Recommendations on 28-33' sailboat - SailNet Community

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Old 02-21-2006
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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.
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Old 02-21-2006
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You really should take a look at the new Hunter 31. To's not your daddy's Hunter. With their fractional rig, open cockpit, and stern rail seats, they're a comfy boat, inside and out, and easy to sail without fighting a big genny.

Something a bit older, but seemingly well suited to your criterea, would be a '85-'89 Pearson 28-2. Has a great review in Good Old Boat, and I almost bought one myself until I decided to go a bit bigger.

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Old 02-21-2006
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Thanks for the response.
I have seen pictures of the Hunter 31 but did not consider it. One of my criteria for a boat is that I like the way it looks. I've never liked the looks of any of the Hunters. I went on their web site, and it looks like the quality of the Hunters may be better than before. Rob
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Old 02-21-2006
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Hanse 341
  • Year: 2003
  • Current Price: US$ 124,900
  • Located in San Diego, CA
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Engine/Fuel Type: Single Diesel
  • YW# 1772-1374454

33' Beneteau 331
* Year: 2002
* Current Price: US$ 94,500
* Located in San Diego, CA
* Hull Material: Fiberglass
* Engine/Fuel Type: Single Diesel

Good luck

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Old 02-21-2006
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I couple of comments for your consideration. Don’t discount the Catalina, they’ve prospered by offering OK construction at OK prices, given somewhat clorox bottle styling and hohum performance. Not very exciting, but value for the money!

The C&C99 and J-Boats use cutting edge technology, so don’t expect any all-glass hulls. C&C/Tartan/Whomeveritis seems to be using their current boats to field-test the new technology, so I’d avoid. J-Boats have a good rep for construction, and offer excellent performance, I’d consider one personally if the $$$ don’t hurt, and you avoid banging her up. Look at the J32 for some room. I’m surprised about your Beneteau comment, I had an excellent experience with a First 30E in the late ‘80s. I’d put Beneteau and Catalina in the same boat construction-wise, but Beneteau has more performance orientation. You might check another one, just avoid any steel-keels, these become a literal pain-in-the-back. The sequence of Catalina-Beneteau-Jboat allows you to trade up performance for price.

A personal favorite I’d mention is the Cal 28-2 (the smaller sister of the 33-2) made in the mid-to-late ‘80’s. These boats provide an excellent combination of good construction (all glass hulls), handsome design and OK performance. There’s always a number of these on

As to the Hunter option, it seems to me that Hunter designs boats that are attractive to new buyers (only) and packages them to a price-point - if this shoe fits, then someone can wear it.
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Old 02-21-2006
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I'm pretty sure the Beneteau 323 has an iron keel. The Catalinas have lead keels. I agree, iron is not my first choice for keel material. Rob
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Check out the original Cal 28 - 2,200 lb. lead keel. Roomier much larger boats due to its raised flush deck design. Very strong and very reasonable.

Cal 28 Sailboat Cal Boats Jensen Marine Cal 28 Bill Lathrop Jack Jensen Good Old Boat
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