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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, i am new to this site (as well as sailing) and would greatly appreciate some advice about a good first boat for my needs.

A bit about me, I grew in se alaska and have a fair amount of time on the water in power boats. I just listed my 25' cruiser for sale and have decided to take the plunge and buy a sailboat. I live in Juneau at the moment and plan to use the boat for weekend fun as well as extended liveaboard ( 2-3 weeks)when my job requires a stay in another town.

I have been eyeing the 27' catalina as the price point is good for me between, 10k and 20k is my budget. I am concerned with this boats safety in inclement weather though; in commuting from one place to the next for work as i intend to do, i will cross some bodies of water that can get rough quickly; i wont be intentionally using a boat in poor weather, just want something i can trust if the weatherman is wrong.

Anyhow, thank you for reading all that and please any opinions or models of boats i could learn to single hand that may be safer i would love to hear of.
 

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There is no boat that is going to be able to go in any weather. Perhaps there are some that could take a bit more beating, but it sounds like you would only be making a coastal passage. Also, given your level of experience, the boat is probably going to take more seas than you are going to be comfortable sailing in for a long while.

Love your plan. The C27 a good boat with a strong following in its class.

The only concern I have for your plan is having a schedule. If you have to be in another town, the weather just may not cooperate. The boat you choose won't change this.

Good luck.
 

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I live in Juneau at the moment and plan to use the boat for weekend fun as well as extended liveaboard ( 2-3 weeks)when my job requires a stay in another town.

I have been eyeing the 27' catalina as the price point is good for me between, 10k and 20k is my budget
Are you talking about passages to, say Anchorage? Or sailing around the SE Alaska archipelago? If Anchorage, then not the Catalina 27.
Interior space in a 27' sailboat is pretty limited and will fell very cramped after a few days. Probably less space than a 25' power boat.
Finally $10-20K should get you a larger, more capable boat than the Catalina 27, either a more robust boat or a larger boat, maybe both.
Are you in a position to purchase a boat some distance away and either sail it or truck it home?
It's a buyers market for used sailboats, so shop wisely.
Welcome to sailing and sailnet.
John
ps. You will probably want to have a dinghy along on most outings and anchorages, so consider how you will handle a dinghy on deck or stowed while making a passage.
 

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There is no boat that is going to be able to go in any weather. Perhaps there are some that could take a bit more beating, but it sounds like you would only be making a coastal passage. Also, given your level of experience, the boat is probably going to take more seas than you are going to be comfortable sailing in for a long while.

Love your plan. The C27 a good boat with a strong following in its class.

The only concern I have for your plan is having a schedule. If you have to be in another town, the weather just may not cooperate. The boat you choose won't change this.

Good luck.
Minnewaska speaks the truth , a schedule is not a good thing . I'm sure you have heard of waiting for a weather window . More than a few times I've heard , but I had to get back for work . C 27's are nice . But I'm thinking of something ,oh I don't know , maybe a Westsail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the responses, first off i plan to buy a boat out of Seattle or Vancouver; i figure as I'm new to this, it would be a great experience to hire a professional captain and sail it back? There are at least two dozen excuses i can come up with as to why i may not be able to pull that off, and in that case would end up paying the shipping fee. I have taken the mv columbia to bellingham 4 times now, and one of those rides made that 400' boat seem a little small :) Only around Queen Charlotte though.

As per weather and scheduling, i can always fly or ride a ferry if i don't feel comfortable running the boat; Anchorage would be too long of a float for a work commute i would be limited to the inside passages Juneau to Ketchikan..... Juneau to Sitka, half a dozen smaller towns in the area.

I looked at westsail's and found this... edit... i was unable to ad a link as i don't have enough posts, anyhow it was a westail 32', listed on the Bellingham craigslist..
Definitely out of my price range ( $31,500) until i sell my boat, but its within reason anyhow? The ad reads "easily sailed singlehandedly"? My friends joke that i tied my boat off "really good" as she hasn't moved in a while. I burn 10 gallons per hour if I'm careful, so, bottom line i just wan't to buy something i will use and enjoy.

Again, appreciate the advice and thanks for your time,

Jason
 

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......bottom line i just wan't to buy something i will use and enjoy......
That's what separates the sailors from the stinkpotters. Welcome to the other side.

I'm an East Coaster, but I believe I've heard the slug from the PNW to Alaska is a nasty trip. Several from the area post here, so you'll get more specifics. Still, tagging along with a professional crew would be a tremendous learning experience and likely prepare you to take on a lot more than you are willing to now.
 

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I know the Albin Vega 27 seems to be made for this. Much more sturdy than a Catalina. They are a bit cramped but we have Vega1860 here on the forums. He has lived on his boat for something like 20 years, and is currently in Alaska. He sailed there from Hawaii, and had done that crossing a few times. You can find a really nice one in your price range.
 

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I have said this before but when I talk to anyone thinking about living aboard a small boat at least look at the interior on a Catalina 30.

It will feel much larger than many other 30 33 ft boats.

10 k will find you a nice one with an A4 gas engine.

20 k will find you a nice one with with a diesel.
 

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If your going to spend any more time than say 2-3 day trips, I would go for 30+. Sure we've met and read of people that have cruised in 25-28 footers. But, it's camping at best. We cruised on a 28 footer for 6 months. What did I learn from that? That we needed a bigger boat. We now are on a 37. It's a perfect size for us.

We have been on all sorts, and I believe 30 foot for 1-2 people is about as small as you can go for if cruising for extended periods, 35-38 is IMHO the sweet spot.

If your just doing weekends, then just about anything will do.

As far as price goes, the more work you are willing to put in to it, the larger & better quality boat will be avail. All the boats we purchased required elbow grease. However, we got very good deals because of this. I think for your price point is fine for a start. Patience is the key when looking.
 
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