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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings sailors,

I seek the collective wisdom and advice of the forum. I will be buying a sailboat and want to choose the right boat for my needs.

A little background is probably in order. I have been a sailor since the early 70's although I have not sailed in the past 10 years. I have owned 3 sailboats.

I have realized that I prefer sailing, flying and riding my Harley over work. Therefore, I will be retiring soon and I am looking for a boat to enjoy in my retirement. I will be living on the water in Treasure Island Florida just around the corner from an outlet into the Gulf of Mexico, at least during the winter months.

The gulf coast of Florida has shallow water so draft is important. I want a boat that will be easy for a guy in his 60's to single hand but that is large enough to be comfortable for week long cruises. I would also like to do some racing and would like a boat that sails to its rating.

Another issue is the light air that we often have on the gulf coast. There are several great boats such as the Cape Dory 30 that, I am told, do not perform well in light air.

The other issue is price. I would like to spend 20k or less.

So, I am looking for a comfortable racer/cruiser that has shoal draft (under 5 feet, the less the better) that can be raced without the other racers pointing at me and laughing, that has pleasing lines and priced under 20k and that is capable of offshore cruising in case I want to sail to Mexico.

One boat that I am considering is the Tartan 34C with a centerboard. That is a seaworthy boat with shallow draft. I hear that it, like the Cape Dory, will not do well in light air. It helps that the 34C is also a very nice looking boat. One downside of the Tartan 34C is the rather limited cabin space for a boat that size.

I have lurked here on the forum for some time and I know that the collective knowledge and experience here is vast. I appreciate any insight you may be able to provide.
 
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