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halsey, what do you want to spend? do you want cruise race or race/cruise?


What sort of car do you own?


Where will you be sailing?

Is interior volume a priority?


Once we have the above criteria locked down we can tighten up existing options?





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Actually I would be interested in people's thoughts on this too, say between a Farr 740 and a Ross 780.


Aim would be some racing (eg Up to 26, maybe SIMRAD, other bits and pieces) and the odd overnight with kids (Waiheke, but also lakes eg Taupo and Rotoiti and maybe BOI).


Thoughts? More interested in $25K range so larger Elliot trailer boats may be our of range.

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Hi Halsey & SBR,


As a comparison the R 780 is probably more flexible and has considerably greater interior volume than a F740.( it will sleep six in a jam but four is probably more comfortable.

performance wise a 780 would in my view easily outdo a F740 cruising or otherwise. The R 780 hopwood boats in most cases appear to be holding up well with some cedar strip example also being configured nicely. Some are very home finished though.


The F740's unless modified have running backstays and an inline rig, most that I'm aware of have been converted to twin swept and a backstay when required. maximum berthage 4. Although the owners of these boats really seem to like them. see farr owner website. Some have been raced hard in the past and I;m aware of some developing issues around CB cases.


The R 780' seem to use two main mast profiles with most boats now using an etchells section with considerable pre-bend and rig tension, mainsail luff curves and overall profile cut to suit flexibility.


R 780 vary in price between mid to high teens and much higher although the current market appears quite soft.


N25's are great all round boat in my view, although generally over priced due to stuffed deck gear, very tired sails, overall age and often trailers on their last legs. Examples range between 5,000 k no trailer, lots of work needing new everything up to and 40,000 k with all the cruising bits. Great boat in breeze, up and down, will plane very comfortably with Kite up and fantastic interior layout and volume for size.


Gazelles particularly mark 1's are solid boats that appear to sail well especially in breeze but i would think their all up towing weight would be high. Overall they appear to be alot of boat for the price.


Aquarius 22, good cruiser, reasonable to tow and price varies see trade me. stub keel ballasted and weighted centreboard. price seems to vary greatly, again in most cases deck gear trailers and sails will betired.


Noelex 22 - not standard and vary greatly, but marten marine boats make good all round cruiser racers at a modest price and great in heavy air.


The elliott 7.4's as others attest are great boats (somewhat rare though) with very good stability and interior volume and come in both wing keel versions and aftermarket bulb conversions. Seem very pricy maybe that's scarcity. Suppose jandal version would sit/dry out better if required but need to check with Elliott on that one.


Personally, if I was in your shoes and didn't want to break the bank for 2 plus one I would look at a N 22 or may be a Ross 650 if you could find one (make sure it has a bulb).


The beauty of the smaller boats is you won't need a large car to tow them. They won't break the bank and you can race them at under 26 club or wherever if you want.


The boats over 23 ft are generally considerably heavier,have braked trailers with corresponding maintenance and the fun factor is not exponentially proportional to size. Try a smaller cheaper boat out and see if it works with the family on nice days first and then you can always trade up later.


Whatever you do with the family cruise in good conditions and plan to get to your destination early... afterall its suppose to be fun and relaxing. If you are involving little persons, a cheap dinghy unders upervision/tethered will provide hours of fun.





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Don't forget the Catalina 23. The later models had a pop top. They are generally in the 11 - 18k range and I think are much better value than a Gazelle.

For an ex dinghy sailor, I agree the F740 looks like great value. Lots of room, a bit of excitement, even allowing for the runners

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