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Discussion Starter #1
While I enjoy sailing I hardly consider myself an expert on sailing or on boats. I'd love to solicit the gallery for some recommendations on boats to consider.

I used to live at the coast and owned a Hunter 212, a Cape Dory 25 and ultimately a Catalina 30. The 30 was sold when we moved inland about 10 years ago. We have a cabin on a lake and I kept an O'Day Mariner for a couple of years. I have also sailed j24's and 80's and love the way they sail!

We now find ourselves not having the time to get the most out of the cabin and have it on the market. After long discussions with my wife, she has graciously allowed me to purchase another sailboat once the house sells.

I now live about an hour from the coast and plan to visit the boat about twice a month for a daysail for 2-4 hours with an occasional overnight and, ideally, I'd like to cruise for about week a year. About a third of the time I will sail with a buddy, about a third of the time with one of my kids and about a third of the time by myself.

I need a boat that I can ready and launch quickly, that I can single hand without much difficulty and that I can overnight on reasonably comfortably. My wife has no interest in staying aboard and I doubt that will change. I also have no plans for any ocean crossings - strictly coastal cruising and daysailing. I am a sucker for traditional aesthetics but tend to be a function over form kinda guy. I have a budget of up to $200K but I don't necessarily feel compelled to spend that much. I don't need new but I would prefer something less than 10 years old and really don't want a project. A boat that requires minimal maintenance is a plus. I've got a few ideas and I'll probably head to Annapolis this fall for the show to see what is out there. I'd love to hear what you all think will fit the bill.

Thanks in advance!

Andy
 

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Based on your criteria, especially the singlehanding, I would think something in the 30 foot range would work. Your budget is certainly generous enough to allow you to buy just about anything you want in that size range. Since you like the performance of a J, then start by looking at those as well as similar higher performance boats like a Bene First or C&C.
 

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For some reason I read "launch" as trailer launch...
 

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Yes, go to Annapolis. Tell salespeople you have $200k to spend and I'm sure they will give you attention.

By "launching" it does sound like you are looking for something trailerable. Are you? What size range are you considering?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the initial replies. I should have been clear in the original post - NO TRAILERING. I did hat with the Hunter and just isn't for me.
 

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Not that I am in any way bias, but something like a Beneteau 381 or the smaller 361 would probably fit. Large enough to install a generator without real issues, have AC, a real gally, and reasonable comfort. Small enough to be easily single handed. I would suggest an electric halyard winch if you go this size however.

Price wise... You would be far less than half your budget.
 

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Based on the experience you've had with various size boats, do you have an idea of how big a boat you want?

"Reasonable comfort" is too subjective. Some people are happy overnighting on a Mariner 19 and others want AC, generator, refrigeration and a dedicated shower before they'll consider staying overnight.

So, how big a boat do you want and what amenities do you need?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Based on the experience you've had with various size boats, do you have an idea of how big a boat you want?

"Reasonable comfort" is too subjective. Some people are happy overnighting on a Mariner 19 and others want AC, generator, refrigeration and a dedicated shower before they'll consider staying overnight.

So, how big a boat do you want and what amenities do you need?
I am honestly not really sure. I'd like something that affords overnighting that is at least a step above camping. I am in the southeast so AC is desirable but not mandatory. Bug protection (i.e.bug screens) is. I guess in terms of size I'd say something between 25-40 feet. I'm really open to a variety of ideas.

Stumble I really like the idea of a 361. That is a boat I had never considered. That is the type of suggestion I am looking for - thanks.

Thanks for the responses so far.
 

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For what you are talking about almost anything in the 30-38' range from Beneteau, hunter, Jeneau, Catalina, ect... Would work fine.
 

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With the clarifications, I still think something about 30 foot or so and a good performer is what you want. A smaller lighter boat is easier to singlehand and I really don't see the need for a larger all out cruiser. Two boats that would be at the top of my list would be the J32 and C&C99. Both are quality high performance 32 footers with a decent interior of cruising. My kind of boats.
 

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I think Stumbles recommendations of the Benes is good. I have been very impressed with my recent experience with them. Since you liked sailing the J boats. You might consider a J92 or J105. A bit spartan below but okay for the occasional overnights as you mentioned. They are a lot of fun to sail and easier to short or single hand to their potential.

I race on a Beneteau 36.7 that has 3 cabins below refrigeration and is often single handed by its owner. It is fast and fun to sail.

Since you mentioned liking traditional boats, going in the complete opposite direction Crealock or Pacific Seacraft 34. Or something inbetween like a Tartan 3500. With a boat like this you might even get your wife to spend the weekend on the boat. With your budget you options are pretty wide open.
 

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Don't get me wrong I love the J-105, but it would be tricky to rig it for single handed sailing. Doable of course, but the boat is really meant to be sailed with a crew and it shows. On the flip side once it's done it is worlds more fun to sail than a Beneteau
 

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And the interior of the J105 is not a place I would want to spend a week long cruise. A J109 is a much better choice in that size range.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I really appreciate the recommendations so far. The 361 and C&C 99 have piqued my interest. Let me throw out a few I was thinking about casually to garner some additional responses:

j97 (is it available in the US?)
Harbor 30
Beneteau Oceanis 31

and my sentimental favorite - Marshall 22 (I don't have any catboat experience but I love the looks, concept and price)

Let me know what you think!

Andy
 

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You are all over the map. I can't conceive of three more different boats that the Bene 361, C&C 99, and the Marshall 22. You really need to look at a few boats and narrow down what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You are all over the map.
JimsCAL,

You are right - I am.

I consider myself on the lip of a large funnel. I don't know how long it will take the lake house to sell but I expect this buying process to take about a year or so. My heart says either a Ford F-250 4x4 pickup with large wheels (Island Packet, Pacific Seacraft, etc) or Porsche Boxster (J80). My head is saying Honda Minivan (Beneteau, Jenneau, Catalina, etc) and my wife is saying go get the boat of your dreams. I guess I posed the question to determine if there is a Porsche Macan of sailboats that would offer me close to j boat performance with comfortable accommodations and a salty appearance for my proposed budget. I couldn't really seem to find anything and wanted to see if others knew of something I'm missing. My reason for posting now was to try to maximize the two days I'll be spending in Annapolis.

I'll probably be keeping to boat in Charleston or nearby. What I have learned from my past ownership experience is that: I don't like to trailer, that I used to judge a boat from the interior pictures - now I fully understand I'll be spending 90+% of my time in the cockpit and that for my purposes deck layout is important, shallow draft is nice but not essential, I loved my CD25 but dealing with a full keel at the dock with a ripping tide was not fun, my CD25 took a good bit of wind to move her, my H212 was way too tender for the family, and while my C30 was a great boat at the time it was just not as satisfying to sail as the j24 or j80, I don't have the time or aptitude for a project and I like newerish as opposed to olderish. So I think what I am looking for is something that has the accommodations of a Beneteau, the performance and underbody of a J Boat and the exterior of a Tartan all for a reasonable price! Sigh.

If I owned a house or condo at the coast I would buy a used j80 and be done with it - or maybe a nice j100 or AE28 if I was feeling rich. The need to stay overnight on occasion complicates things a bit from my perspective. A house at the coast isn't in the cards for another 10 years or so. I need something that should carry me until then and hopefully will continue to satisfy me for many years beyond that.

I threw the Marshall out there because: I think they are pretty, they seem to be ruggedly built, I think it would be easy to daysail with the family, while I've never been on one I did sit in a Sandpiper cockpit once and thought it was super comfortable, the centerboard means I could explore rivers and creeks and there is something to be said from a practical standpoint of owning a boat that is just 22 feet in length. Plus, they don't seem terribly expensive. I'm not sure lacking standing headroom would make me happy if I do cruise her and the thought of gybing in a blow does make me a bit weak in the knees.

For what I need a C30 or 30ish Beneteau would work fine. I was hoping to get feedback on other designs that would offer either more performance and/or a saltier appearance that would still fit my proposed budget and need to single hand from time to time.

My wife is being super supportive but I think I get one shot at this!

I hope this explains some of my schizophrenia!

I do appreciate all that folks have already contributed.

Andy
 

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Andy,

Now were getting somewhere. With that list of wants, we need to change the paradise a bit. Instead of the beneteau or J-boat go take a look at a Dragonfly 1000 or the Corsair F-28. By switching to a trimaran you loose a good bit of livability, but get rocket ship like speed without needing to go full on Spartan racer set up. The retractable centerboard gives you a usable draft of a foot or so when up, and while 6' standing headroom isn't great it will do for most of us.
 

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Andy:

More details and my post #2 still seems valid. You liked sailing a J24 and J80. Why are you even thinking about a Bene 361 or Marshall catboat or Island Packet? You can indeed get the fun of sailing a J24 and have an interior that you will be comfortable in for overnights. Boats like the J30 (and its many competitors) did that 30 years ago. Boats like the J32, J110, J109, C&C99, C&C110, etc. will give you all the performance you could ask for and still serve as a vacation cabin.
 

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Just food for thought but how old/agile are you?

If you can sail a dinghy, how about two boats? You could then open up the idea of your dream bigger traditional boat, Crealocks, or a Passport 40 suitable for weekends on the coast or week trips and double handing. Then a Harbor 20 or any number of daysailors you could dry sail, dock or moor.
 

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Take a look at Beneteau fist series. They are well made, fast enough and have comfortable interiors.

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