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  #1  
Old 05-13-2006
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Advice on boats around 30ft.

G'day from OZ
I am coming to the U.S.A. to purchase a boat because what I thinkI need is not here in Australia for the price I can get one for in the U.S. Most of the boats here in Australia are not cruisers and their prices are too high for me.

I have narrowed my choice to a few boats and would appreciate advice on the suitability of them. The one I get must be able to cross oceans, have a solid keel and have a protected rudder.Also a diesel engine would be mandatory.
I am thinking of boats like Columbia 29mk1, Triton 30 and 28(in a pinch) Alberg 30, Bristol 30, Albin Vega and a Douglas 32.(Largest I would go to).

Any constructive thoughts on these as a offshore cruiser for a solo sailor would be welcomed.
Also, any other boats that you may like that would fill the bill can be suggested. I am open to all suggestions.
These boats range in price from $15,000 up and that will be my budget plus I will expect to spend a few thousand more to bring her up to seaworthyness.

I know there are a few to choose from but I need a base from which to to work. Hope you folks can help me out here.
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Old 05-13-2006
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Hello from Virginia...

One boat you might look at is the Southern Cross. It has a reputation for world cruising and fits your other parameters. A friend of mine had one and went everywhere with it.

There's one listed on www.soudingsonline.com.

1978 SOUTHERN CROSS 31 31' MAMBO, THE SOUTHERN CROSS 31 WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT AS AN OFFSHORE CRUISING BOAT, CAPABLE OF EXTENDED PASSAGES IN ALL WEATHER. MANY SISTERSHIPS HAVE CRUISED EXTENSIVELY, PROVIDING THEIR OWNERS WITH A MANAGEABLE, ECONOMICAL VESSEL OF EXCEPTIONAL STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY AND ABILITY. "MAMBO" IS A VERY SIMPLE BOAT WITH MINIMAL SYSTEMS AND FEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAILURE; SHE CAN BE SAILED AS IS\ÖMore Details \& Photos Email Kingman Yacht Center Inc. Visit My Online Showroom (508) 563-7136

Good Luck

Moe
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Old 05-13-2006
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sailorjim99 i don't much about columbia, albin or the douglas, but the pearson triton and the alberg 30 have plying the worlds oceans for years. from what i've read about them is that they are robustly built if somewhst spartan inside. most if not all these boats were built when there wasn't much known about the strengths of fibreglass so they were what some would say are over built, which seems to be an oxymoron in terminology. you cannot over build for trans oceanic use or even coastal cruising. and yes there will be people that say you can. anyway as to your inquery both these builders seemed to use decent quality hardware, and many have been updated, but i believe most of these boats were built with Atomic-4 gas motors. i know the alberg has a deck stepped mast, the triton i'm not sure the alberg had issues with the transverse mast support in the cabin (sag & delamination) many were repaired with aluminum gussets bolted to the side faces of the support. don't know much more than this hope this helps somewhat mike
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Old 05-13-2006
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A couple quick thoughts here. It is funny about perseptions. Here in the States there is a perception that there are better deals on cruising boats in Australia and New Zealand than there are in the States. A few years ago I helped a gentleman who wanted to buy a distance cruiser on a tight budget. He ended up buying neat little custom built cruiser in New Zealand. The funny part was that his perception was that there were far more choices in Oz and NZ than there were in the State. Never having been to Oz or NZ I can't really say whether he was right or not.

With regards to your list of potential choices, I would suggest that you remove the Triton 30 from your list of candidates if you are looking for a traditional long keel cruiser. The Triton 30 was a much later design, an adaptation of the Bayliner Bucaneer 30, which was a pretty poorly built fin keel-spade rudder IOR era cruiser-racer.


I somewhat question the posibility of buying one of these boats and putting her into offshore capable condition. Wwhile most of these boats have been adapted for offshore use and have been sailed successfully offshore, for the most part, the boats on your list began life as racer-coastal cruisers. Most are 35 or 40 years old boats and one that you would find for sale in your price range is likely to be very tired and in need of serious upgrade before going offshore. Even doing your own work, it would be easy to drop $15-20K into bringing one up to condition and equipment level that would make one suitable for "crossing oceans".

In other words, as would be the case with almost any boat of that age, you can expect to have to do a lot of deferred maintenance and upgrades before going offshore. Like any boat from this era, boats of like these are likely to require some combination of:
-New sails designed for offshore use,
-Engine rebuild or replacement,
-New offshore capable deck hardware and ground tackle handling gear,
-Reworked electrical system (These boats were built before tinned wiring and with exceptionally simple systems),
-Windvane and/or electronic autopilot,
-Upgrade or replacement of chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, standing and running rigging that are beyond their useful lifespan,
-Replacement or rebuild of worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
-Worn out upholstery,
-Non skid in need of renewing,
-Out of date or totally absent offshore style safety gear,
-Electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
-Thru hulls and seacocks in need of replacement,
-Blister, fatigue, rudder, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbing, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
-Keel bolt replacement (bolt on keel) or delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.

I also want to strongly support Moe's suggestion regarding the late 1970's era Southern Cross 31. (Newer versions are out of your price range) If you are interested in buying an inexpensive, small, traditional, long keel, offshore capable singlehander, the Southern Cross 31 is about as good as they get. These boats were designed as no gimick offshore capable designs. They came with sensible rigs and good tankage. They have enough displacement to carry the kinds of supplies and gear required for offshore cruising. Although very simply constucted, Ryder did a really nice job building these boats to a higher standard than was the norm. Most had diesels from the factory. Their outboard rudder is very adaptable to a simple home built trim-tab servo type self-steering vane. One shortcoming that I came across with these boats is that they had a fiberglass fuel tank which did not hold up all that well, allowing some diesel seepage over time.

I would also suggest that you add the similar concept Allied Seawind to your list of candidates.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 05-19-2006
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Hey, Jeff, while you're at it ...

What do you think of the Bristol 34, re seaworthiness? I saw one for sale today. It's pretty roomy inside and seems well kept, but I noticed that the companionway sill is lower than the top of the cockpit footwell. How bad is that?
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I really like the Bristol 33-34's. Good boats all around.

Jeff
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Old 05-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H
I really like the Bristol 33-34's. Good boats all around.
That's encouraging - and thanks for answering. But do you think the 5'6" draft is a major disadvantage for Chesapeake-Bay cruising?
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Might as well add that besides the B.34, I'm thinking about the Pearson 35 for sale in Annapolis with a low-thirties asking price (which I've seen) and the Tartan 34C in Norfolk (which I haven't seen). Maintenance expense is another concern, but I don't know if that favors one over another.
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Old 07-08-2006
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Thumbs up Thanks

A big thank-you to all who replied to my question.
Between the answers I received and what I was able to learn from other post on this site, I am well on my way to achieving what I set out to do.
I will have more questions as time goes by and I will post them here.
Thanks again.
Jim.
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