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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in doing some offshore racing and would like recommendations for a good boat that I can purchase and outfit for about $100k.

Races would primarily be in the Gulf of Mexico. I would like to race single handed, but perhaps with a small crew. Would be PHRF racing.

I have some racing experience as crew, some singlehanded coastal cruising experience, and 1 rum race singlehanded.

I have thought about a J35 for this. Any thoughts or comments?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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First thought, have you also considered an anual budget?
To stay competitive, most skippers are dumping thousands into their boats every season. The initial investment is only part of the equation.
 

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A J35 is a reasonable pick for this kind of activity, although I wouldn't put it at the top of a list of "easy to singlehand" boats. But sailing such a boat shorthanded will be easier to do on long-legged offshore jaunts than typical "round the cans" races.

As to your budget, a J35 can be purchased with at least some money left over to finance maintenance and campaign costs.

Indeed, to be seriously competitive, as Giu says, of the three, pick two. A limited budget is going to affect your ultimate performance.

However, for many local and more casual race programs, the gains due to the latest sails and a mirror bottom can be nullified with a single horrible tack or a bad tactical decision. So it is possible to bring home some hardware if you sail smart, maximize YOUR boat speed, concentrate on maneouvers and boat handling skills, and avoid mistakes. Even without the latest and greatest equipment you can do quite well, especially if your boat of choice can sail to or beyond its PHRF rating.

Best of Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First thought, have you also considered an anual budget?
To stay competitive, most skippers are dumping thousands into their boats every season. The initial investment is only part of the equation.
Very good point. I can afford a few thousand a year above normal maintenance, which I am assuming I spend now on my Catalina 30.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Long way...

You have 3 words:

LOW COST
OFFSHORE
RACING

You can combine any 2 of the above, but not 3.
I guess nothing with sailing would be considered low cost, especially racing.

Maybe I should say reasonable cost and modest offshore? I am not considering major campaigns, but would like to be competitive locally, perhaps try a Bermuda 1-2 sometime in the future.
 

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J105's along with one of the 90 series boats have been used for some offshore short handed racing. Not that those would be my first choice, but doable.

What about a mini transat? mid 20' boat, might even find a new'ish one for with in your budget. Being smaller, they might be more affordible as far as upgrades to sails etc too.

i am sure that there are some others that fit, but these are two I have seen used.

Waiquez predator? think that is the model, has also been used offshore by a few folks too. Jeanneau Sun shine 36/38, a Tony castro design from teh mid 80s. Probably a number of later model IOR boats that were built and designed in the early 80's after fastnet might be affordible this way too.

Also look at some of the late 80's early 90's Beneteau first series boats too. many are Farr designed, not sure how well they will be for single/double handing.

If you could go new, the Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 is designed for offshore 1-2 person racing too. 08 european yacht of the year also.

Dehler, X-yacht also should be on the list too.

Marty
 

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Longway,

This past season I sailed my Peterson 34 in a low-cost offshore racing mode similar to what you are proposing, and we did quite well and had a lot of fun too. The Bermuda 1-2 has been on my radar screen, too (just not for 2009 though).

The J35 was one of the boats on my list when I was shopping. Other boats you might consider could be a C&C 35 (I liked the Mark 1), some of the other C&C's would likely be good too. The are all going to be older boats, designed for racing with larger crews, but all can be adapted to short-handed if that's what you want to do, and they would all be suitable for serious offshore work.

You might also consider something like an Olson 30; and for a newer design, maybe look at a Flying Tiger 10M -- those could be had within your budget.

Really what you should do is look at the boats that are competing in the events that you are interested in and then try to find something of similar ilk -- you don't want to have a much slower boat than everyone else (that's no fun), and likewise if you're in an ultra-light sport boat while everyone else is still pushing leadmines around the course, that might not be so much fun either.

While I generally agree with the "pick two" sentiment, I also wish to point out that everything is relative.

Regards,

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #10
J105's along with one of the 90 series boats have been used for some offshore short handed racing. Not that those would be my first choice, but doable.

What about a mini transat? mid 20' boat, might even find a new'ish one for with in your budget. Being smaller, they might be more affordible as far as upgrades to sails etc too.

i am sure that there are some others that fit, but these are two I have seen used.

Waiquez predator? think that is the model, has also been used offshore by a few folks too. Jeanneau Sun shine 36/38, a Tony castro design from teh mid 80s. Probably a number of later model IOR boats that were built and designed in the early 80's after fastnet might be affordible this way too.

Also look at some of the late 80's early 90's Beneteau first series boats too. many are Farr designed, not sure how well they will be for single/double handing.

If you could go new, the Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 is designed for offshore 1-2 person racing too. 08 european yacht of the year also.

Dehler, X-yacht also should be on the list too.

Marty
Thanks for so many good suggestions. I have had the J105 suggested to me before, but it is not a boat that I see very often in long distance offshore races. I have never sailed one, but there is a large fleet here on Galveston Bay that race.

I have thought about the Mini and think they are very cool boats. They are on my pist as possibles, but the downside is no real chance to take my family for a weekend cruise.

The new Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 looks like a great fit. A bit more than I want to spend, but maybe I can talk the Admiral into it.
 

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Where are you located? Local dealer for my will order an SF3200 for about 190K, there might be some ability to be a bit lower, depending upon how you set it up etc, then again, higher would be easier than lower. Base is 155K or there abouts. I think I still have the word or pdf I could email you. Use my forum handle name at hotmail dot com I'll send it to you.

Marty
 

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We've done essentially what you outline with our J/36. Since it's less well known than the J/35, they tend to be even less expensive. We haven't raced against a J/35 that we haven't passed, boat for boat, despite rating 10 seconds slower on PHRF. (Don't tell anybody.) The fractional rig makes singlehanding a bit easier, with smaller headsails. Hurricanes may have taken a toll on the J/36's on the Gulf coast. I know there was one in Houston for sale a while back. We've had ours out in 50 knot squalls and steady 40-50 knot winds that pushed us at better than 12.5 knots with just a reefed main up. And we pass Beneteaux 36.1's and J/47's in the light stuff as well. A J/35 might be easier to find than a J/36, but the 36 might be worth looking for if there's one availiable. Good luck; sail fast!
 

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Some things to consider.

Hi LongWay,

You may not know this but you are a very unique poster! Offshore sailboat racing has declined in popularity a great deal over the last several years, especially in mixed classes like PHRF. Some fleets are down more than 50% so I'm sure the local fleet there would love to have more participation and that is the genesis of my first suggestion; what type of boats still race there and what kind of boat would make a good competitor in that fleet? That answer may drive you to look for a boat with a certain rating range or performance characteristics.

That would be the first question I'd try to answer as it would drive the type of boat to begin looking for. I'd also try to determine the strength of the group you are joining. It wouldn't be fun to learn that the boats you might want to compete against are for sale. I'd find out the staying power of the group you select.

The second thing you may want to consider has a great deal to do with your ability to organize regular crew and how competitive you wish to become.

In a main and jib fleet, where you might try to sail alone or with one other crew, the boat choice would be much different than a high end PHRF fleet that may need as many as 8 friends to sail that J35 you mentioned well.

Let us know some more info after you do your homework and I'm sure you will get many great recomendations.



Good luck,

121 Guy
 

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12.5 was dead downwind. The bow wave was shooting spray out past the boom, making rainbows. Upwind we cut back to about 6.5-7 knots. The 4-6 foot waves slowed us down without the jib up to help drive us through them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
THere is only one chioce, a Mini 6.5.

Brand new and complete around 50K


Why bother with a tired old J boat?
I think a Mini would be great, but there are two issues preventing me moving on a Mini. One is that I occassionally take friends or family out, so a Mini would not be a great fit with my wife and 12 year old daughter that like to go for a nice, calm day sail.

The second concern I have is that there are no other Mini's in the area. Most racing here, even singlehanded, is PHRF.

Why a J-boat? they seem to be polular with singlehanders for ocean racing. Looking at the boats that have participated in the Bermuda 1-2 and the SHTP oveer the past 10 years and the C&C 35 and J35 are by far the largest represented, and have done quite well. They are also boats that can be purchased for a reasonable price with some budget left over for maintenance and upgrades. That is my reasoning, anyway.
 

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I looked at a couple of minis in the yard in Kemah/League City and they looked really nice for 3 or 4 for a sail. Sam Ausmis manufacturers minis right here in the Galv. Bay area. Third Coast Composites.com.

The Hobie 33 is supposedly a great offshore boat for single handing. I understand that sometimes it gets killed with PHRF ratings, however.

I have never sailed these boats, only seen them and read up on them, so do not rely on my info. without your own research.
 
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