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jhorst1 10-11-2012 10:50 AM

What can you tell me about Watkins
 
Hi,

I have decided to start looking at sailboats again, I have sailed most of my life although mostly small craft and it has been years since I have been in the community. My wife and I have decided to start looking at used 28-32 ft
($15,000 to 20,000) sailboats for coastal use ( Northern Chesapeake Bay marinaed) . Condition is number one on our list, however we are also looking at models that provide larger interiors (for their size) so that we can comfortably weekend and take out the occasional guests....Cat 30's have caught our eye, Cal 29's, and most recently a very clean Watkins 30. I dont know a ton about Watkins (or any boat for that matter but even less about watkins)
I found little information about the model online but would like a candid take from those that know much more then myself....would this be a good family boat of decent quality that makes sense for sailing the Chesapeake? What say you?....Thank you for your help and take it easy on the rookie :)

jameswilson29 10-11-2012 12:07 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
I would go with the Catalina 30 for your purposes, better sailing boat for the Chesapeake Bay and better looking boat than the Watkins, one of the roomiest 30 footers, and many more owners in the area. Check for the Catalina smile, wet wood in the bilge sump, bad keel bolts and blistering rudder needing replacement. Catalina still offers support for its boats and there are replacement parts available. I would try to find one with a bimini, a wheel, and a diesel instead of the original A4.

The Cals are great sailing boats and probably more rugged, but the Cat 30 has more space inside. I looked at both makes when I was looking for a boat. I would have bought either boat if I could have found the right one in my price range. When a well-priced Cat 30 was offered for sale on a Tuesday near Baltimore, I made arrangements with the seller to see it the following weekend. Unfortunately, it was sold the next day.

jhorst1 10-11-2012 12:13 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
Thanks, I know the most about Cats as the Cat30 has so much info available that I have read in depth on the pluses and minuses as well as common problems like the cat smile and blisters....actually we started just looking at those but then I realized we may be missing other models that are well equipped and in great shape just because our search was so narrow...so if a clean cat 30 in our range pops up it will certainly be on the list but I am really open to other makes as well.

jackdale 10-11-2012 01:50 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
Years ago I sailed a Seawolf 30 (Watkins) in the Bahamas. With the full keel and short draft, it did not point very well. It tacked through about 120 degrees. The main on this boat was unbattened which also did not help.

For two people it was quite comfortable. We slept in the v berth.

jameswilson29 10-11-2012 02:19 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jhorst1 (Post 932092)
...however we are also looking at models that provide larger interiors (for their size) so that we can comfortably weekend and take out the occasional guests....


I will also point out these are somewhat contradictory goals. If you want to entertain, you need a large cockpit space. Usually, cockpit space comes at the expense of cabin space.

For your price range, I would buy a Pearson 10M (33 feet). A great value and will beat the pants off your other 3 boats with a PHRF of 141 or 135 - a good, comfortable, stable coastal cruiser with a good turn of speed.

jhorst1 10-11-2012 02:37 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 (Post 932179)
I will also point out these are somewhat contradictory goals. If you want to entertain, you need a large cockpit space. Usually, cockpit space comes at the expense of cabin space.

For your price range, I would buy a Pearson 10M (33 feet). A great value and will beat the pants off your other 3 boats with a PHRF of 146 - a good, comfortable, stable coastal cruiser with a good turn of speed.

Thanks...I will look into the Pearson as well...I know they are kind of contradictory but cabin space is high priority for us...cabin space for us and the occasional other couple...or our two small dogs and a child.

jameswilson29 10-11-2012 02:45 PM

Re: What can you tell me about Watkins
 
The PHRF ratings are a good indication of relative speed differences: PHRF New England - Handicapping - Base Handicaps

According to the N.E. PHRF, the Cat 30 is 180, the Cal 29-2 is 183 and the Watkins 29 is 219, and the Pearson 10M is 135 or 141. In a race, the Watkins would be given an extra 39 seconds each mile to catch up to the faster Catalina 30. The Pearson 10M would give the Catalina 30 an extra 45 seconds per mile to catch up.

On the Chesapeake Bay in particular, even if you don't race, you do not want to have a slow boat or you will spend most of your time motoring. If you are lucky to have enough wind consistently to sail on your coastal passages, you will appreciate the greater speed over the course of much greater differences.

Cabin space is highly overrated. If you are like most folks, you will not spend that much time below decks. Sure, it is nice to be able to stand up and move around, but a little extra space may not be worth the penalty you pay in boatspeed.


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