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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 05-16-2003
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Islanders and such

In the spirit of the most recent Catalina discussion (sort of), I am asking for experiences and opinions. And no, this is not a "troll."

My wife and I bought an Islander Bahama 30 last October, for sailing on a large inland lake (Lake Texoma - 89,000 acres - large to me, anyway). It is our first "big" boat. We are really enjoying owning her so far.

We have two active young daughters age 6 and 9, and we have found that space when staying aboard is perhaps less than ideal. In fact, my wife thinks we should move up to a 36 ft. something as soon as possible. She prefers the Beneteau 361, but I haven''t decided IF or WHAT.

I need to decide whether to argue that we keep the Islander and continue the refit/upgrade plan we have begun, or start planning the sale of the Islander and purchase of the next boat. It is worth noting that our Islander seems to be in extremely good condition, always on freshwater, kept by the marina/dealer that originally sold her new (Cedar Mills, the Valiant factory!). The old Volvo MD7 smokes a little and there are 20 year old boat cosmetics, but over-all she seems pretty solid.

Now here is the question. I want to know as much good and bad as I can find about the Islander Bahama 30. Design flaws, recurring build problems, wonderful sailing qualities, whatever. Give me all your experiences and opinions, good, bad, whatever. Please. I can take it.

Fair winds,

Tommy
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Old 05-16-2003
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Islanders and such

Anytime your wife wants a bigger boat, get her one! Most guys have the oposite problem.
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Old 05-16-2003
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couzensj is on a distinguished road
Islanders and such

FYI, buying a bigger boat sounds exciting - obviously you have already thought about the additional cost for slips and winter storage - but have you thought about how much harder your crew will have to work when hoisting/lowing the main larger especially in heavy air or the extra effort associated with tacking a larger headsail.

A lot of people think the answer is 2 speed winches but the real issue is how much of the jib can you get in before you have to put it on the winch. I suggest both of you go for a ride on a larger boat so you can get first hand experience.

I went from racing on the J-30 to a Hood 38 and its a huge difference. To say nothing about the cost of replacing a mainsail or jib on a larger boat and were not even talking about laminated sails. It also requires larger and stronger blocks and snap shackles because of the larger loads on the equipment.

I think what is really important is the size of your regular crew.

Good Luck.

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Old 05-16-2003
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I have no experience with the boat you presently own; However, as a mom out on the water I can appreciate your wife wanting to get a larger boat. The kids just get BIGGER.
Imagine them on your present boat at 14 or 16. Will you have room for them to bring friends etc?? If they can bring friends they might actually want to sail with you. We have moved up size-wise from 30 feet to almost 36--the comfort level when you stay out overnight is tremendous, and therefore the junior crew and the Admiral are happier. I admit sometimes it''s harder to get her into the slip, but I think we just had it lucky at our old marina. We are not sailing purists- furling main and headsail so the boat is easy to handle ( I am waiting for the anti-furling people to contribute;we have never had problems in 10 plus years with the furling systems on previous boats, and I''m confident that our luck will hold) Just something to think about--but if you have a way to keep the kids from growing up too fast, please let me know!!
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Old 05-16-2003
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Islanders are all great boats and the Bahama 30 is one of the best. Take a hard look at the Islander 36.There are some great bargains out there.Sure you may be on the winch much
earlier with a larger boat, but is this really an issue? Dick Elliott, Islander 28 "Special K".







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Old 05-16-2003
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Islanders and such

I think this is a highly subjective question since you can make an arguement either way. The Islander Bahamas were good boats for thier day. They were built at a time when Islander''s build quality had gotten much better than on the earlier models. The early ones were built before blisters were a serious problem in the states. They had a very workable layout for a 30 footer. There is something very handy about a 30 footer. 30 feet is long enogh to deal with a wide range of weather and yet small enough to be easy to single-hand or skip out for a quick daysail. I personally love 30 or so footers for those reasons. (I still think back very fondly of the 28 footer that I owned for 24 years, especially when I need to scrub the decks or do the spring cleaning on my present longer boat).

On the other hand, 30 year old boats have gotten to the point where they need a lot of upkeep and up grades if these long term maintenance items have not been done along the way. At thirty years you can expect to change out the standing and running rigging, chainplates, rebuild or replace the engine, upgrade or replace electronics, head and galley equipment, and so on. Still no matter what you spent it would be still probably be less than the interest you would pay on the difference in price between the Islander 30 and the Bene 361.

As someone wisely noted boats sometimes need to get bigger because kids just plain get bigger. When I was a kid my family cruised for years on a 25 footer but around the time that I turned 14 and my kid-brother turned 11 or 12 we somehow had physically outgrown the boat as a family and so moved up to a 32 footer.

To further make the flipside arguement, the larger boat will have a more comfortable motion and more privacy. The bigger boat will be faster and typically have more modern, lower friction hardware that will somewhat offset the big increase in the displacement and sail size. The newer boat should be more reliable and need less maintenance, at least initially.

One minor point, while I generally like Beneteaus, I am not as big a fan of the 361 as some of the other Beneteaus in this size range. If you don''t mind a suggestion, I would strongly recommend that you look at the slightly older Beneteau 36s7 which was a nicer boat all around. While the 36s7 is not quite as roomy as the 361 it offers a much nicer layout and level of finish. The 36s7 also offers superior performance and motion, and with its fractional rig and smaller jibs should be easier to handle with young children aboard. 361''s were predominantly delivered with roller furling mainsails which I think are a less than successful solution for shortening sail in heavier conditions in that they are more prone to jamb and also allow the sail to power up just when you want flat sails to reduce heeling.

Also for a little more money I have been extremely impressed with the new Beneteau First 36.7. I have been spending a lot more time on its bigger sister the 40.7 and have been amazed at the build quality of these two boats. I was particularly impressed with the stiffness of the 40.7''s construction (which is similar in engineering to the 36.7) going down below on one being driven very hard to windward in high winds, and a very steep and shortly spaced 5 foot chop. There was not a creak to be heard on this boat that was at that point three years old and had already been campaigned on the race course for two hard years (winning her class in Key West race week and the Carribean Ocean series) and which had also done over 10,000 offshore delivery miles. I raced on this boat in the SORC this year and she was still looking like a new boat. On the other hand the 36.7 (or 40.7) may be too performance oriented for your needs, especially with young children aboard. Neat boats though.

Good luck with your quandry.
Jeff

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Old 05-16-2003
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Islanders and such

I''ll echo some of the above thoughts.

Hmm, wife wants a bigger boat...what to do, what to do...um, perhaps...BUY A BIGGER BOAT.

I have two daughters also, and when they were young-uns (.06 and 2) we had a 29 footer. And then they grew, and grew. We now have a 35 footer with fore and aft cabins and things are getting crowded. Last week the wife suggested we might need a bigger boat. Hmmm. What to do, what to do.

Besides doing a little dance at night when everyone is asleep? Combing the internet for the ''next'' boat.

p.s. our current boat is a benny and we aboslutely love it. it''s taken us through some serious $%&# and held up it''s end every time. solid boat.

p.p.s. listen to jeffy, he knows of which he speaks.
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Old 05-17-2003
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This is exactly the discussion I need - keep ''em coming! Thanks to all for your thoughts, and thanks to Jeff for the Beneteau insights. I really like the 36s7 also, wish it had the separate shower and metal toerail like the 361. Still really like the First racing orientation, though. Are teak toerails hard to care for? (JUST KIDDING!)

This is good - more is welcome! Now, I''m going sailing, be back later!!!!

Tommy
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Old 06-09-2003
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Islanders and such

I''ve been away from SailNet for a while, rebuilding my Islander Bahama 30 that we bought last fall. It''s ready to go and we''re loking forward to sailing in and around Vancouver Island this summer.This is the second Islander Bahama I''ve rebuilt (lost the first one when financial problems reared it''s ugly head due to illness). I''ve rebuilt both of them from the ground up. The first was purchased in 1989 and we sailed it extensively up and down the B.C. coast. We have a daughter (now grown up with a grand daughter!) and she brought many friends along with lots of room in the quarter berth. Both boats were 1978 models, separated by four months of production, the first with an Atomic 4, this one with a Volvo Diesel. I consider them the best bang for the buck at 30 ft. If you send me your e-mail address we can discuss this further. I can send photos and details of the strenths and weaknesses you should be aware of. Of course, if you have already decided that 30 ft isn''t long enough, cancel all this and have fun with your larger boat.
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Old 06-10-2003
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BertV, I have sent you my email as you suggested. No decisions made yet; but, we are having much fun sailing the Bahama 30 every weekend lately!

No one else with Islander Bahama 30 opinions or information?

Tommy
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