Advice on my first yacht

Dbrown1000

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Hi. I’m currently looking at an Achilles 24 and a Colvic UFO 27. I am keen for a boat that feels quite fast but also don’t want anything too difficult to handle as this is my first yacht having just sailed dinghies and helped on other’s yachts in the past. I’d be really grateful for any advice on how they differ in terms of speed and handling (the UFO 27 is heavier but is still marketed as a racer/ cruiser). The ufo has better accommodation but I’m less concerned about this and want the boat to still feel fast enough. Thanks for your help.
 

RupertW

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I'd go for the UFO27 too - not just the better accommodation although that will matter hugely when it comes to extending your season, but the extra speed will allow you to sail further and you can always slow down a fast boat and make it more steady, but you can't speed up a slower boat to get round that next headland before the tide turns.

But that logic has slowly moved me from 24 footers (but a fast one at the time) to a 42 footer. There keeps being no advantage to smaller apart from cost and experience of parking - and you will learn that as you go, just remember there is no such thing as too many fenders - each one is like an extra crew member fending off.
 

doug748

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"......The UFO has better accommodation but I’m less concerned about this and want the boat to still feel fast enough.. "


If you see this as a six year project get the UFO, it was designed to be raced with a lavish crew so will be more demanding to sail shorthanded but you will get used to it. The accommodation will be useful over time and an inboard engine gives you a bit of poke offshore, plus the prospect of a glitzy electrical system.

If it is merely a stepping stone and you may be selling after one or two years, then the Achilles. It will be cheap to buy and easier to sell without the distress of losing a lot of cash. Buy wisely and outboard power has a lot to commend it on this size of boat. The layout and sail size are nice for singlehanding.

As long as you don't go for a cheap example, either would do the job, what generally happens is you buy the boat that catches your fancy on the day.
 

Spirit (of Glenans)

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A few years ago, when upgrading from a Leisure 17, I looked at an Achilles 24 and a UFO 27. The former had low headroom and the toilet was under the berth in the forepeak. I didn't like the rig.
The UFO won hands down with somewhat better headroom, a separate head, slide-out chart table over quarter berth, inboard engine etc. The accommodation is narrow by modern standards and access to the back of the engine (gearbox and propshaft), was difficult, but then this boat had been re-engined and the access hadn't been adapted to suit.
She turned out to be no problem to sail 2-handed, and could have been sailed single-handed, as all controls were within easy reach (except reefing lines). She did need to be handled carefully when sailing downwind in a blow.
In a lively seaway or even heavy weather I found her to be very steady and safe.
 
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Quandary

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Bit puzzled why, with all the choice that is available, it comes down to this particular pair. They are not really that similar. I started off with an Achilles 24 and the one thing I thought of her was that she was safe, though our trips were just back and forward across the N. Channel between Belfast Lough and the Clyde, we never got up the W. coast in her. Most of my competition racing were Ruffian 23s which I still regard as a faster roomier boat for the same sort of money.
Later I had a Trapper 300 which we regarded as tender and prone to dramatic wipe outs but relatively comfy for a 1/4 tonner, but I did a fair bit of my racing around that time on a friends Ruffian 8.5 which I think was a better boat than the Ufo 27. But this is only my limited experience of boats like the pair you are looking at, there are dozens of others.
They are all quite old boats now so condition is very important, you want to buy one previously owned for a reasonably long time by someone who is obsessive about stuff, there are lots of such owners in our community and when you find one the boat will sell itself. You will only be in this position once (with nothing to sell) so make sure you choose something that will meet your needs as you gain experience.
 
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