Re: What to look for in a new boat
Originally Posted by overbored
look into where you are going to keep this new boat before you buy, in some locations the length and width of the boat can be a determining factor. some marinas charge by the foot and some by the slip length and going only a few inches longer can cost you a lot more for the slip per month.
I found this to be especially true. One of the reasons that I own a 29' boat is that it fit into a 30' slip. A 30' boat did not, and pushed me into a 34' slip that was going to cost an additional $80/mo in moorage. It was a pretty big factor in our shopping. There are a lot of 30-32' boats that we looked at which has less functional interiors for our needs. I wouldn't be surprised to find that there are nice sailing 34' boats with more useful interior space than a 38' and it might save you $50 or more per month.
We had a Catalina 25 earlier and I can say that the support network for Catalina boats is great. There is a very nice mailing list of Pearson 28 owners too where I can get some help with my current boat, but the Catalina forums, Catalina Direct, and Mainsheet (the Catalina magazine) all provide a lot of very useful brand and model specific knowledge that just isn't equaled with other brands. There are nicer boats than Catalinas in every possible category, but I think that they generally hit a nice balance of price and functionality.
boats that I sail on regularly: Pearson 28-2, Rondar 505, Yankee 30, Blanchard Junior