Good starter sail boat?

thecommander

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We are looking to get into sailing and looking to buy our first sail boat into the next couple of years. Our budget isn't massive. Our current motorboat is worth approx 10k and we could scrape together another 15k taking our budget to a massive 25k GBP, at a very hard push (and for the right boat) we could stretch to 30k.

We are looking for a boat that is easy to sail shorthanded (will be the wife and I most times). The Solent and Dorset coastline will be our main cruising area and once we get more experienced hopefully Channel Islands. We would like enough overnight accommodation for us and another couple and a dog, so need two separate berths. Not at all fused about having en-suite heads, one heads is fine. A lifting keel would be ideal but isn't a requirement. We don't want a project boat, but I don't minding fitting new electronics or doing basic reupholstering etc.

We have been looking at the late 1990s/early 00s Bavarias, specifically the Bavaria 38 Holiday and Bavaria 32, 33 and 36. Most are out of budget but I assume with negotiations we could pick one up for sub 30k? With these Bavarias you seem to get alot of boat for your money but many people say we should go for an older Moody. Not sure how true that is? The wife is very dubious about buying a 1970/80s boat.

Another key consideration is mooring costs. We are currently paying 2.5k in Southampton (Itchen) and ideally we don't want that to rise too much. We could probably stretch to 3k max. So a pontoon river mooring would be ideal, ideally in Southampton but we are happy to consider anywhere from Southampton to Poole.

With the above said, are we looking at the right sort of boats? I would be interested to hear readers opinions.

Thanks
 

Tranona

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Yes, you are looking at the right sort of boat - but you are unlikely to find a good one in that budget. You need to go a bit above £30k to get an up and running Bav 32 or equivalent Benny from 1999-2003. For anything bigger of the same age you need to go nearer £40k. In that price range there is a good choice of 34, 36 and 37 Bavs. Indeed you could get my old Bav 37 at just above that top end (for sale at Clipper Marine).

With under £30k you need to come down a size or look at older boats, but you fall into a bit of a hole as the choice gets less. 1999-2007 or so were boom times for new boat sales, hence the large number and (relatively) low prices of boats on the market now from that era. Be aware though, that even though typically they will be in much better condition that 70's boats they are still 15 years old so are in the frame for major replacements like rigging, sails, electronics so you still need to buy with care.
 

doug748

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You may fancy a lift keel boat because you are a bit wary of deep draught, coming from a motorboat background. I think you would soon get used to it but if it is a real preference check out the larger boats on this page:

http://www.parkerseal.org.uk/forsale/boats.aspx

These are sporty designs though and you may prefer something a bit more steady. Early 2000ish Bav 32s are lavish in terms of space as they are in fact more like 34 foot in length but as you say, the better examples will be well over your budget. I would be very wary of large LOA boats that seem a steal. As a very general rule (unless you are well into DIY) it is always best to get a better example of a cheaper boat than a rough expensive one.
I have little else to say really except look at as many as you can and don't leap too soon.
Only by getting out sailing will you know if you want the sporty type or the steady option.
 
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Sticky Fingers

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Cannot really comment on the best boat to buy, but you can keep your mooring costs down by joining RSYC (mobo's welcome too) and using the club moorings in the Hamble (no waiting list at present)

http://www.rsyc.org.uk/index.php/article/view/id/181
That's interesting, be good for us too... usual chicken and egg though, how can you get to know enough members well enough to get proposed, unless you're already a member or maybe live nearby?
 

skipperwales

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For a starter boat I reckon that a forgiving sea kindly boat is probably the best bet. I've sailed a Bav 32 quite a lot and, while they are a lot of boat for the money with loads of space, they're quite tender, carry loads of weather helm and have quite a flat forefoot so slam quite a bit in lumpy seas.

I'd be looking for something with probably less space, but a bit better behaved such as a Sadler 34 or a Moody
 

Tranona

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For a starter boat I reckon that a forgiving sea kindly boat is probably the best bet. I've sailed a Bav 32 quite a lot and, while they are a lot of boat for the money with loads of space, they're quite tender, carry loads of weather helm and have quite a flat forefoot so slam quite a bit in lumpy seas.

I'd be looking for something with probably less space, but a bit better behaved such as a Sadler 34 or a Moody

If that were true, I wonder why you see hundreds of such boats happily cruising all round the UK and Northern Europe.

Appreciate you may have a personal preference for older boats, but that does not mean newer boats are not capable of providing what the OP is looking for. Remember the OP would rather not buy a 30 year old boat.

Just to reinforce the point, the two boats that you recommend were built in relatively small numbers - only a few hundred. So if those are the only ones suitable, very few people would be able to buy them.
 

skipperwales

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Well I currently sail a Bav 39 around Atlantic Spain and Portugal having sailed my Bav 32 from North Wales to Portugal, so I have a fair idea how they behave. They are comfortable boats, but not, in my opinion and experience, as forgiving, as boats with a little more form and displacement.

This is simply my opinion having owned and sailed a variety of boats.
 

Seajet

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thecommander,

have a look at Seal28's

lift keel

centre cockpit

reasonable performance

aft, saloon & fore cabins so OK for guests

I knew one which a couple, sometimes with kids or guests, took all over the Channel & Southern Brittany, the Med & a couple of transits of the canal system.

One of these - with a new engine by now - would still leave enough budget for things guaranteed to crop up like sails etc.
 

Tranona

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Well I currently sail a Bav 39 around Atlantic Spain and Portugal having sailed my Bav 32 from North Wales to Portugal, so I have a fair idea how they behave. They are comfortable boats, but not, in my opinion and experience, as forgiving, as boats with a little more form and displacement.

This is simply my opinion having owned and sailed a variety of boats.

But it does not necessarily mean that a boat of that type is not suitable for the OP. The so called shortcomings do not seem to affect their suitability and popularity for coastal and cross channel sailing and the plus points for most practical purposes outweigh any shortfalls in ultimate performance. Bit like not buying the 4WD version of an SUV if you never go off road.

Of course his current budget may mean that he has to consider older boats if he wants a 30'+ size, which if well chosen will prove satisfactory for the job but perhaps be short in the comfort and equipment areas.
 
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geem

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For a starter boat I reckon that a forgiving sea kindly boat is probably the best bet. I've sailed a Bav 32 quite a lot and, while they are a lot of boat for the money with loads of space, they're quite tender, carry loads of weather helm and have quite a flat forefoot so slam quite a bit in lumpy seas.

I'd be looking for something with probably less space, but a bit better behaved such as a Sadler 34 or a Moody

A Sadler 34 is an excellent boat but short on space compared to modern high volume hulls of the same length. If you want accommodation then go for a modern Bav, Ben etc but when the conditions get a little tougher they won't be a comfortable at the Sadler.
 

Cloona

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A Sadler 34 is an excellent boat but short on space compared to modern high volume hulls of the same length. If you want accommodation then go for a modern Bav, Ben etc but when the conditions get a little tougher they won't be a comfortable at the Sadler.

if I was you I would spend 5 - 10k on a good cruising yacht with good engine and see how year one went ,...... 25 ft plus -loads of room ......

and upscale or down size from there -

keep your cash powder dry until you have worked out what sort of sailing you like

most 32 ft yachts go nowhere - ever

less is more
 

PhillM

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That's interesting, be good for us too... usual chicken and egg though, how can you get to know enough members well enough to get proposed, unless you're already a member or maybe live nearby?

It's easy to join. Call Maggie and pop in for a chat. You can join on an introductory membership without any formal proposals etc, if after a year you still want to join, you are in.

I really didn't know anyone when I joined and while I use the club a lot in the week (I work locally) I don't actually know many members except to nod to.

If you'd rather meet somone first, pm me and I'll happily sign you in for a look around and a drink.
 

Channel Sailor

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Three is a lot to consider here. I would suggest sub 30ft probably 26 to 29ft. Something that is fun to sail in light air, uncomplicated and is simple to maintain. What might be described as a weekender. Moor it where you can get the sails up start enjoy relaxed sailing within 30 to 50 minutes from stepping on board. Set the requirement for it being fun to sail first, then next minimal maintenance followed by easy to keep clean and tidy. Oh, and you will probably need a new set of sails so plan for that. Sails and storage is cheaper on smaller yachts. After a few years, Once you worked out what sailing a yacht is all about then you will know what you need for a cruising yacht and how you would use it.
 

bitbaltic

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Chaps, the OP is a possible ex-mobo with a wife in the equation who would like to sail (and learn to) and holiday with friends. Forget about MABs completely, they are not what he wants however seaworthy and his wife is not going to be impressed with him spending his weekends ripping out obsolete electronics that look like they came from the Death Star control panel when she wants to be off sailing and entertaining. If she is sensible she will take one look at a proposed sailboat that looks something like the Black Pearl down below and put an immediate stop to it. AWB is the only way to go.

Also forget about lift keels, he thinks he wants one of those, he doesn't. There's no need in his proposed cruising ground and they will only narrow his choice.

Tranona is right in that he is looking at the right sort of boats already and if he cannot adjust his budget upwards he needs to look at older boats.

A boat which comes to mind is an older (200-2003) Jenny SO 29.2. lots of these around, came with a wheel option (SWMBOs, friends tend to like those) and even a lifting keel option if so desired. Pals of ours had one for a while with both of those options and whilst it was never going to set the world alight as a performance boat it was an easy coastal cruiser for a couple with friends, simple to sail, easy to look after. Very roomy heads for a boat of its size which helps when sailing with friends.

This one: http://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/2000/Jeanneau-Sun-Odyssey-29.2-2894431/United-Kingdom#.VjPpZG6KZ5Y is overpriced but certainly will sell for within his budget.

Boats of this age have the advantage that most should have halfway decent if dated electronics and should not need re-engining yet. Sails will likely be the area which money will need to be spent on but that's not always something that concerns beginners until a season or two has passed.
 

Tranona

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Well said. Refreshing (and I hope useful to the OP) to get a response that reflects the OPs position rather than recommending what the poster would do.

Offer a spouse (or even the other spouse) a choice between a Sadler 29 and a Bavaria 32 or the Jeanneau suggested and no contest. Exactly the same reason people stopped buying Sadlers when they were new in favour of Bennys and Jennys that were on the market at the same time. Being cheaper helped of course, but buyers soon found the boats were very satisfactory for their intended use.
 
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