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Ok so we have spent a number of days looking for our first boat. We are new to sailing and will be using the boat on our local lakes. Three of them in the 120 - 90 mile long range. Budget is under 30 k and looking for something we can spend a few days aboard getting away from the farm. We have looked at a couple Odays 28's (, two Catalina 27's, a Columbia 30 and a C&C 27. So far the one Oday 28 (16k area) while it needs the most TLC I really like the boat itself. The work needed is mostly cosmetic and involves wood work. It has an original Universall 11 hp that appears t have been well maintained. Next would be the C&C which is in very good condition and includes a trailer(20k). Does not have the inboard option but has a vitually new 15 hp outboard. The columbia is maybe the best buy with a 90 k refit about 8 years ago and a Kubota 28 hp with only 280 hrs on it. It was in show room condition but has sat for 3 years at dockside with little or no work done on it. Certainly from a living onboard perspective for the week end it has the most comforts but bit concerned about what I have read about columbis's on this board. It can be had for less than 30 k.

Love to hear some knowledgeable folks comment.
 

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Not sure what you have read about Columbias but they were as well (if not better) built than the C&C's. They are definitely better built boats than the Catalinas and O'Days.

The best performer of the bunch will be the C&C. Make sure you look for deck problems though as the 27's were particularly prone to it. Also note that there were five versions of the boat produced - some more desirable than others. Look at the C&C website for more info. C&C Yachts - C&C Photo Album & Resource Center

O'Days were built to a pricepoint so while it may well be in fine shape for what you want to do, it will never be a strong boat - personally I'd be worried about heavy weather in one of them. Also - I don't think that 11hp is sufficient for a boat that size. We have 18 hp on a 30 foot boat and I find that to be scanty in weather.

The Catalinas are decent all around boats but they too were built to sell at an affordable price. They have a very strong saftermarket support network - far and away above any other brand so resale would probably be best with the Catalina.

It costs far more to repair boats properly than you would imagine - don't ever buy a cheap boat thinking that you can easily replace parts for less than it would cost to buy a boat already equipped with them - it won't happen. An awful lot of the things have to be custom milled these days as the manufacturers are out of business.

Personally - I'd recommend that you buy an 18 to 22 foot boat with no cabin and spend a couple of years learning to sail - then purchase a larger boat.

Good luck !
 

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We purchased a '76 O'Day 27 three years ago as our first boat. We did not know anything about sailboats at the time. We spent less than 10k for it and have put about 3K in new sails and minor repairs to the boat. The boat has some issues but we love it. We have spent most all Spring, Summer and fall weekends with her and I sail her in the winter. In NC an AC is a must and makes all the difference for nights at the dock. I have learned so much with this boat and if your goal is to do that and have fun it works. Just understand that what you choose will be yours and you will have to work on it no matter what you get or what age the boat is. Also do not be afraid of older boats if you want to learn and get more style for the dollar.
 

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I am retired and looking for a 27'-30' sailboat to live aboard somewhere along the southeast coasts of the U.S. I have some sailing experience back thirty years ago while I was building houses in Hawaii but nothing since. I like the Hunter, Catalina and Pearson boats. $10k-15k price range for purchase. Any advice or suggestions of how to proceed is welcomed.

I discovered this website yesterday. What a terrific site! Thanks for putting it together!
 

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There is a Pearson Triton with an Atomic 4 gas engine. I have heard that inboard gas engines are more a liability than an asset. The boat looks nice in the pictures and description. $9000 and the ad is 2 yrs old. Boat still for sale located in Maine. I'd like a coastal cruiser that I can live aboard coastal Georgia. Should I persue this? Have no experience here so need some sound advice. Thanks in advance. Hank
 

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The Atomic 4 is a very reliable engine with an outstanding support network via the internet. Of course Gas has it's dangers but with the correct level of effort is safe. My boat has the orginal Atomic 4 engine in it from 1976 and is preforming well.
 

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It sounds like you want the space and comfort of a larger boat like a Catalina 27 which I think is fine IMHO. I know a lot of people who buy a trailer sailer and end up up-sizing in a year or two because that is what they really wanted to begin with.

Regarding the Atomic Gas, although they are common and easy to get parts for, they have all the down sides of an inboard diesel plus they bring a very flammable substance into the mix and the fuel costs are also higher. I burn about $40 worth of diesel a year with a fair amount of motoring on a 30 foot boat, my friend who has a C&C27 burns 3x as much gas in $$,

AN outboard on Kootenay lake is probably a little better in my opinion, as it is easier to repair, WAY simpler (no through hulls), no shaft seal, no prop hanging in the water... The only concern is pushing a 27 foot sailboat in certain conditions - the lake can sometimes kick up a bit of chop and the inboard keeps the prop from cavitating.
 
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