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Old 05-19-2010
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First boat...Safty first

Hello I am about to buy my first boat, for the same money I have 3 choices at present, I am 6 feet and have never sailed befor, my plan is to sail from montreal to Panama. I have all summer to practice my sailing.
I favor safty over comfort.

your opinions pleas.

and the nomenies are, tanzer 7.5, challenger 7.4, ericson 27.
witch of these can take the worst wheathers?
rgds
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Old 05-19-2010
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I wouldn't even think about sailing any of them to panama.
The Tanzer has limited headroom.
Both the Tanzer and the Challenger have a waterline that, IMO is too short for a comfortable passage. I don't like the unprotected rudder on the Ericson. All of these boats lack a bridge deck. They are all fine local coastal cruisers, but not long distance voyagers without some serious modifications. Any of them, would be a decent choice for learning how to sail this summer, and would be relatively easy to sell when you decide to buy your panama cruiser.
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Old 05-19-2010
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oh I see what you mean!
iv been working with fiberglass many years, and on anny of these boats my intension was to open the back of the cockpit to allow self bailing and to build a bridge deck. these modifications are easy for me to perform.

I agree the tanzer has little head room, however in its favor the gally is well placed allowing standing while cooking, I havent been on one but I read a few have crossed the atlantic, they must have somthing good?

I got the modifications idea from a tanzer 25 wich has both open cockpit and bridge.
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Old 05-19-2010
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You can cross the Atlantic in a 10' boat. A few have done it. Fewer would do it a second time.
Are these boats on your list inboard powered? outboard? Gas? diesel?
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the ericson is inboard gas!
both others have outboards.
my favorit is the challenger (it has a bridge) and seems like the best for bad wheather. I know these arent exactly what experienced sailors whould choose, but it is my first boat and fits my budget.
if the boat is good enough for me to coastal cruise and gain experience, then its fair enough for me. If I like it then I will work for a better boat.
my point is to get moving now and stop dreaming about it.
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Old 05-19-2010
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I'd be wary about opening the stern up for self-bailing on a boat going offshore. I see your reasoning....a lot of racing dinghies have this same design. But in offshore following seas, I wouldn't really want an open stern, although I think there HAVE been some ocean racers that have had open sterns. But I've never seen those type of wide, high-initial stability racing boats as really "safe" boats, beyond the benefit of "outracing" a storm front.

However, if you are good with fiberglass work, you can do things like build your own bridge-decks, and change out large portlights for smaller, more seaworthy portlights. Epoxy resin is good for stuff like that...it sticks to anything.

After you buy your low-cost boat this summer, and spend the summer learning on it, you will have a better idea if the boat, with modifications, would be good for such a trip. And like someone said, if you deem it NOT, you can always sell it and get something more substantial. I don't know enough about any of those three boats to specifically help you decide.

Looks like you already know the most important thing: to stop dreaming and start DOING!! That motivation will take you a long way!!! Good luck and fair winds.

EDIT: I just looked at some pix of the Challenger, and it DOES have a bridge deck. For it's going price (between $2500 and $3500), it doesn't seem a bad boat. I don't see the underbody. Skeg rudder or unprotected? The one I saw pix of had a decent sized interior if you live frugally and simply (a great thing to do anyway!!), although I would be wary of having a dinette instead of a true sea-berth. At least one good sea-berth on any passage-maker is VERY important for sleeping comfort and thus eventual safety. Besides that, it doesn't seem like a bad boat.

If the boats your talking about are on THIS Quebec site: Voiliers à vendre - Sailboats for sale, I'd be VERY wary of their prices. The prices I've seen seem VERY high, even given the exchange rate. You should be able to find much better deals than these prices for these same boats, I would think. They have a 21 foot Challenger going for $7500 Cdn. That seems HIGH to me, and a Challenger 7.4 going for $9500 Cdn.....versus $2500 - $3500 US on sites like "SailingTexas.com"
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Last edited by SoulVoyage; 05-19-2010 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010
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yes I think the challenger would be nice with little modifications, biger cockpit drains and smaller portlights. then see how things go!!

$3000 range is fair to pay.

Thanks
rgds
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Old 05-22-2010
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Uhh, if you have never sailed before, how do you know you will like it? My suggestion is to go to a local yacht club or marina and offer to crew before investing your money in a boat. If you decide you like it, then start your search for a boat that will fit your needs. Going offshore in the Atlantic in the Fall after 4 months of sailing experience would be a mistake in my opinion. But then again, you could be a real fast learner and be OK.
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Old 05-22-2010
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to late for second thoats, i am taking possesion of a 27 ericson monday.
i will sail the boat all summer on lake ontario and if i feel ready will sail to gaspé then bahamas. if not the boat will be wintered in montreal.

if i dont like my boating experience by next year i will sale the boat.
however this is a long time dream that iv posponed for 20 years (got married and raised kids) the envy to sail has never left me thru the years, I feel if I dont do it now this cauld be my only regret in life.

yesterday at the marina an old timer said in contradition to many modern sailors sitting at the table, forget all that bs crap get on the boat and sail. best way to learn mate!!

guess I will see soon enough?
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Old 05-22-2010
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Congratulations.
Carefully prepared the boat should do ok. For cockpit drains glass a 3" fiberglass pipe through the transom from the bottom of the cockpit footwell. One is all you need on the center or close to center. Put a exhaust flap on the outside like you see on powerboats to stop water entering. A lot easier that removing the aft end of the cockpit and it leaves you with as strong a boat as you started with. Use epoxy. The standard cockpit drains will handle any light stuff and if the footwell fills the 3" exit will drain it fast.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 05-22-2010 at 12:43 PM. Reason: add
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