I've been bitten by the sailing bug a couple of month ago and since then I've been lurking through this forum dreaming about buying my own boat. Well, now I'm getting more serious about it and spent the weekend visiting various boats up for sale, and I would very much appreciate some help picking the right one.
Here's what I'm looking for in a boat:
- Easy to learn on, easy to singlehand. From what I gathered here and on other forums, that means 30' or less with moderate displacement and good maners (not overly twitchy or tippy).
- Should be fast enough to be fun on SF Bay. Some racing is definitely on the agenda, but will probably need to get some experience first
- Should be able to get out of the Gate for day or two and be capable of handling bad weather to some degree. I don't plan on going on month-long cruises, but short trips to Half-Moon Bay, Santa Cruz or Monterey should be doable.
Now, here're the boats I'm seriously considering at this point:
- Cal 2-27 (don't know the exact year, they don't have complete paperwork yet).
The cleanest of the lot, inside and out, really spotless as far as my layman eye can tell. Nice ST winches for the jib, 4 secondaries, all lines aft, 2-3 jibs (foil type), spinnaker. Looks like the owner maintained her really well. Apparently, he raced regularly. Inboard engine is a Farymann 1-cyl, reportedly has a blown head gasket and not running. Boatyard quoted $3K to fix it. But, for an extra $900 they'll throw in a 2006 Honda 8hp and mounting plate.
- '77 Pearson 28
Looks roomier than the Cal, but not by much. Not as clean, but definitely not neglected. Hardware looks much more "used". Roller jib. 2 jibs, no spin. But, has a running Atomic 4 that the owner starts up every week. Sounded good, if a bit louder than I'd expected, but then I've never heard them run before. The owners never raced it, just cruised around a fair bit.
- '82 Islander Bahama 28
In decent shape, but has that air of being well used and being maintained just enough to be respectable. Has a Yanmar 2GM20, big plus, but costs $3K more than the Cal. Has an awful name that I would definitely need to change, which brings all the superstitions into play. By the numbers it looks like this will be the least stable boat of the three, but I could be way off on that point.
Cal is $4K (with the outboard), Pearson $5K and Islander is $7-7.5K
What are your thoughts? How do they compare purely on sailing characteristics? Which one would be the fastest, the most stable? How significant is outboard vs. inboard? Any potential problems to look out for, weak areas? I am definitely going to do a survey, but never hurts to know more...
At this point, I'm leaning towards the Cal, simply because it's by far the cleanest of the bunch. I am a little weary of the outboard, but then it might give me a chance to fool around with electric propulsion... or learn how to fix diesels
Atomic 4 would've been nicer there, with the parts and support readily available. Yanmar is the main reason I'm considering the Islander, as the boat seems somewhat less seaworthy then the other two, but I'm basing this on second/third hand information, so...
I also looked at a Cal 3-30, but it sat in the water for 4 days so needed a lot of work, and an Ericson 29, which was not very well maintained.