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Old 27-03-2012, 13:27   #46
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

May I suggest that you do your homework as to the real cost of importing a boat back to Australia. Friends of my wife have recently purchased a second hand 43' Hanse in Europe at a "bargain" price. The cost of shipping and import costs has doubled the price and they wished they had just bought a boat in Australia.

As to the correct size of a proposed boat, in my case there are two conflicting opinions. Mine and my wifes. Her consideration is that there should be as much room in the boat as in our house since we want to live on it. Mine is that a vessel too large cannot be handled by one or two people with simple systems. The less experience you have the steeper the learning curve will be with a larger boat.......but learning is fun.
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Old 27-03-2012, 14:33   #47
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

I remember being anchored out in 40 knot winds gusting to 70-80...being thrown out of my bunk all the time and checking every few minutes to see if the anchor pulled and I was heading towards shore. I imagine a storm at sea is something like that but quite a bit worse....

We've researched the cost of importing quite a bit. If we had to have it shipped it would not be worth it. Buying a US built boat and sailing it across you don't have to pay that much. In total (counting US costs too) we'd probably end up paying about 21-22% of the purchase price in taxes and another $1,200 or so in misc fees.

I don't know a lot about the Australian boat market but just seems like there were a lot more wooden boats and a lot fewer fiberglass boats built in the 1960's and '70s compared to the PNW. Aside from the economy here being in a pretty bad spot compared to AUS right now. The currency exchange rate might change dramatically in the next few years though which is always hard to predict....

Some cats and tris are less expensive over there though i think.

EDIT:
I am way too stubborn to hang up my hat on anything, so that's not going to happen....wife has agreed to try one year but if she doesn't like it we'll sell after a year. The main problem that would make her hate living on a boat is if it turned out to cost a lot more money than we expect for maintenance.

We aren't really looking to be world ocean cruisers. We want to find some secluded bay in the middle of nowhere and just sit there for a few weeks or months. If we wanted to travel to a bunch of different countries it's probably cheaper and more comfortable/convenient by land and air...
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Old 27-03-2012, 14:47   #48
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

It is interesting to note the real likelihood of the cruising dream being shattered by the challenges of long-distance offshore passages. Inevitably, one or both realize this is not what they expected. They make landfall and they abandon the dream, sell the boat and return home.

First, why don't people build-up to the longer distance cruising? Local overnights, trips a couple hundred miles offshore (up/down wind), week-long vacations,.... all build on the skills necessary to make longer-distance passages and build the experience and confidence. Become familiar with the boat and local sailing conditions before planning on a 1-2 year journey.

If the cruising is not to be, why isn't the original dream revised? Return home with the boat, reestablish a combo land/water lifestyle and use the boat for coastal cruising, daysailing, racing and general recreation, the same way you did (or should do) in preparing for the trip.

If reality crushes the dream, I can't imagine returning home without the boat. Leaving the boat in Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia,..... and returning home to gardening and watching TV doesn't seem like an option. The boat has become such an important part of our lives, that even without the dream, I'd still want the boat.
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Old 27-03-2012, 14:59   #49
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

We figured one year of mainly coastal gunkholing is enough for her to figure out whether she likes it and for me to see if I can earn enough money to survive over the internet. If things go well we would keep doing it for a while.

Maybe buying an old tri in AUS might be a good idea...they're cheaper in AUS than here and have a lot of real estate for solar panels for the wife's electronic needs.... seem pretty small below though....

Piver Trimaran: Sailing Trimaran for Sale | Ply Glass Sail Boats | Boats Online | Queensland (Qld) - Mooloolaba, Australia

http://www.boatpoint.com.au/boats-fo...spx?R=11657591

http://www.boatpoint.com.au/boats-fo...spx?R=10793321

http://www.boatpoint.com.au/boats-fo...spx?R=11799690

http://www.boatpoint.com.au/boats-fo...spx?R=11797721


I imagine an open deck cat would be too small for the wife...

32 Crowther Catamaran: Sailing Catamaran for Sale | Fiberglass Sail Boats | Boats Online | New South Wales (NSW) - Point Wolstoncraft Newcastle Nsw

Will have to look at those with her later.

I've always liked the concept of cats and tris but they're expensive as sin here in the PNW and older ones are really uncommon. Just seem too small...but a lot less rocky....
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Old 27-03-2012, 15:29   #50
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

As a general rule multihulls are more expensive than the same sized monohull by the simple virtue of having multiple hulls. Trimarans tend to have less space in the main hull compared to the monohull while the cat may have twice as much.

I think multihulls can make for great cruising boats but I would stay away from any multihull that was in your price range.

If they're that cheap there is something wrong with it or it is really way too small for your needs as a potential live aboard. Keep in mind the smaller it is, the more it will suffer from being overloaded with gear like refrigeration.
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Old 27-03-2012, 17:56   #51
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

The trimaran links I posted were in the 31-32' range...shorter than the monos we've looked at and similar price...but probably too small inside and maybe can't carry enough weight....

EDIT:
Pretty sure the tris are home built too....
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Old 04-04-2012, 19:26   #52
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Funny I started looking at 32 foot boats five years ago, took the wife on one... nope, moved up to 40 foot boats spent 10 days on a 42 in the bvi with the wife...nope, sailed a weekend trip on a 47... nope, looked at a 52 and spent the night on one...nope, got mad found a 60 and she loved it, then took two more years to find one I could afford. now I'm happy and she is happy. so I actually may get to enjoy it with her and the kids. I hope I can afford to keep it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 21:14   #53
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

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Originally Posted by DSDman View Post
Funny I started looking at 32 foot boats five years ago, took the wife on one... nope, moved up to 40 foot boats spent 10 days on a 42 in the bvi with the wife...nope, sailed a weekend trip on a 47... nope, looked at a 52 and spent the night on one...nope, got mad found a 60 and she loved it, then took two more years to find one I could afford. now I'm happy and she is happy. so I actually may get to enjoy it with her and the kids. I hope I can afford to keep it.
That's a bit frightening to me! But I hope it works great for your family.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:10   #54
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

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Originally Posted by DSDman View Post
Funny I started looking at 32 foot boats five years ago, took the wife on one... nope, moved up to 40 foot boats spent 10 days on a 42 in the bvi with the wife...nope, sailed a weekend trip on a 47... nope, looked at a 52 and spent the night on one...nope, got mad found a 60 and she loved it, then took two more years to find one I could afford. now I'm happy and she is happy. so I actually may get to enjoy it with her and the kids. I hope I can afford to keep it.
We own a 30 footer, and it's a bit small for the three of us. We've been actively looking at stuff in the 36-42 range, mostly down in the shorter end. Looked at a Tartan 37, which we both liked very much but it was a bit small on the inside for her. I decided to "go big" and we went and saw a Beneteau 393, which she thought was the bee's knees. Figured since we launched into that realm, might as well go check out the 423. We both liked the layout better, the galley better, pretty much everything better, but after much conversing we decided it's a whole lot of boat, and we're not sure we're looking for that much boat after all.

I wish the Sabre 38 MK II hadn't been such a disappointment... I really liked the layout and it was about "the right size" for us. Maybe someday my version of reality and the seller's version of reality might intersect, and if the world doesn't explode we can make a deal on it. Until then, I have a sneaking suspicion that boat isn't going anywhere, and we'll keep on looking...

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:45   #55
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

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Our plan is to move to Australia and live on the boat for at least 1-2 years. If she can't stand it by the end of a year we will sell the boat and move on land again. We hope to live as cheaply as possible living off the hook for extended periods of time.
That plan could be a financial nightmare. Let's say you purchase the boat for $25,000, the voyage costs you $5,000, you import it to Oz for another $25k AUD, and live on it for two years. At that point your housing will cost the equivalent of $2,000 AUD per month over the two year period, assuming you are able to anchor out the entire time, avoiding slip fees entirely. Some of that money you'll get back on the far side while reselling the boat, but after the long voyage and two years living aboard the boat may not be as attractive on the market as you'd like it to be. Regardless, it will be cheaper to fly to Oz, rent a modest apartment, and purchase a used beach cat in which to play on weekends.

Of course, if she doesn't like it and you sell the boat after a year, the scheme has cost you a great deal more, especially if you have to sell the boat quickly to avoid import fees.

The wild card here seems to be the fact that you are newly married. I'm glad for the decade I've lived aboard with my freezer-loving wife, but I'm equally glad we didn't try pulling it off during the newlywed years. A new marriage, like a new boat, takes an awful lot of focus to get right.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:53   #56
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

We've been looking at a couple boats now and mid-30's seems about right.

There's an Ericson 36 cutter that looks nice...almost new engine and standing rigging...but has some sort of problem with wood rot and the owner is in full time care. We've been waiting on more information but nothing yet. Looks like it could be an incredible deal and it's a fairly big boat (12' beam). Asking $24k but I suspect you could get it for low teens.

We saw a cal cruising 35 that the wife liked but the owners were liveaboards and kept it very nice, price a bit high, and didn't look like much of a chance of getting a smoking deal.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:14   #57
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

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That plan could be a financial nightmare. Let's say you purchase the boat for $25,000, the voyage costs you $5,000, you import it to Oz for another $25k AUD, and live on it for two years. At that point your housing will cost the equivalent of $2,000 AUD per month over the two year period, assuming you are able to anchor out the entire time, avoiding slip fees entirely. Some of that money you'll get back on the far side while reselling the boat, but after the long voyage and two years living aboard the boat may not be as attractive on the market as you'd like it to be. Regardless, it will be cheaper to fly to Oz, rent a modest apartment, and purchase a used beach cat in which to play on weekends.

Of course, if she doesn't like it and you sell the boat after a year, the scheme has cost you a great deal more, especially if you have to sell the boat quickly to avoid import fees.
Well, I don't think we would include the cost of the voyage in the cost of the boat as we would have to pay living expenses anyway and it would save at least $1k for my airfare.

If the boat cost $25k, sales tax here would be about $2.3k (possibly avoidable, but unlikely), import tax would be about $2.7k, plus some fees, so maybe $31-32k. If we put maybe $4k in upgrades it might add, what, $1k to the boat value?

The idea is that it seems like old monos are very cheap here in the PNW compared to AUS, so we should be able to sell the boat there for more than we bought it for here, at least so as to cover the cost of taxes and import fees and a little bit more. We need to make sure we're right about that of course before buying...so if we bought a boat here that was asking $25k we would be wanting to look at ads for similar boats in australia and seeing if they were asking around $35k.

Even if we were only able to sell the boat for what we bought it for, that's about $6k in taxes and fees for a place to live for 1-2 years. Renting a room in AUS in a shared house costs about $170 per week for 2 people. So about $18k to rent a room in a house for 2 years...which would be very uncomfortable for us. Renting a modest apartment would be far more than that. Housing costs in AUS are insane right now...
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Old 19-04-2012, 14:30   #58
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Re: How Big of a Boat do we Need?

So we looked at a fairly nice Spencer 44 CC last weekend. I started pricing out things the boat would need (in particular, new headsail and possibly some rigging upgrades) and started to think a smaller boat was a good idea...but now that she's seen a bigger boat she has no interest in smaller boats...sigh...such is life I guess. We've seen several 40'+ boats that are a little over what we're comfortable spending but maybe we just need to save a couple grand more. Or shorten our time off work by a couple months. I'm a little worried as I don't think my wife could do much on her own with a boat that size, if I was injured or something like that.

Also starting to re-think our energy needs and wondering if a generator is a good idea. If we were staying on the boat for more than 2 years probably an all solar system would be worth it. But in the short term a cheap small (2kw) gas generator might make more sense and could run an AC if we end up in Brisbane or Cairns when it's really hot. Probably ditch the watermaker idea and go with some extra tankage.

Edgestar fridge/freezers look to be a good buy for what we want.
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