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post #1 of 5 Old 07-30-2001 Thread Starter
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Best boat for the budget?

I''m looking for a good first boat for a family of four (myself and my wife, and two girls - ages 13 and 11). My wife and I have been through several sailing schools and we''ve chartered several boats from 32-40 feet in New England and Florida. I also race on a J-105 each week.

Our goal is to get a boat that we can use for weekend getaways and an occasional longer trip. It should have wheel steering (wife insists), an inboard diesel, pressurized hot and cold water, a small galley and head (not a port-a-potty). A roller furling jib is important, furling main would probably be a pipe dream on our budget (see below).

I''m not looking for a racer or racer-cruiser - I get my fill of that each week, but I want something that sails well. I''m not looking for a Hinckley, but it should be solidly built, especially if it''s an older model.

We''re thinking about something between 30 and 34 feet - something I can singlehand pretty easily and be low key with the family''s participation - and no more than 20 years old. And our budget is (drum roll, please...) $30,000.

So, having said all this, what do you think would be a good match for us?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

- John
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-30-2001
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Best boat for the budget?

I bought a Catalina 30 2 years ago. Its a bit older (''82),but the previous owners spent alot of time & $$. It has all the upgrades you mention plus auto pilot, 12volt refrig, extra water tanks, new prop, h2o heater with pressure hot/cold water, shower. This boat was almost perfect. I paid less than $25K. They''re out there, just gotta look. I hope to be moving up to something in the 38-40'' range sometime next year. The 30'' gets a little cramped with my wife & I and 2 teenagers. I''d opt for a 34-3'' if you can afford to do so.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-03-2001
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Best boat for the budget?

One boat that you might want to spend some time looking at is the Morgan 33'' Out Islander. My wife and I live on ours down here in FL. It has plenty of room since Charlie Morgan designed it to us every available inch of space on the interior and has sleeping areas for 6. It has a full galley, hot and cold pressure water, and a full head with shower, toilet, and sink.

These boats (the Out Islanders) are not racers, so if you want a good steady relaxing boat that has a stable and heavy hull... they are the boats you want to look at. Most of them were equipped with diesels as well.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-03-2001
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Best boat for the budget?

Also, most will have water heaters, and mine has roller furling and wheel steering. I think you will find that most of them were equipped pretty much the same. Ours also had airconditioning in it. I have since upgraded it to cental air/heat as we liveaboard.

You can do searches in boat trader, bucnet, and most any other of the boats for sale engines and you can find them. The price is in your budgeted area.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-07-2001
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Best boat for the budget?

Several thoughts. First, the budget. I too
wanted to spend about 30k..but the more I
looked the more it made sense to consider the
modest increase in loan payments allowed for
a much more comfortable negotiating range and
wider selection of boats. Jeff H. usually
has a really good feel for matching boats and
needs and he often posts here.

Since the first boat is usually a prelude to
the second boat, consider resale value and
market demand. The older Pearsons and Tartans seem to hold value, particularly in
the northeast, and are forgiving.

Make a more complete list of the need-to and
nice-to-haves. Realize that no matter what
boat you select, you''ll be doing upgrades.

Then there is the purchase/commissioning situation. I thought I estimated everything.
Still, it came to several thousand over my
projections. Little things like new bottom
paint, engine fluid changes, new lines, new
batteries, etc., etc., not to mention the
cost of a slip, if you can find one where you
want to be located. If you are buying a
30k boat, plan on having at least 10-12k
cash available for closing and commissioning.

A final note...often, not all family members
are as fond of sailing as you might be. My
x-wife started out liking the first boat but
soon drifted from the concept...too small,
too much "roughing it", not sea-kindly, etc.
The teenagers liked it at first but they too
drifted away...typical of that stage of life.

Make sure you can single-hand the boat. It
makes the cost-per-use more acceptable.




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