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post #1 of 13 Old 03-29-2007 Thread Starter
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First boat?

New member and wanted to jump right in with both feet!

I am just starting to look for my first boat. I am looking at being transferred to San Antonio, it could be up to a year from now. We are looking at slipping a boat at Port Aransas or Rockport. Any other good Suggestions are certainly welcome. Possible liveaboard down the road.

As far as the boat goes, I am wanting something 36' or larger, with a budget in the 80k range or less. I really need a swim platform of some sort. I do lots of diving and fishing and want the easy acces to the water. I am to old to climb ladders with gear on and want to make it as easy as possible for guests and family. another biggy is an aft cabin, I don't like the idea of bouncing the night away in the V-berth. My wife doesn't think it will be that bad. (could she actually be right?) Coastal cruising is the main objective. Flower Gardens, maybe vacation to Belize, BVI, and such. Any other questions I should ask?

Thanks for the suggestions!
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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My first reaction is that not many sailboats make good dive boats.
You might find one, but all I know is that my 36' boat would not be very accessible for dive equipment and access to and from the water.
Also, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even on a 36 foot boat the berths are a bit tight. Your aft berth is in most cases tucked under the cockpit. You have a nice berth, but you still have to kinda crawl in and out of it.

Good luck with your search and I am sure that PBzeer will have more info on the home waters in your area.

We are talking about sailboats, Right? Or did I miss something?
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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The Catalina 36 is one of the best runs Catalina has put out. It fits into your price range. It has been written up many times, the latest "classic plastic" being in BoatUS. I have spent a lot o time on one and I will say it sails very well and is very comfortable down below. A used one should meet your $$ specs. Coastal cruising and island hopping is what it is made for and you will run into many other 36's out there.

As far as the V-Berth, I think your wife is right. WHen you sleep in the aft berth, the air is more muffeled, you typically will have little head clearance (if it is an aft cockpit), and it is louder (slosh, slosh throughout the night). I personally feel the V is the best place to sleep on the boat. However, the feet restriction due to its shape is a bit of a negative. You will get a bigger berth in the aft, which is why many mfg make that the master. However, the V is better.

Others will no doubt have other opinions. Take care.

- CD

PS Lake travis is a big lake too and clear water for diving.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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I'm a dive-sailor too and can relate to the water access issue. Our boat has a nice aft cabin suite, with full headroom throughout - one of the features we liked.

However, when you search the market for sailboats with aft cabins, you will mostly find them on center cockpit boats which typically have higher freeboards. Most CCs do not have swim platforms - if so, they appear as very awkward aftermarket add-ons.

What I do when diving is to first gear up on deck-or in the pilothouse, but place fins, tank and BC in the dinghy. I then use our folding, removable side mount ladder - which extends two rungs under water, for access. Motor to the reef and once over the dive spot, gear up and descend - with the dinghy connected via a dive reel.

The boat follows me at the surface - making my bottom time longer, since return air is not needed. I have a small folding ladder for the dinghy as well.








In this photo, you can see how inaccessible the boat is for diving off the aft deck . .


True Blue . . .
sold the Nauticat

Last edited by TrueBlue; 03-29-2007 at 10:31 AM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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CD is right about the C36 - a good long run of these have been built and they have a great family layout. Their aft berth, though, is on the cramped side for clearance especially.

As a diver's boat, though, you'd need a newer MK111 with the open cockpit aft. That may put you slightly out of your budget, remembering that you shouldn't blow the whole thing on your purchase, leave behind a good 15% or more for upgrades and equipment.

Today's range of cruising boats with the currently fashionable open cockpits are much more suitable to diving activities, but they are naturally newer and may command higher prices.

Good Luck
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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My Irwin 44 CC had a drop down stern platform which was motorized and served as a dive platform. Inside the stern section there was room for a compressor and a couple of tanks. I think the Irwin 43's also had this but not sure.
If not something like that, a boat with a "sugar-scoop" would be good for diving.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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A catamaran might also fit the bill, but I think they would probably be out of your intended price range.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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TB..is your tender a Quick Silver??? I have the same!!
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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Yes, bought it new back in 1999 -sure couldn't beat the value of those boats back then. I'm not sure if you had any UV degradation issues, but the skin on ours developed a "rash".

One day before the 5 year warranty expired, Mercury sent us a brand new boat (minus the floor & oars - which were still like new) at no cost. Guess it's good for another 5 years - but we're moving up to a larger one this year.

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-29-2007
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No rash..I am quite surprized at the good quality of ours...but no rash..

We only get it out for 2 to 3 months a year, and is packed in its blue bag all the time..

Actually Fred now says its his...what can I say...

Her's ours



He likes to ski with it...



Was the rash sun burn??
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