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  #1  
Old 11-27-2006
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Opinions on MY Boat Buy

Considering a hull upgrade from a 1981 Tanzer 8.5. Sailing for two with some single handing. River water to start (max 26mi. long and 2 mi. wide) with 1-2 night cruises, with move to the Great Lakes in 5 years with a max of 7 day cruising (retirement).

New boats Bavaria 30, Catalina 309 and Hanse 315. Used boats Bavaria 32 and Cataina 320 (both 2004). This is a broad range of capabilities but the captain wants to sail while the mate wants to cottage-on-the water. He wants to race while she is heel averse; beyond 15 degrees causes quiet panic. He is active while she has minor mobility problems requiring ease of entry and exit.

I will now lower my head and let the comments fly!

Brian
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Old 11-27-2006
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Brian...I'd vote for the Hanse or the Cat320 and avoid the Bavarias.
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Old 11-27-2006
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Brian,
I'll second the c320 - I had one for 6 years.
__________________
Stan
'Christy Leigh'
NC 331
Wickford/Narragansett Bay RI
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Old 11-27-2006
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I would avoid both the Catalinas and the Bavarias for the same basic reason. There has been a shift in building approach used on 'value oriented' boats in which bulkheads and the other structural elements are simply glued in place rather than being properly tabbed in. The boat builders love to point out that new glues are stong enough that the plywood or fiberglass tears before the glue joint lets go. This is true but the reason that the structural element fails rather than the glue itself is that the structural elements need a wider adhesion contact area to spread out the loads than can be achieved simply with a glue joint. What makes this technology so disturbing to me is that it is being used on main structural bulkheads and for hull to deck joints. I think the widespread used of glued in structure will prove problematic over time, especially in the event that the boat is bounced hard off a dock or other hard object. Another issue with glued in wooden components (such as main bulkheads and structural knees) is that gluing leaves the end grain exposed to moisture so that bulkhead rot is more of a highly likely potential problem.

Of the boats on your list, I would suggest the Hanse strongly. I have crawled around the innards of their larger 37 footer and been very impressed. I would also suggest that you look at Beneteau's First series 36.7. These boats are a little better built than the others on your list, Hanse excepted, and come with better deck hardware, an easier to handle rig, and are more suitable to racing, which you say you are interested in doing.

Jeff
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Old 11-27-2006
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jeff...when did Catalina start gluing instead of tabbing? Who else is gluing besides Cat & Bav? That really sucks!
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Old 11-27-2006
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Catalina started glued construction at least 6 years ago. I actually talked to Frank Butler on this specific issue. Almost all of the 'value oriented' manufacturers have gone to glued construction. Glued rather than tabbed structure is employed by Hunter, Catalina, Bavaria, and in Beneteaus number series. The Beneteaus First Series boats that I have looked at are tabbed.

Jeff
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Old 11-27-2006
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Thanks Jeff...it will be interesting to see the long term results form this. Seems like there should be room for someone to build production boats just a little bit better and charge just a little bit more but no one seems to be filling that gap. Guess we are witnessing the Wal-mart-ization of the production boat business.
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Old 11-27-2006
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Amirault,

Jeff is an expert in boats, but I will also second Cams and others positions on the 320: I owned one for several years and it sails very well. It is very sure footed, turns within its wake, and is comfortable to sail. There are better boats made, but I doubt you would be dissapointed in the 320. Lots of fun memories there.

- CD
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Old 11-27-2006
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Consider a Seaward 32

Easy to single hand, I sail it on a narrower river right now, the St Croix between MN ann WI. The retractable keel makes it easy for any marina. I've spent nights on it with the family with plenty of room. Once you're on the Great Lakes, you've still got deep draft stability, 6.5 feet.

Looking at your list of boats, this should be in the price ballpark. While its mostly a cruiser, I've seen people change sails and tweak the rig and get a winning racer. The 15 degree heel is an optimium heel for this hull. lastly, the transom is open for easy entry when docked stern to... sounds perfect.
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Old 11-27-2006
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Brian, it sounds like time to make some hard decisions:
Golf, or divorce.
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