Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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We''ll all wait for Jeff to wade in as he''s a proverbial encyclopedia of the boat market. Meanwhile, a couple of thoughts...
With respect I don''t think a HC 33 is what you''re looking for, despite its qualities. You need a mid-size family sedan, not a wood-laden offroad SUV...and I suspect you''d want a much more ''family friendly'' cockpit given the daysailing you plan. Add guests and things move past crowded.
You''re swimming upstream by seeking ''traditional good looks'' (by which I assume you mean medium overhangs, wood trim, traditional transom, and/or what I like to call New England lines). That''s simply not the direction the popularly priced boat market has gone in the last 15 years. Builders who have tried to maintain a more ''traditional style'' tend to be (mostly smaller) builders who build & equip to more of a cruising market and appeal to buyers willing to pay more (later Bayfields, IPs and such). I haven''t even mentioned high end bulders like Morris, Pacific Seacraft or Shannon, nor do they offer the volume you need.
IMO a risk you run if drawn to the more traditional designs (even semi-modern lines like the Sabre 34 or 36) is that you will be looking at boats significantly older for your price range and which, altho'' perhaps well maintained and even reequipped over time, will still exact higher maintenance workload and cost penalities from you, two things no family with two young kids needs.<g>
When looking at your intended sailing plans, space & accommodation requirements, sailing season (you''ll only be using it 6 mos/year) and budget, you are the ideal candidate for the ''price boats'' that exist in abundance, offer the high volume you seek at the high end of your size category without undue sailing penalties, and are within your price range. Whether German, French or USA-built, there are many manufacturer choices out there that suit your needs...but it surely isn''t helpful for me to suggest boats that lack interest for you.
Is it unreasonable to suggest that you re-evaluate your preferences, to place a bit more emphasis on form following function? If you wanted a well-found & equipped bluewater 35 footer for $50K, we''d be quick to suggest you reconsider at least one of your criteria. Perhaps the same suggestion applies to your family''s wants vs. needs.
I''ll be interested in seeing what others can suggest.