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Hi there all

I'm new to both this forum and to the sailing community in general, so bear with me here. I've been thinking for quite some time about buying a boat in order to live aboard and to learn how to sail, and circumstances have coalesced to the point where it's time for me to pull the trigger and do it. I've narrowed my choices down to 3 boats that are realistic possibilities at this point, and I'd love to hear what the community thinks.

My options (based on availability in my locale at this point)
An extremely project-y Catalina 27 for under $2,000
A somewhat less project-y Rawson 30 (non-pilothouse) for around $4,000
An Albin Vega in fairly good shape for $3,000-5,000, possibly more, based on results of an auction

About me - as mentioned, no sailing experience, but I'm very enthusiastic and dedicated to learning quickly. 6'2", so the headroom in the Rawson would be VERY nice, especially since I will be living aboard consistently over the next few years. The Albin Vega definitely felt pretty cramped to me. Most interested in coastal cruising at this point, but the option to do some entry level bluewater stuff would be very nice. Located in AK.

Quick and dirty details
Cat. 27 - VERY dirty, inside and out, would need to be cleaned thoroughly to make her habitable, possible (more like probable) engine issues, hull seems solid. Cheap.
Rawson 30 - interior in good shape, exterior teak needs work, no engine, outboard mount installed, definitely cheap for a 30 footer. Pretty bare-bones other than beautiful wood interior, but lots of potential.
Albin vega - interior in very good shape, boat is overall well maintained, probably needs engine work/replacement, still has the old Volvo in it with 3 yr old fuel, wouldn't be surprised if it didn't start. lots of extras, well loved boat. Could get pricey if auction gets active.

That's a good start, I'd be interested to hear first impressions that folks have, and I can add more info if anyone has other questions that could help me decide which one to go for. Thanks in advanced for all your input, I'm definitely excited to join the sailing community!!
 

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Splashed
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Depending on the price I'd go for the Vega. However it seems that all of them needs a new engine, and that will be expensive, you MUST consider that if you're not going engineless.
You also don't write anything about sails and rigging, and that could get costly pretty fast too, so you should probably investigate a little deeper before seriously considering any of those boats?
 

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If you're going to liveaboard, the Rawson 30 may be your best choice. They're pretty heavy, bluewater capable pocket cruisers IIRC. The Albin Vega is probably a better boat, but considerably smaller in size.
 

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Splashed
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SD,
Good point, I was focusing more on the Cat 27 which I find too light in construction.

If you're going to liveaboard, the Rawson 30 may be your best choice. They're pretty heavy, bluewater capable pocket cruisers IIRC. The Albin Vega is probably a better boat, but considerably smaller in size.
 

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Probably too late at this point to do any good, but I've owned both the Vega and Rawson and I wish I still had the Rawson. Those things are bullitproof!
 
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