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Old 01-08-2007
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Serious offshore duty

How about some recommendations for a production boat that meets the following: Retired couple (experienced sailors) in good health living aboard, price and value are considerations, capable of offshore cruising, easy to sail, easy to handle under power, very comfortable accomodations belowdeck for everyday use. A custom boat is not an option due to cost. Recommendations for manufacturer, size, and specific model?
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Old 01-08-2007
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DG,

What do you consider offshore? Typical use? Destinations?

What is your price range ideally?

What would you consider comfortable? What creature comforts onboard?

There are more articles and threads written on this than anything else I think. The distinctions will be in your specifics and what you personally will use it for.
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Old 01-08-2007
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Are you talking about new boats only? Or are you looking at used as well? If you are experienced sailors, you must have some boats that appeal to you already. Lots of discussions already on similar questions from others are here already. What part of your requirements don't those threads address?
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Old 01-08-2007
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have your plans changed? in early november, you were asking about this for a 5x1 mile lake.

Catalina 28MkII, 270 and Hunter 27

Looking for a weekender, cost is a factor, inland lake use. The Catalina 28 mkII has been highly recommended, the 270 has not. The Hunter 27 is a nice boat, but the B&R rig and the quality control stories are a matter of concern. The Hunter is cheaper, the 270 next and the 28 the most expensive. Suggestions?
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Old 01-09-2007
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No plan change. A number of us are discussing retirement and taking off for the hinterlands in a few years or so. The question is Island Packet, Pacific Seacraft, Tartan, Valiant, Hunter, Catalina, etc. It appears that a number of long distance vessels are custom built, but that may be a bit rich for us. One of our group is being tempted by catamarans, and being drawn into the dark side of the force.
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There is a thread going on right now titled, "Fin Spade or modified keel" I think is the name of it. I put some thoughts in there on good offshore boats, with the bent towards liveability. Nothing wrong with a catamaran. Many Lagoons come across the Atalantic on their own feet, for example. I am not sure, but I think I remeber you writing before about some lake near Oklahoma City or something? Excuse the memory... so many names here I get them confused. If you are anywhere near OK City, take a short drive south to Cedar Mills on Texoma. That is where they build the Valiant. It is a TOP notch, round-the-world offshore boat and probably one of the most respected. They are good people and would not mind showing you around a bit. You will see the difference between them and other makers just by walking the docks. There is also a Panda, Taswell, Amel, and many other well respected boats (including many Catalinas which is why lake is sooo respected!!). That will answer your question right there. However, they are SMALL down below (even a 50 footer). That is by design. Pacific Seacraft is the same way, and really (to these uneducated eyes) is nothing but a Valiant (Wouldn't that piss of Perry??).

Hope that helps.

- CD
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Dgarr.. I think one of the key questions your group members have to ask themselves is what they mean by offshore cruising.
If they mean cruising coastally in the right season making 2-3 day passages in the gulf or east coast or caribbean...then any of the brands you mention are suitable and each has their own merits.
If they are gonna do an ocean crossing then they need something that is built to hold up to the heavier weather you can get hit with when you sail beyond the forecast and the constant wear and tear of 24x7 sailing. Of the group you mention, I would only consider the Valiant and PS as true bluewater cruisers (though others will disagree! I think the Tartans and IP's are well built boats but not really comfortable enough for sea...many have crossed oceans safely and without needing "luck"! ) and neither of those boats comes cheap. I would also add the Caliber 40 as probably the least expensive bluewater boat currently in production in that size range.
As CD points out....there are many other bluewater boats out there that are reasonably priced on the used market.
The real question remains...do you want to or need to spend hard earned $$ on structural/build qualities that you will NEVER need or do you want to spend your money on liveaboard amenities you will enjoy and which will make retirement cruising less like camping out? Of course, there is also the sheer personal pleasure in owning a nicely finished boat like a Tartan or IP...and the exhileration of a good performer under sail is nice even for cruisers...just as some people buy a Lexus instead of a Toyota just for shopping around town. The pleasure is in the ownership is you can afford it. But since you clearly are focused on suitability to purpose and budgets...If I were gonna cruise bays and the coast I'd buy a Catalina and eat out a lot more often!
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Originally Posted by camaraderie
I'd buy a Catalina and eat out a lot more often!

Ok why did you go and said that??? Are you friends with CD???? Is this a conspiracy?
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Old 01-09-2007
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Becuase, Giu, Cam has finally realized that Catalina is the fastest, most capable blue-water vessel ever built. Now, if I can only get you and Jeff_H to agree the world will be perfect.

- CD

PS Cam owned Catalinas before his Tayana. Ahh, the cat is out of the bag.
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Those are good comments. Some of the spouses would be content with extended coastal cruising, which really opens up the list of candidate boats, but one of the girls is set on cruising the Mediterranean. You go girl! Now the SP, Valiant and Calibers are on the list, probably to the exclusion of the others, due to the 24x7 factor you mention.
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