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Old 08-22-2012
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Lightbulb Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Hi everybody,
I am new to this forum and to sailing in general.
I work as a university professor in Europe and have quite a bit of free time over the summer. This got me motivated to get into sailing. I am learning at a slow pace, every year a little bit. I believe that, now, I have reached a level that I should buy myself a little sailing boat. I have no intention to sail around the world, at least not in forseable future.

These are the criteria that I would like to find in a boat and I'm having trouble finding one that is matching them:
1. I would like the smallest possible sailing boat that is able to sail safely in Mediterenian and Adriatic sea and is able to fit me, my wife and our little boy that is three years old (will be four next summer). We like a modest sea life and do not seak for some great luxury.
2. I prefer a new boat over the used one, mainly for the safety reasons. I would like to minimize the probability of getting stuck somewhere in a sea due to the boat's malfunction if possible. On the other hand if you tell me that e.g. 5 years old boats are as reliable as the new ones (as it is the case statistically for 3 years old cars for example). I would be OK with that as well. Also, the maintenance is likelly cheaper with a new boat.
3. For a silly reason I prefer boats with "Ship's wheel" than those with "tiller" - I hope I got the terminology right here. Actually my little boy loves the Ship's wheel. It would be a big disappointment for him if we purchase a boat without it. I know that this is silly, but... (I could go over this constraint if it is worth it, e.g. If you tell me that Elan 210 is a perfect boat for me)
4. I prefer boats that have an on board engine than the external one.
5. I live in Europe, and some boats are easier to purchase than others. There is quite a difference in availability between the US and Europe and most of the advices that I have read in this form are US centric, so I would appreciate a European centric one

I'm not a rich person, so budget is a concern. I'm still not sure about the upper limit of what I will be able to spend but currently maybe around 20K EUR is realistic, maybe more if it is really worth it (but definitelly not over 30K EUR)

Thanx a lot!
Rasa
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Old 08-22-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Hi Rasa,

Welcome to Sailnet! If the 30K Eur constraint is primary, then a new boat with diesel and wheel is a challenge. I think you should consider used boats - including ones more than 5 years old. You mentioned Elan, so I am sure you are familiar with Beneteau also - both provide a lot of boat for 30K or less and still get a fairly new boat - but no wheels

If you can consider shipping a boat from the US, you might be able to get a good deal. Make sure you get a good survey before buying!

Here's a few US boats that may meet your criteria:

Com-Pac 27 (well-built boat, company still in business, this boat has a diesel and wheel):

1994 Com-Pac Com-Pac 27 Mk II Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Com-Pac 25 (also with diesel and wheel):

2000 Com-Pac Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

23' Menger Cat (great boats - a traditional design found in the Northeast US - you would have a unique boat on the Adriatic!):

1999 Menger Cat Catboat Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Here's a Com-Pac 23 on your side of the pond:

1990 Com-Pac 23 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Good luck! I hope you can post a picture of your boy at the wheel someday!
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Old 08-22-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Spend some of your free time walking around the docks. Then you'll get a Euro centric feel for what boats are being sailed and what might be available for sale in your backyard.
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Old 08-23-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

I agree with the above as well. 30 k won't buy you a new boat with a wheel and diesel engine. I am too from Europe and went shopping for boats over the last two years. Finally found one :-). Cruising the Med with a party of 3... mmh. I would say you need at least something between 24 (more like camping) and 30 something. Since a new boat is out of question you need to go for a used one. Old doesn't necessarily mean crap. There are a lot of small boats out there, which are ready to go. Two weeks ago I saw a little 30 ft center cockpit yacht in Croatia in almost perfect condition (actually had a closer look at her). Built in 1978 she went for 28 k (Euro). I went all over the Med to look for "my" boat and finally ended up in the Netherlands. I find this market lives up to its reputation. If I ever buy a boat again, I will look there first. Reasonable prices on the used boat market. Good quality boats usually and if you look at it... It's rainy and windy in the Netherlands most of the times. You immediately see if a boat is dry or not. Also, most of the people up there know how to sail and buy their boats according to the weather situation. I saw a lot of healthy and very seaworthy boats up there. A good source to start is an organization called HISWA or one of the bigger used boat dealers who is called DeValk. Just google the two and you will find their websites. If you find a boat which is smaller than 2.50 in width you can even trailer it down to the Med. Another option would be a Bavaria 30. yachtworld.com is good place as well (see answer from billsull). Other than that. I personally think that almost any boat can cruise the Med. You just have to be careful with the weather and plan ahead of time (this is for the summertime). Get a surveyor and tell him what you want to do with the boat... he will tell if it is possible or not. Oh, another excellent website, but in German. Go and google Bobby Schenk. There is a lot of information about sailing and cruising in general, but also about what to look at, when buying a boat. I wrote an article about this subject as well. If you are interested, I can send it you. Happy hunting.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Thank you all for very informative answers!

I have one more question, if somebody knows.
I found this boat Comet 26 Sport, Comar Yachten
It does not fit all the criteria, it does not have wheel but it does have an optional diesel engine. It is just a bit above my budget, and by google search I have seen that sometimes it can be bought on a discount even in my budget.

What do you think of it? Would it serve my purpose?
And please excuse em for bothering you all here. I have spent some time sailing on rented boats and taking classes but these boats were always over 30ft and I have no experience with small boats like this one and have no idea if a boat like this would be enough.

Cheers and thanx a lot!

P.S.
Kosta, I have seen your site. Cool!
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Hi Rasa. I had a look at the boat. I know Comar from Italy. There is also a type called Comar Comet. The model, which is 8.50 long. A bit older, but more the cruising-type. In general they are very well reputated boats in Italy. A couple of them are moored in the village were I live in Italy. For ages literally. The boat that you had a look at. Mhhhh, :-). It is a bit of a regatta kind of boat. Well, I would do it in that boat. But with a lot of camping in mind and only if the sun was shining 90% of the day (i.e. no rain). This is if I would be doing it with a family. If your wife is ok with it (the kid will be - I think). This particular boat will get you to any place in the Med. There also is one HUGE advantage. The shallow draft. You can almost beach her every night. She is beamy and therefore has a lot of space below deck for her size. Coastal cruising will be a lot of fun and if you find the right weather windows you can do the 1- 2 days hops to get from one country into another as well. Actually, she is quite an impressive little boat. I like her. Let me know when you had a look at her.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

On your budget, new is out. Something around 5-10 years old is more like it and I wouldn't do anything less than 27'. 30' would be better as they will most likely offer more creature comforts. And in that regard, give us some idea of what you would like to have on a boat. Gas stove for cooking? Refrigeration? Hot water? AIr conditioning? Shower?
There are some people who can do without any of that. Me? I want it all.
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Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Jeanneau, Beneteau, and Elan are a few of the bigger builders I know of that have boats under 30' or so. Along with numerous other builder like the comet that I have heard of, but those rarely show up here in NA. Europe for what ever reason, seems to have more tiller boats, then when they show up here on NA, they have the wheel. Like my 85 Jeanneau Arcadia. one that you should be able to find for your budget, I have a tiller, but of the 5 or 6 other Arcadia's I have emailed with owners, know about etc, all the others have a tiny 30" wheel, taking up most of the cockpit. So with smaller boats in the size/budget you are looking at, tillers frankly are better, in that you can lift them up to the back stay, and have way more cockpit room when at port. I also feel that one has a better feel for how well the boat is sailing, trimed etc.

Jeanneau has had a 2500 that can either have an out board or inboard for many years, along with a 21' boat. Beneteau has some, did in the smaller range. Elan seems to be building smaller ones too. I am recalling a boat manufacture from Croatia and Poland that only sell 33-40ish foot boats here in NA, yet if you look at the european site, they have boats from 20' on up! with a 20K price tag to bring a boat over, most smaller boats do not get transported across the atlantic.

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Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

Jeanneau, Benettau, Bavaria are the best ones to fit a tight budget. You might also check some brands from poland which are less expensive.
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Old 09-06-2012
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Re: Choosing a small boat for Mediterenian with some constraints

You may want to visit this company for ideas on smaller, trailerable (majority are within 2.5m beam restriction within EU) sailboats. Northeaster - Barche a vela You should be able to find a boat with your €30K budget, but definitely without inboard diesel.
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