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SLObrett 04-11-2009 06:04 PM

balboa 20? first(sail)boat advice
ive been lookin for a boat to learn on for a couple years now..and im tired of talkin about it ;)

this summer i need to get a starter boat..ive been contemplating just finding a hobie cat or prindle but i think my wife would enjoy a monohull with a little cabin a bit more... we are obviously on a tight budget and just want to get out there....

so a 1969 blaboa 20 is on the market, ready to go in our price range.. cant find much info with the search button. any thoughts?

much appreciated!

bobmcgov 04-11-2009 11:53 PM

You'll probably have more luck researching the Ensenada 20 -- a very similar boat (the RK20 is another version). Lyle Hess design -- VERY solid little boat. The Balboas generally (but not always) have an external swing keel -- it doesn't retract into the hull. This means the boat doesn't pull onto a beach and is tougher to launch, but it removes the Great Wall of Ensenada (keel trunk) from the interior, making it less cluttered. The E20 has about the largest cabin in it class, due to its flush decks and small cockpit; the B20 is pokier down below. The E20 has a ridiculously over-sized mast and no spreaders; the B20 spars are a bit more proportional and generally use spreaders. Either set-up is fine.

These are not fast boats. They weigh in at a 1700 lbs and carry only 174 sqft of working sail, and their PHRF rating is around 300. If you live in a light air region, a big genoa is a lifesaver. You'll have trouble getting more than two in the cockpit, though one passenger could lounge on the deck. They typically sell from $700 to $2500. It's a good little boat and a great choice to learn on: stable and forgiving.

Some B20/E20 links:

Ensenada 20


Sailormann 04-11-2009 11:53 PM

Great boats - if it's in good shape it's as good a starter as you'll find.

Good Luck !

tager 04-12-2009 01:34 AM

get it for less than a g and you win

MtHopeBay 04-12-2009 02:19 AM

Check out the reviews here. I did and ended up with a 1982 Balboa 24 just last month. It's a different boat, different builder, different designer but a distant relative to the Balboa 20.

SLObrett 04-12-2009 08:47 PM

thanks a lot for the going to take a look at it this week

SLObrett 04-13-2009 06:49 PM

a prindle 16 cat just turned up for 600 with trailer....hmmmm

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