Originally Posted by mohave_steve
This morning, on impulse, I looked at YachtWorld to see what kind of boat could be had in the $20-$30k range. I was supprised at the number of 30'-32' boats that could be had in that range. 32' Columbia
& 31' Hunter
caught my eye.
I don't expect to make any serious blue water
crossings but instead more coastal cruising. Puget Sound
, West Coast
I vote for the Hunter
31. It is a solid boat, 1" thick hull
, well designed and needs little wind
to get to hull speed
. Very comfortable below with 6'2" headroom
. I would take mine offshore
but some people may prefer a sturdier boat. The key is to pay attention to some truisms if not facts:
- 97% of sailors never make it offshore
(for the record
- 99% of the time the boat build will exceed your skills, so spend more time sailing and developing those skills than worrying about the boat type
- Buy a boat that you love. The shape, the proportions, the cockpit
, inside - it is quite a personal choice. Spend some time, then go for a test sail and if it is your boat it will hit you immediately. For example, my marina neighbor has an Ericson
30 vs. my Hunter 31. Similar boats, similar era, similar sailing characteristics. I find the Ericson
30 layout, traveler placement, lack of space below totally unacceptable. He finds the Hunter 31 B&R rig unacceptable. You can make these decisions for yourself.
- Full vs. fin keel
... I would only buy fin keel
as it is easier to get to hull speed
and more maneuverable in the marina. Full keel will be more comfortable in heavy seas. You are unlikely to spend more than 10% of your time in these areas or in an ocean crossing
in heavy seas, so it is worth it?
- The older the boat gets, the more maintenance
it requires, so it is crucial to find an older boat that is well maintained. Maintenance
that is never recovered in a subsequent sale
. You are more likely to find a well maintained coastal cruiser (the owner likely used it sparingly and worked full time) than a traditional ocean going boat. Of course there are exceptions both ways.
Good luck with your search.