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Old 12-12-2013
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Re: need advice on boats to purchase

Other than the ASA classes, how much sailing experience do you have? Do the others have a lot of sailing experience? Are they physically fit? A boat in the 35-45' range needs a LOT of sail area, and that makes things harder to move, harder to handle, and needs stronger "stuff" to support it. That also translates into more expense to buy, maintain, and repair/replace all of it as needed. Slip fees on a 35+' boat can also be tough; not all marinas are set up for boats of that size, and the ones that are will likely charge a premium.

Will the 4-5 people all be overnighting aboard the boat? Does every person need their own separate bunk, or can they share? What level of comfort do they need, especially for the first few years that you own the boat? There are boats in the 28-33' range that will sleep 4-5 comfortably. My Allmand, for example, has the traditional forecabin, plus a separate aft cabin with a double berth. There's a single berth on one side of the dining area, too, and the dining table folds down to create a double berth. So, I could, theoretically, sleep 7. Now my aft cabin's bunk is really only big enough for one person unless the two know each other very well. The forecabin is fine for 2, and with the table down the dining area would make a nice bed for 2, too. So as a more practical thing, we have room for 5 comfortably and without blocking access to the head. But that's still enough for your stated purpose. And the slip/mooring fees would be a lot less, as would most maintenance and repair costs.
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