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FollySailor 11-05-2009 09:48 PM

A perfect cruising boat
I have read plenty of threads from people asking the sailnet community to help them find a perfect cruising boat, and have come away with loads of helpful information. However, nobody else's perfect boat meets my criteria. Do you guys think you may have some suggestions for me? Of course every vessel purchased under a budget is a compromise, and I don't expect to have it all, but this is what I would like;

Budget: $35,000 or less (less is obviously better)

Size: 33 to 38 feet (cruising couple)

Itinerary: Capable of world cruising (planning a circumnavigation)

Material: Anything but wood, aluminum, or wood sandwich construction

Rig: Preferably a ketch or yawl, but a sloop would also suit me

Layout: An aft cabin would be ideal, as well as a center cockpit.

Accomodations: SIMPLE. Generator is completely unnecessary, as well as AC, hot water, and most other creature comforts.

Condition: I am in the marine trades, so can do a bit of work but don't want a "project" boat.

Boats I have seen and liked:
Columbia 34 MKII (please tell me why this is a terrible choice, I have a sinking feeling that it is, but can't get past that LOW prices and roomy interiors)

Cheoy Lees; beautiful and sturdy, but somewhat pricey for what you get.

Irwin CC Ketch; lots of boat for the money, and has the aft cabin that I like.

Plenty of ferro cement boats, due to the inability to insure they go for CHEAP and they don't scare me one bit. Heavy displacement and good cruisers.

What do you think guys? Have any suggestions for me? The list of boats is just a few I have seen, but what are some others I should look into? And what do you think of my short list?

jimjazzdad 11-05-2009 10:14 PM

My perfect cruising boat...
is the one I own...a Cherubini designed Hunter 37 cutter (but everyone knows there's no such thing as a perfect boat - right?). Don't be fooled - this isn't a modern tupperware marina queen Hunter! The accomadation layout is seagoing and sensible, the boat is relatively heavy dispalcement - 18,000lbs - and if you think you like a ketch or a yawl, I'm sure you'll like the cutter rig. You should be able to pick up a very good example for under 35K. Good luck!

CrazyRu 11-05-2009 10:16 PM

There are two boats, IMHO, with careful preparation can be converted into long range cruisers, which are not in your list. Those boats are not world cruisers by any stretch, however they are robust enough to be taken far away.
It is Oday 37 center cockpit and S2 11.0 either center cockpit or aft cockpit...

FollySailor 11-06-2009 12:58 PM

I appreciate the suggestion, but I just can't see myself in a Hunter. Nothing against your boat, as I am sure it works perfectly for you, but they just aren't what I am looking for.

The older O'days seem alright, but what are the good years for them?

I used to race an S2 7.9 and thought it was a great little boat. Are the 11.0's swing keels as well?

Tell me about these 34' Columbia MKII boats. Does anyone have any experience with them?

imagine2frolic 11-06-2009 01:41 PM

I can't remember if the II is a Tripp design. My 30ft. Columbia Tripp design was tough, and a descent sailor. She took a beating doing the 93 Baja Haha, and the return trip along the Baja Bash, but got me home safe to S.F. from P.V. Mexico. A lot of boat for the money, and tough........i2f

RainDog 11-06-2009 01:52 PM

Except for center cockpit, a Pearson 365 fits your criteria nicely. Many people seem to be out cruising them and they have a great owners group.

Faster 11-06-2009 05:28 PM

The Columbia 34 ( I presume you'r referring to the almost-flush-deck with blister cabin version) IS a roomy boat.. with the attendant high freeboard that can be problematic wrt to getting in and out of a dinghy, climbing aboard from the water.

I doubt that they would top anyone's list as an offshore boat and that Columbia design (incl the 26/34) have always had a rep for thin glass in the (large area) topsides resulting in the tendency to "oil-can" quite badly. I remember seeing a 26 being bounced against its fenders in some wash and the hull was flexing visibly each time she was pushed up against the dock. Not exactly confidence inspiring.

Add to that a fairly undersized rig, both in terms of sail area and rigging specs - this boat would, in my mind, be best suited for sheltered water coastal cruising.

These are quite different boats than the Columbia 30 that I2f is discussing - that impressed me as a very solid boat with reasonable habits. (was there a 32 foot version too??? )

Finding an mid-30foot offshore capable non-project boat for under $35K......well, just remember in most cases you'll get what you pay for.

MoonSailer 11-06-2009 09:59 PM


FollySailor 11-07-2009 08:07 PM

Raindog, the pearson 365's do like nice indeed, found a couple nice ones in my price range.

Faster, I think you are right about the thin fiberglass, but I am wondering if there is a way I could reinforce it at all. I just keep coming back to those 34' Columbia MKII's

Moonsailer, I know where to get them. I just need some advice on good models to look at.

mitiempo 11-07-2009 08:39 PM

Faster is right about the thin hull sides. There is a Coronado 35 3 boats from me. It is a centre cockpit version of the Columbia 34 - same hull. On the hull side the port cutouts let the hull scallop inwards in way of the ports. They replaced the ports with thicker plexi (only on one side so far) and it pulled the hull back to an even curve. A lot of liner as well, actually everything up to the berth tops from stem to stern, not sure if the bulkheads are glassed in or not though. I would think there are better choices, including Hunter. I like the Pearson 365 as well.

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