Looking to buy 34' - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-28-2015 Thread Starter
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Looking to buy 34'

I'm looking to buy a 34' production boat for the Columbia River and to Coastal cruise up to the San Juan Islands . Years between 2001 - 2006. I live in the Gorge where winds are predominantly 15 knots +
Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-28-2015
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Budget? And a reason so specific on length?

Last edited by seaner97; 07-28-2015 at 09:43 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

Wondering why 2001-2006

"Let there be light!" said God, and there was light! "Let there be blood!" says man, and there's a sea!
Lord Byron, Don Juan


S/V Temptation
Islander 44
Very non-production
(Well, 10 were made so sort of non production)






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post #4 of 10 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

Obviously I'm biased, but hard to beat a Catalina 34. Check out C34.org. It's the Catalina 34 owners forum. ANY questions you could possibly have about the boat will be answered there. I can't tell you how helpful those guys were when we were looking and after buying.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-28-2015 Thread Starter
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Budget is up to 75k
34 ' for young family and entertaining
2002 - 2006 newest I can afford with the modern production boat amenities
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

I would suggest going out getting on boats, with your spouse and report back with what you find that you like. Most any newish production boat is going to be similar to any other, with some exceptions. You are looking at post big recession (boat manufacture recession in the late 80's that closed a lot of manufacturers) so standard production boats Hunter/Catalina/Beneteau/Jeanneau/Bavaria are all good boats, with Hunter/Catalina both being quite similar and likely more comfort oriented. The European boats are more performance oriented, especially the Jeanneau. Bigger differences will be in the preference you develop, some hate the B&R rig on the Hunter, others love it. Some hate the "Ikea" style interiors found on the European boats others think it is modern. Granted this is a gross generalization of what is available. Good news is in that range it may well be hard to make a real mistake. Keep in mind that you will be able to get more boat and amenities if you broaden your range. Some local considerations may be paid to pilot house designs (not many in your price range, certainly not in the age range you specify) will extend your season a great deal. I would be more concerned about condition than age, a well maintained 40 to 50 year old boat is a way better buy than a neglected 12 year old boat and may have more "amenities" to boot. I mention spouse as well because if they are not happy with the boat you will not get to use it much! So involve them in the decision early on.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-28-2015
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

What miatapaul said....+10
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

I'd also add that you should widen your range of boats to 33-37 (maybe as low as 30 depending on how many family). 34 is very specific and I bet if you get on a 33 or 35 you won't notice much difference. I'm not that up on the newer designs as I'm not much of an IKEA guy, and the new "floating pie" designs turn me off on the aesthetics, but both the Hunters and Catalinas would probably tick your boxes. Personally- I'd look older and well maintained. Prettier (IMO) and better bang for your buck.
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Re: Looking to buy 34'

One other thing to look into is slip/mooring. While it seems crazy to look for one before the boat, what do you do when you find "the" boat and buy it and have no place to put it! That transient slip will get very expensive quickly! But having an idea of what size slips are available where you want to be is important. You may find that all that is available is 30 foot slips, so it might make sense to buy a 30 footer till a bigger slip comes up as it may take years of being on a waiting list. If you get something like a Catalina 30 (older but good boat) you know you can sell it relatively quickly if you keep it up. Also some marinas have a sliding scale. For instance one marina near me up to 32 foot is $80 a foot for the summer six month season, but 33 to 45 foot is $112 per foot for the season. so that one or two extra feet really add up. In this case going from a 32 footer to a 33 it jumps $1136 for the season. I know one person who bought a smaller boat than they planned because of size limits at the marina they wanted to be in.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-28-2015 Thread Starter
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You are right...I am looking at 33's up to 35'.
I can't really increase the budget and the wife likes the Hunters and would have a new boat if we could do it. I agree that a well cared for aged boat is better than a beat up newer boat. I plan on having a survey done. We will be attending the Boat show on lake union near Seattle this September to get on as many boats to really tune in on "splitting hairs" between our final choice. I have a young family a total of 4 and I plan on keeping the boat for quite some time before trading in for some thing that will able to go into deeper blue water.
For now I want what will fit my budget and style and still make passage from the Columbia River to the San Juan Islands.
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