Boat Buying Help¿

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Fishnman, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Fishnman
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Melbourne, Fl.

    Fishnman Junior Member

    Just join and would like to say Hello to all fellow seamen. I am getting readdy to retire and my plan is to get a Sailboat and travel the Bahamas to
    South America and to Maine and Newfoundland. I dont have any plans to cross the big pond to Europe. I think I want something around 45' and plan to spend around $250,000.00 for a boat. People say that Catalinas / Hunters are not your "blue water boats" but they seem to be very attrative to me. My wife and I really dont like the DARK teak in some of the older boats ie Morgans, but really like that Design. I dont know much about a bolt on Keel as oppose to a built-in design. How much impact can either take. I am new to saling but have been a serious power boater for 30 yrs. I think alot of sailing has to do with a lot of "Commen Sence". What makes a "Blue Water" boat? Please just give postive reprots and hope this thread does not get into who has the best boat. Thanks
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Catalinas are great at the dock. They are desiged primarily for room inside and to look good at the boat shows. At sea, in rough weather, a tighter interior design is much superior. Also, those huge cockpit and companionways only take one large wave to completely swamp the boat. As for keel design, either one is good when properly built. I think that a smaller boat 25-27' would be a more sensible option to see if you actually like sailing.
    A 45 footer in a blow is a handlful to control. Are you and your wife experienced enough?
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Open water boats, especially sailing craft, are designed quite differently then the majority of "near shore" craft. As Gonzo has pointed out, things seems smaller then a similar sized near shore boat. The interior walkways are narrower, to keep you from being pitched very far and provide hand holds close by if the boat lurches. The cockpit is smaller to keep the amount of "shipped" water to a minimum, more importantly to permit it being drained off quickly, so your boat doesn't have to shoulder this type of burden very long. The structure is heavier, to withstand the conditions, you may encounter at sea. The deck, hull, load bearing structures, rig, sails, everything is built to a higher standard for this reason.

    Catalina's, Hunters and the like are harbor yachts for use where shelter is reasonably close by. There are many of this style of yacht because most folks don't venture to Newfoundland or South America, but rather an easy sail around the harbor or just past the breakwaters in open, but near shore waters. A blue water craft will cost considerably more then the lower scale harbor yachts, but will retain much more of it's value in the long haul.

    The north Atlantic is quite notorious for beating the crap out of boats of all configurations. There are areas of the Caribbean and Atlantic near south America that can give you equally as bad a time of it. Your boat should reflect, what you intend to do and where you intend to go. Leaving Melbourne and making way for south America or heading up the Intercoastal to Main then onto Newfoundland, will require pretty good stretches of sailing in blue water. The Melbourne to Freeport hop could be done in a harbor yacht, but I'd want a true open water craft for your other trips.

    Design evaluations, comparing one engineering solution to another (bolt on/built-in ballast for example) for the same set of compromises are very difficult to make. The same mathematics has to be performed and the strength/safety requirements met. All design elements require some compromise unless it's an all out racing craft. There will be good and bad things about every issue you can think off, most will have been covered with a comfortable safety margin.

    I also agree with Gonzo, in that you should consider, getting your feet wet with a smaller. more easily managed craft around 30'. A 45' yacht can be a handful for an experienced crew, overwhelming for beginners. This isn't to say you can't do it, but the learning curve will be less steep if you cut your teeth on a smaller craft and work up (which is typically the way it's done). The sails on a 30'er can be man handled if gear lets you down (it happens) but you'll not have that ability in a large vessel without the help of a strong crew. The Melbourne to Bahamas run (I scoot down to Ft. Pierce, then make the dash to Freeport a few times a year) can be done in a boat this size and you'll find just what you desire and don't in a sailboat. As you gain experience you'll trade up to say a 35'er, learn more, have yet more ideas, then a 40' and then you'll be ready and have a big list of the things you desire and require in your dream 45' yacht, which may turn out to be going back to a different, but better 35'er (this would also be typical). Good Luck . . .
  4. Fishnman
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Melbourne, Fl.

    Fishnman Junior Member

    Wow, Thanks guys! Please dont stop. My boating experience has always been fast. I have done some Offshore Racing (110mph), I now have a 30ft center console and have traveled the Bahama Chain alot. Wife and I have done 1200mi trips and stay on the boat most of the time. I know the weather can change quickly. I am readdy to slow down and enjoy the sencery. Talking to another sailboater he told me from the Bahamas to Antiguia there is only one over night sail. Everything else are day trips. Now if I am in no hurry or dont care if we make it to Antiguia and only make it to say San Luca, that would be ok. If I only make it to Virgina that OK. I know I got a lot to learn but I am not in a hurry to get anywhere. We plan to live on board for a year to get use to the boat and learn tactics. Hope this will be aleast a 4-5 year venture. Very interesting thoughts about water intursion...small space to control being tossed around¿ With boats this size and center cockpit is that a problem that often? Thanks for the great Info. Oh yea what are some good but reasonable priced "Blue Water Boats"?
  5. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    Buying boat help

    Still reckon you can't beat a well maintained Folkboat for good looking lines, ease of handling, and sea worthiness. Oh, and by the way - any change from that $250,000 can be sent my way without embarrassing me... :D
  6. ranger22
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    ranger22 New Member

    This is NOT the experienced voice of someone who has done any blue water cruising, but a lot of research as I plan on doing a similar voyage. Whatever boat I end up buying, it will first go under a thorough marine survey. Then the major upgrades will to be the running and standing rigging, and the sails. There's a huge difference in the strength of my little harbor cruiser and boats rigged for open water cruising.

    And if it's just going to be and your wife consider how easily you'll be able to handle the sails in storm conditions on a 3o footer vs. a 40 footer. Just things to think about. Hope this helps. Like I said, this is all from armchair cruising. Best of luck!

  7. Fishnman
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Melbourne, Fl.

    Fishnman Junior Member

    Thanks Ranger 22, Armchair or Wheelchair were doing it. :D Best of luck to you also.
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The mainsail should be no more than 300sq ft , so its easily reefed by one person.
    Full battens are great on any cruising boat.
    Smaller is better as there easier to handle , cheaper , and frequently can get into more places .

    The difficulty is only one production boat in 1000 is actually seaworthy in an ocean voyage .
    Excellent construction adds weight & cost , and the weekend folks won't pay for anything but mere volume or glitz.

    The usual cure is a sub par "Good Nuff" compromise vessel and STRICT use of the literature in terms of sailing season.

    Some have circumnavigated and never seen more than 35K of breeze , but it takes Planning & some luck.

    Gear you DONT have doesnt let you down, so forget window shade roller furling , and use the conventional hank on sails.

    Find an old Aires self steering , that does better than most helmsmen at sea.

    A good 35 ft (about 28lwl) built for serious ocean work will run $100 to $150K in useable sailaway , fully found,condition.

    Good luck with your search , and remember if you wish to voyage above or below 50N or 50S , it will take a VERY rare vessel inded.

    Sugest you read B.Mossiter and the early literature for ideas.

    Good Hunting!

  9. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Boat buying help

    How about a Freedom-40. The wishbone rig is easy for one man to tackle. Did a fair bit of solo pootering about in the Atlantic some years back in a Freedom. A couple of Force 6's - but not sweat handling the gear. Biggest handicap was the lack of fresh underwear.... :)
  10. D'ARTOIS
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    I second everything PAR and GONZO said about your inquiry. PAR is right: a 45' is a "bridge too far" just for the plain novice. I am a single hander myself, since all my family hates boats (and horses) and my wife had divorced me the moment she discovered that I had bought a yacht.

    I had to learn it the hard way, my first sailing boat was a 40' Frans Maas, expensive, I paid more than her newbuild costs, but a good investment after all. When I sold her, I got more back than I paid for.

    I would say, try a 40', not a modern design, not a harbour style boat but a true saltwatership. I am not familiar with US designs so I cannot speak for them. In your case I would look for a 40' Dick Koopmans - an ulitime seagoing vessel, or a 37' Breehorn, also designed by Koopmans - those designs traveled the world in good comfort. Those boats are to find on the 2nd hand market for around 150.000 - 180.000 Euro's - resale value guaranteed. Aluminium build mostly.
    Those designs go to the conoisseurs of the long voyaging people. They are no racers, nor are they influenced by racing rules etc. that spoils the design of most todays yachts.
    Fast Fred said something valuable about the size of the mainsail: it should not be unmanageable but actually it is not the mainsail that plays an important role in the slooprigged yacht, it's the genoa that powers the boat.
    In this particular case, look for a cutter-rigged design, large main and smaller genoa/jib.
    Before you go into the night, reef one or two. If you are caught by a squall or "Pampero" you are not caught unprepared. A those latitudes you described, I would do it in any case.
    If you have the "sense of the water" you will learn fast and preferrably not by mistakes.
  11. Skippy
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: cornfields

    Skippy Senior Member

    FAST FRED: Sugest you read B.Mossiter

    Fred, do you mean Bernard Moitessier from the 1960s? I just finished "The Long Way". Yet another crazy Frenchman. He built his own 40' steel ketch, has plenty of technical info in the appendix of that book, and wrote a couple others on similar topics.
  12. Fishnman
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Melbourne, Fl.

    Fishnman Junior Member

    Thanks Guys! I can use all the info possible. I am Stubborn and really looking at least 44' to 45' Here is something I saw on I think another forum that might be interesting to you all. ;)
  13. Seafarer24
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Tampa Bay

    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    Tayana, Island Packet and Pacific Seacraft all make blue-water boats in your size and price range (secon-hand).

    Go on and do a search for your size and price range, then use the internet to research the boats you find.

    The best advice I can give you is to take some classes and get bare-boat certified, then charter boats in the size range that you're looking at. This way you get to learn on somebody elses boat!
  14. water addict
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: maryland

    water addict Naval Architect

    Just a comment on size. Keep in mind how many crew you will have. There is a BIG difference between 45 feet and say 38-40 feet in ease of handling. I've made many offshore passages on boats in this size range. In a blow, 45 feet is hard to handle if you are short of crew. If you are lacking offshore sailing experience. I'd try to stay at 40 feet or below.

  15. Fishnman
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Melbourne, Fl.

    Fishnman Junior Member

    Hey Seafarer 24, Thanks for the info. I am very familer with the Isd. Packet, awesome boat. Will be at Sarasota, Fl. in Nov for a in the water boat show and Isd Packet will be there. EXCITED! They wil be giving rides and I am really going to sit back and watch to see 1) How many peopke it takes to sail. 2) and how easy it seems to be to handle the vessel.... H2O addict thanks for your imput, and I know weather can play a big part in wether one or two crew can do it. Thanks. Tayana & Pacific Seacraft I hvent heard of....sorry, but will check them out.
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