Join Date: May 2002
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Re: advice on first boat
So you want a starter boat, good sailer but not necessarily luxurious, and you want to be able to sail 100 miles a day; and the budget is 60K max.
I get that you want to buy your own boat rather than join a club; not the way I did it, but to each his own. As a starter boat, I would recommend getting something on the smaller side, say 22-26 feet. You learn a lot more about sailing with a smaller, tiller steered boat. The boat reacts more quickly and you can actually see and feel the results of your sail trim and steering much more easily. And for 60K, you could buy two new boats that size or maybe 10 used ones. If you intend to use the boat then move up, resale value should also be on your list. Go with a newer Catalina 22. There are about a zillion out there, choices are fulsome, prices are low, values are high. You cruise it (like camping on the water), race it, beat the hell out of it, then sell it for what you paid for it in a couple of years. Get a nice one with a trailer for less than 10K.
the Catalina isn't your only choice. You could also look at the Catalina 25, the Oday 22, 222, 23 and 25. The Pearson 26 is another choice. You have many similar choices. About the only thing you can't get with your budget is a boat that will be able to sail 100 miles in a day. Assuming by "in a day" you mean about a 10 hour period. If you could crank an average speed of 5 knots over the course of 10 hours out of any production boat that size, you are doing quite well. Amazingly well. So adjust your expectations a bit, and enjoy.