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Old 20-03-2009, 14:30   #1
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Which One Would You Choose ?

So say you were in your mid-late twenties and you and your wife were going to take off for a year or so and cruise the Bahamas and maybe down the Thorny Path and end up in the U.S.V.I. (and didn't have 120k to spend on a catamaran )

Which of these three boats would you like to take?

Bristol 32

C&C 33

Pearson 31

I'm not looking for a "serious blue water cruiser" or anything. Just a reliable, and comfortable boat to enjoy for a while. All opinions are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!
Bill
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Old 20-03-2009, 14:51   #2
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I like the frankness of the Brisols write-up...I'd probably go with her....this is after a very cursory look...so I reserve the right to back peddle at a moments notice ;-)
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Old 20-03-2009, 15:13   #3
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I've always admired Bristols, but since you're going to be living aboard for a year with you wife, you really need to get her input. As far as comfortable living quarters and a decent galley, the Pearson is probably the best choice of the three.

But considering the cruising areas you mentioned, having a totally reliable engine and sound standing rigging is a top priority. I'd suggest the Pearson, subject to professional survey and evaluation of the engine by a good mechanic.
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Old 20-03-2009, 15:50   #4
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The Atomic 4 gas engine would nix the Bristol for me. Otherwise I like her and she appears to have good ventilation if the ports open.

The C&C may be a bit too stuffy for the warm areas your considering.

I've always liked the Pearson's and back years ago Chartered several out of Miami for the Keys. They vented well and the 27hp engine if well cared for would be the winning choice.

You will probably find the galley in all the boat this size a bit tight but how functional they are is the key. As much of a U as you can get would be a direction to look and stay diesel, avoid if at all possible gas engines for cruising boats except for the dink.
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Old 20-03-2009, 16:07   #5
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I dont have an opinion on any of those but I do have a sincere question.
Is it her idea to go on this adventure or did you have to convince her to go? Next followup question... How did you do it? I need some advise on convincing the lady friend to travel via S/V.
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Old 20-03-2009, 16:47   #6
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Retrospective dreaming...

All three look nice, and might do what you want.

Some comments after a quick look:-
1) The Bristol
Atomic 4 gas engine - I'd put in an extractor fan in the bilge and carry basic spare parts.
Alcohol stove may be problematic.
No tender
No swim ladder

2) The C&C
No sun protection
No tender
No swim ladder

3) The Pearson
No tender

For all three boats - No refrigeration, No self steering, limited sun protection, no epirb (need 2), Danforth anchors may only set well in certain bottom types (Firm mud difficulty?), really need a small inflatable and outboard.

The boats look well set up for weekend trips.

I think that for all three boats you would find that a very short time after you moved aboard that equipment would need to be added, some items would fail and others would need to be upgraded.

It looks like you are buying on price. If you can buy a similar boat to these but one or more steps up in terms of equipment, age and condition I think that you would have a much more enjoyable trip.

Always get a survey by an experienced professional before buying.
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Old 20-03-2009, 18:12   #7
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Thanks for all the thoughtful and quick responses! I've hung around this board for awhile and have posted a few times, but I'm very happy that some of the "senior" members chimed in.

This is not something we are going to buy tomorrow, but representative of what we might realistically be looking at.

Boracay-Good points all around. It may sound silly but I didn't realize the lack of refrigeration...

We are kind of in the "go small go now" mentality, hence the price restrictions. Besides, if we spend more on the boat there will be less for beer!

Boracay-Good points all around. It may sound silly but I didn't realize the lack of refrigeration...

The Pearson looks to be winning at this point, I like that it has the newer diesel engine. Anyone have any ideas as to the actual sailing properties of each?

Anyone know how much a bimini would cost? Or to add some basic refrigeration?

cdennyb- The wife wasn't hard to convince, we have been talking about this for a while. Both of us feel like we want to have some adventures while we are young and in the work-a-day state we are in right now, the time is flying by...All of our friends are starting to have babies and raise families, which is fine, but we aren't there yet. Time to get out and see some of the world!
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Old 20-03-2009, 18:52   #8
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There are two types of C&C 33's Those that seriously need there mast compression support rebuilt (not cheap) and those that have had it done already. DO NOT buy the former.
I have surveyed hundreds of boats with atomiic 4's .... never seen a safe installation yet and have never understood why they don't all blow up. I know a lot of people see this as a harsh statement but I believe what I see. The engines themselves are actually not bad but sailboat designers/builders should not be allowed to play with gasoline.
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Old 20-03-2009, 22:08   #9
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I think for a little more you can get a boat equiped much closer to what you need, a quick search produce an example Bristol 32 at Gulf Coast Yacht Sales (St. Petersburg, FL)

with 1983 diesel, new 2004 bow pulpit, lifelines, Sta-Lok fittings and a Interlux barrier coat.Autohelm 3000 auto pilot

Lacks GPS and dingy
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Old 06-04-2010, 19:29   #10
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Pearson.
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Old 06-04-2010, 19:45   #11
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Quote:
I've always admired Bristols, but since you're going to be living aboard for a year with you wife, you really need to get her input.
Basic rule of the Admiralty: The Admiral knows when she is uncomfortable and who is to blame and it won't be me.

Try a little sailing see if you can arrange even an overnight or two. Getting a taste for it helps you figure out what you can do. On a budget it's about the condition of the boat and less about the brand name so learn to look at boats - by looking at them, doing a bit of reading (here is good). Comfort and equipment change the price too. The cheapest boat on the list is not always the cheapest one to take off in.

The go now approach means you get cracking on the preparation and don't wait a few weeks before you go. Lots to learn, think about, prepare and plan. Boats purchased are not ready to go by any shot when you are on a budget. Takes a few months to shake them down, fit them out and get comfortable handling them.

Find out what you both need to be happy and work the compromise together with eyes wide open. Otherwise 1 month into this and you'll be anything but happy. It is possible but the key is preparing to win. It's not going to be an accident that you enjoyed it tremendously. Learning together should be part of the fun too. It's a sign that it's going to really work.
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Old 06-04-2010, 19:56   #12
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As a catamaran sailor, though familiar with each boat brand, I am not familiar with each model.

I have always been of the school that you have to sail from the back of the boat. However, if I was to choose a monohull to CRUISE in for a year with my wife in the Caribbean, I would choose a boat with a good center cockpit. The enclosure possibilities and ensuing large aft cabin in a center cockpit design certainly add to the comfort of cruising (remember, you will be on the hook a good part of the time). Cruising Long Island/Block Island waters with a friend on his cc won me over to this view.

Good luck in your search and have a good cruise!
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:58   #13
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It's funny that this thread popped up again almost a year after it went quiet. We are still looking at boats, with the same plan to take off for a while and go cruising. We'd like to purchase a boat this summer, either here in NY or in Florida.

Some more boats have come to our attention that we are going to check out this spring, including a Down Easter 32, Bristol 29.9, and an Ericson 30+. We're also taking more sailing classes, including a live-aboard course.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:54   #14
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Neither, I'd buy this Cape Dory way before any of those 1981 Cape Dory Sloop Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:12   #15
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some of the boats you're looking at are racer/cruisers, and some are straight cruisers. are you planning to do a bit of club racing as well as weekend cruises? then by all means go with the Erickson or the C&C, perhaps even the Pearson. If the plan remains, as originally announced, to engage in coastal cruising, the Bristol or the Down Easter will serve you better.

All boats are compromises, but get one that compromises in your direction.
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