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Old 10-02-2009, 03:48   #1
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critique these boats for my trip

time is coming for me to buy a boat for the caribbean sailing adventure.

im going to be buying a boat in either florida,alabama,mississippi,louisiana, or teaxas.

me and my buddies put 10k aside and found a few boats.

we are going to hug the shore all around mexico, then to the rio dulce, then to belize city, then to roatan, then to bluefields, san juan river(san carlos, puerto limon costa rica, puerto viejo costa rica, and then finally to bocas del toro.

i dont plan on having this boat for over 18-24 months. just taking another year off college to travel. we leave june 1st. so i need to have this boat soon and have it somewhere docked ready to go june 1st.
just doing some trips and needs a sturdy boat thats capable of having me and 2 buddies sleep on...with a working motor.

i need your expert advice. rate these boats if you only had this amount to spend. which boat would you go with?

thanks

1- 1976 Pearson P30

2- eBay Motors: Sailboat ready for world cruiser GRAMPIAN 30 (item 220359161180 end time Feb-16-09 13:07:44 PST)

3- 1974 Bristol 32 Sloop - with inflatable tender

4 - 1974 Bristol 32 Sloop - with inflatable tender if i go the cali route.

5- eBay Motors: 1975 Pearson 10m Sailboat 33' Mount Pleasant, SC (item 280309706276 end time Feb-12-09 17:03:25 PST)
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:29   #2
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Totally based on my impressions ...

The Bristols seem like very well-built, seaworthy boats. I have often admired them.

While I'm sure there are lots of examples of happy buyers, I personally would not buy a boat off ebay.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:43   #3
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why buying a boat on ebay is a bad idea

anytime you make an offer on a sailboat, that offer should be contingent on the boat passing survey. A professional surveyor should be retained to determine whether the boat is truly seaworthy, and what costs will be incurred to bring it up to speck. But you can't make the offer contingent on survey if you're purchasing the boat at auction.

A used boat isn't a used camera. If the used camera fails, all you've lost is money. If a used boat fails, you could possibly have lost your life.

You and your buddies need to understand this.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:05   #4
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linkavitch, I tend to agree with both of the above postings. If you can get a chance to personally check out the boat (and preferably have a sea-trial), that would be one thing, but otherwise I supect that ebay is a recipe for disaster - especially for someone who is proposing a departure date in the near future.

I also agree with the assessment of the Bristols, although you need to ensure that you are not stuck with a huge amount of work/expense to get her ready for your proposed journey. She should certainly prove to be capable (more than capable) of the largely coastal cruise you have in mind.

As to the Grampian 30 - it would not be my choice for the passage you propose. They had a serious problem with deck-delamination and with stress cracks around stantion bases, curves where the coachouse meets the deck, etc. And the spade rudder leaves you a little vulnerable to groundings etc., especially for a boat that does not have any real-life advantages in windward performance over many full keel/skeg protected boats.

The Pearson 33 would also be a capable boat, although having a 'nearly new Yanmar' to install sounds a little frightening to me. I can guarantee that the engine beds/controls/instruments will have to be modified and one has to ask why someone else sold a nearly new Yanmar.

Its up to you, but I'd be spending some checking out boats in person before I made the leap.

Brad
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:12   #5
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You should also expect, for a boat of that age in that price range that you will have a lot of work to do on the boat to make it ready for a voyage of that magnitude. That translates into a lot of money or a lot of your personal time, probably a good bit of both.

How experienced are you at rigging, wiring, mechanical repairs, pumps and plumbing, etc?
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:00   #6
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If you total budget is 10k, does this include $$$ for the trip itself? Outfitting?

I would think you should be looking at smaller boats, something like a 26-28 footer with an outboard engine, but good sails and rigging. Minimal anything else. Whatever you pay for the boat, you ARE going to have to spend additional $$$ for repairs, equipment, etc.

As a comparision, we actually found our boat via eBay. We had a survey, and bought it outside of the auction site for $20k. We will easily have spent another 20k to get her to a great condition. If you can forgo electronics, paint, beauty, etc, and concentrate on sails, rigging, safety and comfort, you will be spending the $$$ wisely.

Search the net for stories about and by Dave and Jaja Martin, to see what you can do with a 26 foot boat.

Check out Atom Voyages | Voyaging Around the World on the Sailboat Atom with James and Mei as well.

Chris
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:50   #7
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Good points by everyone. Buying a boat for extended cruising on a limited budget without a professional evaluation of its condition is a prescription for disaster:

1. What you want is a boat with basic systems in Good Condition. For coastal/island hopping sailing, condition is far more important than design, especially with the vintage you are considering. That doesn’t mean that you can’t replace bilge pumps, thru-hulls, hoses, leaky hatches, etc. But in general, the older the boat the more work and expense it will need. Also:

2. The conventional route from the Gulf coast to the western Caribbean is a multiday passage to Isla Mujeres in the Yucatan Channel. If instead
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we are going to hug the shore all around mexico,
And you don’t leave until June 1st, you will spend a long time in the Gulf during hurricane season.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:29   #8
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Slomotion has the best point of your whole plan - your timing sucks for heading down into the Gulf of Mexico and Panama. The hurricane season starts in June for the western Caribbean and most of the storms originate in the area between Panama and the Yucatan Peninsular during the June-August time frame. So you will probably be spending most of the allotted time hiding in one port or the other - or - scraping your boat off the bottom of some harbor.
However the controlling fact is that Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants to do and she does not necessarily follow our predictions or computer weather models. You might get a benign season of little more than a gale or two - or you might get a season of one hurricane after the other. That's why they call her Mother Nature and not Father Nature.
The suggestion about a smaller boat is the best as hanging an outboard motor on the transom instead of an inboard diesel eliminates mountains of problems with older boats/engines and all the stuff attached to the engine. A small serious "blue water" designed boat is better than a larger "coastal" boat. It's the "turtle and the hare" thing. I sailed back to Florida one year from Puerto Rico with my 50 footer doing 6-8 knots and keep meeting this nice guy on a 28 footer who was doing 4 kts. But he could plod along in weather and seas that kept me in harbor. He beat me back to Florida!
If the boat is not going to be insured or purchased with a loan then a survey is not required - - but unless you have a some serious knowledge of boats and all their parts, or a good friend with such knowledge, a surveyor might help you spot "fatal" or very expensive flaws in your prospective vessel.
And it is quite true that when you purchase an older boat you will normally spend an amount equal to the purchase price getting the boat ready to sail. People are generally selling the boat because they cannot afford to keep them up. The best deals are from the widows of a recently deceased sailor as the boat has been kept up and the widow just doesn't want the thing or doesn't know what to do with it.
Good luck.
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Old 13-02-2009, 07:51   #9
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first off, thanks for the good advice everyone.
i realized a outboard is really what i need also.

26ft Columbia Sailboat .....i found this 26' columbia. this only has a 2.5' draft. would that be too small?
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Old 13-02-2009, 08:12   #10
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when it comes to the inboards...would it be a good idea maybe to get a inboard, then get a 10-15 hp outboard for back up. how hard is it to install a outboard on a sailboat? with a outboard on sailboat, do you steer like you would on a dinghy with a outboard(on the back of the boat)...or can you rig it to the steering?

thanks
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Old 13-02-2009, 08:54   #11
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The Pearson and the Bristols are worthy of consideration. I wouldn't consider the Grampian to be in the same class as those two boats.

Some general considerations:
Inshore sailing in Belize is very shallow. If you have a draft over 5 feet you will hit a lot of bottoms.

If you stay near the Rio Dulce, you can duck up there if a hurricane makes up and comes your way--it's an excellent hurricane hole. However, that far south tropical waves can explode very quickly and be on you fast, so you would need to monitor the weather daily (which you should do, anyway). Depending on the update times for the weatherfaxes & GRIBS, you should look at the first one in the morning and the last one in the evening every day if you are in the hurricane belt and several days away from safe harbor. September through November would perhaps best be spent in the Rio Dulce. Or either clear Cabo Gracios a Dios and spend some time on Little Maize and then drift on south out of the hurricane belt (about 11 north).

And skip Puerto Limon--it's an armpit. Puerto Viejo is nice, but the anchorage is an open roadstead--run on down to Bocas del Toro.

If you're younger and/or a scuba diver, I'd highly recommend Cay Caulker over Ambergris and Utila over Roatan.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 13-02-2009, 09:03   #12
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That Pearson 10M might be a steal if that engine runs. They are very, very solid and stiff boats. I sailed one from Florida to Australia on the same track you're describing, and she is a great bluewater boat. Ask about the chain plates for the shrouds and spreaders, though, as some of the older ones had big issues.
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Old 13-02-2009, 10:21   #13
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No, I would think a well maintained outboard would be much better than an old diesel and an outboard. The inboard takes up lots of space, and trust me, $$$ to keep it running well. If you look at a 28 footer that has had the diesel removed, you can install a berth, water tank, soaking tub, you name it in the space it occupied. How many people at one time on the boat? How tall is each?

You would not want a 15hp engine, unless you plan on LOTS of motoring. Others here would know more about what size engine once you get the boat, but the bigger the engine, the more gas it uses, which since you cannot store on deck, can be a storage issue.

Chris

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when it comes to the inboards...would it be a good idea maybe to get a inboard, then get a 10-15 hp outboard for back up. how hard is it to install a outboard on a sailboat? with a outboard on sailboat, do you steer like you would on a dinghy with a outboard(on the back of the boat)...or can you rig it to the steering?

thanks
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Old 29-03-2009, 05:43   #14
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Check out my Bristol 24. The way I have it modified and rigged it would work well for your plans. There is an account on the CD of two young fellows doing just what you have in mind on a Bristol 24. They had to do a lot of work prior to leaving, "Sandpiper" would not require any work.

Call me for CD 501 322 0270

Regards

Dennis
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