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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007
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Smile Newbies need help choosing a boat?

Good morning:

We are brand new to sailing and are in the middle of purchasing our first boat. (so many choices -- we are overwhelmed). We have narrowed it down to 3 choices which are all in our price range. I am attaching the links to the boats so you can see pics.

1. A C&C 27 (1972) - In pretty good shape, might need some minor engine tuneups and upgrading in the interior. Has fairly new sails, new bottom coat, recent survey etc. The only thing we don't like is the gas Atomic 4 engine. We have heard this is a good make of boat.
Buy a S.A.L.T.S. Boat

2. A 28 Sunstar (1982) - This boat looks beautiful and is a lot newer. We like the diesel engine and the newer interior. We have not hear much about these boats though, so we're unsure of the quality of this make of boat.
Vela Yacht Sales (Victoria, BC)

3. A 28 Newport (1975) - This boat has a lot of upgrades too. Again, it's a diesel engine which my hubby prefers. I have seen a lot of these boats around, so I assume they are popular and I have heard they are a decent boat.
Vela Yacht Sales (Victoria, BC)

Thanks everyone. We are so green at this, we don't want to make a huge (and expensive) mistake. I would love to hear any feedback or advice you might have on these 3 boats before we buy.

Cheers,
Mickey
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Old 07-13-2007
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Boat reviews

Not claiming to be an expert on boats and not able to give advice on your boat selection. All I can say is good luck, checked out the links, they all look like nice boats. Have you checked the Resources page for the boat reviews? They have reviews of boats, by owners, that can be very helpful in making your selection. I used it when I was searching for my boat, the owner reviews can give you some great insight. Good luck, and enjoy the boat you get.

Joe
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Old 07-13-2007
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Check Practical Sailor as well, the archived boat reviews cost a little on line, but they are a good resource. PS does not accept advertising and offers very detailed unbiased opinions about quality, price history and so on. If you can find one, a used Tartan from the same vintage (if in good shape) is a good buy. Good Luck,
Tim
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boat reviews

Another place to check is Sailboat Owners.com for owners sailing production sailboats more reviews from owners.
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In addition to the boat reviews, check the owner websites for each of these (and others you may add to your list). While they are often a bit biased in favour of their boats, they will give you an idea of the kind of problems that owners are having with their boats--sometimes a theme emerges about an area of weakness in a certain kind of boat.

Also, there are some good books written about what to look for in a boat (advantages/disadvantages of certain designs), and how to do an initial survey of a boat to determine if it merits serious consideration and hiring a surveyor to do a more detailed survey--Don Casey has written a good book on Surveying the Aging Sailboat, and there are others as well.

Also, walk the docks and talk with people on their boats about what they like and don't like (quality of construction, amenities, performance in various sea conditions, functionality, interior layout, etc.). Most owners will share this information readily, and maybe even show you inside the boat.

Good luck with your search--take your time if possible, as there is lots to learn, and the looking can be part of the fun of buying a boat.

Frank.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
Good morning:

We are brand new to sailing and are in the middle of purchasing our first boat. (so many choices -- we are overwhelmed).
I would strongly recommend that, if you're both new to sailing (i.e.: Never have), you would be well-served by at least taking sailing classes beforehand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
We have narrowed it down to 3 choices which are all in our price range. I am attaching the links to the boats so you can see pics.
You'll soon learn that pictures are nearly worthless, except to get an idea of what kind of boat, cockpit, decks, cabin area, etc. you might like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
1. A C&C 27 (1972) - In pretty good shape, might need some minor engine tuneups and upgrading in the interior. Has fairly new sails, new bottom coat, recent survey etc. The only thing we don't like is the gas Atomic 4 engine. We have heard this is a good make of boat.
C&C's are generally considered well-built boats, but be aware many of them lean well toward the performance end of "performance cruiser."

Many people have preferences wrt gasoline vs. diesel. I do not. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I would suggest that, in your price and boat age range, you not automatically discount an otherwise good boat because it has an A4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
2. A 28 Sunstar (1982) - This boat looks beautiful and is a lot newer. We like the diesel engine and the newer interior. We have not hear much about these boats though, so we're unsure of the quality of this make of boat.
I never heard of 'em, but that means nothing, as I'm a newbie, myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
3. A 28 Newport (1975) - This boat has a lot of upgrades too. Again, it's a diesel engine which my hubby prefers. I have seen a lot of these boats around, so I assume they are popular and I have heard they are a decent boat.
I've heard the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey2007
Thanks everyone. We are so green at this, we don't want to make a huge (and expensive) mistake. I would love to hear any feedback or advice you might have on these 3 boats before we buy.

Cheers,
Mickey
Find yourself a good surveyor. Be prepared to pay for a haul-out survey and the haul-out. If you don't know what you're about, best have the surveyor accompany you on the sea trials.

You might also wish to employ the services of a good marine mechanic, to inspect the engine. (I skipped this, as the boat we're looking at has an A4 and I'm pretty comfortable with gasoline engines, being as, in my younger days, I spent quite a bit of time wrenching on them .)

Here's a couple links to existing threads addressing some of what you're asking about:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...oat-buyer.html
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...d-quality.html
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...-we-crazy.html

In buying a boat, you're best-positioned when you've spent some time looking, know what you want, know what's good, what's bad and what's ugly, so you can jump with confidence when The Right Boat comes along. Before that you'll be in a position of not knowing whether you should jump on something because it might be The Boat and a Really Good Deal or whether you're about to buy into a disaster. (The latter situation is why you must employ a good surveyor.)

Good Luck,
Jim
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Old 07-13-2007
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I agree with your hubby--diesel engine is my preference. Better fuel economy, nowhere rear as flammable as gasoline, and if you change the oil regularly and keep clean fuel and clean filters for both fuel and lube oil, a diesel will run virtually forever. Take good advice-- buy less boat than you can afford, because you will need the extra for surveys, slip fees, upgrades, etc. not to mention the higher liquor bills a boat seems to engender. A friend of mine nearly made the mistake of offering the asking price on a used sailboat, but took my advice to lower his offer by 10%. The owner took the lower price and George saved 5 grand! Buy well and enjoy!
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I bought my first boat twenty some years ago without ever sailing anything (it was a new Hunter 23). Buy and learn to sail and have a blast.

Don't count on the "recent survey". I'd ask to look at it but not base anything on it.

Now, here's a recipe to consider:

Buy this book now. Amazon.com: Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library): Books: Don Casey

Talk to at least three surveyors. Look on the web and find your own. Ask the surveyors if they will make a quick walk-around inspect for $50-$75 to find anything before a haul-out and full blown survey.

You negotiate like buying a house (expect a couple of iterations). I wouldn't even bother with a sea-trial since it's like somebody driving you around the block in a used car. instead, when you get close hold back an amount in escrow ($1500-$3000) for a period of time (week or month) until you've tested all systems.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!
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Old 07-13-2007
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might be helpful

if you fleshed out a few details for us.
primarily where you intend to sail, your budget for said "hole in the water in which to pour your cash," family (kidlets etc) and such.
DISCLAIMER: somewhat biased, however you might want to add a Sabre 28 to your list.
when i went looking at boats, C&C was high on my list, and the point about racer/cruiser is a good one, however the 3 i looked at had some moisture issues (squishy spots here and there)
i concur w/ the tartan inclusion, came very close to buying a 37, just needed more "love" than i could give.
anyway, there are quite a few variables to consider before plunking down your hard earned cash...so if you provide us w/ some where/when/how particulars i'm thinking you will unleash a flurry of advice..
then again, maybe not
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
oh boy... :)

well, here we go, heres my 5 minutes...(that and a toonie will get you coffee and donut @ timhortons, eh?)

The C&C,
good built boats, new rigging & rebuilt A-4. Those are good size plusses. "some" of the c&c's had coring problems, but thats not a show-stopper. Forget the "explosion" issue, it just doesn't happen unless you light your JP specials while refueling out of a paper can. Whats the deal with the clip on lights over the dinette? no shore power? not wired for 120? (not a big deal,just a general question) more suited for weds. night racing than a weekender, yea, I know lots of people do it, gimme a break.

The Sunstar,
Designed by Bob Perry, He doesn't do junk.
Hmmm, no holding tank...
take a gander at the salon photos. first ditch the carpet, bad idea, whats under there?.
Second,
look at the bottom of the bulkheads, and around the bottom of the salon. At one time this area was "wet", look for rot.
The 8HP yanmar might be a little light for the conditions in the PNW.

Newport,
Decent coastal crusier...
newish sails, good.
chainplates look a little hinkey to me, have to take a better look. Compression post may have a bit of rot at the bottom, can't really tell, but it looks discolored.

Ok, thats the 5 minute thing.
That being said, I don't know a surveyor that would get in his car for 75.00.
maybe get your list to 2-3 boats, give him 2-300, and he'll do a walkabout with you, I don't know.

Second, Oh, hell yes, do a sea-trial. if the boat(s)
were 10k or less, sure, take a chance. (If you were born with webbed feet, have been around holes in the water longer than jack sparrow, and don't mind burning hundred dollar bills on a moments notice)

The surveyor will not sail the boat on a sea-trial, he'll be wandering all over it looking for creaks, cracks, smells, sights, sounds, ease of use, maint. issues, general condition of things that you can't tell 'till its been on the water for a bit.

Do not accept anyones survey except for the one you commission. You have no idea for what purpose an existing one was done. This is YOUR boat, YOUR money, and YOUR safety.

I need a nap.
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Last edited by cardiacpaul; 07-13-2007 at 04:15 PM.
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