For what it's worth, a lot of the late 70's very early 80's boats were designed with the IOR rules in mind. Tiny transoms, very high-aspect, powerful sail rigs, and a jaundiced eye cast toward crew comfort. Also, these boats were really meant to be 'throw-aways'. Raced hard, put away wet, flogged along the way, and sold.
That's true of just about anything that has a "T" in the name. My old Morgan 36T was a One-Ton IOR racer. Creature comforts and crew comfort were just not considered very much. She can 'sleep' 8 people, according to the brochure. She can. In narrow, mostly uncomfortable 'pipe' berths, a quarter berth that is no place for a claustrophobic crewman, a "V" berth (an option, mind you--that's the sail locker up there!) and one quarter berth that is big enough, but you have to be willing to share your pillow with the navigator's butt.
They are fast. Perhaps not Grand Prix fast, but certainly good enough to show your stern to some of the modern boats, particularly when it's blowing hard. I chuckle as I watch the Benneteaus, Hunters and Catalinas run for their slips when it blows 15-20. I don't even consider a reef until it's up to 20.
If you want the Euro look, I can't help you. I've been on some, and my observation is, routinely, "What do you do when you're sailing? How do you get around the boat when it's heeled over? I went aboard a beautiful new 55 footer down in Miami a couple of years ago, and walked off shaking my head. That 2.3 million dollar boat belonged tied up securely to a dock. Wild horses couldn't have gotten me offshore in it.
I guess it boils down to 'what do you want to do?' Are you really going to sail the boat, or use it as a floating condo? If you want a condo, don't buy an old IOR boat. They're race horses. (And that includes: Morgans, Ericksons, S&S, C&C, Ranger, and any others of that vintage.)
As I said in another thread, if you have cash, you can buy a lot of boat right now. Don't be in a hurry. Look hard, then go home and think about it. Talk about what you really want, and what your real goals are. Then make an informed decision before you buy. Don't trust that super-nice, knowledgeable broker. He's a snake who wants you to buy something so he can put groceries on the table. The other guy's broker wants the same thing. They'll tell you anything. You just have to sort through the wheat from the chaff. Your best real friend is the surveyor. Find a good one who's familiar with the kind of boat you're buying. Don't rush him. Don't let the seller rush you. Our seller gave us one day for a survey and sea trial. When the smoke cleared, the surveyor was on the boat a full day plus a little, and then we went out and pushed the boat hard during the sea trial, and added more things to the list. It's your money. So squeeze that Lincoln head until it bleeds.
Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A captain friend down south found a Cheoy Lee at an unbelievably good price. The broker told him it was a medical problem with the owner. Jerry believed him. The surveyor was one who was recommended highly by Jerry's broker, and one the local insurance people were happy with.
Long story made short: The aft fuel tank, down deep in the keel, had a leak. It had been there a very long time. The owner used the forward tank, but intentionally left the aft tank empty, and didn't say anything. It didn't get caught in the survey (the surveyor's fault, to my way of thinking), and Jerry bought the boat. Then he filled both tanks up while looking forward to a christening trip to the Bahamas. They made it from the City Marina to Stilt Town when Jerry's wife said she smelled diesel below. Jerry lifted the floorboards and the bilge was approaching half full of diesel. Luckily, he had one of the new electronic bilge pump switches that don't trigger on petroleum products, so his 3500 gallon per hour pump didn't pump 150 gallons of diesel into Biscayne Bay. Ultimately, the yard bill to pull, fabricate and install two new tanks was close to $20,000 all told. I can't tell you how much Orpine Bilge Cleaner he's dumped into that boat to try and get rid of the smell.
So be careful out there right now, too. Boats are a bargain, but be careful of what you're buying. And don't believe a word the broker says.
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