Sub 30' Family-oriented 60% Racer/40% Cruiser Options

Looper

Anarchist
OK, Here's another boat recommendation thread...

Imagine you are a middle class family man.  You have a wife and 3 kids youngest is 6, oldest is 11.  Your current boat is a S2 7.9 (inboard).  You live on the great lakes.  The current boat is basically meets all your needs: small enough to manage on your own with the kids, relatively inexpensive total cost of ownership, nearby active OD racing, and decent family wagon/cruiser.

Looking ahead 2-3 years those kids will be 9 11 and 14.  All sleeping aboard the 7.9 is no longer an option.  You have accepted that there likely isn't a one size fits all option.  You don't want to give up the 7.9 OD racing scene so you decide to demote the boat to trailer-racer status and get something bigger to take the place of the in-water family wagon and occasional beer can racer.  You have an ideal slip at your marina that limits you to 32' max LOA.  Currently it would seem that the Olson 911S/SE and S29.1 are the top contenders as both boats offer sleeping for 5-6, showers on board, and are definitely more racer than cruiser.  Trying to avoid the Catalina/Tartan/Pearson 30s.  That said, what else out there fits the bill?  Bonus points if you share a listing of one for sale...

Thanks in advance.

 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,387
1,236
SoCal
S-2 9.1 has pilot berths P & S above/outboard of settes.  So could sleep all 3 kids in salon.  Later J-30’s (late 84+) would work.  Frers 30 if you can find one.  
911SE is great boat too…

 

redboat

Super Anarchist
Reality check. Sold a beloved 30' boat for a 37 foot boat to fulfill  similar familial expectations. Two kiddoes on board all the time in the early years then soccer, volleyball and any number of other discovered activities took hold and I sat with the boat. They rightly followed their own paths and chose not to follow mine. Their respective passions enriched their lives immeasurably and for that I am grateful.

Good luck. Hard to objectively view your own situation. Only time will tell. 7.9 is a great boat. Might think twice before moving up and on.

 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,387
1,236
SoCal
I’m a J-32 fan, but maybe not the best fit for the OP?  Most J-32s are 4 berth boats, he’d need to find a (relatively rare) quarter berth version for 3 kids plus mom and dad.  Then the fractional rig and small fore triangle make for a very small chute which hurts the boat when racing downwind. 

 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,387
1,236
SoCal
The OP said sub 30’ in the title of his post, then said he had the ideal slip at his marina, but was limited to 32 ft or less in the text of the post…

 

Looper

Anarchist
I’m a J-32 fan, but maybe not the best fit for the OP?  Most J-32s are 4 berth boats, he’d need to find a (relatively rare) quarter berth version for 3 kids plus mom and dad.  Then the fractional rig and small fore triangle make for a very small chute which hurts the boat when racing downwind. 
Also, the J32 is over my max allowance of 32 feet LOA.  It was a good suggestion, but ultimately wont work.

 

ChiGuy

Super Anarchist
2,158
12
J/30... like the 911 above, it's technically under 30' We've cruised with 2 kids on Lake Michigan, and have done a bit of racing as well.

 

eerie sailor

Super Anarchist
1,457
37
DEEETROIT
I think you should start looking for 9.1s and 911s. The deal you find will dictate the boat to buy. The 911 SE is about 1000# heavier than the 911s due to solid glass hull and nicer interior. Solid glass hull might not be a bad thing due to the age of the boats. If you want faster, the custom 911s were about 15 s/NM faster. That would be a Capo 30.

 
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