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post #1 of Old 02-27-2011 Thread Starter
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Recommendations for live-aboard & beginner boat


in the next few months I want to buy a sailboat ($ 15 -20'000) to partially live aboard (about 3 days a week), do some weekend day cruises (Florida ICW and the Bay) get better in my sailing skills over the next years to get ready for holiday cruises around South Florida, Bahamas, and Caribbean.

I want a 30 feet boat, and have looked into a Catalina and a Cape Dory Cutter. I found a 1980 Catalina for 20'000 that seems very well equipped for live abord (solar panels, AC, Shower, Refrigerator etc). However, I am very concerned about the performance and safety in bad weather (in particular since I might do a lot of mistakes in the beginning...), and hesitating about the Catalina since many people here say they are not reliable.

The Cape Dory Cutter (found a 1981 for $22'000) seems very stable and what people call 'forgiving'. I would like to know if most of you agree that this is a good beginner boat that can be handled well even in bad weather conditions. The disadvantage I see is the few storage it offers and some of the missing live-aboard adaptions (I know expenses for boats add up easily).

I would like to get recommendations from some more experienced sailors and live-aboards about these 2 boats or recommendations on other boats that could fit my needs. I read in a threat about the 29 Bayfield, Hunter, and Pearson but havent really looked into them much yet.

Appreciating your help and ideas,

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