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  #1  
Old 01-18-2007
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castoff is on a distinguished road
Offshore cruiser

My wife and I are looking to spend a significant amount of time cruising as we edge towards retirement. We plan to spend a couple of seasons at home in Lake Ontario and then take off for the caribbean and later the Med.

We feel that 35' will be about right for us and we are looking at the following boats: Niagara 35, Cabot 35 and a Waquiez Pretorien 35. Any thoughts on how these boats compare and their suitability for what we have planned?
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Old 01-18-2007
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From what I know, the Pretorien is probably the least seaworthy of the three, with the highest capsize rating—1.97, with below 2.0 being considered good for bluewater use. The Pretorien is probably designed as a racer, more than a bluewater boat. The Nigara 35 is rated at 1.85. Didn't see specs for a Cabot 35...but did for a Cabot 36, which has a capsize rating of 1.79.

One worry about the Cabot 36 is the fact that it has a cored hull. Cored hulls can have serious problems with water intrusion and delamination.

The Niagara 35 has a spade rudder, which may be more vulnerable to damage than the rudder on the full-keel Cabot 36 or the skeg hung rudder on the Pretorien 35.

The Pretorien has the deepest draft, at a bit over 6', and may be a problem, depending on where you're going to be sailing.

The Pretorien and the Niagara are both more modern fin keel designs, and may be easier to maneuver in the marina, but the Cabot may track better under sail.
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sailingdog - do you have a website where you check capsize rates and the like ?
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Old 01-18-2007
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Can you advise what attracted you about each of these boats for blue water voyaging? In other words, what are your important criterea in selection? We may then be able to advise better about other choices as well. Also...can you advise your budget?
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Old 01-18-2007
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PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about
The Niagara also has a cored hull, and comes in two different interior arrangements, The Classic and Encore. The Encores are newer, and have a more traditional interior.
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I actually have a database that has a lot of that information in it... I wish it were more complete... but it gets the job done.

BTW, since castoff is planning at least an Atlantic crossing... I would recommend a few other boats. The Alberg 35, Baba 35, Columbia 34, Crealock 34, Mariner 35, Pacific Seacraft 34, Pearson 34 and Hallberg-Rassy 35 are also boats that might be worth considering, depending on what your budget and preferences are.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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It is the Pacific Seacraft 34 and 37 that I am researching, if you have the ratings. Unfortunately for "castoff", this is a higher price range than their initial picks.
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And, castoff, in the 35' range, I would take (actually did) a Bristol 35.5 over the Pretorian. If you move to the 38' boats, I would pick the Waquiez 38.8 over the Bristol 38.8. Honestly, my Bristol is a good coastal cruiser, but not a blue water boat. Not saying you can't, but I would not cross an ocean on her.
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One thing i highly recommend is setting aside a chunk of your budget, about 20% or so, for upgrades, repairs, and re-fitting the boat. Most boats, unlike cars, need to be customized to work for the way each individual likes to sail the boat—lines lead aft, different anchor and ground tackle, and other such changes.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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Old 01-18-2007
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castoff is on a distinguished road
Budget is a max of 100K total so I was thinking of a max of 80K to purchase and 20K for upgrading. I am 6'2" so headroom is an issue. Safety and comfort would probably be the two most important considerations. Handling,Storage and tankage also important.
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