buying first yacht


New member
26 Jul 2004

I am in the process of buying my first yacht. I have sailed and raced Mirror dinghies in my youth and now at the grand age of 36 I want to buy a yacht. Wondering if anyone might have sany suggestions - advice...:

Basically I want something that is fast and fun to sail but reasonably comfortable for a long weekend cruise. I'll be keeping her in Poole, Dorset.
I have a budget of £27,000 - and in the last few weeks I'd pretty much decided to go for a Jeanneau 24.2 with a fixed keel. It's hard to find any reports on this boat so I'm wondering if anyone out there could help.

Thanks for any advice.




Active member
30 May 2001
East Coast, Woolverstone
I bought a 24.2 fixed keel new, and had it for less than a year. Boat was very fast but suffered from excessive weather helm as delivered. Managed to correct it by adjusting mast rake, dealer totally disinterested. Boat broke down on commisiong sail, fuel hose was not tightened, still having to sail back into a marina reminds you not to rely on engines.

Boat well built, but skimped in certain areas ie, batteries had no switch, idea was that you disconnected the battery leads or so the agent would tell you. Also water leaked from hand pump on the sink in heads when heeled, think new boats now have pressurised water to cure problem. Most disconcerting to find the heads flooded 5 miles offshore.

Agent I delt with was awful although Sea Ventures the main distributors were OK. However do not believe any delivery dates they give you, mine was 3 months late.

Found it would not sit on a swinging mooring at all, it constantly tacked and even using a bucket out the back failed to control it. As a result ended up in a marina.

All in all I hated the boat but I think that may have just been the experience of purchasing it that soured the whole affair. Traded it in 8 months after taking delivery for a 32' Dufour.

If I had my time again and wanted a 24' boat I'd look at the equivilent Etap.


16 May 2001
Friends kept theirs for two seasons. Advantages, easy to tow (went to Med), but rather lightly built and they didn't consider it a 'real' sea boat.

Lots of good second hand buys? Parker 275 still would be high on my list, having had one.


New member
31 May 2001

I was in a similar situation as you - started with Mirrors, Lesures and more recently a Moody 27. This is safe reliable good for weekend crusing and within your budget.
Several around for circa £25K

Richard h


New member
30 May 2001
Coincidentally I am about the same age as yourself and last yeaar got fed up of sailing mirror dinghies.
I took the well trodden route and purchased a Westerly Centaur. Whilst certainly not in the fast lane it is undoubtedly a good boat for getting started with and is a good sea boat.
you would nearly get 2 with your budget !


As someone mentioned earlier you might want to look at Etaps, I just bought a 26'. So far (it's only been 2 weeks) she is fast, responsive and a good boat for dinghy sailors who want to go a bit further a field (I used to sail Mirrors myself). You'll get quite a bit of change out of £27,000 as well.

Other boats I looked at were the Contessa 28, UFO 27 and Pegasus 800.

Hope this gives you some ideas.



New member
13 Sep 2001
Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Dear Jono

I went through your dilema 14 years ago, made the right choice, and have had the same boat ever since!

My personal views are

1. The amount of fun you have is inversely proportional to the size of the boat. The smaller they are the more fun they are.

2. Get one that costs half what you can easily afford. I am quite relaxed about mine getting the odd scuff and scrape. She knows I love her really but I am not allways wittering and worrying about her. When we land some where new I can relax in the pub whilst some skippers of prettier boats are always tense.

3. Get one with a reliable diesel engine. On long trips with a tight timeframe one always seems to end up motoring and it is reassuring to be able to chug all day.

4. I can easily single hand my 25 foot bilge keeler. This is essential because friends and family may not be there when you have to get her home after abondoning her at a port en-route. Make sure you can do the same.

5. Bilge keelers may not sail as well as some but it is great to be able to take ground in busy harbours, when pushing in on the ebb, or when making that inevitable cock-up. You can also get through some of the canal systems with a 1 m draft. I will never forget taking mine over the pennines ( Goole Leeds Liverpool)

6. Make sure you like the name because you will need to obey all the superstitions if you are going to avoid problems. New names, Fridays and whistling really are bad news

7. I have never had a mistress but am convinced owning and operating a boat one is like having a bit on the side. You face expense, distraction, split loyalty when you want to go off on your own or with mates.

Good luck!

Martin D