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Controlled Jibe 01-25-2012 05:13 PM

Help us choose a boat, please
Hi all, my fiance and I are in the midst of planning a cruise to the Sea of Cortez and thus we are also in the midst of shopping for that “perfect” boat. We thought we’d throw a post up here and see if anybody had:

a) a boat for sale that would suit our needs
b) any good advice on particular boat models, and
c) any good advice on general boat characteristics to suit our situation

Where: We’d like to buy a boat somewhere between Southern California and Puerto Vallarta. Our starting point is very flexible right now. This first trip will be mostly coastal (Pacific Coast of MX, and Sea of Cortez); we’re going to save crossing the big oceans for the next trip. That being said, seaworthy, seakindly, strongly built, etc are always good characteristics to have.

When: Around June/July of 2012. We’re planning on arriving in San Diego in late June.

Who: Me, Katie, and our dog Wylie

Diesel engine that runs well, has been well maintained and has <1500 hrs
Standing rigging in good shape (< than 10 yrs old)
Free of major issues (Turnkey condition is asking a lot, but we’re looking for something to sail, not something to tinker on for a year)
Suit of sails in good shape
Protected rudder (skeg hung or full keel)
Unfortunately our budget is fairly meager, so probably nothing over $25k, depending on refit needs

Boats that are currently on our short list:
This is a list of boats that we’ve compiled that appear to meet most of our needs and have good reputations. By all means add to the list, or let us know why you’d take something off.

Bristol 29, Bristol 29.9, Bristol 30, Bristol 31.1, Bristol 32
Cape Dory 30, Cape Dory 31, Cape Dory 32
Challenger 32
Douglas 32
Ericson Independence 31
Sea Sprite 30
Southern Cross 31
Southen Cross 32
Tartan 30
Willard 30
Yankee 30
Westsail 32

For the sake of brevity (though I think I’ve failed already), we have more information about the trip and what we’re looking for in a boat on our website (this is not a shameless plug, but it’s there if anybody wants a few more details about our situation). Thanks in advance and we’re open to all ideas.--Mark and Katie

malyea 01-25-2012 05:30 PM

Call or email Clark Hardy at Yachtfinders/Windseekers in San Diego. He can help you.

[email protected] 866-341-6189

I don't think you'll find what you need for $25k but good luck.

Controlled Jibe 01-25-2012 05:36 PM

Thanks Malyea, We'll look him up. We know it's a bit of a stretch for the 25k, and that's kind of why we put this post up. We've been digging deep into all the brokerages, craigslist, etc for 4-5 months now, and while we're not giving up on these models listed, we're hoping that folks on the forum might have some other types of boats to recommend that are a bit more, ahem, moderately priced. Thanks for the lead.

chuck53 01-25-2012 05:50 PM

If you're planning on crossing the ocean, I really think you need to bump up your budget. A decent boat capable of bluewater sailing will usually come with a much higher price tag than boats that are really made to be coastal crusiers.

Controlled Jibe 01-25-2012 06:02 PM

Sorry, the original post was unclear. We won't be crossing an ocean on this trip, or with this boat necessarily. In our search, we are simply thinking about coastal cruising, with perhaps a crossing from Baja to mainland Mexico being the longest passage.

chuck53 01-25-2012 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by Controlled Jibe (Post 821295)
Sorry about those last 4 posts. Computer Malfunction

Go to the edit button and you can delete those extra posts.

Good to know you're not planning on crossing the Pacific in this boat you're searching for.

Faster 01-25-2012 06:49 PM

Have you seen this one?

1977 Valiant Cutter Sail Boat For Sale -

Looks like she's seen some hard miles, but the price is right....

Here's another search for Western US and Mexico.. you'll have to do some filtering as to type, but a few to look at here.. the Mariner 31s kind of jumped out at me..

And this one looks interesting too...

MarkSF 01-25-2012 07:40 PM

Those Bristols you list vary from quite rare on the west coast, to incredibly rare. They only made 30 of the 31.1s and there is only one for sale on Yachtworld, and that's on the east coast. A B30 or 32 you might have more luck with.

Otherwise I'd recommend a 31.1, but then I'm biased ;)

How about a 35.5 though? Again, they're all the east coast.

Controlled Jibe 01-25-2012 08:22 PM

Faster, thanks for those leads. Funny you should bring up that Valiant. We were all over that boat (not physically, but we did sail by it and take a gander) in October; we thought she was the one. After a lot of back and forth with the broker, we found some photos online that showed her half submerged and with a giant hole in her stern (thanks to Hurricane Marty). She was definitely too good to be true. ...We are fascinated by the Mariners as well, not real excited about the ketch rig, but it's not a deal breaker. Do you have any experience with them. I like the look of the Seafarer as well, I'm definitely going to look into that one further. Thanks again

Controlled Jibe 01-25-2012 08:25 PM

MarkSF, thanks for the tips on the Bristols, we've indeed found them to be rare in our neck of the woods. I take it you're a fan of the 31.1? Any pros/cons you'd like to share?

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