Sadler 29 or Nicholson 32

dgadee

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Yes and no. At some point, often in life, one has to make a decision, in the knowledge that ideally you could have done better but you don't have infinite time to spare. Buying a boat is a bit like the 'Girl friend problem'. The question supposes that you are presented with one hundred girls to interview and have to choose a life partner. You are invited to interview them in turn, but if you reject them, you are never able to see them again. The actual question is how many girls should you see before definitely deciding? There is apparently a precise answer.
Is the precise answer, "the first one who'll have you"?
 

dunedin

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Thanks all, I was trying to reduce the myriad of boat options. But having said that I am open minded for other suggestions. What I have noticed is that some of the Nicholson’s , but not so many of the sadlers come with wind vane steering which strikes me as a good option. On the other hand the bilge keel and ability to land if required is attractive.
If you are planning on doing a round England plus trip, as indicated in post #1, you will be doing a lot of motoring. Hence your will need a good electronic autopilot (wind vane generally no use under motor) - hence that would be my priority. With a decent autopilot setup, don’t need a wind vane steering system. If worried, buy some spares for the autopilot. if tiller steered, a second autopilot is much cheaper than wind vane system - and avoids the clutter on the stern.
See Concerto’s videos to see his round Britain - with as far as I recall no wind vane system.
 

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Reason many Nich's have Windvanes - basically because so many become long distance boats and that is a good way to have self steering with no power demand.
But for Round UK and shorter work - the tiller or autopilot is the better option as then it is push button etc.
 

RivalRedwing

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Reason many Nich's have Windvanes - basically because so many become long distance boats and that is a good way to have self steering with no power demand.
But for Round UK and shorter work - the tiller or autopilot is the better option as then it is push button etc.
Money spent on a new 'good' autopilot such as a Raymarine Evolution system is likely to be money well spent, their capability seems to have been much improved over earlier models via improved electronics and motion sensor.
 

dgadee

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Money spent on a new 'good' autopilot such as a Raymarine Evolution system is likely to be money well spent, their capability seems to have been much improved over earlier models via improved electronics and motion sensor.
The wheelpilot version is rubbish, in my view. But then these boats being discussed are wheel not driven.
 

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Money spent on a new 'good' autopilot such as a Raymarine Evolution system is likely to be money well spent, their capability seems to have been much improved over earlier models via improved electronics and motion sensor.
Guy is buying a max 20K boat ... he will most likely have other expenses to worry about ... all raiding that piggy bank.

If as I suspect it most likely will be tilller steered - then any of the 1000 series Tiller Pilots would be fine ...

I have an AH800 and AH1000 - the pushbutton models which then became the ST series. I accept that they do not connect to anything else - but they both do their job admirably ... The AH1000 has now moved to my 38ft'r replacing the older 2000 series on it.
If he was to pick up a good second hand ST1000 (+) ... then he has NMEA connectability as well ....
 

Tranona

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More modern boats like the Sadler are fine with an ST2000, but anything much over that in size like the Nic will benefit from the larger EV1. Many boats will already have autopilots of some sort included.
 

johnalison

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Is the precise answer, "the first one who'll have you"?
🤣 Not in my book. Apparently, so I'm told, the mathematician's answer is to look at the first 30 and reject them all, and then choose the next one that is at least as good as the best of them.
 

dgadee

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🤣 Not in my book. Apparently, so I'm told, the mathematician's answer is to look at the first 30 and reject them all, and then choose the next one that is at least as good as the best of them.
But the other 70 may not be as good as any of the first 30. In dice terms, the first 30 may all be 6's and the other 70 all 1's and 2's.
 

Concerto

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If you are planning on doing a round England plus trip, as indicated in post #1, you will be doing a lot of motoring. Hence your will need a good electronic autopilot (wind vane generally no use under motor) - hence that would be my priority. With a decent autopilot setup, don’t need a wind vane steering system. If worried, buy some spares for the autopilot. if tiller steered, a second autopilot is much cheaper than wind vane system - and avoids the clutter on the stern.
See Concerto’s videos to see his round Britain - with as far as I recall no wind vane system.
The idea of sailing Round Britain is a major undertaking and personally I would move the timescale to 5 years time. This will give time to increase the OP's sailing skills and ensure whatever boat he chooses is in a state to complete the trip. A 3 week cruise will certainly find out any weak points in a boat and can then be corrected/improved.

I purchased my 1980 Westerly Fulmar Concerto in Dec 2013, and after a lot of renovation work and short cruises I did a 3 week trip in 2017 from Chatham to the Isels of Scilly and back. This certainly found a few areas of the boat that needed improvement. Then Covid hit and my singlehanded Round Britain trip was delayed until 2022. I should point out I started sailing in 1965 and have raced extensively offshore plus worked on many boats including helping to build several from plans, so have lots of experience in many fields.

The videos of my trip can be followed from this first part and there are other videos you may find of interest including when she was the Westerly Owners boat at the Southampton Boat Show in 2021.


If you enjoy the videos, then read the written forum posts I made daily on my trip. The links can all be found in my About Me page, plus some PowerPoint presentaions on the work I have done to Concerto.

One final comment. If you have the time you can always move to a new harbour in fine weather, but I love rough weather sailing. Entering any strange harbour can be difficult, made worse in rough weather and if dark.
 

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More modern boats like the Sadler are fine with an ST2000, but anything much over that in size like the Nic will benefit from the larger EV1. Many boats will already have autopilots of some sort included.

I find it interesting that Nautech Autohelm original numbering of the Tiller Pilots .. AH800 was generally regarded for up to 8m .. the 1000 up to 10m ... with the later 2000 etc coming for larger.

Later this was changed to displacement ie 1000 for 3 MT ... the 2000 for 4.5 MT.

I have my reservations about such classification as the Tp used will have to contend with not boat displacement - but force needed to steer - decided by how good you set up the boat .. weatherhelm etc.

My AH1000 handles my 38ft very well ...
 
More modern boats like the Sadler are fine with an ST2000, but anything much over that in size like the Nic will benefit from the larger EV1. Many boats will already have autopilots of some sort included.
I agree, our S29 (bought in 2007) came with an old Autohelm 2000 tiller pilot (which became the Raymarine ST2000, after they took over autohelm). This had quite a lot of use with us, including steering us round Britain in 2015 without issue, and was still working fine when we sold the boat in 2016.
 

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It’s possible of course, that the OP purchases a boat that already has a wind vane; more likely with the Nic’, but a friend of mine had vane gear on his Sadler 29 and crossed the Atlantic with it. If there’s a vane then you have the best of both worlds in using it as a wind vane when conditions suit or attaching a small tiller pilot to the wind vane when under power.
 

dgadee

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I see a Nic 32 advertised at under £10k. Over £2k spent on redoing the top end of an old engine. I did the same - not so much, £500 - but should have bitten the bullet and put in new. I did it the following year.
 

johnalison

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But the other 70 may not be as good as any of the first 30. In dice terms, the first 30 may all be 6's and the other 70 all 1's and 2's.
But you don’t have much scope for choice. With half reasonable luck you should be able to find one in the last 70% that will beat all those in the first 30. The alternative is to settle for one that may, in current parlance, be suboptimal.
 

dgadee

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But you don’t have much scope for choice. With half reasonable luck you should be able to find one in the last 70% that will beat all those in the first 30. The alternative is to settle for one that may, in current parlance, be suboptimal.
Go for the first 6 (dice equivalent) who will have you. That - looking back on life - has been my approach.

Ps: that is also how I bought boats.
 

Tranona

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I find it interesting that Nautech Autohelm original numbering of the Tiller Pilots .. AH800 was generally regarded for up to 8m .. the 1000 up to 10m ... with the later 2000 etc coming for larger.

Later this was changed to displacement ie 1000 for 3 MT ... the 2000 for 4.5 MT.

I have my reservations about such classification as the Tp used will have to contend with not boat displacement - but force needed to steer - decided by how good you set up the boat .. weatherhelm etc.

My AH1000 handles my 38ft very well ...
The combination of displacement and boat "size" is a reasonable proxy for the sort of loads that can be expected, but the recommendations always come with an advisory that other characteristics of the boat need to be considered. it also depends on what your expectations are about the conditions you intend to use the autopilot in. The tiller pilots are pretty crude by the standards of 2proper" autopilots, a combination of lack of power and unsophisticated software which shows up in an ability to deal with demanding conditions. Slow response and lack of power are the main issues. Beam reaching in 25 knots of wind and a quartering sea catches them out, as does excess weather helm in gusts when overcanvassed.

They were a revelation when they first came out - I had one of the early Seafarer Seacourses and it worked well until I could afford an Autohelm, but even the latter was no good in heavier weather. It is only when you have experience of a modern below decks pilot that you realise how limited tiller pilots are when you get near the limits of the size recommendations, although still much better than nothing.
 

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The combination of displacement and boat "size" is a reasonable proxy for the sort of loads that can be expected, but the recommendations always come with an advisory that other characteristics of the boat need to be considered. it also depends on what your expectations are about the conditions you intend to use the autopilot in. The tiller pilots are pretty crude by the standards of 2proper" autopilots, a combination of lack of power and unsophisticated software which shows up in an ability to deal with demanding conditions. Slow response and lack of power are the main issues. Beam reaching in 25 knots of wind and a quartering sea catches them out, as does excess weather helm in gusts when overcanvassed.

They were a revelation when they first came out - I had one of the early Seafarer Seacourses and it worked well until I could afford an Autohelm, but even the latter was no good in heavier weather. It is only when you have experience of a modern below decks pilot that you realise how limited tiller pilots are when you get near the limits of the size recommendations, although still much better than nothing.

mmmmm - well I never ... I never knew all that !! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

T - having been a user of all manner of auto's from piddly bungee to 500,000 ton ships systems ... maybe I might already be aware of limitations ?

But lets expand a little there ... many people do not explore the settings available even on the older humble tillerpilots. They set them on course and are happy to let them chunter away when weather / boat is good. They then expect similar when weather pipes up or seas get more. They tyhen fail to use the settings to get the TP to act more in keeping with conditions. It is surprising how bad conditions can get if the TP is adjusted to suit. My TP's in fact advise that when conditions change - the TP will wander for a short period while it 'regauges' sea state .. problem is whether operator is willing to allow that short period .. most don't. Then we get the comments of TP fails to steer in xx conditions.
Even the manufacturers state that certain conditions are unsuitable ... such as following large seas - advice then is to turn off 20 - 30 degrees to create a steadier heading phase. But of course that's no good if operator does not set TP up for it.
No auto caters for all conditions .. I've been on ships that a man has had to be put on the helm ... rare but it can happen.

My point was and still is ... that TP's are good - but only as good as the operator who sets it up.
 
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