Join Date: Jul 2000
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Recommendations on 28-33' sailboat
I predominantly daysail with my wife and two kids, 9 and 12 on Lake Michigan. I currently have a Colgate 26 which is a great boat for daysailing, but it lacks space down below and an enclosed head. My wife and kids love sailing and its time to move up to a bigger boat.
Here is my wish list:
-Good size cockpit--we like to have room in the cockpit and the Colgate has been great in this regard. We frequently take others out sailing, and when the 4 of us go out, my wife frequently takes a nap in the cockpit. She likes some space to spread out in the cockpit. I'm more than happy to do the sailing.
-Non-balsa cored hull
-Prefer a saildrive engine, but this is not a deal breaker
-nice enclosed head--a requirement
-enough room below to occasionally spend the night on the boat--we do not plan any long trips.
-newer boat--I don't want an older boat that I'm going to have to work on. I would prefer buying a brand new boat or one that is only a couple years old.
-minimal to no wood on the topsides--I'm not interested in having to refinish and varnish wood. I definatly don't want a boat with a wood toerail.
-I race on other people's boats, so it doesn't have to be super fast, just fun to sail.
It doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, but there don't seem to be alot of new boats in this size range.
*One boat I keep coming back to is the Catalina 28 MkII. I like the size of the boat. The cockpit is the right size. It doesn't have a Saildrive, but thats not a deal breaker. The room down below is adequate and there is a nice enclosed head. I could also fit the boat in the current slip that I have. It won't be as much fun to sail as my Colgate, but I think my wife and kids will like it. I've never been a big fan of Catalinas, but the 28 is a good looking boat, and the ones I've seen appear to be pretty well constructed.
*Another boat I like is the C&C99. Looks to be a very well constructed boat, and would be very fun to sail. Its on the other side of my size range. The only big negative with this boat is the cockpit. I hate the layout of the cockpit. Its small and real chopped up with the traveler in the middle. I like everything else about the boat, but the cockpit is pretty much a deal breaker.
*Beneteau 323. Nice boat, but I'm not so sure about the quality of the construction. I saw one at a recent boat show and there were already lots of stress cracks in the gel coat in a number of areas. I didn't like seeing that.
*J100. Very nice looking boat. Great cockpit, but the cabin is extremely small and my wife doesn't like the interior. It's pretty cramped. Also, I believe the hull is balsa cored.
*Columbia 30. Very cool boat. If it was a boat just for me I would probably buy one. Nice large cockpit. Saildrive (with access in the cockpit). But, its interior is very small and not what the family wants.
*I didn't look at the Hunters--I have to draw the line somewhere, and I won't buy a Hunter.
What other boats out there am I missing that would fulfill my criteria? What do you think of the Catalina? The 310 and 320 are also possibilities, but since the 28 has the room I need, I would prefer it. I have heard that the 320 sails very nicely.
Thanks in advance for any comments.