Looking for my first boat - PNW - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-06-2016 Thread Starter
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Looking for my first boat - PNW

Hi all, I decided to join this forum because almost every google search I did for sailboat reviews led me here to read some solid advice. So here I am, looking for more advice...

What are some quality sailboat options in my price range that can be found in British Columbia?(I would travel to WA or OR to buy a boat if the exchange wasn't so horrible) I am very attracted to 26-28ft pocket cruisers with full or cutaway keels.

I'm looking to spend $5000 and probably that much on retrofits and upgrades. I am a reasonably handy guy with knowledge in electrical, plumbing, and carpentry.

I will primarily be sailing the inner coast of Vancouver Island and looking to spend anywhere from one night to a week on the boat at a time, so cabin comfort is important to me.

I am 6'3"...... So I think I have come to terms with not being able to stand upright in any small sailboat.

Boats that have caught my eye include the Pearson Triton 28, Albin Vega 27, Bristol 27, Albin Ballad 30, Alberg 30, Vancouver 27, Southern Cross 28. I think you get the picture.

Anyone out there from this area or elsewhere who would like to share their thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by timbertotide; 02-06-2016 at 05:40 PM.
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-06-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

I have cruised BC for most of the last 40 years. To be comfortable year round requires a lot of insulation and a good wood stove.
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post #3 of 39 Old 02-06-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

Those are all decent choices if in good condition

All I can tell you is to keep a close eye on Craigslist

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post #4 of 39 Old 02-06-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

The first thing I saw on the Vancouver Craigslist is a Grampian 26 _with_ trailer, asking $7100:
26' sailboat with trailer $7100 OBO

Grampian 26
GRAMPIAN 26

Having a Trailer with this size and expense of boat makes a lot of sense; if you have a place to store it, and a way to tow it.
(For my 29 footer, I'm paying ~$3300 a year for a Berth... but for me, it's worth it. Dry Boat Storage on Trailer at a Marina around here is around half that.)

Grampians have a following, but I've never actually seen one locally.

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post #5 of 39 Old 02-06-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

Hello Sir,

I believe you can find a boat in that price range. I myself once purchased an old 27 footer that had 6'4" headroom in the main cabin for $2900. Of course, it took another $12,000 to get her seaworthy and that is with the vast majority of work done myself. The boats you are listing, like Albergs and Southern Crosses are way out of your price range. You will not find a blue water boat for that price. You can find a decent coastal cruiser however. You need to walk the docks. Sailors like to talk about their boats and a big store of information for you will rest in spending just a few hours in a couple sailboats. I think you would be well served to see for yourself the different qualities, and prices which come with them.
$10,000 all in is enough, but it is tight and will not buy you a boat with all the fixings like AC, refrigeration, self-steering, roller furling, ect. You will get a bare bones hank-on style vessel between 1965-1985 with a V-berth as the main cabin and a two burner stove as your kitchen. If this is all you need then go for it! If you want to enjoy nice cruises during your summer months to places further away than the coast I suggest you get another 10k. Once you get to 15K you can find some good small little boats with lots of upgrades. After 20K it gets even better.
Good luck in your search.
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post #6 of 39 Old 02-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

Very useful tips, Smyrna. Thank you. Can you name a few well built and capable coastal cruisers that might be found on the BC coast? What was the 27 footer with 6'4" headroom??
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post #7 of 39 Old 02-08-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

I'd say your budget and your intended area of use will preclude most of your list. IMO in BC waters you need a boat that goes well to weather if you plan to sail often. Other than some strait crossings, most of our trips are prone to be dead upwind or dead downwind.. and when the tide's against you too, that kind of weatherly performance is a premium you'll appreciate.

I'd be looking for something like a late 70s Ranger 29, C&C 27, or CS 27 in that range for BC coastal cruising. These are boats that are relatively common in the area, known for decent to good build quality and with good sailing characteristics. Finding one that is ready to go for 10K shouldn't be that difficult, though listings in the area are down, esp with our weak dollar and most boats likely being sold into the US (they get an instant 30-40% discount).

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post #8 of 39 Old 02-08-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

I have a Bristol 27. With the right equipment this would be perfectly capable of sailing in your area. There is 6' of headroom near the companionway, then goes down to about 5'10" near the head. These are fairly narrow boats. That means it will heel a bit more than some before it digs in. It also means that the motion is more comfortable that a boat with a lot of form stability.

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post #9 of 39 Old 02-08-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

Pearson Vanguard, 50 year old design but built like a tank. 6'2" headroom, 400 or so built. Look for one which has been consistently upgraded. soft spots in the deck are common though not necessarily catastrophic. I've lived on one for years and cruised the New England coast in relative comfort. The hull is easy to access and thus to insulate if your climate requires a fireplace. I insulated and lined the hull above the waterline and installed a Dickenson Marine propane heater, added refrigeration and solar, a furler., lots of goodies and upgrades. Will never get the investment back but have had years of fun and learned a lot about cruising and sailing in general. Little Atomic four engine runs like a watch. If I were to do it again, I'd try to find one that had an owner like me who fell in love with the design and over invested. 10K would get one in good shape with a newer diesel.
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post #10 of 39 Old 02-08-2016
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Re: Looking for my first boat - PNW

There are so many good boats that fit your perameters that I might suggest a different strategy: Go look at boats. After a while you will get a feeling of what different price points get you. Then look for a boat you really like that has two things: excellent condition and excellent gear. Getting a "great" boat that needs work can turn into more work than you expect. Getting a "great" boat that needs a lot of gear can up the price way beyond expectations. Every once in a while a boat comes along that the owner has poured his heart (and pocketbook) into. Buy that boat.
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