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post #9 of Old 11-20-2011
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Portland, OR
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We spent five years happily racing and cruising (2 -3 days at at time) on a new '76 Ranger 20. Sold that to find a boat with a real interior with a marine head (!) and some cruising amenities. Bought a two year old Niagara 26 and sailed it for ten years. Lots of great vacations for weeks at a time and a couple of successful racing seasons. Sold it to look for a larger performance cruiser. After a year of driving all over the NW and into BC, we finally found our present boat down in the SF Bay area. It was affordable because it needed a lot of cleanup work. That was in '94, and we still have it. We were shopping for something in the 30 to 32 foot range and lucked into the Olson 34. Wife still loves sailing it rail down and living on it for a week or two.
Market is full of "sailboats" that are mostly condo's and RV's, but it's rare to have a boat that Lives as well as it Sails.
(Not like I have any bias, of course!)

Happy shopping!
Keep looking and be careful not to rule out any possibilities. We thought we might get something around 30' but really ended up with about 11K displacement, and a bunch more waterline length. If you can choose between short and fat or longer and leaner, buy all the waterline you can! Nothing else will give you speed....
Heck, we can motor at 7.2 and close reach easily with the 135 at 9+. And buy all of the basic quality you can; after 25 years, great sailing design and the hull-to-deck joint engineering quality counts way more than gadgets.!

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