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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems like a typical posting on sailnet goes something to effect "i want a cheap, well built boat under 30 foot to do some bluewater cruising." What boat should I buy? The typical response is your Cape Dory's, Albin Vega's etc. (then the posts that follow usually explain why you shouldnt try to do this) Anyway most of these boats have been out of production for quite some time. My question is, does anyone still build an under 30' bluewater boat. I know the trend is bigger is better and the margins on small boats really dont make it worthwhile to build one.

If no one is building one has anyone tried recently. This could include restarting production on an old model or starting from scratch.

I am not looking to buy one, or get into the business of building such a craft. I am just curious if anyone is still in this market.
 

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Yes.

There are several still in production.

Off the top of my head, I'd mention the Bristol Channel Cutter (28'), the Falmouth Channel Cutter (22'), both offered by Cape George MArine.

Before Pacific Seacraft went bankrupt, they sold off their Dana 24 model to Seacraft Yachts, who are building it in Washington State. So a Dana 24 can still be bought new.

Slightly over your length stipulation: Pacific Seacraft (which is in business again) builds a Crealock 31 (30.5' LOD) and Cape George offers a 31' Atkin design (the CG 31).

I'm sure there are others... but you're right, they've become much less commonplace, as they were in 70's and 80's. That is partly due to the economics of selling relatively small but comparatively expensive boats, as well as changing consumer expectations, not to mention the recognition that -- all else equal -- one of the very easiest ways to improve seaworthiness is to simply make the boat larger.
 

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Interesting question, hopefully someone will have some good input about what boats of this type are still/currently in production.

Pacific Seacraft is still building its 31, which is certainly bluewater built but doesn't quite slot into that under-30 size range.

Edit: John beat me to it on the PSC. Cool that Seacraft is building the Dana. I think Pacific Seacraft has the molds for the Orion 27 and maybe even the Flicka, but from what I understand the molds need some work, plus it's just simply difficult to build a boat profitably in that segment of the market.
 

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There are probably a handful of under 30' offshore boats still available. One of the first to come to mind is the Norsea 27. Nor'Sea Yachts builders of the Nor'sea27, 37 and Montgomery 15 and 17 Many have cruised offshore and at least one has circumnavigated. Of course the downside is price - their web site quotes 148,000 + for a complete boat and you'd want to add a bunch to that before heading offshore.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I noticed that the prices on the boats mentioned were exceptionally high. On a per foot basis i can see why this isnt a very big market. The only used bristol that I could find that is fairly new was for arounnd a 150,000 and that boat had sailed to Australia and back. I would assume at best it would be in a well used conditions. Makes me wonder how much they cost new.
 

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Bristol Yachts closed in 1997 due to bankruptcy, so newer ones do not exist.
Brian
 

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Or do you mean the Bristol Channel Cutter which was built by Sam Morse?
They are available new I believe as the molds were purchased by Cape George Yachts in Washington State. Yachtworld lists 3, one unfinished (1997) at 59,000, one 1998 at 175,000, and one 1995 at 209,000.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry i was refering to the Cape George yachts that JohnPollard mentioned. I should have said Bristol Channel Cutter 28 instead of just Bristol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Or do you mean the Bristol Channel Cutter which was built by Sam Morse?
They are available new I believe as the molds were purchased by Cape George Yachts in Washington State. Yachtworld lists 3, one unfinished (1997) at 59,000, one 1998 at 175,000, and one 1995 at 209,000.
Brian
Your search was more successful than mine. I must have mistyped something in the yachtworld search.
 

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Most 30' and under sailboats currently produced are not that suitable for other than occasional short offshore runs in good weather - with some exceptions as mentioned above. As you can see from the prices of the few new boats that are suitable it can make a lot of sense to purchase a boat 20, 30, or more years old for under say 20,000 and fix what needs it, add equipment needed for offshore and save a thousands over anything new, whether it is suitable or not. Just because a company is gone doesn't mean that their boats were not a good choice. As well an older fibreglass sailboat can still last decades with good maintenance. In most cases it's the engine, deck equipment, electronics, sails and wiring that have deteriorated and need replacement. I'm not going to begin a debate over which one to buy as that has been done many times before (as recently as yesterday on this site I believe), but there is a wide choice of suitable choices available at reasonable prices.
Here's a link to James Baldwin's site listing what he suggests as good choices for offshore sailing. His entire site is well worth a good look.
Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -  Good Old Boats List - choosing a  small voyaging sailboat
Brian
 

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I just saw your post regarding my search. I find that if you narrow down the search too much you get less results. I was searching for "bristol" under 30' long. Quite often if a company name or boat has several words in the name
(as in "bristol channel cutter"), they are not all listed with the complete name.
Brian
 

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30 Foot Sailboats

I Can Attest To The Fact That Pacific Seacraft Is Alive And Well .
I Am Building A 2010 Psc 31 . Will Be Delivered To Houston Area Around The 3rd Week In September . They Are Currently Building 31,34, 37, 40 ,44 .....they No Longer Own The Rights To The Flicka And Dana . They Are Also Working On A 60 Plan .
 

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If you have the money, Devlin Designing Boatbuilders will build you a very nice 28.5 ft. cutter designed for shorthanded offshore sailing. Or you can buy the plans and have someone else build it.
 

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Do you mean Means Of Grace? Beautiful boat - traditional long keel design in wood.
Brian
Yes, it's a Lyle Hess knockoff. BTW Devlin's stitich and glue boats are composite: layers of marine grade plywood coated with epoxy. Decks are awlgrip. There is no exposed wood except for the brightwork, so maintenance is equivalent to a fiberglass boat.
 

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I agree his boats are as maintenance free as fibreglass with the warmth of wood. If I was going to build under 30' or so I would use wood/epoxy as well. The price would be high though for a boat like this - I doubt you would get away for less that 150k to 200k.
Brian
 

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I would say,
not only the economics of boat building are changed.
Not that I want to open that can of worms,
But there should be boats that are capable of crossing the oceans (and maybe a bit faster...) that are build in a more recent years, but they would be finkeel, balanced rudders (maybe no skegs) etc. And not impossible, under 30 ft size?
Maybe less tankage, but definitely, more interior space?...
 

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I agree his boats are as maintenance free as fibreglass with the warmth of wood. If I was going to build under 30' or so I would use wood/epoxy as well. The price would be high though for a boat like this - I doubt you would get away for less that 150k to 200k.
Brian
More like 350K.

Another nice small blue water boat is the Shannon 28, but you won't find one for 20K.

Does Island Packet still make the 31 footer?
 
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