SailNet Community banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow sailors. I am looking for solid advice that may help save me time in my search for a sailboat. Any feedback is much appreciated in advance. Below is my information:

Experience: I am 38 years of age and in good shape. I have been sailing at home here in Pensacola, FL for (3) years. I am a part of a sailing club and regularly sail 22' - 26' Catalina (Capris). I have taken the ASA classes through "Bareboat & Coastal Cruising". I have also had over a dozen days on various 33-39' Beneteaus (part of the charter business that the club owns) as crew and skipper. I intend on continuing my education and experience on the water.

Where: I intend on buying a boat in the next 24 months and taking trips along the coast of Florida, Florida Keys, Caribbean, and very possibly further. I understand that like many things in life; there will be trade-offs in any boat. I just want to try and get the best boat for "me". I want to be able to enjoy day-sailing this boat on the Pensacola Bay or Gulf in winds 10-15 knots; yet still be able to take her on a bluewater voyage and feel relatively safe that she could handle heavy seas. I would rather give up having a "bullet proof" boat that could round the Horn without any worries to have a more roomier cockpit that I could stretch out in, a bit more speed under light winds, and more maneuverability with docking situations. But not so much that I am limited to coastal cruising. Does this boat exist?

Singlehanding: The boat would be comfortable for my wife and I for extended periods of time and yet still big enough to accomodate another couple for a (3-4) day trip or so. ***The boat would also have to be very manageable for me to sail alone.*** This part is not negotiable as I sail a lot on my own. I do not want more boat than I need.

Budget: I would like to not spend much more than $60K on the initial purchase (and hopefully get a boat that was coastal ready), and then spend more over next few years to refit her for longer voyages. I would love to get by with less initial purchase; but I thought that i would list my maximum at this point to see if I am being realistic.

Summary: I am pretty mechanically inclined and a big DIY'er. Although I have not done a lot of repairs on boats; I have been reading a lot of books on the subjects and have been helping friends with maintenance/repairs on their boats. Point being: I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and do some of my own work. I would prefer a boat that has a strong hull and easy to maintain (not a lot of exterior wood surfaces for the FL sun to eat up).

Anybody care to share some boat recommendations? Or characteristics that I should look for? How about sailplan? This is a much debated subject, however I think I can pretty much rule out a Yawl or Ketch.

Fair winds and calm seas,

Clint
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Do you plan on going bluewater eventually or just island hopping and coastal cruising?

That will make the choice of boat very different. Lots of boats out there for the budget you've got. I'd highly recommend saving about 20% of your budget for the refitting, upgrading and repairing of any boat you do end up buying.

Best advice I was given when looking at boats is that the PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE BOAT IS PRIMARY. If you're mostly going to be sailing as a couple, but only occasionally have another couple aboard, buy a boat that is designed for sailing and living on by a couple... and make whatever accommodations for the short visits you have your guests for.

Getting a boat much larger than 35' for your budget is going to be a bit tight IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,680 Posts
Yes, there are loads of boats that would fit your requirements. Many of the intermediate sized Catalinas, Beneteaus, etc would probably work for you. There are litterally dozens of different models to choose from.

If the run-of-the-mill production boats are not up your alley, one boat that I immediately thought of is the CS (Canadian Sailcraft) 36. Several forum members sail them and they sure seem like a lot of boat for the money, which happens to be within your budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
Hello,

While I love the standard production type boats (Catalina, Beneteau, etc.), in this case I would recommend boats with a more sturdy reputation.

The manufactures that come to my mind are Sabre, Tartan, C&C Landfall, and Pearson, and the previously mentioned CS.

I would look at boats in the 34-36 range, maybe as big as 38. That size boat will give you the size for an extra couple, small enough to be easily single handed, and big enough to handle some rough weather.

Specifically, the Tartan 37 has a great reputation. Same with the Sabre 36 and 34, Pearson 365, and the CS 36.

Good luck,
Barry
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Clint... your needs are very basic except for the "Caribbean" portion of the intended use. I would draw a distinction between cruising the Bahamas chain all the way to the Turks and Caicos....and between sailing to windward to the Caribbean. While you can use virtually any boat for the former...you need a better built and more purpose designed boat for the latter. Given your very limited budget...I would encourage you to think hard about how realistic the Caribe portion of your plans is. If it figures high in your plans...then you really do need to think about a boat that is built for it and sacrificing cockpit space and room down below in order to get a capable boat within your budget.
Space cockpit/below...build/passagemaking quality....price: Pick any two

Check the bluewater boats thread sticky at the top of this forum for specific model ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This is all good advice (with exception to "endless choices" response).

I guess I would sacrifice some space in the cockpit & below (and maybe save a bit more for cost of boat). I definitely feel that "bluewater" is in my future. I definitely don't want to have a tank that doesn't move in lighter winds and is extremely hard to maneauver (like some full keel designs I have read about).

I appreciate the boats listed above. I had a few on my list already.

What type of sail plan & rig is best for solo sailing?

Thanks for your responses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,680 Posts
What type of sail plan & rig is best for solo sailing?

Thanks for your responses.
Opinions vary on this one, partly due to sailing style/preferences, ability/experience, and sailing grounds.

In the size range you are looking at, there really is no need to split the rig with two masts, as on a ketch or yawl. I might even go so far as to say you probably don't need to split the headsail plan either (as on a cutter), at least for 90% of the sailing you'll do.

But many bluewater sailors prefer the cutter or double-headsail rig, which allows a combination of a smaller headsail and staysail to be used. A lot of coastal sailors prefer a fractional sloop, with a smaller headsail and more drive in the proportionally larger mainsail.

For shorthanded sailing, I like a sailplan that makes it relatively easy to "switch gears". On a typical modern, fractional rig, the first downshift usually amounts to flattening the sails (snugging outhaul, backstay, etc). On less "tweekable" arrangements, reefing the main or downsizing the headsail is often the first step. This is obviously more labor intensive, so a solo sailor might want to consider a more tunable/tweekable rig that can get you up to the 20 knot range without need for sail changes or reefing.

Then again, this approach might just amount to postponing the inevitable.:) A double headsail or cutter rig with a 3-reef main, properly rigged for single-handing, might be the ultimate solution for the widest range of wind conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,336 Posts
The cutter sailplan is going to give you more muscle when beating in heavy airs, and as Capt'n Pollard says, allow you to "switch gears" to meet the variety of conditions you'll surely encounter.
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I would not recommend a cutter in this size range as you lose deck space for carrying a dinghy and have to add a bowsprit and bobstay for the jib which complicates sail changes, maintenance and anchoring for a singlehander. Neither of these make singlehanding easier. I would go with a sloop rig with roller furler and everything led to the cockpit for safe and easy handling. I would have two headsails ...one 120% and one heavy duty 100% that could be rolled to 70% for heavy air. Passagemaking to the Caribe...I would just hoist the 100% and be ready for anything rather than attempting to swap sails at sea.
I like a cutter rig a lot...but you do have some downsides especially singlehanding on a smaller boat me thinks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yes, I do see the drawbacks in a cutter rig as well as the benefits. I appreciate your input. My worries are running into heavy weather and not being able to shorten sail enough or easily enough by myself (from the cockpit). I do tend to lean more toward a sloop rig from all that I have read & learned on these forums in the last year.

If anyone has more input on fractional vs. masthead; I would appreciate it. Especially with respect to the singlehanded sailor. Is there many of you out there who sail alone (boats in the low-mid 30's) on a regular basis? I would be interested in hearing the challenges one faces, and any advice. I sail alone quite a bit, but only in easy-moderate conditions and with boats in the 22-25' range.

In the opinion of those of you reading this thread; is sailing a 36 or 37' boat too much work for a singlehanded sailor wanting to enjoy a casual daysail? I guess where I am going with this is maybe I should compromise on some comfort and get a good 30-33' bluewater capable boat that will still be fun to take out on the bay on a 10-15 kn. day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Opinion

Hi Clint,

Congrats on your decision to go cruising. You have been given lots of great advice so far! Pay particular attention to the differences between a great coastal cruiser and a proper offshore boat. The trade offs have already been discussed.

If I had your budget and desire, I'd first make a decision about which type of sailing I would do the most of. There are some great offshore capable boats in your price range that would have very limmited cockpit space as well as interior volume. Some of the thirty+ foot designs like a Fuji 35, Westsail 32 or Baba 30 come to mind. These boats also have quite a bit of exterior teak to maintain. Take the time to both inspect and sail boats in this category.

Some great boats that are very accomplished offshore boats with a little better performance are the smaller Valiants. They made a 32 you might consider. The early ones have been prone to bottom blisters though. I'd put an older Pearson 365 alongside these as well.

I would also put the earlier Pacific Seacraft boats in this category. They are great and you may find an older one in your range.

Further up the performance curve and offering more cockpit and interior volume in a lighter overall package you have a bunch of choices. I'm partial to the mid eighties Pearson 34 and 36, CS 33, 34 and 36, Sabre 36, Sabre 34, Ericson 34 and 35, and Tartan 33, 34-2 and 37. I owned a Tartan 33 for many years and it is the only one of these with a fractional rig. The traveller is aft across the cockpit benches in easy reach of the helsman, along with the primary winches and backstay. It performs very well, has a standard shoal draft Scheel keel and a nice teak interior with little exterior wood to take care of. It is a very easy design to single hand. It sails well in heavy air with just the main and will cruise just great with a 120% headsail on a nice furler. A properly designed 120% sail can be rolled down to perhaps storm jib size and still work ok. With three reefs in the main, that headsail, and a real 30% hoist storm jib you would have just about as easy sailing in a boat this size that is out there. These boats were made from around 1979 to around 1984. Then the mold was lengthened by adding a reverse transom and the interior was redone and a masthead rig was added and it became the Tartan 34-2. The Tartan 33 is designed by Sparkman and Stephens and there are several for sale way below your budget. Both the hull and deck are cored with balsa so these need to be checked carefully for water intrusion. I'd suggest a sail in one to see if it might fit. I'd also try to get a diesel powered boat as opposed to a gasoline engine. There are a lot of gas engines going strong after 30 years or more but you will enjoy the reliability and safety of the diesel. If you were lucky enough to get one of these for half your budget, you could spend some of what is left over on new sails, canvas, ground tackle, etc,etc,etc. You will soon find out that the initial purchase cost is only the beginning so budget accordingly.

One thing is for sure. You are picking a great time to go boat shopping! Good luck,

121Guy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
single handing

Is there many of you out there who sail alone (boats in the low-mid 30's) on a regular basis? I would be interested in hearing the challenges one faces, and any advice. I sail alone quite a bit, but only in easy-moderate conditions and with boats in the 22-25' range.

In the opinion of those of you reading this thread; is sailing a 36 or 37' boat too much work for a singlehanded sailor wanting to enjoy a casual daysail?
Hello,

I regularly single hand my O'day 35. Even when my family is aboard, I am still basically handling the boat by myself. The main exception is that my wife can steer the boat if I ask her to.

IMHO, single handling a 35 (or 36 or 37, I'm not really sure where it ends) boat is not that difficult. To be clear, I can only comment on my experiences with a fin keel, spade rudder, medium (12,000 lbs) displacement boat. It may be completely different with a full keel, heavy displacement boat.

Anyway, there are a few keys to successful solo sailing:
1. Reliable autopilot. You don't want to be tied to the helm. Having a reliable AP allows you to manage sails, prepare dock lines, work on piloting, take a break, etc.
2. Reliable sail handling systems. You must be able to quickly and easily raise, reef, and lower sails. Most boats today have lines led aft, jiffy and roller furling head sails. Make sure you have a good way of lowering the main. On my 28' boat I could easily lower and flake the main myself. On my 35' the main is too big for that. A set of lazy jacks makes all the difference.
3. Have a Plan (for docking, tacking, leave a slip, etc.). Make sure you are prepared AHEAD of time and have things like docklines, fenders ready, have things stowed below before you tack, know where are you and the effect wind and current will have on you, etc.
4. Practice Practice Practice. And not just in calm conditions. Do practice reefing, etc. when it's calm, but also go out when it's not. I have worked my way up to singlehanding in 25kt conditions. Going upwind is not fun (it's not fun with crew either) but I'm not scared and I can manage the boat fine.

Good luck,
Barry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
If anyone has more input on fractional vs. masthead; I would appreciate it. Especially with respect to the singlehanded sailor. Is there many of you out there who sail alone (boats in the low-mid 30's) on a regular basis? I would be interested in hearing the challenges one faces, and any advice. I sail alone quite a bit, but only in easy-moderate conditions and with boats in the 22-25' range.
I personally prefer masthead, but it's a minor thing in my books. As far as the actual sailing of a boat goes, it's no more difficult to sail a larger one than it is a smaller one - actually it's easier. Manouevring them around the jetties is a bit more difficult - can be quite a bit more difficult actually. Windage and all that... :(

Some posters suggested CS boats as an option. They are very well-made boat. We have a 30 footer that we are very happy with. We sail it on the Great Lakes, and it goes very nicely here, but I don't believe it is a boat that would be suitable for the seas. The bottom is flat and the boat pounds to windward.

There is no fillet where the keel meets the hull. There is a goodly amount of lateral force on the keel and the potential for leaks to develop there is higher than it would be with a lot of other boats. It may never happen, but I would avoid sailing that boat in unknown waters where the chances of running aground were high, or I was planning on crossing the Gulf Stream often.
Also - the cockpit is not large.

That said - it can outsail most other cruisers of it's size and is exceptionally closewinded.

Not all CS boats have these characteristics. They were designed by several different architects and I believe that some of them are very much suited for the sea. The CS36T in particular, but I am not sure if you could get one within your budget -but heck - in this economy - who knows ????

You might want to seriously consider an Aloha 34. They are strongly built and there are probably a few in the Caribbean as I type this.

Good Luck :)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top