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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-06-2011 05:20 AM
Did you buy the Seafarer 29?

Manuel, I ran across this post and was wondering if you bought the Seafarer 29?
12-12-2004 03:32 PM
Seafarer 29

Hello Manuel,
I owned a Seafarer 23 and I still have excellent memories of that boat. It was very stable, sailed ok in light air, sailed very well in medium air and was a blast in heavy air. My Seafarer was built at least as good as Hunter, Catalina and ODay and in my opinion was actually a bit better than either of them. The only inherent problem I am aware of is the bottom attachment of the rudder is prone to electrolysis and if the one on the boat you are looking at hasn''t been replaced you can unquestionably count on it. It''s not the end of the world to fix but it will take a couple weekends to repair.
I am pretty sure that the boat in question is a McCurdy and Rhodes design as was mine. Check out he Seafarer website.
While they are not intended to be blue water boats they are stoutly built and make excellent coatal cruisers. The interior liner that was referenced earlier is a bit of a pain to work around if you have to rewire the boat or replace any of the hardware, but it can be worked around. The other side of that is that it is very easy to keep clean and I could help but notice it never mildewed.
I know of two Seafarer 29''s that have been to the Bahama''s several times. One from NY the other from Georgia. Might I suggest that you join the seafarer email list provided here by Sailnet. There you can speak directly to some very knowledgable long term Seafarer owners that have countless cruising mile under them.
If this boat is in good shape then it is a very good boat to learn on. Here''s something to think about, assuming the boat passes survey, You pay around 10k for it keep it for a couple years do the appropriate maintainence and you will get most of, if not all, your money back that you can then put toward your bluewater boat.
Very best of luck to you
12-12-2004 10:46 AM
Seafarer 29

You''re welcome, Manuel. And of course, like many other North American sailors, I know Boqueron very well. You have some ideal cruising grounds right near you (and I suspect you work at the beautiful University of Mayaguez?). Just sailing over to the next (entirely protected) estuary of Puerto Real is fun and easily done in almost any weather.

A shorter cruise that would be a wonderful trip is to make an early morning run around Cabo Rojo to La Parguera (a total of perhaps 30 NM), perhaps our favorite anchorage in all of the Caribbean. There you sit, on the hook, with the entire Caribbean in front of your boat, unobstructed, but with the reef structures keeping the seas to an absolute minimum...and the ice cream at the LP store just a few minutes away by dinghy, after some great snorkeling along the reefs. Your only real challenge is to round Cabo Rojo in lighter winds, perhaps early in the morning.

For your longer run across the Mono, I''d recommend visiting La Romana and some of the anchorages and Rias that are West of there, leading you down to Boca Chica. This sleepy resort town offers quick, comfortable bus rides into Santo Domingo, and yet the anchorage (or a marina) is right in front of the entire Caribbean but behind an even taller reef. Your crew will believe that you have anchored in concrete.

Good luck on your upcoming decisions, Manuel.

12-12-2004 06:00 AM
Seafarer 29


I plan on mooring the boat in Boqueron, southwest of the island. Being a college professor, I do enjoy longer vacations that most people and have a somewhat flexible schedule, so hopefully I will get a lot of practice. My family is very enthusiastic about the boat, and we plan to spend many hours on it - and learn together.

I do appreciate - and agree with - the words of caution previously expressed. In fact, I believe that they are consistent with the way I look at the purchase, which can be summarized as: (1) trying to obtain a moderate initial cost, but avoid the temptation of getting into something that requires a very low initial investment but too much work (i.e. a lemon); (2) a safe boat, easy to navigate and sturdy enough to be safe if catched on bad weather; and (3) a simple boat, in which things are easy to fix, but in which we feel comfortable. We hope to get at least 10 years of good service from the boat, while keeping the cost of repairs and maintenance below, letīs say, $2k/year.

My hope is to eventually be skillful enough to cross the Mona passage (about a 24 hour sail west) and spend one or two months touring the coast of the Dominican Republic/Haiti. Besides that, we would like to someday sail east to the Virgin Island. But for now, I we will just navigate back and forth in the bay and go to nearby beaches, and have fun.


12-12-2004 03:51 AM
Seafarer 29


"Here in Puerto Rico..."

Ahh, now we understand your plans a bit better. You are no doubt either on PR''s east coast or perhaps it''s south. Either way there are lots of fun sailing venues available to you.

If you have an experienced mentor that is willing to spend time with you on a boat, both ''fixing'' and also ''sailing'', that sounds great.

However, I don''t see a reason to challenge any of the comments you''ve already received about the boat. Can it do what you want? Sure. Is it a ''good'' choice? Within the context of the many other choices that could be available to you, not a very good one. But yes, ''affordable'' and ''well cared for'' are two understandable, important criteria.

We have enjoyed meeting many a PR yachtsmen, both power and sail, and almost without exception found them wishing they had a more meaningful involvement from their families in their boating. I still encourage you to include your own family in your initial efforts, if their later involvement is important to you.

12-12-2004 02:58 AM
Seafarer 29

Thanks for the great advice! I am sorry that perhaps I didnīt made myself clear. I fully agree that to take the family for any trip out of the bay by myself is at least a couple of years away. My friend and teacher, however, has over 20 years of sailing experience, and I am counting on his good advice before taking any risks.

What makes me inclined to look at the seafarer is that it is a better buy than anything else I have seen so far. Here in Puerto Rico I can get an old 23 feet boat in needs a lot of repairs for about 3k, but then instead of sailing I will be reparing the boat plus it will probably cost me about an additional $3k -$4k. At the end I will finish spending at least $6k. The Seafarer is being offered for about $10k and to my eyes is in very good condition. Anyway, I know that perhaps my eyes are not well trained - but my friend have a friend that is a professional surveyor and he will inspect the seafarer.

I guess that my question was more in the long term. Is the Seafarer a good boat for what we think we will like to do?


12-11-2004 03:10 PM
Seafarer 29

You have gotten some very good advice here. I would add that if you can buy the Seafarer at a very reasonable price and owning it does not cut into the family budget for going out to diner and other entertainment then it''s as good a boat as any to start with. Just don''t plan on this being the boat that you will purchase, load, and sail away with, as it sounds like you have much preparation ahead of you first.
However, there are all types of people and none of us know your lifestyle. I''ve seen folks who with a back pack and a pair of sneakers can head off to just about anywhere, but most folks seem to require some comfort level.
You know who you are and what your minimum requirements are. I think back to a couple we knew who lived aboard year-round in New England with their dog on a Columbia 26. Not for me but everyone has their preferences.
Good luck to you and don''t give up the dream. It''s definately achievable. John Gov.
12-11-2004 12:09 PM
Seafarer 29

Hello, Manuel...

I would guess that the reason you received such a challenging reply from Sailingfool is that you have managed to wrap together a series of choices, each with its own significant risks, into one general question: Should I buy this Seafarer 29 so that my family and I, inexperienced sailors, can go to the Caribbean?

First, let me get to your ultimate goal. Inexperienced tho'' you may be, there''s no reason why you can''t set yourselves the goal of sailing down to the Caribbean in your own small boat. Folks do it all the time, it''s a great adventure if undertaken with the right attitude and skills, and in truth it''s not all that hard provided you take your time, have real-time weather info available to you, and enjoy the anchorages and sights ashore when the weather wants to make it tough.

But...the problem is between where you are NOW and what you want to do THEN, and that''s what Sailingfool is cautioning you about.

The Boat: A Seafarer 29 is not a great choice, with its interior liner, linear galley and dinette (vs. sufficient sea berths), and ''built to a price'' quality. I''m sure it can be done, but this boat is easily improved on.

It''s Age: Moreover, this is a boat that is almost 30 years old. Most of its basic systems (rigging, engine, electronics, sails) may already have been replaced once and could be due for a replacement yet again. This raises two problems: just as you begin your learning curve, lots of repairs can be thrown your way by this used/perhaps tired boat, just when you are much more in need of some fun sailing experiences with your family (for morale purposes and also for learning). AND these mods, repairs and such all cost money, just at a time when you are only learning about the other costs associated with a boat (haulout, berthing fees, perhaps an annual tax or registration fee, new ownership costs for bedding, dishes, foul weather gear, etc.). Again, others have managed to go this route...but it isn''t a great way to begin a fun adventure, with an old boat teaching you hard lessons for a high price.

I disagree with the previous post about ''you first, family second'' insofar as getting out on the water and learning about sailing. If you and your wife (and to the extent it''s possible, your daughter) are committed to this goal as a family, then tackle the learning curve as a family. If one of more of the family find it less and less appealing, better to find out sooner rather than later. Moreover, why hoard all the fun for yourself!? They may enjoy it even more than you do.

The hard truth is that the *idea* of sailing down to the islands may greatly appeal, but the *reality* of what it means, all the good stuff and all the hard stuff, is unknown to you. Many, many people - certainly me, included - have had their dreams fueled by goals they poorly understood...but in the interim, why not set some short term goals that give you a taste of what you think you want to do, at a fraction of the cost of buying a boat, and incrementally work your way towards your ultimate goal. E.g. consider a bare boat charter IN the Caribbean. Or enroll in a sailing school together, mixing it with a vacation week. Or contract for part or all of a week on a privately yacht, in a location you find interesting, where you are promised a mix of instruction and relaxation. Just imagine: if you are paying a boat owner to both teach you sailing and introduce you to boat ownership, but with none of the headaches or costs of owning, navigating or sailing, wouldn''t that be worth a fair penny?

Please let us know what you decide and how it works out for you.

12-11-2004 06:12 AM
Seafarer 29

The probability of you, a new sailor, presented with an old boat, which is small and marginal for offshore use, traveling great distances, without experience, with a family, in any kind of harmony and safety is very unlikley!

If you are truely interested in sailing, get a small boat (say 19'' or so) and learn how to sail. AFTER you have learned the basics adequately, bring the family out and see if they also enjoy it. When you have a few years of experience or the equivalent, buy a 29 footer and try out some cruising, and develop an additionallevel of experience and expertise.

THEN, if the dream still lives, start planning trips like the ones you have mentioned.

To take on an old boat with no experience is a formula for disasters, whether financial, relationship, or life-threatening, or all combined. Walk away from the 29, even if offered free. You likely have no experience to judge very good condition from barely afloat, reasonable price from big rippoff. At best the purchase price of an old boat is more like a downpayment on a long string of $$$ surprises, then the real cost.

Sailing is a great pastime, but like mountain-climbing or winter camping or flying a plane, there''s a learning curve that occurs among enevitable risks which are generally manageable with experience.

Just my opinion. Good luck.
12-11-2004 04:34 AM
Seafarer 29


I am being offered a 1976 29 feet Seafarer for purchase. I am new to sailing and this would be my first boat. It seems to be in very good and clean condition, and the price seems reasonable. I would like a good boat to sail the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands with my wife and daughter. Is the Seafarer an appropriate boat for this? Are there any issues I should be careful about before buying? You advice & opinion will be greatly appreciated.



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