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  #1  
Old 01-14-2008
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Advice needed: First boat purchase for experienced sailor

Hey everyone. I've been lurking around Sailnet for a while, but I'm relatively new here. I recently moved very close to the Chesapeake Bay--FINALLY--and we're looking into buying a used boat. Now, just to give you the quick background, I have 30 years sailing experience, used to teach sailing, and we regularly chartered boats in the 30 -40 foot range in the Chesapeake Bay. However, I've never owned a boat as an adult. So while I'm comfortable skippering larger boats, I'm well aware that chartering is very different than owning, and don't want to go nuts on my first boat, which might been not so big.

So I'm looking for a boat to sail regularly on the Bay for a couple and one teenager, maybe an occassional guest couple (usually without the teenager though, so it would be 4). We'll sail many weekends (anchoring out mostly), and one 2-3 week trip in the summer.

My budget is probably around 30 -35k, although I might be able to swing a touch more. I'm aware of lots of boats, but haven't been on board a lot of those that I can afford. I'm currently thinking a length in the low 30s, draft under 5 feet (closer to 4 is better) for the Bay. I'd like a boat that sails well, though it doesn't have to be a racer. If I race, it will be rare. Just don't want to be the slow boat "on the block". Looks are important, but subjective.

So might you have any suggestions? I didn't put any of my favorites in the list because I don't want to steer you down any particular path, other than my practical needs. I know I'll need to take a look at some of these boats eventually, but right now I'm just looking for suggestions. Ideas? Thoughts?
Thanks in advance,
J
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Old 01-14-2008
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You'll undoubtedly get lots of "my first boat was a..." responses and everyone has their biases and favorites.

you might want to read this

http://sailquest.com/market/survey.htm
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Old 01-14-2008
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Welcome to sailnet. I'd highly recommend you read this post to get the most of the time you spend on sailnet.

I generally recommend that you reserve about 15-20% of your boat buying budget for refitting, repairing, upgrading and customizing any boat you do buy, since boats are not like cars and often need such changes to be best suited for the way you'll use it.

For a couple with a teenager, you'll probably want to get a boat with two cabins, since teenagers will generally want a bit more privacy than a younger child. Having a second cabin will also be useful when you're sailing with a second couple.

A C&C 32 centerboard might be a good choice, but it only has a v-berth and a quarter berth. The Endeavor 32 is much the same setup. The Ericson 32 shoal draft, Hunter Vision 32, Morgan 321 and are all much the same layout.

The Irwin 32 Center Cockpit actually has both an aft cabin and a v-berth cabin, but some consider it a bit odd looking, since center cockpits tend to not work quite so well on boats shorter than 40'.

The Freedom 32 has an aft cabin and v-berth. The O'Day 322 and Pearson 32 are also possible choices. A lot of the previous brands make 34' or 35' boats as well.

The Tartan 34C is a good solid boat, as is the Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus.

The Allmand 35 has an aft cabin as well as a good size v-berth forward cabin. Catalina and Hunter make some decent coastal cruisers in this size range as well.

Here is a search of boats that might suit your needs.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Thanks k1vsk and sailingdog. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm with you on the two cabins being ideal, but decided that I don't want to limit my search to only boats with two. When I was a kid, we had our family of four on a 28 for 6 weeks of coastal cruising. I was the same age as our teenager. While I don't plan to repeat that, I think we'd be OK with a decent quarterberth on a boat not so small as 28 feet.

That said, I'd be happy with two private cabins too. And thanks for the reminder about keeping 15-20% of my budget available for upgrades, etc.

One quick question--what are the going thoughts on buying a 30 year old boat? I had originally been thinking I wouldn't go much older than 20-22 years. How likely is it to get a boat that old that's reliable, etc?
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Old 01-14-2008
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You're probably not going to find many boats in your size range that have three cabins.

One advantage of getting a 30-year old boat is that many of the major systems may have already been replaced on them, where on many 20-22 year old boats, the systems are close to the point of needing replacement. These systems can include the standing rigging, the engine, the spars, and the electrical system.

If the hull is in decent shape, and the boat passes survey, a 30 year old boat may well be an excellent deal.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 01-14-2008
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welcome and here's what i think..

having sailed all over the ches since the mid 60's, here's what i think..
of course first question is where "near the bay" are you?..where will your cruising grounds be for the most part?
also, what kind of sailing will you do..any racing, or mostly cruising stuff?
what/where will you keep her?..as in budget for marina per month..
based on what i'm gleaning, you might want to look at a sabre 34 with a k/cb config..make sure you get the centerboard checked out/ serviced, sooner than later..this will give you 4'3", board full up (iirc) some decent ones out there in your range..most will need some tlc and elbone grease
i am a sabre appreciator, 2 in my immediate family. '84 34' and my '90 30'
if length is no object, some really rough late 70's early 80's tartan 37s can be had..but most are "rode hard put away wet.."..if you are handy, and can do most of the cosmetic work yourself, this is a great bay boat..they are exceptionally well made cruisers...pearson..erikson and of course the c&c's are worth a look.
so..where did ya say you were gonna sail..i do know some decent brokers..scott vail in irvington, and brett or barry starke in oxford..all are great guys..know the bay and are stand-up folks, all.
i bought my J/24 and sabre through scott...tred-avon yacht brokers (barry and brett), graciously spent lots of time w/ me and directed me towards, and away from some boats..
if you are north bay, give em a call..southern..scott's your man.
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Last edited by sanctuarysam; 01-14-2008 at 11:10 PM.
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Hi Sam,
Thanks for the reply. I'm in Edgewater, MD, and I live in a community where a slip is very inexpensive, so I want to take advantage of that. It won't be a fancy marina, but it'll be cheap.

Any recommendations you have for both brokers, and eventually surveyors in the Annapolis area are greatly appreciated. I won't go to anyone who hasn't been recommended. Just not worth my time to guess at who's honest and good at their job, and who's not. Any recommendations on the western side of the Bay?

I plan to be primarily cruising, by the way. Very little racing. I like fast boats though, but I would be happy with simply a well-rounded boat. No pigs.

I'm reasonably handy--I work on my own cars. However, I want a boat that I can sail this summer, not something that's a project just to get it usable. All boats are projects, but you know what I mean. Thanks again!
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Old 01-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josrulz View Post
Hi Sam,
Thanks for the reply. I'm in Edgewater, MD, and I live in a community where a slip is very inexpensive, so I want to take advantage of that. It won't be a fancy marina, but it'll be cheap.

Any recommendations you have for both brokers, and eventually surveyors in the Annapolis area are greatly appreciated. I won't go to anyone who hasn't been recommended. Just not worth my time to guess at who's honest and good at their job, and who's not. Any recommendations on the western side of the Bay?

I plan to be primarily cruising, by the way. Very little racing. I like fast boats though, but I would be happy with simply a well-rounded boat. No pigs.

I'm reasonably handy--I work on my own cars. However, I want a boat that I can sail this summer, not something that's a project just to get it usable. All boats are projects, but you know what I mean. Thanks again!

well..i had an awful experience in nappytown..broker was such a loooooser...
tred-avon in oxford gets my vote..i referred a fellow sailnetter to them, and he found a beauty in oriental nc for this guy..just nice decent professionals..
surveyors..well i used a guy my broker recommended (keep in mind i've known scott vail all my life..he still races w/ my brother...so the "wink wink nod nod survey wasn't an issue here, my guy found damn near everything..did misss the spent hot water heater though..no biggie), but he is in irvington..but..may well be worth a call..all those deltaville/fishing bay boats...
anyway..glad i could help, even if in only a small way..
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Last edited by sanctuarysam; 01-15-2008 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Josrulz

I would also recommend the Tred Avon fellows although thats a hike from Edgewater. I have also had luck with Crusader Yachts in Annpolis.

As far a surveyors I highly recommend David Manning (410-263-5852) who has surveyed my two boats. He is out of Annapolis. He climbs the mast and looks in every nook and crany and is a great advocate for the buyer.

Dave
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Old 01-15-2008
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In your budget range, and desired length don't let the Hunter and Catalina haters get to you - they make fine Bay boats. I'm right around the corner from you on the Magothy river and have many friends that have Hunters, Catalina's, older Pearson's, CS's, Bendy's and such in the 30 - 34 foot range and use them as you have descibed you would. They go all over the bay and throughly enjoy them. Do budget in a reasonable dinghy with a small outboard, you'll want it for gunkholing - dinghy rides to St Micheal's for dinner and such.
You could go older and get the more exclusive, more expensive, blue water capable boats, but frankly, why?

Also - there are many yacht clubs in the area, some large and expensive (we know who they are) and some smaller community based ones (mine charges only 45 a year for example) - join one for the social aspects. Mine has 6-8 raft ups a year, 3-4 picnic's and regular weekly sail races on the Magothy. They are well worth the price for instant 'meet the neighbor' type of friendships.
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