Which 30'er do I pick? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-12-2009
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Which 30'er do I pick?

I'm looking at a

Nordica 30
Halman 27
Bristol 30
Pearson 30

all built in the early 70's
so far these are my top four picks for a cabin cruiser to sail from Flordia to the Bahamas. Which is the best choice for sea worthiness and comfort. Are there any others I should consider? I'm looking for tips on boat performance mostly a fair price for the boats will be my next question which will obviously depend on equipment included.
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Old 05-12-2009
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Caveat Answer

All things being the same i.e condition, stuff, price, yada, yada, yada...

Bristol > Pearson. Don't know about a Halman or Nordica, but Bristol is a pretty seaworthy boat and well built. A Pearson 30 is probably going to be a little more roomy than a Bristol.

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Old 05-12-2009
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Depends what you want to do

If you want to really sail the boat as opposed to hang on the hook or motorsail, the Pearson is by far the best sailing of the bunch.

My family had a Bristol 30 in the 80's and I spent a lot of time sailing it-- learned a lot. My first boat of my own was a P30 that I sailed up and down the East Coast a few times in the 6 years I owned it. They're both fun boats (and affordable) but the Pearson could probably sail a circle around the the Bristol. I'd guess the same with other two as well as I think they're more traditional, full keel hulls.

That said, I think you'd be happy with any of them. The Bahamas are great-- get your boat and go! I spent a winter there a few years ago and would give a lot to do it again.

PS-- If you're looking at the P30, I'd suggest favoring ones with a wheel instead of a tiller. I think the wheel is easier to sail and gives you a lot more room in the cockpit.
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Old 05-13-2009
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I bought my P30 last year. The first owner of the boat used to sail it between Massachusettes and Annapolis offshore. It is a tiller, of which I much prefer over a wheel. I'm a good sized person 6'2" and 250lbs and I fine the P30 to be comfortable for long weekend trips. I have yet do do any extended cruising on it.

The mid-70's era boats are usually all built heavier and stronger than the newer ones since the designers were still unsure of how fiberglass would behave over long periods of time.

Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 05:20 AM.
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