for shoal draft unless they're sailing on the Great South Bay.

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:19   #3
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I agree with hellosailor completely. The primary consideration in Western LIS is a boat that sails well in light air, not shoal draft. Go for the boat that you like that has the appropriate SA/Displacement ratio.

And if you can take enough time off, head east, because the light air is not nearly as much of a problem east of New Haven. If it were me, I'd choose a home port at least 60 miles east of Norwalk. Relative to western LIS, eastern LIS is a sailing paradise.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:55   #4
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I'd be looking at an older Sabre 42. These are quality boats that hold their value well.
Here's one in your price range with shallow draft and a centerboard: 1989 Sabre 42 Keel/Centerboard Sail Boat For Sale -
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