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  #1  
Old 02-18-2002
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ntostenr is on a distinguished road
Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

I am looking to buy a good quality, reliable boat in the 27-30 ft. range. I have no more than $7500 to spend. I am going to be sailing the bahamas (shallow waters). Are there any specific boats I should stick to? Are there any models I should stay away from? I am a beginner, what are the most important things to check when looking at cheaper, older boats?

Any and all advise helps.

Thanks,
Nick T.
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Old 02-18-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

Nick, very unpopular question around here. Are you sure you cant spend at least 70k to 100k and sail around some lake or bay for 20 years then possibly venture down the Icw. Of course you have to remember to have the proper displacement to lenghth ratio, sa/d ratio,stability angle, figure out your capsize formula , oh yeah motion comfort ,it can get nasty in the ICW when one of those tugs go by. Now you have your perfect boat on paper (thats what matters the most). sincerly thomas
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Old 02-18-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

You are on a very tight budget, but it can be done. I know I did this very thing myself.(30ft S&S 1965 $6900, 7 years ago.) I have since made several passages on ,and of course I have made several improvements, additions along the way as my cash permitted. Fourtuanately I am involved in other things as well that demand my cash as well as my attention. Possible boat choices are not my expertise as I live at the beach an get to sail alot. My mates will chime in for that . Hopefully you wont get a lecture on the benefits of a more modern hull design sail plan etc. , then I would be afraid you might think your $ 7500 is not enough for a proper boat and you might not get one at all or save all your life till your old and bitter and buy your $100,000k boat. Just my opinion
thomas * I also wanted to say I enjoy this board and I respect everyone that takes the time to respond and post questions.
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

To begin with, you have set some difficult goals. For $7,500 you can find some boats that are capable of making the kind of cruise that your are proposing and you might even find a quality boat within your price range but it would be quite difficult to find a quality boat that is also in good shape in your price range. That will be the proverbial needle in the haystack. It will one of those widows saying, "Ever since Harrold died I have not known what to do with his Tartan 27. He had just finished retoring it and now it blocks up the garage. It you happen to $7.5K its all yours." It happens but the norm in $7500 boats is that they tend to be pretty beat up quality designs or slightly newer junkier designs in slightly less beat up condition.

I agree with the idea that you try to find a boat that was good quality to begin with rather than but some boat that started out cheap 20 year ago and went downhill from there. A little sweat equity never hurt anyone and a fixed up quality boat is a joy to own but a fixed up junk will always be fixed up junk. Make sure you leave yourself a decent ''warchest'' to repair and upgrade the ''little surprises'' that occur when you buy a well used boat.

In this age and size range there is no real advantage to one keel type over another. There will not be large speed advantages nor will there be much better tracking ability. No 27 footer that I know of from this price range really tracks well. Also there really is no such thing as a boat with a really seakindly motion in the normal group of boats implied by your price range.

Most boats from this era tended to develope pretty bad weather helm and that can really wear you down or use up a lot of battery capacity pretty quickly in a breeze. I suggest that keel centerboarders like the Tartan 27 allow you to adjust the centerboard to balance your helm and will let you get into thinner water than some deeper keel boats. Fin keelers like the Cal 25 have more balanced helms and so while they also develop weather helm the force required to steer is less.

Most boats in the price range you are talking about were designed to one of two racing rules CCA or MORC. The MORC (Midget Ocean Racing Conference) boats tended to have longer waterlines and really be designed to go offshore. With their longer waterlines they have better motions in a chop and can carry more gear. They will often have more spacious interiors because MORC had minimum accomodation requirements.

Boats in that era tended to either have inboard engines or outboards mounted in a well. Inboards are the clear preference for the kind of thing that you are proposing as outboards on boats of that era are not too great in the short chop of your chosen sailing venue.

What ever you buy, you need to get it surveyed because a $7500 boat with problems can very quickly turn into a $7500 mistake or a $20000 boat. You can expect to find some ''issues'' with any boat in the age range implied within your budget. Unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to want to address some combination of the following items:
·Sails, chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, standing and running rigging that are beyond their useful lifespan,
·an engine that is in need of rebuild or replacement,
·worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
·worn out upholstery,
·electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
·electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
·Blister, fatigue, rudder, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
·Keel bolt replacement (bolt on keel) or delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.
·And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic or structural issues.

On my list of recommendations would be the following: Most are from the 1960''s

Bristol 27: Carl Alberg designed CCA era boats. I have a afair amount of experience with these old girls and they are good sailing boats. Most had GreyMarine or Atomic 4 gas engines.

C&C 25: These are a little faster and more agile than most of the boats on this list. They have really nice handling characteristics in a Chop. That said they are also deeper than many on this list.

Cal 25: These are strange looking little boats. I have spent a lot of time on these little raised decked wonders. They really sail extremely well. They offer a nice interior and are easily located in your price range. They were often raced one design so you find them (at least up here on the Chesapeake) with updated deck hardware, sails, and electronics well within your price range. Because they are still raced you can find very nice used sails for these boats. They have a couple short comings. Their outboards are mounted in a notch in the transom. In a following sea, you can take water over the transom. In most years the companionway slides went almost to the cockpit sole. This meant that a following sea can get down below pretty easily. I would suggest that you modify the companionway slides so that the lower boards can be locked solidly into place when you are offshore.

Cal 27: Flush deck- A bigger version of the Cal 26. A bit rarer and does not have the one design advantages of the 25. Still these are pretty good boats.

Cape Dory (series 1)These boats were built early in Cape Dory''s history and were not as well built as some of the later CD''s. Still they are not bad boats. They would not be in my top 10 on this list but if one came along I would look at it. These boats are narrow and have large cockpits and so a little cramped down below. Also early ones did not have a self-bailing cockpit which is not very good for the Gulfstream.

Chris Craft Pawnee or Capri: Both were nice S&S designed small crusiers. There is a Capri up in Michigan with a dual axle trailer for $6990 but the ad says make an offer.

Folkboats or Folkboat derivatives: (Marieholms and Contessas) These are the quintessential go anywhere boats. I owned one and thought these were really wonderful boats. Even compared to other boats on this list they are cramped but they can be really nice sailing boats. They pretty much top this list in terms of the best boat to get caught in a storm in. That said some early ones did not have a self-bailing cockpit which is not very good for the Gulfstream.

Pearson Ariel (26): These are also Alberg designed CCA type race boats. They offered a reasonable layout and good construction.

Rhodes Ranger (26): These were early Seafarers. They were built in Holland to a very high standard. Some had Volvo diesels or small Palmer or Grey gas inboards but most had outboard wells.

Sailmaster 26: These were wonderful little Bill Tripp designed MORC boats. Beautifully constructed in Holland. Most had outboard wells but inboards were optional.


Tartan 27. This would be my favorite of the small 1960''s era boats. Unlike most boats from this era which were designed to be CCA racing rule beaters, the Tartan was designed to race under a very early form of MORC. The MORC racing rule produced wholesome little offshore boats that had good sailing characteristics. The Tartan was an S&S design and in that era that was as good as it got.

Anyway, I need to get to the office but this should give you a pretty good list to start off with.

Jeff
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

Jeff:It was Cal 28 not 27.They handle the tough stuff better than the C25''s have much more volume of live aboard space and in- board engines.The structure around the mast does not need to be reinforced for offshore work like the 25''s do!
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

Hi Gene,

The Cal 28 was a later model. While a nice boat they were substantially more than the poster''s budget. The Cal 27 was a good boat but for its day but never really caught on like the Cal 25. It was replaced by the Ca 2-27 which was always a favorite inexpensive boat in my book but also generally beyond the original poster''s budget.

Cal 25''s have proven to amazingly tough boats. Around here they are raced exceedly hard and seem to have stood up well. In my general warning on all of the boats on my list, I mentioned checking the mast supporting structure and hull deck joint which would be an area of concern for almost any boat from this era.

Regards,
Jeff
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

Jeff:I was on the factory team when Lapworth was commissioned to design the Cal 28 I raced it in its first race and in its first series.I was designed to kick the Columbia Flush decked 28''s butt.
There is a very nice Coronado 27 fully equipped for well below his guide line price in Lat 38,an Ariel,and a Triton.
Dave Martin beefed up a 25 and spent 10 years and had 3 kids cruising.How tough is tough enuf!only one person knows that answer!
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

Look for a Tartan 27. You might find one for $7500 but it will need work. I think you budget is a little low.
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

The old Alberg 30''s are a great boat. Cheap too.
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Old 02-19-2002
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Looking for a quality 27-30ft boat

I would be pretty scared of the condition that one would expect a $7500 Alberg 30 to be in but who knows there might be decent one out there for that kind of money. Just have to find that poor ole Alberg that has been sitting in the barn for the past 20 years.

Jeff
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