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Discussion Starter #1
Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Hi:

I''ve read the relevant posts for similar questions about boat buying advice. But I''d like some personal directed advice if possible.

I took a 3 day sailing course about 5 years ago aboard a Hunter 35. The course covered sailing basics, anchoring, man-overboard, etc. Because I never felt competent to "take it out by myself", I proceeded to do no further sailing ;-(

Now, 5 years later, I have 3 boys (ages 1,3,5), and am getting back into sailing. I''ve taken a few all day courses (J22 Refresher, J30 Qualification), and have hired a captain for instruction totalling about 16 hours of private instruction on the water (primarily J30). Let''s just say I''m like Starbuck--careful.

The goal is to become thoroughly competent myself in order to take my wife and boys out to enjoy safe and fun sailing.

We live in Chicago, and I''m interested in daysailing but also in crusing around the great lakes, perhaps for a week at a time.

I''m looking into buying a boat, and from what I''ve read, I need to be looking in the 35'' minimum range (3 boys, myself and wife). I''ve been aboard a Hunter 35, a J22 and J30 (racers), and a Beneteau 40.

I''m interested primarily in daysailing and crusing, not really racing. I''d like a "fast-enough" boat, but I''m MORE interested in a good comfortable (but not sluggish) sail rather than winning the Mac next year ;-)

As for budget, I can spend up to about $100K. Obviously, if I can find the "perfect for us" used boat for $40K, that would be better than spending $90K. I THINK I''d prefer a 1985 or later used boat, minimum length 33'' or 35'' preferably.

Any suggestions on boats that would likely make us very comfortable and happy? Someone once compared certain boats to cars ("a Freedom 35 is like a Mercedes, a Hunter 35 is a Ford Taurus"--I found that quite helpful ;-) BUT I don''t want to start a flame war here ;-)

Thanks in advance for what I expect will be excellent advice to someone quite ignorant of the whole topic.

Mark
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

To a large degree boats like cars have evolved to provide greater interior space relative to overall length. Many older boats in the upper 30 ft range have less usable living space than current boats in the low 30 foot range. If you anticipate doing most of the handling yourself go for a more current design offering maximum space in a boat that you can manage single handed. I took delivery earlier this year on a new Beneteau 331 (34 FT) which I handle often without crew. The interior is spacious and with furling main and all lines located conveniently to the helm it fit the bill nicely at a price that I think offers pretty good value for money. Performance wise the Beneteaus tend to do fairly well. Catalina offers similar boats in this range. The Hunters I''ve encountered tend not to be as fast - they seem to trade off ease of sail handling for performance.
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Some of the more common sailboats manufactured in the US and a fun way to compared them to their “land based people movers”:

Beneteau-Ford Taurus

C & C-Corvette

Catalina-Chevrolet Cavalier

Caliber-Volvo cars

Hunter-U-Haul Truck

Island Packet-Volvo Truck

J-Boats-Porsche

Sabre-BMW

Tartan-Jaguar

The term Mercedes, in my opinion, should be reserved for boats such as Hinckleys and Aldens. Feel free to “pile on” this response for your favorite Foreign built boats. Warning, don’t say anything bad about the Halberg-Rassys!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

I own two of the cars mentioned here, and one of the boats. For what I pay in repair bills on my Volvo (which is now my 17 year old daughters car) I''ll be selling it soon and buying a Honda for her when she goes off to college. As far as my Porsche, ya its kinda expensive to keep around, but its worth every dime! Now my Catalina 30'' never breaks down, costs ver little to maintain and I get great pleasure sailing around the San Diego coastal areas. So maybe I should sell the Volvo & Porsche and buy a Cavalier!
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Dear denr,

I really like your comparisons - except the Catalina. I''d liken them to basic Honda or Toyota sedans. They get the job done nicely, hold their value, and require little maintenance.

What would be the boating equivalent of a Miata?

Dave...
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

You may want to consider a 1985 or later Pearson 36. Same layout as the Sabre with 2 private cabins, large head, nice galley and cockpit. Sails beautifully and really holds its value. Had mine for 2 years and sold for more than I paid or put into it. They''re in the 70-80 range.
 

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Silversailor
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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Ditto on the post 1985 Pearson 36. I have sailed Pearsons for 9 years and they are solid, well built, good sailing boats. You should be able yo pick up a nicely equipped P-36, 1987-89 for $75-85K...or a late model P-38 (a P-38 with a scoop transom) for about $100K. Good luck!
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

The analogy''s to cars don''t work for me. I wish I could use them but I don''t see many comparisons. I am amused however because I drive a Corvette and sail a C&C.

The question is what boat to get and I approve of boats in the 35 foot size or even bigger. Look at a C&C 40 if the draft is not a problem. It''s such a pretty boat and they sail so well.
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

If your in Chicago the first thing you need is a slip or mooring. They can be hard to come by. Second go for proformance, nothing is as bad as spending 100K and having 10K boats zipping past you. Take a sail on a newer J/109, J/105, J/35.
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

just in case you are interested I am selling my Hunter 35.5 (95). take a look at the ad on either the hunterowners.com site in the classified section or on boattraderonline.com. Asking 82K very well equipped but would consider offers.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

just in case you are interested I am selling my Hunter 35.5 (95). take a look at the ad on either the hunterowners.com site in the classified section or on boattraderonline.com. Asking 82K very well equipped but would consider offers.

Frank
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Why buy the Hunter bath tub (piece of crap)when you could buy a real sailboat, my 1986 Sabre 34 for $85,000 and it is in Chicago already.
 

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Chesapeake Sailor
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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

wrt, "Why buy the Hunter bath tub..."
It is possible that many, maybe hundreds of, very satisfied Hunter owners read this message board. I suspect a few may have been offended. Is the remark based on hard first-hand evidence or was it simply good-natured hyperbole comparing it to your Sabre? I''ve sailed on Hunters and believe they are fine boats for their designed purpose. Realistically, few of us ever exceed that same designed purpose anyway! You may agree that there is always something "better", no matter what boat you own.

Respectfully,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Just go out and buy a boat, before your kids don’t want to hang out with dad any longer. Owning a boat is all about use. If I read you right, go get a Catalina 34 or 36, the cleanest latest model you can find. Find out how you use the boat and then trade in two years if you need to. That’s the best thing about a Catalina they are the easiest boat to resale.
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

Mark, you have received some good advice and some bad advice. In most cases, well intentioned I''m sure. Since this is your first major boat, I''d go with a smaller budget, as you suggested in the $40-50k range and figure $5k+ for fixup. You''ll have plenty of time to spend the other $50k. First see if the family likes it. Go with a well found boat that holds resale value.

With different needs, I researched for a year and purchased a Tartan 33 for well under 50k and am very happy indeed. My first boat was a 23.5 Beneteau...I then did quite a bit of island chartering etc.

I would be concerned about getting slip in your area...they can be scarce, expensive or both.
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

I''m considering having a aurvey done an a 1979 O''Day 30 for possible purchase. I''m a first time sailboat buyer.. What kind of car would that be?
 

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Boat buying advice for 35''''+ range

If it''s in good condition, the Oday 30 comes out ahead of a Yugo in my book.

I''d like to suggest a Tartan 10 (see article in most recent Sailing World) to the originator of this string, or find out what he''s gotten. Great for daysailing, good racing potential, simple upkeep (even trailerable!), and minimum expense for a maximum of boat.
 
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