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Old 02-08-2009
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odd range of boats to look at?

Hey all,
We've bailed from the rat race and live in a canal front cottage on the Albemarle on the northern Outer Banks. Time to populate the dock so looking for our first shoal draft (~4'6" or less) coastal cruiser. Draft is a big issue in these parts. I've raced Hobies, Lightnings and windsurfers in my youth; been a longtime sailboard instructor and am probably the oldest kiteboarding instructor on the Outer Banks .

No blue water in the plans, just Wed eve beer can races (no racer needed but no dog either), extended weekenders to Oriental, Ocracoke and the Chesapeake. Just the wife and one daughter, but single handling too. Maybe a few friends for sunset sails. Here is the odd list on Yachtworld that caught my attention:

Catalina 36 wing Keel: 1992, my upper self imposed $ limit ($59.9k)
Tartan 37cb: 1976, classic with major updates, ($55k)
Irwin 40 Citation cb, 1980, major rehab, looks fast ($44.9k)
Irwin 34 Citation cb, 1985, lower self imposed size limit, clean, and in my neighborhood, ($34.9k)

I realize detailed inspections, surveys, and final price negotiability are major factors. I've looked at some Tartans and the 34 Citation. Though not as popular as the Catalina or Tartan, the small Irwin feels adequate for the intended usage (New England PHRF 165?) and leaves more $ for refit and other water toys, but hard to say how we'll feel after a couple of seasons.

Am I way off base or not??? Would you approach the search differently?

Last edited by Live2kite; 02-08-2009 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 02-08-2009
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Getting that winged keel stuck in the mud could create a lovely piece of sculputre on a pedestal for passers-by to enjoy. While the big Irwin may look fast, it probably isn't. At 165PHRF, the smaller one isn't either. A shoal-draft C&C 33 Mark I rates 153, and that's for a shorter boat! We have a friend who singlehands his T37 Wednesday nights and manages quite well in the non-spinnaker division. A Tartan of that vintage probably has had time to develop just about all the issues it might, and have had them fixed. (You say major updates.) I'd suggest getting Practical Sailor's Used Boat Buyer's Guide and giving it a thorough read.
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Old 02-08-2009
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I used to own a wing keel O'Day 272LE, and I believe the stories of wing keels being impossible to extricate from a grounding are just plain wrong. We managed to run aground a few times (fortunately in sandy bottoms) and never found it extraordinarily hard to get off; never did any damage to the bottom either.
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Old 02-08-2009
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I would focus on centerboard boats for the Albermarle and Pamlico sounds. Any brand is suitable for what you want to do but of the ones you are looking at, the Tartan probably has the best build quality.
I would also agree that the C&C's in your range would be worth a look. Other options include some of the Charlie Morgan boats (not the out islands!) and perhaps the Britols and Sabres in your price range.
Ultimately...condition will vary greatly in boats of this age and keeping your options open and visiting lots of boat will lead you to the best one for your $$.
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Old 02-08-2009
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Cam; I'm glad you posted that. I don't want to hijack this thread; and if it looks like it will, I'll start a separate one, but what is the deal with the Out-Islands? I remember hearing several similar comments; but I can't remember (or find) any specifics.
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Thanks for the responses. I'll add C&C and Morgan cb's to the list. So is a PHRF of 145 really that different from a 165 or do these #'s tend to be skewed from actual boat speed. The problem with the boats I viewed so far was that even if they were cared for over most of their life, they always seemed somewhat neglected the last 3+ years (Tartans were a good example). I guess keeping a 30 yr old boat truly up to date is a constant process. Another challenge is that owners still seem to be clinging to pre market-meltdown price expectations of last summer. Oh well
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Old 02-08-2009
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Ajari...I think the Morgan OI posts you are referring to are largely centered around the suitability as blue water vessels...which they are not. (IMO)
My comment in this thread was about their poor sailing ability in light winds and to windward vs. L2K's desire to have a performance oriented cruising boat.

They make great live-aboards and nice, slow family coastal cruisers for the money if you can find one in good shape is the best I can say about them.
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