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Old 03-25-2008
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Dream Boat

A very nice boat in the 28-32 foot range is the J30. They are spacious, fast, safe (two were in the infamous Fastnet storm and both survived nicely) and provide a nice compromise of comfort and performance. They also are quite pleasant to sail under main alone. If rigged with a dutchman or other system, it would be easy to hoist and lower the main solo. Otherwise, it is better to have two people to hoist and lower sails when you have a boat of this size. Even the Catalina 27 has a large sail plan for one person, unless you have a dutchman or something similar. A nice J30 can be found for $20-25K, which is a lot more than a Catalina 27. However, I would not want to go offshore in the Catalina. In any event, a good survey is always a wise choice.

Your long term plan would also be enhanced if both you and your wife enrolled in some of the courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Good luck to you and your family!
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Old 03-25-2008
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For a beginner boat, the C27 would be the better choice tween a J30 and C27, or if you need a bit bigger, a C30! Not to say J's are not good boats, but they are on the racier side of things. Not sure they would be good to learn on. Not that I personally would want a Cat vs a J, the J being my prefered of the two. But for myself, spouse and my 4 kids learning when smaller, the Cat would be better.

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I drives me dinghy!
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Old 03-25-2008
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Would you have been going backwards if you had shut the engine off or dropped the sails??
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
Last March I moved a boat with my daughter. We came around Cape May and turned up to the Delaware Bay. There was a period for almost 2 hours with the sails out and motor running, I don't think we gained 100 yards due to the current. We did see lots of ships ........

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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-25-2008
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Been there...


FWIW, I was exactly in your position about a year and a half ago. We went with a 20 year old Catalina 30 Tall Rig Wing Keel. The perfect C. Bay boat. 7,000 of them out there.

Very stable, very safe, very roomy, fast enough (I would make sure I'd get a tall rig for this area). Kind of like a minivan for the water. It should have no problem handling what you've described once you're ready. It is NOT a blue water boat (i.e. don't try taking it across the Atlantic), but coastal is no problem. Ignore the bluewater bluenosers or racers who want to trash Catalina...it isn't relevant for the kind of Bay cruising I want to do.

We went with a 20 year old boat. Took a lot of looking, but it's not so old that you won't find boats that are quite sailable without a lot of work. The last thing I wanted was to spend more time working it at the dock than sailing it. It'll set you back high 20's probably.

We had to shuttle it from Annapolis down to Va. We hired a sailing instructor to go with us overnight. It worked out well -- got the boat there and learned a lot along the way.

The catalina30 yahoo group is very active. Sign up for it if you're thinking of going that way. Read the books by Nigel Calder (Cruiser's Handbook and the Electrical and Mechanical Systems Handbook) just to be sure you know what you're getting yourself into. I'd also recommend "The Complete Sailor" by Seidman -- gets into both the philosophical and technical aspects of sailing.

Also check out the owner reviews on the boat info section of sailboatowners . com.

Good luck!

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