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Old 09-07-2015, 09:18   #1
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Small to mid-size cruiser ??

I read with interest a host of sensible advice given willingly by experienced yachties on this forum ... and hope to learn more from this. In seriously considering coming (back) into non-competition yachting, I would value opinions/experiences others have with what I call the small to mid -size cruising yachts. Approaching late fifties years of age and not as nimble as I wish (damn it!!), I am looking at comfortable yacht I can stay many nights on, sail single-handed at times, get some reasonable straight-line speed (ie not wallowing round or sailing sideways!). Area to sail will be on Jervis Bay NSW and occasionally East coast Aus (mostly between Pittwater & Jervis Bay). Unfortunately the creek entry to moorings can be down to 1.2m at low tide. Research has narrowed down to Carter 33 passage, Adams 31 or 33, Swanson 28 or 36, Duncanson 34 or 37, Nantucket 33, Van der stadt 34. Budget is not unlimited; but prepared to consider round $50k mark. I have a preference toward centre-cockpit with aft cabin (in case my grown up kids want to join!!). Not sure if yachts with full keel like Swanson 28 would be too slow ... or Carter 33 with deeper fin and unprotected rudder would pose a problem (obviously depends what you do as well). Anyhow, thoughts of those who are there cruising and/or experienced this type/size of boat would be appreciated. Thank you - JB.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:07   #2
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

Why does your list include such wildly different types of boat?

e.g. the Carter 33 is a svelte cruiser-racer, while the Nantucket 33 is a fat cruiser. One is about the sailing, but the other is all about the acommodation
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:00   #3
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

Hi Barcs,

The entry to your moorings area is possibly going to be the deciding factor for you unless you can time your crossings to suit your draught.

There are a large number of boats on the market that fit your price range. The problem would be the distance required to travel to look at the ones you think you might like and then the disappointment you feel when you find the boat is not exactly like it was advertised.

We live in Townsville and purchased a Roberts 31 in September year.

The search for the boat took over a year and we traveled several thousand kilometers and looked at so much rubbish before we found the boat we were after. It was eleven hundred kilometers from home.

We are a bit like you in that we are returning sailors and this is our fourth Yacht.

The Roberts is 31 ft on deck and 36 ft overall with bowsprit and davits. She draws five feet.

When we bought the boat we sailed it down to Sydney for the summer and then returned home just a few weeks ago. After a service and cleanup we will re-provision and then sail to the Whitsundays for a month as we did not stop there on our way home.

Mate, it takes time to sort the decent boats from the crap that is on offer but if you stick to it you will find something that's just right for you.

The thing is to know what you DONT want and then get something with as much of what you DO want as you can.


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Old 11-07-2015, 09:28   #4
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

Thank you for ideas and well done on perseverance (Rick & Fran - thanks for your encouraging words). Just wondering about experiences people may have sailing a Swanson 28, which I guess may be a bit like Nantucket 33 as a slower cruiser but with more comfortable accommodation. The Adams 33 and Carter (and Mottle) seem to have come from the same stable and there are some good posts about the sea-keeping ability of the Carter 33. Also note some variable reports about Westerly Corsair 36 and Roberts 30 - something. Just found out the creek entrance to safe moorings (where there are some large yachts and a few big motor cruisers) may be dredged by October! Does make you wonder what this will do to the water flow and sanctuary zones further upstream.
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Old 14-07-2015, 11:57   #5
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

Nantucket 33 is very different than the Nantucket Island 33.

The Nantucket 33 is an Alan Gurney designed racer/cruiser that sails quite well and is based in the very successful late 60s racer "hot foot".

I know this because I just bought one of the Royal-Huisman built aluminum ones.
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Old 14-07-2015, 12:01   #6
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

How about a keel/centreboard such as those designed by Ted Hood? That would get you the shoal draft you are looking for, without compromising on upwind performance.

Bristol 31.1, 35.5, 38.8, and so on.

Of course, maybe hard to find in Aus.
Bristol 31.1, SF Bay.
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Old 14-07-2015, 15:51   #7
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Location: puɐןsuǝǝnb 'ʎɐʞɔɐɯ
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

As a Nantucket Island 33 owner, I don't think you'll find a smaller cruiser with better accommodation in the size. They also sail surprisingly well (as a cruiser!), except that they don't point to windward all that good (I can't get closer than about 60 degrees in mine).

Off the top of my head...
Flush foredeck; tough as old boots construction with solid glass hull and deck (except for ply core in recessed anchor well); sturdy "modified" fin keel and skeg; comfortable accommodation; can lay fully stretched out in cockpit; "proper" nav station; large head/shower area; good engine access; respectable performance (upwind ability aside); dry ride.

headroom if over 5'10"; low cockpit coamings; outside locker storage just about absent;
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Old 15-07-2015, 17:59   #8
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Re: Small to mid-size cruiser ??

I like Nantucket Island 33s! Sweet layout!

An Ocean Lover in Maine.
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