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post #1 of 23 Old 02-25-2016 Thread Starter
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Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Aging former dinghy sailor (me) and a power boater (she), looking for a keelboat for recreational daysailing and coastal cruising on the west coast of FL, and perhaps eventually the near offshore (Bahamas, US East Coast).

Priorities are wheel steering, swim platform, reliable 2+cyl diesel, 2 private berth areas, 28-29’ LOA, ~6’ headroom, roller-furling foresail, little/no exterior bright work, bimini, shoal draft (4’ or less), and solidly built and easy/fun to sail (a stable, balanced, quick-ish, responsive sloop).

Secondary preferences are lines led aft, lazy jacks/stackpack for main sail, self-tailing winches, stern seats, transom/cockpit shower, opening ports/good ventilation, integrated AC, decent joinery-work below, and a comfortable cabin.

Budget is $20-45K.

After a few years looking, I’ve narrowed the search to 4 models:
(1) Beneteau Oceanis 281 (built 1995-2001)
(2) Catalina 28mkII (built 1990-2010)
(3) Hunter 28 (built 1989-1994)
(4) Precision 28 (built 1989 - ??)

Of these, the Bene and the Precision are the most similar – each is 192-201 in PHRF range (2014), fin keel with bulb, and a bit narrower and a lot lighter than the others (and the Bene has a much lower D/B ratio, under 30%).

The Catalina is the longest, heaviest, and slightly slower (PHRF 195-210). The Hunter (surprisingly?) is the widest, 2nd-heaviest, and fastest (PHRF 174-195). The Cat and Hunter both have wing keels.

The Bene and Cat have masthead rigs, and the Hunter and Precision are fractionally rigged.

On paper (putting the B&R rig aside for the moment), it looks like the Hunter 28 is the best compromise of comfort, ease, and speed, but we haven't been on one.

We’ve been on Cat 28s, and like them. They are more numerous than the Bene 281s and the Hunter 28s (let alone the rare Precision 28s, many of which are actually the predecessor P-27).

Before going on the road to see these other boats, I’m soliciting informed, general opinions about these 4 models. If you own, owned, or have sailing experience on any one or more of these 4 models, I’d appreciate if you’d offer your comments and observations.

Thanks!

Joe
Beneteau First 265, VT
OPB, FL
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Hey,

Why only 28'? There really isn't much difference between 28 and 30 and there are LOTS more 30' boats around.

Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebeach View Post

Priorities are wheel steering, swim platform, reliable 2+cyl diesel, 2 private berth areas, 28-29’ LOA, ~6’ headroom, roller-furling foresail, little/no exterior bright work, bimini, shoal draft (4’ or less), and solidly built and easy/fun to sail (a stable, balanced, quick-ish, responsive sloop).

Secondary preferences are lines led aft, lazy jacks/stackpack for main sail, self-tailing winches, stern seats, transom/cockpit shower, opening ports/good ventilation, integrated AC, decent joinery-work below, and a comfortable cabin.

Budget is $20-45K.

After a few years looking, I’ve narrowed the search to 4 models:
(1) Beneteau Oceanis 281 (built 1995-2001)
(2) Catalina 28mkII (built 1990-2010)
(3) Hunter 28 (built 1989-1994)
(4) Precision 28 (built 1989 - ??)

.......
Very close to our 'wish list' for our last shopping venture, but we were 'coming down' from a 40 footer. Ended up with a 34 footer because, while going from 28 to 40 feet was incredible, going from 40 back down that far just didn't seem to work. Having said that, in some ways the newish 30 footers have as much room.

Of those on your list I'd look into a Precision 28 first.. never seen one in the flesh but like the look, the finish and the reputation of Precision Yachts and Jim Taylor. And I'd be comparing it to the C28 first. With the ongoing support from Catalina that's an attractive option, the boat is a handsome one that should serve well.

Main objection to Hunter's B&R rig (of that era - masthead with conventional backstay) is the spar's lack of adjustability. But many won't care about that. I do think that that era of Hunters (and esp. the fractional rigged non-B&R Legends that came next) were Hunter's heyday. Regarding the H28, checking out a H31 you might find the gains worth the price difference. For some, however, the iron keels can be a dealbreaker.

While I think that era of Bene's are decent boats and well built, aesthetically I've never really taken to them. Unimaginative styling (to my eye) with little row-away factor. Good cockpits, though and they seem to sail well enough.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

I would really suggest expanding to 30'. In this price range Catalina 30, J-30, Beneteau First 305. The list is almost endless. But getting standing headroom under 30' is tricky.

Greg
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-25-2016
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Another way to present the "get a 30 footer" approach, but not really...

Consider that almost all 28 foot boats, almost unique among all other boat sizes, suffers from "big-boat-itis" wherein builders try to cram in, uhm, bigger boat systems in a smaller package. Things like refrigeration (sometimes without room for the necessary supporting battery banks), H&C running water, etc. It's not much, but it adds up, making them,usually, the costliest boats per length of their entire boat lines. The break point seems to be, on most, 27 feet. 28 footers really suffer. While seemingly "only" an "extra" two feet, a 30 footer usually has a LOT more VOLUME.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Thanks for your comments.

While I hear you on the 30-footers, we're going with a 28 for several reasons. One is slip size (behind my house), another is my feel for smaller boats, and a third is her comfort in boat handling. BTW all of the 28's mentioned have headroom between 5'11" and 6'2". For us, the tipping point is between 27 footers (too smallish) and 28-29 footers.

There are a ton of Cat 30s out there, and we've been on several. It's a good boat, but a little bigger than we want. Not worried about 2-foot-itis. We're in our late 50's, the kids are grown and away, and this is/will be our first (and maybe last) keelboat.

Any comments on those 4 models, or other shoal draft, etc., models of 28-footers, is much appreciated. (Thanks, Faster!)

Joe
Beneteau First 265, VT
OPB, FL
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-26-2016
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Why wheel steering? Tillers give you such a better feel. There is the Beneteau First 285 as well. Sweet ride and a fractional rig.

Umquam Porro

Seeker 1992 Beneteau First 235


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post #8 of 23 Old 02-26-2016
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My slip neighbor has an 80's vintage Churibini H28. Very handy little boat. Plenty of them around and can be had easily for under $10,000. Leaving plenty in your budget for fun stuff.
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
Why wheel steering? Tillers give you such a better feel. There is the Beneteau First 285 as well. Sweet ride and a fractional rig.
Yup, yup, and yup.

FIRST 285 (BENETEAU) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

One nice thing about the 285s- the chainplates are tied to the keel structure with struts, visible and adjustable from the Cabin, if adjustment is ever needed. This is a very strong design, which transfers loads away from the decking, but one can whack their noggin on the struts if not careful while seated.
Beneteau played with various rigs back then; the Masthead Rigs have Babystays to adjust Mast Rake, for those who like to play with such things. For those that don't, they just get in the way.

I have an earlier First 29; they are very similar boats, but note that as far as Standing Headroom goes, the French must average a couple of inches shorter than their American cousins.
Yet note also that the Berths are a full two meters long; the French like to stretch out when horizontal.

Like many boats from that era, not just Beneteaus, the Headliner may sag here and there. New ones aren't expensive to make, but the job is very tedious and messy.

¬Erindipity
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Opinions on 28’ daysailing/cruising sloops?

Thanks again, guys.

We want wheel steering because my partner is a (former) power-boater, see above, and she is not comfortable with using a tiller. So tiller-steered boats like the Bene 285, etc., are not on the list.

So far, it looks like I have votes for the P28 and the Cat 28 (Faster), and H28 (Closecall), but none for the Bene 281.

Any other thoughts? Thx again.

Joe
Beneteau First 265, VT
OPB, FL
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