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Old 10-06-2007
IWanna IWanna is offline
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I Need Advice - Help THIS Newbee

I need some advice.

Background:
I have been a boater for years. I know my local Ohio River stomping grounds and motorboats very well.
I know nothing about sailboats.

Personal:
I have a 16mon old child and a wife.
My sister has a husband & three kids ranging 1.5, 8, and 9 yrs. old
My inlaws have three older kids.

Buyer:
My mother is going to buy a sailboat for the family.

Reasons:
My mother wants to have a place for the family to go and enjoy themselves and develope strong relationships.
My sister's husband has wanted a sailboat for years, my mother likes sailboats, my wife likes sailboats,
my father and uncle likes sailboats. I just want back on the river!

Use:
I would sail once a week, my brother-in-law would sail once a week, father & uncle would sail once a year.

Nitty Gritty:
I have $30,000 to spend and up to $35,000 to spend including all transportation, rigging, bottom paint, taxes...etc.

My mother wants a comfortable cruiser that sits well and doesn't get thrown around in the waves.
She has mandated at least 25 feet.

I have found that I could buy lots of boats in this price range.
The newer the better with an emphasis on cockpit comfort.
Wheel steering, mainstay out of the way, rear rail seats, walkthru transom, etc.

I have received some opinions so far.
-don't go less than 25 foot long or you will want to sail immediately.
-go with an S2, Irwin, etc...for performance reasons. (not comfortable cockpit setups)
-If you buy a Catalina 30...get the tall rig for performance reasons.

I could buy a brand new Catalina 25 keel boat with this amount of money.
I have also found a 1992 Catalina 30 standard rig & standard equipment for this amount of money.

I have not been impressed with the Hunter's deck ergonimics so far.

So...here are my questions:
All of us have VERY limited sailing experience.
We want to be able to single hand the boat after we get some time under our belt.

Staying in the 25-30 foot range....
What is the best boat that $30-35K can buy for our needs?
What is the real performance advantage (speed) of a tall rig vs. standard rig?
Why is it that I can find a better deal on a Catalina 30 than a 27 or 28mkII in the same year range?

Thanks,
Henry in Louisville
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