Author Topic: Small boat suggestions for a couple + potential kids  (Read 98 times)

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Offline lovelytsquared

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Small boat suggestions for a couple + potential kids
« on: February 15, 2021, 05:49:51 PM »
HI there,
The moderator kindly added me to this group. I need to get a 1st boat for us to learn to sail safely and cruise around the Caribbean. We are new to cruising and we are really budget constrained people, so I was looking around for an Alberg 30. But the internet have a lot of different opinions. A lot of people are saying it's too small for two people. I'm not too convinced. I'd like some suggestions on good small boats for couples to safely learn and cruise the Caribbean and if you could share some tips and stories of how you manage to cruise in a small boat with other people I would really appreciate. I don't know if I'm just too unrealistic but somehow I do think there's place for sailing minimally and frugally and not make it into a money sinkhole. I'd like to hear some seasons advice!  Thanks!

Offline CapnK

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Re: Small boat suggestions for a couple + potential kids
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 06:43:38 PM »
Off the top of my head, if we can get them to chime in, or you can also look them up in older threads and/or others can link the threads:

1) Craig on 'Faith' - 2 aboard cruised east coast Bahamas and all around Florida, on a Pearson Ariel

2) Capt Smollett - lived aboard family of 4 on an A30 for a couple of years

3) w00dy - cruising couple went from Tx to Bahamas in a 23'er, IIRC, - and back again? then eventually got a 32' Westsail and went up the east coast

4) CJ, or 'Charlie Jones' (as the FBI calls him on the Post Office posters...) - built and cruised a 36' trimaran as a "Dad guy" :) back in the 80's, and more recently Tx to Fl, around to the Bahamas and up the east coast on a 24'er, Rhodes Meridian, with two aboard for half the trip at least.

5) James/ "Chappy" - 24'er Boston to Chas then to Puerto Rico, across teh western Carib to Panama, and still living there now

6) Frank - sometime solo, sometime double, Bahamas and PNW, sail and power - but we cut him a break on the power boats because they're small and also because he's Canadian eh and he shoots some amazing pictures.

7) Eric / "Starcrest" - sailed a Pearson Ariel 25'er twice from Cali to Hawaii and back, among other trips and other boats. Singlehanded, usually, but whopping good tales.

There are more folks here with good stories as well. :) My best advice to you for now: look for a sailing dinghy this spring that'll fit both of you. Something just to learn to sail and have fun, cheap and easy, while you do more research and learn a bit more about boats & boating / lifestyle / philosophies in general, and what you do or don't like about the boats you see *and why*, prior to a purchase.
Living aboard A-30 #429, currently named "Sundance".

Offline Cyric30

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Re: Small boat suggestions for a couple + potential kids
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 11:17:31 PM »
There are lots of good boat under 32' to research on. i am by no means an expert, as many of the more veteran members of the forum are. but i can provide a few links to help you get started..

Good old boats list

Sailboat Calculator, lets you plug in stats and compare boats side by side

The Sailboat data site is always a help

Offline Crazer

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Re: Small boat suggestions for a couple + potential kids
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2021, 05:19:06 PM »
For what it's worth, I have a Cape Dory 28 and I cruise with a good friend quite regularly, and I think it's about perfect for us. I'm slowly optimizing the boat for that use. I'd highly recommend a Cape Dory, if I were to do it again I'd get a 30 or 33 only because they both have bigger galleys with an oven and more counter space, which is something I miss on this boat. I may yet upgrade to a 33 when my wife and I have kids. I'm not sure I could handle having kids on the 28. We have spent the weekend on the boat with four people and it was a lot of fun but for extended cruising I think it would be too crowded. An Alberg 30 should be just fine for two people, provided you get along reasonably well. One thing that really helps us is having a clear idea of who does what. I drive, my friend handles the sail raising and reefing, he cooks, I clean up, etc. That's the key to staying out of each other's way.

The used boat market is pretty quiet right now. Choose a well maintained boat that you can focus on updating instead of a boat that needs a lot of TLC before you can enjoy it. I had to learn that lesson repeatedly. There's plenty of work to be done even on a really well maintained boat!


Cape Dory 28 SV "Fayaway"
        Annapolis, MD