YA need a boat thread - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-12-2006 Thread Starter
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YA need a boat thread

Hello all. I've been lurking here for some time, reading all the threads on buying a new boat. I'm not new to sailing (started with cat boats and Lightnings when I was 12), but I'm new to "big boat" sailing - biggest I've ever really sailed is a J/24. My son is off to the Marine Corps next summer, and I'll have my wife and 2 teenage daughters to go sailing. My wife was receptive-but-reserved until I took her to the Annapolis Boat Show last week, and now she has the bug bad. This is a Good Thing....

The plan is to spend <30K on a weekender in the spring, sail it around the Chesapeake for the next four or five years, then get a used bluewater boat (love the Whitbys) for <100K and move aboard. My employer is very understanding and says they don't care where I work, as long as I have Internet connectivity.

So the immediate problem - which boat to buy next spring? (Isn't that always the way it goes here?)

Requirements: ~30 feet, wheel steering, diesel engine, enclosed head with holding, sound hull, well-maintained rig. Nice to have: lines led aft for singlehanding (this is almost a requirement, but can be done afterwards), propane stove, good electronics, and a dink. I'd like something relatively spritely, for the Thursday night races and good Bay cruising range, but I don't want a Tartan T-10 with pipe berths instead of a comfortable interior.

I plan to keep her on a mooring at a north-Bay marina.

Some of the boats that appeal to my eye, from hours on the for-sale sites, are: S2 9.2A (my favorite so far), Columbia 9.6, Sabre 28, 30' C&C Mk I, 32' Endeavor or Ericson, or the O'Day 322 (which looks sexy, but I don't know if it's a "good" boat). All these boats (along with the Hunters, Catalina 30s, and Bene Firsts) meet the requirements I listed, and some of the nice-to-haves, but I'm not sure where to go to narrow it down, other than to go visit them. I've seen a lot of posts saying, basically, "well, you have a lot of different kinds of boats there," but I'm not sure how to enumerate the differences. Start with PHRF ratings? Go visit them and take notes on what the boats are like? Also, is it better (from a price perspective) to buy in the fall and pay storage, or in the spring after the seller has had it around for the winter?

I'd love to hear some more advice....

Sorry for rambling...

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post #2 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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You mentioned you like the s2 9.2. Although I've never been aboard one of those. I have an s2 8.0, it's basically a smaller version of the 9.2 (I think). I've had it for almost a year and have no complaints. It's very sturdy and high quality, and they have alot of comfort features. It also sails very well.

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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It's good that you have your wife "on board" so to speak, but I wonder if her expectations may be skewed after viewing new boats at the show.PHRF numbers should be an indication of relative performance, but will only be found for boats that are raced, and if racing is not your priority it may be data that does not help you much.You have a lot of similar boats on your list, it's going to be a matter of finding one that feels right.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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spousal veto

My first sailboat was a raceboat...low freeboard, no standing headroom, rudimentary accomodations, lots of heeling due to high sail area to displacement, etc.
Wife hated it!
Current boat is a cruiser with lots of creature comforts...
Wife loves it!
moral of the story....
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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Feels right is so important. We looked at quite a few boats before we bought the old dear, but within five minutes of boarding my other half announced this was it. Thankfully t.o.d. then passed all other questions put to her with flying colours so it was a good result.
When last we went to the Sydney boat show, I was a bit worried that Ms TDW would fall in love with with a plastic fantastic but she proved herself to be better than that. Mind you the idiot (I think) Hunter salesman who waxed eloquent about the fan and drainer in the dinnerware cabinet did himself no favours while the Island Packet fella who spoke only of sailing gear won her over. Where the heck she thinks I am going to find the money to buy a bloody Island Packet 42 though, I have no idea. :-)

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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S2 9.2C/30'
The S2 9.2C is a center cockpit sloop rig, fin keel and space rudder. Standard engine was Yanmar. Her hull is hand laid and her deck balsa-core. She had ten opening ports, 6 berths including aft stateroom, head with shower, teak bulkheads and trim and 6’2" headroom. Her mast height above DWL is 43’6".

Performance design co-exists with human dynamics in a swift, responsive 30-footer with the privacy of a separate aft cabin. Performance features combine with the forgiving sailing characteristics for cruising. In a proven wide beam hull integrated keel and skef rudder for balanced helm, superb tracking, and excellent control. Carefully calculated with the weight and stability to stay dry and comfortable in heavy seas. Yet close-winded and quick to accelerate in light air. An easy to handle moderate aspect ratio rig with large mainsail for good performance on and off the wind. All control lines lead aft to the superb pilot vantage point of a roomy self-bailing center cockpit with contoured seating engineered for comfort. Crisp non-skid deck surfaces, teak cabin-top handrails, and double stainless steel bow pulpit and stern rail contribute to the mobility made possible by wide walkways. Streamlined engineering is also discovered in such features as a molded-in forward anchor locker flush with the deck.

Center cockpit design allows distribution of interior volume into sleeping spaces for six, including a sociable main cabin convertible lounge drop-leaf dinette table, forward V-berth, and private aft stateroom with double berth, hanging locker and 3 door cabinets. Complete galley situated away from main entry traffic. Fully private stand-up head with molded-in tub/shower. Beautifully practical teak bulkheads and trim, finely crafted cabinets and magazine racks enhance the main salon. A complete navigation table is cleverly engineered into the passageway between the salon and aft stateroom. Additional storage is integrated behind backrests and under berths. Warm comfort and functional detail is obvious in a bright, open environment made possible by four large main cabin windows.


L.O.A. 29’11" 9.11m
L.W.L. 25’0" 7.62m
Beam 10’3" 3.12m
Draft Deep 4’11" 1.49m
Draft Shoal 3’11" 1.19m
Displacement 9800 lbs. 4445.2kg
Ballast 4000 lbs. 1814.36kg
Sail Area 468 sq. ft. 43.47 sq. m
Mast Ht. above D.W.L. 43'6" 13.25m
Headroom 6'2" 1.87m
Berths 6
Cockpit Length 6'0" 1.82m

PRODUCTION 1977-1987 - 426 Hulls
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-12-2006
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Well, to me "spritely" means it has to have good sails. If you can still feel & see the plastic coating on them, they're probably in good shape. If it is gone...they are probably already losing shape and that' like losing one or two cylinders on an engine. Most used boats will have varying degrees of older sails, so take a look at what's on board (you don't need a racing inventory of ten sails but you should consider what you'll want or need) and reserve some budget for sails, it is likely that you'll want a new set (main, genoa, job) after the first season of seeing what the boat can do, and letting the wife & daughters flog the old sails as they learn how to handle them. (Or, perhaps sooner.) Could be a $5000 item on your budget.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-13-2006 Thread Starter
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Good advice from everyone! Thanks! It's reassuring to hear that the boats I have on the list are similar - I was a little worried that there were some odd standouts.

As for my wife being "on board" but disillusioned by the boat show, fear not. She harbors no misunderstandings about what we can afford, or how much boat is too much. I mean, I love the Hylas 46, but it feels like too much boat. I really don't want to spend all my time fixing stuff; I like to sail, and I want them to enjoy it, too. She agreed that the Delphia 37 was a hot little boat, though, with the Sabre 386 a close second. I'll keep checkin' that lottery ticket.

It's wonderful to have a board like this where us newbies can read and read and read....

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-13-2006
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I think you are one-up on a lot of folks that are looking for their first boat. 30 footers are in the sweet spot in boating. Small enough to learn on, comparatively inexpensive but still a big boat. And they can keep you happy for a long time. As far a PHRF goes look to the 175 range for reasonable performance in that size. Don't discount late 70s vintage boats that may be in good shape. You should inquire about blisters in the late 70s to mid 80s.

But, you must look at boats. Lots of boats. You will know when you find the right one. besides, looking at boats is fun. You now need the experience of walking the decks and sticking your head in bilges to know what you and your wife like.

Have fun and feel free to ask us specific questions as they come up.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-13-2006
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similar story


I was in a similar position back in 2004. I bought my first boat (1981 Catalina 22) in 2003, sailed for the rest of the season (Long Island Sound), half of 2004, then decided I wanted a bigger boat.

I wanted a boat with inboard diesel engine, wheel steering, marine head, hot+cold pressure water, self tailing winches, roller furling headsail, shower, and beds for 5 (me, my wife, and our 3 kids, who are young). My research showed that I needed a boat around 30', so I looked at boats in the 28 - 32' range. I am not interested in racing, but I do value performance. My budget was around 20K. I looked at a lot of boats, including Catalina 30, Islander 30, S2 9.2A, Irwin 30 and 32, Newport 28, Ericcson 28, Hunter 31, Oday 31, and a few others.

I'm not an expert, but to me, the boats were all basically the same.

All the boats I looked at were from the early to mid 80's.
Here are some of my opinions:
-The Irwins were lightly made and poor quality. I have no desire to cross oceans, but the Long Island Sound in the spring and fall has 20 kt winds and 4' seas. I didn't feel like the Irwin would do well in those conditions
-The Hunters from the early 80's were not made well. The boats I looked at were unattractive (personal opinion) and did not hold up well.
-Catalina 30 - great boat and my #1 choice. Well made, simple, lots to choose from.
-Islander 30 - nice boat, similar to the Catalina, but more difficult to find.
-S2 9.2A - I really expected to love this boat. Practical Sailor rated it very high. I looked at 5 of them. All had bad leaks around the chain plates. The boats I looked at (at the lower end of the price range) had moldy interiors, and were 'stripped' of things like hot water heaters.
-O'day - nice boat, but definitely built on the cheap side. Few had traverlers that could be adjusted under sail, most had pins that require you to move the pin, then tack to most the traveler. I also don't like the teak toerail - too much maintenance.
Ericcson - nice boat but the one I looked at had a tiller.
Newport 28 - I originally discounted the Newport since I looked at a bunch of 27' boats (like Catalina 27) and ruled them out as too small. I was in a yard to see an S2 (which was junk) when the broaker pointed out the Newport to me. I liked it. It met all my requirements. It has some nice features that the Catalina didn't have, like teak and holly sole, teak interior, cabin liner, self tailing winches, etc. Compared to the other boats I looked at, the newport was cheaper and in better condition.

So I bought it and sailed it home.

I'm very happy with the Newport, and you should consider them. The 30' is basically the same boat, just a little bigger. Nicer inside than a Catalina 30 and cheaper too.

If you can spend 30K you should be able to find a boat in good condition with good sails, good electronics, nice interior, etc. For that money, you may be able to get a boat with a swim platform / boarding platform. That would be nice to have.

One last thing, my 1986 Newport is for sale ($16,500). I'm moving up to a 33-36' boat. Let me know if you would like more information.

Good luck,
Barry Lenoble
Noble Prize
1986 Newport 28
Mt. Sinai, NY
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