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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat selection advice needed.....
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Thread: Boat selection advice needed..... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-18-2011 10:32 AM
TQA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobaefa View Post
For the Keys and Bahamas do you feel that a 4'6" is a good combination? We want a boat that can be used often in the Keys and will be a safe good sailing boat if we want to sail up the FL coast. Or do you think we should look at some of the 3' draft with Centerboard options that are out there (not as many as 4" plus)?

We are use to a 2' draft but realize we have given up a lot of sailing ability for a light shallow draft boat. I want to find that "happy median" where we can access those Keys bay areas and still be able to go out in the gulf.
4'6" draft is fine for the Keys and Bahamas I cruised this area extensively with 5' with no problems.

If you want to get into the skinny stuff just make sure you do it on a rising tide.
09-17-2011 06:25 PM
contrarian I have friends who live on a shallow canal (less than 3' at winter low tide).
They bought a newer beneteau 31 with a centerboard and twin rudders because they could keep the boat at their home. It sails pretty good when the board is down and could do the Gulf O.K. I think they paid around 65k a few years back and you might be able to get one a little less than that now.
It would be a little cramped for a couple for even a weekend but do-able. You could look into one of these they may even make a 34 in this configuration not sure.
09-17-2011 03:44 PM
bobaefa For the Keys and Bahamas do you feel that a 4'6" is a good combination? We want a boat that can be used often in the Keys and will be a safe good sailing boat if we want to sail up the FL coast. Or do you think we should look at some of the 3' draft with Centerboard options that are out there (not as many as 4" plus)?

We are use to a 2' draft but realize we have given up a lot of sailing ability for a light shallow draft boat. I want to find that "happy median" where we can access those Keys bay areas and still be able to go out in the gulf.
09-17-2011 11:27 AM
TQA Beneteau Idylle is worth a look one in your range here 1985 Beneteau Idylle 11.50 Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -

4'6" draft and I think an opening transom. Nice liveaboard although the 43 foot version is better IMHO.
09-17-2011 10:42 AM
WDS123 Look at Island Packet - beefy stable boat -
09-17-2011 10:33 AM
contrarian I would be very wary of the Irwins. The build quality was a crap shoot with no real rhmye or reason to it. Some were built well while others were simply crap. The Tartan 34-2 is a nice boat with a 4'6" scheel keel that will meet a lot of your criteria but will be a compromise in others. This is my personal favorite for the cruising grounds that you have mentioned. Naturally what I like or what anybody else likes is totally irrelavent, its what you like that matters. For example: The traveler on the Tartan is located directly in front of the wheel with the primary winches in close proximity to the helm, for me this is great yet there are others who simply hate this configuration. The hardest part of choosing a boat seems to be defining the way that you will ultimately use it. Sometimes the romantic ideas we have don't match the reality of our real usage. There a lot of " Blue Water " boats out there that don't ever see any blue water.
09-17-2011 09:43 AM
JimsCAL For the Bahamas, a shoal draft will open up more options. Several mid-to-late 80s boats that might fit your requirements and budget: Cal 33-2 shoal (my boat!), Tartan 34-2, and Sabre 34 CB.
09-16-2011 09:50 PM
emoney You should definitely have a lot of options, assuming you'll be shopping in these parts (Florida). Lot's of boats in that range, but, consider that any older boat, unless it's had a very recent major refit, will require time in maintaining and upkeep. 32'-34' is a great size, but not sure how comfortable it will be for two couples, unless you guys are tight, lol. Looking on craigslist in Tampa, there's a nice "looking" 37' Irwin in your price range;
SAILBOAT IRWIN CUTTER KETCH
09-16-2011 09:39 PM
bobaefa Thanks for the advice. I don't feel that age is a big factor as long as the boat has been taken care of. Some of the older boats look very attractive. I do plan on limiting my range mostly to FL and Bahamas.
09-16-2011 09:27 PM
Faster In the 40-60K range you'll find quite a variety of suitable boats. Catalina 30,34 and 36s can all be had in that range, but to get one of those with the transom cutout may be more difficult. The MKII versions have the best cockpits and swim access but go for more than that in the larger sizes. Also, an early Catalina 320 might be had at that price. The Hunter Legend series 33.5, 35.5 of the late 80s early 90s have good layouts and could be suitable for coastal cruising that you are contemplating. These open cockpt models allow the best swimming access, but a good, deep stern ladder can make most boats perfectly satisfactory on that score.

Depending on what age you're prepared to go to will also impact your selection. C&C, CS, Sabre, Cal, and other once-prominent brands could well fit the bill too.

The big adjustment for you will be the departure from trailer sailing. Hauling a keel boat 'between trips' may not prove feasible or practical. You'll lose that flexibility to easily/inexpensively travel from Maine to the Keys.. and may have to choose a narrower sailing venue.
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