Originally Posted by capt.cam
fall of 2014 or early Spring 2015. We have two young girls who at that stage will be 5 and 8. We’re looking for boat recommendations.
Budget: $50,000 USD sail away. We are looking for something 35’-45’ with two cabins, simpler the better at this budget. This could be 20K purchase price and then 30K investment in sweat and parts or 50K ready to roll or any combination in between. Obviously safety is #1 but agility are speed are also up there in priorities. The total plan is to save 150K USD. 50K would be to sail away and then 25K per year for 4 years, if we make 5+ years, we’ll have to stop and work.
Very tough problem: The 4 people, 2 cabins, $50k sail away and 35-45' is a hard combo meet without getting lucky in finding the boat. If you have the time and willingness to travel a lot to view boats the odds get better.
4 people means 3 good or excellent seaberths, 1 for each offwatch person, plus a place for the on watch person to sit without bumping a sleeper. Excellent would be a pilot berth, very good would be a quarter berth, good would be a settee that has to be converted every night. Berths in an aft cabin
would also be good, the motion at the end of the boat could keep it from being very good.
Let's say 50% of purchase price for outfitting/upgrades. Assuming you can't search over an extended period (more than 1 year) since you need time to upgrade and shake the boat down, lets also assume you are going to get an older stock boat.
$35K purchase in the 35-45' range means 1960's & 70's boats.
Your complement of 4 includes 2 kids
who initially would not be able to contribute much to normal sailing and will be a slight distraction in bad situations, one parent will have to periodically check on them, and no way are you going to let them on deck
when things are bad so they can't contibute even marginally. So in essence you are double-handed or slightly less. If you had money
to burn you could get more, better and newer equipement which would allow you to sail a bigger boat. On a tight budget with less equipement, I would top out under 40'. L&L Pardey
, following the Cabo San Lucas fiasco in 1982, observed in one of their books
that 40' was too much for a couple to handle in a very bad anchoring
situation. Technology has improved since then, but if you don't have the money
to buy that technology, go with the smaller boat. So let's make the size range 33-37'.
Size and price will conspire to make the 2 cabin requirement almost impossible. The only possibility I can think of that would meet the other criteria is the Morgan Out Island
36 with an aft cabin. This creates additional problems in that you now have a center cockpit
meaning wheel steering
which requires more maintenance
and makes wind-vane self steering
harder to set up. I expect there are some other options out there but they aren't coming to mind.
I assume the 2 cabin issue is mostly about privacy for all. Assuming that each kids
permanently gets a bunk, a curtain, reading lamp and personal fan will go a long way for them. For the adults in port you will get the forepeak. Underway you will be bunking in the main cabin, but you will also each be spending a lot of time on watch in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep and loneliness may become a problem. The problem of visitors aboard that stay late keeping the kids up probably will come up rarely.
Privacy-wise for the kids, 1 quarter berth each would be the best solution, easier to curtain off and a bit farther out of the main cabin.
Ignoring the 2 cabin requirement the boats that come to mind are:
, adaquate SA/D but room to improve.
34.1 - very Good SA/D, 2 quarter berths, fixable minor balance problem
34.3 - very Good SA/D, single
33 - very Good SA/D, 2 quarter berths,
34.2 -raised deck
so lots of deck space.
34 -2 quarter berths, center-board
Tartan 34c - center-board
Cascade 36 - very Good SA/D, layout varies as many owner finished.
Cal 36 - Excellent SA/D, nice wide side decks
Yamaha 36 - Excellent SA/D, 2nd cabin aft with double berth, see I already found another option.
Tartan 37 - Good to Excellent SA/D depending on centerboard
To me a very good SA/D is in the 17's, excellent is above that, adaquate is in the 15's. Published data is almost certainly for the light-ship condition, loaded for cruising the value is going to drop, more so for smaller boats. There is no magical number you must meet for your boat to be 'good, but the number is indicative of light air performance. On a budget you want good light air performance or you are going to motor
a lot more, read spend money on fuel
With the Pearson
10M the boat has room to add length to the boom which means you would need to add a bowsprit
to keep the boat balanced. Both would add sail area and improve light air performance. The cost would be a new main and big genoa
, and maybe also the lapper as well as the rigging
The Cal34.1 has a slight weather helm
problem. I have a friend with one for whom reefing a bit early was the solution. Also, I have seen a bowsprit
addition that cured this. The Mark 2&3 models used a shorter boom and taller mast
The only reason there is a Yamaha on the list is because there is a project boat for sail in OH for $19k, normally they would well out of price range.
My favorites would be:
Cal 36, currently one in Mexico
for $19k, don't know condition.
In order to make budget you will need to go minimalist:
drifter for ease of handling short handed, especially at night. A codeZero s significantly more expensive for the same size boat, and a spinnaker
needs more equipement ($) and may require waking help to deal with at night.
When you do motor
, 4kt boat speed is still making you 100nm/day and saves a lot on fuel
, even compared to 5kt.
or monitor windvane
, new if there is money in the budget, but definitely better than an autopilot
, which are cheaper to buy in and of themselves but require more batteries and charging
which also cost (and add weight to the boat) and are harder to maintain. A light backup autopilot
for motoring or very light airs, but not for normal use.
would be very nice but the secondary costs involved with batteries and charging
need to be considered. Electric
is the first upgrade over minimalist I would consider, making anchoring
with oversized anchors possible and reanchoring easier to contemplate when the set is iffy can only make things safer.
Get older anchor
, Bruce and Danforth/Fortress used. The newer designs are somewhat better but have not hit the used market yet. My reccommendation would be a CQR
main, Bruce backup, a Luke rock/weed, a small danforth for a stern/kedge anchor
and a really oversized Fortress
as the ultimate storm/backup anchor.
Get a tiller, cheaper up front, easier and cheaper to maintain, no packing gland
below the waterline, easier to hookup to a windvane
Atomic 4: Much cheaper up front, poorer fuel economy, not as safe as diesel
but not dangerous per se. If anyone wants to dispute this ask them if they have propane
for the stove on board.
Build a hard dinghy
that you can row well, saves on fuel costs and is repairable. For the smaller boats you can build a nesting dinghy
that can live on the cabin top. For the larger boats a regular dinghy is possible, or you can still go with a nesting dinghy but have it be 11' or 12' instead of 8' or 9'. An second-hand inflatible would be backup.
If you wanted to reconsider the budget a little my reccommendation would be a Cal40
-wide side decks
-2 secluded quarter berths and 2 pilot berths as well as 2 settees and the v-berth.
-Reputation for durability, several have been RTW.
The tradeoff is you would be harder pressed to handle the boat in bad conditions sailing or anchoring, nothing can be manhandled, everything has to be finessed. Budget-wise you can pick them up in the $40-50k range, so if you can work it out to live on $20k a year that leaves you $20-30k to outfit.
I do most of my boat info research
at SailboatData.com - sailboat database with specifications, drawings and photos, more than 8000 listings
Photos, prices and availability I research
at Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com