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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Fishermans' is a good location... are you at Thunderbird? A bit pricey....
The catboat style is a character boat, and some place that very high on their 'must have' list.. the beam usually provides a lot of space for the length. What you'll likely lose here, and this is as important to many too, is good weatherly light air performance. Cruising here in summer is generally a light air situation and if you're continually frustrated trying to get some boat speed you'll end up motoring more often than not.
Also, who built the boat? Not likely any production yard.. while an owner built boat can be an absolute work of art, and better than factory, in many instances this won't be the case. The problem here is that appearance alone won't tell you how well the construction was carried out. You may not see (yet) the results of the use of inferior fasteners, poor lamination, etc etc so extra caution is required. Eyes wide open and all that.... (not to mention survey, survey, survey)
You mention an ODay with a hotfoot keel.... more details? Again, who made the changes?
A true Hotfoot 27 is a fun, fast boat with minimal amenities but will sail dizzying circles around the Catboat.. a modified O Day will be another matter. I do think that for what you want, as a move up from 21 feet would be one of the Mirages, or something similar, esp if extended cruising to Desolation etc is in the cards.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)