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post #1 of 17 Old 12-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Boat Shopping


I'm looking for some information about finding a boat. I am looking in the 32 ish foot range. It's me, the wife and 3 kids ( 5,9,11). We live on the southeast coast. I'm just interested in sailing the coast, but the wife wants the ability to head over to the Bahamas during summer break. She has found an early 80's O'day 28 that she likes. Is 28 foot too small to hop across to the Bahamas? She is also looking at a Pearson 28. I still want to find something a little bigger so we have room to grow. I have looked all the way up to a 35' but can I stay smaller and still fit my wife and my needs?

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-19-2011
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This couple went from Boston to the Bahamas in a 28'

Travel Outward Bumbre

Can't imagine trying it with 3 kids though.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-19-2011
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In my experience (same woman since we were 16) to keep your wife happy you need refrigeration and hot water. This is tight in a 28' with all the gear that 3 kids entail. We are all different with varying needs and wants but I don't think I could cruise the Bahamas with 3 kids in a 28' boat. I'd be looking at 32' and it should have separate V-berth and aft berth cabins

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-19-2011
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While I think a well-found 28' boat crewed by a competent captain and crew can certainly make the trip, I also think that you will want more space and comfort for everybody’s sanity.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-19-2011
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My first boat was a Catalina 22. Great for a day sail. But i got hooked on sailing and wanted a boat big enough for my family (wife and three kids) to spend overnight trips on. I bought a Newport 28 and we did a few weekends trips. The problem with 5 people on a 28' boat is that there is nowhere to put the 'stuff' when you are sleep mode. There is too much stuff and not enough storage. The Newport was fine for a single night, and tolerable for two nights, but too small for longer than that.

If you are serious, I would look for a boat at least 34' and the close to 40 the better. To really live on the boat you will want a decent size shower, decent size ice box / fridge, galley big enough to cook in, etc. My O'day 35 is great for a week but I don't know if I would want five people on it for more than two weeks.

In short, if you want to spend a night or weekend, a 28' would be OK. Longer than that would really require a bigger boat.

Good luck,

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

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-19-2011
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I did it

I have a 1983 Oday 28.

We sailed from FT Lauderdale to Abacos around and back via Bimini.
We stayed in rent houses though.
I think it would be pretty tough to stay on the boat the whole time.

Weekend trips around home would be fine.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-20-2011
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Another vote for the 28 being a bit tight for 5. I sailed an O' Day 28 last summer through my boat club and I think it would be a bit cramped for the 5 of you. Thinking you are going to want to go bigger.

Umquam Porro

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-20-2011
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What's your budget?

There are plenty of 28 footers that are capable of crossing to the Bahamas with a competent captain/crew.

We've cruised for as long as 3 months at a time on our 28 footer with two kids, my wife and myself onboard. It really depends on how much "stuff" you bring along and how often you get off the boat or on deck to stretch out.

Having said that, we're expecting a third child this spring and I think something in the ~35' range would be ideal, though not a necessity.

Catalina 34

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-20-2011
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Take a look at a Catalina 30. Very roomy and better suited for 5 than a 28. What's your budget?
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-20-2011
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Hey Tex.
You didn't say anything about the mix of boys and girls in your clan, but you have two on the cusp of teendom and if they are girls then privacy will be essential. 28 feet does not offer privacy for anyone. I have a Person 28-1 and while it is a great sturdy boat I would not venture off very far with more than three onboard. The other thing, with five mouths to feed, and they will be hungry after a day of sailing, then you need a really good galley with refer and plenty of storage. Next time you go to the grocery store look at how much stuff you take home and add to that the essentials you already have stowed. Be sure your boat can handle that. Another thing is water. I have a 22 gallon tank which a teenage girl with long hair could empty in no time at all, so look at auxilary water storage or be ready to hit the beach every day with water jugs in hand.
Discipline over the other stuff you take can solve some storage problems, but you will want some water toys, picnic stuff, foul weather gear...etc.
In addition to all this, be sure the boat you buy can sail close to the wind, is dry and is a beauty in your eyes.
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