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Old 09-07-2008
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30' for $15-20k -- dangers?

I'm seeing a number of 30' boats in the 1976-1980 range (C&C,
Catalina, Lancer, Santana, etc) around the Puget Sound area for $15-20k, and of course lots for $29-30k. If I bought a $15k boat from 1978, presuming the engine checked out okay (some of these are Atomic 4 gasoline) would I be likely facing any safety issues, or does the price likely mostly reflect their age and relative paucity of fancy electronics? I'd be mostly daysailing, at most weekending around Puget Sound. In 5-10 years when my son's bigger we might want to cruise as far as the San Juan islands or Port Townsend. No racing, never offshore. I'm mostly concerned with a safe boat for casual use that would give my family a decent ride (ie., not flailing around when it hits a powerboat wake), able to be shorthanded -- say with one BCC/BB-qualified skipper and another adult who could be directed to tack a jib from the cockpit.

Last edited by anthony11; 09-07-2008 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 09-07-2008
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In most cases, price will reflect age, nothing safety oriented, unless some major part is missing.

We got our 85 30' boat for just over 20K, could have spent less if we wanted, but it was clean, and something we liked.

Any boat from the 20' with a small cabin on up can sail here in puget sound, up and into the sanjuans too!

Marty
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Old 09-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
In most cases, price will reflect age, nothing safety oriented, unless some major part is missing.
Of course I see ~1980 boats going for $20-30k too, so I have to wonder if a less expensive boat (late 70's Hunter or C&C for <$20k) is asking for trouble. Worst case and some problem develops on a $15k boat, I could still likely sell it for $5-10k, right? With a $40k boat, there's more to loose it seems.
Quote:
We got our 85 30' boat for just over 20K, could have spent less if we wanted, but it was clean, and something we liked.
One thing I've seen is boats with PO's who've gone crazy, installing radar, multiple hardwire GPS units with a "server", etc. Stuff that I'm sure was originally expensive, but which today seems either pointless (radar) or easily obviated by a $200 pocket color Garmin etc.
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Any boat from the 20' with a small cabin on up can sail here in puget sound, up and into the sanjuans too!
I sailed a Santana 20 on Lake Washington once in choppy water, and took quite a beating. Last weekend my (admittedly pregnant) wife and I rented a J24 out of Orcas and sailed/motored around between there and Jones/Waldron. At one point a jackass in a powerboat (yes, really! ) blew past us and his wake jostled us a bit, enough that the Merc 5's prop came out of the water once and my wife kinda freaked at the motion. Back in June we passengered on a daysail on a C&C 36, and powering back at night we had (guesstimate) 3' swells that she wasn't doing too well with, so the comfort factor is important to me - especially when the baby starts coming along. I can join a club and maybe end up on 25' boats a lot of the time, but am concerned about how the comfort angle for the two of them, especially overnighting.
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Old 09-07-2008
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If the above boats drove you and wife a bit crazy, then you want to look at heavier style boats than the ones you are looking at! I grew up living on Lk Washington, my step dad and I used to sail our 21' CB boat all the time, including 20-30 knot days with 2-3' waves from out home tween Kirkland and Juanita, over to sandpoint and back, down to 520 etc. I do not remember ever getting really beat up, until coming home from CLark Island North or Orcas in 5-6' seas, and 30-40 knot winds one day. Then the prop would come out of the water etc.

The boats you have sailed are on the lighter end of things for there sizes. A Cat 25 would be a bit heavier than a J24, and most certainly have better handling etc. Same with a Cat 36, or a Tartan 37 over the C&C 36.

I've had my Jeanneu 30 in 30+ winds out of Edmonds, in 4-6' seas, and never felt unsafe, except when we had too much Sail up, and stuffed the rail in the water, but reef, lower SA, and away we went!

Wife on the other hand, does get a bit nrevous in windier conditions, and I have to reef a bit sooner etc, including a day we went north to Port Ludlow, 110 and a double reef in low 20 knot winds, did not lose that much speed, but she was happier, wind lowered a bit an hr later, took out 2nd reef, 30-60 min later out came the reef, and wind was down to 10-15 and runnng down wind into the port, so out came the 135!

Not sure where you live, but a yr of sailing out of Windworks, or Seattle Sailing on different sized boats could be good for the both of you to decide what style of boat would work best for the two of you here in Puget sound.

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Old 09-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Not sure where you live, but a yr of sailing out of Windworks, or Seattle Sailing on different sized boats could be good for the both of you to decide what style of boat would work best for the two of you here in Puget sound.
I'm in Magnolia (just barely). I'm aware of SSC and Windworks. Windworks' price structure seems appealing for occasional use; SSC's for more frequent sailing. SSC's fleet is mostly J's, and with the wife and kid onboard I'll need to be on a boat that's more cruiser-oriented. Whatever I do will likely need to wait until spring. I keep bouncing back and forth between a newer, spiffier 25' or a larger albeit older/more basic 28-30', the thought being that a larger boat would offer more motion-comfort for the wife and kid.
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Old 09-24-2008
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Well

There is USED and USED-UP


Every sailboat part gets used-up and has to be replaced over time ,hopefully before it fails

Be it a rope or rigging or rudder bearing ect

When you get into bigger boats like a 35' and the rod rigging runs 5K and is a MUST replace item it adds up


If you get a PO that ran the boat into the ground it can be REALLY COSTLY compared to the same boat that had things replaced or repaired while they were small problems
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Old 09-24-2008
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30 ft boats

There is another reason Catalina 30's are less expensive than other boats of the same age and size. As any good free marketer should realize, it is supply and demand! There are more Cat 30's than ANY other production keelboat. Some other boats are very nice and desirable, but tend to have their price driven by their relative scarcity. There are always, and I mean always, a few Cat 30's for sale somewhere. A Cat 30 is a comfortable, very roomy, dependable boat for which parts are still very much available. "Quality" can tend to be a subjective term, and I have owned two sailboats renowned for their quality. Don't discount the Catalinas.
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Old 09-24-2008
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At 30 years old ANY sailboat's standing rigging should be considered suspect. I have seen 30 year old Tartans that were beautiful . . . and six year old Tartans that had problems. In 95% of the cases of rig failures for most any sailboat it is the owner and lack or maintenance or mechanical difficulties (i.e. lots of jibes that allowed the boom to smack the rigging hard. Improper size clevis pins in chainplates. FAilure to coat the threads with lanolin or similar, etc.)

Have the boat surveyed. That will protect you somewhat and should bring the worst faults to light. Moisture in the deck, hull, blisters, wood rot. None really dangerous but tres expensive to have a yard correct or time consuming to do yourself.

Catalinas are not bad boats. I owned a 34 for six years (the one in my avatar) and it was a peach. I wouldn't have taken it around Cape Horn, but for my sailing it was ideal. They are just not finished to a high level of interior cabinetry and jointery. Not bad . . . for the price. I caught a couple of factory goofs that a Swan or CS probably never would have had, but nothing serious.
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Old 09-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony11 View Post

so the comfort factor is important to me - especially when the baby starts coming along.
The comfort factor was very important to us as well. Look at this link, Sail Calculator scroll down to where it is yellow and plug in two boats.

For instance:

Pick a J24 and compare it to a Pearson 30. Look at the Motion Comfort (where the bigger the number is more comfortable. 24 compared to 10.5 is a BIG difference.

Now - this is NOT the Bible! There are lots of factors, but it may give you food for thought.

And yes - you can get a very nice boat from the 70s or 80s for under 20K - We did! We also paid for a very good surveyor.
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Old 09-25-2008
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In today's buyers market, it is not very hard to find a very nice 28-30 foot boat from the late 70s to early-mid 80s for under $20k. No need to settle for one that's beat up, poorly maintained, or hasn't been updated over the years. For what you propose, a wide variety of boats would be perfectly suitable.
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