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Old 03-06-2011
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How about a Bayfield 32 as a beginner boat?

I have been intrigued by these Bayfield’s for quite some time now; and there is a ton of 32’s for sale within a few hours of where I live, and they are solidly in my price range. Unfortunately I am not an experienced sailor, and am in the market for my first boat. So, how do you guys feel about this as a beginner boat? Is that bow sprit and full keel going to give me heart burn? Ultimately I need a boat I can handle alone; is the Bayfield forgiving of newbie’s sailing single-handed?

this vid YouTube - Solo Sailorgirl Cruising Adventures: Calm, Stormy & Great Sailing. shows a little 110lbs woman handling a Bayfield (looks to be a 29?) just fine by herself... but obviously she knows a lot more about sailing then I....

I was just reading the great review of the Bayfield 36 by jrd22 and his son benny10 posted below, and this just made me want to look into these boats even more. The only thing I think that I’m not liking about them is everything I’ve read says there is A LOT of wood to take care of… I’m a lazy sort, and would rather be out on the water then sitting in a slip maintaining woodwork….

Anyways THANKS ALL
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Old 03-06-2011
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If a Tanzer 22 is the Piper Cub of sailboats, the Bayfield is a De havilland Beaver- loaded with character, stalwart, forgiving, and showing it's age. The cockpit is small, they are often underpowered, and many are on their third owner or fourth owners, with each successive steward wanting less maintenance than previous, to the point that the wood REALLY needs work, and often the deck and hull beneath it. They are not spirited sailors, and not light air boats, by and large, but they make novice skippers look good. If you really want one, buy the best one you can find, not the biggest bargain. The hidden rot will break your heart.
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Old 03-07-2011
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We bought an '81 B32 as our first sailboat about a year ago. They are beautiful boats if you like that traditional look (and we do). You either like Gozzard's designs or you don't. We got a pretty decent deal on ours but she does need some work. ALL boats do and at 30 years old, she needs more than a newer boat would. We have been slowly refitting over the last year and we plan to cruise on the Chesapeake and eventually to FL and the Bahamas. I think they make a good platform to learn (cruising not racing) upon. If cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations, I figure I'm learning all about cruising via all the fixing I'm doing When I'm done, we'll have a great pocket cruiser that's comfortable and easy on the eyes. I'll never get my money out of her, but that's certainly not the point. One piece of advice: many of the older B32s came with a raw water cooled Yanmar. If you can find one with a fresh water cooled engine that would be much better. Ours needed a rebuild and I decided it just wasn't worth investing that much in a 30 yo engine that's full of mineral deposits and rust scale with an unknown life expectancy. I want an engine I have faith in, so I'm in the middle of a re-power. Just more fun and education!
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Old 03-07-2011
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A grand old friend told me that you'll know the boat because she will "speak to you". I've always like the Bayfield. Never got one - just not in the right place at the right time.

Great advice from Jones:

"buy the best one you can find, not the biggest bargain."

Good luck in your search.

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Old 03-07-2011
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Awesome guys! Thanks for the thoughtful replies.

Bljones – thanks! And a great analogy, I will admit though; I had to google De Havilland; I’m even less of a pilot than I am a sailor! but hey, if the Bayfield’s can make a newb look good, well then: that just bumps em up a couple notches on the ol’ “boats I want” list.

Salty – CONGRATS DUDE! And thanks for the post; you are exactly who I was hoping to hear from: a first time boat owner that has sailed a Bayfield 32. Great tip on the Yanmar BTW. Have you found this boat to be a forgiving sailor? And, so how bad is the wood maintenance really? Is it a big under taking, or not as bad as it could be? I was looking at a Baba 30(?) a few months ago…now THAT boat had a lot of flippin’ wood!

Rikhall – totally agree with jones n you. There are just some things were you definitely get what you pay for, and from all accounts boat is one of them. I am definitely won’t be looking for “the deal”. Just the best boat for me in the price range I’m comfortable with.

Thanks all!!
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Old 03-08-2011
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We hadn't done all that much sailing before we pulled her to do some major refit / overhauling. I can tell you she handles well in wind and chop. Very stiff. No bad habits beyond reverse under power, and that can be managed by *using* the prop walk instead of fighting it. (learn this skill... it's amazing) Needs some wind to get going and is happy with at least 10 kts. We have a light drifter for light air, but we haven't had the opportunity to try it yet. There were 2 versions of the boat: the B32 and the B32c. The 32c has a 4 ft. taller mast and a 4 ft. extended bow sprit to give more sail area for light air. Ours is a rare animal; we have the longer sprit with the short mast. We'll see how this works out over time. Britework-- If you want her to look good, it takes some time and work. There are some newer coatings/varnishes that make it easier, but it still needs to be done. Fortunately, my wife has become quite the britework queen. At our marina she's known as MissTeak
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