small boat or big{bigger boat}? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-29-2011
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small boat or big{bigger boat}?

long time lurker, looking for some advice. I'm looking for a first sailboat
{have taken basic keelboat and some private lessons and am very much a bottom rung rookie}. I'm looking at a bristol 22 , a ericson 27, and pearson 26. not only will this boat be a learning tool but will also see duty as a water cottage on which to simply spend time at the shore. the boat will be on the connecticut shoreline and wish to have a boat that as my capabilities expand
I would like to sail newport, marthas vinyard, and cape cod. my thoughts are that the bristol 22 would serve me well but, am not sure if it would be a good choice for extended sailing, and with the market for boats as soft as it is I worry about trying to sell at a later date to move upwards. the ericson has more space to enjoy the "cottage weekends" but wonder about getting comfortable with that large of a boat. the pearson makes my short list due to the volume of them to choose from. I know there are others out there, but these are the ones I've found locally that are in good shape at entry level pricing. thanks in advance for any advice, scott
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Old 09-29-2011
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I don't know the American models but its safe to buy on good condition and always consider resale for when you want to change either up or down.

Length equals boat speed which is handy, helping keep trip times down.

Performance yacht are worth including in your list as a good platform for learning, the better pointing ability of performance yachts is also handy. You can always reef a performance yacht without much compromise whereas slower yachts need all that keel because they have trouble avoiding bad weather.



Consider joining a club to take advantage of the help others will offer.
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Old 09-29-2011
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We used to have a Pearson 26 back in the mid 70's and sailed it from Western CT up to Martha's Vinyard, Block Island, Shelter Island etc... It is a very responsive sailor and can handle rough whether but also can be a rough ride in the LI Sounds steepish chop. The Sea Dog II Held family of 5 comfortably enough for weekend and week long cruising and did OK round the buoys as well.

I would consider a boat of that size but would prefer to have an inboard...it's just easier, quieter and more powerful. There will be many wind challenged July days when you want to get from A to B...just sayin'.
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Old 09-29-2011
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Smaller is better - do not fret about resale, if you keep the boat maintained and clean - it will likely depriciate very little
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Old 09-29-2011
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It's all about condition.
All the boats you mentioned will do the job.
If you can see you and yours fitting into a particular boat and it is in good condition you should be good.
If the Ericson is the best boat you will get used to it and it will be easier to spend time down below.
If the 22 is the best boat you will have a great time and probably not spend that much time below.
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Old 09-30-2011
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The 22 is fine for daysailing and an occasional overnight, but is a bit small for more extended cruising along the southern New England coast. Like cranki above, I owned a Pearson 26 years ago and cruised on her from western Long Island Sound to places like Block Island, Newport, and Martha's Vineyard each summer. Really not much difference between handling a 22 versus a 26-27, and the added size is really appreciated when the weather is less than optimum.
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Old 09-30-2011
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I love my E27...check out ericsonyachts.org, lots of info and lists of for sale, great time to buy any boat... lots out there cheap. I,m in Allen harbor near Newport, the e27 has a nice and roomy interior and sails well they had great build quality and a great following and reputation...
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Old 09-30-2011
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My usual recommendation is to start small. A smaller boat will teach you more about boat handling a lot quicker than a larger boat will.

However, the E27 is a great boat and likely could be picked up for a song in today's market. For weekend getaways, it would be much more comfortable than either of the others and the E27 sails well and isn't too big as a learning platform.

Good luck. You can't make a bad choice.
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Old 10-05-2011
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Ericson 27

I just purchased and sailed an Ericson 27 from Charleston to St. Simons Ga with my wife who had minimal sailing experience but HAS titanium fortitude. I grew up on LIS sailing out of CT and later the Pacific. I've handled lots of boats and for size, stability and comfort (no onboard shower - at least not now) the Ericson is a hands down winner. Our boat; SanSimeon, who we now dearly love after an incredible three day sail - performed without a flaw. For what you describe - I think a 27 is a good choice. A 22 is good for close shore sailing but would wear you down as the seas go up in height. Our E27 ran 120 NM's in 26 hours out on the open Atlantic with 3 ft. plus seas and 15 - 20 knot winds and never presented the slightest problem - comfortable and stable - the helm is very balanced - a self furling jib makes trimming quick and easy - our main is smaller which sets the boom higher great for getting around the cockpit in heavier seas - the stern set helm makes a comfortable and snug area from which to pilot - it was on the chilly side! And the settees gave mom a good nap here and there. Net net personally I think 27 would be better - sounds like you'll end up there anyway - lots of 27s or there abouts out there from lots of manufacturers - Ericson just happens to be a great well respected name - good luck - GET A SURVEY! DK
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Old 10-05-2011
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If you had said should I get the 16' Mistral or the 27' Ericson, then I might've leaned towards the smaller of the two in order to gain experience. However, at a 5' difference, you might as well move into the larger of the two that allows for more comfort for the family. Like someone posted above me, there's not a "ton" of difference between sailing the two. Having said that, are there any clubs nearby that you can join? And yes, you can join without owning a boat yet; a lot of people do. I ask, because if so, you could always let your club-mates know what your intentions are and could more than likely be able to crew on boats of both sizes so you can get a feel for the difference, if any.
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