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  #1  
Old 08-05-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

Hi,

I''m reletivley new to this. Still loving my little 20'', but at the same time, as soon as I''ve got her in bristol fashion, and a few thousand dollars in savings, she''s going away in favor of something I can take out of the country. (comfortably, for me. No offence to you loons..er, I mean brave souls who circumnavigate in capri''s and stuff. )

For a while I was in love with the Catalina''s. I''ve spent some time on older 27''s and 32''s and they sail well (in my limited experience, I dont know too many boats) and seem to be great little boats.

But now I''m talking to people, and finding alot of people with horror stories (normaly something that someone in a dock heard someone else say happened to thier cousin''s racing partners brother, etc) about how thier hulls are incredibly thin, and they''re not safe boats for doing any distance sailing.

Once agian, I''m new to this, and not sure what qualifies as "distance" sailing. Once I get a boat I feel comfortable living/cruising on, I want to go from LA down to Mexico for a while, and maybe through the canal, and shoot over to Louisiana. Eventualy I''d like to do something like the Transpac, but I have no delusions about skippering it till I''ve crewed on other peoples boats for a trip or two. That being said, if I blow $XX,XXX (yes, well under $100,000, but still alot of money for me, I''m 23.) on a boat, I dont want it to be something that cant do what I bought it for, and do it safley. If I could do it comfortably, and reletivley fast too(and those three are in exactly that order) that would be awsome.

I''m looking at less expensive boats. I can probibly afford $10,000-15,000. I''m pretty decent with electronic and basic maintenance stuff, so I dont need to get one in perfect condition, but something I can find in that price range with a solid hull, and rigging and sails that arent going to need to be replaced immediatley would be good.

So, do I stay stuck around SoCal with my little 20 untill I''m 110 years old and have finaly saved up the $300,000 to buy a new island packet? Or is there something near what I can afford (maybe something from the 60''s or 70''s that goes for that range?) that with a little work could be ready for a bit of out of country coastal (and maybe not so costal) cruising?

oh yhea, and if it can point too, I''ll kiss you! (or get a cute girl to ) I love my little Signet to death, but she sails like a square rig.

Thanks guys.

-- James
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

When I ws looking, I hadn''t a clue about sailboats. I looked at them all. Several consistancies about the Catalinas were, blisters. Lot''s of blisters. This is due to thin glass. Secondly, the strangest one, the v-berth sits at an angle towards the center of the boat. You either sleep with your feet to the bow, or the blood rudhes to you head. Not all of them had this problem, but a fare number of them. It was enough for me to take notice.

I have a Tartan T30. Nice. Some say a bit too small, as we''re gong from Cleveland to New Zealand, but I think it''s just right. Others I looked closely at were O''days and Cheoy Lee''s. I love the Cheoy Lees. But they were kind of expensive. I couldn''t find any of them in my price range, which is what yours is about. In the end I expect to have close to $40k into the boat for a full fitting out. New Sails, Fresh rigging, engine rebuild, new electronics etc..etc..etc..

Two things that I read that made my otherwise diim bulb flash with light:
1) "go small go now"
2) "buy the smallest boat that will suit your needs"
These made complete sense to me.

Look at yachtworld.com, they have a lot of boats. Also, here''s a Tartan for sale, it''s reconditioned: http://www.vintagemoderndesign.com/tartan30.html

I wish I had done this when I was younger. I''m 30.
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Old 08-15-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

You will find that sailors tend to generalize problems with boats. I have also sailed Catalina''s and really liked them for coastal cruising. When it came time to upgrade I choose a different boat, but not because the Catalina was a bad one, it just didn''t give me what I wanted.

Blisters are the stuff of nightmares. Older boats that are from the 80''s will already have displayed blisters if they are going to happen. You will often see epoxy bottem on the spec sheet. This translates to had em, fixed em. There are more questions after that, but its a good start.

I looked at speed, performance and of course if the boat was beautiful to me. Space and accomidations came into play as I moved up in size. I have sailed, US Yachts, Catalina''s, ODays, Rangers, C&C and Cals. All good boats, and all with things to complain about. Figure out what you want, find the boat that fits the bill and then due a careful survey.

Have fun and don''t generalize complaints.
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Old 08-29-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

Most of the production boats like Catalina''s are good boats. They all have their short commings. I would not worry about what people say, there are too many people sailing these boats to believe they are bad.

I have always had a love afair with C&C boats. I have also run into people that hate them. If you can find a good older one that has been taken care of, you will sail fast and safely.
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Old 08-29-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

Check out the book, 20 Small Boats To Take You Anywhere, by John Vigor. Most of them can be bought in the price range you could afford, but they aren''t always easy to find. My favorites in the book are the Cal 20 and the Pearson Triton.
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Old 08-30-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

There are quite a few older small boats that can be had for a good price that will serve you well. "Twenty Small Boats that can Take you Anywhere" is a terrific reference.

And I agree with the earlier poster, don''t worry too much about what people say about any particular company.

Two considerations: 1) you will be getting an older boat SO, get one in VERY good condition and one that has a solid glass hull, 2) Since you are young, this won''t be your last boat, so get one you can easily sell.

C&C''s are nice boats, sail great but like quite a few others, have a balsa cored hull. We can debate this back and forth, cored hull have many advantages but I will just say that a 20-25-30 yo cored hull may be a potential problem left for you to do an expensive repair on. C&C''s, Tartan''s, Sabre''s, Pearson''s are really nice boats, but many have cored hulls. Would be a tough decision.

One good thing about Catalina''s is that they are priced right and seem to have a ready market. I had an old beat up C-30 many years ago. Got it cheap and after a few years of use, sold it for what I paid for it. can''t fault that.

Jump up to 26-27ft and buy as new as you can. But always buy on condition.

Builders of good inexpensive small boats to consider:

Earlier Pearson''s (their glass hull boats)
1970''s era C&C ...I think some of these were solid glass
Catalina
Cal
Bristol
Morgan
Columbia
Ericson
Ranger


Hope this helps

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Old 08-30-2002
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windship has a little shameless behaviour in the past
What makes a good coastal cruiser?

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Old 08-30-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

As for Pearson''s, the vast majority have solid glass hulls and are not cored with balsa or anything else. As with nearly all boats, the decks ARE cored with balsa. I think there are some Pearson models with cored hulls, but none leap to mind right now. For example, my 1989 P-27 has a solid glass hull. Pearson went belly up in early 1991.
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Old 09-01-2002
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What makes a good coastal cruiser?

I can relate.

I spent 2 years looking for a boat. I settled on a 72 C&C 30 MK1. It cost me less than 12K out the door and surveyed very well. C&C''s often come with a nice compliment to sails because so many have been raced.

My best advise is to find a good surveyor BEFORE you find your boat. He may also have local knowledge of a particular boat that sounds like a great deal (as in a C&C 29 I was intersed in...He knew that it had been dismasted before and told me not to bother with a survey. The broker had NOT disclosed this to me).

I also looked at as many boats as I could. When you are going to look at a boat, do as much research as you can on that model.

You can also order reviews from practical sailor, look at owners websights and subscribe to email lists for almost any production boat as well as search boatcheck on sailnet.

One intersting site is www.CNCPhotoalbum.com

Good luck
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Old 09-02-2002
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windship has a little shameless behaviour in the past
What makes a good coastal cruiser?

Are we talking about coastal crusiers or bay boats?

Dennis
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