Difficult Choice: beauty & speed
dear friends, i need help.
I am about to buy my first serious boat and I need all the help I can get (I am sure you remember how insecure one gets and how afraid of making a mistake...).
Here is my profile: 40 yo, sailed from the age of 14 to 27, raced with Flyng Dutchman and Tornado (cat), 15th in the world championship of Tornado, stopped abruptly and only this year sailed again and found again that irresistible joy and happiness. Therefore: i know how to sail and race, but I have never actually raced with a yacht.
About to buy my first yacht (I owned laser, Flyng Dutchman, class A cat and Tornado in the past) and completely torn between two opposite philosophies (I am sure that many of you know this feeling).
My intentions: I want to keep the boat on the LI Sound, mostly use it as a daysailer, although I also want to use it as a vacation home for weekends in summer and fall, I would like to take it for a 2 week cruise along the east coast in the summer (maine), and I know that I will not resist the desire to race it on weekends (at a club level for now). I will mostly sail her with one or two people crew and I would like to be able to sail alone in very calm conditions). Also: never used the engine to enter and leave a marina: I will have to lear quickly.
I love to push a boat to her limits but I cannot resist the beauty of old-looking boats (long overhangs and some lovely wood in the cockpit, although no teak on deck!, great woodwork in the interior). i really can't help myself!
After researching the available boats in my budget 30-70K, I narrowed it down to two groups: beauty and speed:
Please, can you give me your knowledgable opinion about the quality of these boats, the speed, any thought, reccomendation, experience etc.
BEAUTY and COMFORT:
30 Sparkman & Stephens
30 Hinckley SW
34 HAlberg Mistral
38 Little Harbor
39 C&C Northeast
40 Palmer Johnson NY
30 kirie Elite
36 Frers F3
I will welcome any thought you might have.
Given your being accustomed to performance, it seems to me you should stick to the performance side of your list.
As you are planning to be more or less shorthanded most of the time, I'd lean toward the fractional rigs on your list for ease of foresail handling, incl spinnakers (relative to the size of the boat)
The classic beauties are indeed breathtaking, but there is a definite cost in terms of maintenance time, and lapses in upkeep quickly show. Also some of those boats may frustrate you with reduced performance.
The Shock 36 (aka NY 36), the Farr and Tripp boats may fit the bill, the F3 is a nice boat too. They will satisfy performance criteria and certainly provide adequate facilities for the limited cruising you intend. The Shock has a somewhat unconventional layout that you'd probably want to take a close look at to see if it suits you. The Farr and Tripp may be a bit on the austere side.
Those on your first list are certainly worth consideration if your priorities shift in that direction. (ie comfort, appearance etc)
Regarding the Schock/NY36, I completely agree that this boat is worth looking at for its performance. Also, the interior layout is unconventional yes, but I always liked it -- very airy which is nice during summer in hotter climates.
However, and this is a big caveat if you will be shorthanded, in my opinion it is a boat that is better suited to larger crews. It likes meat on the rail, and that HUGE mainsail can be a real bear. I would advise test-sailing this boat prior to purchase to see if you find it manageable.
It would make an outstanding candidate if you wanted to mount a PHRF racing campaign -- with crew. It has a decent rating (used to be 114 here on Chesapeake, but probably a bit less than that elsewhere).
This is already helping a lot. More of this, please!
What do you think of the Omega 30 and the Kirie Elite 30?
and among the pretty & slow of my list, which do you think has the better performance?
Speed is beautiful. Is beauty fast?
BEAUTY and COMFORT:
34 HAlberg Mistral
38 Little Harbor
40 Palmer Johnson NY
I keep Shiva in LIS and use it on the weekends and do a few longer crusises. I don't race, but like all sailors try to get there as fast as I can.
I have also done the Marion Bermuda race and sailed many times to the Caribbean and even to Brazil all on the boat I bought when I was almost 40 some 22 years ago.
Most important to me was that the boat could be singled handed and set up to do this EASILY. I do not want to rely on crew for ANYTHING including docking for things like fuel and water fill ups.
Since I intended and DO live aboard at times I want a comfy boat with a large cockpit we can lounge about in... eat and work the boat. A large galley is important as well if you intend to cruise.
You will want a decent auxiliary as well and a boat that behaves well under power, sail and at anchor.
I would avoid the full on racers and the real heavy offshore boats and look for a racer cruiser which meets the above criteria.
I lucked into the Contest 36 which is perfectly suited to MY requirements as noted above. I see many pretty boats on the outside, not as many with as good a cockpit (with the above criteria) and am unfamiliar with the accommodation plans of most boats as I don't go below or visit boat shows these days. I have no opinion on how these many attractive yachts perform.
I can only tell you that if your criteria align with mine you should consider a Contest 36 is you can find and afford one.
BTW cruising up to ME will require more than two weeks to even touch her beauty. It take almost 6 or more days to get there and back unless you sail non stop.
I have an Elite 29. I really like the interior. very open. lots of room for sails if you plan on racing. you can slap a lot of headsails up in the forward V-bearth. It really likes winds in the 15kt range. above 17 i put the reef on the main, non racing conditions, so with a decent amount of rail meat you can keep the full main up in higher winds with a blade jib.
Mine is a CB model, so it has the slighty shorter rig, than the 30R. The cockpit is a bit cramped, but i have the wheel option, so with the stick it should be a bit opened up for the extra crew when racing. There are not any handholds in the cabin up high for grabing in heavy weather. You tend to not walk very far in the boat, so this is not a big deal, but can be annoying at times.
Storage is adequate, but fuel is a bit low for any extended cruising. We went through 24g of diesel on our trip from NY to NC. The tank only holds 6. I will admit that one of our crew was more of a motor guy, so on most of his watches he would start the Iron jib if the winds died just a bit. For this reason we prolly used significantly more diesel than we should have.
Like you i have never raced/owned a boat with a motor before. It does take some getting used to. It will also take some getting used to the sheer mass of a 30+' boat compared to a 20' cat. I have a Nacra 5.2 that i have sailed for the past 15+ years.
I am guessing you are looking at the Elite 30 in Mi. When i was looking for my boat i almost flew up to look at that one. My wife decided she wanted wheel steer, she always had trouble tillering the nacra.
i am unable to post the link to the owners group, due to me not having more than 10 posts. :( i will give you hint, it starts with http and ends with groups.yahoo.com/group/eliteowners. lets see if this gets by the filter. :D
here is the link to the yahoo group for Kirie owners. I just sent a lot of brochure and manuals to the moderator for posting in the files section. Nearly all of the info is the same between the 29 and the 30. Hopefully it will get posted soon to help you with your decision.
if you have any specific questions fire away.
I would include an older J-35 in that list. I race on one in the Long Island sound. Great boat, makes it's own wind and comfortable down below. It is also in your price range.
Thanks. great insights.
Why is everybody saying that it takes a lot of upkeep for the Hinckley 30sw. If the boat is fiberglass, very little wood on deck, very simple interior and pretty straightforward (tiller etc), and if it was restored and updated recently; why should it be different from any other boat 30-40 yo?
And would she be so slower than any other i mentioned?
Among hinckley, 30 Hinckley SW, Sabre 34-36-38, 37 Vauquiez, 37 Tartan, 38 Little Harbor, 39 C&C Northeast, 40 Bristol, 40 Cal, 40 Palmer Johnson NY, is there any boat that has good speed in light medium wind?
I will look into the elite more carefully and I am sure i will have further questions...
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