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Old 01-27-2010
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Oh... which to choose?

Hey everyone,

So, I'm having difficulty trying to narrow down which sailboat I'd like to purchase as my first. I know that there is no "perfect sailboat," that choosing is making a lot of compromises, but perhaps if I outline some of the things that are important to me someone could offer an oppinion.

The main purpose of my first sailboat will be for moderate extended cruising and living, moderate being 2-3 months at a time. I've heard and read on here that live-aboards rarely make it out of the slip due to extended prep times. However, the main purpose is to cruise, and I'm a minimalist to begin with. I won't have that problem. (Can anyone guess I'm hard-headed too?)

The cabin isn't too big a deal to me, I can make do. Anything in the 25-28ft range is room enough for me to live in without problems. That being said 25-28ft would be ideal, I think. The larger the boat, the larger the maintainence costs, and I'm not MADE of money. This size would split the difference nicely.

Ideally, I'm looking for a masthead sloop with a shoal keel (I live in florida, and would like to enjoy some of those aspects) which is not bolt-on (i hear this is horrible), tiller steering, with a good reputation for blue-water crusing for short hops (Miami-Nassau-etc-etc).

Question: Are fin keels automatically bolt-on, or are they sometimes manufactered with the hull?

I'm particularly fond of the Hunter 27. I like the look of it, however I have NO idea how it sails, and have had little luck in the forums. Any bitches, gripes, oppinions, etc reference this boat? I'm not set on it, so if there are any others worth taking a look at, please offer your opinion :-).
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Old 01-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
Hey everyone,



The cabin isn't too big a deal to me, I can make do. Anything in the 25-28ft range is room enough for me to live in without problems. That being said 25-28ft would be ideal, I think. The larger the boat, the larger the maintainence costs, and I'm not MADE of money.


Question: Are fin keels automatically bolt-on, or are they sometimes manufactered with the hull?
Some keel fins are bolted on and some have the ballast
internally in a fin that is molded as part of the hull, such as
a Cal 25.
A Cal 25 or Cal 28 would be a good option for
your intended purpose. You should not require a shoal draft
version in this size range as these boats draw less than 5'.
Some of the advantages are that these boats are inexpensive,
uncomplicated, are tiller steered and outboard powered.
These boats also sail very well for their size, although you would
not want to bash upwind in the Gulf Stream in either.
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Old 01-28-2010
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I agree with COOL, the Cals can be good choices as well as Hunter and Pearson. Budget will make a difference of course.
As far as keels I think it's easier for a builder to mould a shallow keel stub for a bolt on keel than a deeper narrow keel for inside ballast. Also if you tap an internal keel lightly you can have fiberglass damage but an external keel should take a light tap without a problem. The integrity of the ballast material is better in my opinion with an external keel as well while with internal ballast you're never really sure what's in there. Voids with the internal keel can be an issue as well.
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Old 01-28-2010
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Don't rule out a design simply based on a bolt on keel. Probably 90% of the boats you see in any given boat yard will have them so they are not that horrible.

Next if a tight cabin is not a concern for you and you want a well built boat in the 25-28 foot range. Check out a Sabre 28. Very high build quality compared to a Hunter and very pleasing lines. They are older boats and good examples can be found for reasonable prices.
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Old 01-28-2010
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First, I'd point out that whether you can sail the boat easily while living aboard has more to do with how you keep stuff stowed and such than anything else. If you're as minimalist as you say, this shouldn't be an issue.

Most fin keels are bolted on. Most of the encapsulated keels are full keels or full keel with cutaway forefoots.

The Cherubini Hunter 27 is a pretty solid little boat. Some other boats to look at: Tartan 27, Southern Cross 28, Hallberg Rassy P28, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
Hey everyone,

So, I'm having difficulty trying to narrow down which sailboat I'd like to purchase as my first. I know that there is no "perfect sailboat," that choosing is making a lot of compromises, but perhaps if I outline some of the things that are important to me someone could offer an oppinion.

The main purpose of my first sailboat will be for moderate extended cruising and living, moderate being 2-3 months at a time. I've heard and read on here that live-aboards rarely make it out of the slip due to extended prep times. However, the main purpose is to cruise, and I'm a minimalist to begin with. I won't have that problem. (Can anyone guess I'm hard-headed too?)

The cabin isn't too big a deal to me, I can make do. Anything in the 25-28ft range is room enough for me to live in without problems. That being said 25-28ft would be ideal, I think. The larger the boat, the larger the maintainence costs, and I'm not MADE of money. This size would split the difference nicely.

Ideally, I'm looking for a masthead sloop with a shoal keel (I live in florida, and would like to enjoy some of those aspects) which is not bolt-on (i hear this is horrible), tiller steering, with a good reputation for blue-water crusing for short hops (Miami-Nassau-etc-etc).

Question: Are fin keels automatically bolt-on, or are they sometimes manufactered with the hull?

I'm particularly fond of the Hunter 27. I like the look of it, however I have NO idea how it sails, and have had little luck in the forums. Any bitches, gripes, oppinions, etc reference this boat? I'm not set on it, so if there are any others worth taking a look at, please offer your opinion :-).
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Old 01-28-2010
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For crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas I would look towards the larger end of your size range and seriously consider a boat with an inboard engine rather than one with an outboard. Fin keel boats are going to have deeper draft (about 4-5 feet in your size range) while a centerboard or older full keel will draw less. it would help to know what your price range is.
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