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  #1  
Old 10-20-2010
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laHolland is on a distinguished road
Morgan 30/2, C&C 30, Newport 30 Mark III

Anyone have experience with sailing and maintenance issues (good/bad/ugly) with these boats? We won't be able to take any on a sea trial, weather is getting too nasty.

These are the three boats in our price range, in the size we are looking for, available in our area. All three are "Good Old Boats", all have expected issues, but lets say far the sake of comparison that the condition of all three is equal.

Morgan 30/2, 1974. The oldest and cheapest, but has brand new sails and a newer replacement yanmar. No frills, older electronics.

C&C 30, 1979. Sails are OK, not great. Unable to determine how many hours on yanmar, but it runs good for now. Intermediate price. Some frills (hot water).

Newport 30, Mark III, 1987. This one is slightly more expensive, but is newer and has better gear. Lots of frills for a boat this size (frig, heater, hot water, newer stuff). Has weird history though, moved around a lot (Florida, Alabama, Mass.) and had hurricane damage and was rebuilt in 1996.
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Which do you like the best...
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I like the frills and the look of the Newport, but price is an issue, and the Morgan wins easily on that front.
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just curious, what kind of sailing do you intend to do with the boat.
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Mostly weekend cruising. Our last boat was more of a racer, and we want a boat that is less tender and has a decent cabin. Last boat was a Cal 27 pop-top.
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I didn't mention it, but we also looked at a Tartan 30 (1977). It had more issues than the other three boats, but I loved the cabin (well maintained), and there was a lot of nice things about the boat. I haven't completely excluded it, but I need to price out what the required repairs would cost, and factor that in. The owner claims that the original Faryman runs, but it looks very bad, completely corroded. I'm wary.
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As a former owner of one I consider the C&C 30 mark I an absolutely wonderful sailing boat, and it is still my favorite amongst the various nice boats I've had the opportunity to own (or sail..). I'd own another one without hesitation.

The C&C will sail circles around the other choices, especially when the breeze is up. This model is genrally considered the stiffest boat C&C built...(and if you don't know what that means, buy something else.) Yet it's light air performance was also good.

The interior is functional but somewhat Spartan...if your comfort at anchor is a greater concern than behavior under sail, go with the Newport. The Morgan is cheaper for appropriate reasons, which don't make it a bargain, just less expensive/less desireable.

PS - a Tartan 30 would be an excellent second choice, it was my second choice when I selected a C&C...
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Thanks for the input. Well, we are looking for a sailboat, not a RV, so sailing performance is our top priority. But for us sailing performance doesn't necessarily mean fast. Stable when it gets in the groove, responsive, handles swells, cuts chop, etc. are more important to us than speed. Compared to our last boat with less than 5' headroom, any of them look spacious. Our last boat was fast but it was a wild ride.
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Price out some new sails for the C&C... if it's still affordable, it'd be my choice performance wise.
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Another $.02 opinion

As these boats age, basic construction is very important. (Not deriding "frills" and add-on's, 'cause I like that stuff too...)

The C&C will have the best hull-to-deck joint by a country mile, and the Newport the worst. This is a big deal as boats age and hard-to-fix leaks start cropping up in many boats.
Sailing ability is another thing. You will find that something like PHRF is handy for a quick one-dimensional potential speed-under-sail comparison. Problem is that it can not tell which designs are actually fun to sail and will be easy to make go fast.

I believe that the C&C would be #1, the Morgan a somewhat distant #2, and the Newport would be further back yet.

Given that you will be smart enough to find a design whose compromises are a great fit for your sailing area, you will like whatever you buy.

Happy shopping!
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