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Old 02-01-2009, 00:32   #1
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Hi there, My name is Gabrielle.

I'm new to these forums and new to boats altogether. I've got a few questions I'm hoping more experienced boat owners can answer.

I'm looking into buying my first boat. I'm torn between a cruiser, and a motor/sailing boat. I'm looking to cross the Atlantic Ocean and travel through Europe. I've been told a sailing boat is ideal because I wouldn't spend so much money on fuel costs. However I have no idea how to sail, or how to care for a sailing boat. I'm planning to hire an experience crew to cross the Atlantic because of course I am NOT qualified to attempt this on my own.

I am in the process of moving back to Europe, I have lived in Portugal and Spain, and I'll be moving to the UK this time, and on arrival I would be purchasing a boat to be used as a liveaboard. Therefore I figured, what the heck, I'll buy one in North America and make it an adventure.

Does any one have any advice in what to look for in a boat? The best kind of boat? Where to find experienced crew? For hire or to be part of the adventure? Or anything in general? Feel free to e-mail me with tips as well.

Thanks,
Gabrielle
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:24   #2
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Dear Gabrielle,
I think there is no such a thing that "best boat", as it simply depends on so many variables.
Things to consider:
- purpose, what do you want to do with your boat, operating range
(you wrote about this)
- financial status, how much can you spend on your boat
- are you planning to keep your boat for a longer period or should you be able to sell it sooner or later
- ability to fix technical problems, or lack of skills (as there is always something to fix, even in the new boats, and especially in the long run)

The type of boat depends on her operating range.

One good idea in your case could be to get some experience first by joining as a crue member on someone elses boat, or even for a journey/voyage. Many boat owners/skippers look for crue for many kind of voyages.
Check this site also or then these below:
www.adventuresoffshore.uk.com
www.cruiser.co.za/
www.worldcruising.com/arc/
www.staf.fi/index.cfm?lang_id=3&la=EN
(above, two boats at the caribean at the moment and heading back to europe soon)
www.noonsite.com/
www.ybw.com/pbo/home.htm
As you can see there are many sites to look for

good luck

timo v
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:03   #3
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Welcome to the Forum, Gabrielle.

A good way to get started would be to use the Google custom search function in the "Search" pull-down menu near the top of the page. There are a bunch of threads on Motor Sailors, for example. The wealth of information in our archives will help you formulate questions about "the right boat", so you can expect more specific responses from our members.

Good luck in your quest!
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:43   #4
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While I applaud your sense of adventure I would caution you that this is not a simple decision but a very complex decision tree with many stages or gates you need to pass through.

The boat which might best suit you are a dockside "residence" is likely not the boat to cross an ocean with. Just one example. Boats in a seaway require that you have adequate hand holds so that you can make your way in the boat when it is being tossed about or heeled over. This pretty much means no large open spaces because then you will be tossed about an injured. On the other hand small spaces may be too confining for a liveaboard dockside life style, especially when several people are on board. it gets very crowded and tight very fast. For passage crew is on deck on watch and rarely will everyone be below at once, so a smaller boat can suffice in passage but be too crowded for THAT size crew in port.

There are many books about sailing, cruising and many are how to's and very good resources. Since most people cruising have little or no income lots of financial planning is required to sustain the live style. This means a complete understanding of the economics of buying a boat, fitting it out, maintaining a boat and "parking" a boat. Mooring costs are lower than what you would pay for something ashore, but there are costs to be consider.

What attracts you to boats?
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:55   #5
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Does any one have any advice in what to look for in a boat? The best kind of boat? Where to find experienced crew? For hire or to be part of the adventure?
Gabrielle,
Have you considered signing up as a crew member for a qualified skipper (preferably someone taking a few members of his or her own family) for the crossing and then looking for a boat on the other side with the benefit of some experience?
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:09   #6
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Gabrielle,
Considering VAT, it might be better to purchase in Europe. Ziggy also makes an excellent point about crewing. It would save considerable time and expense.
John
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:47   #7
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A Columbia 45 is a 'Motor-Sailer'. I have the larger engine teh Perkins 4-236 85hp. 1.2 gallons per hour at about 7.5 knots. Check em out, lots of room, very good boat. Mine is 5'3" draft, still with deep bilges she sails and tracks very well. I am biased, but I can't afford a Sou'wester 42...
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:07   #8
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What attracts you to boats?

I was born in Brasil, I was playing in Ocean water since before I could talk. I absolutely love the Ocean, if it were possible I would live on a small island somewhere deserted. I'm also a pretty adventurous spontaneous person, so I often get random ideas and decide to follow through. I used to surf when i live in Portugal and Brasil, I moved to Canada when I was 13 and have not seen the Ocean since. It is kind of depressing to be away from something you love for so long. I am moving to London for school and to be able to travel through Europe, and I figured what better way to live if not on the water.

I've always wanted to learn how to sail. I was looking into the requirements to import a boat into UK and unfortunately they make it waaay too expensive and nearly impossible. I love the idea about hitching a ride with somebody else, it's perfect I'd definitely get a lot of sailing knowledge and therefore would be better informed about purchasing my own boat.

I was going to go all out and purchase either a live aboard or a sailing boat. The issue there is that the live-aboard does not seem like the best option for taking a trip around Europe or even the Caribbean which would be one of the main reasons I'd want to purchase a boat. I'm thinking of going with a 25-30' sailing yacht and then upgrading if it doesn't meet my needs.

Which is better fiberglass or wood? Im ultimately interested in having the boat in salt water would fiberglass be a good choice?

Thanks for all the replies
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:09   #9
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Gabrielle,
Have you considered signing up as a crew member for a qualified skipper (preferably someone taking a few members of his or her own family) for the crossing and then looking for a boat on the other side with the benefit of some experience?

Where would I look into signing up? I definitely think that would be the best option. I do tend to jump into things head first.



thanks
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Old 02-01-2009, 15:48   #10
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Before you spend your money. You need to open your eyes, and take into consideration what this entails. It is not as easy as you seem to think. Get on other people's boats as suggested. Learn to sail. Crew for everyone, and learn what will make you happy. I couldn't advise you on a car, and can't on a boat also. One thing though! It should be RED............i2f
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Old 02-01-2009, 17:43   #11
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I don't mind spending money. I hate money, I think that in today's world many people lead unhappy lives because of money. People limit themselves because they believe money will make them happy, it won't. Money is not a problem, I save it and I spend it. But even if I end up making a huge mistake, I still got an experience and a story out of it. I know it isn't easy. I hope it isn't easy otherwise it'll be a waste of time. The hardest things in life and the hardest parts of life become the most rewarding. Did you mean the boat's color should be red? Red is definitely my color of choice.
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Old 02-01-2009, 17:44   #12
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Does anybody know what kind of license you need to drive a boat in the UK. I know about the safety, the licenses for the waterways, and insurance. Is there anything else that is required?
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Old 02-01-2009, 17:45   #13
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Where would I look into signing up? I definitely think that would be the best option. I do tend to jump into things head first.



thanks
Gabrielle,

I don't know where you live, but the best way in my opinion may be to ask around a local yacht club if anyone needs a racing crew. That would allow you to get to know a few people, and let them get to know you. I would advise against answering internet ads about crew wanted--you want to be able to get to know a skipper before signing up for a crossing, or at least make a few independent inquiries about their reputation and abilities, not only seamanship, but perhaps more important, their leadership style. A crossing means working with others in a very small space, potentially in life threatening situations. If the crew is well led by a good skipper, I'm sure you'll have a blast. The alternative could be hell, and there will be no way to get off.
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Old 02-01-2009, 17:58   #14
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I don't mind spending money. I hate money, I think that in today's world many people lead unhappy lives because of money. People limit themselves because they believe money will make them happy, it won't. Money is not a problem, I save it and I spend it. But even if I end up making a huge mistake, I still got an experience and a story out of it. I know it isn't easy. I hope it isn't easy otherwise it'll be a waste of time. The hardest things in life and the hardest parts of life become the most rewarding. Did you mean the boat's color should be red? Red is definitely my color of choice.
Spending money buying the wrong boat is not a problem. You're young (at least it seems so from your posts) and as you say, it would be a learning experience. But offshore passages are a serious business and require careful planning.

The Marion-Bermuda race (Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race) could give you some offshore experience. It is intended to be a little more relaxed and family oriented than the Newport to Bermuda that takes place on alternate years, the organizers take safety very seriously, and the boats tend to be well prepared. I would think it would be very good experience if you could find the right skipper who didn't mind having a newbie come along.
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Old 02-01-2009, 19:50   #15
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Simple. Stay away from wood as much as you can. It is for those who like to continuously work on it. FRG is cheaper by a whole lot. The simpler the boat, teh less $ for repairs in a sense. I have mine because I was looking at the Taiwan 41-51 and the Columbia 41 & 45. The classic traditionals are really nice, but require a lot of maintenance. The C41 & C45 are very strongly built, inexpensive and easy to maintain. My $.000001 worth.
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