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Asleep at the wheel
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Other than the ASA classes, how much sailing experience do you have? Do the others have a lot of sailing experience? Are they physically fit? A boat in the 35-45' range needs a LOT of sail area, and that makes things harder to move, harder to handle, and needs stronger "stuff" to support it. That also translates into more expense to buy, maintain, and repair/replace all of it as needed. Slip fees on a 35+' boat can also be tough; not all marinas are set up for boats of that size, and the ones that are will likely charge a premium.

Will the 4-5 people all be overnighting aboard the boat? Does every person need their own separate bunk, or can they share? What level of comfort do they need, especially for the first few years that you own the boat? There are boats in the 28-33' range that will sleep 4-5 comfortably. My Allmand, for example, has the traditional forecabin, plus a separate aft cabin with a double berth. There's a single berth on one side of the dining area, too, and the dining table folds down to create a double berth. So, I could, theoretically, sleep 7. Now my aft cabin's bunk is really only big enough for one person unless the two know each other very well. The forecabin is fine for 2, and with the table down the dining area would make a nice bed for 2, too. So as a more practical thing, we have room for 5 comfortably and without blocking access to the head. But that's still enough for your stated purpose. And the slip/mooring fees would be a lot less, as would most maintenance and repair costs.
 

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Asleep at the wheel
Joined
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3,016 Posts
To the boats you listed above, the Irwin CC's are beautiful boats. I love the cabin layout, and they are just great. One of our users, Chucklesr, has a 38' Irwin CC. Just to give you an idea of what can go wrong (and this isn't a ding on Irwins, these kinds of things can happen to any boat), check out these threads:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/104260-chain-plate-impact-2.html

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/104772-embedded-chain-plate-maint-replacement.html

And here's a bit of what I went through with my boat:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gener.../98109-apparently-im-not-meant-have-boat.html

I offer these because, as a first-time buyer, I want you to understand what COULD happen. May not happen to everyone, or even all that often, but it's good to be aware going in. I'd hate to see you spend the $35,000 and a few months later experience engine or rigging problems that push owning the boat out of your budget when a $15-20K boat might have served your purposes. On the other hand, if you have the resources to absorb the cost of these kinds of issues, you're free to ignore me (as most here do!).
 
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