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Old 11-14-2011
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As far as rugged, I need advice as to which boat would do well in storms. Some folks think that 30 foot is too small for the Gulf of Mexico and even the east coast. They seem to be leaning toward 35-38 foot. While I think that would be a great ride in rough weather, I'm not sure that I can handle a boat that size solo even in good weather!

As for minimum draught. I have been looking at twin keels but no one seems to like them.

Right now so far I've looked at a Beneteau 305 first. It seemed to be very comfortable to be a live aboard. But I don't have a clue how it would handle. But she cuts better then 5 feet. Could get into a little trouble in thin water.

Give me any feedback you folks can offer. Again I'm trying to keep this at about 30K on the top end. Thanks,

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Old 11-14-2011
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A thirty foot rugged offshore boat such as a Cape Dory, Alberg 30 etc will take you anywhere around the world safely. A Bene, Catalina, Hunter isn't going to be as rugged but it will be much more livable and will be newer and with more creature comforts for the same amount of money. If you are just going to be doing coastal cruising I would think that a Catalina/Beneteau will be ideal for what you are wanting to do. With a 30k budget you should be able to find plenty of boats that are suitable for coastal cruising.

I have heard a lot of opinions on twin keels although I have no personal experience with them. They have a very dedicated following from a select group of people. The rest of the world shuns them. Since there are very few manufactures that make them finding one on the used market will be hard, especially if you are going to be selective on your criteria. Most twin keels were/are built in England. This is primarily because a lot of there anchorages dry out at low tide and they need to sit on their twin keels. Unless you found one that you absolutely fell in love with and was in your price range I would probably not worry about it.
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Old 12-06-2011
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Think I've got it.

Thanks for all the help folks I think you've narrowed down the search a lot. I'm heading down this weekend to look at one. It's a 30 foot Hunter early 80's Needs to have new sails and a good cleaning but it's suppose to be solid. If I get it I'm sure I'll have more questions but Thanks again.

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