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  #1  
Old 08-03-2006
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Talking Which Boat?!?!!

Hi All,

For starters, I have never owned a boat and I would like to buy a 30 – 35 feet boat.

Could you guys recommend some boats (affordable ones) that I can look at?
I’m a beginner so I need pointers as to what boats to look for and what boats to stay away from.

Thank you a lot,

Praxi
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Old 08-03-2006
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An older Catalina 30 would probably be your best bet.
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Old 08-03-2006
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In order to make a recommendation it would be helpful to know where you plan to sail and what is you budget? As for boats to stay away from I would stay away from older Catalina 30's as a first boat since you don't have a lot of experience in maintaining and upgrading a boat.

Jeff
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Old 08-03-2006
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Prax...You haven't told us anything about where you will sail, what you can afford or what you intend to do with the boat.
Jeff...Gimme a break...most of us started on boats that we knew nothing about and we learned or paid the price to learn along the way. An older ANYTHING which will be affordable will teach the same lessons.

Prax..Most affordable boats out there and widely available will be Hunter,Catalina, Beneteau which are all coastal and bay boats. You can also look at Irwins, O'days which are now out of business but built a lot of boats in the 70's-80's. Again...none of these boats will cross oceans but you can check them out on www.yachtworld.com.
Whatever you do before buying...get a surveyor on the boat since you won't know what you are looking at!
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Old 08-08-2006
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I would put C&C's on your list. My husband and I went from windsurfing and sailing Sunfish and Hobie Cats to our 1970 C&C 35' five years ago. It has been a great boat without a lot of issues. Prior to buying it, we passed on a Catalina 30' with some soft spots on its deck found during a survey and we lost out on a Sabre 28' due to a bidding war with another buyer. We've been very happy with the C&C as our first boat and love sailing, in general, and are now looking for an even bigger boat!
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Old 08-08-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinghambaysailors
I would put C&C's on your list. My husband and I went from windsurfing and sailing Sunfish and Hobie Cats to our 1970 C&C 35' five years ago. It has been a great boat without a lot of issues. Prior to buying it, we passed on a Catalina 30' with some soft spots on its deck found during a survey and we lost out on a Sabre 28' due to a bidding war with another buyer. We've been very happy with the C&C as our first boat and love sailing, in general, and are now looking for an even bigger boat!
C&C made a number of good boats in that size range which now present very good values. I have owned a 36 for five years and have been very happy with it.
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Old 08-08-2006
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One thing you'll find is that most people fall in love with their first boat and lose some objectivity, myself included. What I will tell you is what I looked for and what I have found to be good characteristics for a first time owner.

I bought a Pearson P-35 about 4 years ago as my first big boat. My P-35 has the following good/relevant characteristics a first time owner may want to consider:

1. shoal draft full keel with centerboard. Only 3'9" with board up. My boat is moored in a relatively shallow bay, so this was very important to me, it might not be relevant to you unless you plan on doing significant gunkholing. If you look at a centerboard boat, make sure the surveyor takes a good look at the pivot pins and connections. I have not had any problems with mine, but this is one thing to look out for.

2. It's a relatively heavy boat, made back when they used a lot more fiberglass than they really needed. However, for a first time owner, this is not a bad thing. Every sailor runs aground at some point, a first time owner is likely to have more such events. The full keel design is solid, the boat is pretty bullet proof. It has a cruising PHRF rating of 192. You may want to check the PHRF rating if you really don't want something that is too slow for your taste.

3. While it's a 35' boat the waterling is only 25' and its beam is only 10' so it's interior living space is more like that of a 30' boat than a 35' boat. Don't think just because you're looking at 30' or 35' boat its going to have the same amount of living space.

4. With a narrow beam and long overhangs the boat is made to heel when its in even a moderate breeze. If your spouse doesn't like being in a boat that heels, find a boat with a wider beam to length ratio.

5. The long overhangs help make this boat relatively comfortable in heavy seas.

6. Beautiful traditional lines. Aesthetics, find a boat you think looks good.

7. Consider how much brightwork you want to maintain. The P-35 has a teak toe rail, teak cockpit coming and hand rails. If you're not prepared to do the upkeep, find something with less bright work.

Good luck finding your first boat, it's a great experience. One other thing. When I was looking I got behind the wheel and looked out over the boat and thought, gee this is a big boat. Once you get it in the water and start sailing around, you no longer think the boat is too big. Finally, I don't think there is a perfect boat out there so don't be too anal about getting everything you want at the price you're willing to pay.

Just do it!

It just occured to me in my list of points to consider I've sort of assumed that the boat is to be used for coastal cruising. If you are planning on serious blue water cruising you need to consider other factors as well. For example the cockpit of my P-35 is relatively large, which is great for sailing with a number of people on board but not great for a blue water cruise as it is easier to swamp in heavy seas.

Last edited by CalypsoP35; 08-08-2006 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 08-08-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalypsoP35
One thing you'll find is that most people fall in love with their first boat and lose some objectivity, myself included. What I will tell you is what I looked for and what I have found to be good characteristics for a first time owner.

I bought a Pearson P-35 about 4 years ago as my first big boat. My P-35 has the following good/relevant characteristics a first time owner may want to consider:

1. shoal draft full keel with centerboard. Only 3'9" with board up. My boat is moored in a relatively shallow bay, so this was very important to me, it might not be relevant to you unless you plan on doing significant gunkholing. If you look at a centerboard boat, make sure the surveyor takes a good look at the pivot pins and connections. I have not had any problems with mine, but this is one thing to look out for.

2. It's a relatively heavy boat, made back when they used a lot more fiberglass than they really needed. However, for a first time owner, this is not a bad thing. Every sailor runs aground at some point, a first time owner is likely to have more such events. The full keel design is solid, the boat is pretty bullet proof. It has a cruising PHRF rating of 192. You may want to check the PHRF rating if you really don't want something that is too slow for your taste.

3. While it's a 35' boat the waterling is only 25' and its beam is only 10' so it's interior living space is more like that of a 30' boat than a 35' boat. Don't think just because you're looking at 30' or 35' boat its going to have the same amount of living space.

4. With a narrow beam and long overhangs the boat is made to heel when its in even a moderate breeze. If your spouse doesn't like being in a boat that heels, find a boat with a wider beam to length ratio.

5. The long overhangs help make this boat relatively comfortable in heavy seas.

6. Beautiful traditional lines. Aesthetics, find a boat you think looks good.

7. Consider how much brightwork you want to maintain. The P-35 has a teak toe rail, teak cockpit coming and hand rails. If you're not prepared to do the upkeep, find something with less bright work.

Good luck finding your first boat, it's a great experience. One other thing. When I was looking I got behind the wheel and looked out over the boat and thought, gee this is a big boat. Once you get it in the water and start sailing around, you no longer think the boat is too big. Finally, I don't think there is a perfect boat out there so don't be too anal about getting everything you want at the price you're willing to pay.

Just do it!

It just occured to me in my list of points to consider I've sort of assumed that the boat is to be used for coastal cruising. If you are planning on serious blue water cruising you need to consider other factors as well. For example the cockpit of my P-35 is relatively large, which is great for sailing with a number of people on board but not great for a blue water cruise as it is easier to swamp in heavy seas.
I have also owned Pearsons from that era and agree that they also make an excellent value. Also, unlike C&C's, they did use more fiberglass and less balsa coring, so one less problem to worry about.
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Old 08-08-2006
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What is affordable?

Just wondering what you consider affordable, as this varies greatly between people. I myself am going to be financing just to buy something in the $15,000 range! While others here seem to think $40,000 is "bargain basement"


Joshua B
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Old 08-09-2006
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Redsox...Well...Affordable is obviously different to each of us. When I was young, we dreamed of someday being able to afford a Catalina 30...one of the most affordable 30 footers around. Now we are fortunate enough to think of it as a small boat! If you are looking for a definition that suits you...I suggest going to yachtworld.com and setting your parameters for your budget and seeing what is out there!
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