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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering upgrading my sailboat in the next year or two. I am looking for a few things and wonder if everyone could post their thoughts and ideas and what "they would do" - Thank you all very much.

First, money is an issue, not a huge one, but I kind of like fixing light work up, adding my own touches, and tweaking things....for this reason I'm looking at boats in the 1975 to 1990 range of years. Boats that you can get fairly inexpensive, though "some" work may be needed to fix them up.

Cruising style and area. I like sailing, motoring also good, relaxing, long weekends or week or so on board. Mostly Chesapeake, but eventuall ICW, Florida Keys, and Bahamas.

Things I consider important:

  • Construction - Should be built well, strong hull, no real design issues.
  • Shallow Draft - Would prefer to be able to get into those 4-5 foot areas.
  • Spacious - good headroom, larger cockpit, good features in the cabin.
  • Capability - Should be able to handle chesapeake, coastal sailing, and crossing to bahamas (maybe bermuda??)
  • Stability - should be very stable...not prone to a lot of rocking and rolling in rougher water. Slower sailing is fine as long as the boat is more stable.
  • Sailing and Handleing - Should be decent sailing and handling...would consider stability and contruction a bit above this.

I think I would like something in the 30-34 foot range. 30-32 is preferred. Doubt I would ever sail to Bermuda, but it would be nice to know the boat would be failry capable of it. - Boats I have been looking at are Hunters (80's) Bristol, Morgan, Sabre, Pearson, Columbia, Erikson (70's and 80's) - if you know of a certain issue with any model or year please let me know. Also, any suggestions on what I should consider with regards to displacment, ballast, LWL that would match up with the above considerations.....

Thanks for all your advice and knowledge. I look forward to your ideas.....

Telstar 28
992 Posts
A lot of this depends on what you're doing with the boat. The coastal cruising, ICW, Florida Keys, and even the Bahamas can all be done by almost any decent coastal cruising boat. The hop to Bermuda takes a bit better a boat or a much wider weather window and a lot of care.

It would help to know what your rough budget is, since certain boats will not generally be available in good condition for certain budgets. I also recommend reserving a portion of the total boat buying budget for refitting, repairing and upgrading whatever boat you do end up getting.

Some of your criteria are somewhat mutually exclusive. Most shallow draft boats are going to give up some stability. Many times, the stability and seaworthiness are going to be affected by how spacious the boat is-the most spacious designs are often less seaworthy, and less capable.

I would highly recommend looking at James Baldwin's Boat List as a starting point. The boats he lists are highly capable pocket bluewater cruisers, and include such boats as the Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31, the Southern Cross 31, etc.
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