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bailey 11-30-2000 02:28 AM

buying a sailboat
We are in the process of buy a sailboat for our family. Most of my sailing experience is on very small boats, with occasional short trips on my brothers 50'' Pearson.

We have looked at a nice O''Day 322, a Hunter and Catalina.... We like the interior of the O''Day at this point. However I have a few concerns... which is the better built boat?

The mast of the O''Day does not go all the way down to the keel, it is bolted to a beam (I guess). Does that have a great effect on saftey and the way it sails?

Are these easy boats to sail (all the owners of them say "yes")?

We are a husband and wife with 9 year old child and will basically be cruising the East coast for weekends and week long vacations, however we do want a boat we can take down to the Bahamas....

No ocean crossings for us! (yet)

I''d really appreciate some feedback and/or suggestions.


MikeMoss 12-01-2000 07:48 PM

buying a sailboat
What size are the others?

32'' is a nice size to start with. I wish I had started there way back when. Now we have a (small) 35.

A good independent surveyor is very important. you will save with a good survey. (stuff can get fixed by the owner that should be fixed before you pay)

bailey 12-02-2000 02:05 AM

buying a sailboat
Thanks for the info, Mike. We are going to have a survey done on the boat we finally choose. The boat we are looking at is an O''Day 322, we have looked at Hunters, Catalina''s, and one Cabo Rico (ok we couldn''t afford it but wanted to see it). All the boats we are looking at are between 30 and 40 feet.


MikeMoss 12-02-2000 06:17 AM

buying a sailboat
Ok Bailey:

I found a O''Day site:
I have not used that site but go there to find links.

I can''t find the site that had all of the owners comments on various brands. I thought it was here but this site keeps changing.

Go to www.cruisingworld--general messages. post a request for Oday 322 info there. Try to get a response from a Jeff Halpern. Jeff knows a lot about sailboats. He is biased only towards high performance boats and fractional rigs. Otherwise his advice is very good.

As far as keel stepped masts go I supppose they are better but as with a lot of things if its done right it will work Ok.

The Oday 322 has a PHRF of 168 which is OK for a boat this size so it should sail. Learn what this means. Our C&C 35-1 has a PHRF of 129 so for every mile we would have to "give you" 168-129=39 seconds in a race.

As far as boat handling goes the thing to do is to take a course with the Power Squadron or the Coast Guard Auxilary. The whole family can go.

The captains that last are the ones that don''t screw up. Just one example is that you just got the boat and the whole family is there with the food and stuff and it''s really windy. You say "were not going out just now" this is tough but it''s better than a big screw up. You already know the wife remembers everything you ever did wrong.

After a couple of years you will find that you can sail the boat all by yourself including docking, etc.

Look for other links and sites. Classic plastic looks ok.

Good luck.

bailey 12-02-2000 08:22 AM

buying a sailboat
Hey Mike, Thanks again for the info. We are going to take all the courses we can find, will check with the Coast Guard too, thanks. My husband spent 12 years on a boat in the Navy (not a sailboat!) and he is going to take sailing lessons, as he has almost no sailing experience.

The only thing about your post that made me say "oh, nooooo" was your comment that after a few years we should know how to dock and sail the boat..... sheesh, I hope it doesn''t take that long... a few years from now we are planning to sell the house and buy a big sailboat and live on it..... any hints for speeding up that timetable?? :)

I''m clueless at to the PHRF rating you put in your post... does it actually tell how easy a boat is to sail or how fast?? Where do you find that information? So the ratings, the O''Day vs. your C&C means the O''Day isn''t as fast?

I''ve got the makings of a safe captain anyways, I don''t have any problem admiting to my inexperience so I''d be happy to just sit on my boat in the slip and have lunch as opposed to taking her out in weather that I don''t have the experience to handle. Since I''ve got a child I''d wouldn''t consider doing anything stupid.


MikeMoss 12-02-2000 09:24 AM

buying a sailboat
The smaller the number the faster the boat. PHRF''s over 200 are dogs.
under180 are good sailors
" 150 are very good
" 90 are very fast

Of course bigger boats are faster. A j-24 has a slower rating than a O''Day 322 but in most conditions the J-24 will be faster. It''s just that in higher winds the bigger boat will go faster other things being equal.

No boat is easy to sail. Sorry. And some hardly will sail at all. It''s nothing like driving. It''s more like romance. Once you get it right it''s incredible.

A couple of items that I now consider necessary are a roller furling/reefing large head sail and a autopilot. You can sail most masthead sloops with just the genoa. That''s as easy as sailing gets.

You could buy someone a GPS for Xmas. A Garmin 48 would be nice.

bailey 12-02-2000 09:42 AM

buying a sailboat
Well the O''Day we are looking at has a roller furling genoa, the main has a dutchman system, Raytheon SL9 radar, GPS, Autohelm 4000 plus, forward looking sonar, VHF, SSB with weather/fax ability, 406 EPIRB and new 6 person zodiac life raft, etc. It is outfitted well.

I''m hoping to transfer my experience of small boat sailing to a larger boat and hoping that learning the ropes in a larger boat doesn''t take forever.


tomct 12-04-2000 07:06 AM

buying a sailboat
Hi and sorry about barging in...
Does "12 years" mean you guys are retired folks?
If you are...and can use MWR facilities, find a NAS close and take the Mate A sailing course and the Sipper B class..very good and very inexpensive. Capsizing drills on the Sunfish are just a gas.

bailey 12-04-2000 07:18 AM

buying a sailboat
Glad to have anyone barge (or should I say "sail" in)! No we are not retired, we are in our early 40''s so we have a few years yet, but my husbands current job does allow him to take some leaves from it so we are planning a 8 or 9 month cruise in the next couple of years.

We currently live on a small lake and I love sailing the sunfish on it, nothing like those capsizing drills!!


tomct 12-04-2000 07:33 AM

buying a sailboat
Of course I wasn''t rubbing it in that I retired from the military... : ) Just the 12 years thing got me.
My wife and I..knowing nothing about sailing..decided to buy and live aboard in 1998. (very long-time dream). We found a 41ft CT..lots of work, very comfortable. Now, we just can''t stand staying on the hard.

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