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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

This is my very first post on Sailnet. I'm looking forward to having quality discussion regarding the great sport of sailing. I currently sail on a 1974 Cape Dory 25 on Lake Erie. The Cape Dory has been a great pocket cruiser; however, my family is now ready for a larger sailboat. I have a family of six. We plan to do a bit of cruising, but mostly day sailing. I'm writing this post in order to ask for your opinion of several boats. Before I get into specific boats, here are my search parameters:
  1. Must be 33'-38'
  2. Less than 50k
  3. Produced between 1979-1995

I'm mostly interested in Tartan yachts, especially the T33, T34, and T37. I'm also interested in the Dickerson 37 Cutter if anyone knows much about that particular boat.

Here are a few questions:
  • Is a 37' boat too large after sailing on a 25' boat?
  • Is a 34 vs 37' boat a big difference?

Please let me know what you think.
Thank you in advance,

Christopher :2 boat:
 

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No, and no.
 

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I'm mostly interested in Tartan yachts, especially the T33, T34, and T37. I'm also interested in the Dickerson 37 Cutter if anyone knows much about that particular boat.

Here are a few questions:
  • Is a 37' boat too large after sailing on a 25' boat?
  • Is a 34 vs 37' boat a big difference?
The difference between a 34 and a 37 depends on the design of the boat and what you mean by "difference". There are some 34' boats that actually have more cabin space than a 37' boat because of the layout. Some 34' will have a larger cockpit than a 37' depending on design. You really need to get out and look at boats. Walk on them, etc.

I have a Tartan 37. I can't imagine having 6 people on it for any length of time. For a daysail, sure, but there are only so many places to sleep at night. And only so many places to stretch out if you're on a long trip. I guess it depends on what you're willing to do ... if you've had the six of you on a 25' footer, then a 37' is going to feel spacious by comparison.

Where are you on Lake Erie? My Tartan 37' lives in Sandusky OH right now. If that's nearby, send me a DM and I can find a time to give you a tour. I never get tired of showing off the boat ;)
 

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I second the offered look-see at the classic Tartan 37. Great boats and well built.
You might also have a look around for an Ericson. Try an 80's-series 34, 35/3, or a 38. They are fast and well built.
Happy hunting!

As to size, we moved from a 26 footer to our 34 footer, over 20 years ago. It seemed big, after cruising and racing the 26 for a decade, but after a while we 'grew into it' and it still fits us just fine. You might like our boat, an Olson 34, but they are very hard to find on the used market. Ericson only built 39 of them......
 

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It seems as though room for the family is the big concern. As mentioned earlier, some boats are roomier than others of the same size.

Might want to look into a Catalina 36 - very nice sailing boat, and roomier than many 40+ footers - will sleep 6 in comfort as well as in the cockpit.
 

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With a family of 6 you need to look at boats with a very large cockpit... and eliminate any that don't have one.
 

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You will adjust quickly to the larger boat. In some ways, the larger boat is easier to sail.

Some of my favorite boats in that size and age range are the Tartan 34-2, Sabre 34 Mk2 and 36, J34C/J35C/J37C, and of course the one I own, the Cal 33-2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'm looking to make my purchase by mid October. Is it better to buy a sailboat when it is on the hard or still in the water (toward the end of the season)? Some brokers mentioned that sellers are more keen to sell before the boat is stored on the hard for the winter season.
 

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Buyers are generally more flexible when faced with winter storage bills. And buyers are fewer compared to the prime spring buying season. A survey really needs to have the boat hauled to inspect the bottom, keel, prop and strut, etc. Best would be to have a short test sail and then hauled for the winter and to complete the survey.
 
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