Well it seems that I have finally managed to sort through the thousands and thousands of potential boats available. I set a budget of $35,000 - $40,000 and that didn't help at all whittle down the selection as I was flooded with C&C's, Cal's, Watkins, Ericson's, Morgan's, Columbia's... I did my research hear and across the internet and since I wanted a blue water cruiser I used the Updated Offshore list here as well as Atom's site to pear down the list. I then used PHRF ratings and reviews to close up the list a little more and cross referenced with the basic equipment and design concerns (Common engine's, keel design, port holes, head setup, cockpit placement...) to pull the list into a final couple boats.
My criteria was a stable and quick single hand blue water cruiser. Something that would be easy to handle myself when needed, stable at sea and able to deal with some weather if needed. Once I narrowed down the choice of boat I could worry about the electronics, ground tackle, rigging's, galley... and after 4 months of comparing and researching I think I have narrowed it down to a pair of boats.
The Bayfield 32C
(1981 - 1987) Vs the Niagara 35
(1981 - 1983).
The Niagara is faster not only because of the LWL 26' 9" vs 23' 3" but because from what I can gather it points better and can better take advantage of light airs. The PHRF rating on the Niagara 35 is 159 vs. a 240 on the Bayfield 32C. There is a little more space on the Niagara and it is well laid out. The problems on the Niagara seem to be watching out for some of the older saildrives. It looses points to the Bayfield on Keel design and rudder setup...
I really like the look of the Bayfield as it is a unique boat. They seem to be built to last and to take whatever is thrown at them. I like the sail plan of the Cutter setup as it gives more options depending on conditions. I like the shallow draft, and the full keel will add to stability and keep her pointed easier. The only real draw back I can find on the Bayfield is the speed.
Both boats are readily available in my area and since this is Canada I can find a quality fresh water boat that has been hauled for 6 months out of the year. This will make a great platform to outfit and spend the next 5 years of my life on.
I know that there are other options and since I am not looking to buy for a few more months I might find another boat to add too my short list but I would like some feedback on these two models. Am I missing something on either of these boats that will preclude it from taking me around the world safely and in a bit of comfort? Being a loaded question, is there a boat I should consider in my price range and why would I add it to my list?
Thanks for any info;