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Old 02-11-2010, 19:47   #1
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Boat For Great Lakes Cruising

I retire in a couple of years and my wife and I would like to spend significant amounts of time cruising the Great Lakes. I would like to buy a sailboat that is economical, but seaworthy. I am 6 foot 1 inch tall. What would you recommend I consider for extensive GL cruising?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2010, 20:22   #2
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a few ??

1. what is your sailing experience, espcially on the GL?
2. is your main goal to do more coastal or xcross the open?
3. i don't see ur height as an issue - i am just over 6' myself

i have put hundreds and hundreds of miles on the GL, you can PM me 4 more info - i have lots of ideas (from past experiences) and would luv 2 get 2 no u both! good 4 u that ur other 1/2 is game 4 the adventure!

CS :-)
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Old 02-11-2010, 20:32   #3
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We are just learning to sail. We want to be able to coastal cruise or go across the open lakes. We want to learn and will take the time to do it right.

I will email you.
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Old 02-11-2010, 20:37   #4
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lookking forward to hearing from you.
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Old 02-11-2010, 21:51   #5
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What is your budget?
$5-10 K Georgian 23 (I'm biased )
$10-20 K Grampian 30, Tanzer 30
$20-30 K Bayfield 29, Cherubini Hunter 33
$30-40 K S2 11.0
$40-50 K Bayfield 32
$50K + Don't even think about it until you have some sea hours in your logbook

Oh yeah, sprinkle Hunters, Catalinas and Beneteaus liberally over the above list.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:33   #6
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What is your budget?

$50K + Don't even think about it until you have some sea hours in your logbook
Why?

My first sailboat was a 42'er for more that 50,000. In many ways, a bigger boat is easier to sail. A bit terrifying to dock at first!
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:50   #7
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I'm not saying the boat has to be small, I am saying that if you start cheap(ish) there is less stress about damage, and less of a financial hit if you discover that you don't like sailing.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:54   #8
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Hi Butterchurn and welcome to the forum. The question depends so much on budget and space requirements/amenties that it is almost impossible to answer. Even forgetting about budget, are you intending to live aboard for a couple of months at a time, or just weeks? Do you want pressure/heated water and a built-in shower, or can you survive with a sun shower/dips in the lake? Do you want refrigeration and do you expect to be able to use it even when not tied up to a dock (ie, would you prefer travelling from marina to marina, or would you like to be able to anchor out?).

All of these things will make a difference in the size/type/cost of the boat that will be recommended.

Brad
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:28   #9
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I would recommend at least a 30 foot boat. 30 feet is enough for some of the waves and weather, is comfortable for 2 people on extended trips, and keeps the dockage and maintenence costs down. If you can afford more, consider up to 36-37 feet. I would suggest getting more experience before going bigger than that.

Catalina, Beneteau, Hunter, Pearson, Tartan are all very popular on the GL, and each should accomodate your head room requirements. There are so many other choices and it depends on more specific requirements.

Draft can be an issue in parts of Lake Erie (west end in particular), especially early spring and late fall.

I have sailed Lake Erie for a long time. Feel free to PM me if you want more info, and if you are in the Sandusky/Port Clinton Ohio area I would be glad to help you in person (as long as we are in the area).
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Old 20-11-2010, 19:41   #10
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This is a timely thread....

I have been sailing Georgian Bay for the last 4 seasons. I have been sailing for a total of 4 seasons.

My first (and only) boat is a Nash 26.

I love the boat and the un-commonly large cabin space, but I think I sail the boat too hard for what it was designed for.

I'm starting to think about changing boats. I don't necessarily want anything bigger (i have a 32' slip and would rather not get a bigger one). Most of my sailing is single-handed so I want something I can easily manage on my own.

I have heard a lot of good things about the CS 27, but, from what I hear it sails on its ear - for me: no problem - but the admiral prefers to be more horizontal.

We are thinking hard about the Catalina 30. From what I understand it's very roomy below, and sails well (the tall mast model doing well in light air etc.)

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a comparable boat?

I want something that I will feel confident in in 25 kn + winds and 2 - 3 m waves. My wife wants something that sits up more (than the CS 27) and has comfortable berthing below.

Right now we have a shoal draft which is great for gunk-holing but I lose points into the wind. I would sacrifice the shallower draft for better pointing,

Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:10   #11
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We are thinking hard about the Catalina 30. From what I understand it's very roomy below, and sails well (the tall mast model doing well in light air etc.)

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a comparable boat?

I want something that I will feel confident in in 25 kn + winds and 2 - 3 m waves. My wife wants something that sits up more (than the CS 27) and has comfortable berthing below.

Right now we have a shoal draft which is great for gunk-holing but I lose points into the wind. I would sacrifice the shallower draft for better pointing,

Any ideas?

Thanks
I have a Catalina 30 tall rig on Lake Erie (which is actually for sale). As you stated, yes the interior is very good for 2 people and up to 6 or 7 for short periods.

We have sailed in over 30 knots and she will handle the weather and waves, but it is not a comfortable sail in winds over 25 knots, at least not on shallow Lake Erie (nasty wave patterns). It is a good solid boat but we do not purposely go out in winds over 20 knots unless we have to.

The tall rig model is good in light winds with a 150 genoa. At about 15 knots we have to reef the main to reduce the weather helm, but she sails fine. Winds over 20 knots force a second reef in the main and reefing down the genny substantially. We have a roller furler. I have given thought to purchasing a 130 genoa which would sacrifice light air performance a bit, but it would help in winds over 15 knots. The 150 reefed does not hold proper shape.

The boat is easy to manuever under power, and there are plenty of people that single hand their C30s.

The boat points fairly well depending on the age and design of the sails. How close to the wind do you want to go?
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:32   #12
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I would go with a CS30, shoal draft. Lots of them on the Great Lakes. If your budget is a bit less, a Grampian 30 or a Catalina 30.
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Old 22-11-2010, 10:25   #13
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Originally Posted by butterchurn View Post
I retire in a couple of years and my wife and I would like to spend significant amounts of time cruising the Great Lakes. I would like to buy a sailboat that is economical, but seaworthy. I am 6 foot 1 inch tall. What would you recommend I consider for extensive GL cruising?

Thanks!
Like the others have said, economical for you may be expensive for others.

I to have been in Georgian Bay for 4 years and spent many summers in the area on land camping & canoeing etc.

If you're intending to spend time in the North Channel or the 30,000 Islands on the East side of Georgian Bay, you may want to consider a shoal keel. A lot of these areas are shallow, ( 6ft. ) and you would limit the places you could explore. Not to say that you couldn't get in there with a deeper keel.

I would also consider buying the biggest boat you'll think you may need. we bought a 33 and now wished we'd gone bigger. If you buy smaller, then want to upsize, the issue will be time spent in selling or trying to sell. It's not something that will happen overnight. Spend time now at as many boat shows as you can and get a feel for the different sizes of boats available.

Like Vasco said the CS 30 or even CS 33 is a great boat for these Lakes and there are plenty ofr sail on both sides of the Lakes.
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Old 22-11-2010, 10:28   #14
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Originally Posted by Northern_Lights View Post
I have been sailing Georgian Bay for the last 4 seasons. I have been sailing for a total of 4 seasons.

My first (and only) boat is a Nash 26.

I love the boat and the un-commonly large cabin space, but I think I sail the boat too hard for what it was designed for.

I'm starting to think about changing boats. I don't necessarily want anything bigger (i have a 32' slip and would rather not get a bigger one). Most of my sailing is single-handed so I want something I can easily manage on my own.

I have heard a lot of good things about the CS 27, but, from what I hear it sails on its ear - for me: no problem - but the admiral prefers to be more horizontal.

We are thinking hard about the Catalina 30. From what I understand it's very roomy below, and sails well (the tall mast model doing well in light air etc.)

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a comparable boat?

I want something that I will feel confident in in 25 kn + winds and 2 - 3 m waves. My wife wants something that sits up more (than the CS 27) and has comfortable berthing below.

Right now we have a shoal draft which is great for gunk-holing but I lose points into the wind. I would sacrifice the shallower draft for better pointing,

Any ideas?

Thanks

Is that you FlyingWelshman??

I wouldn't count out the CS27 from "what you've heard" Take a couple out and see for yourself. I'm sure there's a few for sale in our area. If it stands too much on it's ear, then reduce sail etc.
The boat beside us in our marina is an older couple and they spend several weeks on their CS27 going up into the North Channel and back. You may want to also look at the CS30, bit more room etc.

You should also go in and see Ewan Campbell at Harris & Ellis Yachts ( he used to be Bay Harbour Yachts out of BayPort ) he has a couple of 27's for sale and worked for CS for a couple of years, now a broker. Other good person to talk to is Pat Sturgeon at Pat Sturgeon Yachts, who worked for CS for many years and probably has the most CS listings of anyone.

A goo write up by Ewan Campbell on good boats for the great Lakes in various price ranges. Sailboat Hall of Fame
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Old 22-11-2010, 12:42   #15
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Thanks all so far - keep the ideas coming....

Quote:
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Is that you FlyingWelshman??
Hi Scott, yeah it's me. (I use the FlyingWelshman handle at Sailnet - it was a whim. My boat is Northern Lights. It has a much nicer ring to it.)

We are probably going to sail Northern Lights for this season. That will give us time to get her ready for sale and also to research some other boats. Last year I had the opportunity to sail an O'Day 322 and motored aboard a Mirage 30 (I'll probably get the chance to sail that one next summer).
As I said: I don't necessarily want a bigger boat - the main advantage to me would be the larger quarter-berth. Also, I have been out in 25+ winds and 2 - 3 meter waves and my old girl gets a little antsy (you can take that to mean what you want). The bigger boats felt more solid. Both the CS and the Catalina are almost twice the weight of the Nash. I took a look at the CS 30 and it looks comparable to the Catalina. I thought they were less beamy but it's only 5" narrower.

Would a deeper keel give me that much of an advantage to windward (over a shoal draft) - or would the shoal draft pay for itself (speedwise) by allowing me to get into more spots?

The good news is: I've got my wife thinking seriously about the prospect of a new (to us) boat. That's a step in the right direction.
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