Ideas for a 30ish foot conversion in the USA

  • 07 Jul 2021 14:50
    Reply # 10734712 on 10720850

    There have been advances in yacht design over the past half century; the moderate fin keel + skeg-mounted rudder kind of configuration is a type that will handle better than the older full keel + attached rudder configuration, and will do better under self steering than the fin keel + spade rudder configuration. Without detailed knowledge of the range of boats on the N American market, I regret that I can't be more specific.

    As to size: Sailing single handed with an occasional crew that is passive (at best) or reluctant (at worst), and requiring headroom of at least 6ft, I think that 9m / 30ft is the sweet spot. If the crew were eager to sail, they'd sail on anything that floated, and going for something larger than 30ft wouldn't make them more eager. My younger daughter, when of school age, would consent to come for a family holiday on the large, newish production boat with all mod cons that I was able to borrow, but didn't have any interest in sailing for its own sake. Doesn't willingly set foot in a boat, now, if it can be avoided. Can't win 'em all.

  • 07 Jul 2021 13:52
    Reply # 10734616 on 10720850

    Thank you for all the responses. 

    Paul, many of the Westerly boats look like the perfect little cruiser. They are rare over here in the USA. I like your Westerly Fulmar suggestion. I had not seen that particular design before. I like the fin keel and balanced rudder. I think it is unlikely that one will come up for sail in my part of the world, but I will keep my eyes open.

    David W, my copy of Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere is very well used. I read the book over and over again about 10 years ago. I read the book so much that I was able to identify three typographical errors in the text. John Vigor did a good job convincing me that I needed a full-keel heavy displacement boat and I spent a good amount of time tying to find a Westsail 32. In the end it just seems like too much money for me to spend and I purchased my South Coast 23, design by Carl Alberg. Now, sailing my S2 6.7 with a fin keel and balanced rudder, I am not sure I want to go back to a full keel with an attached rudder. It took a lot of effort to fight the weather helm on my SC23. Am I right in thinking that any full-keel boat with an unbalanced rudder will take a lot of effort to steer?

    Stillthis looks like a good price for a 1981 Southern Cross 31. From my perspective this seems to be good value for the money.

    Annie, I think you summarized what I am debating. A Catalina 30 looks like the most economical way to get a floating, sailing studio apartment. It is one of the most successful production sailboats ever and the company is still in business. They must have done something right. But then there is the "Catalina Smile". If I understand correctly the external ballast on the older C30s can break away from the hull. That sounds bad. On the other hand a well-built, full keel Cape Dory, with the ballast encapsulated in the hull, seems like a better boat but with less to offer for accommodations.

    Last modified: 07 Jul 2021 14:34 | Anonymous member
  • 07 Jul 2021 06:31
    Reply # 10733502 on 10720850

    Annie Hill and David Webb have both made some good recommendations as to suitable yachts for conversion. I would add the Nonsuch 30, and any of the Freedom yachts, being boats with unstayed cat rigs. Although I have heard from someone who knows a bit about these older boats that any Nonsuch hull and decks should be checked with a moisture meter before purchase. The same rule would probably apply to any older cored construction yacht.

    At least if you are not in a big rush an already converted junk yacht might come along, even one of the Badger family of yachts.

    Scott, you wondered in an earlier post as to what is the ideal size to manage single handed. I think 9 to 10 meters is the sweet spot where you have a boat that can stand up to some weather, will have reasonable speed, reasonable accommodation, not too much to maintain for one person, and can be easily handled by one person. Of course Annie thinks that 8 meters is the ideal size!

    I was Skipper and crew on a 14 meter charter yacht weighing 20 tonnes for a long time. I managed that boat single handed in all sorts of sailing and berthing situations. I did thousands of miles in my 11 meter trimaran by myself including ocean crossing. I also sailed the 10 meter junk rigged 'Footprints' often by myself and managed ok. But I am finding my 6 meter catamaran to be very enjoyable to sail and handle by myself. The size of boat that you can handle by yourself really depends on the quality of equipment to help you, such as winches and anchor handling gear, and also boat handling technique. But the real limiter of size I think is how much boat are you prepared to maintain. 

    Last modified: 07 Jul 2021 06:46 | Anonymous member
  • 07 Jul 2021 02:53
    Reply # 10733206 on 10732849
    Scott wrote:I thought maybe someone would like to talk about which 30' production boats would be the best value for money and why this boat or that boat would make a good candidate for a junk rig conversion. Looks like I was wrong. It seems everyone is tired of the "Which boat" discussion!
    The thing is, that just about any production yacht will convert satisfactorily to junk rig. We all have our own ideas about what represents value for money, and we all have our own ideas about what constitutes a good cruising boat.  If it's quality build you are after, then you'd probably be looking for a Cape Dory; if it's accommodation, maybe a Catalina would suit you better; if you want to load her up and go off for months on end, then maybe the Westsail would be the ideal.  It so much depends on you and your priorities.  Why not go and see what's available and see if there's anything you like, and then see what people think about converting her?
  • 07 Jul 2021 01:32
    Reply # 10733132 on 10720850
    In that size range, the Westerly Fulmar would be top of my list..
  • 06 Jul 2021 23:05
    Reply # 10732926 on 10720850

    Hi Scott,

    if you are looking for a bullet proof boat in the 30 foot range my choice would be between the Westsail 32, Bristol Channel Cutter and the Cape George cutter. All of these are heavy displacement cruisers with solid fiberglass hulls and a good reputation for seaworthiness.  Converting to junk rig would mean a large single sail of around 6 to 700 square feet and the lower aspect ratio of a split junk rig would probably suit best.

    All the best, David.

  • 06 Jul 2021 22:14
    Reply # 10732849 on 10723020
    Arne wrote:

    Scott,
    I think you should rather discuss this with your family, first. If they are reluctant to go sailing with you in your present boat, they will hardly be more enthusiastic about a 9m boat.  Try to invite them out on 2-4-hours-long outings and let them build some confidence in the boat and sailing. If you succeed in that, you could make plans together for a bit more ambitious sailing, and a bigger boat.

    Good luck!
    Arne

    Fair enough, Arne.

    Maybe I was putting too much on my family. I would still like to work on making my current boat the best 22 foot trailerable cruiser I can over the next few years. But, after that, I think I want something with some room for me to stand up inside, even if I am still single handing the boat.

    I thought maybe someone would like to talk about which 30' production boats would be the best value for money and why this boat or that boat would make a good candidate for a junk rig conversion. Looks like I was wrong. It seems everyone is tired of the "Which boat" discussion!

    Last modified: 06 Jul 2021 22:35 | Anonymous member
  • 03 Jul 2021 10:08
    Reply # 10723020 on 10720850
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Scott,
    I think you should rather discuss this with your family, first. If they are reluctant to go sailing with you in your present boat, they will hardly be more enthusiastic about a 9m boat.  Try to invite them out on 2-4-hours-long outings and let them build some confidence in the boat and sailing. If you succeed in that, you could make plans together for a bit more ambitious sailing, and a bigger boat.

    Good luck!
    Arne


  • 02 Jul 2021 15:02
    Message # 10720850
    Annie wrote:

    I know you've just done it, but surely it would be more sensible to buy another sound, second-hand boat and convert it?  The fact that you have just done it, would make it easier.

    Don't forget it took me over 5 years to build my boat, working full time and full days.  You would probably fit it out as David intended, in painted plywood and simple joinery (not that mine is complex by any means!), but even so ...  I know more than a few people who built a larger boat for family sailing, only to spend so long building it that the children had grown up and left home by the time it was finished

    If you really want to build a boat, then I would only encourage you.  However, you say that isn't your main reason.  Boats in USA are cheap: I'd at least look at what's available before committing myself to such a project, for all that it would be great for my boat to have sisters.

    Annie,

    I am replying here to avoid taking over the SibLim 10m topic.

    If I build a boat it will be painted plywood. I like a utilitarian boat. I don't think I have the artistic spark to create something like Fanshi.

    Used boats for sale in the USA are cheap. None of them have Junk rigs and usually they are cheap because they spent 20 or more years floating at a dock, mostly unused, and have developed that usual old boat smell that I think is some combination of mold and diesel fuel.

    But I suppose even ripping out the interior and re-building it is less work than starting with building a shed and frames for a new hull. Maybe a new sailboat is just not part of my lot in life. 

    I created this new topic to ask for help finding a good candidate for doing a conversion. I want to sail my current boat for a few more years and make some more modifications but then I think I really want something with better accommodations.

    This is the criteria I have in mind, in no particular order:

    1. A production boat that is common enough that I will be able to find several of them for sale and pick the one in the best condition for the price.

    2. Standing headroom for myself at 6' 1".

    3. The best accommodations I can get while still keeping the boat small enough for me to sail single handed. I don't want a boat so big that I need help to get in and out of the marina, but I need to be able to sleep 4 people with some amount of comfort. I think this means a 30-ish foot boat, but I welcome input from anyone and everyone.

    4. Seaworthy. I know that is a vague requirement. I am not sure how to be more specific. 

    5. Being able to trailer the boat is no longer a priority. A boat on jack stands for the winter is OK.

    6. Shoal draft is not necessary.

    Any ideas?

    Last modified: 02 Jul 2021 15:11 | Anonymous member
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