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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching for a boat 29-32 ft for a cheap price. I don''t want to buy anything older then 1980 and have found good prices on Irwins 30 ,34 and a few full keeled Columbia''s. Living in Florida,I plan to sail the entire Carribean chain and across the Gulf to Mexico through Panama up to California and a trip to Hawaii. There i wan to sail back and ship the boat back to Florida.I need a boat that is reasonalbly strongly built that I can uggrade with gear and not have to structurly refit. Any sugesttions of what boats I should be looking at or opinions on these?
I have a total outlay of about $25,000. I am skilled and can do most work myself.
Troy
 

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There is no more controversial a question than what is a perfect cheap cruising boat. To begin with all boats are compromises. They are compromises between optimum sailing ability and the need for accommodations or shoal draft. If a boat gets wider it gets more stable up to a point but then it has less reserve stability to right itself if it goes over. If a boat is too wide and blunt, it has a lot of drag but lots of room down below. If a boat is too narrow it has less drag but if too narrow won''t have much stability or room down below. Too much weight and the boat is slow and hard to handle, too little weight the boat is fast, fun, and easy to handle up to a point but at some point takes greater skills and athletic ability.

If you ask some sailors, they will recommend a traditional design because they are a bit harder to get into trouble with. I somewhat disagree. I recommend a boat with a reasonably easily driven hull and reasonably modern rig and underbody. Much of this depends on your own priorities.

Irwins and Columbias would not be on my list of boast capable of making the king of distance passages that you are considering. You did not mention whether you will be going alone or with crew which might also affect your decision. My first choice of under $25K boats for the kind of thing you are proposing would probably be the Tartan 30. Here are some other choices (These should all be under 25K, most have inboards which I think is preferable for cruising.)

-Albin Ballad (30 feet (1973-1978) $12-20K)
These are reasonably fast and very well built and finished boats. They are not especially roomy but are good boats for short handing. They are beautiful looking boats. Most have a Volvo 10 hp diesel.

Albin Cumulus (28 feet-(early 1980''s) $15-18K)
These fractional rigged sloops are reasonably fast and easy to handle. They are nicely finished and typically have diesels. The interiors on these boats are not exactly plush.

-C&C Corvette (31 feet (1967- 1970) $15-22K) and -C&C Redwing (30 footer ( 1965-1970) $12K- 20K)
Attractive and reasonably venerable designs; they are not especially fast but OK for the era. The Corvettes are moderately long keel/ centerboard boats and so are great for poking around the shallower areas. The Redwings are fin keel/space rudder boats.

Cal 2-30 and Cal 2-29''s (just under 30 feet (mid 1960-early 1970''s) $10-18K)
These are reasonably built racer cruisers that have reasonable accommodations and pretty fair sailing ability. Like the Cal 25, the design is a dated and if the gear has not been updated will be less convenient than a more modern design.

Dehler 31 (31 feet (Mid to late 1980''s) under $20K to mid-20K range)
These are really neat little boats. They are are quite fast and look easy to sail and single-hand. They are fractional rigged and have a very nice interior plan. They would one of my favorites on this list.

Dufour 2800 (28 feet (mid 1980''s) mid $20K)
These are OK boats with a big following. They are not my favorite but they would not be a bad boat if the price were right.

MG27 (27 foot (Mid 1980''s) under $20K)
Nice little fractional rigged English boats. They seem to be well mannered and have an interior layout similar to my Laser 28. They have a diesel aux. But tiny tanks that will need to get upgraded.

1970''s vintage Tartan 30''s, (30 feet( 1970''s) under $20K)
These are my favorite masthead sloops of that era. They are good all around boats. Most still atomic 4''s but you can find them with diesels.

Tartan 34: You can sometimes find these in for sail pretty cheaply if they cosmetics are shot. These are really great boats for the kind of thing you are considering.

Late 70''s/ early 80''s Hunter 30''s, (30feet (15-20K)
These are under appreciated boats. We have had two in my family and again it is a matter of finding one that has been upgraded and is in good clean shape. They are roomy and surprisingly fast and surprisingly well built. Umless its been done, you will need to upgrade the steering and deck hardware.

Wylie 28 and Wylie 30 (28 and 30 respectively(late 1970''s to early 1980''s) 10-15K)
These are neat little boats that sail well and are really pretty interesting. The few that I have seen have good hardware and have had simple but workable interiors. They came in fractional and masthead rig versions. There was a one design version called a Hawkfarm.

If you want some thing more traditional
Alberg 30''s
C&C Redwings and Corvettes
Pearson Coasters, and Wanderer''s

Now you will find that these boats that are more traditional boats have less room and will have older equipment, more tired structurally but they should be less money and may be better sailing boats than some of the newer boats on the market today. Feel free to email me as your search continues and to kick around ideas.

Jeff
 

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HANUMAN
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In November I purchased a 1972 C&C 30. There are a few listed on Yachtworld for under 16K. Most have atomic 4''s, good compliment of sails, and enough electronics to get you started.

Mine surveyed very well (better than the late 80''s Catalina that was surveyed the day before at the same yard by the same surveyor). It came with everything I needed including an autohelm and an older GPS, brand new stove/oven, newer sails and SEVEN backups, pressure water, shower etc.

Many C&C 30s where also raced so you might get some extra sails like I did.

If I told you what I finally negotiated the price down to you might think I was lying ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is an interesting book on this very subject. I believe its titled, "20 Small boats that could take you anywhere". Or words to that effect (as we say at the Puzzle Palace). I have seen it at West Marine.

Jeff''s suggestions are excellent. I would add only that when looking at an older boat that you are going to keep for a while, you should research whether or not you want a cored hull.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thank you for your help in understaning what is a decent boat for what I want to do. I will have my wife as crew and 2 small dogs.(not really planning them as crew though.)
I have also been considering a few O day models as what I have read hear seems to say they were well built boats... if itis true I don''t know as I''ve only been on one. I don''t mind a cheaper interior but I am concerned about hull and deck integrity. I own a 83 25 footer and I am little scared to move past the late 70''s ....
I can fix leaks, but not faling apart boats in a storm. I realize there is a lot of ego involed in boat buying as to which I have none. I just want a roomy, shallow draft safe boat that will take me though the Bahamas and Carribean and be srong enough if I want to keep going...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
do me a favor..... TELL ME
I bought my last boat for 1200.oo and the owner wanted $6500.

Tell me a good story to let me show my wife that it can be don again!!!!For you 16.000 boat , how much did you pay?
I hope you don''t mind me asking?
 

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Troyaux...just be sure you aren''t asking for the impossible. While many have voyaged afar in small boats finding a "cheap" well found blue water (and I''d consider your float plan blue water)is not easy. Consider the cost of upgrades that will be necessary. Pleasing the wife may not be the right mindset

Oh, and BTW, if you are seriously considering and O''Day, a coastal cruiser of mixed heritage, consider a good EPIRB.I''ll not comment on your decision to take two small dogs.
 

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I really think that you are setting up a set of imposible criteria. Reading from the beginning of this tread it sounds like you want a boat that you can buy for $16,000 or less, that you and your wife can sail through the Carribean, transit the Panama Canal and Sail up to Calif. and then out to Hawaii. You want a boat than is minimally 29 feet in length and which is newer than the mid- 1970''s.

You might luck into some guy who is deperately selling his nearly perfectly restored "Go anywhere 30" for less than $16K but more likely than not, it will be very difficult to find a boat that meets your criteria for the kind of money that you have available. Boats that are in your requested length, price and age range tend to be really beat versions of coastal cruisers and stripped out racers. Better models in better condition tend to be substantially more expensive.

And you will ned a better constructed model for the kind of voyaging that you are proposing. An Oday won''t cut it. Odays were built to be inexpensive and offer a reasonable balance of accomodations and sailing ability. They were not built to be expecially sturdy and a 15 or 20 year old Oday would not be a boat that I would ever recommend for the kind of ambitious trip that you have in mind. These are fine as coatal cruisers but are not up to getting battered the way that a boat will be battered doing what you propose.

If I had to give you some threshold minimums I would think that a Tartan 30 or 34, Camper Nicholson 33, Pearson 323, Ericson Independence 31, Alberg 30, Albin Ballad 30, Hunter 30 (1979- 1981), or a Pearson Wanderer or Coaster would come closest to your criteria. But any of these boats that are near your price range will need a lot of work.

Unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you should expect to need to address some combination of the following items:
· Sails, chainplates, standing and running rigging, mast step and supporting structure that are well beyond their useful lifespan,
· an engine that is in need of rebuild or replacement,
· worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
· worn out upholstery,
· electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
· electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
· Blister, fatigue, rudder, hull to deck joint or deck coring problems
· Keel bolt replacement (bolt on keel) or delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.
· And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic and simple functional issues.

So while you might luck out and find that poor ole widow with her late husbads freshly restored Tartan 34 in the backyard desperate to sell so she can pay the mortgage, more likely than not, it isn''t going to happen for 16K with the criteria that you have set. If it was just you and your wife, I''d suggest trying to find a smaller boat but with two dogs I don''t see that working.

Jeff
 

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You might consider looking at the Canadian used market. There are a lot of late 70''s / early 80''s boats for sale up here. The US dollar is currently very strong - you can multiply the Can $ price by .62 - shipping is not that expensive for boats in the 30 ft range or alternatively you can sail them home - boats from the Great Lakes can be brought thru the Erie canal to New York and then down the ICW. Also consider most Canadian boats have spent 1/2 of their lives on their cradles so they are younger than their years. Check out www.boatcan.com or www.computerboatsearch.com for Canadian listings.
 

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Ahoy troyaux , ere tell you''d like a blue water cruiser and ye has limited funds, the like of which is not tolerated very well here at sailnet? Well I''ve got ye in my sights and Id offer you this sage advice . You may ave to search high and low and bargain wit the devil his self (I can give you a reference here) but yer plan is sound. Mind ye Jeff has your best intrests in mind and he is right to get you to slip a little more coin in yer purse for yer plans. Having spent less than 1/25 of your share to date on my 1963 world cruiser me refit looks to top out at under 10 K wot wit electrons having the upper hand these days. But ye would need to have de hot blood of a Pirate in your veins and many hard miles under yer keel to make yer way in my pirates world. I can tell you ,your in the land of opportunity hr''in Fl as there be many a fine sailing craft fall victim to busted dreams and serious commitment. Aye, be a lot come down seeking the gold of me coast and few live to tell the tale much less return to colder home ports with fancy tales of the sea. Me matey ,halardz, has the eye for yer troubles on the horizon. His word on good alternative boyancy and signaling life craft is sound to be sure. Ye seem to hav de right course on ego''s and Id remind ye that all is dependent on yer skill and nerve. Truth of it is many a fine craft had done more than you''d planned wit less and lived quite well in the telling of it. Yer wife sounds like a reasonable mind how''s her bildges and the cut of her sails? ARRH Rob Gallagher my be thought to be a fibbin in his tale, but de truth is mostly taken for a lie and lies the truth. So look at the horizon fer what it is and set sail. As fer yer dogs I''ve got a good recipe for em iffin ye run short of stores or the wife is thrown over. AARRHH Don''t forget the RUM!! Big Red 56 the Pirate of Pine Island.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I posted a message yesterday basically with the same sentiments as troyaux....I''m in coastal NC and want to venture forth to the Bahamas some day as well. But I am also a beginning and want somethign forgiving....would you guys offer the same advice to me as troyaux?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Big Red,
Thanks....I learned not to get discouraged long ago... I too am a seeker of the sun and moved from the frozen north to the gulf coast...I have big dreams but already recognize that many a sailor fails because they have no money left to cruise. I Guess I''ve been reading my Lin and Larry Pardey collection too long but they alway say "just Go now! and don''t wait for all to be perfect" I must be able to find a model that I can wrok with... I never hear what really happens to a production boat in a bad storm. does ever bulkhead rip out and the deck blow off? What?

I am ready to fit a boat out and work at repairing it with a total cash outlay of $25-28,000. I know it can be done as I hear stories of wonderers going arounf the world in little boats and don''t understand how an average production boat can''t be beefed up a little and outfitted to cross the Gulf and a trip to Hawaii...
I would like to understand the difference between a coastal cruiser (how far offshore is coastal anyway?) and a boat that can do what I want...Sure if my pockets were loaded I''d sail a Island Packet or a Waquiez but just the same my Ford goes just as far across the country as a Lincoln or a Lexus.

I''ve also found many "ocean boats" have deep drafts that don''t go well in the Bahamas

Is is unreasonable to thing a centerboarder or swing keel is too dangerous out on the ocean?

Troy
 

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troyaux:
I was telling JeffH about a nice campor-nickelson 33 tied to the dock in Bradenton which is in excellent shape with a great Sabb diesel which could be bought for under 20k.It is not on the market but the guy buys and sells boars and never uses them!!
 

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$11,000 including new seacocks, a couple of other minor upgrades, and help with the delivery in the spring. Not as good a deal as your $1200 boat but I think I did ok :). Keep in mind that the survey found the boat in EXCELLENT condition.

Most of the boats I looked at in this price range needed a lot of work and many had not been in the water for some time.

Every night for over a year I checked Ebay, Yachtworld, Boattrader.com, and nearby newspapers want ads via the net. I also drove around marinas looking for "For Sale" signs.

I really wanted a centerboard and a diesal, but the boat was just too nice to pass up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Congrats on your great find ! I hope it works out well for you....
I will sail out of Charlotte Harbor so I am a little leary to buy any draft over four feet and am still hoping I''ll find a center boarder... thanks for the telling the price...it really helps we believe that I can find a boat at my price if I hear a few good deals now and then. Anything thatadds to the dream that you don''t have to be rich to set sail. Fair winds! Troy
 

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Why would any one go to " www.a1line.com " when your obvious total lack of ethics as evidenced by spamming this forum and violating its rules against commercial posting shows that you are a totally untrustworthy person?
 

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Need a cheap strong boat

Hi,

Nobody is talking about the Bristol 29.

I would apprieciate if someone knowledgeable give his advice about it.

I'm considering it for some offshore work, not going aroung the world, but for 24 hours passages on the East coast, 50-60 miles from shore.

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi,

Nobody is talking about the Bristol 29.

I would apprieciate if someone knowledgeable give his advice about it.

I'm considering it for some offshore work, not going aroung the world, but for 24 hours passages on the East coast, 50-60 miles from shore.

Thank you
If you look in the top left corner of the message boxes, you can see a date. The last post on that thread was in 2002. You'll be able to get current information by starting a new thread with your question. I am sure that several people will offer suggestions and information.
 
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