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Advocate777 09-29-2010 05:28 PM

Best Boat for my purpose?
If there is anyone who could give me their opinion on which of these six(6) boats might be the top one or two for me to:
1.) live aboard comfort with 2 people 2.) the simplest sail rig for a singlehander 3.) the most seaworthy for short hops across the Gulf stream from Miami to Bahamas and 4.) safety offshore 5.) most forgiving for newbie sailors (1-3 years sailing experience)

Nicholson 31
Pacific Seacraft 31
Southern Cross 31
Pearson Vanguard 32
Rhodes Chesapeake 32
Westsail 32

Thanks for your input!:o

killarney_sailor 09-29-2010 05:45 PM

First of all, sailing to the Bahamas with a decent weather window is not offshore so you would have to decide if you were going to real offshore sailing because that will have a dramatic impact on your boat choice. The boats you have listed are all decent choices but pretty slow in lighter airs which are much more common than heavy in most areas.

To stimulate the debate, have you considered a Nonsuch 30? It would be better than any you list for items 1) 2) and 5) and is pretty safe because you don't have to leave the cockpit to do things. It is also much larger than any of your choices and faster. There are two interiors: the Ultra is terrific for a couple while the Classic has four good sea berths and is available much more cheaply than the Ultra.

Advocate777 09-29-2010 07:07 PM

good input
Yes, I guess you are right in that the passage through the Gulf in a good window is not really offshore. Is it also true that if I head south to Caribbean?
I definitely have no plans or desire to sail to Europe or head through the Panama Canal to Pacific cruising to Tahiti. So, it would be just intercoastal motoring and then to Bahamas and eventually would like to work in the U.S. Virgin Islands (am a U.S. attorney).
I am a bit "older" (relatively speaking) so comfort in port is important as well as single handing. I am not elderly--just 52 but my first mate and wife is 42 and we are both beginner sailors. So, somewhere to sleep below that is not a single berth is key. Frankly, we will be doing alot of hanging out in a slip or mooring in the Northern Chesapeake as a base and then in South Florida (Miami, Treasure Coast/Stuart, and Keys) seasonally.
We will be motoring down the IC but heading out to sea coastal cruising off Georgia and Florida coast--no offshore Cape Hatteras sailing in the foreseeable future.
Would also like to take her up to Nova Scotia. Not sure the route--I hear it can be difficult for newbies off the Long Island Sound and Cape Cod but maybe we could go up the Hudson/Great Lakes/St. Lawrence seaway----but that is for the future.
For now, just a boat to sail the Chesapeake and hone our abilities and confidence, and then, Florida and the bahamas and eventually the Caribean and maybe someday Nova Scotia.
So, that is our use of the boat. What are your recommendations;) ?


LinekinBayCD 09-29-2010 09:16 PM

I'd add the 30', 31' and 33' Cape Dory's to your list. They fit all your criteria and there was a good number made so there is usually quite a few on the market at any time. Good quality and active owners association to help with info on upgrade and maintenance issues. As a CD owner I do have a bias.

killarney_sailor 09-29-2010 09:55 PM

The Nonsuch 30 Ultra would be terrific for you I think. More expensive than anything else mentioned here but that is life. They were fairly expensive when new and have held their value better than most.

Advocate777 09-30-2010 08:58 AM

The Nonesuch Ultra looks good in pics. I am going to check some out in person in October. They really seem like they would suit us well. Why does the Ultra go for alot more than the Classic. Also, is there a big difference in the cockpit size between the two? I am gonna hopefully check both out soon

beanctr56 09-30-2010 09:51 AM

You might be better off with a Catalina 30. More room to live on, forgiving, easy to get parts and sails. The interior on some of the boats you list may be dark and hot in FL and the Bahamas, a step thru transom would be nice too. R

killarney_sailor 09-30-2010 10:32 AM

There are a couple of reasons why the Ultras are more expensive. They are newer and original prices were a lot higher. There are not nearly as many of them. They are more in demand - better suited for the kind of sailing most people do. Have a look at a Classic as well, you might find the double berth adequate for your needs and they are much cheaper. Also the Classic is better in rougher conditions - it has better handholds and shorter distances for moving around inside. A final suggestion re these boats, they are incredibly popular in areas where they became well-established. For example, there was a dealer in CT that sold huge numbers in Long Island Sound and into RI and southern MA. People know and respect the boats there and prices tend to be higher. The other 'hot-spot' would be Lake Ontario. If you find one in an area where they are rare you may get a better price.

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