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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
New member, but been lurking for years. I am looking at a new boat this winter. I found a few boats that may fit what I need, but research hasnt shown much on a few of these boats. First, here is what I am looking for in a boat.

1. Long distance cruiser..blue water.
2. mid size (27-36 feet)..I am 6'3" and finding a boat with a cabin that has decent headroom is nearly impossible under 30, but if a 27 has it I am willing to look at it.
3. older boat, as I like the look on the older boats. i am pretty handy with all, but fiberglass repair. Though, I am sure with practice, I can do it.
4. able to sleep 4 comfortably.
5. inboard. just my preference.
6. head w/shower
7. Decent fuel/water storage
8. Decent storage

these are not the only criteria, but some of the important ones. the main thing is headroom for me below deck. things like sailing ability are important too, but figure that is assumed as well. Other things like ovens, equipment, and such can be bought, and upgraded. I am not too worried about that. Just a sound, good performance cruiser.

I do want a blue water boat, as I plan to take this far. A few boats I have been looking at. Now they are all under 10k, and I realize, they will all need work if they are to be true blue waters.

I guess I was wondering if anyone has experience with any of these boats. I have read that most of these boats were taken on far voyages before, but they didnt go into detail if they had any trouble with it.

Anyways, here is the list
70 columbas 36- needs a bit of work. But is currently floating, which is a good thing, the only one on the list not in dry dock.
81 hunter 30'
69 islander 37'
76 pearson P30
73 tartan 30'
68 bristol 30'
70 seafarer 31'

I just want to get a fair assessment of the sea worthiness of these boats before I drive 2 hours to look at them. Maybe help me narrow it down.

I am close to only a few of these, the rest would require a decent amount of travel time to another state.

I've read some threads, but none that I can find that really said to stay away on most of these boats. The p30 seems to be liked as well as the tartan. Though, not much love for hunters when it comes to blue water capability.

So, does anyone know much about these boats?

Thanks.
 

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Hi Fretbrner,
Welcome to SailNet! :) You've done a great job at outlining your basic needs in a boat, but I have a couple of questions that might help us answer your questions above. The boats you have listed indeed vary a good bit in capabilities and design style, not to mention size. Here are a few questions:

First, where is your proposed sailing area? And related, you mention "bluewater" capabilities--do you mean crossing oceans? Or do you mean hopping from one island to another and along the coast?

Second, are you planning to make those bluewater passages (whichever style you mention above) sooner, or in 5 - 10 years? That could matter too, since it might be worth getting one boat now for local/regional sailing, and a different boat for the serious cruising.

Finally, what type of sailing experience do you have? Can you estimate your skill level? This may help with recommendations as well.
 

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Fret...welcome to the light! Have you looked at the bluewater boat list here:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying-boat/39936-updated-offshore-cruising-boat-list-january-2008-a.html#post251474 and the additions two posts below?
None of the boats you mention are on either list even though there are a number of relatively inexpensive boats in your size range.
Not to say you couldn't make a passage in one...but they are not built for extended bluewater cruising.
I also think that you will find yourself in the $40k range on any bluewater vessel of this size by the time you get one ready for sea, equipped and all systems in good condition.
Let's hear a bit more about your actual plans and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi, thanks for the replies. I guess I did leave some good info out.

I live on Long island, NY. So would sail primarily up and down the northeast coast.

As for blue water, I really have no interest in the BVI's or that vicinity. Sorry, cant give up my winters and my snow boards yet ;) I would not be doing much blue water for a few years, as I have only sailed safe harbors for a while, and do not feel I have enough experience to cross the pond just yet, but can handle 26' singlehand with no worries just fine in rough harbors with pretty rough weather. not a racer by any means and would probably be a better sailor if i was though. My eventual destinations will include crossing oceans. Ireland, UK, Scandinavia, Netherlands, and eventually oz, and nz.

I do realize this does require serious equipment and a sturdy boat. And will take time to equip her to make these voyages. I've read the sticky about blue water boats, and realize that most are absent from this list. though have heard p30's, tartans and the columbia both doing circumnavigated and prominent in the brutal waters of NE, PacWest, and Alaska.

I do not expect to shove off tomorrow, but would eventually like to prepare myself and the boat over the upcoming years to be blue ready.

If we took the blue water capabilites out of this, would anyone recommend any of these boats?
 

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Fret,
I own an old (ancient) Tartan 27' but I would consider taking it coastal if I had everything checked out and re-worked for the distance cruising. I keep that boat up at Nyack and we mostly race it even though it is really designed as a seaworthy coastal cruiser. I like the older Tartan boats myself (including the T30) but the Pearson 30' also holds a lot of cachet in terms of it's own pedigree and design. I suggest you also consider the Endeavor 32' which is also not really on the 'Blue Water' boat list. There are also Irwin 32's and Ericsons as well to consider in the same range.
I seriously doubt that any of them will actually let you stand upright in the cabin without hitting your head if you are 6' 3" tall.
The only 'Blue Water' I did was on a 50' Beneteau from Tortola to the TCI (Turks & Caicos) but that is really in a very different price bracket. 'Blue Water' capable to me means that the boat has radar, sat-phone and/or SSB, auto pilot, life raft, jack lines and a chart plotter is not a bad thing to back up the paper charts (digital charts suck in terms of local detail IMHO). That 'extra' equipment can easily cost well over 10K to put into a small boat never mind fixing up things that really need attention beyond the 'extras' which you really need for safety.
It sounds to me like you really want a good, stable coastal cruiser and I think you are on top of that for the most part. If you really want blue water capabilities in a boat be prepared to shell out a lot more then for a P 30.
I'll give you a ride on my T 27' in the spring if you are still deciding at that point. There are a few T 30's and a P 30' at our club that you might even be able to get a ride on if I can arrange it.
Otherwise I will take you out on my 19' Lightning out of Huntington.
 

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I own a 71 Seafarer 31 foot yawl. Very solid boat, but on mine, the rigging is not ocean worthy, and the tankage is inadequate for longer voyages.

Dan
 

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Any of the boats you list are perfectly capable of cruising LIS and the Northeast. Given the ages...the best advice one can give is to pick the one in the best cared for condition...after getting a survey. If they were all in great shape, I'd go with the Tartan30 myself.
 

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As a 6'4" sailor, I sympathize with your desire for headroom down below. I finally got most of it with my new Benteau, but my sense is that it is exceedingly rare in the older boats. In general the lines on older boats tended to be somewhat lower and not as beamy (and some of the traditionalists would argue they were more graceful). I sail in Eastern Long Island ( based in three mile harbor, sailing from Gardiner's Bay and vicinity ) and believe that most of the boats you mention are fine for these waters. I think that, as you will see on the blue water thread, some of the criteria for the "blue water" boats are actually disadvantages for the kind of sailing you plan in the first place. For example, very large tankage and storage is critical for an ocean crossing; it takes up useful room for coastal sailing. Many of the blue water boats are relatively narrow beam, very deep keel. Poking around shoal waters can be a lot of fun in the areas you will sail. In your shoes, I would be much more inclined to get the right boat for coastal sailing for a few years, develop skills and opinions, and then, when you are nearing the time for an ocean crossing, reevaluate just what you want. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Your headroom requirement and your budget don't really mesh well... getting that kind of headroom in a sub-30 footer, esp an older, less expensive boat is going to lead you to some pretty questionable designs, IMO.

While I agree that standing headroom is really nice to have, in reality how much of your time below is spent on your feet? Much of it is seated or sleeping... in the world of tradeoffs required in your decision making, maybe headroom is one you can give up for a few years til you're ready to make your move upwards and offshore...
 

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Fret,

You've received some good advice. All the boats you originally listed would make good coastal cruisers, up to and including the Bahamas, but let me offer my $.02.

Forget the 1981 Hunter 30 (my boat), or any other 30 footer for that matter, if you're looking for comfortable accommodations for 4 persons. In a pinch, you can make do, but it will be a pita to convert the salon table into a bed every night. The quarter berth is only good for one person and generally becomes another storage area for gear bags, coolers, etc.

Having spent a good part of my cruising life in the NE, I know that you'll be spending a great deal of time below decks when the weather's cool. You need to be looking for a bigger boat, probably in the 34-36 ft. range, where you can make full use of the salon. Something with a v-berth and aft cabin would be a perfect choice. Keep an eye open for a Hunter 34.

That being said, I learned to sail on my in-laws 24 ft Westerly. It had great headroom and the two opposing salon seats worked quite well as berths. Four of us spent weekends on it all the time and never felt cramped. This twin-keel boat proved the point the bigger was not always better. I'm not sure if there are too many of these still around, but it was a great, stable boat to learn to sail on.

My final word of advice, if all things are equal, buy the biggest boat you can afford. I don't know too many sailors who downsize when they buy a new boat. So why not buy the right boat for your needs the first time around?

Good luck and good hunting! This is a great time to go boat shopping!!
 

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I have a tartan 30 and it would be a good choice, but the headroom issue is not going to work. At just under 6 feet I fit ok, but my hair gets mussed in the head and room in the v berth is maxed out. Mine does not have a shower, maybey some do but I do not know if there is enough room to actually use it in a boat this size. The boat is very solid with an overbuilt rig, but the cockpit is too big and companion way to open and low for blue water use. Good luck.
 
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