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Hello, I'm looking for advice on a first boat sailing the Puget Sound, and up to the top of Vancouver Island. Looking for something for crusing long weekends but performance is more important. I want something that does well in light air but not too tender. 15K is the budget. Thanks, John
 

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Advice.....?

I don't have any advice for the brand/make/model of boat for you but I can and do sail the entire region you mentioned in my Macgregor 26M model.
I'll give you some advice to help with your decision though. For starters we are in the PNW with a relative short sailing season if you are a fair weather sailor. It also rains here a lot and there is the return on your investment to consider, how many sailing days per year are you going to get for the amount of money you will put out. If you plan on a bigger keel boat there is moorage, about $2500.00/year for a 30' slip or more depending on your location. You can always get a trailerable boat to defray some moorage costs but there will inevitably be other costs. For cruising long weekends your minimum will be some form of pocket cruiser or larger so that you can overnight in it, which eliminates a small daysailer. You will need something in the 24-28' range if it is trailerable or up to 30' for non-trailerable to keep costs within 15K. There will not be a lot to choose from. The one thing you have going for you is the sailing venue, this area is a premiere sailing destination and it will take you many seasons to discover it all, make sure you get the boat that is right for you and that fits this venue. You don't need a blue water cruiser here, my little MacGregor covers it all just fine.
 

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There are many choices local to you. Best to peruse boats for sale, walk the docks and talk to owners etc. After a while you will gat an idea of what you want. Do you sail? If not take lessons - not only will you learn to sail, but will learn what you like and don't like. After you get some ideas you can narrow the search. Here's a lonk to boats between 25' and 30' and from 10k to 15k US.
(Sail) Boats For Sale Washington WA
Brian
ps The top of Vancouver Island is a lot more than a long weekend away - great way to spend a few months though.
 

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I heard the tides and current is strong there, a Mac 26 can get you moving, but a Mac might be too tender. I would suggest to find someone who sails a mac and see if they would give you a test ride... You will save $$ with no mooring fees and peace of mind your boat is safe in a storm or hurricane.
 
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