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Old 10-13-2009
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Suggestions for a first time sailboat

Ok I am looking to buy a sailboat, and don't want to spend more than $30,000and would prefer to pay no more than $25,000. This would include the cost for upgrades/repairs. I would plan on using this boat for daysailing and weekend trips. Also I will be sailing in the chesapeake bay/deltaville area, and will probly be doing the majority of the work and sailing by myself. My experiece with sailing was mainly with a 15 foot dingy and the boat was unbelievely stable. With that said my questions are what size and model boat would you recommend. I don't have any problems doing work on the boat, and would really prefer a used boat.
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Old 10-13-2009
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Catalina 250 wing keel or water ballast. Can be bought new for your budget or used but with options packages plus can be kept in your driveway to trailer around.

May be a bit smaller than you'd hope for, but the next step up (27, 28, 30 ft) have many more systems. more complexity, and aren't very trailerable and have mooring/slip costs.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Hey Squal - welcome to SN dude. You sound like you have way more experience than I did when I got my first boat. But here's my take: I drive a C27, and I got into it INSANELY cheap. And that's been a great thing. I'm learning a hell of a lot about boats working on the thing - and I don't cry all that much when I bang it into the slip fingers on a 20 knot cross-wind docking. Just part of the learning curve. It's been great.

I think the very first boat should be something you feel pretty easy dumping some money into (because you got it cheap) and that you aren't hyper-protective of so you can learn. But that's me.

I do agree with with nightowl on finding something trailerable. Slip fees are a killer.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 10-14-2009 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Squalfrost, check out the Catalina 30 for sale at the Deltaville Maritime Museum. At $5000 with an inboard diesel, I'm sure it will need a few things, but it's well within your budget. Plenty of cash left to get her the way you want her and a good sailing vessel .
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Old 10-14-2009
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Hey,

How many people are going to be on the boat? What sort of creature comforts do you want / need?

For example, if it's just you or you and one other person, then a boat around 27' would be a good size. Big enough to have an inboard diesel and wheel steering (if that is important to you), a real marine head, decent galley, standing room below, etc. And small enough to single hand easily, dock by yourself, afford decent sails, etc.

Some good boats in that size include Catalina, Beneteau, Sabre, Tartan, Newport, C&C, and a few others.

If you need more space you'll have to move up to a 30' boat, but everything gets way more expensive.

Lastly, IMHO, you can't get a decent '34 or bigger boat for that money, but 30' or less should be fine.

Barry
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Old 10-14-2009
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Thanks for all the responses guys. The majority of the time it will just be me and my wife, but every now and then there will be four of us spending the weekend on the boat. I am about 6'-2" 200 lbs so I don't think I will find a boat in my price range that would fit me. My main concern is will I be able to handle the boat myself? I have looked at a 35 ft Morgan, which even to my untrained eye looked like a ton of work, but looked way to big for me to handle myself. I also looked at a 27 foot C&C, which looked fairly reasonable for me to handle myself.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Catalina 27 or 30.
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Old 10-15-2009
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With four adults overnight, you don't want to go below 28 foot. With your budget of $25k there are lots of choices in the 28-30 foot range. And you should be able to find a newer boat (mid 80s) in good condition. In addition to the Catalina 30, I would put the Pearson 30 and 303, Tartan 30, Cal 28 and ODay 28 and 30 on the list.
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Old 10-15-2009
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I once heard:
Cocktails for six
Dinner for four
Sleeps two!
A 26' trailerable would be a very manageable boat for one or two. You would get a lot more use from it if you slipped during season and hauled out for winter but transient moorage is not always easy to come by.
I have a 26' MacGregor (26M) that I bought new and have sailed since 2003. You can get a well optioned one second hand in your price range. They are inexpensive, very versatile, forgiving of mistakes and easy to maintain. They also have as much or more livable space below as any comparable 28-30' sailboat. They are water ballasted and easily trailered with a class 3 tow vehicle. It is a hybrid though and not everyones cup of tea, but I have enjoyed seven summers on it and never looked back. They have an amazing amount of room for a 26' boat and can handle some fairly rough weather. I am in the Pacific Northwest and sail the San Juans and Gulf Islands and my boat gets me anywhere in the Georgia Strait I wish to go. It is a nice weekender boat and will sleep more than two but we never have, just my wife and I, Nice couples boat.
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Old 10-15-2009
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Hello,

If I were you I would look for boats in the 28-32' range. Do look at a Catalina 27 and see if you think it's big enough. If so, there are many available in your price range. If the C27 is to small, then there are lots more boats for you.

Before you buy anything, look at lots of boats and see what features are important to you. Things like swim platform, walk through rear transom, forward or aft head, stateroom with a door, etc are available on some boats but not others. Also, some boats may come with more features, that while you could add to any boat, would be very expensive. For example self tailing winches can easily cost over 1K. Same with dodgers and biminis. A good set of sails is worth a lot of $$.

Probably the best thing you can do is find a good broker and work with him. I don't know any in your area so I can't help.

Yachtworld is also your friend. I did a quick search:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/cache/searchResults.jsp?toPrice=30000&searchtype=advancedsearch&Ntk=boatsEN&type=(Sail)&fromYear=1980&hmid=0&sm=3&enid=0&luom=126&cit=true&toLength=32&currencyid=100&boatsAddedSelected=-1&fromLength=27&ftid=0&fromPrice=15000&slim=quick&rid=101&No=0&Ns=PAll_modelYear|1

And got some great looking boats (but all boats look great in ads).

Good luck,
Barry
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