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Broad Reachin'
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It seems like I'm perpetually in the market for a bigger cruising boat for my family (me, wife, 6 year old, 4 year old). We currently sail a 25 foot swing keel boat on Lake Michigan. We're looking for something bigger for less than $10k that has the following: furling headsail, inboard engine (Saildrive ok), standing headroom (>5'9"), enclosed head/portapotti. We spend many nights per summer on the boat (40+) and are hoping to extend our cruising range and make a couple of lake crossings.

We've slowly been narrowing the list based on our needs and what's available in our area. Would you all be so kind as to help me compare and contrast the two boats (S2 8.0b and Islander 28) in the links below? We've casually looked at both in person and just need a bit more input. I know you can't tell much from just a Yachtworld listing, but I still think I'll get some valuable opinions.

Here are the boats:

S2 8.0b: 1978 S-2 S-2 Sailboat Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Islander 28: 1978 Islander Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
 

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Pictures can be deceiving, but here goes....

Both look as if they've had some leakage/moisture problems judging by the colour and staining of the wood here and there, and in the case of the S2 on the 'carpet' hull liner in the forepeak... the aftermarket hull ports on the S2 require careful inspection too, for evidence of water tightness or lack of.

Most S2s are designed by the G&S team who have a good rep for performance boats.. but I'm not sure all of them were. This one looks like a G&S design.

The Islander is, of course, a Perry design so that's in its favour for sure as a family cruiser. In the pics, though, it looks very dark inside....

I'd get rid of the carpet in both boats.. bad idea all around.. but of course I don't know what's underneath. But a clean f/g liner is a better deal than soggy smelly carpet.

Layouts look similar, cockpits look similar so I guess it would come down to survey and which one "feels" best.....
 

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I really liked the S2 8.0 I sold a couple years ago...I'd buy another in a minute. It was quick on the wind and responded quickly to even the lightest puffs. Pointed very high...kind of spoiled me!
The only thing I didn't care for on the entire boat was the fiberglass liner that prevented any access to the bilge. I like to know what's going on down there...

Good luck in your search!
 

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Hey Nieghbor,
My wife and I just bought an S2 8.0b from a Green Bay resident. Our first boat. We built the trailer and hauled it home to Metcalf, Ga. Took her down the St. Marks River 5 miles into the Apalachee Bay and out into the Gulf by ourselfs for our first sail ever. Awesome boat. My wife was reluctant to give up the tiller. She was responsive to the slightest tiller adjustment. She sailed easily and took good care of us. The OMC engine is capable of reaching the hull speed with no problem. We slept fine but need some bedding improvement for our old bones. The boat is easily trailorable and launched in 5' of water. I built an a-frame mast step system that is easily cycled by one person. Can't imagine what could be better.
 
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