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  #1  
Old 01-03-2008
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My newly refined criteria

This just keeps gettin' better, the more you guys reply, the smarter I get ...

Please review and comment on my criteria for selecting my first big boat in the 32' to 38' range.

Pick apart my logic by pointing out what I'm giving up as a result of applying this criteria - or if by chance, you agree I'm on the right track, let me know that also.

In my boat, I want -
inboard diesel
sloop rig
roller furling jib
fixed keel
keel stepped mast
wheel steering

I don't want -
center cockpit
cored hull
center board/swing keel
mizzen mast

I feel that if I can find a good clean, solid boat that meets the above criteria, sea trials well and passes a survey, I can then deal with the issue of equiping her as I wish if she comes up short in that department.

FYI and 'for review' - The type of sailing planned is southern California coastal, Cabo to Montery and marina live aboard (mostly alone) for 3-4 days each month. Estimate half the time singlehanding and rarely more than 4 or 5 onboard for a week coastal cruise.

From the previous thread and all of your inputs, I'm very close to having a realistic working list of several boat models that will work for me. I'll take this criteria review, work it against the list of finalists, mix in a mojito (or 3) and voila' - my first big boat!!!!

We're gettin' there!
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Old 01-03-2008
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Old 01-03-2008
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Forgive me if you've already hashed this out here, but I would question your requirement for the "keel-stepped mast", especially in the size-range that you're considering. I would suggest you not automatically rule out a boat with a properly designed deck-stepped mast if it otherwise fits your criteria. For more discussion of the pros/cons of keel- vs. deck-stepped masts, see here:

Southern Cross 31?

Also, other than not wanting a centerboard/swing keel, do you have an idea about what sort of underbody you're looking for? Full or fin keel? Spade or skeg hung rudder? Propeller in an aperture, or on a P-strut? Etc.
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Old 01-03-2008
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Quote:
In my boat, I want -
inboard diesel
sloop rig
roller furling jib
fixed keel
keel stepped mast
wheel steering

I don't want -
center cockpit
cored hull
center board/swing keel
mizzen mast
In-board diesels are pretty common...but an Atomic 4 in good working order is a pretty good and safe engine... so you might want to at least consider it.

Sloop rig... pretty common... might also want to consider cutter rigs, since they're pretty similar, but give you a bit better options in heavy weather.

Roller furling jibs are pretty common and can be retrofitted to almost any boat if it doesn't already have it.

Fixed Keel—wing, fin, full, bilge, twin??? Want to narrow it down a bit more. Wing, bilge and twin keels give you a bit shallower draft, while losing some performance. A full keel gives the prop and rudder more protection most of the time, since the prop is usually in an apeture, but with reduced maneuverability usually. A fin keel often gives the best performance, but often leaves the rudder and prop more vulnerable.

Keel stepped mast. As previously mentioned, in this size range, you may want to consider deck-stepped masts as well. One serious advantage to a deck-stepped mast is that the interior of the boat stays much drier, since there is no big hole through the center of the cabin top.

Wheel steering—tiller steering is fairly unusual on boats in the 32'+ range.

Cored Hulls—might be worth considering, since a lot of boats have them now. Cored hulls allow a boat to have a lighter, stiffer hull than they would without cored construction. Eliminating cored hulls gets rid of a lot of otherwise very good boats.

As for Mizzen Masts, Center Cockpits, Centerboard/swing keels... these are usually features that are less common, and should be pretty easy to avoid.
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Old 01-03-2008
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I also think it would be a mistake to rule out deck-stepped masts. There is no good reason to do so in my mind.
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Old 01-03-2008
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some more things may be important to you

Hello,

What about:
  • self tailing winches (primary at least)
  • traveler location (cabin top, bridge deck, boom end)
  • pressure water
  • hot water
  • shower
  • AC electrical system
  • stove type (alcohol, propane, etc.)
You can always add those items later, but it's kind of hard to add hot water to a boat without. Same thing if you want propane, or AC power.

You might think that all boats come with that stuff, but they don't!

Lastly, *I* would be more likely to rule out a keel stepped mast than a deck stepped mast. My last boat had deck stepped and the bilge was always dry. My new boat has keel stepped and the bilge is wet. Also, the mast is much longer (more $$ to store) and it's more difficult to step / unstep and tune.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 01-03-2008
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Here are some of the criteria my wife and I have been applying to help narrow the list.

Must have:
Propane Stove -- The wife cooks on our boat regularly and propane is the most familiar to her. CNG would be fine, but sourcing it makes it a non starter for me and I don't think my wife would be happy with alcohol.
Shoal Draft -- Getting into the creeks where we sail dictates draft of 5' or less.
No cored hull below waterline -- I love some of the boats that are built this way, but examples in my price range are >25 Y.O.. Cored hulls are just another big worry on a boat that age.
Lines lead aft to cockpit -- yes I could do this later but I want a sailboat not a project.
Refridgeration -- Again we spend long weekends on the boat and cook regularly, so being able to leave condiments and cold beer on board is a must.
Swim step or walk through transom -- Our current boat has a sugar scoop and we feel not having it would be a step backwards.
Dodger/Bimini -- Though it wouldn't be a deal breaker I'd rather the boat have these already.
Two cabins separate from Saloon -- This would not be a deal breaker for me, so long as both sleeping areas would accomodate two adults each, but our current boat has a real aft cabin, so it would be hard sell to convince the wife it wasn't a requirement.
Self tailing winches -- Typically its just the two of us and winches are an expensive upgrade.

Nice to have:
Anchor Windlass
Whisker pole (mast mounted preferred)
Stern perch seats
Autopilot
GPS and or Loran at helm
VHF with remote mike
Dingy davits
Folding/feathering prop


Based on the above critera and having looked at examples of nearly every cruiser/racer type boat from 32-38' mentioned on this site, we are starting to focus down to a couple of Catalina models specifically the 34's with walk through transoms and the C320. Like many boat owners, our time to enjoy our boat is limited, so we want a boat not a restoration project. The older boats we've seen in the same price range as these Catalina models were all in need of significant refit. My feeling is, keeping a nice boat nice, is less expensive and labor intesive than making a formerly nice boat nice again after years of neglect.

While I'm certain I can't go wrong with either the C320 or C34 for our use, I am still keeping my eyes open.

Good luck!
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 01-03-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 01-03-2008
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Just cause I don't reply to each reply, don't think for a minute I'm not hanging on and hashing over every word. Great insight, input, info and advice - thanks to all and keep it comin'.

We're gettin' there!
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Old 01-03-2008
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We love our boat, but would change a couple of things if we could.
First and foremost would be a Center Island Berth with easy access in and out for both parties. Add to that a comfortable mattress of some kind instead of just cushions and we would be all set.

I'm not sure if you will find one in a 32 footer but possibly might find one in a 38 footer.
Not that the berth would make or break your deal, but it is something to consider.

Maybe others could help by stating what they might change on thier current boat or wish that they had done different. This might be a big help to others in thier search.
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Old 01-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
We love our boat, but would change a couple of things if we could.
First and foremost would be a Center Island Berth with easy access in and out for both parties. Add to that a comfortable mattress of some kind instead of just cushions and we would be all set.

I'm not sure if you will find one in a 32 footer but possibly might find one in a 38 footer.
Not that the berth would make or break your deal, but it is something to consider.

Maybe others could help by stating what they might change on thier current boat or wish that they had done different. This might be a big help to others in thier search.
I think you are absolutely correct that a design with a centerline berth would be outstanding and equally correct that you aren't likely to find many boats under 35' that have such a thing. (I think some of the late Pearson 34's have a centerline berth up front). My wife is pretty happy with a roomy v-berth, but a pullman or atwhwart ship berth that allows the outside person to get up would be an improvement to me.

I have been known to have a beer or three when we're on the boat and usually have to "check the anchor" one or more times overnight. Any arrangement that allows me to exit the berth without moving my feet past my head would be an improvement over the V-berth in my book. That said, the v-berth of most sailboats is the best ventalated sleeping area so it needs to be comfortable even if the aft cabin is the "primary". Hot temps may cause you to relocate sometimes.

The other area that I think lots of people would change is the saloon table. Centerline tables seem to always be in the way and the tables in "U" shaped designs always seem too big becuase they double as the filler for a berth. My preference would be a bulkhead mounted fold down but unfortunately most of the boats with that feature have been crossed off our list due to conflicts with other selection critieria.
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