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KPBaker 04-01-2002 04:28 AM

Cruising Boats

I''ve been contemplating moving up to a larger boat sometime in the near future.I''ve been compiling a list of boats that I think would meet my needs.Reading your comments on different boats, I value your opinion.Would you please recommend some boats that meet the following criteria:

(1) Under $60,000
(2) Length 34-38ft.
(3) Must be capable of being sailed single-handed
(4) No more than 6 ft.of draft
(5) Capable of coastal and blue-water sailing
(6) Preferred aft and forward enclosed cabins
(7) Good overall sailing performance..not neccesarily a racer, but not a slug either.
(8) Very low exterior maintenance...not a lot of teak,etc.
(9) Must have an aft cockpit
(10) Good storage space

*** The C&C boats are high on my list, but I''m not to sure of their "blue-water" capabilities since they are lighter displacement boats.I know that the criteria I''ve listed covers a broad range of sailing abilities, but I''m sure such a boat exists to meet my needs. Your help and expertise would be greatly appreciated.

Denr 04-01-2002 06:22 AM

Cruising Boats
My eyes are beginning to glaze over in anticipation of the pending post!

Jeff_H 04-02-2002 04:17 AM

Cruising Boats
You are going through a search that very closely approximates my own recent search. I found that a $60,000 cap seemed to mean that some compromise was required. In particular I found it hard to find a boat in that price range that was equally good for coastal and blue-water sailing had both an enclosed forward and an enclosed aft cabin and which drew less than 6 feet. I ended up compromising on a boat that I could build a removeable enclosure to create an aft cabin and which also was 6''-4" draft. I also set a minuimum perforance standard well under a PHRF of 100. Some of these boats may not suit your needs or willingness to compromise or alter a boat''s interior layout. While these compromises worked for me I am not rtying to suggest that they do actually work for you.

Here is the list that I came up with in my search:

Beneteau First 38:
These Frers designed 38 footers certainly sail well and offer the desired aft cabin layout. They are reasonable but certainly not ideal boats for offshore work. They seem to be better constructed than the Idyle, Oceanis, and ''number'' series Beneteaus. I have a lot of experience with the Beneteau First 38s5 which repalced this boat and although out of our price range found the 38s5 to be an extremely nice boat even in very heavy winds.

C&C 37:
I have always like these boats. They offer a good balance of cruising and performance. While not ideally shaped hull or rig wise for offshore work, they have done a lot of sea miles. There were three models of this and the shoal keel (almost at 6''-1") and centerboard models would meet your draft criteria. In my case the C&C 37 fell just at the bottom of my performance criteria and with their masthead rig and comparatively small main was not high on my scale as a single-hander.

C&C Landfall 38:
These boats have never really appealed to me but they are reasonably well constructed and sail reasonably well. Certainly one of the slower boats on this list. The one that I knew best had a really cobled up interior plan but I understand that it was a ''special model'' of some kind. These would not fall high on my list of offshore capable boats.

C&C 38 Mk2:
This is not my favorite C&C design. Its pinched transom would limit off wind performance and comfort in a seaway but C&C''s of that era were well constructed and were pretty quick boats for their day. These boat particularly accell upwind.

Dehler 38:
Neat boats. This would be very high on my lsit for its very good sailing ability, high build quality, fractional rig (which I consider ideal for single-handing), and nice interior layout. The only problem is that they are comparatively rare in the US and they tend to be at the very top of our price range.

Express 37:
These boats are probably the best all around sailors on this list and certainly the fastest. They mostly have striped out interiors and most have drafts approaching 7 feet and so may not work for you. Depending on the year they either had stripped out interiors or pertty nice layouts (there was a C series that had an aft cabin). They would have been my second choice.

Fabola 39:
I can''t recall the actual model name but these are really cool boats. A bit narrow beamed, these Scandinavian built boats are really wonderful all around boats and were high on my list on all counts. They are pretty rare in the States.

Farr 37 (Dickenson):
Although built as out and out IOR race boats, some of these have been retro-fitted with really nice interiors. I looked at one with an aft compartment and the forward vee berth added. They would fail on your draft concerns but sometimes can be found in the mid $40K range.

Farr 11.6 (Farr 38):
This was the boat that I ended up buying. I did so for a lot of reasons. They have quite good light air ability, and are renowned for their heavy air sailing abilities. They have a fractional rig which I see as a major asset as a single-hander. They are one of the faster boats on this list. They are readily adaptable to an aft compartment but have a great layout for two people.

On the down side, at 6''4", they are pretty deep. (There is a custom one in North Carolina that only draws 5''6") They are quite rare on the US East Coast but pretty common on the West. Many of these boats have custom interiors. The one in North Carolina is especially nice, but some were completely stripped out as racing machines. These boats are sold in a wide range of pricing from the mid-$30K range on up to nearly $70K but most glass versions sell in the mid $50K range with cold molded wooden ones and stripped out racers selling for a lot less. If you are interested in the North Carolina boat please email me. I had this boat surveyed. It is a good boat but it had a quite few problems. I understand that the owner took the past 9 months and addressed many of these.

Frers 37, Frers F3:
These Hunterhoeler constructed racer cruisers are really neat and often forgotten boats. They were built in a lot of versions but there was a cruising version with a really nice interior and exceptionally good build quality. These are very well rounded designs and often sell for a very fair price for a boat of this all around quality.

Hughes 38: (late 1960''s and early 1970''s)
This is a very interesing Sparkman and Stevens design. They share a hull, deck, rudders and rig with the Hinckley Competition 38. (Hughes built the hull, deck, rudders and rig for Hinkley and Hinkley built the interiors on their Competition 38.) The problem is that Hughes built a number of 38 foot designs that were very different and several are typiclaly listed as Hughes 38''s. The model that I am referring to was only built for a comparatively limited time. Of the boats on this list they are probably one of the more offshore capable but not one of the fastest. Still they are really neat boats.

J-34c and J35c:
These are neat boats that are biased a bit toward being cruisers yet offer really nice performance. They are certainly offshore capable nut are pretty rare and are often sold outside our price range.

J-35 and J36:
These really do not meet your criteria but I ended up looking at both of these because non one design race competitive versions are quite reasonably priced.

Morgan 382:
While not exactly a high performance boat, these are reasonably well constructed and certainly offshore capable boats. There was an aft cabin layout but I have not seen one. (The 382 fell below my performance threshold but are still good boats if speed is not as important to you.)

Old One Tonners:
These can vary very widely in build quality, sailing ability and finish levels but youcan find these old race boats for as little as $25 K and build a nice workable interior into them, and end up with a fast boat. The best candidates were from the early 1970''s when these boat were still raced offshore. Webb Chiles boat is an older Morgan designed one tonner for example.

Pearson 37:
These are neat early 1980''s (1981 and 1982) racer cruisers that were nicely built and nicely detailed. They offer a fair amount of performance and are generally good all around boats.

Ranger 37:
These are old race boats and as such often have stripped out interiors but when I was looking around for my boat I saw two of these that were retro fitted with lovely interiors. These are ''small'' 37 footers so the interior was not what I would call commodious but they have reasonable sailing ability and reasonable offshore capability and with a custom build out would perhaps suit your needs.

Sigma 36 and 38:
Nice English boats.

Soverel 39:
These ex-race boats were built by Tartan and were really excellent boats in many ways. They are probably right up there with the Express 37 as the highest performer, they may fail your criteria for other reasons. Although they tend to have high asking prices they seem to sell in the mid to high- $50K range. I gave them a serious look even to the point of negotiating on a stripped out full race version, planning to alter the deck plan and to build a real interior into the boat.

Tripp 37:
Although many of these early IMS boats were built with completely stripped out interiors and very deep draft, there were a few that had very nice interiors and a shallower keel. They offer very good build quality and very well rounded sailing abilities.

Wiggers Peterson:
Nice IOR era race boats but with good sailing characteristics and some had very nice interiors. These were very well constructed boats built on a semi-custom basis.

I am late for work so I need to stop here. Godo hunting and feel free to email me since I have just been down the same trail that you are going down.


KPBaker 04-02-2002 06:01 AM

Cruising Boats
Hey Jeff_H

Thanks a lot for your input on the boats.Several you listed were also on my list.I copied your notes and have added them to my folder.I saw a C&C 37 recently on a web site that at first looked like it was exactly what I''m looking for, but the specs.listed the draft as 6''7"? I''m e-mailing the owner to verify.One more question....are you familiar with the Elite 37, and if so,what is your opinion of the boat?

Jeff_H 04-02-2002 09:45 AM

Cruising Boats
I am a little familiar with the Elite 37 but really know the smaller Elites much better. I am not impressed with thier build quality or their sailing ability. I was especially disappointed with thier deck layout and hardware.

I don''t know if this applies to Elites larger boats but I found the smaller Elite tender, hard to balance out and really not very good in either lighter breezes or in stiffer winds. I think that one reason that light weight boats have such a poor reputation amoungst cruisers is that light weight boats are much harder to design so that they sail really well. In my opinion a boat like the smaller Elites that I have sailed are examples of what happens when you design a light weight boat and don''t quite get it right.

Perhaps there is someone here with more experience on the bigger Elites that might have more useful info for you.


Valdare 04-02-2002 09:46 AM

Cruising Boats

I will add one more to your list A Morgan 38 or 34 (which actually about 36). There is a Morgan board on sailnet that will allow you to get some good advise. And the 38s have a sight of their own . We also have a link on the sight that shows many of the owners and their boats so you''ll get an idea of what they are and the differences in them. The history is also on the site.
I have a 1983 Morgan 384 and is a great boat, only problem to your list is teak. We have alot, but boy does she look nice. The older 38''s and the 34 does not have as much.
They sail well, have tons of storage, blue water capable and.....

Good Luck,

JohnDrake 04-02-2002 10:44 AM

Cruising Boats

I think you may want to give some consideration as to just how important the aft cabin is to you. I think it will be very difficult to find a boat that fits your criteria, with an aft cabin, in good shape at your price point.

Jeff has put together a very nice list but most of those boats do not have an aft cabin and others are hard to find. Many other people also consider the draft of some boats on the list to be a significant limitation. Jeff''s list does concentrate on performance vs offshore capability as asked for in the request above. The Beneteau Frist 38 (not a Moorings) does seem to fit most of your criteria and is well thought of... however, I personally found the berths to be quite small (and I am not a big guy) in the 3 cabin model. Also, I am not sure you can find a First, in good shape, at that price.

Jeff DID list the Morgan 382. I think this boat is a very good offshore design ... for the money. But, it is significantly slower than the stated goal above, has quite a bit of exterior teak and again does not have an aft cabin. I was thinking about this boat in my initial search but in the end found the quality of the joinery below to be not at all to my liking (I did not look at a 384 in good condition... and those are above 60k at any rate).

I think you should also consider boat construction and investigate the issue of cored vs uncored hulls. C&C''s are cored hulls and while they are very good boats, many that I have seen going for a good price have been ''rode hard and put away wet''. The C&C Landfall 38 has been talked up a bit in other places which prompted me to look at one. Jeff''s prediction at the time was correct, it was of much lesser quality than other boats in the C&C line. I did not consider a reasonable offshore boat.

Coming to a firm decision regarding the aft cabin and hull construction alone should focus your search significantly. If you can live without a private aft cabin, there will be many good offshore boats to select from, in your price range. If you truly wish to have a real aft cabin and are willing to sacrifice speed for it, that will point you in a different direction (again, in this price range).

If you are set in your requirements but become more realistic in price, then that opens up yet another set of boats.

You can do different searches (age range, price etc)on and see how that affects your choices. It is an interesting exercise.

Hope this helps.

KPBaker 04-03-2002 04:51 AM

Cruising Boats
Thanks for all the input in regard to my search for a larger boat to meet my needs. Jeff...I''ve never been aboard an Elite 37 but saw one for sale on a website and the boat appeared to match the criteria I had set.The information you''ve provided to me is very important.I''m not a rich man by any means and must do this right the first time. I''ve only owned two boats in my life (actually the bank still owns the second one with me) : ^ ) and more than likely my next boat purchase will be my last one.I have sailed on a few of the boats you''ve listed, while others I''ve only seen pictures of.I''m trying to finalize my list to 5 potential canidates and then spend the time in the yards to find the right one.Valdare...I appreciate the input on the Morgan 384 as well.I think the Morgan 382 or 384 will be in my final 5 list.I believe it was the magazine "Sailing" that provided a vey positive in-depth article about the Morgan 38 footers.While it''s slower than some of the other boats listed it might be a trade off that I can live with.Also the price of the used Morgans is more in line with what I can afford.The teak exterior trim is also another item I will have to weigh out. I love the "look" of a traditional boat. Both boats I''ve had to this point have been traditional designs (Brass portals,deck fittings,and lots of teak)When maintained, to me there isn''t a more attractive boat. However, the boat I choose will be a "retirement boat" and I''m getting lazier each year.Of course, I could "just let it go" unmaintained, but that''s not me either. I will wrestle with this decision. JohnDrake...You raised some very ligitimate points. You mentioned a Beneteau 38.I sailed aboard one last summer and was very impressed.One potential problem for purchase of one of these boats will be finding one in good shape for the price range I have to work with. It seems most of the boats I''ve seen for sell have been in the charter boat fleets and have really been worked hard. I agree with your assesment of the berth size, but again it might be a trade off I can accept since the boat does meet all the other criteria I''ve set. The aft cabin is pretty important to me.More than likely,my daughter and I will be living aboard the boat for a few years and she always fusses about me leaving "my stuff" lying around. You know how women are? With an enclosed aft cabin, I can at least close the door and keep her off my case for awhile. Lastly, to guys have given me much information to enter into my equation that will help me obtain the correct solution. The wealth of information supplied from contributors of this board is astounding!As I progress along in my search, I''m sure I will have additional questions.Thanks!

aasault 04-03-2002 03:48 PM

Cruising Boats

My Dehler 35'' Optima, "DOUBLE EAGLE" is for sale in San Diego. She meets all ten of your requirements. Check her out on yachtworld.


aasault 04-03-2002 03:58 PM

Cruising Boats
Actually, 9 out of 10 is more realistic. She probably has less storage space than some of the boats Jeff_H mentioned.


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