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  #1  
Old 09-20-2010
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Suggestions for a first boat - Central Canada

Hello,

I am brand new here just getting my Canadian basic certification and looking to buy my first boat for the 2011 season, seeking "unbiased" 3rd party opinions.

Here are some parameters:

- $20-40k

- Cruiser that can entertain 4-6 people on day cruise but only needs to sleep 2.

- Hot water, shower, fridge would be great.

- As big a boat as I could possibly handle SOLO as I won't be getting any assistance. Is 30' realistic and in this price range? (I will get help from local instructor the first few times I take it out)

- While I plan to start sailing lakes here and in moderate weather I would eventually like to sail to Halifax and also down to Bahamas and Caribbean in a few years. Is it possible to get a starter boat that I can grow in and that has this sort of coastal and blue water capability as well or am I trying to combine too many requirements?

I would prefer to avoid as many cycles of buying and selling and upgrading boats as I can in the next few years...

And lastly I am primarily looking to buy something here in Canada so rare European models etc would not be realistic.

Many thanks for any insights you can share with me!
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Old 09-20-2010
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Here's a boat that might fit you...but it is in Maine.

Rival 34 for Sale
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Old 09-20-2010
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You might try yachtworld.com. I got 14 pages of hits that fit some of your parameters.
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Old 09-20-2010
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Gentlemen, thank you for your swift replies. I am only starting to get a picture of what's out there so I am shooting in the dark:

- I thought 34' would be too big for a single person to manage and as a 1st boat but you seem to say that would work?

- What are some makes that I should start looking into? Out of the 14 pages references above, how do I know which makes are truly seaworthy yet a novice can handle?

Thanks much,
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Old 09-20-2010
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If a 34' boat is rigged properly, it can be single-handed. An autopilot is nice, but not 100% essential. You might prefer all lines led to the cockpit, I am quite comfortable going to the mast.

I might suggest that you charter a couple of different makes with different layouts and configurations to determine what you like. I have some biases:

Slab reefing with a ram's horn for the reef tacks (I have had some single-line systems jam on me.

U / L / or J shaped galley with a centre-line sink.

If 2 heads - one of each side. If 1 head - sink close to centre line

Rigged for gennaker

Fractional rig with adjustable backstay.

A ketch can be balanced very nicely, while a sloop can be a little tougher. Do you want a boat that points (fin keel) or a more solid boat the sails more readily off the wind (full keel)?

Cruiser? Racer? Racing cruiser? Cruising racer?

In the end it requires lots of compromises, as no boat can do it all.

I could go on, but I think you get the point - look for one with your preferred set up.

As a novice you will need to learn how to single hand, an instructor is good idea. They are required to to be able to single hand.

Where are you located? Can you drop by a few dealers with boats at the dock and check out what is available?
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Old 09-20-2010
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Thank you Jack, the detail you provide is something I will come to understand better as I keep educating myself.

I thought my profile indicates my location but I'm out of Montreal so have Ontario marinas within a few hours drive.

I am looking for something that has a bit of space/comfort yet that moves I thought a full keel was needed for coastal stuff but then again before I attempt any coastal or blue water I would spend one or more seasons on Lake Ontario etc so something that moves under lighter winds too.

J-shaped galley with centre line sink seems a good idea.

Wow lots of different aspects to take into account but as I need to understand where to begin...

All the best,
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Old 09-20-2010
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I'm sitting here on the Left Coast trying to figure out how Montreal is "central Canada"

For what you've in mind for the near future I'd suggest a boat with some maneuverability and responsiveness. Like Jack I have my own biases/preferences..

Fractional rig, esp if short/singlehanding - but finding a reasonable sized boat in your budget is going to bring a lot of mastheads into view.. and that's OK too.

Fin keel Spade rudder. - esp as a beginner there's nothing like having a boat that turns and responds easily and nimbly - and will behave when running slow and backing under power in close quarters.

Furling jib for ease of setting/dousing sails, again esp shorthanded.
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CS30, Sirius 28, S2 9.2A, or Edel 820 would all be a good fit for your needs and are all available in Ontario/Quebec.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I'm sitting here on the Left Coast trying to figure out how Montreal is "central Canada"
Didn't you know, everything is Central Canada: Used Sailboats in central Canada

Nova Scotia apparently is "just beyond central Canada' and the US is simply 'Just beyond Canada'
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I'm sitting here on the Left Coast trying to figure out how Montreal is "central Canada"

For what you've in mind for the near future I'd suggest a boat with some maneuverability and responsiveness. Like Jack I have my own biases/preferences..

Fractional rig, esp if short/singlehanding - but finding a reasonable sized boat in your budget is going to bring a lot of mastheads into view.. and that's OK too.

Fin keel Spade rudder. - esp as a beginner there's nothing like having a boat that turns and responds easily and nimbly - and will behave when running slow and backing under power in close quarters.

Furling jib for ease of setting/dousing sails, again esp shorthanded.
Thanks again for the info! Good points on maneuverability, this is probably an aspect I should consider more carefully.

If I wanted to start looking at fractional rig and fin keel as an option with my budget in mind, what are some common models I could start reviewing?
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