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  #1  
Old 04-07-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

I have been long-distance cruising yacht shopping for about 8 mnths. now and I,m getting fed-up or confused. I have seen 100''s of capable blue-water boats(to me). As soon as I find one design that my wife and I agree on, we read an article or review that tears it to shreds. We have looked at great old and new boats. We subscibe to vatious cruising and boating magazines too.
1)Seaworthiness 2)Comfort 3)Speed

Hull integrety, Engine reliability, Strong rigging, and Quality sails

Simplification and redundency of systems.
Prefere vessal that has been cruised before.
DoNot need two berths, could use space better for storage.
Used, sail, Fiberglass, diesel,27-37''LOA

Middle-aged husband,wife, and cat will be in a position to do an open-ended cruise.
We are choosing tropical locations. Bahamas, Caribbean to South Pacific.

We feel confident that after remodeling a house(from sub floor) we should be able to do some boat upgrades ourselves.
$20-35K
-------
Am I being too optimistic at being able to find a good boat? Maybe I''m asking for the world. Sorry to rant and rave, I feel better for venting my frustration( at the expenss of everyone). I am more than open to comments or suggestions. Thanks.

Dave
maui@socket.net
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

I spent 9 summers (cruised winters) doing major boat re-fits & service work, and never found an ideal boat. They just havn''t made one yet.
Don''t be discouraged, all boats are a set of compromises.
Gord
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

You are looking for the ''every person''s'' dream boat. A very rare model indeed. You want everything, 1)Seaworthiness 2)Comfort 3)Speed 4)Strength 5) Like new sails and diesel and at a dirt cheap price. Look long enough and you might just find what you are looking for. After 3 years of hunting, I did, although at a slightly higher price.

Perhaps to put your search problem in perspective, when you set a price range of $20-35K for an offshore capable boat, it means that you will be making some kind of compromise. You are already willing to make a compromise on the length of the boat. That is a good one. The next compromise that would be obvious is on the age of the boat. To get an offshore capable boat in the price range that you are proposing you are probably looking for a boat built before 1980 or so. This begins to mean a compromise on other aspects such as speed, or seaworthiness, or comfort, or even whether the boat has a diesel or a gas engine.

If I had your budget and was trying to do what you want to do, I would probably try to find a nicely fixed up Tartan 34, either gas or diesel. These keel/centerboarders would be as close to what you are seeking as anything else that I can think of.

Jeff

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Old 04-07-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

Thank you both for the input. I guess my frustration comes from 1) you find a design you like 2) you find one in your price range 3) you read a bad review of that particular model 4) you feel as though one is back to square one.
Then it''s on to the next make/model that catches your eye after more research.

The boats I''m looking at fall into Alberg, Allied, Ericson, Endeavour, Albin, Southern Cross, Westsail- well you get the idea.
Thanks again for the help.
Dave
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

I can understand your frustration when I look at your list. Of the bunch only the Albins and Ericsons offer decent performance and the Albins in your range do not offer much comfort and the Ericsons that I would expect to be within your price range do not offer very good build quaility although build quality may be one of the compromises that you may need to consider.

Here is a list of suggested models that you might want consider that should offer a reasonable balance of the features that you are seeking within your price range.

Cal 34 mk II and MK III: Although not the best build quality, these are good sailing boats that have done a lot of distance cruising. You will need to find one in good shape and have it careful surveyed.

C&C 34: Nice performance cruisers that were aimed at coastal cruising. With a little bit of upgrading these could be a really good boat for your purposes.

Dehler Optima 35: These VandeStadt designed sloops are very good sailing boats with a very high quality construction.

Dehler 31/ Dehler Optima 92: Nice build quality, good sailing ability and an easy to handle little boat.

Ericson Independence: This is the exception to my earlier comments on Ericson. These were neat boats that offered a little more robust construction than most of the Ericsons and more of a cruising oriented set up.

Goman Express 30: This is a 30 foot Canadian boat that offers a nice balance between good performance and coastal cruiser. It would need some beefing up for your purposes.

Farr 11.6 (Farr 38) There is a sistership of my boat for sale in British Columbia. This is a South African boat like mine and was single-handed from South Africa to the Carribean in heavy weather and then sailed up to the Annapolis where I saw her. She was then shipped to the West Coast. This boat is pretty rough but most of it is cosmetics that can be dealt with over time. The boat has a lot of really good offshore gear. Considering these boats in good shape are worth something in the mid-$60K range, and this one can be bought for somewhere around $30K, I would strongly suggest that you consider it. While 38 feet is larger than your ideal size range, these are very easy boats to sail with great offshore resumes and I single-hand mine all of the time.

Hinterhoeller Niagara 31: these are very well constructed Frers designed cruisers.

Hunter 36 and Hunter 37 (late 1970''s- early 1980''s): Although Hunters tend to take a real bashing in the world of public opinion, these early 1980''s era boats were really quite well built and offer a lot of comfort and speed for the dollar.

J-30: While not exactly intended for your pusposes, these boats have been raced single-handed across the Atlantic and have been pressed into service as distance cruisers. I would put these low on my list, but not at the bottom.

Pearson 10M- (33 feet) These are pretty much the equivilient to the Cal 34 mentioned above but are slightly better sailing boats with a little nicer interior layout and build quality.

Pearson 323: These were intended as cruisers and although not as performance oriented as some of the others on this list are still good boats for yoru purpose.

Sabre 30: Well constructed boats that would work reasonably well for your purposes.

Tartan 34: Probably first choice here for what you want to do. (The Farr 38 at that price would be a tie if you don''t mind cleaning her up.)

Tartan 30: Nice perforance oriented boats that combine good build quality

Good hunting,
Jeff
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Old 04-08-2003
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Choices, choices, choices !

I could add little to Jeff''s excellent advice and list. I could suggest one thing, however, that might help aid your decision making process. Write down some key measurements of the boats you are looking at. I can imagine that cabin space is an important issue to you. By and large, gross indicators of cabin space are LWL (NOT LOA) and beam then displacement (to a certain degree...best when comparing boats of a similar design). And, most important...actually measure the berths when you look at a boat. You would be greatly surprised at the variation among different boats and how some boats with great LOA actually have smaller berths. In addition, measure the length of room between the vee berth (with the insert filled in) and the forward cabin door. All these measurements will be very helpful when you are sitting down trying to remember what that boat was like later on. It may also give you the answer you were looking for.

A few keys to comfort: a nice large sleeping berth for two, having a quarter berth in the hip of the boat for sleeping underway (you will likely NOT sleep in the vee berth while underway), having a settee arrangement that facilitates two people having their own to lie back and relax in (when you are relaxing down below, you will want to stretch out, lay back etc...both of you). There are other factors that can be found in a wealth of articles around here somewhere. You can easily search for them.

I might add a couple boats to Jeff''s list. They are not as fast as the ones on Jeff''s list, but they are good bluewater boats, quite popular still today and can be had in your range:

Bristol 32
Bristol 35
Allied 30, 32, 35 and 36

Now, it is true that all the above have relatively short waterlines for their design, but I have personally known quite a few people who swear by them and if you look online, you will find very good reports....for their age and price. These boats also tend to have narrow beams that increase their ultimate stability. For an excellent treatise on boat design and stability for offshore sailing, check out the new 30th edition of Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing"...now edited by someone else (name escapes me at the moment). You can find it at West Marine.

If you want to do some more research on various boats...which may or may not confuse the issue you can search USENET group postings on Google.com ...you will find some interesting, lengthy back and forths...but in that, you should be able to see whether or not there is a cogent argument for or against any individual designs. Keep in mind when reading reviews...all owners love their boats and all magazine reviews write favorable reviews. SOMETIMES you CAN actually find some interesting info on fatal flaws in a boat if you dig deep enough in the owners group posting of maintenance issues.

Whew...

Hope this helps.

John
S/V Invictus
Hood 38
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2003
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mogul11 is on a distinguished road
Choices, choices, choices !

I might a litle trick we used. You and your significant other go in separate rooms and make a list based on three criteria:
Goota Have
Like to Have
Nice to Have
Come back together and caompare lists making one list of your ideal boat. Take that list with you understanding that you will never find any boat at any price with all the things on your list. We found it makes the process easier to access and takes the emotion out of the purchase. Just the facts mam
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Old 04-08-2003
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welch is on a distinguished road
Choices, choices, choices !

Thank you for the ideas. I plan to sit down and do some research. All of you have given me good ideas and been very helpful.
Dave
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Old 04-08-2003
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spartinaSC39 is on a distinguished road
Choices, choices, choices !

My husband and have been doing the same looking for a boat we could both agree on with good reviews,finally we came across a southerncross 39. The problem being repowering but it comes with the territory. If I did it over again I would look At Tayana 37,lord nelson,Bristol 38 and perhaps Pacific Seacraft. Good luck Looking is alot of fun. You two sound like your planning the same trip we are.
Heidi
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Old 04-08-2003
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spartinaSC39 is on a distinguished road
Choices, choices, choices !

My husband and have been doing the same looking for a boat we could both agree on with good reviews,finally we came across a southerncross 39. The problem being repowering but it comes with the territory. If I did it over again I would look At Tayana 37,lord nelson,Bristol 38 and perhaps Pacific Seacraft. Good luck Looking is alot of fun. You two sound like your planning the same trip we are.
Heidi
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