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Old 06-05-2008, 12:53   #1
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NJ new member needs advise

Hello All. I am a new member looking to buy a family daysailer/small cruiser for the NJ coast - most often sailing in the Barengat bay area. My prefernce is for maximum sailing and minimum maintenance (to save time and money). I have 4 small children (2 through 8) and 1 wife who will be the crew (although rarely all at the same time) so I need something that can be sailed practically single handedly.

Barnegat bay is quite shallow in many places so I was thinking of a lifting keel or shoal keel boat (have I got that right). My preference was for an outboard motor to minimise on maintenance. Something around 25 feet or more seems as though it would be about right.

I have looked at Hunters and Catalinas (used) but want to know what else would make sense.

Budget is probably around $10k for the initial purchase and then I can put some money into it to make it family friendly.

Any suggestions / pointers? All gratefully received

Thank you.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:53   #2
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What have you looked at on-line? 25-27 feet is about what you need in my opinion. The wife and kids will appreciate having a head - consider battery power and getting a cabin and some entertainment on board. We installed DVD players and the kids love it.

Roller furling - lazy jacks for the main - all the controls well led to the cockpit - tiller steering and a simple autopilot are huge helps.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:06   #3
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I grew up on LBI - and still have family there.

Do you plan on putting the boat into a slip, or trailering?
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:30   #4
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Thanks for the information.

Regarding where to keep it: My first preference would be to keep it in the local marina during the season. If there is no room or it's too expensive then I thought about keeping it on a self-made mooring on Tom's River - I see several boats moored that way. Third choice would be launching from a trailer although doing that every weekend sounds like a drag.

My current internet favourite is a Catalina 250 since it appears to have good space inside and its lack of features means to me that there is less to go wrong. Reading reviews I would want the fixed keel rather than the water ballast version but..........

Second would be a Hunter 27 - there just seems to be a bit less boat for the money. In the local marina there seem to be several O'Day's for sale all the time.

If you can think of other makes that deserve close attention, please let me know.

Years ago (pre-kids) I had a clinker built gaff rigged cutter (a Dauntless)that was a real head turner. The only problem was we rarely went sailing since there was always something to fix. Consequently, I am focused on functional plastic until I know that this is not just a passing phase.

Thanks
Michael
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:59   #5
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Seaboots,

You might want to check this out...

For sale: Sovereign Adventure 24

inexpensive and looks like a pretty good deal... your neck o' the woods...more or less. Perhaps a bit small but then so are your kids.
Just a note, if one goes overboard, it will be a lot easier to fish them back in with low freeboard.
Good luck

mm
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Old 07-05-2008, 14:13   #6
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Seaboots,

Have you checked the cost of a slip? You are in a high rent district. I had a swin keel Venture 23'. There were five of us. It seemed everytime I put the boat in the water, one of the kids would run a fever. I would then put the sailboat back on the trailer and pull it home. When I keep it at a slip in Sea Isle, no one could get out of the bed at one time because there was not enough room. Of course the kids grew and the only place my oldest could sleep was in the cockpit. Did they have fun? Yes! Was it a hassle? Yes! Of course they have their memories. Good luck and enjoy your childre.

John
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:42   #7
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Hi Seaboots,

I sailed a catalina 22 on Barnegat bay for several years, I found it to be a great bay boat. I then moved to a Bristol 29.9 Centerboard which I felt more comfortable taking outside. A 25 Catalina sounds like it would suit your purpose. Pick your weather window running the inlets.

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Old 10-05-2008, 09:12   #8
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Check ebay and craigs list. This might be a nice Catalina 25 if you can get up to City Island:

1981 Catalina 25'

And here's a Catalina 27 a bit south (on edit: has roller furling!):

eBay Motors: 1977 27' Catalina (item 140231153640 end time May-17-08 11:53:50 PDT)&

A Catalina 30 would be even better, but the good 30's are usually priced well above $10k. In this size boat, forget swing keels, go with either a fixed shoal keel or centerboard and if you get a centerboard remember it's another thing to worry about.

Hunter is a good boat for your intended use as well. Others: Islander, Cal, Ericson, C&C, Tartan, Columbia, Irwin, O'Day. In the old days (70's - 80') there were a lot of good boat bulders in your target area. Today, it's pretty much just Catalina and Hunter IMHO.

And by all means look around the boatyards.. Probably a lot of for sale signs these days. More than ever, it's a buyer's market, so have fun.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:49   #9
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True, speedo a fixed keel is one cable less to worry about. Though, I did find the centerboard somewhat useful on barnegat. I left my swing keel down a foot or so and it would act as my early warning system. Heeling over in a wing keel to get unstuck is also not a tactic that works like a traditional keel, or a swing. I guess the best solution is deep water.
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Old 12-05-2008, 18:56   #10
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Thank you, all, for the pointers. As I have started to let myself look at 30 foot boats (which Mrs Seaboots welcomes...) I have a general concern that I will be getting myself into inboard motor territory whereas I have previously told myself to only go with an outboard motor in order to keep the maintenance to a minimum. My previous experience with inboards has generally meant hours of frustration at the expense of sailing.

So, if I do stretch to 30 feet, the boat will be old (probably > 20 years) and so the engine probably could be as well. Which brand of engines are the ones that age the best?

Thank you.
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Old 13-05-2008, 01:49   #11
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Mrs. Seaboots will be happier with inboard power and plenty of electricity.

Until you have to overhaul the diesel engine is cheap. We spent about $400 this year on engine maintenance vs. $10,000 total.
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Old 13-05-2008, 05:35   #12
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Seaboots,

I think, like anything, it depends on several factors: Engine hours, maintenance etc.
Diesels are generally very reliable. They don't like dirty fuel or air in the lines.
Check the Maintenance logs if they exist. Regularly Changing oil, fuel filters, and keeping a clean fuel tank, are all critical. Check the heat exchanger, hoses, zincs, gaskets, Thermostat, Transmission fluid, alternator belts, impellers. None of these things are expensive. My Westerbeke engine is now 23 years old, the transmission, however, was replaced in '04. A good survey should point out any critical issues.
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Old 13-05-2008, 05:52   #13
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Seaboots,

Here's a catalina 25 in your price range on Barnegat.


1982 Catalina 25 sailboat for sale in New Jersey
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Old 13-05-2008, 11:03   #14
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Hi Seaboots,

Nice ot hear of the goals.

IMHO nothing wrong with an old diesel engine PROVIDED it has been used and the oils been regularly changed. I'd rather a well maintained 10 year old than a near new with zip use or maintenance.

But please realise from now on, your upward progression in size is never ending.........

You begin to look at a 25 footer........then move to those extras gained with a 30 footer........then 35 begins to appeal...........then kinda convince yourself you can actually manage a 40 footer.

And so it goes on.

Good luck
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Old 13-05-2008, 14:04   #15
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Seaboots, I do not like engines! The Westerbeke I have is a 1976. It is better than any outboard engine I have owned. I do not like engines. The learning curve for a diesel is steep. I have asked for help on this forum a few times. I have had answers each time. Currently when my engine is in gear, it will not exceed 1,200 rpm. I have to check the prop. I have to check that it is fully shifted into gear. Did I mention I do not like engines. If this all checks out, I will have to have someone look at the trans. The engine seems to run fine.
I think you are smart looking at a 30' boat. Women like as real a bathroom as possible. Porta potties in cramped spaces do not work well for them. The inboard deisel is the way to go. Have a deisel mechanic check te engine out. Happy Sailing! Did I mention I do not like engines. Sailing is the way to go.
John
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