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Taffy1960 07-18-2008 03:42 PM

Please recomend a blue water cruiser for around 10K
Hi, this is my first post.
I have enjoyed reading all the comments from more experienced sailors. Dear all, please can you suggest a few boats. I have a dream to sail about half the year. I have been researching for about 4 months for my ideal boat. My plan is to buy a 27-35 footer that I can single hand once I know her. I prefer solid fibreglass (I can do repairs). I like the idea of late 70s early 1980''s (for systems and resale). Budget? Well the sages recommend buying a boat of this age that has already been refitted. Which could take us to 15K – 20K . but the less spent the better (that way if shes holed or stolen then it wont break the bank + she’ll be less of a target for criminals). I will be cruising for 6 months of the year, most of the time on board, but I don’t want luxury. Mainly solo with friends visiting (max 4 berths). I prefer a draft of less than 4 ft. to get into those sheltered interesting places, yet I want her to be capable of an ocean crossing. For this it also seems diesel engine a must. (then I could use biodiesel)

Research has turned up so far Vegas, Tartan 27, 30, (I like the centreboard idea on these boats) contessa 26, sabre 28, and somebody recommended alberg 30ft.
Speed not a priority, but The seawind 11 32, and westsail 32 might be too much to handle? My experience is beginner/intermediate.
I plan to buy in florida USA ideally febuary/ march 2009. That way I can easily fly up from Chile, get some experience on her / do any maintenance, and sail the carib for 3 or 4 months

Many thanks for your thoughts. I hope I haven’t fanned any flames ……


sailingdog 07-18-2008 04:08 PM


There have been about two dozen threads on this same subject in the last two years.

In addition to the boats you've named, I'd also add the Southern Cross series of boats, by CE Ryder in Rhode Island. The major caveat with them is that they had a cored hull—which used AIREX foam as a core material. However, the boats are very robust and seaworthy. Donna Lange recently completed a circumnavigation in her SC 28.

The Pearson Triton, Bristol Channel Cutter, Flicka, Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, and Contessa 26 are also boats that have done similar passages. However, I seriously doubt you'll be able to find any but the Triton in your price range.

Be aware that using biodiesel in a marine engine may not be such a good idea. It has some properties that are going to cause problems for an older boat, which was not designed to use biodiesel specifically. See quoted text below.

I would also highly recommend that you reserve about 15-20% of your purchase budget for refitting, upgrading and repairing any boat you buy. This is especially true of a boat you want to take off-shore for any extended period of time.

Finally, you're not generally going to find a seaworthy boat in your price range that would be liveable for anything but the shortest of time periods with more than two people aboard. Most boats can sail with far more people than can liveaboard them. My friend describes his C&C 38, a much bigger boat than you're looking at or able to afford, as "Sails 6, Feeds 4, Sleeps 2".

I'd recommend you look at John Vigor's book, 20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere. Some of the boats in that book are inherently more seaworthy than others...and some I would hesitate to recommend for making a bluewater passage without serious modifications.


Pure biodiesel (B100) has a solvent effect, which may well release deposits accumulated on tank walls and in pipes from operation. It will also attack paint and similar surfaces, given the chance. Using high blends of biodiesel, the release of deposits may clog filters initially and care should be taken to replace fuel filters until the build-up of deposits is eliminated. This issue is less of a problem with B20 blends, and there is no evidence that lower-blend levels such as B2 have caused filters to become blocked.

B20 and B2 refer to the American system of designating the percentage of biodiesel in a blend. B20 contains 20 % biodiesel and B2 contains 2 % biodiesel by volume. The rest will consist of standard fossil diesel fuel.

The recent switch to low-sulphur diesel fuel has caused most OEMs to switch to components that are also suitable for use with biodiesel. In general, biodiesel used in pure form can soften and degrade certain types of elastomers and natural rubber compounds relatively quickly. These were commonly used in engines up to a few years ago, so there may be a compatibility issue with older vehicles. Using high percentage blends can impact fuel system components (primarily fuel hoses and fuel pump seals) that contain elastomer compounds incompatible with biodiesel, although the effect is lessened as the biodiesel blend level is decreased. Experience has shown that no changes to gaskets or hoses are necessary when using B20, even in older engines.

The final issue to be covered is that of shelf life. Most fuel today is used up long before six months, and many petroleum companies do not recommend storing hydrocarbon diesel for more than ix months. The current industry recommendation is that biodiesel be used within six months, or reanalysed after six months to ensure the fuel meets ASTM specifications (D-6751).

Taffy1960 07-18-2008 04:33 PM


Thanks for the useful info. I'll check out the boats you mentioned and search for the threads.

Your right about the biodiesel. I understand its better to use blands / mixes with mineral diesel particulary at first. and replace rubber with synthetic hoses, seals, etc-

I think the effort will be worth it. There's nothing worse than seeing fuel stains in the water.


sailaway21 07-18-2008 04:40 PM

Please recomend a blue water cruiser for around 10K

Passage on the Queen Mary 2?

sailingdog 07-18-2008 04:42 PM

be nice sway...

Stillraining 07-18-2008 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by sailaway21 (Post 343220)
Please recomend a blue water cruiser for around 10K

Passage on the Queen Mary 2?

I was going to be clever/cheeky like that but just couldn't do it..;)

Welcome anyway Taffy

Freesail99 07-18-2008 05:09 PM

Not a hijack, but I have a friend here in NJ, who uses biodiesel in his yanmar engine on his sailboat. Yanmar even services his engine. Trouble with sailing with him, is your dying for french fries within 10 minutes of being on his boat.

LittleWingCA 07-18-2008 06:09 PM

You might want to look for a Pacific Seacraft Orion 27 or Flicka also. You can find a few available on various yacht listing sites, in the age range you are looking for, but slightly higher than your current budget asperations. They are built for open ocean, and are in the size range, and draft range you are looking for. If you are seriously looking for something for 6 months of cruising in the open ocean, you might want to look higher than $10k.

sailingdog 07-18-2008 06:15 PM

While both the Orion and Flicka are excellent little bluewater boats... they're very unlikely to be in the OP's price range.

Taffy1960 07-18-2008 07:18 PM

Guys n' gals,

I like the look at the southern cross 9m. My budget could stretch to 15- maybe 20K if there was something irresistible + practically ready to go.

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