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Shorthanded cruiser search 33-37' and $60k budget


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After 50 years of sailing, most of that racing round the buoys at Chicago, I am looking for my next boat. This time, I'm looking for a cruiser. One that I can take out shorthanded or singlehanded. My budget is US$60k. I am looking at 33 to 37'. I am focused on fresh water boats. Here are some boats I have interest in, boats and pricing in the US. 

  • S2 10.3 $23k
  • Frers 36 $39k
  • C&C 99 $59k
  • SO 36.2 $65k
  • SO 36i $70k
  • SO 37 $80k

These others are very interesting, but out of my price range: 

  • Beneteau First 36.7 $77k
  • SF 37 $101k
  • J/120 $119k
  • J/109 $139k (I sold my J/105 in 2010. Great racer. Wet boat. Easy to sail solo on nicer days)
  • C&C 115 $149k

I am not looking for a project. I had one of those, a old Tartan 10, replacing most of the balsa core. Of course, marine hardware and electronics are always in need of attention. Every boat will have "projects". I am looking for something ready to use.

Any ideas would greatly be appreciated!  

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On 11/1/2021 at 10:20 AM, pironiero said:

Viko s35?

50.000eur new

One in Spain for $134k. Not this one - it's near-new, yes, but it's budget anarchy !

I'm finding some good cruiser racers at $60k. 

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On 11/1/2021 at 11:13 AM, ryley said:

Freedom 35. 

Looking at photos, this is a beautiful boat. I have not sailed a Freedom, and it is evidently a good reacher and runner, but not a pointer.

Plus I love to hold on to the standing rigging, and this boat has none! Maybe that explains the low low prices.

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On 10/29/2021 at 2:42 PM, Zonker said:

Georgeous boat out in Point Richmond CA for $50K. The seller states this: 
When Schumacher penned the Express 37, his objective was to design a boat that would excel on long ocean races, that was easy and safe to sail short-handed, and would have at least 6′ of standing headroom. The first boats built by Alsberg Brother Boatworks finished 1, 2 and 3 in the 1985 TransPac, an ocean race held on the West Coast. There were eventually 65 built and these boats continue to compile an enviable record.

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2 hours ago, Grotesque said:

Georgeous boat out in Point Richmond CA for $50K. The seller states this: 
When Schumacher penned the Express 37, his objective was to design a boat that would excel on long ocean races, that was easy and safe to sail short-handed, and would have at least 6′ of standing headroom. The first boats built by Alsberg Brother Boatworks finished 1, 2 and 3 in the 1985 TransPac, an ocean race held on the West Coast. There were eventually 65 built and these boats continue to compile an enviable record.

 

On 10/29/2021 at 12:42 PM, Zonker said:

I think @Raz'r had one.  Raced it and cruised it as well. 

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14 hours ago, Grotesque said:

Looking at photos, this is a beautiful boat. I have not sailed a Freedom, and it is evidently a good reacher and runner, but not a pointer.

Plus I love to hold on to the standing rigging, and this boat has none! Maybe that explains the low low prices.

it points fine for a cruiser. I have the bigger sister, the Freedom 45. I don't even know what to say about your second comment.

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15 hours ago, Grotesque said:

One in Spain for $134k. Not this one - it's near-new, yes, but it's budget anarchy !

I'm finding some good cruiser racers at $60k. 

that because you trying to buy from resellers, you can get it for like 55k new from factory and cruise it to your home

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Does anyone have experience with the Thomas 35? The Tartan-built Thomas 35 seems like a good racer/cruiser. One available in Great Lakes selling for $36k. PHRF rating of 72.  Is this a "good" Tartan or a bad one in terms of build?  I did own and race a T-10 in the 1990's. The T-10 had build issues, and I found Tartan support to be poor.

Thomas 35.png

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19 hours ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

You want a cruiser w/runners and check stays?

Express 37 has checks, but weren't used when cruising. They are used to tighten the forestay (masthead rig) and keep the rig from pumping offshore. 

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On 11/4/2021 at 1:58 PM, bstrdsonofbtl said:

You want a cruiser w/runners and check stays?

I know the boat in the pic has runners/check stays, but if you look at the original brochure or rigging plan, no runners or check stays are shown.  I'm not familiar enough with the boat to know whether they were added as some point during the production run, or were added by some owners to increase mast tunability/stability, or were added to some boats to fly masthead chutes or what.  Does anyone know the story here?

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On 11/1/2021 at 11:05 AM, Grotesque said:

Fairweather Mariner 39 is a beauty end to end.  Price seem too good to be true at $69k...pics here...

https://www.denisonyachtsales.com/yacht-listings/39-Fairweather-Mariner-39-1988-Marina-Del-Rey-California/7139406

That is a very cool boat. Beautiful, well built. Heavy though! Definitely more of an ocean boat that the freshwater boat you are looking for, but I would have checked this boat out last summer if when I was looking had I known. On the other end of the spectrum I like zonkers express 37 idea, lively, also well built.

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On 11/4/2021 at 5:01 PM, Grotesque said:

Thank you for the call-out. Runners and check stays are a no-no for this SH sailor.

but you'd have plenty of rigging to hold onto!

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  • 3 weeks later...

A friend daysailed his C99 until in his late 80s, so it's possible. 

I do have a cautionary tale, however.  One day when I arrived at the YC, I noted that he was sailing in circles just off the docks. He hailed me and asked me to take his docklines. It turned out that the wind was coming from the side blowing him off the dock, so he if he laid the boat right against the finger pier, it would blow him off before he could get from the helm to the cleat. 

Some things take planning and preparation. 

 

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I love my Frers 36! It's very doable shorthanded/solo but can't hold it down, can't race to the rating. It's roomy to live on, and decks are flat, easy to run around deck shorthanded. It's deep draft for anchoring just takes some consideration. It's fast, beautiful : )

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On 11/9/2021 at 12:27 AM, Crash said:

I know the boat in the pic has runners/check stays, but if you look at the original brochure or rigging plan, no runners or check stays are shown.  I'm not familiar enough with the boat to know whether they were added as some point during the production run, or were added by some owners to increase mast tunability/stability, or were added to some boats to fly masthead chutes or what.  Does anyone know the story here?

I know pieces of the story.  There were no runners in the original design or OEM package.  A few owners added them, and I'm told it helped with tunability. Many boats never installed them.  Certainly not needed for safety or security.

I think this boat may be a good choice for the OP.  Fast, stiff, not a bad cockpit.  Tartan built them on contract for the class founder Lindy Thomas.  Think they've held together OK.  And most of them are close to Chicago.

 

 

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On 11/4/2021 at 5:01 PM, Grotesque said:

Thank you for the call-out. Runners and check stays are a no-no for this SH sailor.

If I recall, there were a handful of T-35’s that were mast head rigged.  Probably still needs checks for control, but not as critical as running backs.  

I would add Goman Express 35 to your list.  Should be easy within your budget.  Also an X-362 or older 37 could be in range as well.  Also consider Olson/express 34’s.  If you are thinking Frers 36, check the 38’s.  I think the 38 is a nicer boat with good room and sails quite well.  

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CS 36 Traditional deep keel?  I've worked on a few of them, and am always impressed by the quality of the build, choices of metal for keel bolts etc reducing issues.  Rarely find deck core issues.  They just seem to be an above average quality build, very middle of the road style and often extensively upgraded for a decent sale price.  

I don't like the Merlins, don't like the underbody, don't like the cored hull, usually the factory installed bits were decent but owners seem to love making new pathways for water ingress.

https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/92502

The only 3 negatives with them I've found are the AC system is hot garbage, often solid copper wire, and for whatever reason the anchor locker lids are often soft/delaminated, and the V drive is a necessary evil.   They turn up pretty often in your neck of the woods too.  

 

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Pearson 37, the early 1980’s version. Great all around sailor with pretty good cruising layout. I race mine SH on LIS point to point races against fully crewed and we hang in their just fine. Good light air and solid heavy air boat. Been working on tweaking for the cruise side while keeping SH side.  135 RF, asym, #4 set on a removable Solent stay, Dacron main, you don’t need much more. Good build quality, 105-108 PHRF.  Cost effective, solid, great sailor and decent looking.  The thumb nail is me in light air thumping two J-109s boat for boat. 

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SO 36.2 Pros: Very comfortable, lots of tankage and storage, very easy to handle single-handed up or downwind, repairable if you have a grounding (no glued-in grid nonsense), vinylester in outer layup to prevent blisters.  Cons: Doesn't point super high, a bit short on sail area in light wind areas (PNW), check the mast step on deck (most get water in them and crush), not the easiest boat to dock when it is windy (lots of windage, rudder is limited to about 70 degrees off centre so no sharp turns), iron keel.

Only 1' less than your minimum, the Catalina 320 might be a great boat to consider too.  Avoid any built prior to 1996 due to blisters - note that 1996 boats were built in '95.

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Listed in the classified section is an Aphrodite 101.  We had one and did very well with her in DH distance racing as well as around the buoys on Wednesday evenings.  Sold her recently to a young couple in Newport, RI who will keep her busy, busier than I could out here.  

Went to look at a Fabola/Diva 39 in Portsmouth, RI (Eastern Yacht Sales).  I loved it and mama did not... so...  Anyway, a DH suitable boat is so many respects.  Check it out.  The asking price is attractive and condition is good enough, nothing major.

Norm

Cape Cod

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On 1/5/2022 at 4:48 PM, NormanHMartin said:

Listed in the classified section is an Aphrodite 101.  We had one and did very well with her in DH distance racing as well as around the buoys on Wednesday evenings.  Sold her recently to a young couple in Newport, RI who will keep her busy, busier than I could out here.  

Went to look at a Fabola/Diva 39 in Portsmouth, RI (Eastern Yacht Sales).  I loved it and mama did not... so...  Anyway, a DH suitable boat is so many respects.  Check it out.  The asking price is attractive and condition is good enough, nothing major.

Norm

Cape Cod

Guess I can quit dreaming about buying your boat now!  

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1 hour ago, notallthere said:

Bene 10r maybe a good fit?

I've never liked the way the bulkheads "pierce" the settees, but that may not be an issue for shorthanded cruising...

FYD | Beneteau First 10R (Design 543)

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