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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a similar thread a while back and had some very helpful suggestions. Those suggestions and a lot of thinking have lead me to a more narrow perspective and additional opinions. I'll list the criteria and the prospects, then hope for more insightful comments.

Criteria
Coastal cruising, often 20+ miles offshore, often solo. Current boat is Catalina 36 which is excessively equipped, including bow thruster. I'm considering moving to a better built boat and I can afford premium production sorts of prices but I want to stay away from custom built sort of price. New or used, I don't care. I want a boat that I can easily handle (60+ years old) for the next 10 years so I don't think I can go much bigger. My handling concerns are pretty much single handed docking and handling the asymmetric on windy days. Bow thruster helps, but in 20 knot winds docking single handed is still an adventure.

Prospects
Hunter, Bavaria, Beneteau, Dufour, Hanse, Jeanneau, etc are all out of the running. Fine boats, but not significantly better built than Catalina, all about the same class.

Blue Jacket 40: I had thought about this a lot but I really think it's too big to single hand in all conditions.

Morris: Really nice, very pretty, but small inside, heavy, and lacking the modern features like a swim platform. I suspect it would be too slow.

Sabre 386: Might be too big, but could be a possibility. They are not making them anymore but there are are few available.

Sabre 362: Very interesting. When did they last make these? I cannot find one less than 13 years old.

X Yacht: The Xc 38 is probably too big and heavy to single hand. The Xc 35 might be good, but it does seem a good deal smaller inside than my Catalina 36. I'm not always solo and I'd like to have an aft cabin that was more than a pilot berth with a door.

Hallberg-Rassy 372: Very nice boat. Light and fast, but classic looking. I'm accustom to the open cockpit of modern weekend cruisers and I don't know if I'd like the traveler in the middle of the cockpit. All other aspects seem A+

Malo 37: Looks like a really nice build quality. I wonder what sort of PHRF rating it would get. Might be a bit slow. A nice blend of classic and modern.

Island Packet: Nicely made, but soooooo slow. On my Catalina I don't mind when J boats or other dedicated racers sail past me, but I think every boat in the harbor would scoot past an IP. Maybe an IP would out run a WestSail, but that's about it.

Tartan 3700: Very interesting boat. I've been using roller furling main on my current boat. I know it's a performance hit, but not much when the foresail is the dominant engine. Tartan is driven by the mainsail so roller furling is a truly bad idea. I wonder if their boom with wings and flaking system works as easy as they claim.

Premium European: There are a few high end European brands which look like well built boats, but they are just too stark and Eurostyle inside for my liking.

What have I overlooked? Any other suggestions?
GTJ
 

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Check out a Gozzard 37. They have eliminated the main sheet in the cockpit. Since they are a redesigned G36 they have a taller mast, semi-balanced rudder, and new underbody for decidedly better performance in light airs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Check out a Gozzard 37. They have eliminated the main sheet in the cockpit. Since they are a redesigned G36 they have a taller mast, semi-balanced rudder, and new underbody for decidedly better performance in light airs.
I see there is a 2005 available on Yachtworld. With 1000 sq ft of sail area, 19000 lb displacement, and 42 ft LOA. Do you really think that could be single handed as easily as my 36' Catalina with it's 15000 displacement? I've always thought of Gozzard as a heavy bluewater world cruiser. Trailboards and reverse curve on the bow also make the larger Gozzards look more like character boats. The underbody certainly looks like a bluewater world cruiser and suggests a PHRF similar to Island Packet. The single cabin layout is a lot like Island Packet Estero, made for a couple and no room for guests.

GTJ
 

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May have missed it on the other thread, but were boats like the J37C taken out of the mix? or the J40? Nice 'cruising' boats with a good turn of speed. How about a CS 40? Nordic/Northstar 40? Although I suppose all of these would be below your 'upper tier' bracket... You do see the odd Moody on this side of the pond... and some of the newest Jboat sprit boats are quite nicely appointed and even the larger sizes might be easily singlehanded with the right setup.

From your own filtered list above, seems the Tartan, Sabre and HR look like the 'short list'.

Agree the Gozzard, while beautifully executed, would be far too IP-ish for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
May have missed it on the other thread, but were boats like the J37C taken out of the mix? or the J40? Nice 'cruising' boats with a good turn of speed. How about a CS 40? Nordic/Northstar 40?
The CS 40 and Northstar seem like pretty old designs, with few of the comfort cruising boat features of the last 10 years or so. J boats are great and they have made some cruise-able models, but they are still racing boats at heart. When I'm 70 years old, single handing that mainsail on the J37C or the new J112e when a nasty blow came up would be more adventure than I'd be up for. If I called up J Boats and said I wanted a new J112e built with a roller furled mainsail the J Boat guy would probably tell me that was an exceptionally stupid idea. I think I'd agree. J Boats are what they are. Great boats, but probably not for my criteria.

GTJ
 

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If this is not an immediate perchance keep an eye out for C&C now that they have shot off of Tartan they seem to be coming up with some interesting designs that are unique. I think they are still selling a Tartan designed boat, but the new 30 foot racer looks to be generating a lot of interest so it could lead to newer designed cruiser that might be interesting. And C&C was a great machine back before the Tartan take over.
 

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How do you define "best"? In other words, what are your top three priorities among speed, comfort, roominess, construction/build, features, etc.?

In any case, here's a few more to consider...

Najad 355 (or any of the older 34-36 Najads): She's more than a coastal cruiser, but made for safe, easy handling.

C&C 110/115: If you're feeling the need for something speedy, yet cruiseable.

Rustler 36: Interesting and supposedly well-built English boat that might pique your interest.
 

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GTJ,
I'll wager those PHRF numbers are based on the older design that raced in a few races. I bought a gennaker several years ago but haven't used it yet as we make good progress when the wind turns light. The Genoa sheet was moved from the caprail to alongside the coachhouse so upwind progress is better. Keel is shorter but deeper. Rudder is no longer a barndoor but semi-balanced. It's no longer in the IP category, with all due respect.
It's indeed made for a cruising couple but has 4 berths.
Ronbo
 

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Perhaps you should look at the J/112E when it's out this spring. The small jib and fractional rig should make it easy to depower. Rather than furling main sail -- ugh --, think Dutchman flaking on the mainsail Doyle Sailmakers: Dutchman. Like most J's it probably would sail pretty well under main alone when your single handing; particularly when sailing in or out of the harbor
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Perhaps you should look at the J/112E when it's out this spring. The small jib and fractional rig should make it easy to depower. Rather than furling main sail -- ugh --, think Dutchman flaking on the mainsail Doyle Sailmakers: Dutchman. Like most J's it probably would sail pretty well under main alone when your single handing; particularly when sailing in or out of the harbor
I understand the objections to furling main, but from a practical standpoint all the little flaps, clips, and snaps that are required for Dutchman are a pain. A proper mainsail will go faster in a race, but I cannot begin to count the numbers of boats that I see out on casual weekend sail with only a genoa up and the main still under cover. People with RF main and jib always balance their sailplan because it's so easy to do.

I heard the same --ugh-- to furling on the genoa in the late 1980's. Nobody with any self respect would consider anything other than a hanked-on sail. Times change, and I'm getting older.
 

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Rustler 36: Interesting and supposedly well-built English boat that might pique your interest.
Sweet boat, and though ideally suited for his desire to sail alone, I suspect he'd rule it out for a number of reasons...

No swim platform, mainsheet in the cockpit, tiller instead of wheel, "SLOW", none of the modern "comforts", and so on... The list of downsides might be endless, actually...

:))

This boat will NEVER sell on our side of the pond...

 

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Listed a lot of different boats, but I didn't see anything as to what you could be looking for in a boat.

There's no "best" boat. There's just old/new/inexpensive/expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In any case, here's a few more to consider...

Najad 355 (or any of the older 34-36 Najads): She's more than a coastal cruiser, but made for safe, easy handling.

C&C 110/115: If you're feeling the need for something speedy, yet cruiseable.

Rustler 36: Interesting and supposedly well-built English boat that might pique your interest.
Najad: Good call on the Najad. I knew them for large center cockpit boats. The 355 is pretty close to my profile. Nice boat.

C&C: Very much like the J boats. Very few compromises toward my lazy attitude regarding mainsail covers and my desire for comfort.

Rustler 36: I had looked toward that, but the underbody looks like a 1960's Alberg. Well built, it should appeal to the Hinkley crowd in US northwest.

GTJ
 

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Najad: Good call on the Najad. I knew them for large center cockpit boats. The 355 is pretty close to my profile. Nice boat.
The 355 was my favorite boat at the Annapolis show a few years ago... Be advised, however, according to CRUISING WORLD it's just a "Pocket Cruiser"...

:)

http://www.cruisingworld.com/sailboats/najad-355-perfecting-pocket-cruiser

Good luck finding one, however... I see only one listed on Yachtworld, but Najad has gone bankrupt a couple of times in recent years, so it's unclear what their current status is...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 355 was my favorite boat at the Annapolis show a few years ago... Be advised, however, according to CRUISING WORLD it's just a "Pocket Cruiser"...

:)

Najad 355: Perfecting the Pocket Cruiser | Cruising World

Good luck finding one, however... I see only one listed on Yachtworld, but Najad has gone bankrupt a couple of times in recent years, so it's unclear what their current status is...
It does seem a bit small, but I an also sympathize with the idea that bigger is not better. Somehow I got the idea that Najad got wrapped into Halleberg-Rassy.
GTJ
 

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Sweet boat, and though ideally suited for his desire to sail alone, I suspect he'd rule it out for a number of reasons...

No swim platform, mainsheet in the cockpit, tiller instead of wheel, "SLOW", none of the modern "comforts", and so on... The list of downsides might be endless, actually...

:))

This boat will NEVER sell on our side of the pond...

If I had the money, looks pretty good to me. Then again I don't need much in the way of comfort and stuff.
 

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Check out Contest 36s at Prestige Yacht Sales. Excellent build, beautifully finished interior, good sized cockpit and very good sailer. British sailing mag considers her #15 of top 100 boats of this century
 

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On your original list, I like the Sabre 362. I haven't sailed one, though I've spent a fair amount of time on a 386 which is great to sail. If I had the $ , I'd consider a move up to a 362. I like the full shower and head aft.
 

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Najad: Good call on the Najad. I knew them for large center cockpit boats. The 355 is pretty close to my profile. Nice boat.

C&C: Very much like the J boats. Very few compromises toward my lazy attitude regarding mainsail covers and my desire for comfort.

Rustler 36: I had looked toward that, but the underbody looks like a 1960's Alberg. Well built, it should appeal to the Hinkley crowd in US northwest.

GTJ
Hey,

If you really like C&C or J boats (or any other boat) but don't want to deal with a large main and associated covers, you could always just add a furling BOOM (not mast).

Leisure Furl ™ by Forespar

Personally I think the Sabre or Tartan make the most sense. A few years ago I looked at a Tartan 3500 with Leisure Furl Boom and that was a sweet setup. A new(er) 3700 would be great. If you want even more performance, the C&C 115 is now sold as a Tartan 115 so you can still buy one new.

Barry
 

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I understand the objections to furling main, but from a practical standpoint all the little flaps, clips, and snaps that are required for Dutchman are a pain. A proper mainsail will go faster in a race, but I cannot begin to count the numbers of boats that I see out on casual weekend sail with only a genoa up and the main still under cover. People with RF main and jib always balance their sailplan because it's so easy to do.
I couldn't disagree more. My new-to-me boat came with a Dutchman system. Now having lived with it for five seasons, I would never consider a main with anything else. Experienced sailors that come out with me are amazed at the ease at which the main drops onto the boom nicely flaked and stays there while you put the ties on. Once installed in the spring, there is nothing to do - its basically automatic. And yes, it allows me and wife (late 60s) to sail the boat with both sails up when daysailing.
 
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