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  #1  
Old 02-25-2003
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gull is on a distinguished road
Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

Hi all,
As I continue to try to get a clearer picture of what boats I should concentrate my search on, I am obviously filled with questions - so here goes.

What I know so far:
Sailing area: Florida, mostly West coast, Keys, with possible Bahamas trips
(As much as I would love a "Bluewater capable boat" I realise that I simply can''t take the time off work for that and I really only will be doing coastal cruising for now - also building experience.)

Budget: less than $50k

Size: Looking at 34 to 37 feet - really mostly for the accommadations - due to very tight budget and currently being landlocked - the boat will have to double as our home for 3 or 4 days at a stretch occasionally as long as a week. (mostly my wife and I with occasional 2 others)

Looking for basic, simple first boat. Here are some ideas

Hunter 37 Cherubini (early ''80s) I have 2 main concerns about this one, firstly what was the construction quality like and secondly is the displacement too much for the light Florida winds. A big plus is the interior accommodations.

Mariner 36: How do you know if it is a model built in Maine????

Tartan / Sabre 34: But I think both are a bit tight below.

Dikerson: probably out of my price range

Pearson 365: I know its slow but I think the quality and accommadations are pretty good. What about other Pearsons??

Ericson: Just not sure if any models should be avoided, or what the interior room is like.

Cal 36: Looks nice but what is the quality like????

My personal preference is to traditional "shippy" looking boats but I would like to stay away from labour intensive woodwork etc.

So there are a few thoughts to get started - please feel free to make any input you feel could be helpful and remember - warnings about boats to avoid (models, years etc) are VERY helpful in focussing the search.

Thank you all in advance for your suggestions.
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Old 02-25-2003
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rclampitt is on a distinguished road
Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

Check out the CAL list on SailNet. Over 300 CAL owners. You can get good info on the 36 and and other CAL''s. I own a CAL 31 and think a used CAL is a good bet for the money.
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Old 02-26-2003
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Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

I have looked at several Cherubini Hunters myself, and have been pretty impressed with them. Several in our area (I''m in sarasota) and one for sale as a matter of fact. 37K I believe. Nice boats, for the money IMO. Interior is comfortable, construction as I understand it was actually quite good relative to other Hunter designs (probabky their best, historically) and for a 37'' boat, to have a separate shower stall, and it''s not even that cramped, is actually kind of nice. Decent separate "quarter cabin/berth" as well. I don''t think it''s "too heavy" but I suppose that''s all relative as to how you define it, not me.

As for the Ericson, I raced on a friend''s 35 in Tampa, and really liked it. Seemed pretty solid, and handled the weather well. He said in a good blow, it was a little bendy, but he''s had it to Cuba several times, mexico, Bahamas etc...so it''s capable of some offshore work if needed, and can handle some weather. Nice space below I thought, for a 35. Can''t recall the draft on these, but personally, I have 5'' on my boat, and I think that''s about as deep as I would recommend for the areas you are talking about.

Oh, and the Tartan 34 seems small inside to me. Just an observation. Maybe it''s the dark wood. Who knows.

I don''t have any experience on the others - so I''ll refrain from comment. Good luck!

Rob
S/V Barefoot Girl
Sarasota, FL
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Old 02-26-2003
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Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

Just as another boat to throw on the list. You might find one of the Early year Catalina 36''s for Under $50k (maybe a 1983-1985). Obviously its an older boat, so you''ve gotta look for one that was taken care of, but I have seen a few beautiful ones taken care of from that far back.

They have a lot of the features that what you are looking for. #1) Accomodations - I think you will find the C36 has probably one of the best salons & set-ups and use of room on a aft cockpit boat that you will find. Most C36 owners rave about it even comparing it to longer bigger boats. You could easily live aboard if you wanted to, though it doesn''t have a separate shower stall #2) Shoal draft is available for sailing the Florida keys, etc, etc. #3) Middle of the road light wind sailing, though the older C36''s are much lighter than the newer ones and do better in light winds. Look for a tall rig, or get a 150% genny if you really need it. But the moderate displacement really treats you well in those heavy wind storms you get caught in. Most C36 owners have no problems in heavier winds. #4) Contsruction quality is ok. Its not a sabre, but I know of a couple of C36''s from that era that have done blue-water sailing (one from Alaska all the way up to Maine) Though I would never say it a "bluewater Ocean going Whale crusher". I think it just as important to get a good surveyor and retrofit anything that might be suspect. -- From that era, I think the only thing I would really look into is the rudder steering system, but most are just fine. #5) "Shippy" looking. Lots of owners think their boats pretty (Who doesn''t with thier boat..;-) I think they have very classic lines, modern, simple and elegant. Though nobody would mistake it for a swash-buckling pirate ship. #6) There have been over 2200 of these boats made, with a strong following and an active and helpful users group. Take a look at their website and take a look at their boats.

http://www.catalina36.org/index.htm

So take a look at a C36, you might be pleasantly surprised though I don''t know how many you''ll find in your price range
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Old 02-26-2003
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h37skipper is on a distinguished road
Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

As a somewhat biased Hunter 37C owner I can tell you two things. The boat is solid, I communicate with H37C owners all over the world and they sailed there. Mine is a 1979 and the original topsides gelcoat still looks good.

And it has enough sail area to do well in light air. She is much faster than people expect given her 18000+ displacement. Feel free to write with any specific questions.

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Old 02-26-2003
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Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

First my bias -- I own a Pearson. So to answer your question about other Pearsons to consider than just the 365:

Pearson made a number of boats in the ''70''s and early ''80''s that would suit your needs. they are the 34-1 (check the rudder, which has been a problem with corrosion), the venerable 35 (large cockpit at the expense of the interior, but still a terrific boat), the 36-1, and the 37-1. I''d also throw in the 323 as a model to consider.

Pearson made solid, reliable boats that have held up well. All of these models have quite a following. All can be had within your budget, but all also will need some updating. Note that Pearson in later years (from the mid-80''s until the end in 1991)also made a 34-2, a 36-2, and a 37-2. Bill Shaw was not afraid to copy himself, and to update a successful, older design.

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Old 02-26-2003
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wgfi is on a distinguished road
Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

I owned a Pearson 323 and sailed in the waters you mentioned. I would recomend it. I suggest you save about 30% of your budget to refit the boat. The waters you mention are best sailed with a shallow draft and lots of sail area.
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Old 02-26-2003
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Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

Check out some of the Allied Princess boats. I just got a 1976 in great shape. Some need more work than others. Most ar well under 50,000.
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Old 02-26-2003
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Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

Agree with tsenator on the C-36. Catalina has incredible factory support and they won''t gouge you on replacement parts. (Ie: new aquamet 22 stainless prop shaft and coupling shipped from CA to Maine for $136.00 and my local prop shop wanted $380.00)I have owned over twenty boats and the last three have all been Catalina''s. I would guess that the next one will be a Catalina as well. Great company, great value, great quality and still in business!!Also look at a Catalina 34 very roomy and a nice sailing boat...
-Rodd C._
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Old 02-27-2003
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Trying to narrow down options - Help please!!!

If you like the Hunter 37 cutter, go for it. It''s got reasonably shallow draft (about 5'' as I recall) for the Bahamas, and you''ve already talked about the roominess and nice accomodations. It''s PHRF rating (118 or so?) makes it less than a rocket, but you''d need a trimaran if you wanted to set speed records. Otherwise, the Pearson 35 offers perhaps more solid construction (though so much depends upon each individual boat) and the centerboard gives good shallow-water flexibility. Though the interior is more traditonal than the H37 (no aft cabin or nav station), it is big and pretty open. The cockpit is great for parties or just relaxing under an awning, and the boat (in fact both boats) simply look good. If the price is right- dive in (with your eyes open, of course)!
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