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Old 10-03-2009
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CalebD CalebD is online now
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I have only sailed on a Bene First 51' for 400 nm offshore. The boat had crossed the Atlantic several times before I got on it. I believe that the 'First's are racing models and the 51 I was on is an ocean racing boat. Not so terrible, in fact, a decent boat.
I like the other makes on your short list and with your budget you are looking to buy used. I also like older boats for less money but that is just me. You have to satisfy yourself ultimately.
Have you considered the rig? Sloop vs. Ketch vs. Yawl etc? Ketch and Yawl usually have shorter masts and heel a little less but may not point up wind as well.
I bet you could pick up a certain Allied Seawind Ketch that I sailed on which is in Miami for under 15K. It is pretty bare bones but has nice sails and a working engine.
There are a lot of boats out there.
Good luck.
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