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So I've gotten some time in with the local sailing club and joined. I'm looking for a boat and have looked at several in the 3k price range. I've eliminated some that were just huge projects and seen through the owners eyes as the day they first bought it. Makes you kind of sad. Anywho, I can afford more but I think I need to start somewhere that I can make mistakes on and not worry about, learn to fix without stressing if I'm doing it right and something that I can sell even at 50% and not feel bad about when I get miles and races under my belt and decide what I really want. Lastly, I intend to race in my local club but racing is not my major focus, I'd like to at some point cruise the great lakes which my lake has access to. So that said! I know this is very subjective but tell me your pick and why. Each of the boats listed has little things that I would def want to do to them and are at or just below the 3k mark unless noted.

77 Catalina 27 Catalina smile and stanchions will eventually need some work but a lot of upgrades on the boat and the atomic is in great shape (I have a couple outboards if it garbages out). Hull in good shape interior in great shape everything works

1980 Hunter 27 No head, lots of upgrades but the diesel universal wouldn't start, they assured me it runs well. Wheel, sails in good shape hull in good shape.

1980 Catalina 25 tall rig. Boat is very clean, sails great shape, no roller furler, outboard in great shape, great boat, they want a little more for it though in the mid 4's.

26 Cape Dory, I believe it's around an 80. The gentleman passed away and his kids don't know much about it. Boat is solid, needs outside cleaning. No head. My wife got wierded out by it because some of his personal effects are in it (that is a concern for me she wanted off immediately). Sails good, assuming outboard is good.

The following boats are a ways away but assured in immaculate shape. I can get them to my lake through canals.

1974 Grampian I have not set foot on the boat yet personally, but assured that it is in immaculate shape.

1964 Tartan 27. This is also a ways away, assured that everything is in immaculate shape.

1976 C&C 25 Also a ways away assured everything is great.


So I've looked at several that I've discarded from this list, from free boats to a little more expensive to pie in the ski pricing. The 25 catalina and cape dory are in my own marina (along with a couple free boats, and some of the pie in the sky ones.)

All advice and questions or lectures welcome!!! Preach at me friends.
 

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My vote would be a Catalina 27 . Also if you were to get one with a outboard , it could double for your dingy motor . The Catalina 25 does not have the pretty lines that the 27 has , my friend bought a C 25 and it just did not look right .
 

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The Cat 25 is a helluva boat, and outboards are easy to replace, and easier to pull off and get repaired. Inboards not so much.

The Catalina 25 has a great association and is easier to find spare sails for. Technically the Cat 25 is pretty easy to trailer, so hauling it out is easyish.

2nd and close 2nd would be the Cat 27.
the 1980 Hunter 27 is a robost boat as well, but if they can't make it run, it doesn't run. What it did the last time doesn't matter. Remember you must get it running to use it, so if they can't you won't be able to in a pinch.
 

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One that I personally would rule out is the one with the diesel engine that doesn't start.

Also, if your wife doesn't like a boat. I would skip it.

I guess that leaves the two catalinas. I would probably go for whichever one was in better condition, unless there was a special reason you wanted one over the other.
 

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The Tartan 27 is a big 27' boat that probably comes with an inboard. It's a boat I'd cross oceans in.

The Catalina 27s are like fleas, everywhere. Very steady market for resale, strong class and factory support. Watch for core issues in the foredeck.

Cape Dory built a solid boat but old design and won't be as fast in light air as the fin keel boats but will be a lot steadier and comfortable when the wind pipes up.

C&C had a good reputation and designs seemed to be more oriented to sailing speed.

Not familiar with the other boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am leaning more towards the Catalina 27, even though the 25 is in very good shape. Mainly because it's cheaper, I like it better, I'm 6'2" so the extra space is better and one of the free boats in the marina I'm at is a same year catalina 27. I'm thinking that no one is going to take it over the next couple years since it was half full of water until they noticed. Could be a good parts boat. For some reason I like the look of the Tartan 27 as well.
 

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The Catalina 27 is a great design with a surprising amount of space inside. If cruising is your priority, that would be a good boat. However if you think you will be racing more than cruising, I would prefer a C&C. They are faster, and better built than Catalinas.

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The Catalina 27 is a great design with a surprising amount of space inside. If cruising is your priority, that would be a good boat. However if you think you will be racing more than cruising, I would prefer a C&C. They are faster, and better built than Catalinas.

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I would be doing probably half and half. I'm very interested in the C&C but the owner goes from answering to not answering the few questions I've had. He said he would check if there was a furler with it and then never got back to me despite me saying I have cash in hand. It's 2 hours away but accessible to the canals. Just wanted to know if there were certain things on it before I made the trip.
 

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I would be doing probably half and half. I'm very interested in the C&C but the owner goes from answering to not answering the few questions I've had. He said he would check if there was a furler with it and then never got back to me despite me saying I have cash in hand. It's 2 hours away but accessible to the canals. Just wanted to know if there were certain things on it before I made the trip.
If he doesnt even know if the boat has a furler he must be selling it for someone else, or he inherited it. If he was a sailor, and he used the boat at all he would know that.

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Cape Dory built a solid boat but old design and won't be as fast in light air as the fin keel boats but will be a lot steadier and comfortable when the wind pipes up.
I agree with what roverhi has said.

I've chartered two Catalina's, a 30 tall rig, and a 22. I was fortunate to have some fairly stout winds both times. I've been impressed with how easy Catalinas are to sail, and how seaworthy they feel.
 

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From the boats listed, I too, like the Catalina 25.

I would definitely rule out any boat where the engine does not start, unless, they adjust the price to replace the engine. If it doesn't start when you view the boat, it likely won't start when use absolutely need to use it!

I don't understand the 'no head' comments? There should be room on all of these boats for a least a porta potty if there is no marine head. There is nothing wrong with having a porta potty on an inexpensive daysailer. It sure beats asking the wife to hang her bum over the side of the boat!

Jim
 

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A big difference between a boat with an outboard and one with an inboard is the boat with an inboard will be able to motor more successfully in rough seas.

If you are looking at a boat with an inboard inspect the engine and see how clean it is and how easy it is to access critical areas such as the water pump and the stuffing box.

You can get many parts for an Atomic 4 from Moyer Marine (electronic ignition would be the first thing I'd install) and you can upgrade your propeller to a three-bladed one for a bit more power and speed.
 

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The Tartan 27 is a big 27' boat that probably comes with an inboard. It's a boat I'd cross oceans in.

Cape Dory built a solid boat but old design and won't be as fast in light air as the fin keel boats but will be a lot steadier and comfortable when the wind pipes up.
Tartan is probably the best of the group. The Cape Dory will be worth just as much when you sell it in ten years as you will pay for it now. And, if you tend to run aground, a full keel will incur less damage.

the boat with an inboard will be able to motor more successfully in rough seas.

BINGO! That's the one advantage of an inboard in this size range.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The guy that doesn't know if it has a furler assured you everything is great ? Just saying, maybe his grandma only sailed it to church on Sundays.
He said that there is one for the boat but it is stored at his yacht club and needs to make sure it's still there. Have not heard back from him...
 

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A big difference between a boat with an outboard and one with an inboard is the boat with an inboard will be able to motor more successfully in rough seas.

If you are looking at a boat with an inboard inspect the engine and see how clean it is and how easy it is to access critical areas such as the water pump and the stuffing box.

You can get many parts for an Atomic 4 from Moyer Marine (electronic ignition would be the first thing I'd install) and you can upgrade your propeller to a three-bladed one for a bit more power and speed.
I feel the same way. The atomic in the Cat 27 was tight to get in and look over but looked good and started right up with a bottle of antifreeze attached (its on the hard, would be dependent on floating it and making sure everything is ok).
 

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Tartan is probably the best of the group. The Cape Dory will be worth just as much when you sell it in ten years as you will pay for it now. And, if you tend to run aground, a full keel will incur less damage.




BINGO! That's the one advantage of an inboard in this size range.
The local marina guy said the same about the Cape Dory. I don't think I can sell my wife on it for some reason it wierded her out and she is usually a very grounded person. Maybe because the way it was just left there as if he was planning on sailing the next day and didn't make it.

Why do you feel the Tartan is the best of the group? This is the ad https://vermont.craigslist.org/boa/d/charlotte-27-ft-sailboat-for-sale/6953049521.html
 

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Choice in boats is always personal and partly reputation. Tartan has always been considered a very high quality boat and I would rank it at the top of the group you listed.
 

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Why do you feel the Tartan is the best of the group? This is the ad https://vermont.craigslist.org/boa/d/charlotte-27-ft-sailboat-for-sale/6953049521.html
The Tartan is an S&S design so sailing pedigree is designed in. The boats were strongly built and they have been sailed all over including at least 2 that I know were sailed here to Hawaii. The ad says it comes with an electric start outboard but there is no bracket on the back to mount it. Fairly easy to install a bracket but strange that it already hasn't been done. These boats came stock with an Atomic 4 IIRC and looks like the prop is still in place for the inboard. If the A4 is missing they are regularly available used and Moyer marine sells rebuilt and new engines at pretty decent prices if you wanted to go with a low cost inboard. You could also search for a used 10-15 hp diesel which would be an ideal engine for the boat. Other than the engine, the boat appears well maintained. It's pretty sparsely equipped, no roller furling headsail, Depth Sounder is a Dinosaur that could be 40 years old. We took a boat to SoPac with no roller furling and a similar depth sounder. At the asking price there is plenty of room to make some additions and or just bolt on a motor bracket and use the boat as is.
 

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The Tartan is an S&S design so sailing pedigree is designed in. The boats were strongly built and they have been sailed all over including at least 2 that I know were sailed here to Hawaii. The ad says it comes with an electric start outboard but there is no bracket on the back to mount it. Fairly easy to install a bracket but strange that it already hasn't been done. These boats came stock with an Atomic 4 IIRC and looks like the prop is still in place for the inboard. If the A4 is missing they are regularly available used and Moyer marine sells rebuilt and new engines at pretty decent prices if you wanted to go with a low cost inboard. You could also search for a used 10-15 hp diesel which would be an ideal engine for the boat. Other than the engine, the boat appears well maintained. It's pretty sparsely equipped, no roller furling headsail, Depth Sounder is a Dinosaur that could be 40 years old. We took a boat to SoPac with no roller furling and a similar depth sounder. At the asking price there is plenty of room to make some additions and or just bolt on a motor bracket and use the boat as is.
They said that the A4 does run but it has low compression, so I'm thinking it's something I could work on if I bought it and brought back to my place. From what I've seen it's relatively cheap to work on them. They confirmed no roller furling. Where I would mostly be sailing it to start I wouldn't have to worry about depth finder as I know it in and out. I have not sailed on a boat that has no roller furling.
 
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