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  #1  
Old 12-13-2010
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First Time Buyer - California Coastal Cruiser

Howdy Folks,

I’ve been reading this board for a while and am impressed by both the knowledge of the regular posters and the maturity level of the debate/opinions provided. While the internet is an amazing tool, too many boards degenerate into name-calling and other unhelpful flaming when people line up on different sides of an issue. That doesn't seem to be the case with SailNet.

Anyway, here goes...

I've been sailing sporadically since I was in my early 20s (just turned 40) but have never owned my own boat. Instead, I've been lucky enough to have regularly sailed with close friends who trusted my skills and competence. For years, I was a regular second banana on my buddy's J-24, which he kept New York Harbor. When I moved to Southern California nearly ten years ago, I had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time sailing with a friend on his immaculately kept Newport 30 MkII. Most of our Southern California sailing has been day sails but we've also spent a fair amount of time on short trips (3 to 10 days) off the Channel Islands. My buddy with the Newport had the gall to relocate to Santa Cruz, leaving me without access to something I really love. I guess it’s time to put my money were my heart is.

I'm currently considering my first boat purchase and want something that will suit my needs while also standing out from the crowd. I'm a practical guy in general and am looking for a late model used boat - I'm happy to let someone else take the depreciation hit.

My needs, as far as I can tell right now, are simple:

• A boat between say 32 and 35 feet that I can single-hand
• The ability to do weekend and longer (7-10 days) trips out to the Channel Islands with up to three guests comfortably – meaning two decent sized cabins.
• Large interior volume for a given LOA - I understand that offshore boats tend to be small inside but I’m not planning on taking on the roaring 40s anytime soon.
• A more traditional looking boat – I prefer the look of a Tartan to a Catalina, particularly when it comes to the cabin/deck and transom.
• The ability, eventually, to cruise up the California coast and maybe to Hawaii when the prevailing weather is good.
• Of course, build quality is extremely important. I’ve been in some snotty weather before and don’t want to worry about my craft falling apart on me.

Not sure what other questions I need to be asking - keel type, rudder type, etc? I'd obviously need something suited to West Coast sailing, which tends to offer deeper harbors and fewer shoals than in the east.

As I mentioned, I’m not really into the looks of the Catalina, Beneteau, Hunter as they seem sort of plasticy and overly “modern” – just my opinion – but also realize that more traditional designs tend to have limited interior volume and are perhaps more expensive. That being said, I think that my budget limitations pretty much dictate I’m going to be looking for something at this end of the pricing spectrum.

Any suggestions? I’m hoping to get into something that’s less than ten years old for under $125k.

Last edited by LowSodiumDog; 12-13-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2010
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Here is a nice one that fits your criteria: 2000 Bavaria 34 E Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2010
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I'd point out that cruising the California coast or to Hawaii is best done in a more robust boat than just hopping to the Chanel islands and daysailing. However, trying to find boats with two large cabins, while eliminating Beneteau, Catalina and Hunter, really reduces the field of boats to look at.

Bavaria, Dehler, Dufour are some of the more recent brands that you might look at. However, there are a lot of older boats that might be worth considering. Ericsons, O'Days, CS, might also be good candidates. I'd also recommend that you be a bit more flexible on the length, since the CS36T might be a good choice, but is outside the 32-35' range you've stated.

Tartan and C&C are also possible choices, but you might want to be very wary about them, since there have been some serious problems on some of their newer boats.

I would point out that a well-maintained older boat may well be a better choice than a newer, less well-built boat, especially if the boat hasn't been meticulously maintained.

I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether any boats you're looking at are worth going forward with or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LowSodiumDog View Post
Howdy Folks,

I’ve been reading this board for a while and am impressed by both the knowledge of the regular posters and the maturity level of the debate/opinions provided. While the internet is an amazing tool, too many boards degenerate into name-calling and other unhelpful flaming when people line up on different sides of an issue. That doesn't seem to be the case with SailNet.

Anyway, here goes...

I've been sailing sporadically since I was in my early 20s (just turned 40) but have never owned my own boat. Instead, I've been lucky enough to have regularly sailed with close friends who trusted my skills and competence. For years, I was a regular second banana on my buddy's J-24, which he kept New York Harbor. When I moved to Southern California nearly ten years ago, I had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time sailing with a friend on his immaculately kept Newport 30 MkII. Most of our Southern California sailing has been day sails but we've also spent a fair amount of time on short trips (3 to 10 days) off the Channel Islands. My buddy with the Newport had the gall to relocate to Santa Cruz, leaving me without access to something I really love. I guess it’s time to put my money were my heart is.

I'm currently considering my first boat purchase and want something that will suit my needs while also standing out from the crowd. I'm a practical guy in general and am looking for a late model used boat - I'm happy to let someone else take the depreciation hit.

My needs, as far as I can tell right now, are simple:

• A boat between say 32 and 35 feet that I can single-hand
• The ability to do weekend and longer (7-10 days) trips out to the Channel Islands with up to three guests comfortably – meaning two decent sized cabins.
• Large interior volume for a given LOA - I understand that offshore boats tend to be small inside but I’m not planning on taking on the roaring 40s anytime soon.
• A more traditional looking boat – I prefer the look of a Tartan to a Catalina, particularly when it comes to the cabin/deck and transom.
• The ability, eventually, to cruise up the California coast and maybe to Hawaii when the prevailing weather is good.
• Of course, build quality is extremely important. I’ve been in some snotty weather before and don’t want to worry about my craft falling apart on me.

As I mentioned, I’m not really into the looks of the Catalina, Beneteau, Hunter as they seem sort of plasticy and overly “modern” – just my opinion – but also realize that more traditional designs tend to have limited interior volume and are perhaps more expensive. That being said, I think that my budget limitations pretty much dictate I’m going to be looking for something at this end of the pricing spectrum.

Any suggestions? I’m hoping to get into something that’s less than ten years old for under $125k.
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@sailingdog

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I'm sure I'm being too picky and will have to make compromises. As far as length goes, I'm creating an admittedly arbitrary cutoff at 35 feet simply because this'll be my first time owning a sailboat and I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

As far as sailing the California Coast goes, I'm pretty well aware of the requirements since I helped my buddy deliver his boat from LA to Santa Cruz,which involved sailing past Big Sur and Point Conception, two pretty hairy locations. Plus, the Channel Islands off Ventura CA can offer some hairy conditions as well including huge swells and LOTS of wind. In my admittedly limited opinion, it's a significantly BIGGER place to sail than say, MV or Nantucket, both of which I've experienced as well. Hawaii is another matter altogether as that's true blue water sailing and something to dream about (as opposed to seriously considering) as this point

As far as older boats, I'm certainly not against them. The problem is that the older boats I've seen tend to have much more limited and cramped interiors. I neglected to mention that there is a lady involved in my decision and berths, galley, salon, etc are all important factors in her (our) minds.

@ehirlihy

I've heard quite a bit of negatives about Bavaria on this board, so I'm wary.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2010
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The difference between a 35' boat and a 36' one is probably not dramatic. Having the admiral's input is important... and so is keeping the primary purpose of the boat...

I would also point out that having three guests aboard is going to be very different if it is two couples—you and your significant other and another couple—than if it is four unattached individuals—you and three friends.

Some boats, like the O'Day 302/322 have two cabins and would probably work at a fairly reasonable fraction of your budget.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 12-13-2010
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Thanks for the feedback again. Yeah, it would primarily be couples. Hell, unattached friends can sleep on the settees if it comes to that! The admiral's input is important but it's more about forestalling complaining at a later date. Right now, she just wants me to be happy but when we're out for a few days and the accommodations aren't to her liking... that's when I'll hear it!

Gotta say, I love the modified Firefly quote. Although she's a little larger than what I'm looking for right now, Serenity would make a great home when out in the big blue.

Quote:
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The difference between a 35' boat and a 36' one is probably not dramatic. Having the admiral's input is important... and so is keeping the primary purpose of the boat...

I would also point out that having three guests aboard is going to be very different if it is two couples—you and your significant other and another couple—than if it is four unattached individuals—you and three friends.

Some boats, like the O'Day 302/322 have two cabins and would probably work at a fairly reasonable fraction of your budget.
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Old 12-13-2010
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If your thinking 35, ramp it up a bit and look at between 35 and 40 that extra 5 feet makes a lot of diference when it comes to comfort. Dont dip your toe jump right in, If you can handle a 30 footer you will be right with a 40 after a week or so. going bigger than 40 well thats another ball game and expensive.
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Here's your boat!

1986 Wauquiez Pretorien 35 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

If I were looking for a bluewater capable monohull, this would be my choice.
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