I've owned many boats, mostly older, from 22 to 31 feet. Most sailers, but a few power boats as well. Done alot of glass and motor work, so although I'm not looking for a project at this point, I'd put some work into the right boat.
Right now we're looking at an 84 Formula F23SC. It checks alot of boxes for us, spec-wise at least. The more I read the more I like about it. 24 degree deadrise hull, solid construction, etc. Seems like a decent boat for Narragansett Bay where we'd use it. Any reason I should stay away from Formula, quality-wise? Also, what other express cruiser type boats in the 22-25 foot range?
Well I have to say that I haven't heard of any quality issues with the Formula boats but every manufacturer has had a bad model at one time or another. I've always liked the Formula hulls and they're still in business so they must be doing something right. My knowledge of express cruisers is limited so hopefully someone with more knowledge will jump in.
After doing more research and looking at this boat, the Formula Express Cruisers of the 80's were definitely trying to check all the boxes for family boating. The 23sc was built on a proven, seaworthy hull but the deck-cabin molding ended up being somewhat tall. Some big windows on the sides and across the front of the cabin make it look like say a CC Catalina 25 or Trojan F25 - a bit sleeker but still boxy. Interior space is nice if cramped, with V berth/dinette, small galley, enclosed head, and coffin-sized quarter-berths. Cockpit is small with precious room taken up by oversize riser boxes for the helm and navigator seats. That left just enough room for a bench seat across the stern. The owner of the one we looked at had removed the bench to make more floor space for fishing, which was probably wise. Now there's enough room for a couple deck chairs and small cocktail table but not much else.
It's still on my list in for nothing but it's seaworthy reputation but we're still looking...
Waterwings wrote: Yeah good hull but 23' is a little small for a cruiser with any real room. If you really want a cruiser go at least 26' or larger but she'll be a good back up if you can't find what you really want.
Yeah I can see that. A 23' pocket cruiser is like trying to fit 10 lbs of crap in a 5 lb. bag. But 23-24 feet is about the biggest I can tow with my truck, and a bigger truck is not in the budget. LOL boat builders are still working to the same recipe these days, just sleeker and more of that Euro sculpted styling (uggh!). Plus, the trend is now towards a negative sheer line in the bow, which is just begging to be buried in a big wave or wake.
Waterwings wrote: Well there is the towing limit......lol. I hear ya on the negative sheer but they do look sleek. So being a retired Navy guy we use to bury the bow a lot what's the problem! LOL
But there were no wives or children on board Navy ships. LOL
Bottom line is, I'm just an old-fashioned guy that prefers the more classic lines and less upholstery. Since posting, we've looked at a few more boats and I think my wife is with me about the classic vs modern thing. She doesn't like the wee little windows and closed in feel of the sleek modern stuff. She keeps telling me to go back to that Formula F23Sc and she'll reupholster the 80's orange cushions and replace all the mildewy carpet liner.
Reviving this thread rather than start yet another one. Last here, I was considering the Formula 23SC, but the owner couldn't get it running for us and my wife decided the mildew in the cabin was just too much work to restore.
So after taking the summer off, I started looking for fall bargains and this '87 Slickcraft 279SC caught my eye. As Bob (aka Waterwings) said, 26' is a better size for what we want to do. I'm usually more of a classics guy but this 80's pointy guitar look is kind of cool. The dual pilot seat is better for us, and it has just enough cockpit and cabin space, and has the walk-thru transom and useable swim platform that appeals to my wife. Although it's listed as a 27' 9" OAL, it's really more of a 26' boat with a molded-in swim platform. A bonus is, it's on a trailer so we can pull it and bring it home when we want. We cut a deal and picking it up tomorrow. Just in time to winterize it and wrap it, and spend the winter bringing maintenance up to date and making some upgrades.