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  #1  
Old 09-29-2013
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Boat comparisons

Hello all,
Like many on these forums, my wife and I are doing our research on the type of boat that will best suit us. After careful review and much to our disappointment, neither of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouth, so first I will mention budget. We are looking to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60K on what's hopefully a 38-44 ft "gently used " boat. (Sadly an Island Packet just isn't in the budget.)

Next is use. We are planning on living aboard as well as a good number of days a year cruising. General location would be SC to as far south as the boat and wife will allow. So mostly Caribbean, warm climate and shallow waters. There are 2 of us, no kids, no absolutely no in-laws.

From what I have seen and read, Morgans, Beneteau's, and jenneau's all may be in the ballpark for price, type of use, and draft. All I really am trying to figure out (for now) is how to begin my short list. Any help from out there in cyberspace is GREATLY appreciated.

Cam
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Old 09-29-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

I think you need to be looking at refitted 70's boats in the 38' to 42' range.

I went through the same search and wrote about it here
http://sailingwithkids.net/2013/03/2...with-children/
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Old 09-29-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

If I were in the market for that much boat in that price range I would look hard at a Morgan 382. The Out Island series probably have more room but the 382,383 and 384's are much better sailing boats if you're into that sort of thing. You could probably buy a newer nicer boat if you were willing to scale back the size though, There is an article in the August issue of SAIL about cruising in a smaller boat and the advantages that it has.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

Keep in mind that more contemporary boats are bigger for a given LOA than older boats - they don't have much in the way of overhangs, have wider sterns and they make better use of their interior volume.

A current 28 footer has nearly as much useable interior as a 35' from the 70's. A friends current Hunter 38 was the same size as my old Columbia 43 and had much more accommodation (but far less stowage).

You need to look at waterline length and displacement to make your comparisons, not LOA.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

I agree with SJB, the newer designs pack more into a smaller form factor. Of course, if you're living aboard or spending significant time aboard, you'll want personal space and to get away from eachother sime times, and that's where LOA can be advantageous. Of course, you're going to be paying a lot for that extra "space" between docking/moorage fees, beefier equipment, bigger sails, etc. It's amazing, too, how the floorplans changed in the late 80's to early 90's, and how much more practical the designs are for the way most people live these days. Some of the boats in the low to mid 30' range can be very attractive.
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Re: Boat comparisons

Totally agree contrarian. As a matter of fact I have been looking into refitted Morgans. I don't mind the older boats from an aesthetics point (in fact I prefer them) but I also realize that as time has past over the last few decades, space has been better utilized within design. Of course then the question with the older boats becomes how much repair will be needed. the thing that I cant seem to find from scouring the internet is some sort of matrix. Budget is X, needs are Y, size range of Z-Z.

@jimgo. Yes, trying to keep the better half happy is a must, therefore personal space is also a must. In everyones opinion, from a space standpoint am I really loosing that much in say a 38 vrs 42?

By the way, performance is definitely secondary to livability.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

Before buying any boat, it would be wise to charter a few different types, sizes, for a few days each to get a better sense of what you might want/need and a more realistic sense of what a given size has to offer. A boat of any size is a fairly major investment of money, time, expectations, hopes et al. One cannot really learn much by simply reading descriptions and soliciting opinions from others and your wife's feelings once aboard will play a major role in the success or failure of your effort. In fact, you might discover that a small to mid-sized cat such as a Gemini 105 is more suitable for your needs/wants. Another factor to consider with an older yacht is your own capability vis-a-vis mechanical skills. If you aren't pretty well versed and skillful you'll have to be able to learn quickly or reconcile yourself to spending rather a great deal on technicians that are.

FWIW...
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Re: Boat comparisons

The only real way you'll know is to go aboard as many boats as possible. I think your SO may be surprised by what a "modern" 32-36 can offer versus the 42. In may cases, the newer boat may actually "feel" bigger than the bigger older boat. For example, we have a 1980 31' with a "tri-cabin" layout. It's great for privacy. But the doorway to the aft berth sits forward of the companionway stairs, which means that it pushes into the settee/dinette area. That, in turn, makes the dinette area feel smaller. By contrast, I was recently on a 1990's-era Catalina 30. Our boats are essentially the same size, but that one felt very open compared to mine. Granted, their aft berth didn't have the privacy that mine does, but the open, airy feel made that boat feel very different than mine. If you really want to see a contrast, see if you can find an S2 11 (34') center cockpit and compare that to a 36-38' aft cockpit.

Fundamentally, are you "really" losing much? You're losing about 10% of the boat's OA length. As a more practical matter, though, the cockpit on most of the boats will be approximately the same size, so you're really "losing" those 4' in the part of the boat where you'll spend a good bit of your time when not underway. So, IMHO, when comparing boats with similar designs like the Catalina 36, 38, and 42, what you get is more room in places like the head. You get a dedicated shower in some cases, or even a second head. Or a more comfortable galley, or more storage.

Here are drawings for the above-mentioned Catalinas, as an example:

CATALINA 42 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

CATALINA 36 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

CATALINA 38 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Re: Boat comparisons

The more boats I can get onto the better for certain. We head to Annapolis next week for just that reason. JIMCO, thanks for sending those Catalina specs over. Something to really consider regarding a newer model.

So much to learn...
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Boat comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acameronp View Post
... All I really am trying to figure out (for now) is how to begin my short list. Any help from out there in cyberspace is GREATLY appreciated.

Cam
I am one who can research something to within an hour of its life. We started out by determining how we wanted to use the boat (you did that part). Next we each made a list of Needs and a list of Wants. Compared our lists and compromised where appropriate and negotiated when necessary (beer helped). As we looked at boats online, at boat shows, read which boats were out there doing what we wanted to do, and read personal experiences, the list of boats dropped dramatically.

Our last boat was to be used in the Chesapeake. That's where we are now. Now we're researching our next boat to take us farther away after years of owning our current boat, sailing on other boats and talking to people who live aboard and cruise. Where John had two items on his list for the current boat, the Need/Want list for the Next Boat is considerably longer after gaining some experience.

I think once you start seeing which boats satisfy the items on your list, the number of boats will drop. Spreadsheets help.
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