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Old 03-15-2013
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Choices

I have been looking around for a used boat. I would like to find a boat that is big enough to live aboard, yet possible to sail shorthanded. I want to use it on the Chesapeake Bay, and at some point take it down to Fl and the Caribbean. I have looked at Beneteau 393, Pearson 424, Catalina 42, Hunter 40. Any thoughts, recommendations out there?

Burt
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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Choices

Welcome to SailNet Burt.

What is your sailing experience? I ask because a 40 foot boat can be a lot of boat for a novice. And it will give us a starting point. How many people will live aboard? I know you mentioned sailing shorthanded but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be the only one living on the boat.

I suggest that you spend some time lurking around the forum, especially in the Cruising and Liveaboard section, as that question has been asked a zillion times and you might find some answers to your questions (and discover questions that you didn't think to ask).

Good luck!
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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Choices

Need more data.
Budget?
Experience level?
Liveaboard solo, couple or family?
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Re: Choices

Hi and thanks for the nice welcome. I am not a novice but not that experienced either. I owned an O'Day 25 for several years, and completed coastal cruising courses on a Durfour 41 a couple years ago.
Only one person living aboard...and my "shorthanded" definition was 2 of us.
Price range below 100k.
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Re: Choices

Okay, I am Pearson fan (323). I have not sailed in those specific boats, but 30-odd foot equivalents of all of them. In general (assuming similar equipment/condition) the Pearson tends to be more heavily-built, arguably better/more solid finish. The Pearson is has a more seakindly motion (which is a polite way of saying slower!). They are really solid coastal cruisers.

The 424, like the 323, has an encapsulated keel, which I personally like (dry bilge, no keelbolts to worry about).

Beneteau, Catalina and Hunters are all very fine boats; I cannot be objective here, but will say that those three tend to have a more "modern" appearance, whereas the Pearson is slightly more "classic".

As I said, I can't pretend objectivity, and with apologies to owners of the other boats, after my Pearson they all seemed a bit...flimsy. I would go to the Pearson in a heartbeat.

But then, the realities of price, condition, location etc come it to play; I would say any one of those four are great manufacturers, so go with what makes your heart sing.

By the way, a 40 footer is a big boat. Plenty big enough for 2! Or even 4.....
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