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  #1  
Old 07-12-2011
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Help me to choose my next boat wisely

Hi there,

I've been a fan of this site, and finally burst past the laziness to finally register and post. I'm in a unique position, and I'd like your perspective.

For general sailability, how would you compare a Camper Nicholson 345, and a production boat like a Coronado 27? All things being equal with amenities, nav, berths, aux power (proportional to size), etc, which would you recommend. I'll be doing mostly cruising, and that bigger boat sounds pretty sweet. Just want to make sure I get the right one- these are the two that I'm interested in at present... Have mercy on the apples and oranges

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 07-12-2011
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Just to be clear, they're both 'production' boats, i.e., they aren't one off customs. These two boats are very different creatures. The 345 is a Ron Holland IOR based design, the other, a cruiser that in it's day was a relatively inexpensive boat that got a lot of families on the water and still does. It's kind of an old Jag vs Taurus wagon kind of comparison. If the 345 is similar in price to the Coronado 27, you might run away quickly and far as it's most certainly a project boat. Or conversely, the Coronado is ridiculously over priced. Another important consideration is the very different costs of running a 27' boat vs. a 34' boat. Operating costs are often forgotten in the calculus of desire. Given the apple and orange you've chosen in round one, make a shortlist of 6 - 10 boats you'd like to own that meet your criteria for accommodations, etc..., then be patient and look for a good example that's been well maintained. What's your budget? Goals? Venue? Maybe the crowd here can point you to some other possibilities that you haven't considered.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 07-12-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011
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Some idea of where you will sail, what your budget is, what kind of sailing you want to do (daysailing, cruising, racing, etc.) would help.
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Old 07-12-2011
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I agree, apples vs oranges.

I think you are best to forget specific boats and make a list of desires like length, accommodation, etc and keep an open mind.

The advice on running costs vs length is good as well.

The 345 is an IOR racer/cruiser with the emphasis on racing and would be a handful downwind. There are much better Nicholson designs like the 35 in my opinion. More predictable and better cruisers.
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What is your currrent boat and why are you selling ?
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Old 07-12-2011
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We own a Brazilian-built version of the CN 345, with the same early 3/4 frac rig as the Nich.

We've also owned and sailed other IOR era masthead rigs including a powerful Choate 40, our previous boat. I can tell you that the 345 is a much more docile creature than her masthead sisters, and that our 345 handles as easily as any 30 footer with her smaller headsails and spinnakers. We've yet to encounter the IOR deathrolls on this boat, though if pressed I expect it's possible.

The Coronado will be more stable/stiff - the 345 is a bit tender but stiffens up once heeled over a bit. The Coronado will be much slower.

Our boat has a more refined interior than the Nicholsons, with finished cabinetry and storage where the Nich has pilot berths P & S, and we have a real V berth where the Nich originally had a single pipe berth forward. The layout of these boats is quite good, with a totally usable aft cabin (a rarity in boats of this era and design) a decent galley and a nicely executed head compartment. Where she really falls short (by todays' standards) is in the cockpit. A generous bridgedeck (to accommodate the aft berth access) cuts into the seating and the relatively narrow stern squeezes things too.

However the large main and small foretriangle leads to a boat that lives like 34 and handles like 30 - it's been a nice downsize from the brawny 40 footer we had before.







Apples and oranges indeed, but if you can afford to support the 345 I think it's a more enjoyable, prettier boat than the Coronado.

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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I agree, apples vs oranges.

I think you are best to forget specific boats and make a list of desires like length, accommodation, etc and keep an open mind.

The advice on running costs vs length is good as well.

The 345 is an IOR racer/cruiser with the emphasis on racing and would be a handful downwind. There are much better Nicholson designs like the 35 in my opinion. More predictable and better cruisers.

This is where Jeff H will chime in with a universal condemnation of anything IOR, but the fact is many IOR designs can and do make nice cruising boats a la Faster's fine example. By and large, it's the more extreme custom one off's that got a bit kooky and spooky downwind. It's also extremely unlikely you'll be pushing your boat as hard downwind cruising as racing. A much more important factor would be the rig design. Is it relatively simple and suitable for cruising, or is it a multi-spreader runner dependent spindly bendy spar? Good thoughts about the 35 for sure though. It's a very nice boat!

Last edited by puddinlegs; 07-12-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Curioser and curioser

Thanks for the info. Here's where it gets interesting. I have the Coronado 27, and my original intent for selling the boat was to get a smaller but newer trailerable boat that I'd keep in the water for the season, and pull when work starts (schoolteacher with wife and two young daughters). So, the reason for selling is mostly to limit the cost of mooring or storing the Coronado during the off months.

My dream was to be able to afford a Hunter 26 with wing keel- seems like a good balance between ease of moorage pricing, some lead down below, and a nice layout. Seems to be beyond my means. The nearest cousin to that dream was a Catalina 25ish. I've been looking at a few that are on the market and close to my price range 7000.

The Camper Nicholson just happened to be offered to me, and I know little about it at all (although "death rolls" don't sound particularly appealing). Two reasons that this boat got me thinking. 1) It looks and feels much stronger than even my current boat or the Catalinas, and 2) at the price it is offered for, I thought I might tinker with some items below decks and re-sell it for more money after a few years to generate more money towards the boat I really would like to have, that Hunter 26- or similar. It is a custom build- I've even seen the blueprints and logs. It looks like just the winches and sails would be worth more than what is being asked- not to mention a new engine.

Here's what I worry about with that bigger boat. 1) Will movement be uncomfortable (excessive heeling and bounce) for my family below (assuming that I tend the sails and tiller as I do now tipping the balance from performance to comfort)? and 2) Are there likely more expensive problems that will come (I've read about blisters being a problem)?

I love sailing, and I love teaching. Unfortunately that means that I don't have much money for buying boats- or for maintaining them. The basic rule that I've found is that if I can't fix it myself, than I can't afford it. I'm pretty handy as far as that goes, but don't want to get in over my head.

Thanks for your responses, and thanks in advance for your advice on this. I cruise with my family in Puget Sound and the San Juans. Not a racer at all, just want a tough boat that I could cruise with the family looking for whales, pulling some crab, and being able to feel confident in the seaworthiness arena. Can't afford what I want yet, but I also won't go through the summer without something to keep saltwater in my veins.

-Phil
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A choice worth examine is the Trailerable Santana 2023 built until 1998 - active owners association
Tough keelboat beloved in BC - Santana 525 - active fleet google Santana 525 and drop them a line, then can tell you the skinny.

Either boat can be bought for very little in good condition

Last edited by Jeff_H; 07-13-2011 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Commercial link removed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillipmikemoore View Post
.....The Camper Nicholson just happened to be offered to me, and I know little about it at all (although "death rolls" don't sound particularly appealing). Two reasons that this boat got me thinking. 1) It looks and feels much stronger than even my current boat or the Catalinas, and 2) at the price it is offered for, I thought I might tinker with some items below decks and re-sell it for more money after a few years to generate more money towards the boat I really would like to have, that Hunter 26- or similar. It is a custom build- I've even seen the blueprints and logs. It looks like just the winches and sails would be worth more than what is being asked- not to mention a new engine.

......Thanks for your responses, and thanks in advance for your advice on this. I cruise with my family in Puget Sound and the San Juans. Not a racer at all, just want a tough boat that I could cruise with the family looking for whales, pulling some crab, and being able to feel confident in the seaworthiness arena. Can't afford what I want yet, but I also won't go through the summer without something to keep saltwater in my veins.

-Phil
Phil

The 345 would be a fine boat for cruising and recreational sailing in Puget Sound and BC (where we sail her) It's an exceptionally rare boat in these parts, probably part of the low price - but I'd be looking very closely at why it's as low as you are intimating. If you can provide a link to the boat in question I may be able to have a better idea of what you're up against.

But.. as to the first 'bolded' quote above - don't bet on this strategy. It's extremely rare to successfully pull this off, and 'cheap' boats don't usually end up being inexpensive.

As to the second bolded part... where, when and by whom?
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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