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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, my fiance and I are in the midst of planning a cruise to the Sea of Cortez and thus we are also in the midst of shopping for that "perfect" boat. We thought we'd throw a post up here and see if anybody had:

a) a boat for sale that would suit our needs
b) any good advice on particular boat models, and
c) any good advice on general boat characteristics to suit our situation

Where: We'd like to buy a boat somewhere between Southern California and Puerto Vallarta. Our starting point is very flexible right now. This first trip will be mostly coastal (Pacific Coast of MX, and Sea of Cortez); we're going to save crossing the big oceans for the next trip. That being said, seaworthy, seakindly, strongly built, etc are always good characteristics to have.

When: Around June/July of 2012. We're planning on arriving in San Diego in late June.

Who: Me, Katie, and our dog Wylie

Needs:
28'-33'
Diesel engine that runs well, has been well maintained and has <1500 hrs
Standing rigging in good shape (< than 10 yrs old)
Free of major issues (Turnkey condition is asking a lot, but we're looking for something to sail, not something to tinker on for a year)
Suit of sails in good shape
Protected rudder (skeg hung or full keel)
Unfortunately our budget is fairly meager, so probably nothing over $25k, depending on refit needs

Boats that are currently on our short list:
This is a list of boats that we've compiled that appear to meet most of our needs and have good reputations. By all means add to the list, or let us know why you'd take something off.

Bristol 29, Bristol 29.9, Bristol 30, Bristol 31.1, Bristol 32
Cape Dory 30, Cape Dory 31, Cape Dory 32
Challenger 32
Douglas 32
Ericson Independence 31
Sea Sprite 30
Southern Cross 31
Southen Cross 32
Tartan 30
Willard 30
Yankee 30
Westsail 32

For the sake of brevity (though I think I've failed already), we have more information about the trip and what we're looking for in a boat on our website (this is not a shameless plug, but it's there if anybody wants a few more details about our situation). Thanks in advance and we're open to all ideas.--Mark and Katie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Malyea, We'll look him up. We know it's a bit of a stretch for the 25k, and that's kind of why we put this post up. We've been digging deep into all the brokerages, craigslist, etc for 4-5 months now, and while we're not giving up on these models listed, we're hoping that folks on the forum might have some other types of boats to recommend that are a bit more, ahem, moderately priced. Thanks for the lead.
 

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If you're planning on crossing the ocean, I really think you need to bump up your budget. A decent boat capable of bluewater sailing will usually come with a much higher price tag than boats that are really made to be coastal crusiers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, the original post was unclear. We won't be crossing an ocean on this trip, or with this boat necessarily. In our search, we are simply thinking about coastal cruising, with perhaps a crossing from Baja to mainland Mexico being the longest passage.
 

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Have you seen this one?

1977 Valiant Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Looks like she's seen some hard miles, but the price is right....

Here's another search for Western US and Mexico.. you'll have to do some filtering as to type, but a few to look at here.. the Mariner 31s kind of jumped out at me..

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...rid=107&rid=125&pbsint=&boatsAddedSelected=-1

And this one looks interesting too...

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1960/Seafarer-Tripp-30-2409181/Portland/OR/United-States
 

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Those Bristols you list vary from quite rare on the west coast, to incredibly rare. They only made 30 of the 31.1s and there is only one for sale on Yachtworld, and that's on the east coast. A B30 or 32 you might have more luck with.

Otherwise I'd recommend a 31.1, but then I'm biased ;)

How about a 35.5 though? Again, they're all the east coast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Faster, thanks for those leads. Funny you should bring up that Valiant. We were all over that boat (not physically, but we did sail by it and take a gander) in October; we thought she was the one. After a lot of back and forth with the broker, we found some photos online that showed her half submerged and with a giant hole in her stern (thanks to Hurricane Marty). She was definitely too good to be true. ...We are fascinated by the Mariners as well, not real excited about the ketch rig, but it's not a deal breaker. Do you have any experience with them. I like the look of the Seafarer as well, I'm definitely going to look into that one further. Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MarkSF, thanks for the tips on the Bristols, we've indeed found them to be rare in our neck of the woods. I take it you're a fan of the 31.1? Any pros/cons you'd like to share?
 

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If you have not, you might check out the blog of those who go before you like:
bumfuzzle | living, sailing, procreating

For that kind of budget, I think you need to stick with a production 30 footer, like a Tartan 30, not a bad compromise. Whatever model you focus on, I think the trick is to find a boat whose current owners have already equipped to do what you want to do. You will get a great break on the cost of outfitting her, even if you spend a lot more upfront than you would for a CL boat.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really like the Tartan 30, it seems to me very similar to the Yankee 30, but for 1/2 the price. Do you, or anyone else that's listening, know of differences between the two. ...And yeah, Bumfuzzle is great, we've been reading their stories for a while. thanks
 

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I vote for Ericson . . .ask around at ericsonyachts.org great quality boats and many in the west coast area a very supportive and knowledgeable group . . .
 

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MarkSF, thanks for the tips on the Bristols, we've indeed found them to be rare in our neck of the woods. I take it you're a fan of the 31.1? Any pros/cons you'd like to share?
Yes I do think it's a great boat. The most major pro would be the build quality. It really is that good. Top quality hardware, heavy lay up, heavy keel, and construction follows best practice at the time, throughout, it seems. You look in the books at how a seacock should be done, the wiring done, or the propane installed, and it looks just like the "good example" pics.

It's a good SF Bay boat for me - heavy and predictable with a nice motion in a chop.

The negatives are what you'd expect from the numbers I think : it's a bit slow by modern standards (but not that slow, will gain on most 32 foot cruisers upwind if sailed properly). Accommodation by modern standards is a bit tight (no aft double). The V berth is large though. Mysteriously there's a pilot berth on the drawings but none in the boat. I have cabinets instead. Maybe an option?

31.1s are a bit over your budget. 29.9s would be just within it though.
 

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I really like the Tartan 30, it seems to me very similar to the Yankee 30, but for 1/2 the price. Do you, or anyone else that's listening, know of differences between the two. ...And yeah, Bumfuzzle is great, we've been reading their stories for a while. thanks
Both are nice boats. I haven't been on a Yankee 30 in many years, but one recollection is that the boat is somewhat narrower than a Tartan 30, in checking the specs I see the difference is a foot. That's represents a lot of interior volume which would be important to your use. I have always thought the Tartan 30 a more desirable boat and would be surprised that the be any price difference between comparable condition boats. I can see from the analysis on your website that you are starting off with a keen awareness of the importance of condition and equipment in valuing a boat. At some time you might post one of your spreadsheets for other to review. There are many who think price is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mike, as per your idea, we just put an ad on the Ericson owner's forum, and I think we might do the same for all the owners' group sites of boats on our list. Good idea. Do you have any experience with the Independence 31 specifically?


Mark, thanks for your input, that correlates with what we've heard in general about the Bristols: solid build quality. We'll just keep our eyes peeled and maybe one will present itself out on the west coast. You never know.

Sailing Fool, Perhaps the lower prices I've been seeing on Tartans were more a factor of their condition compared to the Yankees (which have all been pretty well maintained). We've also seen quite a few of the racing version of the Tartan 30 (not sure the model # that differentiates), and they've been cheap, but also quite spartan on the interior. We'll keep looking. The more I see of the Tartans, the higher they climb on the list. ...Thanks for the input on the website as well, we're actually hoping to add a link to an even more extensive spreadsheet we've built comparing factors of these different boats.
 

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How about this Valiant 32 in La Paz: 1977 Valiant Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com?

She might need a little work, but the price and location could be right. Plus, you gotta love the affordable Perry designs. I think I volleyed some emails with this particular owner back when it was listed on Craigslist a year or so ago and thought it might be good find for me, if it were closer to the Great Lakes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
kwaltersmi, If you want a good laugh, you should read a post on our website called "confessions" (see link below). You'll find a couple of good photos of that Valiant, pre-fiberglass repair. Let's just say it looks like she rides a little wet! We definitely appreciate the lead on a boat, but this is truly one whose price was "too good to be true." If you see any others, though, please do keep em coming.

Sailing Dog...I just ran across your boat buying tips post and then your blog, and just wanted to say thanks for putting that out there. I can tell that it will be a tremendous resource for us. Hopefully someday soon we'll be able to provide some of the answers, as well as the questions.
 
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