I've been sailing for several years now in the San Francisco Bay area, and I think it's time to get a boat of my own. I'd appreciate some advice on what sorts of boats to look at.
I've had the good fortune of being able to sail on a number of different boats, including Santana 22, J/24, Santana 525, Wyliecat 30, Yamaha 30, Tartan 34, and Tartan 42. Most of my sailing has been on a J/24 and a Santana 525, which are decent enough for racing, but I'm looking for something a little more comfortable. Something that will be a bit nicer for taking out non-sailor friends.
Here are the base requirements I've come up with for my new boat. I'm looking for something around 25-27 feet with tiller steering. Outboard preferred, although I *might* consider an inboard diesel for the right boat. Fin keel and at least modest performance. Enclosed head area (with fixed head or porta pottie) would be nice. I'll be using it mostly for daysailing, so I don't really need things like a stove
or ample berth space.
Price-wise, I'd be comfortable spending up to $10k or so for the boat plus immediate repairs
My sort of baseline model at this point is the Ranger 26. (The Gary Mull design, not the Kent Ranger.) It's got everything I want and not much that I don't need or want. And it's a pretty nice looking boat, in my opinion.
I've also very recently started looking at the Newport 27. I haven't seen one in person yet, but based on the number and pictures I've found, it seems like a nice boat.
There's also the Catalina 27, of course. I can't quite put my finger on it, but these don't have nearly as much appeal to me as the Ranger 26. Although I could probably be talked in to one that's in great shape and selling for the right price.
I'd appreciate advice about other boats I should be looking at that fit my criteria.