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Old 23-01-2021, 16:27   #1
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Question Best small seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

I open this thread to have your feedback (may be more particularly from american/canadian sailors).
I m planning (as soon as travelling will be possible again) to buy in Florida an old 26 to 29 feet monohull sailboat from end 70's/beginning 80's, SEAWORTHY, and ready to sail...kind of boats you can find usually around 10 000 $.
Here my question :
Im from europe west coast, so i know the good old small classic seaworthy models we can find in France ( ex janneau sangria, fantasia, ecume de mer, aquila, arcadia, dufour etc..), in Belgium ( etap 28i etc...), or in the netherlands (Van de Stad).. But these boats are obviously very rare on US second hand market..
So which old small cruisers with equivalent size and performances (27/29 ft, seaworthy) are popular in USA and could be comparable ?.. i heard Pearson old ones or Contessa have a good reputation in america ..
well any suggestion will be appreciated . thanks.
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Old 23-01-2021, 18:37   #2
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Be aware of possible problems with homologation with French Affaires Maritimes for US-built boats. If that is not an issue for you, you need to learn the reputations of different US boatbuilders for solid long-term construction and craftsmanship. At the top of the list is probably Hinckley. Then Bristol and Morris. After that it becomes fuzzier. Pearson and Tillotson-Pearson (two different companies) and Tartan seem to have good reputations, but may have had ups and downs in their long backgrounds. Sabre and Cape Dory also built some tough little boats. Hinterholler, Tanzer and C&C are Canadian builders that may have some designs worth your attention as well. The actual condition of any boats from the 70's and 80's is likely to override the builder's pedigree: a rusted-out Rolls Royce may not hold up as well as a well cared-for Morris. Some designs will be more suited to your needs than others. In Florida there are many Morgans, Hunters, Columbias and Catalinas as well. Others will certainly chime in with their opinions. Bonne chasse et bon vent!
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Old 23-01-2021, 19:26   #3
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

thks for the infos and your warm message !
yes ! you understood perfectly my question : i would like to learn about the best american boatbuilders companies from these days .
actually the boat will stay titled in Florida ( i have relatives with legal adress there) we will use it to sail around florida and bahamas, so no issue with french affairs... i m not french by the way, i m from Belgium ( but yes you right, EU boat import process is a nightmare
I heard of Pearson, C&c and Tanzer , but i didnt know much about Hinckley, Bristol and Morris.. i m going to dig this ...
what about Catalinas ? are they better quality than Hunter ? ...i checked some hunter boats but they are badly cheap made
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Old 24-01-2021, 03:45   #4
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Hello Legras,

You will find these lists helpful,there are also some euro boats on there as well
as taiwanese ones;

https://atomvoyages.com/planning/goo...oats-list.html

https://bluewaterboats.org/

Cheers,
JJ
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Old 24-01-2021, 05:56   #5
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Hi JJ !
Thank you for this useful List !
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Old 24-01-2021, 07:20   #6
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

As mentioned earlier, the condition of the boat will be more important than the pedigree. If the boat has lasted 30 to 40 years and is still solid, it will be the quality that one should be interested in. A great pedigree boat that has been poorly maintained may well be less seaworthy that a poor pedigree boat that has been thoughtfully upgraded, equipped and kept properly maintained.

Perhaps the best approach is to look at all the boats being offered in your size, accommodations and price range. Surly there will be an appropriate one for you.
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Old 24-01-2021, 07:48   #7
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Welcome.

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Old 24-01-2021, 08:36   #8
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Jim View Post
As mentioned earlier, the condition of the boat will be more important than the pedigree. If the boat has lasted 30 to 40 years and is still solid, it will be the quality that one should be interested in. A great pedigree boat that has been poorly maintained may well be less seaworthy that a poor pedigree boat that has been thoughtfully upgraded, equipped and kept properly maintained.

Perhaps the best approach is to look at all the boats being offered in your size, accommodations and price range. Surly there will be an appropriate one for you.

I agree on that. smart advice.
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Old 24-01-2021, 11:15   #9
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

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Originally Posted by Legras View Post
thks for the infos and your warm message !
yes ! you understood perfectly my question : i would like to learn about the best american boatbuilders companies from these days .
actually the boat will stay titled in Florida ( i have relatives with legal adress there) we will use it to sail around florida and bahamas, so no issue with french affairs... i m not french by the way, i m from Belgium ( but yes you right, EU boat import process is a nightmare
I heard of Pearson, C&c and Tanzer , but i didnt know much about Hinckley, Bristol and Morris.. i m going to dig this ...
what about Catalinas ? are they better quality than Hunter ? ...i checked some hunter boats but they are badly cheap made
While Hunter's do have a fairly bad reputation for build quality, the type of sailing you're describing will not require a world beater - Hunters can successfully handle cruising the Caribbean or Florida. Beneteaus and other production boats are in ready supply and can do what you want. Many people prefer full keel boats with a shallow draft for the Bahamas but these boats are usually not that fast. If you're more concerned about performance then maybe a fin keel boat would better suit you - deeper draft but faster hull speeds. A higher performance boats will also tend to have greater mast height which could pose a problem if you find yourself using the ICW. Older IOR designed boats will not have as nice or roomy an interior as say a Beneteau or other excharter boats but will be higher performance if you don't mind roughing it. The all time American beast in your size range would be the Island Packet which is slow but pretty much built to survive WWIII.
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Old 24-01-2021, 12:34   #10
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

I have a 28 foot Albin Cumulus built in 1979. In my opinion it checks all the marks you mention.
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Old 24-01-2021, 12:58   #11
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Hello,
An older book called "Twenty small sailboats to take you anywhere" by John Vigor may be helpful to you!
Best of luck!
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Old 24-01-2021, 13:33   #12
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Just as an aside,,,
I have a Pacific Seacraft Flicka (20)which i
took across to Spain, Canairies, Cape Verde,
Fortaleza then back to Florida,,, Its a washing
machine, and slow, but man is she tough.
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Old 24-01-2021, 13:58   #13
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

Lower priced boats like Pearson, Cape Dory, full keel Islanders etc would head my list on an extreme budget.
DuFour are often available in US

I seriously doubt there are fully seaworthy ready to use boats for $10k.
But you can get a good base boat to start with.
I would personally look at late 70's through the 80's. My impression is boat making was further into the learning curve in the 80's.
Avoid any boat with a glass over plywood deck and cabin like early 70's and many early Taiwan boats.

It would help to know your plan, cross oceans or just to the Caribe?
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Old 24-01-2021, 23:10   #14
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

If I were in the US, I would be hunting for a Shannon 28 and getting a second job to pay the diff in price.

But alas, an stuck here in beautiful Australia and am quite spoilt for choice. If you came here I could recommend a clansman 30, currawong 30, walker 28. These boats are scant internally compared to the Shannon but in my opinion better value/sea boats.

Btw the strongest grp cruising boats ever laid up came from the factory of Geoff Baker (RIP). He built the Top Hat Mk 2, and Joubert designed Currawongs, Brolgas, Magpies and magnificent Cape Barren Goose. Most are held tightly but you sometimes see one come up.

Berrimilla

If you could stretch for one of his boats, I would recommend getting that third job.
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Old 25-01-2021, 03:09   #15
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Re: Best smalls seaworthy sailboats on USA second hand market ?

I think there are still plenty of Albin Vegas in the US, and it would be hard to find a more seaworthy boat of that size and vintage; for your budget you should be able to find one in pretty good order. Good luck!
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