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post #1 of 3 Old 05-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Good old boat for newbie

Hello all,
So, I am new to all this. I am wanting a boat I can sail in the Fort Walton Beach/Destin area (panhandle of florida) and maybe take it down to Key West FL sometime (that is down the road). I would like to get a boat my wife and 3 kids can go on (2 17yr olds and a 12yr old) and camp and the like.
I will be staying in the bay for part of the time and then maybe some costal cruising. I have been reading ALOT of books and reading ALOT on here and other places. I would like a boat I can get for around $5K-$7K. I would like something I can sail right away and maybe do a little work on (it doesn't have to be perfect) I am guessing 26-30foot boat and am leaning a lot towards the Macgregor or MAYBE a Cat 27 (ish) type boat.
What I would like to know, is when it comes to old boats, what is a good old boat I can get that will not be a piece of junk or a lost cause to work on and repair.

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post #2 of 3 Old 05-07-2015
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Re: Good old boat for newbie

Originally Posted by perrysplus View Post
I would like a boat I can get for around $5K-$7K.

what is a good old boat I can get that will not be a piece of junk or a lost cause to work on and repair.

With older boats condition usually trumps brand or model. Look for a boat in good overall condition.

An older boat that has been loved by it's owner will allow you to get out sailing and do less maintenance than a "fixer upper" that happens to be the brand someone here recommended (we all have our favorites).

For a first boat I recommend staying with a popular model (the Catalina 27 is actually a good example) because it will make the boat easier to sell down the road.

First time boaters spend a lot of time agonizing about buying the "perfect" boat. But the reality is after a season or two of sailing you'll have a better idea of what's perfect for you. If that means upgrading you'll have an easier time selling a popular model in good condition.

Best of luck

95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-07-2015
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Re: Good old boat for newbie

Your best bet might be a keel/centerboard boat due to shallow waters in your sailing area. Tartan 27, Morgan 26 or 28. Something sturdy. Not a big fan of Macgregor boats as they tend to be cheaply made. Check out and craigslist for your area and start picking through the ads.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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