Join Date: Oct 2006
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Another newbie's list....
Well, first off, given that my family and, in particular, my wife, have no sailing experience, "cruising" for us means Chesapeake Bay. We are looking at a "learner" cruiser, but we don't want to break the bank until we find out if she and the rest of the family like the life. So, on to the requirements....
Inexpensive. This means I'm looking at 1968 to 1979 as the production date for the boat. Caution: this does not mean inexpensive in the long run, just the initial outlay to get on the water. I anticipate doing a huge amount of work to maintain and improve the boat (my Casey and Calder library is growing rapidly, and I pick tools for home improvement based on their suitability for use on boats, too).
Sound hull. For me, this means no cored hull. It also means no serious osmosis problems, or they've already been handled.
Good rig. I don't know enough about tuning a rig to rebuild standing rigging on my own. I'm looking for a boat with SS wire rigging no older than 5 to 7 years.
Functional head. This is a family thing....
Ratty and ill-equipped galley. I'm very into cooking, and I want to fit it out to match my style.
Wheel steering. I plan to move up to a bigger boat, which will have wheel steering, so I want to get used to it. This is not a requirement for purchase - it would be quite educational to do a tiller-to-wheel conversion. It would require glassing reinforcements under the cockpit (practice with fiberglass and epoxy), mounting the pedestal (practice with epoxy and drilling), and rigging the cables (practice with steering systems).
Sailable. I want to go sailing with the family starting in April, so I need to have a boat that's functional, or can be made functional, by that time. Decent sails. Decent rig (as noted). Functional engine (or can be made functional by amateurs).
Lines led aft. This would be nice, but isn't a strict requirement. I could do that myself, though after some discussions here it's clear that it's a bigger job than I anticipated.
Size - well, that's a tough one. The Sabre 28 is nice, as is the C&C 28 (but whoops, isn't that a cored hull?). I am shooting for 30 to 34 feet. Big enough to be comfortable overnight, big enough to sail like a "big boat," but not so big that affordable = holes in the hull and boat sunk at one point.
On the short list are the Columbia 9.6, the S2 9.2A, and the 32' Endeavor.