HELP! we''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-10-2004 Thread Starter
 
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

Hello!
While we owned a C-15 briefly, we are not experienced sailors. However, we are seriously looking for an older cruiser to sail coastal and offshore from Tampa to the Keys frequently, spending maybe a week at a time (two of us). We''d like it to be something we can weekend on with four people as well.

About a month ago we began to research yachts online. Alot was learned and no it''s becoming a blur; information overload.

Our first choice was a "Stone Horse" followed closely by a "Flicka". Then reality set in...they are way out of our budget-great boats, though.

When we got back to earth we bagan to look at Pearson, Ericson and Seafarer. Plenty available and many within our price range. But, they must be cheap for a reason...Right?

So now we are in irons: what is there that is safe in rough seas, comfortable for four on a weekend, available in Florida and under five thousand dollars (trailer not included); preferrably in the 22-26 foot range?

Anything you experienced Salts can recommend will be appreciated. I just hope you aren''t the one trying to sell me the boat. LOL!
Jim
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-10-2004
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

well if you dont mind a bit of weather helm, and can get a good surveyer, The Pearson Tritons are some of the more solid boats Pearson ever made. As for a 26'' boat thats good for four people.... well, the Tritons 28, and its ok.

The ariel has a huge following, specificly with the enginless sailing crowd, because it''s easy to handle and does well in heavier weather AND a breaze, that being said, like the flika, it''s a full keel. That and the speed (what speed? 2 knots under full sail in a gale?) are about all those boats have in common though.

Flip side.

Catalina 27. Cheap, comfy, fun to sail.. I wouldnt take one offshore. But on the flipside, with alot of sailing experience, and some time seriously reenforcing/rebuilding one, a guy circumnavigated on one.

In the small fast and fun category, I''ve been out on Catalina 22''s for daysailing and know some people the overnight it camp style, but once agian, I''m not sure I''d want to be offshore in a 22'' boat designed for zipping around a bay.

I''m sure there are others, and I can almost guarantee that some of the more experienced people here wont agree with the choices I''ve tossed out, but they''re boats I''ve sailed on and know people who sail (both sailed and know, not either sailed or know) and my impressions of both. Your budget seems as starved as mine. Another thing to do though is contact the local sea scouts, and other water based charities, as alot of times they get donations that dont fit into their plans at all, so they sell them cheap. I got a beautifull little 19'' keel boat that handles my 25 mile passages to the california channel islands with aplomb, worst to date: 25 kts and 6-8 feet. Felt spooky, but Josie did alright. FWIW, she''s a Signet 20'', but I''ve only found 2 others, so no guarantees. But look around.

Good luck

-- James
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

Thanks for your input, James. Doesn''t look like my question is going to get much response. I see the virtues of the Hunter vs Catalina are being hotly debated above, however. Maybe I should have formed my questions as comparisons...LOL!
Happy sailing friend.
jim
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

My girlfriend owns an Islander Bahama 24. (although we don''t sail it as much...we own 2 boats) Stable (full keel) roomy enough to stay on for the weekend, big cockpit and probably can be had for below $5000 ( they are oldert and slower boats but the are solid as a rock)
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

Your budget precludes most of the boats people would want to use on trips where the weather could get really nasty - like in the Gulf Stream, where you say you''re headed. It sounds like you need a pretty solid boat - more likely a Sabre, Pearson or Tartan than some others. The larger Hunters or Catalinas could possibly be contenders, but they are beyond your budget.
Perhaps finding a possible boat and bringing it up for discussion on a case by case basis would be a
good option.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-10-2004
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

This is a tougher question than it might sound at first. It is hard to find a good boat for any coast, that costs less than $5000 but it is especially hard to find one for Florida''s Gulf Coast. I really do like the Gulf Coast, having sailed out of Sarasota for a number of years in the 1970''s. It is not an easy place to sail. The winds can be light and fluky favoring boats of moderate to light displacement and genererous sail plans. The inlets are far apart and many are poorly marked making entry at night near imposible so reasonable speed is a real advantage to a cruiser. Storms come up with fair regularity so seaworthiness and good reefing gear is important. Shoal draft allows access to many of the best anchorages and increases the number of passes that can be traversed. Strong currents run in many of the inlets so a good engine is a must. Good ventilation and good screens are a must in the blistering heat of late spring through early fall. The Gulf and the various Bays can get very choppy favoring boats that do not hobby horse and make outboard motors less than ideal. The narrow confines of the sailing channels really favors boats that can point well.

And all of that in a boat that costs $5000 or less becomes a bit difficult. Even if cost were not an issue boats like the Flicka and the Stonehorse are ill suited to the west coast of Florida.

In some ways an ideal boat for south west Florida is something like the 1960''s era Morgan 24. They were shoal draft but with the CB''s down they pointed well. They came with Atomic 4''s which is a great engine for that application. They were pretty robustly constructed and seem to have held up quite well. The Irwin 28 is a generally less expensive alternative with a lesser build quality.

Another near ideal boat for that area is the Tartan 27 but they are often beyond your budget.

Other similar boats are the mid-1960''s era Seafarer''s such as the Rhodes Ranger (keel/cb model) and the Meridian and the Sailmaster 26 were wonderfully built and finished S&S designs that were constructed to a high standard in Holland.

In the more modern designs, boats like the Cal 25, C&C 24, Pearson 26, Ranger 26 are all very good sailing boats that would be suitable for the Gulf Coast.

Despite the anti-Hunter hype, the 1980-81 era Hunter 25 was actually a pretty nice little boat for that area.

Although a little deep and a little spartan, you also might look at a non-race prepped J-24 which offers nice performance and good sailing abilities.

I need to turn in but hopefully this will be a good start.

Jeff

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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

Oh yeah, whatever you do make sure you set aside something like 20-50% of the purchase price to put the boat in shape for the offshore legs, and make sure you have the boats surveyed.

Also Jim, I did not realize that you had a Signet. Neat boats. Do you have a fin or a bilge keel model?

Regards
Jeff
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-11-2004
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

There is a Westerly Nomad in The Ft. Myers News Press for sale with trailer for 5K...I no nothing about sailboat( Learning) but when I looked at a picture of it it looks like it would fit the situation.
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

You may want to look at a Bristol 24. Not the best light air performer, but its OK. The draft is moderate and the interior is huge for its size with standing headroom. And they are reasonably seaworthy boats. I think it''d be a better choice than the Hunters or Catalinas for what you describe. Check out www.members.aol.com/bristolyht for more info. Good Old Boat magazine did a long review of them a few months ago. You should be able to find a decent on in your price range.

A faster but less comfortable boat would be a Merit 25. These are excellent performers in all conditions and very seaworthy (several have completed the singlehanded Transpac). Finding one for $5K will be hard, but I''ve seen decent ones with trailers for $7K, so you''d be in the ballpark after selling off the trailer. I think this would be a far better choice than a J24 as they have real interiors but don''t give away anything in performance.

BTW, I have a Bristol 27 that''s in decent shape that I''m selling and would be in your range. It''s very similar to a Pearson Triton. You can find info at http://www.members.cox.net/berry11/B27.htm. I''m selling her to buy a small racer, such as the Merit or a Wavelength 24.

There are actually a fair number of options in your range. I''ve seen several boats and my budget isn''t much more than yours. Just be patient and look at lots of boats...you''ll find one you like. Good luck,

Dan
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-11-2004
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HELP! we''''rebuying our first cruiser (under 5K)

Jim-
With all due respect to the other knowlegeable member''s comments and suggestions, I''m afraid there is no such boat that is;

"safe in rough seas, comfortable for four on a weekend, available in Florida and under five thousand dollars (trailer not included); preferrably in the 22-26 foot range"


Actually everything you want is possible, even the price limitation (if you are willing to spend a serious amount of time in your search) but then we get to your size range and that is where we faulter.

Just the "comfortable for four for a weekend" requirement would null your search. Try the following: rent a 26'' RV motor home and four of you go to the Keys or Dunedin for that matter (doesn''t have to be far from home) for a weekend and park on a beach.

Mind you now, a 26 foot RV is nearly double the volume of a 22-26 foot sailboat, and better than that, you can jump off and take a walk when you feel the claustrophobia (sp?) setting in. However, if the four of you are talking to each other when you return home to Tampa you all are to be commended.

I have an IP-32 which has about the largest interior of any 32 ever built and I still make sure I have extra tranqualizers on board before I shove off for overnighter with more than three souls.

Years ago we owned a 26'' S2 8.0B (daughter and son-in-law own her now). She was a great little weekender (for 2) with an 8'' beam and 4'' draft. I enjoyed that boat immensely, we sailed her everywhere from our home waters in The Hudson River out to The Atantic then either south to The Delaware or north to Block Island or Cape Cod in Massachussetts.

Would I take four aboard that boat for more than a 6 hour day trip? Actually I think I''d rather eat dirt.

Capt. Bruce
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