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  #1  
Old 10-16-2009
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Forever Boat

I have a case of twofootitis. I started with a Balboa 22, living aboard a trailerable boat at a marina. It was fun, but too small. Then I bought my current boat, an Islander Bahama 24. It is great, and I have done a lot of stuff to improve her, but I still think she may not be my final boat.

I am trying to decide on a boat that I will not outgrow. I am not considering buying it soon, but I want to find out what others suggest. I have some qualifications, so please give me suggestions that fit inside these criteria:

Small cruising sailboat
30 feet or less
Seaworthy, Sail in pacific, sail in Alaska
Standing Headroom
Preferably Sloop or cutter rigged simply because that is the best pointing rig
Long keel (preferably glassed-in when talking GFRP boats)
Safely Careened (in correct conditions)
No spade Rudders
Does not need pressure water or hot water or central heat or diesel inboard
Preferably outboard powered
Does not need a head
Shower would be nice
Preferred materials are GFRP or Aluminum

Boats I have considered:
Contessa 26
Haida 26 (don't like the iron keel)
Pearson Ariel
Cruising Catamarans
Norsea 27
Flicka
Bristol 24, 29
Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat
Dana 24

I am doing a lot of research on these, and I am wondering if anyone has opinions on these. I would say seaworthiness is the most important, followed by durability, then comfort, and last of all sailing speed. Cost is some issue, but the size range keeps that reasonable.
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Old 10-16-2009
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Hi
I think if you have outgrown an Islander 24 you'll not find a Flicka or anything else close in size to your current boat much of a step up at least in usable space. The Contessa doesn't have standing headroom. The Haida is a good boat some of which have travelled far (John Guzzwell's son Jonathan sailed the Pacific in one that the next owner took from Victoria as far as Brazil), but the cabin version is the only version you can stand up in, not the flush deck version which is a better boat in my opinion. Norsea 27 is a good solid boat, many of which have travelled far - the centre cockpit is the most common and that's not to everybody's liking. Bristol 29 is a good boat as far as I know, but I don't think you'll find many on this coast. Have you thought of the Alberg 30 or the Vega 27. Both solid boats with more room than some of your choices. As far as engine most will have inboards and that I believe is the better choice in a boat over about 25-26 ft., but this Vega looks good and does have an outboard.
1974 Albin Vega Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Budget is something you have not mentioned and whether you're willing to refit whatever you buy, as many of these older boats will need it after 30 or so years afloat.
Hope this helps.
Brian
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Old 10-17-2009
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Budget

I will be doing a refit before I go offshore, and for peace of mind. Things like bedding deck hardware, standing rigging, plumbing and electrical just can't be trusted to previous owners. So there will definitely be a refit. I am planning on purchasing something in the 10k range. Before going offshore I will have probably spent another 5k on preparations. I will take a look at the vega 27s.
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Old 10-18-2009
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Howdy tager,

Your price range and criteria are very similar to mine, however I am looking to purchase a boat years from now, after I retire from the Army and go through ASA 101-108. Anywho, that means to keep the dream alive, I have been researching boats, starting by going through this list:
Updated Offshore Cruising Boat List - January 2008

With all the researching and reading I have done, I keep coming back to anything Cape Dory, but I would prefer a 25D, Contessa 26 which this guy Bigoceans | Tiny Boat even says is kinda small for a live aboard, also Island Packet 27
I don't hear too many gratifying comments on Pearson boats other than they are just "OK" but I find many for sale in my (our) price range so I am actively looking for owners to talk to about their offshore reliability.
Since I have yet to own a boat of my own, sorry I can't offer more than my research. Good Luck in finding exactly what you are looking for, my budgeting plan is to spend $10K on the boat and double the amount to refit her properly for singlehanded extended offshore cruising.

Good Luck and Take Care!

Ben
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Old 10-18-2009
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[quote=tager;533132]I will be doing a refit before I go offshore, and for peace of mind. Things like bedding deck hardware, standing rigging, plumbing and electrical just can't be trusted to previous owners. So there will definitely be a refit. I am planning on purchasing something in the 10k range. Before going offshore I will have probably spent another 5k on preparations. I will take a look at the vega 27s.[/quote

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Last edited by bubb2; 10-18-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 10-18-2009
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You mentioned the Flicka and Dana, but the PSC Orion 27 would also be an ocean-capable under-30-feet cruiser. Not sure how many of any of those you're going to find in the $10K range though.
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Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.
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Old 10-19-2009
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The CapeDory 25D should also be on that list.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-19-2009
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Agree with sailingdog but Cape Dory is rare in Washington - none listed on Yachtworld under 35' right now. Same situation for Bristol.
Brian
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Old 10-19-2009
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Yeah, Cape Dorys and Bristols are far more common on the East coast.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-19-2009
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I would throw in the Westsail 32, Pacific Seacraft Mariah 31, Baba 30 and maybe the Southern Cross 31 as boats to take a look at. There's a brand new Westsail hull & deck for sale on Yachtworld which you could custom build instead of refitting. Not sure about your budget on either the purchase or the refit, but you never know.

Mike
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