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Old 03-17-2009
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bacampbe is on a distinguished road
In Market for late model 30 ft

After several years of inland lake sailing on my ancient Spirit 23, and a couple of Caribbean charters under our belt, my wife and I are getting the upgrade itch. We're looking for something newish in the 30-33 ft cruiser range. It will be in a slip on a DFW area lake for the time being. I gather that, for this purpose, one of the big 3 production boats would be ideal, for various reasons (no blue water cruising, light air performance, local dealer support, parts/service availability, etc.)

We're looking for something late model, with the hopes of spending less time working on the boat and more time sailing. Our budget is fairly flexible--less expensive is always better, but we are willing to pay for good condition.

From that perspective, I have two questions:

1) Assuming it is acceptable to talk about specific brokers and dealer's, can anyone offer opinions one way or another on any in north Texas? Or can anyone point to a good source for reputation info?

2) I've read through a lot of the sailnet discussion concerning dealer margins on new boats. Is there a good source in general for new boat price vs cost-to-dealer info? I'm thinking something like Edmunds for car research. I obviously don't expect anything that mainstream, but anything is better than what I have found so far for _new_ boats. (I've found lots of info on used boats.)
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Old 03-17-2009
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I think the Catalina 309 is a great boat and a worthy successor to the old 30. It's great on deck, and has a large and very useable cabin. If I wasn't freakishly tall, we would have seriously considered one. I haven't sailed one, but I know people that have and they said it was good.
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