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  #11  
Old 04-09-2008
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I shopped with my daughter and son-in-law for their first boat in the Puget Sound area last summer. They had a similar price range. We sifted through a lot of chafe before finding a reasonably maintained little cruiser.

Reaslistically, you'll probably end up buying two boats. The first one to make all your mistakes in while sailing locally, the second one when you have a better idea what you like and dislike.
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2008
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I have a SJ24 and have raced an SJ28 and SJ30 they are all old IOR boats narrow with lots of sail area. They all do the death roll down wind and are quite tender. No they wonít turtle LOL they tend to be quite wet and with a narrow bow and stern they like to dive into waves when beating to windward. When racing in above 20 knots I quite often have blue water to the mast. They are all great club race boats and local cursers but not built strong enough or designed for off shore. If this is still the boat you like look at a shock Santana 3030PC early to mid 80s. faster and will be my next boat.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2008
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Thanks, more ?

Thanks for everyone's honesty. It's immensely helpful. I have more questions.
We have a total budget of $20,000.We wanted to spend $10,000 on a boat, and $10,000 on: life raft, electronics, repairs, sails/rigging, possibly a watermaker and solarpanels.
We plan to do an extensive amount of sailing before purchasing, but this is going to be a leap of faith.
Would it be better to spend more money on a boat and save later for the other stuff? Could we make a trip from WA to Mexico spending more on a boat and less on extra stuff? What would be a more appropriate budget? THANKS!
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpdreamer View Post
Thanks for everyone's honesty. It's immensely helpful. I have more questions.
We have a total budget of $20,000.We wanted to spend $10,000 on a boat, and $10,000 on: life raft, electronics, repairs, sails/rigging, possibly a watermaker and solarpanels.
We plan to do an extensive amount of sailing before purchasing, but this is going to be a leap of faith.
Would it be better to spend more money on a boat and save later for the other stuff? Could we make a trip from WA to Mexico spending more on a boat and less on extra stuff? What would be a more appropriate budget? THANKS!
That is a healthy question.

In general two factors to consider when judging boats:

1. Older usually means cheaper and if it has been actually cruised you will find more gear onboard. It also means that you potentially have more maintenance issues depending on the upkeep of such items and the boat itself. So you pay more but maybe save a little on the extras that are included because in reality - additional gear doesn't really equate to much on the resale value in most cases - just allows a boat to stand out over others similarly listed.

2. Finding a boat that you want to upgrade however, is a costly expense - for example - if you have not priced watermakers - they are one of the most expensive pieces of gear to have on board. If I recall correctly somewhere in the 8-12K region and that assumes that its a DIY install. Solar - you are still loking at around 1-3K minimum entry point. Unless you get lucky and find working used condition items.

In the end, you need to find a boat that YOU are comfortable with. Do not by a vessel without spending a few ours test sailing - and get involved in the process. MY approach when buying is to find everything I hate or is troublesome..then after all things are evaluated determine how much of the items I can not stand relate to my sailing habits.

The problem with your question - is there is no right answer. Look for a boat that suits your tastes, habits, and potentially has most of the gear you want upfront. Because every item you add is more time away from sailing - and for a new to you purchase, it can kinda kill both your motivation as well as budget.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2008
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If you search for "albin vega" there is a fellow who has sailed his little Albin far and wide. They aren't large, but have done some substantial voyages and might fit into your budget.
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2008
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I second the albin vega great little crusing boat and fast for what it is.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2008
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I would suggest you read Sensible Cruising by Don Casey and Cost Conscious Cruiser by Lin and Larry Pardey. They won't suggest boats as much but offer some ideas about what to look for. In fact pretty much anything by these 3 authors would be good.

Also, look at reviews and articles here on Sailnet. All are excellent in my opinion and best of all the Sailnet articles are free.

You can also look here for some specifis boats BoatUS Boat Reviews
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2008
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As a comparison, we are spending almost double your entire budget to outfit a boat about twenty years newer boat for this year’s Pacific Cup. Granted, we do need to pass safety inspections and need to pass muster with our insurance company, but suffice to say, outfitting a boat for long distance is expensive. Generally, boats that I see in your price range (and age) are going to require a lot of work and basic things (excluding cruising gear) can easily run $10k. The market place for boats is pretty efficient and I doubt that you will find a boat anywhere near “cruise away” condition in your price range. I don’t know you and I don’t know what your comfort level is and perhaps you can make do with a lot less than I can. Lin and Larry Pardey are famous for cruising on little to no money. Read their books to see how they do it. They’re style of cruising is a bit too ascetic for my tastes, especially after I took a tour of their boat in last year’s Jack London show.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2008
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Consider some of the problems you are very likely to encounter on a 30ft10K boat:
Complete bottom job w/blister repair (2-3K)
Engine, even small things like waterpumps and exhaust elbows will put you at 1K up to 8K for a re power.
Rig: 1-2K easy
Sails: you can get used, but a good cruising main/ jib is going to be 2k per sail
Electrical: even the most simple jobs quickly turn into costly nightmares
Fittings: Thruhulls, figure $100-200 per thruhull if they need to be replaced

See where this is going? When you start talking watermakers and liferafts, to be frightfully honest, I get the sense you guys haven't done your homework. My experience has shown, doing all work myself, starting at with a reasonably well maintained boat, with discounted parts that a reliable 30 foot cruiser is going to end up in the 30-40k range. This is without a liferaft, water maker, or any other luxury item. Things do get simple fast when you downsize. I have no doubt a Vega, Triton or Contessa 26 would get you well within your budget, but things get so expensive so fast!!! From San Diego to Washington for instance, I spent $1,900 on repairing broken equipment alone, not to mention fuel (mainsail, autopilot, and alternator). And I thought my boat was ready!!! Approach these things with great skepticism, but keep your dream. I really, firmly, really, advocate the idea of getting a boat to learn on, even live aboard, first.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2008
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Jody....Your new boat purchase must have cleared up your RAM issues...... And your Hard drive has been Spot on and a joy to read...Great advice ...
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