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  #1  
Old 08-10-2003
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Racer Cruiser

I am beginning to search for a new boat. I really love the J105 but it is way too much money for this stage in life. My wife will not go for something like a Melges24 as she still likes to overnight on the boat and will not step foot on one if I got it. So I am looking for something in the 25 to 30 foot range that can be a good beercan racer but also a decent weekender. We sail in the great lakes area. Some boats I have been looking at so far in the adds are:

J24
S2 7.9
J80S2 9.1
S2 9.2
C&C 29
Cal 9.2
J30
Hunter 31

I''d rather have a boat with tiller steering as opposed to wheel and cockpit mounted traveller but we haven''t really ruled out more of a cruiser either.

Anyone have any other suggestions to look at? Any bad experiences with any of these?
Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2003
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Rayn
These all look like Great boats I lean away from Hunter a bit and because of my great wealth I look at used boats I sail a Lancer it is suposed to be a racer/cruser. I like my accomidations but she is a real pig down wind. I am thinking a Geneker will take care of all that and I be more competive. I saw a 30 on Yacthfinders. http://www.yachtfindersbrokerage.com/core/listing/pl_boat_detail.jsp?&units=Feet&checked_boats=11096 71&slim=broker&&hosturl=yachtfinders&&ywo=yachtfin ders& Listed at $22,500 but I am sure thats a begining point.. Good luck
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2003
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You have not listed my favorite racer/cruiser in this general size range, the Laser 28. These are Bruce Farr designed, Kevlar hulled, 4100 lb, fractionally rigged sloops. I went through the same search that you but back in 1988 which lead me to buy a Laser 28 which I raced, cruised and daysailed for 11 years. These are super little boats. They race well under PHRF (129 Chesapeake Std rating) and MORC. They can be raced with crews as small as 4 and as large as 6 or 7 (five being pretty optimal). Their fractional rig means a smaller less expensive sail inventory and simplier depowering and dialing in. I have successfully raced these boats with very inexperienced crews, talking them around the course. That said these boats really reward a skillful crew.

All halyards and control lines are lead aft except the spin pole which is controlled from the mast because the Laser uses a boom mounted pole launcher.

As cruisers they have a very nice, open layout with lots of storage and a very workable and innovative layout and detailing. They have roughly 5''10 headroom at the galley. Most had pressure water and a shower although I doubt anyone actually use the showers. They have a large cockpit with coamings. The came standard with a small Buhk diesel that was very adequate to push the boat. We typically would cruise ours for a week to 11 days each summer with plenty of storage for what ever we needed. There is a large locker aft of the head which is actually large enough to carry a pair of full sized bicycles and an inflatable dinghy.

These are excellent light air boats and are surprisingly good heavy air boats as well. My wife and I were caught in a storm that pegged wind indicators near us at 65 knots. Frankly these were survival conditions for the boat but the boat did extremely well. We were able to beat clear of the river that we were in and gain searoom to reach off. Several heavier cruising boats near us could not make headway and were driven ashore on the lee shore of the river.

These are remarkably tough boats that sail extremely well. I like them so much that when I replaced my Laser 28 I bought a Farr 11.6 which is a 10 foot longer version of the same general design.

Regarding the other choices mentioned above and a few other ideas thrown in as well:

J24: These are good little boats that still have large fleets in some areas. They offer excellent one design racing where fleets are available and there is a lot of info about how to race these boats out there. They don''t have much of an interior. I have always found them uncomfortable to race and frankly not all that much fun. I would strongly recommend a J-22 instead which is what I race our beer can series on these days.

S2 7.9: These are good MORC boats. They offer reasonably good build quality.

J80: I never have liked these boats. Its funny because I like J-27''s which I raced on for 3-4 years and I like J105 which I campaigned on for a year But the J-80 has always seemed like a dud to me.

S2 9.1: These are good all around boats that are competitive in MORC and PHRF. They like lots of wind but are less fond of chop. They take big crews to race well. They have a very nice interior. 9.1''s are notorious for Mast step, and deck core problems.

S2 9.2: These are not race boats by anyone''s objective standards. I never have thought much of the design or build quality of these boats.

C&C 29: Nice boats but not really racers. They can be raced in PHRF at the club level.

Cal 9.2: Old Ron Holland IOR era design. They are pretty good upwind but not so hot off of the wind. Racing one means an expensive sail inventory, a big well trained crew and an uphill fight.

J30: Sort of a big J-24. There was a huge fleet of these around the Chesapeake. I never liked racing these boats. They were meant as old style racer-cruisers with lots of rail meat, and so the cockpit and deck really do not work well as a race boat. They do have a nice interior but racing one is as thrilling as kissing your sister. I would sooner suggest that you look at a J-29 which is the same hull but a more race oriented masthead rig, but much more spartan interior.

Hunter 31: Not a race boat. Not a bad coastal cruiser.

Kirby 25: These are a Canadian answer to the J-24. I owned one of these as well and they are very nice little boats that can be a real blast to race.

Kirby 30. These are the Canadian answer to the J-29/J-30. I am a very big fan of these boats in a lot of ways. They are competitive under PHRf and if converted to a masthead rig, under MORC.

Lancer: Never was a ''racer''/cruiser. They certainly are not race boats and frankly with all due respect to Jim, in standard form are not exactly good cruisers.

Good hunting,
Jeff
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Old 08-11-2003
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Check out the Dehler 29 before you commit. I have a Dehler 34 and love it.
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Old 08-13-2003
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I also went through the same search. My wife wanted to be comfortable and I wanted something that was not a dog to sail. Ended up with a C&C 29 MkII. Not the racing sled that some are but very competitive in PHRF club racing and very comfortable to cruise. Nice that you are moving in light air and most are disigned to be cruised with small crews or single handed. Mine has roller furling headsail, which makes racing not as competitive but is great when I am cruising single handed or with the wife reading her book or knitting. I like the Laser 28, talked to Jeff when he was selling it but the interior of the C&C is not so spartan (or open) and the wife really liked the warmth of the wood and the layout. Once again it is the compromise. When we walked on our boat, after looking at prob 100 boats, the wife immediately said yes, this one I could stay on.

The other nice thing is, especially in the Great Lakes, there is usually several for sale and they retain their value because they are very popular and there is always a market here for them.

I don''t know about some of the others mentioned although I did look at many of them in my travels. I know I am not as impartial as Jeff either but thought I would put in my 2 cents.

Dan
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Old 08-14-2003
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If you''re on the Great Lakes and are considering boats like the J/24, J/29, or J/105, none of which offer realistic headroom for cruising, why not go for a Tartan 10? You get a boat that can get you places relatively quickly with a huge cockpit and deck for daysailing and lounging. Accommodations are definitely a step above the J/24 or J/29, and the class racing on the Lakes is reportedly pretty hot. (You can race PHRF too, if you prefer.) It''s a big enough boat that you won''t feel a need to upsize after a season, but small enough to put on a trailer in your back yard for the winter if you''d like to cut storage costs or work on improvements. (I''ve seen it done!) Because they''ve been popular in your area for a long time, there are likely boats in varying conditions at all different price levels. Later, when your tech stocks take off again, you can upgrade to an LS10 without taking a bath selling an "unknown" boat and still race OD with your T10 friends.
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Old 08-15-2003
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The Tartan 10 is an excellent suggestion. Although not the most solidly built boats most that are still raced have been beefed up. I am not sure that a T10 permits a reduction in crew size though.

Jeff
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Old 08-15-2003
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I''ve thought of a Tarten10. Slips in this area that are deep enough are getting difficult to come by. After talking to a broker here they are for the most part very poor condition with deck problems and he strongly suggested against looking at them. Mainly I''m debating going to something small like a J24 or going something larger like a J30. Will most likely go the small route and save money for something bigger when something more to my likings comes about.
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