Cheap Bluewater Boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by J.D.Hogg, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. J.D.Hogg
    Joined: May 2006
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    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    Some time ago I asked of this forum, advice by which to build a boat for less money than was truly possible. I was at that time, pointed towards the Albin Vega And Pearson Triton designs. These fit my needs very well but I would not be well informed if I did not ask you good folks for your opinions regarding a very affordable boat. Here is a list of features I am hoping to find in a single craft for less than $5000.

    Good seakeeping of course and an easy motion at sea.

    A draft of four feet or less for larger inland waterways. (beach-able, while I'm dreaming)

    Easily and cheaply repairable.

    Easy to single-hand.

    Are there any boats in this range that are not sloop rigged? I would love to discover an affordable ketch or schooner.
     
  2. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I picked up a Contessa 26 a few years back for $1000.00 USD. Had sails, engine, anchors/rode the whole kit. Another time I bought a Formosa 36 for $100.00

    I believe there is no possible way to build at less than the cost of a serviceable used boat.

    Split rig?? Why trade off the efficient sloop? Seems smallish hulls w/split rigs are done up for character status alone.

    Look at a Alberg 30. Give up beaching the boat- you want real draft. I cruise all over the east coast- waterway and outside with 6'.

    Put up as much $ on the front side as possible. Buying as complete a boat as possible is far more economic than spending years repairing and outfitting a stripped hull.

    Be realistic about what you are getting yourself into... "Sailing.. A expensive way to waste time"

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    "The Contessa 26 is an English design which is based on the Swedish Folkboat, and it was built in Canada under licence by J. J. Taylor and Sons. It also was marketed and sold simply as the "J. J. Taylor 26" during the mid 1980s. This boat is clearly robust and overbuilt, and it has to rate as one of the very best ocean-going production boats in its size category. For example, it has no sliding hatch over the main companionway, a feature which makes the cabin roof much stronger and better able to withstand a pounding in an offshore storm. Evidence of this boat's abilities as a bluewater cruiser can be found in the fact that it was chosen by both Tania Aebi and Brian Caldwell in their separate attempts to set the record as the youngest person to complete a single-handed circumnavigation. Because of the nature and origins of this design, the Contessa 26 has a narrow beam and limited elbow room down below."
     
  3. J.D.Hogg
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    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    Thanks, that was exactly the type of info I was hoping for. As to why I would seek something other than the sloop rig; it is more a factor of simplicity and ease of handling rather than efficiency. As I understand it, the only clear advantage to the sloop is its upwind ability. Correct me if I am wrong but this efficiency comes at the cost of storing an inventory of sails, increased stresses, more/costlier deck gear and more moving about on deck to manage the rig. I am also concerned about the ease of unstepping the mast. Right or wrong I am willing to accept the fact that I probably have little choice in this price range.

    Edit: The more I think about it the more I doubt my earlier statements about bermuda / sloop rigs. Aside from the junk are luggers easier to sail? which is cheaper to maintain or repair?
     
  4. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    As to why I would seek something other than the sloop rig; it is more a factor of simplicity and ease of handling rather than efficiency. As I understand it, the only clear advantage to the sloop is its upwind ability. Correct me if I am wrong but this efficiency comes at the cost of storing an inventory of sails, increased stresses, more/costlier deck gear and more moving about on deck to manage the rig

    All the above might be true with a 45 to 60 ft sloop.

    At 20 ft everything is tiny , easy to handle, the loads are low .

    Once the mainsail is over 400sq ft it begins to require some skills and work for a lone crew member.

    But in 20 -30 ft the sloop, or cutter (if bigger) presents no problems that would suggest a split rig would be any advantage.

    And with any small boat speed counts since the LWL is so low , so a less efficient split rig would be a big disadvantage!

    FF
     
  5. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Alberg 30 for under $5k? That would be quite a catch. (There's one for sale here in Kingston, an ex-charter boat at $25,000 CDN).

    Under 35' or so, it's unlikely you'll find any split rigs. The loads on a sloop or cutter are light enough in the smaller sizes that few designers seem to find it worthwhile to split it up.

    Cheap to maintain/repair is more a function of the level of refinement than of the basic shape of the rig. A 40' ketch with thick aluminum masts, galvanized shrouds and Dacron sails will likely be a much cheaper rig to maintain than a 25' sloop with a double-spreader carbon mast, PBO rigging and cutting-edge racing laminate sails.

    I'm not much of a sailor yet (powerboats and sailing dinghies only, for now) but will be watching this thread with interest....
     
  6. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    Junks are horrendously complex, and you dont go to a used sail broker, buy a sail , hoist it and be sailing within the hour. Junks are also hopeless to windward, an dare extremely chafe prone. Just put a big jenny on a roller furler and that 's all you need. I can reef my marconi main in under a minute. How much simpler can it get.
    The name "Junk' describes them well.
    Brent
     
  7. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Alberg 30s can be had fairly cheap here. A friend of mine just sold his for $2500.00
    Lots of boats can be found in fact at surprisingly low prices these days. I do lots of work in a yard which is selling off 4 to 6 30' and under sailboats every year for a few hundred bucks each.
    I will ask around to see if there is anything on the chop list that might suit.
    My first boat was a Cal 27 which came with a truck load of good sails and was purchased at 2.5k. We sailed the boat many miles with very little invested. The Cal was a GREAT sailing boat which got us on the water, taught us how to sail and got us experienced enough to make a good choice when we moved up to the next boat. I see many many similar boats on the used market which would make great starter boats for folks that can be purchased for very little cash. Just avoid looking at listings. When we purchased the Cal comparable boats were listed at 20k- a unobtainable sum for the poor student I was at the time.

    "Cheap" and "Bluewater" is sort of a tough nut to crack. A experienced man can take a light build coastal cruiser and sail it right around the world. The person asking this question might recognize that to become that experienced man, getting out sailing, and sailing as far, wide and often as possible is the only sure way. There are many boats available that will serve.
     
  8. J.D.Hogg
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    J.D.Hogg Junior Member

    Yes. All helpful advice. A further question; what aside from the keel and overall sturdiness is important to an offshore cruiser? Or, rather, what is avoidable as dangerous? For example, I have heard comments about large companionways being good for comfort but not the safest option.

    Ultimately, I am hoping to avoid those craft that give up too much to comfort or racing ambitions.
     
  9. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I've always felt that structural integrity is a bit overrated...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcU4t6zRAKg

    All kidding aside, it might be a good time to start buying some books.
    This is a great one which covers many of the questions you are raising:

    Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts
    By John Rousmaniere (Editor), Stephen L. Davis, Rod Stephens

    http://www.landfallnavigation.com/bx017.html

    Also, look to Dashews 'Bluewater Handbook", Streets 'The Ocean Sailing Yacht', Hendersons 'Sea Sense', everything you can find by Erick Hiscock, Roths books and while your at it don't forget to read Mowatts 'The boat that wouldn't float', required reading for all those who venture out to sea:

    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Boo...s=t&tn=the+boat+that+wouldn%27t+float&x=0&y=0
     
  10. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    " Blue water " by Bob Griffith or "The Long Way " by Bernard Motessier and Modern Ocean Cruising "or "Offshore Cruising Survey" by a Jimmy Cornell are good reads.
    "Seaworthines the forgotten factor " By Marchage is another good read.
    I hear rumours Dashew is writing a new book called "How to Cruise on Ten Thousand Dollars a Day"
    Brent
     
  11. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Steve Dashew is one of the most talented and experienced designers in the game. His books contain a wealth of valuable information for sailors of all stripes.
    It's true- his clients don't include: "parts must be salvaged from the scrap yard" in the design specs.

    His site is worth a look for all interested in sailing.

    [​IMG]
    http://dashewoffshore.com/
     
  12. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    The Dashews have certainly put a lot of valuable information in their books and website. (Unfortunately, their publisher seems to have had a bit of a falling-out with Amazon and the other online bookstores, so short of paying a small fortune for direct shipping from the US, their books are hard to get in some places.)

    However, nothing about their boats is "cheap" in any sense of the word. Top quality everything does not come with a small price tag- these boats are well beyond what a lot of us will ever be able to afford. (Even for those who can afford a Dashew boat, they're awfully hard to find on the brokerage market- people just don't sell the things.)

    Still, there are a lot of clever ideas and a solid design philosophy behind the Dashew boats, that can certainly be put to use on less expensive craft.
     
  13. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    High price often has no relation to quality. Someone who assumes that spending more, automatically gets you a better boat or gear , is a con artists dream.
    Beneteaus vs older boats is a good example of the fallacy in that assumption.
    Brent
     
  14. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member


  15. Paul J. Nolan
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    Paul J. Nolan Junior Member

    A $5,000 budget for sailing offshore? Hahaha! I have only two words for you: Cal 20. Remember that the purchase of a boat is only the beginning. Fitting out and equipping her will consume a lot more. I've seen Cal 20's advertised for $1,000 to $2,500 often enough to know you can find one before you use up your life expectancy. (I've found a couple of screamin' deals on boats, too, but they are few and far between and are usually stumbled upon by being in the life, racing and cruising constantly. Believe me, you'll look for a long time before you find another Contessa 26 for a grand.) A Japanese sailor crossed the Pacific in a Cal 20. He did the modifications to his boat himself and wrote about it in a magazine article, I believe. Start searching the net; you'll find it somewhere.

    Beachable? You cannot be serious!

    Paul
     
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