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merttan 11-05-2007 06:00 AM

Your advise?
Hi again,
Well, instead of telling you guys one boat at a time, i decided to ask you directy...
I'm shopping for a 30-32 ft. sailboat as an upgrade from my 22 ft.
I'll list my needs and I'll really appreciate if you can tell me what I should shop for...
*We live in CT, so I'll be using the boat mostly in LIS and/or CT rivers for coastal cruising, and occasional bluewater sailing to Martha's vineyard and Block Island. It can get really choppy around RI so a sailboat that can handle the waters around.
*I have a lot of dingy sailing experience and a little cruiser sailing experience. (I was out 94 days last season:D ) So I'd like to get something easy to control.
*A single hand controlled sailingboat would be nice but not a necessity.
*I'm not really after the speed but comfort. Both under sail or on anchorage. I want a stable sailboat where I can have my dinner from the plate, not from the floor:D
*I'm not really handy about fiberglass repair or heavy mechanical stuff. I'm good at electrical, plumbing, light mechanical (change oil, filter etc), and any elbow grease job aboard. So please let me know which diesels I should stay away from.:o
*Me and my wife usually sail by ourselves but when we get guests we have around 4-5 people aboard(which was a big crowd on my 22 footer). Mostly for day sailing and travel not for overnight.
*My wife loves to cook, so we want to get some galley space.;)
*I'm 6'1" so I can use some headspace in the galley. :)
And I'll be in 15-20K range so looking for rather older but reliable boats...
So what's your advise?
So far I liked the catalina and islander bahama 30 footers' layouts...
Thank you all...

camaraderie 11-05-2007 08:27 AM is nice when someone spells out their needs so clearly so we don't have to guess!
Both the Islander and Catalina would be suitable for your needs. If you go the Catalina route, I would look for a tall rig version for LIS. Other boats you might consider include the Oday 34 and Irwin Citations and Endeavor32's.
There are better built boats in your size/price range but at the sacrifice of a lot of space and the boats I've listed are designed for your type of sailing and cruising grounds.
As far as engines go, I would avoid Volvo diesels and Atomic gas engines if possible. There's nothing wrong with either mfr. but getting parts and the price of those parts is an issue with the Volvo's and many prefer the safety of diesel rather than gas on board so Atomics tend to affect the resale price of the boat.
Hope that is helpful and I'm sure you'll get some other good recommendations. When dealing with a 30 year old boat...keep in mind that the overall maintenance and condition of an individual boat will be far more important to you in the long run than focusing in on one specific make or model given your cruising intentions. Many boats will be the one in the best condition!!

Gene T 11-05-2007 09:16 AM

Your price point limits you a lot. Some things to look for in a New England boat.

Shoal draft is very important to anyone wishing to cruise. Many nice places that need 5 feet or less, preferably less.

Pilot house or full enclosure would be nice, it rains a lot. At least look at a boat for how airy it is, you could be stuck down below in a rainy harbor for days at time.

Good powering abilities, light winds are normal.

I ended up with a power boat while there based by Old Saybrook which gave me the ability to visit lots of places with limited time. I always figured if I had to go back something like a Gemini 305 would be an ideal boat. I've never had a multi but seems like NE would be a good place for one, especially with the ability to keep it on a mooring. Out of your price range however.

So I think you should probably look at an older CB fiberglass boat. I doubt you could find a multihull in your price range, unless it's home built.

TSteele65 11-05-2007 09:24 AM

Take a look at an Alberg 30. Not all that great in light winds, but it seems to fit the bill otherwise.

merttan 11-05-2007 09:26 AM

Good point

Originally Posted by Gene T (Post 217562)

Shoal draft is very important to anyone wishing to cruise. Many nice places that need 5 feet or less, preferably less.

I didn't really consider that point... Thanks. But isn't it better for me to have a 5'-5.5' draft for stability that desire on board? Or am I being too conservative about it?

merttan 11-05-2007 09:30 AM

i'll bring some pics this evening...
I'll go to NY today to check out some boats... It'll be fun:D

Gene T 11-05-2007 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by merttan (Post 217570)
I didn't really consider that point... Thanks. But isn't it better for me to have a 5'-5.5' draft for stability that desire on board? Or am I being too conservative about it?

If you want to race then get a deep draft boat. If you are intending to explore some of the great hide aways look for as little draft as possible. You can find plenty of 30 footers with 5 feet of draft, which will get you most places if you watch the tide. But if it were me I would look for less.

sailingdog 11-05-2007 10:13 AM


It really depends on what your primary goals for the boat are. If you're going to be racing her alot...then get the deeper draft... you'll do better as the boat will point higher. If you're really interested in cruising, get a shoal draft boat. There are a lot more interesting places you can go with a shoal draft boat. Also, if you like gunkholing, a shoal draft is a requirement. :D

Finding a 30' boat with over six feet of head room will be a bit of a challenge, but I would also remind you that you need to check out the berths. Doesn't make much sense to get a boat that you can stand up in, if you can't find a place to sleep on it. :D In this regards, us short people got a lot more options. :p

BarryL 11-05-2007 10:24 AM


I sail out of Mt. Sinai, NY, the same basic waters as you.

Your budget is going to restrict you to older boats. Nothing wrong with that, but still....

I would look for something smaller, like in the 27-30' range. Back in 2004 I was looking to move from a Catalina 22 to something around 30'. I found that 27-28' boats were a lot cheaper than 30-32' boats. For the same money, you can get a nicer 28', or you can get a comparable boat for less money.

The waters we sail in can be benign, or they can be real rough (especially in May and October). If you really want to go out on those rough days, buy a heavier boat. If you would rather stay home on those days, and sail in July and August, buy a lighter boat.

The Catalina 30 would be a great choice. That was #1 on my list when I wanted to move up. I ended up with a Newport 28, which I was very happy with. Compared to a Catalina 30, the Newport was nicer below (teak and holly sole, leaded glass cabinet doors, padded headliner, etc. The Catalina has lots more room below, but for 2 people, the Newport has more than enough room. I'm not trying to sell you on Newport, just try and note the differences between boats. The galley on the Newport was small, but that is true on almost all boats below 35'.

FYI, I looked at a Islander Bahama 30 - same basic boat as the Catalina, but on this one, the deck was all rotten around the main hatch.

Some other boats you should look at are the O'day 30 and 31. If you can find an O'day 31 they are very nice because they have a small swim platform that makes getting on / off the boat from the water or dingy very easy. I would not recommend the O'day 34 because one in your price range would be in poor condition.

If you can find an older Tartan or Sabre 28-30, they are very nice boats.

Actually, there are many boats out there, including Pearson, C&C (more racy, not as stable), Cal, Ericcson, etc.

Good luck,


JimsCAL 11-05-2007 10:31 AM

In that size and price range you are probably looking at a boat built in the late 1970s to early 1980s. You should be able to find a 30 footer in good shape, ideally with a diesel and some recent sails. At the top of my list would be boats like the Catalina 30, Pearson 30, ODay 30 and Tartan 30. If racing was on your list, I would also suggest boats like the J-30, Pearson Flyer or Cal 9.2.

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