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Old 10-31-2004
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20 Year Old Needs Boat Buying Advice

You do have a lot of questions....Here are some quick answers.....

Can you find a good cruising boat for under $20K?-
Yes, but you can expect to put quite a bit into it. Your boat repair skills will go a long way here but material and gear is not cheap. If you can keep it simple you have a better chance of making it.

Rawson 30- They are a mixture of the good and the not so good. From a construction stand point many of the not so good things are the kinds of things that a handy person can repair but from a design stand point these are pretty mediocre boats at best.

Pearsons:
Some of the Pearsons that are around under $20K are reasonably good boats and certainly are better built boats than the Catalinas. Pearson has built a lot of different 30 to 32 foot models so you need to pick carefully since some are totally ill-suited to long range cruising. Pearsons generally tend to be more expensive than Catalinas.

Catalina 30:
Catalinas are very common.They can be bought pretty cheaply but are comparatively poorly built and when used rigourously can be a real pain in the butt to maintain.

Keel stepped mast:
In the size boat that you are considering a keel stepped mast is not a necessity but it would be a good idea to make sure that there is a solid kingpost and a well engineered tie between the mast and the mast step on a deck stepped mast.

Good luck,
Jeff
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