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  #1  
Old 11-16-2011
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All things being equal...

I currently own a Mirage 24 and would like to upsize so that my girlfriend and I can cruise Lake Ontario in the summers. I'm 33 in a week and I've been sailing for three years. Also, the Mirage needs work (as all boats do) and I would rather sink my money into a longer term boat than one I am planning to part with. I guess there is no such thing as a "forever" boat but I would like the next one to last. That being said, I'm not quite sure I want to step up to the maintenance and upkeep of a 32 foot boat but my options are like so:

C&C 27
Mirage 27 (Schmitt)
C&C 30
CS 27 (kind of "porky" looking but the interior and build quality are top notch)
C&C 32

So far the C&Cs I've looked at have been in need of attention, well used, old boats. I have yet to check out the 32 but purely based on the pictures and what the broker has told me on the phone it sounds clean, so lets assume for this conversation that this is the case. The price is right as well, though at the top of my budget. I know the C&C 30 is a more popular boat but they are getting old too, the ones I've seen have been 'used up' for lack of better language. The 32 is an 80 with some of the features found on 80's boats like a quarter birth, toe rail mounted stanchions, more plastic in the interior (whether or not this is a feature is subjective) .. and in general seems like a fresher design. I know it's not the fastest, that's ok, it's not a heavyweight full keel ocean cruiser either. I think it's a pretty boat and it's "big".

Ok, so all things being equal .. should I be buying the biggest boat I can afford and grow into it, or buy a smaller 27 and enjoy that for a few years until I'm ready for the next one? And lets assume that a nice 27 is $20k, a decent 30 is $20k and a nice 32 is 20k (this is actually a pretty good generalization of my experience thus far, with the exception of the Mirage which is 10k, that's very affordable).

Thoughts? Obviously, I'm more comfortable spending less money. But again, any boat will require "investment", ie; sails, repairs, upgrades .. and do I want to be spending money on a 27 knowing that I will want more in a few years? Should I just spend the money on the thing I want and be better off in the longer term? I'll be financing the boat, my income/debt ratio is very sound, I own my residence, no car payments .. I'm comfortable financing a boat at this stage. I mention this as it's a consideration. A 10k boat will be easier to carry, but again, may not last me more than a few years and then I go through this all over again. And, nobody tell my girlfriend .. but I'm planning on having kids with her some day. Being the age I am, that day may not be so far off.

Thanks all. Sorry for the long read.
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Old 11-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smp View Post
And, nobody tell my girlfriend .. but I'm planning on having kids with her some day. Being the age I am, that day may not be so far off.

Thanks all. Sorry for the long read.
I don't have experience with any of the boats on your list but I just had to say this was the sappiest thing I've read in months on this forum. sniff

I'd split the difference and go for a decent 30. With the right layout it will give you plenty of room so that you aren't chomping at the bit to get rid of it when the time comes and can comfortably look for the larger boat.

And, not to get all family therapist here, but if your GF is currently unaware that you're going to be the father of her kids, you still have some planning to do and conversations to have with her about your future and she may have a different perspective once she is made known of your intentions. I mean, she may want eight kids so you might have to go for that 50 footer with the nanny cabin.
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Last edited by DRFerron; 11-16-2011 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-16-2011
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Where are you finding a C & C 32 in the 20's? Year? Gas or diesel? Rough or in good shape?
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Old 11-16-2011
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Others will probably contradict me, but here's my $0.02. I'd suggest buying a bigger boat that is comfortable and that fits with the way you expect to use it. Maybe I'm way off base, but I don't think the "carrying cost" of a 32 versus a 30 is going to be THAT significant, and the additional space you'll gain will come in very handy if you plan on having a family or spending any significant time on the boat. I think that if you move up from a 24 to 27, you're going to want to move up again soon, and that you may wind up losing money in that process. That money could have been used to finance the purchase of the bigger boat up front, or to offset the additional "carrying costs" of the bigger boat. If this was your first boat, or if it was in a lower price point where the depreciation was likely to be less significant, I might suggest otherwise. But in this case, especially since you'd like to hold onto her for a few years, I'd suggest looking at the 30's or 32's.
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Old 11-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
I don't have experience with any of the boats on your list but I just had to say this was the sappiest thing I've read in months on this forum.
Sorry. Maybe I should have worded that differently but I'm only mentioning it because it's a consideration. I want kids. She knows that and seems to like me enough to stick around. If you do the math...
I don't want this thread to be about my relationship with my girlfriend but thank you for the advice.

Quote:
I'd split the difference and go for a decent 30. With the right layout it will give you plenty of room so that you aren't chomping at the bit to get rid of it when the time comes and can comfortably look for the larger boat.
I'm a big fan of the C&C 30. It's really the boat I want. However, the ones I've seen have been "well loved" and require lots of attention. The 32 appears in better shape. I'll know more after this weekend when I have a first hand look with moisture meter in hand. The current owner is in a 2 boat situation. To answer another question in this thread, it's a gasser .. atomic 4. I'm ok with that. I know people that have older boats with atomic 4s that are just fine. If they can get 40 years out if it I can certainly get some more years out of one. I've worked on cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, snowblowers and I guess what I'm saying is that a gasoline engine is something I'm familiar with whereas a diesel is not. I know the diesels are better but it's not a deal breaker for me. The C&C 27s and 30s mostly have atomic 4s as well. I'm ok with it.
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Old 11-16-2011
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As a 27' owner, I'd vote for the 32. If the prices are within range of each other, yet the condition on the 32 is atop the list, the answer is obvious; buy the best condition first, biggest 2nd. I moved up from a 22' and thought the extra 5' would be plenty to "tie me over", and yet, just inside of a year later I'm already contemplating the "next one". 5' makes a difference, as we all know, and your case, that's a total of 8' increase (that should hold at least 2 little ones..lol).

As far as maintenance & upkeep differences between a 30' and a 32' they're minimal enough to say "bigger is better". And, while these are older boats, the larger vessel will more than likely sell faster, if not for more money, for whenever you do decide it's time for a change. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 11-16-2011
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All solid boats you are considering.

I've taken baby steps - Catalina 22, then a J-24, then a Catlina 25, followed by a C&C 29- I've sold the C&C 29 and I am considering going for a 34 or perhaps maybe a 36.

Truth be told, there is value in small steps - easy to adjust to the new boat, and if you buy and sell on your own you dont have to pay broker fees thus helping you avoid losing significant money with each 'upgrade'. On the flip side, do you want to get a 27 footer perfectly suited for you, only to pass it on to the next guy in few years time and start all over with a 32 footer...

C&C makes a rock solid boat (as does the CS). If I was you I'd get the boat that checks as many things off your wish list and is as turn key as possible (although we all know boats are never turn key). I think this is more important than the actual size.

Agree with the comment made earlier - the cost of annual upkeep on a 30 vs. a 32 will be very small.

Smart move taking a moisture reading - I'd also make sure you get a survey once you have found 'the one' I believe you'll need it anyways for insurance and loans.

Best of Luck!
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Old 11-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smp View Post
Sorry. Maybe I should have worded that differently but I'm only mentioning it because it's a consideration. I want kids. She knows that and seems to like me enough to stick around. If you do the math...
I don't want this thread to be about my relationship with my girlfriend but thank you for the advice.
So sorry! My little sniff at the end didn't get through unfortunately (I used an HTML character or something so it didn't show up). I meant it as a positive thing!
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Old 11-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
So sorry! My little sniff at the end didn't get through unfortunately (I used an HTML character or something so it didn't show up). I meant it as a positive thing!
Noted! Thank you

As for the cost difference to maintain a 30 and 32, maybe negligible sure. But the difference between a 27 and a 32? Probably more significant. I know at my club the cost difference would be a few hundred a year, that's negligible. But, any maintenance or upgrades otherwise, like sails for example, quite a bit more.

The last thing to consider, something I didn't mention before, is that my club is a small self serve club. So far I really like that, but then, I have a 24 foot boat. I believe the biggest boat at the club right now is 30 feet, maybe there is 31 or 32 but not sure. Draft starts to become a problem. I know the guy with the C&C 30 was touching bottom at the main dock at the end of this season due to the low water levels. If water levels remain low and our club doesn't do some dredging the added 6" of draft on the 32 may be a deal breaker .. and I would be sad. We are all at wet moorings, no slips.
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Old 11-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smp View Post
Noted! Thank you

As for the cost difference to maintain a 30 and 32, maybe negligible sure. But the difference between a 27 and a 32? Probably more significant. I know at my club the cost difference would be a few hundred a year, that's negligible. But, any maintenance or upgrades otherwise, like sails for example, quite a bit more.

The last thing to consider, something I didn't mention before, is that my club is a small self serve club. So far I really like that, but then, I have a 24 foot boat. I believe the biggest boat at the club right now is 30 feet, maybe there is 31 or 32 but not sure. Draft starts to become a problem. I know the guy with the C&C 30 was touching bottom at the main dock at the end of this season due to the low water levels. If water levels remain low and our club doesn't do some dredging the added 6" of draft on the 32 may be a deal breaker .. and I would be sad. We are all at wet moorings, no slips.
What is more expensive is getting "two-footitus" three years from now. Watched this same scenario over, and over, and over, and over......

The best advice I can give, from a money perspective, is to buy the best condition boat you can find and buy the biggest you can afford and use at your club now. Sub 30' boats can be harder to sell in the future and you will very often lose a lot of money in the process of fixing up the 27 footer then losing more money when you sell to move up a few feet and start the process all over.

Gassers are also harder to sell. I don't personally have a problem with the Atomic 4's, but, MANY folks do. This drastically limits your future potential buying pool. Sub 30' + A-4 etc. etc. often spells a harder to sell boat when you get two-footitus. Buying a boat you can keep longer, and the family can grow into, is often the best deal over the long haul.

Consider something at least in the 30' range, for what you say you may want to do in the future. There are 27' boats with 5' draft and 38' boats with 5' draft. The CS-30 & 33's were both built in shoal draft as were most of the C&C's..
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