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  #1  
Old 09-08-2008
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Younger 27-33' cruiser for family of 4 + dog options?

Well my wife is on board with buying our own boat someday - not exactly sure when "someday" is, but she did agree to start the process of joining the local yacht club. So I figure it is time to start narrowing the field and looking at suitable boats so that we can make a move if the right opportunity comes along.

Family Background
- I'm a lifelong sailor, no learning curve required. She knows how to sail, but needs to work on her self confidence. We have 2 young daughters aged 3 & 2 months. The 3 year old has a couple dozen days (including overnights) experience on the grandparent's Freedom 38 on & around Buzzard's Bay and so far loves it.

Location We intend to keep said boat in Newburyport, MA (tidal river inlet with strong current) for those not familiar with the north shore of Mass

Use Day/evening sails plus coastal cruising - primarily 2-3 day weekends (Rockport, Marblehead, Portsmouth, NH etc) with annual week long cruise - North to Maine or South to Cape & Islands

Mandatory Features Inboard Diesel, Separate Head, Cooking Stove, icebox/Cooler, transom swim platform - "sugar scoop" minimum of 1 private cabin (to put the girls to bed), <=10 years old - I want to enjoy the boat, not refit it.

Nice to have Features walk thru transom, 2 cabins

Price <=$50K preferred (more psychological than fiscal limit), could swing more. Resale value is important as there is a good chance of upgrading someday (as girls growt and wife's sense of adventure get bigger)

A quick search of yachtworld 27-33 feet <$75K yields the expected Hunters, Catalinas and Beneteaus. Are there any other less known brands I should consider?

Should I stretch my budget on the initial purchase price with the hopes of making it up on resale someday? Bumping the price up to $100K on yachtworld simply yields more recent examples of the above boats and more in the 33 foot size vs. 31 & under.

Lastly - any good resources on pricing used boats? I suspect there is a difference between asking price on yachtworld and actual selling price - is it 5%, 15%???
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2008
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Dehler, Jeanneau, Bavaria, Etap and a few others might also be well worth looking at.

Did you want wheel or tiller steering. Max-on's Dehler 33 has a tiller and I like his boat a lot for a lead mine. I don't know if you'd be able to find one, as they're not very well distributed this side of the pond.
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Old 09-08-2008
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First Advice.....

Don't keep your boat in Newburyport if you actually want to use it. Reasons:
  1. Merrimack Current/Tide at Mouth is a PITA for Sailboats. Timing is everything. Ideal time to go out in is High Slack (either side) or Low Slack on Rising. All other times either excessive current or excessive waves. Any onshore wind wind causes standing waves at river mouth, no matter what the tide level is.
  2. It's almost 3 miles of slow motoring to mouth to Newburyport City Docks.
  3. Rt. 1A Bridge is tight underneath, especially if a strong current or wind.
  4. Can't really sail in the river. Either too shallow or too narrow, so first 40 and last 40 minutes of your sail time is you getting in and out of river.

I stored my boat up there for the winter last year and will never do it again. Boatyard was great, navigating that river wasn't. I missed the tide and was under a time constraint and went in on an out going tide near max flow. I had my Yanmar 27 HP motor full out and did 1 kt SOG for 20 minutes until I was through the jetty area. It took me almost 70 minutes to go 3 nm at close to full power.

My strong suggestion is to park your boat in Salem or Beverly Harbor and make the extra 25 minute drive from Newburyport. You'll never have a problem with strong current, tide or standing waves.

As far as 27-33 ft boats, I don't know of any that have "true" 2 cabins below. I think that you may have to go up to 36 for that. Also $50K is going to be tough for a boat that size (and of decent quality and shape with stuff) <10 years old.

I personally think that you should also consider a mid 80's Pearson either 33-2 or 34-1 ft boat or an Oday 34. Less than $50K, roomy, decent performers and solidly built. A well maintained one will hold it's value. A CS 36 could be a good boat too.

Older boats are basically done depreciating. Keep it maintained, and you can sell it for what you bought it for, or close, in a few years if the sailing thing doesn't work out.

DrB
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Old 09-08-2008
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Hi,

I'm in the same boat as you... looking for that family sailboat <$50k. You can do pretty good on a mid to late 80's 30-34 O'day, 30-34 Pearson, maybe the 33 or 34 Tartans. But for a family of 4 I think getting a 30'-34' would be ideal, especially if you'll be doing long weekends and that annual week long trip.

Here is a 1988 two cabin layout 33 Pearson, also has the aft head which really opens up the salon.

1988 Pearson 33 Boat For Sale

Also check out the 31' Pearsons, cica 1987 to 1991. Not two cabins, but a nice boat with a lot of room.

Dr. B makes a good point too on a boat from the 80's. It really has reached the end of its depreciable life, so you shouldn't lose too much money on it if you buy smartly.

Good luck and have fun looking for that perfect boat.
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Old 09-09-2008
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Thanks for the advice so far. I suppose an older boat is financially the best solution the trick is finding one in "bristol" condition. I've always thought a Freedom 30 or 32 would be a great boat (it reminds me of a 3/4 version of my parent's 38). Haven't sailed on yet, but have been aboard a couple.

Regarding the Merrimack conditions, I've been out a couple times on a 17' whaler - didn't seem too bad, though because I was on a powerboat, I didn't pay any attention to tides and currents - It very well could have been slack tide. I will investigate further.

Last edited by hazmat17; 09-09-2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 09-09-2008
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For the jeanneau's, if you go back to the mid 80's look for the Atallia, 32', Arcadia -30' I have one of these, or the sunshine, 36'. The arcadia and sunshine are Tony Castro designs, fairly fast for there time period. Later models after 86, you will start seeing the "SUN" in front of the model, ie Sun Shine, Sun Dream, legende then on to the more recent odysees and fast versions. The sunfast versions is the same hull interior etc, but has a deeper keel, taller mast, some versions lead instead of steel keels, larger and usually one to two more winches etc. They were the race cruise version, where as the odysees was a crusie to cuise race version.

My boat was owned by a couple for 20 yrs, spent upwards of two months going from south puget sound, up to desolation sound in canada thru the san juans. Most of the smaller models like mine, have a deep, shoal fixed keel, and a CB version.

I have two cabins, whether some say I have two full cabins, I suppose depends upon you view of what 2 cabins are.

On Yachtworld, RCR yachts has a Sun Fast 32 for 90K. TO me, that would be the cats meow in your shows. But I am prejediced in my view.

Good luck
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Old 09-09-2008
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Current in the Merrimack

Hazmat17,

Here is a photo

of a NavAid located in the narrowest part of the Merrimack entrance buried by current/out going tide. I took this as I was puttering along at 1 kt past it in a sailboat under full power.

I strongly think it is a better option to put your boat in Beverly or Salem harbors. Aside with not having to deal with this if you miss time it, you can be in open sailing water within 5 minutes of leaving your mooring instead of the 30 or 40 minute crawl down the river to open water. I don't know where you'de be coming from on land, but Salem/Beverly are only 25 minutes or so from Newburyport on I-95/MA-114.

DrB

Last edited by DrB; 09-09-2008 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008
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Boats

Hello,

The original poster required a swim platform / sugar scoop transom. That rules out most boats from the 80's. Some notable exceptions are the O'day 35 (1986+) and the Newport 33 (1985+, but not all have them). Note that the only difference between the O'day 34 and 35 is the swim platform. I think the Hunter 'Legend' series from the late 80's also has a swim platform, but I'm not sure

In the 90's many more manufacturers added the sugar scoop, but manufactures like Tartan and Sabre were late. I don't think you will find one of those with a sugar scoop for near $50K.

My last comment is that while I understand you wanting a boat less than 10 years old, when you start seriously looking you will find that some 10 year old boats are trash, and some 20 year old boats are mint.

IMHO (and I am prejudiced) an O'day 35 would be a good choice. You can find them in excellent condition for under $40K.

Good luck,
Barry
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Last edited by BarryL; 09-09-2008 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008
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"Family Background - I'm a lifelong sailor, no learning curve required. She knows how to sail, but needs to work on her self confidence. We have 2 young daughters aged 3 & 2 months. The 3 year old has a couple dozen days (including overnights) experience on the grandparent's Freedom 38 on & around Buzzard's Bay and so far loves it."



IMHP you are sailing alone as mom has her hands so full watching the young family that to even handle dock lines right now would a problem



Tommays
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Old 09-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

The original poster required a swim platform / sugar scoop transom. That rules out most boats from the 80's. Some notable exceptions are the O'day 35 (1986+) and the Newport 33 (1985+, but not all have them). Note that the only difference between the O'day 34 and 35 is the swim platform. I think the Hunter 'Legend' series from the late 80's also has a swim platform, but I'm not sure

In the 90's many more manufacturers added the sugar scoop, but manufactures like Tartan and Sabre were late. I don't think you will find one of those with a sugar scoop for near $50K.

My last comment is that while I understand you wanting a boat less than 10 years old, when you start seriously looking you will find that some 10 year old boats are trash, and some 20 year old boats are mint.

IMHO (and I am prejudiced) an O'day 35 would be a good choice. You can find them in excellent condition for under $40K.

Good luck,
Barry
Having experienced the sugar scoop transom on the Freedom 38, I really would miss one, but I suppose I could cobble together some kind of (ugly) bolt on platform to serve the same purpose.

I will be opening up my search to include the 1980s as well.
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