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giannboy 11-06-2007 11:44 AM

Headroom in a 35-40 Foot boat

I'm currently in the market for a used boat and my budget tells me to spend no more than $100-110K.

Hopefully, I can get some help here to since I' m tired of searching the used boat sites on my own.

Here is the criteria:

Size: 35-40 Ft. LOA
Displacement/Design: Medium...with decent sailing performance (the fun quotient)...not a slug but not something so tender that I have to spend half my time reefing and furling.

I live on the Caribbean side of Mexico so light wind is not an issue and plan the occasional jaunt down to Belize/Guatemala and back up to Florida.

I also prefer something that can be singlehanded when the urge strikes.

I'm a competent sailor (can get from Point A to Point B but noone is recruiting me for the America's Cup) and my concern is not so much with the sailing end (proper setup and equipment can go a long way in dealing with the sails) but parking at a slip or at a dock under power can be quite an adventure when you are by yourself and the boat doesn't go where you want it to.

So maneuvaribility under power is an issue.

Draft: Prefer a shoal draft with a maximum of 6 Feet

Build Quality: Not afraid of production boats...depending on the particular boat.

And, finally, the fly in the ointment...

Headroom: I'm 6'4-6'5...depending on how much I am slouching or how this old body standing up to the rigors of the I would like as much interior altitude as possible.

I am aware that all boats are compromises (Headroom vs. Freeboard for example) so all of the above is mix and match but any assistance/opinions would be appreciated



"I'm not going bald...I'm just scraping it off inside sailboats"

sailingdog 11-06-2007 12:09 PM

Damn... you were fine until you got to the headroom... I'm so glad I'm short... so many more choices, so many fewer things to knock the skull into. :D

BTW, you really should be asking about berths too... since it makes little sense to get a boat to cruise in if you can't lay down and sleep in her. :D

Hmm... unfortunately, headroom isn't listed on boat listings generally, and not something I pay a whole lot of attention too, since I'm only 5' 5" or so. :D

That said... the Tartan 37 might be a good choice, especially the keel/centerboard or scheel keel models. The deep fin version's draft is 6' 7" IIRC. The size is right in the middle of what you're looking for, the build quality is generally quite good, the performance is pretty decent, and the boat can be single-handed relatively easily, especially if the lines were run aft. I'm not sure about the cabin headroom though... but there are a couple of owners on this forum who could speak to that.

Two others might be the Niagara 35 and the Canadian Sailcraft 36T. :D I know several people on the forum own CS36Ts, and will probably respond... not sure about any one owning a Niagara 35 here though.

geary126 11-06-2007 12:14 PM

my familiarity with boats is limited to 4 years living on a Vagabond 47, and my own Catalina 30, and a few charters.

At the last boat show, however, I spent some time on a variety of Catalinas, and all of them have pretty good headroom.

I'm also 6'4.5.

My boat has about 6'4 of headroom, which I think is phenomenal, given it's a 30'. But the caveat is, where?

You aren't going to have 6'7 headroom from bow to stern, regardless. I'm happy standing straight, anywhere.

paul77 11-06-2007 12:28 PM

I'm 6'2"... Which is problem enough. I definitely wanted to have standing headroom in my search. Also remember at the boat shows you are taller with your shoes on :)

Production boats here are probably where you will find the headroom with your budget.

In your size range I was particularly impressed by the headroom on the beneteau 373. Due to your location, you may be able to pick one of these up ex-charter within your price range. (if you are willing to get an ex charter). The older 362 is also roomy, but not as huge as the 373.

I am not a big fan of hunter, but they have also been following the voluminous airy cabin trend, their 38 has a huge amount of headroom too. Probably a used one in your price range.

If you are willing to go multi, consider a used Gemini 105. Can't find the precise headroom, but I think in the house it will be decent. Here's a comparison of 373 vs. 105 :

sailingdog 11-06-2007 12:41 PM

The Gemini 105 has a fairly decent amount of head room...and would also be a good choice... but some people are averse to multihulls. :) Also, it meets the sailing qualifications and the shoal draft requirements.

SailinJay 11-06-2007 12:43 PM

I own a 2003 Catalina 350. Actual LOA is 36.5 feet. I think the headroom in the salon and forward cabin is 6'7". The model was first introduced in 2002 and there are a number of them for sale on Yachtworld. Asking prices are a bit above the upper end of your budget, but not that much.

Shoal draft on the boat is 4.5 feet. I routinely single-hand my boat and back into my slip when I dock, and I have no problems doing so. The boat has a 35 HP Universal engine and will do nearly hull speed at 2800 rpm.

RAGTIMEDON 11-06-2007 01:31 PM

Love my good ol' boat!
I stand 6-5 (used to be 6-6 but age will shrink you) and sail an Endeavour 37. She lets me walk about below with no shoes on! My head scrapes in the galley, but that is good; my wife has to do the dishes! Ragtime has 2 Quarter berths 7 feet long and the table drops to form another berth 6-10 long and 108 inches wide! This is typical of the "A plan" which has no V berth, allowing a larger galley, salon and head than the "B plan." She weighs in at 20,000 lbs with 8000 lbs of lead in her modified full keel. Drawing 4'6" she can go places many fin keel boats her size cannot. As heavy as she is she does not do well in light air, but she is stable and comfortable in heavier winds, and sails well enough that I have passed a lot of boats that were forced to reef. My boom stands high enough that I have 6-7 under the Bimini, 6-6 under a custom made dodger. The Perkins 4108 diesel develops 50 hp which will push her at hull speed but runs more economically at 5.5 knots. With roller furling, autohelm, and lines run aft nearly anyone can singlehand a 37 foot boat, but I have not added autohelm yet. You can buy one for 40-60K, depending on condition and age, which allows you to add autohelm and other repairs and upgrades within your estimated budget. Another possibility is Hunter 34-5, made in 92 and 93, but the 91 version and 95 version were lower headroom, and the hull is not as sturdy as the Endeavour. I would prefer a stronger hull than Catalina, Hunter, or Bendytoy when offshore, even in the Great Lakes.
I just came home from the St Pete boat show, where I saw the Island Packet 460 center cockpit, with 7'2" headroom. We both wish that was in our budget!

kengoodings 11-06-2007 02:25 PM

My lovely Dutch wife stands 6'2"
We have lived aboard our 1979 Niagara 35 Mk1 (winter and summer) for four years in Toronto harbour. She has 2" headroom everywhere in the boat, galley, rear cabin, head and right up forward in the saloon to the doorway leading into our forepeak storage. The doorways from one compartment to another are a bit lower than 6'4" but the rest of the boat is great. The Niagara 35 Mk1 has two quarterberths which are in a separate compartment in the stern. The head is stb'd midships with a walkway both fwd and aft. The galley is portside opposite the head. The large saloon is quite nice too. There is a doorway fwd which accesses a forepeak workbench and seat, with massive storage for sails and other gear. The boat is well ventilated with six opening ports and four hatches. It's a medium displacement masthead sloop designed for coastal work but we plan to circumnavigate, leaving in June 2008 ;-) These boats were designed by Mark Ellis and well-built in the Niagara Falls Ontario area by Hinterhoeller. There is a newer Mk2 "Encore" model with a traditional layout and vee-berth but they command a larger price, in excess of $100k The Mark 1 we have goes in the $75 - $90K area, depending on whether it's seen salt water. Our 1979 Niagara 35 cost $85K in 2003

sailquest dot com/market/models/niag35

stlcat22 11-06-2007 03:14 PM

I'm about 6'4.5" and in a Tartan 37' I can stand up in the cabin, if I take off my shoes. I think the Catalina 350 is the only boat of that size that seemed like it had headroom to spare.

sailingdog 11-06-2007 03:34 PM

The Pearson 36 might also be a possibility. :D

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