Suggestions on lines and headroom... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2007
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Suggestions on lines and headroom...

Hi all,

At the moment, I am beginning the 'scouting' phase of my boat search. I'm not seriously planning on putting money down any time soon, but I'm starting to figure out what I like, and wish to narrow the field down a little bit. Lately, I've come to agree with Don Casey's assertion in "This Old Boat" that whichever boat you choose, it should be one that you find beautiful. With that in mind, I've found myself somewhat frustrated by the options in my price/size range.

What I'm looking for is a nice full-keeled seaworthy cruiser between ~25-30 feet LOA. My budget ceiling is approximately $25k. I like the idea of a good used boat, even a fixer-upper would do, as long as it can be returned to sailable condition without undue hardship. I plan on living aboard with my s/o for some time, so having standing headroom (5'9" minimum) at least somewhere in the cabin is essential. With this in mind, I have a single aesthetic criterion that is very difficult for me to compromise on, and which has rendered my search rather difficult.

I HATE doghouses. Can't stand 'em. The way they interrupt the smooth lines of an otherwise beautiful boat just ruins it for me. They're ugly, blocky, and it seems like almost every design that meets my other criteria has them - Alberg 30s, Tritons, Albin Vegas, Bristol 27s...the list goes on.

So far I've found that the Cape Dory 25D and 28 seem to fit the bill, but I'm sure that there must be others out there with a smooth, continuous coachroof that match my criteria. Can any of you recommend some? Google hasn't been much help, and I'd like to be aware of the options available.

Thanks!

-Jonathan
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Old 01-26-2007
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Well I can't answer your question as well as many others probably can, but the problem is that it it is difficult to get the standing head room you desire in a boat that size without having either a protruding coachroof or undesirably high freeboard. At first I hated the look as well, but then I became accustomed to it and it doesn't bother me as much anymore (not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing...)
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Old 01-26-2007
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Keck-

Most of the older, full-keel designs, are less spacious than the newer fin-keeled designs—both in beam and headroom generally.

Unfortunately, headroom is not a specification on most boats... and it varies from place to place on a boat.

I don't believe the Cape Dory 25D is going to have the headroom you're looking for... I've been on several Cape Dories, both the 25 and the 25D and neither has all that much headroom IIRC.

The Allied Chance might fit the bill.
http://newimages.yachtworld.com/1/5/...?1161068400000

As might the Bristol 29.9
http://newimages.yachtworld.com/1/6/...?1162334495000

As might the Laguna 30.
http://newimages.yachtworld.com/1/6/...?1169137027000

I believe these are all full-keel designs... but you'd have to double check.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Why is a full keel so necessary to you? One of the primary things to determine when buying a boat is how you will use it. Does your intended use make a full keel something desirable, or do you just like the idea of a full keel? Trying to find a boat that meets iron-clad criteria on a limited budget can be very difficult. If no doghouse is your top priority, then you need to start there and find what comes closest to fullfilling your other desires. As Meatloaf sang...."two out of three ain't bad.".
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Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
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Keck 314,
I was looking for the same things when i bought my boat. It has 6'3 headroom throughout the cabin (not bad for 31 feet). It has a full keel and a canoe stern. There are 7 for sale on yachtworld and right now people are desperate to sell becuase of the market so offer way low. The older boats will probably need the deck re-cored (or solid glass) under the maststep. This seems to scare people away but it really isn't that hard to fix yourself (maybe 20-30 hrs). They have a cosmetic teak cap that some people mistake for a rub-rail so make sure its okay. They are beautiful boats! The v-beth is huge and the cabin setees are 74-73 inches long. There is also a quarterberth. I love my Southern Cross 31...they don't make emlike they used to.
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One word of warning on the Southern Cross 31. I believe it is a cored hull boat... that said... if the hull is in good condition, it shouldn't be a problem.... but if it hasn't been well-maintained, and water has intruded... it's gonna cost some serious bucks to fix it.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Thanks for your suggestions! I like the Southern Cross particularly - people seem to be asking quite a bit, but if the market is as you say, then things look better

Regarding the requirement for a full keel, the more I read about righting moment, the more I like the idea of a boat that has a lot of it. I just don't trust my own skills to be able to avoid knockdown conditions, and I want a boat that will forgive me if it happens. Donald Street made a pretty convincing case for a full keel in "The Ocean Sailing Yacht", IMHO. Also, it would be harder to foul the rudder on crab pots, etc. I'm aware that there's an endless debate about keel types, but that's the side towards which I feel myself gravitating.

I found out about the CD25D from John Vigor's "20 small sailboats to take you anywhere" which stated that it had 5'11" headroom in the cabin and 5'9" in the head compartment. That seems to have come at the expense of storage and tankage, however. The 28, like the 25D, is an Alberg design, and while some people on this board seem to have mixed feelings about the Cape Dory line, it seems to have earned decent marks even from those normally critical of the brand.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Tartan Ten is flush deck, but don't think a lot of room below.
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...24&searchtype=
The 34C probaly meets all your other needs, heavy on the classic lines, but with raised coachroof.http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...oat_id=1298730
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What does he mean by doghouse?? dodger??
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The cored hull issue is a bit of a mystery to me. All of the factory adds i have found stated that the 35 and 39 had airex cores while only the later 31's did. I had 2 surveyors look at the boat. Both said the hull was solid glass. I have also seen liturature stating that the hull was only airex cored above the waterline. Airex itself is not affected by water...i.e it doesn't rot. That does not rule out the issue of delamination though, which any good surveyor will identify. I am going to remove all of the thru-hulls soon so I will know more then. I have also heard of some 70's era boats were copied in overseas factories (in which case they wouldn't have used airex), but i have verified my HIN and the boat has a factory interior. Really though, everything about this boat is so much more solid than my Pearson 26.
Now for reality though. Any of the boats you have mentioned are old. Old boats, even with proper care, need lots of work. If you choose to pusue this endeavor rember that boats really are "a big hole in the water into which you pour your money". I was discussing this the other day with an old guy at my yard. He said he didn't feel that way about his 60 or more years of boating. Then I saw his boat. It was covered with a very old, dirty piece of shrinkwrap that he had tied on like a tarp (that says it all). It was a wood boat and he was in the process of "fixing" a prop shaft leak with something that looked like an old can. To each his own...he was very proud of his boat, as we all should be. My point is though, this is the only guy who ever disagreed with me. I paid 11k for my boat (list was 18,900) which i thought was a good deal (fall is a good time because sellers are forced with lowering their price or paying for another winter storage). Since then though I have paid 2k for storage and shrinkwrap, 750$ for surveys and I have been busting my ass all winter working on it and arguing with my wife about it. At times I have felt like I am getting nowhere with the work and everyone i talk to tells me there are more things I should do. To top it all off....I have never even had the boat in the water! BUT...my first good day out in Buzzards Bay I will be grinning ear to ear. This will be my first real seaworthy boat, I own it outright and I will have rebuilt almost everyhting on it myself. I will have spent 100's of hours with my new friend before it ever hits the water. When i'm working on it sometimes i rest and imagine it's motion in the ocean, I have spent many nights lying awake thinking about it. Call me crazy, but that has to mean more than just buying a new boat and sailing away from the dock. I kind of think of it as a muscle car (my old hobby). The only difference is that you would never replace a 350 or 427 with an electric motor (here we go!) because the #'s wouldn't match!
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