, 2022-06-14 23:30:23,
Peter Poland shares his expertise on British-built second-hand yachts costing less than £30,000, which are comfortable and seaworthy…
You might think £30,000 sounds like a lot of money for a ‘starter boat’. But tracking down a comfortable and seaworthy yacht that’s 30 foot long, less than around 40 years old and capable of taking a crew on coastal cruising trips costing less than £30,000 on the second-hand market can be a challenging project.
It’s stating the obvious, but sailors who are happy with smaller yachts have far more to choose from.In the days before the ‘smallest’ new starter boat became a costly 30-plus footer, many builders used to offer popular ranges stretching from 20ft to 32ft.
But if you are looking for the best 30 foot boats within a £30,000 budget, you will have to start delving into the realms of older yachts.
14 of the best 30 foot boats
Those looking for smaller GRP starter boats – myself included – often settled on the ground-breaking 26ft Westerly Centaur. Between 1969 and the early 1980s, 2,444 were built; outselling any other British production cruiser.
To a large degree its success stemmed from the exceptional space, headroom and comfort that it offered in its day. Three layout options were available and – more by luck than judgement – I bought the most popular.
It had a twin berth forepeak, enclosed heads compartment, L-shaped saloon settee with drop-down table, linear galley to starboard and twin quarter berths aft. Thanks to designer Laurent Giles’s thorough tank testing, the Centaur’s twin keels also broke new ground.
These tests showed a substantial loss in efficiency when keels were aligned exactly fore and aft. So the…
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