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Sailing Boat / Small Cruiser - Suggestions Please.

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 457 ✭✭ FirstinLastout


    Currently my wife and I are engaged in sailing lessons, volunteering as crew/ballast wherever possible to gain the experience prior to getting our own small cruiser, hopefully in time for next year.

    So with that in mind can anyone make any suggestions as to boats, or boat types that we should consider?

    Ideally we'd use it at weekends around Donegal Bay with a few trips a but further afield, Connemara, Tory etc but largely it'll be messing around Sligo & Donegal.
    Usually just 2 crew but maybe more for club races and pleasant days afloat with friends.

    Something like a First 30 would be fantastic but unlikely at this stage & budget... but like the look of a Shipman 28/ Albin Vega / Dufour 2800 but a Ruffian 23 might be more appropriate.... anything else I'm missing out on??

    Trailer Sailers perhaps, but these seem less common here and those that are seen to hold their value.

    Alternatively maybe a smaller 1/2 decked sailing boat and just focus on getting out on it as much as possible furthering our experience.
    Trailerable too which might be useful, opening up the bigger lakes perhaps or exploring the coast further away from home.

    Budget ranging from 5k to 8.5k ballpark depending on what I'm looking at and perhaps factoring in transport given we're based in the NW.

    Thanks Folks!!


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Comments



  • Shipman 28, you can cruise it or strip it out and race it. They are going for ridiculously low prices these days. And, importantly, there are a good selection on the market.

    Dufour is a fine boat, more volume and more cursing orientated. The Vega is a very pretty boat, particularly well suited for single-handed sailing, and longer distances are certainly possible. Not a boat you'd bother racing though.

    Another one to add to the list is the Leisure 27, lots of space and not shy of showing her heels when sailed right.




  • You'll need at least 3 - preferably 4 on board to get any enjoyment from racing.




  • Steve wrote: »
    You'll need at least 3 - preferably 4 on board to get any enjoyment from racing.

    I'm happy bringing up the rear however I imagine that there'll be the equivalent of ourselves willing to crew within the club; we've also got a couple of friends who have sailed previously and would happily volunteer.

    Anyways, the racing is only a couple of months a year and only makes up a small part of boat ownership for us albeit a fun part.




  • I'm happy bringing up the rear however I imagine that there'll be the equivalent of ourselves willing to crew within the club; we've also got a couple of friends who have sailed previously and would happily volunteer.

    Anyways, the racing is only a couple of months a year and only makes up a small part of boat ownership for us albeit a fun part.

    I've done a bit of White Sail class racing in the past and its fine with not many bodies on board. You only struggle in a bit of a blow when you can't throw a couple of fatties on the rail.




  • I generally agree with the comments of Steve and Tabnabs.
    I’ve cruised on one and raced on a couple of Shipman. The first was one of the very early ones, built in Limerick. I recall installing a compass & a wind indicator and the thickness of the bulkhead was staggering, I thought I’d never get through it! The same yard also built two Fastnet 34’s, (anyone remember them with the black porthole in the transom?) but all those boats were overbuilt and as a result the yard folded. I cannot recall where the molds went but some of the later Shipmans suffered from osmosis, so be careful if you go that route, a survey would be mandatory.
    Forget trailer-sailing, it will break your heart, launching/recovering, stepping the mast, setting up the rigging, etc. will take most of your sailing time and doing that work is not an easy task for two. Plus you’ve left a car and trailer on a quay somewhere.
    Personally I’d drop back a notch from a Shipman and look at 23 – 27 feet max and use the cash saved to buy new sails and replace the rigging. Leisure 24 or 27, Jaguar, etc.
    Also, if you intend racing forget a bilge keel, you will need fin.


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  • We've just sold a Hunter Sonata, which is a fantastic boat for racing. Might be a bit smaller than you've been thinking at 6.5m, but it's very manageable (much more so than a Ruffian, IMO), the loads are all very light, and we raced it with three or four on board no problem (mostly female, and light!) and often took it out two-handed.


    While the Ruffian is jib-driven, the Sonata is fractional and main-driven, which in my experience makes for much easier handling.


    We had brilliant fun with it, and you'll get them for half nothing these days.




  • Thanks for the replies folks, some interesting points to digest.

    Something else I was wondering about was insurance and typical costs.
    After the club races this week one of the guys mentioned that often insurance will dictate when you can put in & lift-out your boat, summer Vs winter.
    Seems ridiculous that your sailing season can be determined by your insurance company.

    Secondly is transport companies/costs.
    Are there many options in this regards?

    Thanks all!




  • Seems ridiculous that your sailing season can be determined by your insurance company.


    Insurance companies do not dictate when you lift in/out – the insured period is a factor in premium calculation and provision of cover. Where a boat is moored (river/estuary/harbour/lake/marina/etc.) is another factor – moored on a buoy on the Atlantic coast is a different risk to tied up in DL marina. Experience of skipper/owner is another factor
    If you are racing you also will have a reduced level of cover for mast & rigging.




  • Thanks for the replies folks, some interesting points to digest.

    Something else I was wondering about was insurance and typical costs.
    After the club races this week one of the guys mentioned that often insurance will dictate when you can put in & lift-out your boat, summer Vs winter.
    Seems ridiculous that your sailing season can be determined by your insurance company.

    Secondly is transport companies/costs.
    Are there many options in this regards?

    Thanks all!


    If you're on a swing mooring your cover will end on a certain date - we got caught a couple of times where lift-out was delayed by bad weather, but we got away with it - not a lot we could do about it tbh (well, we could have gone in to the marina, but they charge punitive visitor rates, even for "locals", so we took our chances!)


    We were looking at transport options when selling our boat, as the trailer wasn't roadworthy - the buyer got Kennedy Transport to do it, they lifted boat, trailer and all, onto a flat-bed lorry and drove the lot away. From my (not hugely exhaustive, in fairness) enquiries, they look like one of the only dedicated hauliers who'll do boats. No idea how much the buyer actually paid for the transport, but when we enquired about sending the boat elsewhere in the country it was running into four figures.

    And as Pedro said above, cover for racing risks will only be 70% or 75%, I think we got 75% of the cost when our mast came down while racing. Having said that, we had cover with Allianz for years with racing covered, made claims in quite a few of those years (the biggest being the replacement of the rig), and the premium never really changed and was surprisingly low. A LOT better value than house or car insurance!!!




  • Heres a few options from the U.K. that fit your price range,

    (All the value is in the U.K. compared to Ireland).

    Colvic UFO 27

    Leisure 27

    Jaguar 27

    Cobra 750

    Hunter Delta 25

    Beneteau First 25? (though it looks a lot like a 26

    Kelt 760

    Westerly GK 29 - with an odd interior


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  • A few more suggestions. I'd say coming towards the end of the season you'll see more available boats, and for better value.

    MG Spring 25

    Trapper 500

    Hustler 30

    Cobra 750

    Mirage 28

    Contessa 28

    Jeanneau Eolia

    Beneteau First 25




  • You gone from class 3?
    HeidiHeidi wrote: »
    We've just sold a Hunter Sonata, which is a fantastic boat for racing. Might be a bit smaller than you've been thinking at 6.5m, but it's very manageable (much more so than a Ruffian, IMO), the loads are all very light, and we raced it with three or four on board no problem (mostly female, and light!) and often took it out two-handed.


    While the Ruffian is jib-driven, the Sonata is fractional and main-driven, which in my experience makes for much easier handling.


    We had brilliant fun with it, and you'll get them for half nothing these days.




  • neris wrote: »
    You gone from class 3?
    Yep.


    Although in fairness Class 3 in DL is kind of dying a death, which helped push us towards our decision.


    I'm on a Cruiser 1 now, the others are gone various other (smaller) directions.




  • HeidiHeidi wrote: »
    Yep.


    Although in fairness Class 3 in DL is kind of dying a death, which helped push us towards our decision.


    I'm on a Cruiser 1 now, the others are gone various other (smaller) directions.

    Could it be the case that the sportsboat class is attracting people away from cruisers 3 ?




  • Same over in Howth we've 3 in irc for Wednesday night and 6 in total.
    In the late 90s there was over 20 entered for club racing.
    HeidiHeidi wrote: »
    Yep.


    Although in fairness Class 3 in DL is kind of dying a death, which helped push us towards our decision.




  • Thanks for the advice folks, appreciate it.

    Some great suggestions, especially like the look of that first Cobra that seems well fitted out.

    The boats that I'm eyeing up are the Jaguar 27 (Catalina 27), Ecume de Mer 26ft, the previously mentioned Shipman 28, Jeanneau Fantasia 27 etc.

    Although the smaller Hunter Sonata looks like a good option too with plenty of positive views on them. There was someone on here who's been sailing their Hunter 22 long keel 'round Ireland and off to Portugal wasn't there?





  • Although the smaller Hunter Sonata looks like a good option too with plenty of positive views on them. There was someone on here who's been sailing their Hunter 22 long keel 'round Ireland and off to Portugal wasn't there?

    Hurley 22, a very different boat to the Hunters.




  • Tabnabs wrote: »
    Hurley 22, a very different boat to the Hunters.

    and he's made it to the far side of the world by now hasn't he?

    Attila Vedo




  • Several have undertaken ridiculously long voyages, including quite a few trans Atlantic's.

    Sure there was a Norwegian who sailed a Leisure 22 down to the Pacific!




  • Tabnabs wrote: »
    Several have undertaken ridiculously long voyages, including quite a few trans Atlantic's.

    Sure there was a Norwegian who sailed a Leisure 22 down to the Pacific!

    Not sure if it was a leisure 22 but Norwegian took a 22 footer down to the Antarctic. Great book by one of the crew about the trip and the head case they picked up along the way. Beserk in the antartic


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  • Tabnabs is correct, it was a Leisure. A Dane (maybe Norwegian?) has spent 13 years circumnavigating on a Leisure 22 and when I last heard of him he was in the Pacific - he had been in New Zealand.

    I had one of the very early Leisure 17’s (round porthole) years ago. Western Marine were the original importers for Ireland. A Leisure 17 reportedly did a Transatlantic in the late 60’s in thirty –odd days soon after the model was launched. Another Leisure 17 on passage to the Caribbean came through a hurricane. After several days of being bashed about the skipper (solo sailor, ex-merchant marine) gave up, went below and just pulled the hatch. Boat was rolled several times and the boat was washed ashore on a beach in Cuba. Promptly arrested (cannot remember whether it was for illegally landing or as a suspected spy!) the owner of Leisure Yachts/Cobramold flew to Havana to bail him out, got great PR for the company.

    A couple of years ago another 17 came to the UK from Turkey – the owner said when arrested at a Channel Port that he was in love with an English lady he met when she was on holidays and was coming to marry her. Several of the smaller Leisures cross the North Sea to UK from Baltic/Holland every year for regular meet-ups.

    They are great sea boats.




  • neris wrote: »
    Not sure if it was a leisure 22 but Norwegian took a 22 footer down to the Antarctic. Great book by one of the crew about the trip and the head case they picked up along the way. Beserk in the antartic

    Albin Vega 27. I think the ice got it in the end?




  • While on the subject of sailing boats/yachts, would a lifting keel be the ideal choice for the Shannon Lakes and Shannon/ Erne waterway?

    Having done both with commercial cruise companies over the past number of years, I'm tempted to dip my 'toe in the water' and try another route apart from the motor cruiser.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks.




  • Fann Linn wrote: »
    While on the subject of sailing boats/yachts, would a lifting keel be the ideal choice for the Shannon Lakes and Shannon/ Erne waterway?

    I would say it would certainly be an advantage, but probably just as important (if not more) would be the ability to step the mast easily enough without a crane, as otherwise you'd be confined to a limited enough area of navigation (a lough plus a few miles of river either end of it until you come to a non opening bridge).

    Looking at a few areas of the river on Navionics, it says the depth range is 2-5m, and in the loughs it would be quite a lot deeper (Fergalb would be an expert on this though). Water levels could also play a big part in the depth ranges of certain sections, as the 'drought' last year lowered the water level in the entire navigation.

    I draw 1.2m (wing keel), and have it in the back of my mind to maybe some year keep the boat for a few weeks/months on the Shannon, and cruise up and down at will, most likely leaving the mast behind in order to travel the full length of the river.




  • I was shocked to see a Halberg Rassy 40+ footer on Lough Derg a few years ago, so anything is possible. But a lifting keel would be eminently sensible. Gibsea 76 or Super Seal 26 would be a good place to start.




  • Any time I've been down there, I've always noticed the yachts there, a few decent sized ones too in Mountshannon, then a few 26-32 footers in Portunma, TerryGlass




  • There's a thriving sailing and racing scene on Derg, lots of sailors out enjoying the big lake. I nearly ended up there with our old boat, but it never happened. You are constricted with the mast, but plenty to see and do in the waters that are available.




  • Tabnabs wrote: »
    I was shocked to see a Halberg Rassy 40+ footer on Lough Derg a few years ago, so anything is possible. But a lifting keel would be eminently sensible. Gibsea 76 or Super Seal 26 would be a good place to start.
    :eek:


    Where would you be going???




  • Exactly what I thought! :pac:


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  • You'd be surprised what people with more money then sense or knowledge will do. I know a guy who knew f*** all about boats bought a brand new 40ft motor cruiser that wouldn't be out of place in DL marina and had it hauled over to Leitrim for use on the shannon. The boat could never get any where near top speed or even half top speed


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