Long Island Sound first boat insights?
New to SailNet. I took up sailing 3 summers ago. Took lessons, then began crewing on a J24, racing almost every week over the summer/fall on Long Island Sound. Member City Island Yacht Club
Looking for a first boat, under 30' but over 24". Comfortable cruiser with speed. Mostly daysailing and an occasional overnight or weekend trip for 4. Not more than 6aboard for a daytrip or single handed afternoons.
Any suggestions and/or insights would be helpful. Any Long Island sailboat owners who can tell me about choices made for 1st boats and why?
Would rather spend a few dollars extra to get a better boat now as I plan on sailing her for a while.
You sounded like me 4 years ago. I was 21, took a town sailing course and fell in love. Read every single book I could and sailed every chance I got. My first boat was a 25 ft Mark 25 and used it just about every day and weekend for the summer. What I quickly realized was that I outgrew it in that one season since I used it and loved it so much. I wanted a bigger boat because I loved doing the cruising thing so I sold the Mark 25 during the winter and bought my now current boat a 32' Morgan 323.
So depending on how quickly you learn and get used to things, I wouldn't rule out boats over 30' especially if you are cruising with 4!. It may be a little bit more to get used to initially when it comes to things like docking and maintenance but you will really enjoy the extra space. Although I love my boat and am 150% satisfied with it, if I won the lottery I could easily move up to a 40ft+ in a heartbeat as every time you see or go on someone else's bigger boat, yours feels that much smaller.
But Long Island Sound is a great place to sail and cruise and I wish you luck. Just curious, what is your budget?
I have been sailing on Long Island Sound out of Glen Cove for the last 30 years. I had sailed an Oday 22 on Barnegat Bay NY and traded up to a Pearson 26 when I moved to Glen Cove. As well as daysailing and club racing, my wife and I cruised that boat as far as Cape Cod and the Vineyard. In 1989, we traded the Pearson in on a Cal 9.2. The 9.2 has been a great boat for us - quick and lively to sail but with reasonable cruising accomodations for a couple. We now have our 9.2 on the market so we can move up to our "last" boat, something in the 33-35 foot range.
Since most of your time is spent daysailing, I think sailing performance is most important. And light air performance is essential if you are going to enjoy the typical days in July and August. Getting that plus comfortable accomodations for 4 adults in a 24-30 foot boat is not easy. A boat like a Catalina 30 will give you decent cruising accomodations, but won't perform like my Cal 9.2 or a J30 or a Pearson Flyer.
Heavy daysailing means you want a big cockpit. Performance means you want a J/boat or other racing class. What do you mean by "comfortable"? Some people will tell you that comfort only comes on boats over 130' LOA. You don't mention a budget, so the range is enormous. The Pearson Flyer is good in light air, has a reasonably-sized cockpit for daysailing, and can sleep four or more, depending upon what you call "comfortable". A Tartan 10 would be similar. Both are older designs, and would be available at reasonable prices (especially lately). If you're looking for a bit more comfort, a Peterson 34 would be of similar vintage, and would offer good overall performance as well. Catalinas are not going to provide performance, especially if you're used to a J/24. A J/30 would provide performance, but the cockpit is a bit tight. They're also a tad heavy for the light air of Western LIS. A J/29 is another option, if you don't mind the lack of headroom. A J/105 would be great for daysailing, and has bunks and a bit more headroom than the J/29. The price will likely be a bit higher, however. Everything about boats is a compromise. What works for you will depend on what you want.
Thank you for your responses. I'm going to keep researching and looking at boats.
PAULK - I love the responsiveness of the J24 the cabin is not for comfort. I've been told the larger J boats suffer from the same lack of cabin space.
JIMSCAL - Your Cal 9.2 sounds terrific. I've spent a few hours reading about the Cal 9.2
NK235 - your point about outgrowing a boat is well taken.
Thanks again for your input.
I sail on LI Sound, and went thru the same calculations you are going thru. Family of four, expected mostly daysailing. When all was said and done, I had three main criteria:
1. Big cockpit
2. Head behind a door
3. Less than $10,000
What I found in my search and experience for each:
1. There is no such thing as really big cockpit on boats less than 30 feet long, with a couple of notable exceptions. Most boats are trying to strike a compromise, so if they make the cockpit too big, it takes away from the cabin size, and vice versa. The best I found I could do was to get a cockpit big enough to seat four comfortably, and six in a pinch. Notable exception: the Colgate 26. You can fit eight adults in that thing with no problem. Honorable mention: the Oday Tempest. Perhaps the best looking 23 foot boat I have ever seen. Sweet, traditional lines, very large cockpit, but like the Colgate 26, there is almost no cabin to speak of. Like camping in a very small tent.
2. Head behind a real door? We had a Catalina 22 for a summer, and the Admiral and our friends found it awkward to have to button up the companionway hatchboards every time someone wanted to use the head. Most boats less than 27 feet have the head screened by a bulkhead or behind a curtain under the v berth. The only boats less than 27 feet that I have seen with the head behind an actual door: The Oday 23 and 25, and the Rhodes 22.
3. You can get a nice boat these days for $10,000.
I wound up choosing between an Oday 23 and a Catalina 25. I went with the Oday 23 because it met all three of my must haves, and I liked it better in some other respects than the Catalina. I like the keel/centerboard set up on the Oday better than the Catalina swing keel. I also like the lower fees and maintenance costs of a smaller boat. The one thing I liked better about the Catalina (its "cruisability") has turned out to be a non-issue. No one besides me in my family is really interested in cruising. My wife and daughter love daysailing, but have little interest in spending all day and night on a little boat. My son thinks the whole thing is a waste of time. The smaller boat is perfect for the one or two overnights a year we do, and the weekend daysails as well as my after work quickies. Let us know what you come up with.
'Speed' and sailboats don't really go together. Are you looking for a sportboat, something with a real high SA-D ratio, or a 'racer / cruiser' as opposed to a heavy cruiser? If you want a standard racer / cruiser, then there are lots of boats between 27-30' that should work. Catalina 27 and 80, O'day 28 and 30, Newport 28 and 30, Sabre, S2, Tartan, Hunter, Irwin, etc. all would fit the bill.
You didn't list a budget, so it will be difficult to recommend a specific make and model. You should be able to find a serviceable boat for $10K or a perfect boat for $50K.
I used to have a Newport 28 that was a very nice boat for the LIS. Small enough for me to take care of and learn to sail solo. Small enough to 'muscle' to a dock or slip. Big enough to handle 20+ winds. Big enough to spend a weekend on.
I have found i could not afford the bargains ;)
I have become really good friends with the guy who took a pass on my current J24 to buy a J24 in Ct that was 3000 dollars less
I have to tell you the bargain J24 he got has every J24 wart i can think of right down to the Vermiculite keel sump and old style leaking hatches :rolleyes:
SO You really have to know what your getting yourself into because based on my search and the one we have done this season for a friend looking for the same boat as you
10k is going to be outboard powered Or have a really sad inboard we did not find any FWC diesel powered boats for under 20K
True - A diesel powered (usually over 27) has a lot more systems and usually costs more money in general as many of them have an actual head, electric water pumps, bigger batteries, and just many more systems in general. However you can find many outboard powered boats in the 25' range for way under $10k and in good shape. As I stated in my previous post my first boat was a 1984 25' Mark 25 (similar to a C&C25). I purchased it from the previous owner for $7500 and it was in immaculate shape. In fact when I owned it many people thought it was only a year or two old. You can also find many boats of the same vintage in great condition for around this price or even cheaper. However once you start moving up in size to a boat with an inboard diesel and more systems it's a whole different animal and for a good quality boat you are going to be spending more.
I know this is a few weeks old, but I wanted to just throw in a couple comments anyway...
My boat, 1990 Hunter 27 fits all of MStern and the OP's requirements:
1. Big cockpit
2. Head behind a door
3. Less than $10,000
4. Sleep 4-6
5. comfortable cruiser
6. Fast as can be reasonably expected from a 27ft boat.
7. Affordable maintenance (It's an 8HP outboard)
I can comfortably seat 6 in the cockpit, as well as sleep 6 (as long as one person is not too tall), and even squeeze 6 in around the settee. Seperate enclosed head, paid $8k for it in very good shape, bought it from the original owner.
As for speed, with 4-6 people on board I can routinely hit 6+ kts (LWL is 22.3ft, theoretical max speed is 6.3kts), and do so on most tacks in as little as 8kts of wind, depending on which sails I have hoisted.
The only thing that I can't comfortably do is single hand the boat, and that's 95% because it has hank on head sails, and I don't have a wind vane or any sort of autopilot (or even a tiller keeper, but that is on my to do list).
all in all I am very pleased with my boat, it was just a year ago that I was making the same decision as the OP Mike as what was a good boat to have on LIS, and had the same list of requirements. The only difference is that I didn't buy the boat expecting to race it (although I'm considering doing so this season.)
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