Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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You really can't go wrong with any of those boats.
S2 9.2A - similar in size to the Catalina. S2 has a reputation of being well made. However, I looked at about 5 of them, and they all had leaking ports. On some of the boats, the leaks were so bad that the bulkheads were rotted. On all the boats I looked at, the leaks resulted in a lot of mold and mildew below. Note that the 9.2A model is a cruiser and is not performance oriented at all. S2 made a 9.1 model that was a racer.
Catalina 30 - you have received plenty of good advice about this one.
Sabre - these are premium boats. A 1987 model should be much more expensive than the others. If the one you are interested in is comparably priced be very careful because there is probably something wrong with it.
Pearson 31 - sorry but I don't know too much about the 31. A friend has a P30 from the late 70's. It's a great sailing boat but small down below.
Of the boats you listed, the Sabre has the best reputation. The Catalina is the most common. You might as well consider similar boats like C&C, O'day 30 / 31, Islander 30, Ericson, Newport, etc.
IMHO, most 30' cruiser / racer sloops are basically the same. Some are better built, some are faster, but unless you have some particular needs or likes, you should look at lots of boats until you find something you really like.
For example, if you like to swim off the boat, or will be keeping the boat on a mooring, the O'day 31 and 302 have swim platforms. That makes it much easier to get on / off the boat. If you want a center cockpit model, there is an S2 9.2C model. Do you want a wheel or tiller, deep draft or shoal draft, are you interested in racing?
Catalina has the biggest user groups, etc.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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