What type of boat

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by badamsios, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. badamsios
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    badamsios New Member

    Hello, the names Brian. Thanks to Horatio Hornblower I've been addicted to tall ships since I was a teenager. Now, 7 years from retirement, the wife and I want to do some sailing. We've been taking sailing lessons and are contemplating a sailboat for retirement. So, some questions:

    How practical is it to sail the globe? Is there a sailboat design that could do it? Stable yet easy to sail? I'd love to sail one I built myself, too. I'm very handy with tools, built a couple houses and restored an old GTO... I'm confident in my skills, that's not an issue for me.

    But I dare not ask a sales person to recommend a boat design/style, I'm sure I'd be told that the only option is whatever is the most expensive.

    Thanks!
     
  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Build a boat because you want to spend a few years working with your brain and your hands, not to save money. You can't know enough at this stage, nor for many years, to build your own boat for the reason that it is superior to anything else out there new or used. Nor will you save money building your own. So that leaves the experience of building is important to you.
    Ask those who have built that much boat whether they feel they made the right decision to build their own.
    As far as sailing the globe goes, it isn't cheap. However, if you can afford to do it, learn to sail and start out spending long periods sailing inshore graduating to more ambitious voyages.
    You have a long ways to go but there's no better time to start than right away.
     
  3. badamsios
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    badamsios New Member

    Sage advice, thanks!
     
  4. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Bad,

    Depending on where in the world you are my advice might change a little, but my advice is to go find a reasonable 30-35 footer in OK condition and actually start to do some short distance cruising. First to get comfortable on a boat, and make sure it is something you want to do. Once you are good with overnights and weekend cruises, try a few week long trips, but trying to stay local.

    As you get more comfortable on the boat, and begin to really know what you need and want, the idea of building a boat makes a lot more sense. I know one couple for instance that bought a boat sailed away from Miami to the Bahammas and within a week were back in the states for a major refit. The problem, nothing really serious, but they realized that the owners berth was to short. Not so short that on visual inspection it was a problem, but she always slept with her head on his chest, and this meant that their 6'6" bed was a tad small for this arrangement.
     
  5. badamsios
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    badamsios New Member

    Any places that rent sailboats like that? I'm near San Francisco.

    6'6" bed?! Heh, that'd leave me about 16" to spare:) 1st sister, 5'9", Brother - 5'6" - 2nd sister = 5'11"... Last but not longest? 5'2". Why not boy girl, boy girl instead?!!! But I have a towering ego that helps.

    Tell me... I'd not expect to save money, but I'd not expect it to cost far more. I'd have to pay retail and buy tools, but I'd not have to pay a lot of labor...

    Thanks!
     
  6. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Sounds like a long road ahead as you buy tools and learn to use them, build a boat, learn to sail it, probably repeating the cycle. Health and money issues down the road could force you to change plans, or you may just rethink your priorities.

    My suggestion is to start small, get to know some sailors and crew with them, and generally test the waters - starting with sheltered ones! Renting is a good idea; in my experience boat renters are on rivers and lakes not on the coast but I could be wrong. Gaining a little experience before renting can save embarrassment (voice of experience ... ) and there's no reason why your first owned boat can't be a used one.

    When it comes time to build, assuming you're still on the same course, discuss your needs with several designers - by then you'll know more about them - and buy a design from a professional. Do not think about designing the boat yourself. Oh, and you'll need a place to build.
     
  7. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    A quick google search for "San Francisco sailboat rental" poped up about a dozen places that rent them. I have no idea about type/size but I would get started there.

    There are others on this site that can give you more information than me on the actual cost of building a boat, but there are some good reasons why it may actually cost you more to build your own than buy.

    1) The price for a new build must be compared to the price of a new boat, which is not very often necessary. In three generations of boat ownership in my family we have never bought a new boat over 26'. There are a lot of relatively new boats on the market at reasonable prices, and with the exception of those people that have very specific desires and know exacally why they want/need a specific design it doesn't make a lot of sence to build.

    2) Manufacturers have long term, and bulk deals on supplies that a home builder will not likely be able to take advantage of. While it is probably possible that if you order pallets of epoxy, fiberglass, and rolls of tubing/line you can get a reasonable break on these, large dollar items like engines, winches, sailing hardware, Deck hardware, ect... You will be buying 1 or 2 of them and no discount is going to be available. Winches for instance on a large boat may cost upwards of $75,000 retail. What a manufacturer would pay is of course less, how much less depends of course on volume.

    3) The number of mistakes for a first time builder are of course going to be higher, and while many of them will be relatively cheap, one or two big ones could be disasterous.

    4) Once it is all said and done a lot of very expensive boats to build have almost no residual value once they are compleated. This can be for a number of reasons, but comes down to just a few big ones. a) The design was so specific that noone else wants it b) The design doesn't work as well as was hoped c) there are no comparables to price it against d) people like buying from established manufacturers. The best example of this I can think of is a boat called "Cone of Silence" That was a custom designed 30' open ocean racer. Fast as blazes, and build to take a beating, constructed of solid Nomex Carbon Fiber, professionally maintained since the build, and the last I heard has been for sale for over 2 years. Asking Price of 130K which is less than a comperable Melges 32, which it is much faster than.



    All of that being said there are still good reasons to build your own boat, and I wouldn't suggest that there aren't. But generally for a novice sailor there are boats out there that will meet the needs you have identified for far less money, time, and aggrevation. Then when you outgrow that boat sell it, buy something else, and do the same thing. Only once you have been around a few boats can you really understand the issues that would drive you to design a boat, somehow different than what is already on the market. Though once you do, it will likely be something you hang onto for life.
     
  8. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I suspect most people build boats for extreme performance or other objective for the sense of achievement or as an experiment. Once it's done they lose interest. That kind of person is not interested in another person's idea, they want to try out their own. Other people who put less emphasis on performance are looking for other things such a boat will lack, so the boat languishes behind its for-sail sign. At the other end of the scale, round-the-world cruiser designs are not so far from the cruiser norm and if they've actually been around that likely adds to their resale value.
     

  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Very true Ancient.

    But I still maintain that i a long distance cruiser there is percieved value in a manufacturers name being printed on the hull. People like knowing what they are buying, they like knowing how to get reviews on how the boat performs, and stories of how the boat performs in heavy waves. Now is all of this actual value? No probably not since any specific boat will have its own characteristics, but people buy boats for percieved value, not actual.
     
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