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Lasivian 04-24-2012 06:27 PM

Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
Ok, first the general details. I'm looking for a liveboard boat that will last me 20 years at least if not more which can safely be sailed around the world. (I have zero sailing experience, but I've been around boats quite a bit, I know I've got years of learning before I do a blue-water passage) I'm hoping I can use it as an easy way to sail to where I might find work, yeah, I know it's a risk but I figure it's less of one that moving on land.

I'm single but I'd like space for a friend perhaps so I've settled on 30', and I like the stability and reviews of the Rawson, if anyone has other suggestions I'm listening.

I like to repair and build things, but I'm not looking to do major repairs to my first boat. I have about 20k to put towards "the boat" in buying and outfitting at this point, wish I had more but if I think that way I'll probably never make the plunge, heh.

This one happens to be right up the road from me:

1964 Rawson Sloop Sail Boat For Sale -

I'm curious if anyone sees any red flags there (IE. what looks bad or missing), or can point me to a good boat-buyers-checklist.


Faster 04-24-2012 07:05 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
Interesting set of photos.. some new gear, some obviously not so new.

New rig, that's a plus.. newish engine too, another plus. the cabin heater is a throw-away but with a diesel stove like that you'll rarely need the heater anyway.

These are fairly solid, kinda roomy, but slooow boats but for a one or two person liveaboard you might do worse. This one does not appear to have the bowsprit extension modification, a common one that alleviated some of this designs rather nasty weather helm tendencies - a shame, since the re-rig would have been the time to address that.

The rest of it looks kind of rough so I'm guessing there'll be some considerable TLC, but it's hard to tell from the not-so-great pics. The presence of the cover is at least an indication that someone wanted to look after it, I suppose. .. and a little haggling and you've got it for the price of the engine alone, almost.

From a pure west coast liveaboard perspective I'd be looking at a Catalina 30 before a Rawson, more comfort, perhaps a tad less headroom but would have to compare to be sure. And it's a better coastal cruiser for the time between now and your adventures.

Anyhow, good luck in your quest, and welcome to Sailnet.

chuck53 04-24-2012 09:56 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
Don't know anything about Rawson, but a Catalina 30 is NOT a blue water boat.

I'm sure others will chip in here, but I'm betting you're not going to find a boat that can safely sail around the world for $20k.

souljour2000 04-24-2012 10:45 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
That Rawson weighs 12000 pounds..pretty good for a 30-footer...slower yes...short waterline...but 9-foot wide is good...and comfort rating above 40 is super rare...If the engine and sails are good..go get her...a good survey is always a good idea if you don't know what to look for ..but you may have a great boat to learn on and eventually maybe take a long way's more about the sailor but I'd bet this is enough boat to take you there if you got the stomach...Personally though..if you have zero experience...I'd find something decent around 22-25 foot range for a couple grand and sail the crap out of it.. see where you are in a couple years from now...On the other hand..we never know how much time we got on this planet..or when the time is up...

souljour2000 04-24-2012 11:04 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
A good survey is a good idea if you don't know what can happen to old boats/boat systems over time...I'm still learning and the list of things that will go wrong is long and they arent very readily apparent to the eye...

chuck53 04-25-2012 06:14 AM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
Agree with Sydney that a Cat 30 would make a great live aboard boat. I used to have one. But it was never built to be a blue water boat.

kwaltersmi 04-25-2012 08:40 AM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
On a boat of that vintage, condition and the quality of the new gear (engine, thru-hulls, etc.) installations will be far more important than Rawson's reputation, IMO.

A few observations: The engine and new thru-hulls are nice (and expensive!) uprgrades, if done properly. What about the condition of the sails? If they need to be replaced, it will cost a pretty penny. Is that water damage shown in the bottom of the picture with the heater?

If you're serious about this particular Rawson, it might be worth your time to make a trip up to Nanaimo, BC to check out a similarly priced R30 that appears to be in better condition, but without the engine upgrade. I think comparison shopping is the best way to determine true market value.

SloopJonB 04-25-2012 02:47 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
I've seen a PHRF rating for the Rawson 30 that was near 300 - compare that to a Cal 20 with a rating of 264 - that Rawson is a SLOOOW boat. If you're going offshore in one you better have big water tanks.

wallabycreek 04-25-2012 04:56 PM

Re: Advice please - 30' Rawson Sloop
I have lived aboard for 30 years. I have sailed twice around the world. I would jump on that boat and sail her anywhere. She is exactly what you are looking for. Do not hesitate do not think just go!
After you are committed you will soon learn. Read everything. Start with the "Around The World Sailing Guide" from
Buy second hand sails. Do not worry just go before thr losers get into your head.

sea_hunter 05-09-2012 07:51 PM

This boat is one of the toughest Garden designs. I loved mine and it wasn't slow in a 30 knot blow. Go for it; you won't be disappointed in a Rawson.

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