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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking to buy a boat to fulfill a dream to explore the Bahamas and Caribbean (by myself bc the wife does not enjoy monohull sailing) for six months or so. If I like it; I may keep her and go offshore for a few months yearly, if I don’t I need to sell her and get my money back. My offshore experience is limited so I want to get a solid bluewater boat I have absolute confidence in during a heavy blow; and something I can handle. My heavy weather tactic will be to Heave to; so I prefer a fuller keel boat that does it easily and maintains her stability in heavy weather.

I want to spend under $130,000 / Dry & solid boat in bluewater / Wide sidedeck and foretriangle / Liveability inside and out / Easy Resale-popular boat / Singlehanded-ness / Reliability / Dry Boat

I’ve narrowed down my choice between a Cabo Rico 34/38’ or an Island Packet 350 – 1992-1995 / maybe a Baba(? too). I would like your input on things I don’t know; since I have not sailed either one. I put my personal ratings on things I do know; but would like y’all input on areas I don’t know. Boy, the Cabo is sure pretty to my eye; I’m almost blind to any of her faults bc of her beauty. From my research, the IP is also a solid boat, but on my beauty scale; she is a 4 out of 10-ugh-ly! This is something I may have to overcome though if it is the right boat.

Please give me your ratings and knowledge on the areas below and Thanks!
Cabo IP Baba
Beauty 10 5 8
Bluewater ability ? ? ?
Wide decks 8 ? ?
Liveability features ? ? ?
Reliable Reputation ? ? ?
Easy singlehanding ? ? ?
Easy ReSale ? ? ?

I appreciate your knowledgeable input.

It's better to try a live the dream than dream about your dreams!

Jim
 

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As vtsailguy points out, you probably want to consider draft strongly too. The baba draws 5'5" (vs. 4'3" for the IP). That alone would drop it to the bottom of my list for the Bahamas. Personally I think the IP is the most practical choice. Less maintenance, lowest draft, roomiest. That aside, I would buy the Cabo Rico hands down. Great build quality and by far the best looking of the bunch to my eye.
 

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For where you want to go, ANY of the boats manufactured in the last 10 yrs that are mid 30' on up will work JUST FINE! Including the lower priced boats like Catalina, Jeanneau, Beneteau, hunter etc. Just make sure the boat you get is solid, no rot, water in the cored area's, draft appropriate for where you will sail.........

Marty
 

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Hi Jim,

All three are solid boats. You should be able to resell any of them if life takes you that way, although "easy" is generally not applicable to selling boats.

A lot depends on what you mean by offshore. If you will commute on the ICW and hop across to the Bahamas, even island hop up and down through the Eastern Caribbean, any will be fine.

If you might leave Norfolk or Newport and head straight toward the Bahamas or BVI, with or without a stop in Bermuda, the calculus changes. The IP doesn't point tremendously well and the Baba (a 35?), due to full sections forward, can be frustratingly slow in a sea. This is a common characteristic of heavy, full-keel boats with a lot of buoyancy forward. I have spent a lot of time offshore trying to get and keep a boat moving in a sea.

I have never hove to in an Island Packet but I suspect on the newer, three digit boats with the Full Foil Keel(r) you will experience a lot of leeway.

Personally I think it is important that the boat speak to you, and that you feel good about the boat. Your perspective on the aesthetics of the IP should weigh heavily. I believe you should look back at your boat as you dinghy ashore and be happy.

Given your description of your feelings about the Cabo Rico boats I would encourage you to head in that direction. They are solid, dependable, comfortable boats that sail well. A customer of mine singlehands a Cabo Rico 42 inshore and offshore. I've seen him in many places along the Eastern Seaboard - I think he likes the sailing more than the destinations.

Good luck.
 

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Based on a completely scientific analysis without any bias whatsoever, considering all factors possible to be considered, applying precise mathematical principles of logic and ….

Usually, I agree with smack but this time…


I just like the way the Cabo looks.
 

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It is worth noting that the Baba is the only boat with a hot chick on the bow. So there's that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks All. Everyone seems to think all boats will Sail well for my needs. The Baba is pretty too; that Butterfly hatch is very cool & classic; does anyone know if it leaks in a blow? Any concern on the Hatch's fragility? My other worry on the baba 35' is that they are typically older boats; hence more maintenance.

Clay; on your CR, have you tried heaving-to or ideas if it would do well? What about its reliability and livability? Can you singlehand it well? Are your lines led to the cockpit or you go up to the mast? Can you fit a 7' hard dingy under the boom ( I don't like the stern-hoists). Also, I was thinking of having a removable staysail halyard with hanked on sails--thoughts? The cockpit on a 34' seems little small--how many people can it comfortably fit when guests visit? I don't like the staysail-boom I have seen on many CRs--it clutters the foredeck and i was planning on having a reefed staysail--thoughts? On the CR; I am thinking the 34' 1990-ish model.

All; which model do you think would resale the quickest and maintain its value?

I appreciate all your thoughts--thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh; all: Do any of these boats hobby-horse much in a sea? That would be a major diasappointment... Clay; how about your CR; hobbyhorse?? Dry?
 

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One should also note, which of the 4 boats smack pictured with the boats actually sailing! well anyway, but shut up before some maestro character makes his way south to Edmonds, I might be a tad in trouble. Alth the good looking person is probably on his favorite of the three or four boats......

Marty
 

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I probably know where you can get a green Baba or some equal on my dock......lots o green, can not tell the green paint from the green algae on the bottom, including a 3-5' beautiful specimen hanging off the rudder! That is NOT the maestro's fault mind you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks bit2ski; but I am not looking for a fixer-upper Baba; no time for that; maybe in another decade or so it might be different.
 

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Get the boat that you really like. Especially if its a Cabo Rico. The IP's are practical and the right ones resell. Maybe your wife can join you at destinations and if that's appealing, a boat with some features she likes is worth considering. Either way, get something you can singlehand, so she can take seasick meds and pass out if she changes her mind. Not about crossing oceans, but just cruising around the islands, or coastal. My wife and I have a great time on our crealock 34, but i singlehand without her way more than half the time. I really like having my lady along whenever possible, and plan those trips for her. Which is really essentially singlehanding, except I cook her nicer meals and clean up too. It is a perfect size for singlehanding and similar to the CR 34, but mine draws 4' which is exactly what I wanted.

Pick the very best boat for the money, and really think about maintenance.
 

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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but if I were looking for a boat to cruise The Bahamas and the Carribean, one of my criteria would be that it is easy to climb back aboard after a swim. None of the three choices seem to have that feature. In fact, they all look fairly challenging to reboard from a dinghy after a supply run. Consider the chore of single-handedly transfering fuel, water, and other supplies from a dinghy to the deck.

Is "easily re-boardable" mutaully exclusive from "dry & solid boat in bluewater"? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill? My cruising experience has always included several friends, and a swim platform or sugar scoop transom.
 
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