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Old 02-23-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
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My wife and I relocated to Vancouver Island 3 years ago, and have finally decided to join the boating fraternity. This will be our first foray into boating, so we have been taking the Power Squadron courses and of course looking for a boat. So many choices! Given our budget we are looking older, and find ourselves drawn to the trawlers. Hoping we find one have joined the forum. So, with that as background here is my very broad first question : we are looking at a 1987 32 Sundowner, and comparing that to a couple of older CHB 34's. Can anyone comment on the relative merits of these two boats. WQill happily troll through the threads, but any hints/pointers appreciated
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:31 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard James, First boat shouldn't require a lot of repairs, you'll lose the desire real quick if you cant take her out much.
Enjoy the hunt, and good luck.
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Crusty Chief View Post
Welcome aboard James, First boat shouldn't require a lot of repairs, you'll lose the desire real quick if you cant take her out much.
Enjoy the hunt, and good luck.
+1
Unless you really enjoy a project (I don't) then you will want to find something that that is in good running condition without too much systems work needed. Old and outdated is just fine, as long as it has been well cared for.
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
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North island, mid island, South Island, or West coast? Retired or still working? I'll admit, I may have bought the slow boat too soon at 40. A lot of what you buy, is determined on how much time you have. Time to do repairs, and time to cruise where you want to.

How handy you are fits into the equation. In my opinion, boats are relatively simple objects; skills required to maintain and repair an old trawler can be translated or learned. But repairs should be enjoyable, with a sense of accomplishment. If it is a chore, you didn't save any money at all.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:21 PM   #5
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I assume you are looking at the Sundowner on the Island. Looks nice from the pictures. I know one of the guys I boat with previously had a 36 foot Sundowner that he really liked it. CHB's seem to be a common starter boat, but they seem to have common flaws (ie. leaking windows and soft decks).

As a very recent boater myself I have to say that you may want to have a less expensive first boat as you may find that what you thought was important to you now is less so after boating for a time.

We were convinced that we wanted a sedan style with a big cockpit and a v-berth arrangement. That is not what we ended up with as we got a great deal on an aft cabin set-up in our Tollycraft. Love it and would be hard pressed to give up on a walk-around bed. Even at that we are refining our desires and the next boat will likely be significantly different in set-up.

You may wish to buy a cheaper first boat to decide what you really want or need going forward. I might be biased but something like a Tollycraft would get you out on the water and let you decide from experience what you really want.
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:10 PM   #6
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We are mid-Island NanooseBay. Retired and quite handy as long as home building/auto mechanic type skills transferable. Point re cheaper 1st boat makes sense, but maybe more sensible if you have a lifetime of boating ahead. We'd like to get close the first time, but maybe that's to ambitious. We want to do 4-7 day cruises, anchoring, and have two beagles so some things (decent dinghy on davits e.g.) important - but realize that can be added. Also, being rookies and looking at a lot of single engines a bow thruster
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:22 PM   #7
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We recently looked at CHB 34's in our search. IMO,if you can find one with good windows, decks, and fuel tanks they may work for you.
I would also consider Grand Banks. We didn't find any Sundowners in our search, but do like the layout.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:33 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard eh? It's going to be said at some point so allow me to be the first. Charter a few different types first...
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