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  #1  
Old 10-02-2010
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Nonesuch, Cape Dory, Oday

Does any one have any input for me as to which of these three 30 foot boats would be best suited for a:

1.) beginner sailor-ease of sailing
2.) based in Chesapeake Bay. trips down IC to Florida, passage to Bahamas/Caribbean
3.) liveaboard for two
4.) coastal cruising/best motion in offshore seas
5.) best cockpit

Nonesuch, Cape Dory, Oday


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  #2  
Old 10-02-2010
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Before commenting it is necessary to get more information. How do you define 'offshore'? Related question, is what part of Caribbean are we talking about and how do you plan to get there? Going to the Bahamas is a totally different challenge than going offshore to the Virgin Islands from the Chesapeake which, for boats of this size could be a two week passage, at a time of the year when the weather can be quite snarky.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2010
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Trip 1.)
Chesapeake bay south to Intercoastal. South on Intercoastal to Georgia. Out to ocean cruise off Florida coast- back in at Ft. Pierce. Live aboard in Stuart area. Make way down to Miami/Biscayne bay. When weather window opens go across Gulf Stream (42 miles) to Bimini.
(alternate route-palm beach west to Bahamas--Abacos cruising.

Trip 2.) (eventually)
From Bahamas south to Caribean- U.S. Virgin Islands, Granada
return to south Florida.
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Old 10-03-2010
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What you are doing would generally not be considered offshore although there would be several overnights - the difference is that you generally get to choose a weather window in each case eg to Bahamas and from southern Bahamas to Turks and Caicos. You can still get crappy weather within a decent forecast.

Any of the boats you mention, if well-equipped, could be used. You should be aware that the three boats have some fundamental differences. The most obvious example is the Nonsuch which has a different rig from the other two. Also, the Nonsuch is enormous compared to most 30 footers. In fact, I suspect that a Nonsuch 26 might have more interior volume than a Cape Dory 30. The ODay and CD are the same length but have completely different hull forms. Also the boats you ask about are hugely different in price with ODay 30s of different ages from $15k to $30k and Nonsuches from $35K to $80k (CDs somewhere in the middle)

I think you need a lot more information about boat designs in general so that you will end up comparing boats that are more alike. Also, figure out what your budget is, keeping in mind that you will have to do significant upgrades on almost every boat of this age and that the more you spend on the boat the less you have for your cruising kitty. Choosing a good boat really matters (there is not one 'best' choice) and it is worth the research.
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Back in the water in Grenada - with new main and #2 and cockpit canvas (Santa came early). Will spend the winter and early spring in the Caribbean and then head to Bermuda and the northeast US. Still trying to decide if we will bring the boat to Canada, either in 2015 or 2016.
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Old 10-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I think you need a lot more information about boat designs in general so that you will end up comparing boats that are more alike.
I were the OP I would slow down the purchasing and read and learn more. Most importantly, sail more via sailing classes and volunteering to crew in other's boat.

Doing it right the first time is most efficient and rewarding.
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Old 10-04-2010
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While I agree the OP needs to fine tune what he needs/want, that's not easy to do for someone without a lot of experience. Here's my take on e boats mentioned.

Any are fine for the Bay, ICW and a quick hop to the Bahamas in good weather. I wouldn't consider any for a longer trip to the Caribbean. Nonsuch has the most interior room by far, but handling that sail is a bear. The CD is a traditionaly styled boat, but gives up interior room for that style. The ODay is a typical cruiser/racer of the early 80s. Decent sailing performance and nice interior space. Of the three, it would be my choice. However none of these is good in light air, and there's a lot of that on the Bay. I would look further.
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Old 10-04-2010
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Part of the issue is that the OP probably doesn't have enough experience on different types of boats to really consider/understand what is important in a boat to him. Getting more time in on as many types of boats as possible before making any decisions is probably a good idea.

His constraints are pretty general, and somewhat contradictory... a boat designed for coastal cruising is not going to have good offshore motion generally as a rule; the best cockpit for offshore use is generally a lousy choice for coastal cruising or daysailing; a good Chesapeake liveaboard boat isn't going to be a good boat for open water passages to the Virgin Islands.

He needs to figure out what his primary use of the boat is going to be and buy a boat best suited for what he will be using the boat for 99% of the time. If most of his sailing is going to be coastal cruising and daysailing, along with living aboard in the Chesapeake, then a Benehuntalina might be his best choice, rather than a bluewater voyager. It'd certainly give him more room for living aboard than a blue water boat would, as well as probably be a better choice for daysailing and coastal cruising.

Finally, he doesn't say what his budget for the boat is. The budget will eliminate a lot of choices.
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Old 10-13-2010
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Back to the original post - we owned an O'day 34 and took her cruising through the Keys and Bahamas.

It was our first boat and neither of us had much sailing experience - she was brilliant tho; handled the Gulf Stream well, didn't get any damage when we rubbed the keel on the sand / mud every so often and had plenty of space. We entertained MANY times throughout our cruising and the cockpit could easily hold 6-8 people. Good sea motion also, unless the swell was on the aft-quarter, in which case she didn't track the best. We also saw 10.2 kts surfing small swell one afternoon, and averaged 5-6kts, including a number of overnight passages.

The only reason we sold her was we were returning to the UK and our future plans needed a bigger boat for global cruising.

I haven't been on an O'day 30 but keep in mind we found a 34 stifling at times, a 30 is going to be more-so.

Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 10-13-2010
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My O30 is the fin keel model I single hand her allot on the River here. The location of the primary winches are a PITA but in moderate air I just toss the sheets around them and use a cam cleat farther back.
Odays do have smallish cockpits.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Odays do have smallish cockpits.
On the 30's perhaps (but then don't most 30's have small cockpits?) - our 34 had plenty of space for entertaining, even with the full tent and plastics up.
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