Advice/thoughts on a ~30' boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-15-2006 Thread Starter
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Advice/thoughts on a ~30' boat

Hi all

I'm a bit of a newbie to the forum and and am looking for some advice/thoughts on boats in the 28 to 31 feet range. We're looking for a cruiser/racer for sailing off the Scottish coast (based out of Edinburgh) and in due course longer passages over to Norway/Germany/Denmark.

We're looking to spend up to around about £25,000 (bearing in mind that most boats cost more in Europe than in the US). So far we've seen a Westerly GK29 which we thought looked suitable, though it is no longer for sale, and a Contest 31HT. Does anyone have anything good, bad or indifferent to say about either of these?

Other suggestions we've received have been a Sadler 29 or a Seamaster 28 (and subsequent variations). We're probably wanting a fin keeled boat for better performance to windward, but bilge keel does have its advantages (especially here on the east coast o Scotland where many of the harbours are drying on mud) so thoughts on that would also be welcome.

Any ideas or guidance?

Thanks in advance/anticipation

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-15-2006
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Drying out is an issue, and being able to sit on your bilge keels does make it easier to find a mooring, since you can take spots that dry out. On the other hand, when you're sitting on your bilge keels, you won't be able to go out sailing. And when you are sailing with your bilge keels, your boat will feel like a bathtub because of the extra drag, and you'll end up motoring more than you would with a better-performing fin-keeled boat. The French resolve this problem with flattish-bottomed centerboarders (dériveurs intégrales), but you don't seem to have any French builders on your wish-list. Weather in your neck of the woods can be tough, so something good and solid is certainly desireable. Contest has a good reputation around here, but I don't know anything about the other builders you mention.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-16-2006
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Kyrie Elite

I was very impressed with the Kyrie Elite (approx. 30 ft.) when I saw 2 of them this past summer. Good looks with a decent turn of speed on the racxe course. As they were built on on your side of the pond, they might be a bit easier to locate.

Best of luck
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-16-2006
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David, I think you will find you need to sort your priorities a bit more as you're mentioning a number of variables which to some degree are mutually exclusive. Having said that and having migrated across the Channel & up into the Baltic, I'd recommend sea keeping qualities, good sailing ability and structural integrity as your primary screening points.

The Contest is a wonderful boat for your area; I'm amazed you can find a C-HT or HTB in your budget. The Sadler 32's are a mix of owner-completed and factory-build boats and pretty basic in form, but I think they would make another good choice. I also recommend a Moody 31 if possible; she is a very capable cruising boat in that size range. Albin (Swedish) used to make a range of excellent sailing boats; in the size you are considering, the Ballad is fast, was strongly built, and is an active racing class in the North Sea to this day...which by itself is an endorsement. The H-R Monsun is another swedish-built, highly regarded 31 footer, tho' she may be a bit dear for your budget. However, H-R also built a 29 footer that looks very handsome and functional, and which we saw in some numbers.

I hope you don't take this to be a criticism, but were I you and considering the batch of boats I've mentioned, I would place my shopping efforts mostly in Scandinavia and the Dutch inland seas. Their waters are brackish (less corrosion), seasons at least as short as yours (so boats wear at a slower pace), and the general level of engineering and upkeep we saw from The Netherlands northward WRT all boats was exceptional.

There is a pretty active H-R owners association that seems biased towards the older/smaller designs at and there is also a British HR owners assn. which you can Google. Both might offer more info on specific H-R models, it that's the direction you go.

Good luck to you.

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