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I'm new to sailing and am in the research phase of yacht ownership. Currently enrolled in ASA 101, then later this fall I'll take 103 and 104. After that I'll be in the market to purchase but for the time being I'm doing a lot of research on what's out there, and what to look out for. Thus far the consensus for my range (24'-35', 70's-80's built) is basically that there isn't an inherently "bad" boat but every one was designed to fit certain parameters of performance (cruising, bluewater, racing, etc...) with amenities ranging from seat cushions to live-aboard capable. I know there's things to look out for like blistering or soft spots, but generally things check out for the most part. Just about everything I'm seeing here on the left coast is around $10K. Be advised, I'm painting with very broad strokes here and I'm aware of it. I must have sifted through 500 boats in the last couple months across Craigslist and Yachtworld.

Now, every time I see one I like I google it to see what the masses say about it. Most of the time I hear something along the lines of what I mentioned above, but I never hear anyone straight up say "STAY AWAY FROM THAT MODEL!". This got me thinking, does such a boat exist? I'm presuming that time has taken enough course that if a boat was made in my era that such an afflicted vessel would have been subjected to "natural selection" by now and would be in a boat yard as a home for varmints or the bottom of the ocean.

If you're familiar with vehicles from that era, think Yugo.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Most of us want to avoid saying "stay away from that model," mostly because we don't want to offend owners who might also lurk here.

Opinions are just that... everyone has one.

Compare 12 boats from different manufacturers that are the same length, age, condition, and general features.... You'll see a trend that some are "priced" higher than others. Generally speaking it reflects the overall opinons of those boats, based on people voting with their real dollars...

Some examples of huge differences in perceived quality for boats made around the same time...
Island Packet 27
Seaward 26rk
Catalina 270
Beneteau 281
Precision 28
Compac yachts 27
Hunter 27-2
Macgregor 26x
Alerion 26
J92S (probably not fair to pick this boat, as its really 29 feet, but the J80 is also on the small side for comparison at 26 feet, and both are racers)

You'll quickly get a sound picture of relative perceived quality of boat looking through that list and examining prices. You'll also get a pretty good feel for what makes a "premium" build.

Thin of it like this... difference in build qualities between Ford, Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Honda, Lexus, Acura, Lincoln, and Cadillac. They all make family sedans... some are just um [subjectively] better quality. Also that quality might be very much different in the eye of the beholder.

So I'm not coming on here and telling you not to buy a Chevy for fear of insulting hundreds of owners of Chevy cars here, that frankly might have just as good or better luck with their car than my Lincoln (no I don't own a Lincoln its an example - I'm very much a Chevy owner - 156,000 miles worth).
 

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Albin Vega The Albin Vega 27 Sailboat : (do a google search, I cannot post links now) In the 70's and 80's I sailed a number of them in the Watergate Yachting Center ClearLake Texas. I lived and sailed on an Albin Ballad at the time. I can say for sure that:
1) Very well built
2) Not a lot of room inside compared to more modern designs
3) Sails very well.
4) There is an active owner groups that can help with ownership and etc

I remember that we'd head out when the wind was blowing hard . . . everyone else is reefing their main and we're still sailing full sail. It's light air performance wasn't much to brag about, but as I remember it wasn't terrible. If you want an easy sailing boat that as strong as the proverbial brick #$!*house - this is one to consider.

Mark
 

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bucaneer
chrysler
chriscraft

more problem than they are worth. Even when new, they were marginal sailing vessels, and worse construction.
 

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Until you understand the extreme differences between boats within your set parameters, 24'-35', I would stay away from all boats...:)

Take some time looking, spending time around and on many different types of boats, and learning more about how you hope to use a boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Albin Vega The Albin Vega 27 Sailboat : (do a google search, I cannot post links now) In the 70's and 80's I sailed a number of them in the Watergate Yachting Center ClearLake Texas. I lived and sailed on an Albin Ballad at the time. I can say for sure that:
1) Very well built
2) Not a lot of room inside compared to more modern designs
3) Sails very well.
4) There is an active owner groups that can help with ownership and etc

I remember that we'd head out when the wind was blowing hard . . . everyone else is reefing their main and we're still sailing full sail. It's light air performance wasn't much to brag about, but as I remember it wasn't terrible. If you want an easy sailing boat that as strong as the proverbial brick #$!*house - this is one to consider.

Mark
I've heard this before about the AV27. That that one fella who took a free one around the Americas show's what she's capable of even when neglected. My only beef was he said a lot of water got in. I'm hoping it's because of neglect, not by design.
 

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Until you understand the extreme differences between boats within your set parameters, 24'-35', I would stay away from all boats...:)



Take some time looking, spending time around and on many different types of boats, and learning more about how you hope to use a boat.


Best advice on the whole thread


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have owned Shiva, a Contest 36s for 32 years.... and sailed the boat over 40K miles.... and I am not an expert.... despite know a lot about THIS particular boat. I can recommend it... but haven't much to say about any other boats other than my personal opinion about functionality/architecture.

But who has enough experience to know the lemons out there???? a broker? a rigger? a mechanic? a sail maker? Not me...
 

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Hunters... all of them ;-)
Jorgenl, you'll likely tick off Smacky... and the Cherubini designs are quite good, and rugged, very few argue against that.

We can all throw out specific models of boats that had endless issues. But thinking back, how many of them were completely the designers fault?

the Mac 26x is a great boat, if you want a motor-sailor. Lousy sailing characteristics though.

The Hunter and Mac bashing are tired old mantras... I submit that there are horses for courses.
 

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Stay away from any boat model owned by any ******** troll poster on this thread acting like some boat expert.
 

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I've heard this before about the AV27. That that one fella who took a free one around the Americas show's what she's capable of even when neglected. My only beef was he said a lot of water got in. I'm hoping it's because of neglect, not by design.
On our Ballad the stuffing box liked to leak ... not a lot; but it would leak. Fixed and the bilges were pretty dry. They are very tough boats, but certainly not with out their faults. The Vega Owners group are supposed to be pretty helpful group of folks.

Mark
 

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Mattbastard: I think your question is valid, but may I recommend a different approach?

Surfing the net is too exhausting and the information you stumble upon is always questionable. Try to limit your reading to people who have at least attempted to make a serious study of the matter and convey the information in a coherent manner. I recommend that you read the book Your First Sailboat, by Daniel Spurr. Mr. Spurr describes various criteria and to which type of sailor they apply. He then describes many sailboats and details how well the boats fit the criteria. Using that approach, one can fairly easily come up with boat features that are must-have, wanna-have, and must-avoid. From there, a list of must-avoid models can be populated. This list will probably look different for each person who makes one.

I don't remember if it was in Spurr's or one of Casey's books, but there was a very strong admonishment that the first-time sailboat owner should avoid boat hulls made of wood, metal, or concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Until you understand the extreme differences between boats within your set parameters, 24'-35', I would stay away from all boats...:)

Take some time looking, spending time around and on many different types of boats, and learning more about how you hope to use a boat.
Thank you for your input, but I'd like to clarify something.

Spinning this around a bit, I've been a motorcyclist for over two decades. I'd consider myself well versed in many things motorcycling, old and new. Having owned 31 different motorcycles and ridden into the 50's, I've got a pretty good understanding of the quirks that tend to come "genetically" within each brand, generally speaking.

Now, spin this back around to sailboats. I'm not planning on buying anything this moment, but once I'm ASA 103/104 certified I'm certainly going to be in the market. Thus far I've narrowed down my list of needs to full head and galley. Everything else I want is offered on boats smaller but don't have a full head or galley. My sailing goals in the near term are coastal cruises with overnight stays to Catalina, and down Baja. After the hook is set I'll reassess the boats capabilities with my desires and consider something more bluewater capable but initially, my list of needs is pretty concise. What I've seen so far is a minimum of 27' (Catalina 27 or 30) and around here range from $3000 to over $15K.

Your comment says "extreme differences..." Other than how the boat is outfitted (from stripped racer to full head and galley), how the hull is designed (racer, cruiser, bluewater capable, etc...), and how it actually feels under sail, what else needs to be considered?

I ask because your comment has me feeling like I'm never going to be on the water due to lack of experience. With motorcycles, $200 gets you a rental on many of the brands out there, and if you want to own they're cheap enough to flip over the course of a year with minimal losses and ease of title transfer and storage. Boats, not so much IMO.
 
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