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Old 07-16-2012
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Question Would like some more info.

I am planning on buying a 30' sailboat a year or two down the road from now, but I don't know where to begin and what makes each manufacturer's boat different.

The boat will most likely be in the 70-80's to be in my price range. But other than that, I am quite lost which boat to look further into. I have look into Catalina previously both the C27 and C30 designs but I would like to have also other options out there just encase I cannot find one.
What I am wondering is how does an Ericson 30' compare? Does it sail easier? Is the interior cramped?
I also could not find any information on a Newport 30, so anything on them would be much appreciated. Also does an O'Day 30' stack up?

I would like to be able to take the boat out solo fair frequently, but would also like enough space for friends and family.
Thanks.
PS. If there is another manufacturer I should look into I would not mind other recommendations.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

Way to many options in this size range to even start making suggestions without more info.

Start by heading to Advanced search for new and used boats and yachts. - YachtWorld.com and enter in the parameters that fit what you are looking for in your area. They ask about the boats you find.

No use me recommending an Easterly 30 if there isn't one within 1000 miles of you.
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Re: Would like some more info.

You know.... I have gone to yacht world plenty of times looking at sailboats in this size range, but it is difficult to gauge the size of the interior if there are a lack of pictures. Also how would I get someone's opinion on how she sails if she is not moored locally?

All I would like is more information but that seems too much to ask for from members who have sailed any of these boats. So I can get a better idea which boat I should watch the market for, and how much to budget (give or take hauling distance to import a boat from the US).

As for more information, I would rather not get too specific since that would become a limiting factor instead of getting more general information on all these sailboats.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

You asked for information on three specific boats, then four hours later you declare it must be "too much to ask for" since you haven't received any responses? Then you say that you don't want to provide more information so as not to limit the information provided to you. This is an interesting approach.

I haven't sailed any of the three boats you asked about, but I would recommend Googling the name of each boat plus the word "review." I would be astonished if this didn't get you some useful information. There is also a boat review thread on this site that may have what you need.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

I would not pigeon hole yourself into one particular brand. Expect to get a qualified inspector for any boat that age. Also expect there to be issues with boats 30+ years old, not trying to scare you.

Ok, but Catalina isn't a bad choice for a starter boat, mostly because they carry nearly all the spare parts at catalinadirect.com

But there are so many heavier boats, more popular boats, at that age I'd submit that you should keep your options open. I mean if a great C&C shows up in your price range, and it inspects well, go for it.

When they say give as much information, they are looking for what your intended use will be. Seems like your focus is on space down below. Are you planning on living aboard? If so we can refocus our recommendations on 27-32 footers with large living space.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

To start, We need to understand what kind of sailing you want to do and where.

Will you sail on sheltered waters, such as a lake? Will you you be sailing semi-sheltered waters such as the Great Lakes or a large bay? What about coastal cruising? Do you want to trailer your boat to many different locations?

Do you want to only do day sails with maybe a weekend? Do you want to cruise to nearby or far away locations? If you want to cruise, how long do you want to spend on the boat? How many should it sleep? How much storage? Galley -- cook for how many? How much cooking do you want to do? Are you an accomplished chef, a baloney+cheese / PBJ kind of guy, or somewhere in between? What about A/C, a genset? Will you always tie up at a dock or will you anchor out -- determines reefer size and water requirements. Will you be sailing days at a time? Affects food requirements and holding tank capacity.

How important is speed to you? Do you intend to race?

How many people will usually accompany you? That determines capacity. Will you need to single hand? That limits size, and/or adds equipment requirements.

How tall are you and your crew? Do you require enough height in the boat to stand up straight?

There more I could ask, but that's enough to get started.

Regards,

Tom
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Old 07-16-2012
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we ended up with a Cal

A 1967 Cal 30 to be exact. We had looked at Hunters, Catalinas and a Pearson. It basically came down that we liked the PO and trusted him without question. The boat has suited us wonderfully. She's fast, not a lot of systems that can go wrong, ample headroom for us (we are 5 9 and 5 7), and the original A4 (gas bomb) runs like a sewing machine. Holler if you have questions. We cruise her although the PO did race her often and won more than not.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

Your first boat is not going to be the perfect boat. Don't kill yourself trying to find it.

It is more important that you get a boat that generally fits what you want to do. All the boats mentioned would be fine coastal cruisers. Buy the boat that is in the best overall condition for a fair price and you cannot go wrong.

None of those boats will be more fun than the others for a first boat.

If you want to see some up close and personal then you need to do some work. Research the local marinas and yacht clubs. Check out online forums and track down local owners. Many are happy to show you their boat and may even take you for a sail.
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Re: Would like some more info.

Decap06 hit the nail on the head. We need a lot more info from you and your sailing requirements.
Treilley is also right...don't knock yourself out trying to find your first (starter) boat.
I'm partial to Catalinas as they offer a lot of room for family cruising. Are there better sailboats out there? Yes, but it depends on what your needs are.
Don't just look at yachtworld. You need to go look at boats (a lot of boats) to decide what aspects each offer is important to you.
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Old 07-16-2012
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Re: Would like some more info.

Hey,

I don't pretend to be an expert, but I have been sailing since 2003, I have owned 3 boats (22, 28 and 35') and I have sailed on many more boats.

It seems like you are looking at typical production type racer / cruiser boats from the late 70's / early 80's. That can be confusing because there were a lot of manufacturers then, way more than even 10 years ago. Anyway, IMHO, most of the production fiberglass racer / cruisers from that era were pretty similar. This goes to appearance, accommodations, and sailing performance. Again, IMHO, there isn't that much difference between the 30' boat made by Catalina, Newport, O'day, Islander, S2, Hunter, Beneteau, Tartan, Sabre, C&C, Pearson, etc.

If you were looking for a heavy cruiser, something to go into the ocean or take on long cruises then things are different, same as if you were looking for a racer.

Back to the typical racer / cruiser, some boats will sail better than others, some will be more comfortable below, others will be roomier. The best thing for you to do is to look at lots of boats. You won't be able to sail on them, but you should find a few brokerages fairly close, see what 30'ish boats they have, and spend time on them. Then you will start to find out what features are important to you. For example, do you want a wheel or a tiller, deep keel or shoal draft, traveler on the cabin top, bridge deck, or near the helm, self tailing winches or not, anchor locker, swim platform, roller furling, etc. On the inside, you want want / need an AC electrical system, refrigeration, hot water, shower, lots of storage?

What makes it real challenging is trying to compare different manufactures without seeing the specific boats. When new, I think everyone would agree that a Sabre 30 was 'better' than a Catalina 30. But, 30 years later, that same Sabre could have deteriorated into a piece of junk while the Catalina could have been well maintained and it now a much 'better' boat. So, don't get hung up on the brand so much as condition, cost, and location to you.

Good luck,
Barry
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