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Suggestions for Budget keeler 25-32 ft

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First was the salthouse 25,a raven owner(ian scoffin) couldnt be leave the room compared to the raven.Salthouse tachyon (ex terry gillespies) only problem was the under forward bunk dunny, sold and still off te atatu.   a few yrs later brought a cav 26.  both slept 4,cav sailed better but the salthouse was comfortable with 10hp bukh.    For a 10/12k boat proberly cannot go past,most ravens still have the original ys8 yannmar.Problem with yachts is like any,at the price probably needs sail replacement. A good main and number 2 sufficient. 

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Nova 28?  Prob the smallest 28ft'er around but good little boats. 

If you're not in any hurry I'd wait until winter has set in when people haven't used the boat for 3 months and summer still seems like a ways off and they really want to get rid of it.

Keep in mind budget creep, I sold the idea of buying a boat to my non sailing partner with a budget of 20K max. 36K later... 😄

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1 hour ago, harrytom said:

buying is inexpensive,maintaining,Hmm how much 4ltsantifoul Oh have to haul out and on it goes.


...and don't even begin costing your time into it...  It'd break your accountant's little black heart.

If they had one.

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Thanks everyone for replies, i set a budget of 10k as a start point, i can go more but mostly im looking for a sound "no frills" boat.  Would go more if it was for the right boat. Wrt not wanting "a project" I really just mean i dont want something that needs tons of work to get it back in the water, i dont mind fixing stuff as i go along. I would rather spend money on good sails than reupholstered squabs if you know what i mean.  Im have decided against an H28, such a beautiful boat and  comfortable but seem to go for the same price as more modern designs. Watch listing Cav 32's atm.  Probably prefer the Davidson 28 over the tracker.  All armchair research at this point.

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I was in pretty much your position and went the Raven 26 route. Roomier than many larger boats, easy to sail. 


It was big enough for me and my two teenage kids for 5 days in the sounds without too many problems. 


Copes well with some pretty gnarly Wellington Weather

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Excuse me while I don the rose tinted specs and chuck in a couple of cents;

I sailed on a few Ravens back in the 70s. Our family had Cleo for a while. Had lots of fun on them, they're a good solid boat. Some things you might like consider especially if you're larger than average; the quarter berth access is tight, there is about 6' headroom at the foot of the companionway, taller than that and you're on a permanent stoop. They are quite wet sailing to windward in a slop (far more than my Harmonic was). I never liked the standard layout (Cleo had a dinette, that although small, worked quite well, and could drop down to a double), or the lack of a companionway hatch. 

Coming out only a few years later the D28 seemed very 'modern' in comparison, with highish freeboard/low cabin relatively long waterline and no vestiges of rating influences in the design. I've not sailed one, but have been aboard a couple, IMO they are a big improvement in terms of usable interior space vs overall length. At the prices you can get these for today I reckon the D28 would have to be the pick of the boats already mentioned. 

Whatever you do, buy a boat that has been in use, and kept somewhat up to scratch, avoid anything that has been sitting on a mooring for years and years deteriorating.

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Agree with Greg's comment directly above. Have sailed on a d28 and they are a better sailing boat than the h28/r26 etc. More modern concept so better layout, more volume etc too. 

Only thing is at 10k ish you might struggle to find one and if so it's likely to be rough. If the budget is flexible they're a step up from the others. And you can boast that you own a boat designed by the same guy that designed nzl32 and won us the americas Cup. 

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We have sailed a Davidson 28 for 5 days, there was a charter company in Bay Of Islands which used to have one... We did it with 4 adults and felt more roomy than a Cav32.

Sailed well, good cockpit layout and they often have a duckboard too. There are a few layouts with the Galley... The one we Chartered had the Galley on the Starboard side like the one shared in the last post for 10k....   We looked at purchasing one 5 years ago and actually ended up with a Davidson 31.

Now there are some rough examples out there... But that one listed for 10K doesn't look bad at all. Much better condition than some we physically viewed which were list at 18K.

Osmosis is common.. But I feel like people often get a little too caught up with that. These are thick hulls, Osmosis can be dealt with... its not the end of the world. a 2-3mm deep blister on a 20mm-25mm thick hull is not as big of a deal as it's made out (in my opinion). Just deal with it when you can be bothered to be honest.

These are good boats, perfect multi day coastal cruising comfortably with 4 adults. Day trips with 6 adults.  Perfect family yacht. We love our Davidson 31, We've been caught out in 40 knot gusts and she's felt safe. They're solid.

Funny that is Laurie Davidson was an accountant for decades and only later became a yacht designer....  he only had 3 or 4 years professional experience before designing the Davidson 28 and Davidson 31.. and almost 50 years later there are still hundreds sailing out there!!

They're not too slow either. Fin keel. The D31 is a Skeg hung rudder. We can get 6.5knts close hauled  in 20knots without any tidal influence.  beam reach up to 7.2 knts. The odd time downwind with tide and sat at 8knts for a couple of hours ;) haha 





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