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Hello, I am looking for my first sailboat and am interested in some opinions.

My experience is limited to a couple of summers playing with small racing boats (snipes, lasers) and a cansail 1 course.

Sailing for the next few years will be mainly in the North Channel of Lake Huron, Ontario.

Will be joined by my wife and 3 young kids.

I am looking for a bluewater, stable, boat, 32-36 feet. Ok with it being a bit slow if it means safer, more stable/comfy in weather. Under 30k

I like the idea of the centreboard in a full keel as it provides better ability to sail into wind and off of a lee shore if necessary. But can also be pulled up for shallow water and the full keel seems like the better option for a novice sailor.

Considering a Hinterhoeller C&C Frigate36

Any opinions on the Frigate 36 or retractable centreboard would be appreciated.

Other boat suggestions?

Things to consider?

Thanks. :)
 

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Welcome to Sailnet.

Lots of choices. I am OK with centerboards, but they do involve additional maintenance. You say full keel for upwind performance, but a fin keel is actually better for that. For $30k or under in that size range you are looking at older boats. Up on the Great Lakes you should have lots of Tartans to choose from. I like the Tartan 33 for your requirements.
 

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Also look at C&C which were built on the Great Lakes. Also Sabre. Many are centerboard boats. Rarely see a centerboard and full keel. Fin keel performs better. Tartans as mentioned good boats though C&C will have a bit more speed. There are many good boats in you range. Choose the boat in best condition.
 

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I sailed a Nonsuch 30 from Bermuda to Antigua. It was a good sailing boat.... big as a 36' interior... easy to sail... one sail to deal with... large cockpit. Good for a family
 

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Not an ideal boat with that oversized main. They have a difficult time going to weather.
My friend owns one. I’ll never forget the beer can race into a 25 knot breeze where he tacked time and time again and couldn’t get it to cross the start line.
 
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It looks like we have similar preferences, and both looking for our first sailboat, even the same budget. Though I have the added difficulty of needing a sun shelter for too sun sensitive skin. And very few boats it seems accommodate a Bimini or other shelter while actually under sail. So I'm kind of forced into the motor sailors.

Here's a link to a Nonsuch 30 review, based on SanderO's recommendation. It actually sounds quite beginner friendly.

Good luck in your search.
 

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Own a full keel center board 35' boat, wouldn't reccomend it for ease of manueuverig for a novice. Boat likes to go straight ahead despite what I want it to do. Often use the board as a pivot point to make a turn and much use of prop walk to get the boat into a slip. Once out on the open ocean not a problem but it's tight quarter maneuvering has discouraged use. Fin keel boats, with or without a center board, are much easier to maneuver in tight quarters but may require more attention under sail.
 

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It looks like we have similar preferences, and both looking for our first sailboat, even the same budget. Though I have the added difficulty of needing a sun shelter for too sun sensitive skin. And very few boats it seems accommodate a Bimini or other shelter while actually under sail. So I'm kind of forced into the motor sailors.
Don't understand the comment about not being able to use a bimini under sail. Lots of boats can. The major issue is the location of the mainsheet. Boats with the mainsheet far aft have a problem. Ones on the coach roof do not. Ones with it on the bridge deck may be limited to a smaller one.
 

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Don't understand the comment about not being able to use a bimini under sail. Lots of boats can. The major issue is the location of the mainsheet. Boats with the mainsheet far aft have a problem. Ones on the coach roof do not. Ones with it on the bridge deck may be limited to a smaller one.
I didn’t understand that either. Unless you have the traveler in the cockpit it’s quiet easy to construct and even there it’s possible.
 

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Don't understand the comment about not being able to use a bimini under sail. Lots of boats can. The major issue is the location of the mainsheet. Boats with the mainsheet far aft have a problem. Ones on the coach roof do not. Ones with it on the bridge deck may be limited to a smaller one.
I have looked through hundreds of photos and only seen a couple where a bimini was deployed while sailing, and they were very large boats > 45 feet. Literally every boat I have seen except one the main sheet is in the way, either actually in the cockpit, or right behind the helmsman's wheel, which is right at the back of the boat, so even if a bimini were deployed, the wheel and presumably the helmsman would still be in the sun.
 

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I didn’t understand that either. Unless you have the traveler in the cockpit it’s quiet easy to construct and even there it’s possible.
Yeah again, I just don't see any examples of this being possible. Literally every boat I've considered- Westerly 33-36s, Moody 33-34s, etc, either the main sheet traveller is right in the cockpit or right behind the helmsman with the main curse being the wheel at the extreme rear of the boat.

Can you give an example of any of these boats where such a sun shelter would work?
I'm just going off off recent learning and have virtually no experience with sailboats, outside of small day sailor rentals, so the advises are much appreciated.
 

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Contest 36s has a bridgedeck traveler. The bimini is aft of the main sheet,,, and for full cover at anchor you can zip in a connector panel with a hole for me mainsheet.
 

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Contest 36s has a bridgedeck traveler. The bimini is aft of the main sheet,,, and for full cover at anchor you can zip in a connector panel with a hole for me mainsheet.
Well that's an interesting example. So the roof doesn't actually need to be continuous, and the bimini not actually connected to the dodger. Thanks.
 

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My previous boat (Cal 9.2) had the traveller on the bridge deck, just aft of the conpanionway. I had a bimini and used it when sailing on hot sunny days. My current boat (Cal 33-2) has the traveller on the coach roof. I have a dodger and a sunshade that zips into the dodger, providing shade for the entire cockpit with no gap.

LOTS of boats can use a bimini when sailing. Just look for where the traveller is located.
 

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My previous boat (Cal 9.2) had the traveller on the bridge deck, just aft of the conpanionway. I had a bimini and used it when sailing on hot sunny days. My current boat (Cal 33-2) has the traveller on the coach roof. I have a dodger and a sunshade that zips into the dodger, providing shade for the entire cockpit with no gap.

LOTS of boats can use a bimini when sailing. Just look for where the traveller is located.
Location of traveler, is officially added to my criteria, thanks.
 

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That's an interesting solution, thanks for the pic.
Also nice because you can stand up at the point where you have access to reef.
The way we are using... the boat when sailing dictates our decisions. Wife is usually occupying the stbd side rear and I the port side froward where I control AP and have the instruments and close at hand.... and engine controls as well, I usually have shade provided by the dodger... except lower sun angles when we are sailing easterly headings.

The connector panel is really for when we are anchored or moored.

This bimini is a Fall/Winter project.
 

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I don't know that I'd pick the mainsheet location (and by extension the boat) on the bimini issue. If you often single-hand, or are effectively doing so because you are also wrangling little kids, having the mainsheet near the helm is really nice. If it is up on the cabin top or bridgedeck, you likely can't trim the main without leaving the helm (depending, of course, on the cockpit size).
 
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