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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter is a senior in H.S. and my son just started. That means only 4 years left of having to live in the high-rent (good school) district. Which leads me to my next address: boat.

I have a good bit of sailing experience (though admittedly I am a bit rusty). I sailed before I walked, cruised New England each summer on my parents' boats (Allied Luders 33 sloop and Frank Kinney Pipe Dream 37 sloop) and did the whole dinghy racing curcuit thing on Blue Jays, Fire Balls, Lightnings, etc.

That was then This is now: I haven't sailed in the past ten or so years and never really had experience skippering or maintaining a larger boat. I am currently taking Power Squadron courses to get beck into the swing of things, brush up pn navigation and learn about boat systems and am researching which boats would make good coastal and possibly off-shore cruisers.

Here are some of my requirements:
-I have to be able to single hand it.
-I don't have a ton of money to spend.
-I want a good, solid boat that can see me through a storm.

Here are some boats I am considering:
Allied Luders 33
Niagara 35
Rival 34
Sabre 34
Wauquiez Pretorian 35
Dickerson 37

Any thoughts, tips, suggestions?

-Susan
 

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Curiously in keeping with this site's recent adoption of Good Old Boat articles, the last issue ( I think) had a great article about the Cheoy Lee 32 (beautiful boat) followed by an analysis of three other similar 32-34 foot boats. the article might be of interest to you. Good Luck. My son is off to college in 2 years and I'm seriously considering moving back aboard my Catalina 36. I'm part-timing it now.

Mike
 

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After 3 years of looking at liveaboard, singlehanded boats, the Ontario 32 (which is what I bought), always came out on top. So far, I've been very pleased with my choice. I find it easy to singlehand, and plenty roomy inside, as well as having good storage and access to most things. With a 4 1/2 foot draft modified fin keel, it's shoal enough for most places and deep enough to track decently. Though I haven't been out in more than 20 knots of wind, it has felt very stable up to that point, even though I should have tucked a reef.

I had looked at a Niagara 35, and though I was tempted, it just felt a bit big to me. I do like the layout though of the earlier models.

Best of luck,
 

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Sounds like you have a great plan

Hi Susan,

You may want to consider a Pearson Vanguard. 32.5 feet long, very strong hull and sails well (full keel). I have been living on mine for 6 years. Not a lot of space but an affordable and beautiful boat with a great owners group. You can find one for 15-35K.

Check out:
http://pearsonvanguard.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pearsonvanguard/

good luck finding your dream boat,
Brian
 

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Susan,

I am in a similar boat (pun intended) My son is in 8th. grade and I am looking at a 5-year timeframe until I can devote much more time to sailing and cruising.

I was looking for "the boat" in the same range as you. (Well actually 35-40' range) I just recently bought an old Pearson 30. It's a bit smaller than I wanted... It's not exactly a blue water boat, but I could take it to Canada, the Bahamas and down into the Caribbean. I decided to spend less now on the boat, less on maintenance, on dockage and winter storage, etc.

I will sail it here in LIS. Daysails, weekends, 1-week cruises. I will teach my son how to sail and revisit all the local anchorages... Then in 5 years I may get a bigger boat or I may just go with what I've got.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You sound like a good candidate for the Sailnet Singles Scene...Pirate's Booty keeps bugging me to start one!

As for the boat, I would recommend you get the biggest boat you think you can comfortably sail. A 35 footer for example will give you significant advantages in space and sailability over a 30 footer for example. However, that being said, I really like the Island Packet 30 for a liveaboard. I believe you can find one in the 50-60K range. They are solid and well designed boats. Plus, they hold their value...
 

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I would suggest that you perhaps add the Bristol 34, the Tartan 30, and the Tartan 34. All of them sail very well and should be in a similar price range to the others on your list. If I had to pick just one boat on the list of choices presented so far, I would really lean towards the Wauquiez Pretorian 35. Great boats, well built. There were a couple different interior layouts, one of which was a bit weird but one that was about as nice a single-hander layout as you could find in a 35 footer.

All of these are pretty brawny boats to handle single-handed, depending as they do on very large genoas in moderate conditions and as older designs, were built with undersized winches by modern standards. No matter which you end up with, unless a prior owner has done so, you should be sure to budget for changes to the deck hardware to better accommodate single-handing.

Perhaps from a different angle, you might try to find a fractional rigged boat (perhaps something like a Dehler Optima 101 for example) rather than a masthead sloop. I do a lot of single-handing and I find that the smaller headsails and ease of shifting gears on a fractional rig makes them a lot more convenient short handed in changeable conditions.

Just a thought.
Good luck,

Jeff
 

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...and Jeff H. would be disappointed if I didn't chime in with:
Tayana 37, Pacific Seacraft 34, Cape Dory 36, Westsail32 and Hans Christian 33.
All will not get you there as fast...but will get you there in safety and comfort in any weather.
(P.S. this is not meant to start a fight club over this already beaten to death subject!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, cut it out Camaderie. Actually, I like any of the boats you guys suggested. I always love the lines of the Cape Dory and the Bristols.
 

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No fight from me Camaradie. We each come at sailing from our own directions, and I understand that in most thing sailing there is no one single universally correct answer. I am focusing a bit more on the "good coastal cruiser' part and you are perhaps focusing a bit more on the 'possibly offshore cruiser' part. I think the diversity of opinion should be helpful in showing that there is a spectrum of choices. With more information from the original poster we each might move to a more central position.

The concern that I might have with the boats on your list is thier comparatively high price relative to the boats on Susan's original list.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Hey Jeff (and others),
The suggestion about the fractional rig is a good one. Is there a resource on the 'net somewhere where one can search based on things like rig configuration (full, fractional, cutter, split, ...), hull configuration (fin keel, full, rudder type), deck configuration (aft/center cockpit), interior configuration (# staterooms, galley, heads), auxilliary configuration (gas, diesel)? In addition to the normal LOA, Year, Builder, Price, Location

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi everyone,
Thanks for all of the great feedback. I guess I am leaning more toward the offshore capability, as I'd rather have too much boat than not enough. My only concern with some of the heavier, full-keel boats is that I might not be able to maneuver them well.

I have been considering a Cape Dory and should have added it to my list. I think the Pac Sea is out of price range. The Tayana is also very nice, but looks like it might require too much maintenance due to all of the wood.

The Pearson looks good, and if I were going to keep to the coast, I'd consider it. I really can't afford to buy 2 large boats over the next 4 years, so I need to go straight to the right one. The Tartan also looked good as a coastal cruiser, but I am not sure about the keel/centerboard that seems to be on most in the size/price range I am looking. I think I'd rather have a fin keel and a skeg-hung rudder or full keel.

As far as the singles thread -- I'd rather not be a single-hander, so I second that suggestion :) It's very hard to find someone who would be willing to give up life on land.
 

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Pretty much all of these boats are suitable for offshore use. None of them within your apparent price range are likely to be set up for distance cruising or single-handing without some modification, in some cases a huge amount of modification. This is especially true of the older designs like the Vanguard which can be single-handed (as a kid I would single-hand my family's Vanguard but it was brutal) but which are nearly imposible to make into an easily handled offshore capable single-hander.

The thing about the dedicated offshore type boats on the list is that they are often under-canvassed which means that you either end up losing a lot of sailing days or using extremely large overlapping light air sails, which in turn are very difficult to single-hand as compared to a more normal sailplan.

I would not rule out a keel centerboard boat like the Tartan 34. These boats are really a shoal draft fin keel with skeg hung rudder. The centerboard really helps upwind, and allows very precise adjustment if the balance of the sail plan, nearly eliminating weather helm and making these boats easier to handle and less tiring to steer manually, or under vane or autopilot.

Jeff
 

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GreenBoat...I don't think any of the boats I listed would be too much to hadle at sea. The additional weight and long keels give them directional stability and a sea kindly motion. They are all easily steered by a wind vane as well. Lighter is not better at sea or easier to handle IMHO and of course opinions vary on this...but I would refer you to a current discussion on the SSCA bulliten board. In this thread the writer describes a recent return trip from Hawaii on a Cal40...a well built but light boat and reaffirms his decision to buy a Hans Christian.
Note that the Cape Dory is also available in a 32 footer if size is a concern. The Tayana does have a lot of wood...but some have no teak decks or removed teak decks that have been re-done in glass, so just keep an eye on Yacht-world if you otherwise like the boat.
 

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As a counterpoint to Cam's comments;

On the other hand, in boats of the size that we are discussing, full keels offer minimally more directional stability than a well balanced fin keel skeg hung rudder boat, (especially since the bulk of tracking ability in this size range comes from the dynamic balance of sails to keel profile, rather than from the length of the keel) and that directional stability comes at the price of much higher helm loads, which can really wear you down and in my experience actually make it harder to use a vane steering rig.

That so-called seakindly motion comes at the price of larger roll angles which make it harder to move about in a seaway and for some people are more likely to produce seasickness.

With regards to your comments on lighter boats, I would suggest that displacement is a better way to size a boat than length. By that I mean that ease of handling, carrying capacity, accomodation space, and maintenance costs, etc are pretty much directly proportionate to displacement. The heavier the boat, the bigger the sails and the harder the boat is to handle.

For any given person, there is a displacement that they can comfortably handle, more than than that amount becomes burdensome. The traditional rule of thumb for offshore capable distance cruising boats was 2 1/2 to 5 long tons per person (roughly 5500 to 11000 lbs). In a general sense, better winches, sail handling gear, deck layouts and ground tackle handling gear have stretched that range a bit, of course there are people whose athletic ability allow them to be comfortable handling much more than that.

Within reason, for any given displacement, and with similar weight distributions (for example ballast to weight ratio) the longer the waterline the easier the boat will be to handle, the more seaworthy it will be, the more comfortable its motion, the more it will be able to carry, and faster it will sail.

In other words, if we compare that Cal 40 to the Hans Christian 33, the Hans Christian 33 is 3,000 lbs heaver, has a lower ballast to displacement, carries nearly 150 square feet of sail area, on a shorter waterline with a greater beam. In other words despite its greater drag (and therefore the need for more sail area) the Hans Christian has less ballast stability and depends on more form stability than the longer Cal 40. The lower sail area, slower roll motion (less form stability) and higher stability should actually make the Cal 40 an easier boat to handle, and a more comfortable boat than the smaller but heavier Hans Christian 33.

In the case of the Cal 40 there is some loss of motion comfort that comes from pitching due to its short waterline length relative to its overall length. To continue this discussion, a boat like the Tartan 37 which has the same displacement as the Cal 40 but a longer waterline than either of the other two and a shorter length on deck, and significantly higher ballast than either of the other two, should offer even greater stability, motion comfort and ease of handling (except that the big jib, small mainsail rig proportion of the Tartan 37 doesn't make them as easy to handle as a boat with a more moderate rig proportion) compared to the other two boats.

And just to put all of this in proportion a boat like the J-40 (J's cruising series) has a longer waterline and way higher ballast ratio than any of these boats, similar waterline beam (greater beam at the deck though), a displacement higher than the Cal and lower than the Hans Christian, and an easier sail plan proportion to handle, should be the easiest of the bunch to handle, offer the most motion comfort, and probably offers the most seaworthiness of the bunch.

BTW I realize all of these are bigger and more expensive boats than Greenboat is looking for.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
P30

Hi Susan --

My window is closer to yours -- my older son just went to college, my younger is a junior in high school. With my business, I can be anywhere, so I'm starting to think seriously about where to go. But as for a boat, all the suggestions you've gotten sound like terrific boats. You could also check out John Kretchmer's Used Boat Guide (Sheridan House, 2002, ISBN 1-57409-150-6) for some good ratings -- he has several idices that are good to know (safety, market value, durability, etc). While all the suggestions are good, I don't know that you can get most of them in your price range. No matter how good the boat's condition is, you should keep a sizeable reserve for inevitable maintenance expenses -- so I would figure a maximum you can afford, and shoot for at most 70% of that.No matter how great the boat is, it's useless if you can't afford a new alternator or get the roller fixed. I realize this sounds obvious, but it's easy to start thinking that extra 4 or 5 grand when you are looking at boats. I deal in violins, and I see it happen all the time -- my most difficult job is trying to keep clients from spending too much upfront.

I got a Pearson 30 this past spring up in Boston, and sailed it down to Greenwich, where I keep it. A great boat;fast and responsive, but good in heavy weather. The latter I discovered when I got caught in a ferocious gale the last day -- the worst weather I've ever been in, and I've sailed all over for 40 years now. I like the size -- plenty of room down below, but not so far to the foredeck that you can't get back to the cockpit in a hurry.

Prioritize what matters, and you will be able to get something at a surprisingly good price. Engine, prop, decks, hull, rigging -- they are what count, but price is driven by appearance; wood and so on. Whatever you think is important, that's fine -- but make a list before you even start looking. It will help keep you grounded when you see the gorgeous teak and chart table etc.

Anyway -- good luck!! And welcome back to the water -- Jim
 

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I chimed in to another post about the Dehler 101 I just bought and am loving a lot.

Lots of quality space below for longer crusing (can sleep 7!) with a great sized cockpit because hey, that's where you sail right? It's fast enough for club racing (IOR design of the 70's-80's). I sail single handed at times and find the boat quite easy to handle given the fractional rig and placement of everything needed at the tiller. I did replace the mid cockpit traveler with a Harken system but other than that, it's a great sailing in it's stock config.

if you have 30K or so to spend, you'll get a lot of boat for your money.

Happy to post pics if you'd like to see more of her.
 

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I am curious to know what happened. I sent her a PM.
 
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