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  #1  
Old 11-09-2006
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Looking for input and suggestions

I know this topic can be beat to death looking for "the perfect boat" I know it does not exist and the only way to narrow the focus is to decide what you want the boat for. So here is my question, we are looking for a 38-45ft monohaul boat no more than 5 years old. It will be used as a liveaboard for 6 months of the year with myself, wife and one child. We are not worried to much about performance but what we are searching for is the safest, most comfotable (roomy min 6'6 height and large salon) boat that performs at average or above. The majority of time will be at anchor/marina but voyages will need to be made and Im looking for something that could handle moderate to large seas if encountered without posing a safety issue. All I would like to know is your opinion..if you were us looking at these parameters do any boats jump out at you that you would recommend. Also our budget is up to $250,000. I just value a lot of different opinions and their justifications as a referance. Perhaps someone will recommend a boat I have not even considered.

Looking forward to your answers.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2006
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The 6' 6" height is going to be a limitation. Also, if you're looking to liveaboard for six-months a year, you should also make sure that the berths are long enough to fit your height. In some cases, a boat has the head room, but the berths aren't long enough for people who require the headroom.

At that size range, your selection is going to be limited a bit by your budget IMHO. I would also highly recommend taking about 15-20% of your boat buying budget and reserve it for re-fitting, repairing and upgrading what ever boat you do eventually buy.

What area of the world are you going to be sailing in? You don't say.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2006
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Me, my wife, and child (and 2 dogs) lived on a Catalina 38 and are now about to go back to Florida and cruise again on a new Catalina 400. I have two children now, but just one dog.

My suggestion is to buy a production boat like a Catalina, Bene, or Jeauneau. Their focus is on the interior volume and comfort. Most offshore boats are much more saftey oriented and considerably smaller in volume.

I really don't know that there is that much of a difference in quality of any of the production boats named above. They are all about the same, price included. Just find the one that fits you best. I like Catalina because it has a very good owners group, it is American made (parts, etc), holds its value well, and is more traditional in its rigging (versus a Hunter, for instance). I like Jeauneau and Beneteau's too, but their interior is more of a European flavor that I have never really got into.

Catalina makes a solid boat and we have put many, many miles on them and been in bad storms well offshore. In fact, I am going to drop my 400 in the Texas coast soon and punch across the pond to Florida. So, you can make good offshore runs with the boat... but there are better ones if very distant shores are on your itinerary.

There are my thoughts. Others will agree/dissagree. Write or PM with and questions.

Thanks.

- CD
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Old 11-09-2006
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Your opinion is exactly what Im looking for. I hope others will agree or disagree. I have have heard of Hunters history but of recent there seems to much improvment. ie Hunter 38 was a boat of the year for that catagory in 04?? I do like the idea of in mast furling but it does also have cons like if it gets jammed,,having to unfurl to lower the sail etc. I have been reading a bunch on Hunters new Centre Cockpit 45..seems the CC idea promotes much improved room below. Catalina I always hear as a good name overall do you know if they make a CC model or any feedback on that design. Sailing will mostly be coastal and some occasional trips through the carib. Does the B and R rigging on hunter produce any safety issues?
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Old 11-09-2006
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bying a boat

If your budget is $250,000.00 Go buy a new NEW Catalina 400 I just got back from the St Petersburg Strictly Sail and they run about $250,000.00 nice interior exclent sail handeling and fantastic head room.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2006
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The Morgan(s) are center cockpits, but they are not their most popular models. Do you want a CC? That is what you have to ask yourself. They have a lot of tradeoffs (both good and bad).

Again, I would buy a Catalina over a Hunter, so I will not go there. I AM NOT BEATING UP HUNTER! Please, no nasty PM's. It is just my personal preference. But Catalina makes a very good boat for the money. Period. I would not spend my money at the price range on another boat. But you do not have to buy a 40 either. We were very please with our Catalina 380 and as I said before, we through some really nasty storms. We had one boat travelling with us that took a breaker into his cockpit and he was a 42 foot center cockpit! The 387 is a nice boat and I seriously considered it over the 400... but instead went with the 400 because I did not like the changes they made to the 387 Nav Station. There are many 380s around in your price range. They are a heavy boat and take a beating, but a little slow. The 400 is much faster (and I do not mean by waterline length) more sure-footed boat. If you do elect for a 380, steer clear of the tall rig as it make the boat very tender.

Other boats that are good too are Sabres, Long Range Cruisers (I was impressed with the 40 I went on), and Island Packets. However, these may push your budget a bit and I don't think they are that much better (if any) than a Catalina (Man, now I am really sounding like a Catalina owner!!).

In the end, it is what you like. Look at resale & talk to other owners. I wrote a post under the Cruising Forum a few days ago about Cruising with Kids. I went through a number of steps to go through when shopping for a boat when you are going to cruise with kiddos. It would be worth your time reading through it as you have to have different concerns on boats when you have kids.

If you have a lot of specific questions, please feel free to PM me and I can be a bit more honest than I will in an open forum. Hope this helps.

Fair winds.

- CD
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Old 11-09-2006
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The B and R rig was first used by Hunter on Hunter's Child, a racing boat. Though I only had a 26, I never had any problems with the B and R rig. Now, I keep whacking my head on the backstay of my current boat.

CD....when you heading out? You going across the Gulf, or through the ditch?
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Old 11-09-2006
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There is no improvement in Hunter. I chartered a 45CC in the BVI's and you would be well served by adifferent boat! Unfortunately Bene's center cockpits are too short for you. Catalina doesn't make any centercockpits but their deck salon Morgan440 might be a good choice for you.
I would recommend a mid-90's center cockpit Hylas 46 or a Caliber 47 as being even better choices but I understand that you might not want to consider something that old. They are WAY better boats and if you find one in good shape, they will also hold value better than the other boats noted.
http://www.caliberyacht.com/Models_47_Main_Window.htm
http://www.catalinayachts.com/yachts...ct=model&id=74
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...ick&searchtype=
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2006
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pb,

I am still outfitting the boat, hope to be done by January. I have not finalized the punchout date yet because everytime I set a date, something kicks it back. Best guess now is 1st qtr next year, probably March. Of course, the worst storm I ever faced in the Gulf was in March... so we will see. As far as the course, pretty much looks like straight across. I think I will change it some though and maybe point for the Tortugas and do a bit of diving and snorkeling down there.

What's your timeframe, PB?

Cam, Hylas is an awesome boat, especially the 54. Hallberg-Rassy too. Probably my two favorite of the late models. Old Masons are really good... but we are getting off the price ranges & age he discussed.

For Coastal cruising, some offshore, Bahamas, a small family, 250k or less, less than 5 years old, ... go with a Catalina. Again, just my opinion, but I did... at least until I buy my 72 foot Nordhavn, BABY!
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Old 11-09-2006
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You could not go wrong with a used IP 40. Awesome offshore and lots of livability. Stay away from catalinas, beneteaus, and hunters which will fall apart offshore and are just floating condos.
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