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  #1  
Old 07-06-2009
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Looking for inexpensive small cruiser

Perhaps I am being unrealistic, but I had thought that I ought to be able to find a coastal cruiser type 23-28' boat in decent condition for under $10,000.
So far what I have seen is rough, needs too much work. My sailing would be around Florida, venturing further as I gain experience. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-06-2009
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It is rarely the cost of the boat that gets expensive but the yearly upkeep. The words 'inexpensive' and 'cruiser' are rather strange bedfellows.
That said, I own an older Tartan 27' which might be ideal for coastal cruising in FL but finding one in working condition might be more difficult. Catahuntateau boats of 27' or so should also do the trick but a newer boat will be less 'inexpensive'. You can get a pretty decent platform in the older boats like some Pearsons, Cape Dorys and Tartans if you are willing to do some work on it. By working on it you also learn more about the boat.
The T 27' has a swing keel/center board which should make it ideal for getting into some of the skinny water places that other boats dare not go.
Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2009
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look at the early 80's hunter 27's. they go for around 6 to 7 in pretty good shape. infact there is a 79 for sale in rock hall md for a newer 2 gm engine ( stock was a 1gm ) listed for 7 grand. i dont know the over all condition but the engine upgrade in a pricey feature. the hunters i talk of a very solid boats, that are easy to work on and the shoul draft version is only 3'3" deep, and they have a tall rig on em, thats a 36 foot mast.
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Think about a Full Keel boat for costal cruising; one brand is Cape Dory. The 28 foot model can be found (late 1970s) at a good price. (around 15K if you search and haggle). Solid, safe and simple. Look for the Yanmar engine upgrade (not the factory Volvo).
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Old 07-07-2009
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BradleyK,
Thanks for the advice. In fact, the CD 28 is exactly where I started, but it was too rough. Thought perhaps a Tartan or C&C might be easier to sail, and quicker, but haven't found anything yet.
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Old 07-07-2009
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It takes time to find the right boat at the right price. Keep an eye on ebay, yachtworld and craigslist.
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Old 07-07-2009
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Where and what type of sailing do you plan. I know you said coastal cruising, but that can vary from area to area. I sail the Chesapeake Bay which is in reality an open inland water. So, I can use a lighter boat that I would never consider as an off shore cruiser. My Catalina 27 was under $10K and you can find one in your area for sure. But there are many other boat models out there that will do just fine.
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Old 07-07-2009
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You mentioned that you would go down as small as a 23 foot. With that size of boat I would think that finding a boat under 10k would be pretty easy to do. I am not sure how far out you can venture in a boat that size though.
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Old 07-07-2009
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Google "Cal 2-29". We owned a 1976 for 20+ years and sailed her all over heck's half acre in California and later here in Florida. A short google search revealed several available including one in Coconut Grove, Florida. They are great sailing boats, very sturdy and with a little bit of work make good cruisers, perfect for the Bahamas.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 07-07-2009
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Get a Catalina 27. Ten grand will get you one that's in very good shape. There are plenty of them out there....
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