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View Poll Results: Best 30' Cruiser
Pearson 30 4 8.00%
Hunter 30 0 0%
Grampian 30 0 0%
Seidelmann 30 1 2.00%
Catalina 30 16 32.00%
Tartan 30 5 10.00%
C & C 30 7 14.00%
Morgan 30 1 2.00%
O'day 30 2 4.00%
Another boat not listed 14 28.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-05-2013
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Best 30' Cruiser

Hi all,

I have been reading the forum for a few months and have decided to get some sage advice from those in the know. I'm in the early planning stages of buying (in oregon) a 30 foot cruiser in the $15,000 neighborhood. My plan is to sail around the Pacific Northwest for a year or so living aboard and gaining experience then sail to Mexico.

Any and all thoughts
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

I assume all those boats you list are of the 1970-80s vintage. Even so, they vary dramatically. I vote Cal

Actually, Cals are not very beamy. Never mind my opinion.
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Last edited by rbrasi; 10-05-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
I assume all those boats you list are of the 1970-80s vintage. Even so, they vary dramatically. I vote Cal

Actually, Cals are not very beamy. Never mind my opinion.
I would take the original Cal 30 as a cruiser over most (maybe all) of the boats listed. But my first choice would probably be a Baba 30.
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Last edited by SlowButSteady; 10-05-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

I'm sure there are better boats out there (Island Packet, etc.), but given the OP's listed price range, the Catalina 30 offers a solid, reputable package, with all kinds of resources available. That's just not going to be the case with obscure boats like the Baba 30. (no disrespect intended to your opinion - just sayin')

simple to sail, friendly, good resale value, and endless variations of options available all over NA on the open market.

Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

I have a fundamental problem with this sort of poll, or indeed making a boat choice based on LOA. This is just characteristic of a boat and likely not the most important one. Right off the top I would suggest that it would make a lot more sense to say, 'Which of these $xxxx boats would make most sense for xxxxxxxxx.' Most of us choose our boats by price after all.

I think it would even make sense to say, 'Which of these xxxx pound boats, ...' since displacement would matter more than LOA for most cruisers. Even comparing LWL makes more sense.
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

Consider the Pearson 323 if you can find one at your price range. Great sailing boat, built extremely well, and for the beam it has a good interior layout for a live aboard. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

I agree with most of the posts above, this isn't really a good way to go about choosing a boat. There are HUGE differences between these boats that would make them perfect for some people, and horrible for others. For example, our Allmand has 3 hanging lockers, which is great if you have a lot of stuff that needs to be hung. But if you're looking for a place to put your underwear, socks, etc., there are very few drawers, and there isn't a lot of storage space for bigger items like frying pans. That being said, our boat is a great choice for our current/short-term planned usage.

In addition, if you're looking at used boats, the CONDITION of any specific boat is really going to be the key. I'd take a Catalina 30 that's in great condition over a Cal 30 that needs a lot of work.

I'd probably throw an Islander 30 into the consideration if I were you. Are you planning on taking this boat to Mexico, or is she just your "learner" boat?
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Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

The best 30 foot boat doesn't matter.

What matters is the best 30 foot boat that you can get for offshore work in the PNW in the next year for $15,000.

One that isn't on your list that should be is the Yankee 30.
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Re: Best 30' Cruiser

I picked up a 33 foot Bristol and am very happy with it....
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Old 10-06-2013
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Best 30' Cruiser

When I was boat hunting, a great piece of advice someone gave me was that often times the cheapest boat is the most expensive boat. The guidance was to find the best conditioned boat that you can afford even if that means giving up length for condition.

The mid range for Catalina 30's on Yachtworld or Craigslist is around 20k-25k. 15k will be you a very nice 27 footer but likely a 30 footer that needs work and more money input. I would reserve at least 10% of your budget for upgrades and repairs.

Lastly, owning a boat whose manufacturer (e.g. Catalina) is still in business is great for finding parts and other information especially if you are a new owner. It is also helpful if the boat had a long run of production. Finding parts and information for more esoteric/custom boats will be much harder.

Josh
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