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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about 3 to 4 years out for upgrading my boat but I would like to start planning. I would like to get something that is 36-40' with a very large and open cockpit. I currently have an Ericson 32 which I love but want something bigger for cruising with the family. I have to admit that my boat stays tied up at the dock more than I would like but we do love to go down and just hang out on the boat. An oversized cockpit would be great for socializing with friends but most boats that I see in the 36-40' range have only minimally larger cockpits. I like older boats and enjoy the restoration process so I would probably be looking at something from the mid-70's to fix up. What would you suggest? I want to start looking for the next one...
 

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Stumble makes a good point. The wider sterns on many of the European models allow for very wide cockpits. I guess it depends on how you measure "big". I like length so I can have seats long enough to stretch out on for napping.
 

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70's fixer upper with a large cockpit will be difficult until you get to the 40' range just based on designs back then.

One of the largest cockpits on 80's 90's boats was the Catalina 34 and 36. Even larger when they went to the sugar scoop. The boats cockpits are identical.
 

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slightly older but look at alberg designed boats(60s)...they have long(yet skinny) cockpits with the cabin or bubble starting very midships unlike later boats...

plety of room to spread out on each side...LENGTHWISE
 
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Pearson 35 has 9 foot cockpit and was designed for exactly what you're looking for, and they made over 500 of them. They are relatively easy to find although often in states ranging from full restoration to Bristol condition.
I'm biased, though, as it's what I settled on.
 

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I took our Pearson 35 and moved the aft traveler to a bridge traveler over the companionway. The 9' cockpit is now fully open and the mainsheets are away from my kids. The sheets on the bridge traveler still are easy to singlehand. The cockpit is bigger than any sailboat I've been in of this size. Really good for groups, family, and for dining at anchor (using folding tables kept in the cockpit lockers).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"Something bigger" is anything that will sleep 6+, plus sized cockpit and up to 40' long.

"Cruising" for me will be exploring the Great Lakes with my family for up to 2 to 3 weeks at a time. Honestly, in my mind anything overnight and over an 8 hour sail would probably qualify as cruising.
 

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Consider going modern! I bought a Catalina 400 partly because the cockpit is huge. The two wheels allow people to walk fore and aft so that the entire cockpit is used. I've had 11 people in there! Usually it's just my wife and I and it really is comfortable. I love the way the boat sails and handles. There are several other boats with two wheels, check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Would love to go modern but this will be a cash purchase and I'm not looking to spend more than I did on my house. Plus I really do enjoy the restoration projects and I get a lot of satisfaction bringing new life to a classic boat. So far I have flipped 4 boats and have been able to at least double my money on each of them. It's amazing what a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of varnish can do.
 

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Don't forget the Draft... If you are gunkholeing, you'll need either a good size tender or a shallow draft. To this, a family boat really needs an efficient way on and off. This means an oversized swim platform.

Our family sails the Maine Coast on a Pearson 36-2 and it's been converted to a marine playpen for the kids.

Vberth is now a crib:

Tons of cockpit room for the mates in training, (Note: the webbing is a must for kids, tools, drunk adults and winch handles):

Even room for the dog meat.
 

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I would love to recomend my boat too(islander 36) but the issue is it has a racy t style cockipt so there is a gap bewteen the sides and aft captains chair if you will...allowing the helmsman to stand either side of the wheel in that nook...which is pretty common on most wheel steered boats with the racer cruiser designation...

the issue with that is unless you are 5 ft or shorter you cant sprawl out on each side unless you fill in that space and even then bareley fit...great for kids though.



I love pearsons they are well made boats and most enjoy a good reputation and sailing characteristics...

a pearson 365 is a great mid sized cruiser with a solid reputation too...you "might" be able to find one with some elbw grease needed in the 15-20k range.

like mentioned before modern boat of course will have beamier butts and much more space, but you have already mentioned your budget so there is no point in recomending those boats I think.

there are plenty of boats in the late 60s to late 70s that will fit your budget perfectly.

a cal 40 has been one mf my dream boats for eons now...it has exactly what you want long cokpit with plenty of space on each side...narrow, fast, super fast downwind, light and maneuverable...however a decent one is in the 40k range...they are also raced hard so they do have wear and tear not normally found on "cruisers"

peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would love to recomend my boat too(islander 36) but the issue is it has a racy t style cockipt so there is a gap bewteen the sides and aft captains chair if you will...allowing the helmsman to stand either side of the wheel in that nook...which is pretty common on most wheel steered boats with the racer cruiser designation...

peace
I have pretty much the exact same cockpit that you are describing in my Ericson 32. Love the boat, not a fan of the cockpit.

I would love to stay in the $25K range and then put up to $10K into it.
 

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there is a way to fix our style of cockpits and thats making wood seats to each side that fold and stowaway when racing for example and then can be set when at the dock or mooring(connecting the t if you will making the common n shape

basically any racer cruiser of this era will have some sort of t shaped cockpit, older boats didnt have this

cca era boats are long skinny on each side with the wheel more forward then normal...

just a thought

this is a search with your criteria on good ole yachwtorld...many many boats to chose from in this price range...
1960 (Sail) Boats For Sale

here is a nice older pearson 36...notice the wheel upfront giving more space aft, to sprawl
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1972/Pearson-36-2444596/Bristol/RI/United-States#.U9J48LF7M6E

HOWEVER the damn traveler is extended over the sides(bridgedeck) like most do meaning a flat surface is not available unless you have cushions made with a cutout.
BUT the lazarettes seats go all the way aft
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1972/Pearson-36-2444596/Bristol/RI/United-States#.U9J48LF7M6E

only on older boats say an old alberg or something will the traveller be boom end mounted leaving a clear cockpit on each side relatively speaking.
 
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