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I think the SR 26 and the Ross 780 look like fun but a bit smaller than I think will suit my needs as I want to do some extended cruising. The Lotus 9.2, the Young 88 and the Whiting 29 are on my list. There are a couple of other possibles but it seems fairly hard to find much information online for older NZ boats.

SR 26 is pretty roomy inside. Little Tardis sone of them. Good cockpit for a boom tent too. Whiting 29’s are nice boats

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There’s an SR26 on trademe that I would put at the top of the list.   Depends what you want to do, but I like faster boats and find they teach you more than the heavier boats like D28’s etc.   A

Those you've mentioned are all good boats. Also worth thinking about a farr 9.2 or a y88. All have been for sale in the price range you mention - probably a case of looking at and maybe trying to organise a sail on a few and see what you think. Personally I'd look for the tidyiest one that's had the most love you can find as it's easy to buy a "project" and blow the budget!

What he said, find the one that's had the most TLC through its life, they are not as common as you might think though.

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At this stage, it would either kept at Pine Harbour or Shelly Park and both have issues with access at low tide. Shallow draft isn't critical but it would certainly add flexibility to when I could go in and out.


I knew there were some twin keel versions made of the Lotus 9.2 and I had heard there was also a centreboard version but have never come across either for sale. I have also seen a shoal draft fin keel version but from what I understand most have the normal fin keel.


The Whiting 29 has two versions, a shallow draft masthead rig cruising version and a deeper draft version with a fractional rig although I have come across hybrid versions. 


From what I have found out so far the Young 88 has a fin keel version and it looks like some have modified fins so the draft varies and there's also a swing keel version.


They all seem to have reasonable headroom from what I can gather. 


Another feature I would like is an open or walk through transom, possibly with a sugar scoop but it's not an absolute must have.

I have seen a couple of Lotus 9.2's modified like this but it would be a bit of an undertaking to do. Some of the Whiting 29's were fitted with a sugar scoop option and a couple have been modified to walk through. Still a little bit of work but not nearly as much as the Lotus 9.2. The Young 88 already has an open transom and as I enjoy sailing I am attracted to its sailing performance. 


So, for an all-weather yacht single-handed cruising around NZ for extended periods with the possibility of having one or two inexperienced crew aboard sometimes which of these would be your preference and why?

I have a Carpenter 29 at Shelly Park, Draft is 1.6 metres access is 2 hours either side of low tide, no change in 28 years. 

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If you hit something in the middle of the channel in something that draws 1m it wasn't the bottom.  I am 1.75 and will only touch the bottom on a .4 dead low.  I can get out all tide on a .5 if I am careful about being in the middle.  It is very easy to drift out of the channel you need to use the triangles not the poles to stay in the middle.  Drift out of the channel and you will bump the bottom in anything.  Pine Harbour has 9m and 10.5m berths so getting something that fits in a 9m saves money,  but the 10.5's fit a 1020 so that is good if you go bigger

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It was definitely the bottom, I know what hitting it feels like   :oops:  and what it took to get moving again and staying in the middle doesn't work when you have someone coming towards you. That said, the boat has been kept there almost since the marina first opened and it's only the second time it's touched. The first time was at dead low many years ago again with another vessel approaching and steadfastly maintaining their position in the middle of the channel so we had to avoid a collision by moving right to the edge that time.

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