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Old 10-05-2009
AndrewMac AndrewMac is offline
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Need Help with an Upgrade

Hi all, I am just starting to do some research on potential upgrades for my Pearson Ensign. I'm looking for something in the 28ft-32ft size range under $30k. Having read a number of threads, I've seen that it's generally helpful to give a fair amount of background in order to generate relevant feedback (I say that as an upfront apology for what will probably be a long intial post )...so here goes:

BACKGROUND
I would cartegorize myself in a lower intermediate level with respect to sailing expereince/knowledge. I have a reasonably good understanding of basic sail trim concepts, but am not particularly rigorous when it comes to applying that knowledge (I'm looking to change that). I don't race and almost all of my expereince has been as a daysailor within enclosed bays on the Maine coast (mostly Penobscot Bay) where there are a lot of light air days in the summer (5-10 knots) together with pretty flat sea conditions (usually no more than 2ft-4ft waves).

USE
I anticipate that the boats primary use will be as a day sailor and that I will frequently have several people on board (including my kids who will be 7,5 and 4 next summer), but also anticipate singlehanding frequently. I would like to take a couple of short cruises (1-3 days) each years and learn to race - if I had to choose, I would take speed and performance over cruising comfort.

CRITEREA:
Comfort
Given the boat's likely primary use as a daysailor, I would define comfort by spacious cockpit and not the cabin. Given the age of the kids, I'm hoping to find a reasonably deep cockpit, but am not wedded to it.
Sailing
I would like a sloop that performs well in light air (5-10 knots), points well, is highly responsive, fast and generally "fun to sail". As a point of reference, I find the Ensign a little sluggish (although I do love it).
Aesthetics
Mine tend to run a little traditional - undercut stern, low profile doghouse..I'm a littel worried that this aesthetic may run counter to what I outlined in the "sailing" department above.

GOALS
Improve my sail trim skills
Start racing
Teach my kids (my sister just got a Herreshof 12.5 which the kids will start on, so this would provide a step up for them down the road).

BOATS I'M CURRENTLY CONSIDERING
JeffH posted a very useful list on an old thread which I spent a fair amount of time looking at. The boats I find appealing from that list are:
C&C Redwing 30
Irwin Citation
Alberg 30.

QUESTIONS
What are people's opinions about the boats I listed above in the context of the criterea I outlined?
How do the boats compare to one another?
Are there other boats that people would recommend?

Appreciate any feedback - thanks!
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