Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-03-2012, 11:24   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 210
How Big of a Boat do we Need?

So I have looked at and bought boats before but never while married, which changes things a bit. Also previously I was looking for a boat that would be fun for a few days or weeks in coastal waters for as cheap as possible.

We are hoping to take the boat from the PNW to Australia, departing here in June or so of 2013 or 2014, depending on how we can wrap things up here. It sounds like June or July is the best time to depart, weather-wise, which is why we were thinking around that time of the year.

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.

We just started looking at boats and I know we need to keep the size down in order to keep the maintenance/costs down, but at the same time we will have a lot of stuff on board and want it to be comfortable and able to handle ocean waters.

We would like to limit our boat budget (price of boat, necessary initial maintenance, upgrades, US sales tax) to $30k or less if possible. We will probably be spending at least $5k on upgrades which means a boat price of $23k or less probably.

At the very basic level we want a boat with 2 comfortable sleeping areas, decent galley, and lots of storage space.

Where we start running into problems is that we would like a larger freezer and some sort of refrigerator as well. From what I have read here those things suck electricity, especially if we were to live in a more tropical area, which is likely at some point (great barrier reef).

So then it seems like we need a boat big enough to hold a lot of solar panels and a big house battery bank. And to live on hook we would want either larger water storage or a water maker. That adds a ton of weight and not sure how big of a boat we would need. It seems like we'd be looking at at least in the mid-30's? Between our misc stuff and upgrades we'd be adding on at least 1,000 pounds I would think, maybe more towards 2,000, not including extra tankage. And that's aside from finding the space to put up solar panels...seems like we would want at least 400 watts of panels...so that's steering me towards an old mid-30 foot boat. But then we're looking at lower-end boats in that size range whereas if we could fit all our stuff on a 30ish foot boat we could afford a better quality boat.

Anyways, we are just starting out but any input is always welcome. We will continue to read and research...
__________________

__________________
jm21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 11:32   #2
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

hard to find what you need at the price you have to work with- good luck anything is possibule , start looking- you may get lucky!
__________________

__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 11:58   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,372
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Yeah, that's gonna be tough. That's a big trip too.. how experienced are you ? Also, selling the boat in Australia comes with a big tarrif I think...? There was a decent looking big CT 35 for sale up here under $20k a few months ago with a newer motor. So it maybe possible $ wise. but a little iffy...
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 12:10   #4
Registered User
 
Hillbillylad's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Westerly Centaur
Posts: 207
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

I would be looking for a boat that was safe enough and seaworthy enough to do the trip rather than worry over something as insignificant as freezer space. A 30 footer or so should be more than adequate with your budget, as long as you don't start the search looking for things that may be well unattainable at that price.
Would you seriously cancel your adventure of a lifetime for the sake of a frozen steak or a cold beer?
__________________
Hillbillylad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 12:16   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,391
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Hi Jim,

To get everything you want in your budget will be very tight. IF you have excellent DIY, scrounging and bargain hunting skills maybe can do it.

A few rough costs.

1. Larger freezer and refrigerator. Depends on what you consider larger. In your budget it's very unlikely to find this ready to go on a boat so plan on DIY. Figure at least $1500-$2000 up to $3000 for the hardware. Next part, 99% of the boats ever made do not have adequate insulation so if you do all the work yourself figure another few hundred $ for parts and many hours of labor to build or rebuild the box with new insulation.

2. Solar panels with charge controller to run the system around $1000.

3. Water maker. A small, very basic, minimal output system a thousand or two. Automatic, high capacity (make a days worth of water in a hour or two) could be $10,000. Water makers use a LOT of power and most are AC. Some smaller units can run off DC but will add additional drain to your charging system.

4. Two sleeping areas. Not sure if you mean two separate cabins dedicated for sleeping only or counting the main cabin sofas as a berth. If you need two separate sleeping cabins then that will limit your options seriously and probably also increase your budget.

5. Length. To get all you want will have to be minimum 30', more likely 35' or more.

Again, not impossible but you will have to get a little lucky on the boat purchase. In today's economy it could happen. But even with a free boat your budget will be stretched.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 12:18   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,391
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
I would be looking for a boat that was safe enough and seaworthy enough to do the trip rather than worry over something as insignificant as freezer space. A 30 footer or so should be more than adequate with your budget, as long as you don't start the search looking for things that may be well unattainable at that price.
Would you seriously cancel your adventure of a lifetime for the sake of a frozen steak or a cold beer?



Right on the money. With your budget focus on the basics, safe and seaworthy. You're on a beer budget so better take the caviar off the menu.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 12:53   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 210
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

I have a decent amount of sailing experience, a little bit in really high winds, a tiny bit of racing....but not really any ocean sailing experience. My dad knows someone who's doing the vic maui this year and I might be able to get on as crew.

My wife doesn't really like the idea of living on a boat with no freezer or fridge. If she's not on board then it doesn't really work. I don't really care about cold beer but I do think a freezer would be really nice to have.

Two sleeping areas I just meant a v-berth alone isn't enough for us. A larger settee and a decent sized v-berth would work, or better a V-berth and dinette that folds down into a bed is what I was thinking of. She would love an aft cabin with a queen sized bed but not going to happen at our budget.

We have a bit of flex in our budget but not a ton.

I was figuring at least $1,000-$1,200 for solar system and at least $500 to upgrade the house battery bank. Significantly more if we had to construct something to mount the solar panels.

$200 for some chart plotting software and USB GPS at a minimum.

I have a hard bottom inflatable with almost new 9.9hp motor....if we wanted to take that then at least $300-400 for a sling and outboard mount if we wanted to bring it, $1,500 if we wanted davits which would allow us to install a bit more solar. Or sell it and have some extra cash.

For freezer and refrigeration if the boat didn't have them we had read some threads about using small efficient landlubber freezers on a boat...take a little bit more energy but would save a ton on cost. Since we are only planning on 1-2 years aboard for now it seems a better move to have a less efficient fridge/freezer and save $2-3k to use for power generation (generator, solar, wind, whatever). Almost every boat we've seen has an inverter but almost none have refrigeration.

Maybe a small generator (1-2kw gas) is more practical than solar at our price range...or some sort of hybrid system.

Watermakers are really expensive...I had found some pretty good deals on a PUR 35 hand pumped one that produces something like 1.2gal/hour. I've seen them for $300 with old filters that need to be replaced (put in storage and never used, but didn't replenish the biocide). A couple estimates of $300 for a new filter.

We are hoping to scrounge around on craigslist or ebay over the next 1-2 years to buy basic stuff. Almost no boats in our price range have freezers, solar, watermakers, or anything like that. So feel pretty safe buying those items.

Did see a Bristol 33 in Vancouver the other day that had a lot of the stuff we wanted and asking $24.5k. 1969 BRISTOL 33 Sail Boat cruiser -great shape .

Don't know if a windvane is really necessary or not.
__________________
jm21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 12:56   #8
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,779
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

find something you like then worry about the amenities.....the size and comforts may become irrelevant when you find something you really have a passion for.
zeehag is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 13:03   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 210
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Also, I would sail the boat across myself and meet her in Cairns or Brisbane probably...maybe try to find some crew to come with me, not sure.
__________________
jm21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 13:42   #10
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,582
Images: 14
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm21 View Post
My wife doesn't really like the idea of living on a boat with no freezer or fridge. If she's not on board then it doesn't really work. I don't really care about cold beer but I do think a freezer would be really nice to have.

Two sleeping areas I just meant a v-berth alone isn't enough for us. A larger settee and a decent sized v-berth would work, or better a V-berth and dinette that folds down into a bed is what I was thinking of. She would love an aft cabin with a queen sized bed but not going to happen at our budget. We have a bit of flex in our budget but not a ton.
Jm, might just be doable in the budget with twin cabins and its located in Fl, although lots of other around the world. Capable of ocean passages.

1977 Moody 33 Center Cockpit Sail New and Used Boats for Sale

Pete
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Moody 33.jpg
Views:	214
Size:	63.7 KB
ID:	39145  
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 13:42   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,391
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

The Bristol sounds nice and they are good boats, but probably needs new rigging. Any boat with rigging more that 10-15 years old I would replace all the wires and fittings before crossing the ocean. Figure around $3000 if you do all the work yourself.

If you can live with a "small" freezer, say about the size of a shoe box or a little larger you might be able to buy a system for a bit over $1000. Forget using a house type freezer. Even very efficient ones when you convert the total Watts from 110V AC to 12V DC you get a very large power draw. The simply version of the formula (not allowing for power factor, starting surge for the compressor, etc) is Watts = Volts x Amps. So a freezer at 110V drawing only 2 amps would use 110 Watts. To get 220 Watts of AC from a 12 V battery then 220 Watts = 12V x ??amps. Solve for amps and you get 18 amps, a LOT of battery. When the compressor first starts up you will need a lot more than that for the first couple of seconds. Then you have to convert the DC to AC with losses in the conversion, plus recharging the batteries with losses there. Otherwise you need a generator to make AC power, more money which kills the savings.

Best option is to get one of the small, portable 12V DC refrigerators like the Engel. Very efficient, no installation. Cost $800-$1200 depending on the size.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 13:44   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

My personal opinion is that you will have a very difficult time finding a boat that you like that will also have all the ammenities you think you need. I think zeehag has the right idea. Find the boat that you both like passionately and then add the things you think you need.
In my opinion no one needs a freezer and in my case I don't need refrigeration either. A block of ice will last me two weeks. I won't die if I eat canned goods and my drinks don't need to be cold. But that's just my opinion.
kind regards,
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 13:49   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,792
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm21 View Post

Don't know if a windvane is really necessary or not.
If you're going to cross from the US to AUS you'll want a windvane and an electric autopilot. You're looking at maybe, nonstop, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 62 days of sailing to get from Baja to Australia.
From Google earth the route is 6700 miles ish,
__________________
Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 14:30   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 210
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If you're going to cross from the US to AUS you'll want a windvane and an electric autopilot. You're looking at maybe, nonstop, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 62 days of sailing to get from Baja to Australia.
From Google earth the route is 6700 miles ish,
I thought I had read somewhere that going US to AUS was pretty much all downwind so that you could get by with an autopilot only. Will have to read more.
__________________
jm21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 14:30   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Swansboro, NC
Boat: Looking for that next boat...
Posts: 360
Re: How big of a boat do we need?

If you've never done an ocean passage that Vic-Maui trip will be an excellent experience. Be sure to get on the delivery crew for the return trip, which will be an even better experience. After that trip I think you'll have a better idea of what kind of boat (and budget) you'll need.
__________________

__________________
prof_mariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How Big of a Boat do we Need? jm21 Dollars & Cents 57 19-04-2012 14:30
My First Boat rockborn Boat Ownership & Making a Living 8 27-03-2012 09:21
Where Can I Find Boat + Skipper to Hire in Brittany, France? drparallax Our Community 1 26-03-2012 13:20
For Sale: Pair of Barlow 26 sheet winches SVTwilight Classifieds Archive 0 26-03-2012 13:05
For Sale: Go Anywhere style Boat Seats (4) konakoma Classifieds Archive 0 26-03-2012 10:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:35.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.