I'd re-enforce SFs assessment - when we were last shopping we looked at a 30E and it seemed to us that they tried to cram a 35 foot interior into a 30 foot boat. This seems typical of that vintage of French designs.
It leaves you with a great design on paper, but in reality none of the "double berths" are truly doubles.
We did like the cockpit and deck layout. Though we have not had an opportunity to live with them, the highly ramped cockpit coamings look to make a very comfortable weather-side seating when heeled.
The fractional rig was also appealing as it was on our "wish list" too.
In the end we went with a 34 footer with a similar layout. At that length everything seems to work.
01-19-2007 03:46 PM
Thanks sailingfool . I appreciate the comments you gave me from your hands on experience. Actually the yacht I am on to is a First 30 (not a First 30E) but I suspect that the differences cannot be huge.
Anyway tomorrow I hope to manage to have a close look and definitely yours hints will be a good base !
01-19-2007 09:14 AM
If you mean a First 30E: I owned one for two years. I'd recommend it as a nice handling, well built performance daysailer suitable for one couple overnighting.
My caveats are: our three cabin configuration had too many bunks (for seven I recall) all too small for a man let alone a couple. The two hatches provide no ventilation, and with three cabins squeezed into 30 feet is claustophobic below. The steel keel is a pain to maintain until some owner does a good strip/4-8 coats of epoxy/fairing job. The boat cannot race to its rating in light to moderate air as the rig is too short, it is particularily sloooooooooow downwind due to the hankerchief that serves as a spinnaker. It goes very well in a good breeze, and is very capable in heavy air, we got ours to 10.5 knots once...