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Old 16-01-2004, 06:09   #16
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Andy,

Welcome aboard! It always lifts me up when I hear of a fellow sailor being close to shoving off,and going cruising.You are a lucky man! You should also consider yourself very fortunate to have a wife that's willing to pursue the dream with you. Count it a blessing my friend!

Your intended 1 year cruising venue is a little curious to me.

"Cruising plans = caribbean, canal, S. America and possibly Fiji, but this could all change as we're not particular."

Why would you want to skip the Florida Keys, Abacos,Bahamas,and Exumas?They are some of the best cruising areas to be found,and you could easily spend a year in just a couple of the areas mentioned.After sailing those areas,you could then consider going on to the Carribean if you have time, which I doubt?If you are getting a really good price on the Islander 37,and the survey confirms that the boat is in good shape,she could certainly sail these areas safely,and in comfort.I don't know what your long range plans are, but if you are just going for a year,that would be my recommendation to you. After cruising for a year, you'll know what you want to do. You could sell the Islander and move on to a better suited "blue water" capable boat.

Don't put the cart before the horse my friend.IMO, your first objective should be to make sure your wife is enjoying the experience. If she doesn't,your cruise might be a lot shorter than 1 year.She will enjoy the areas I've mentioned,and you as skipper will gain valuable experience in areas that will challenge you, but not overtake you.Start in the Florida Keys. You will start developing your skills, while still being within the safety of the mainland. Your wife will love some of the quaint achorages,and peaceful settings. For more excitement,there's always Key West,etc.Good luck with your plans my friend!
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Old 16-01-2004, 07:48   #17
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Stede is a wise man in his post. If you have a wife (1st mate) willing to take up this sport make the sail as comfortable and as intresting as possible. A LONG ocean voyage could either be so dull she would hate it or so exciting it would scare her to death. In a long voyage you could get both. I once heard a sailor describe a voyage as a "long boring ride punuated by periods of sherr terror" I think a year of coastal crusing sounds great. If it was me I would start and end in the Pacific North West. There are sites up on the Sun Shine Coast and Desolation sound that could ho;d my attentiom for far more that a single year. Good luck to you. May your winds be fair, your seas calm your adventures many..

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Old 16-01-2004, 08:52   #18
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Start easy

It's amazing how much a bride will eventually put up with - if first give give her (at least) a good half year.
Those that have a good experience cruising under their belts, are much more willing to experience some less than ideal stuff, knowing it will get better again (and how good better is).
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Old 16-01-2004, 09:11   #19
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Thank you all for you suggestions and experienced dialog (I think I finally found the forum I've been looking for).

As far as the planned cruising grounds go, I appreciate the suggestions and know that in reality we may never make it beyond the Keys. I have more of a desire to see other places though so we will play it by ear.

I have read so much about which boats are and are not capable of ocean crossings that I at one point had decided we could never afford a boat to take us where we hoped to go. This choice (by no means final) is based upon prices of other boats in this range and the condition of this boat. From what I have seen, the current owners have an excellent maintenance stance with all standing and running rigging replaced within the past 3 years, rebuilt rudder, new winches, etc.

We are flying down to FL at the end of this month to look at this boat (listen to surveyor) and look at as many other boats we can in 4 days time.

With our budget for the boat having dropped to 30k, I know we probably cannot get a boat even closed to what I had originally hoped for (around 50k), but I have to do something. BTW, 30k based on needed about 15k for updates (engine rebuild, etc.)

Oh yes, I plan to hire a skipper for the first week or so and maybe later for a couple of storms. It would just be nice to learn on whatever we purchase (and cheaper). I hope that this will help with the learning curve. I've always been a do-it-yourself, autodidact when it comes to things like this so am pretty optimistic.

When I read about a couple of brothers who have never sailed before going from Santa Barbara to New Zealand in a '68 Cheoy Lee, I get the feeling I'll be able to pick up the skills needed if I look to the right sources. Oh, the brothers were in a funny article in this month's Crusing World magazine.

Thanks again for all of the responses.

-Andy
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Old 16-01-2004, 22:31   #20
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If we all waited until we could afford that perfect "blue water cruiser" alot of us would never get out there. Desire and ability are more important than what boat you have. A large percentage of the boats out there would not be considered "blue water cruisers". I know of at least two Catalina 27's that went around, James Baldwin did it at least twice in a Pearson Triton. There is a couple out there now in an old Pearson Commander, a 25 foot weekender doing it. An Engishman went around in a 21 foot Wharram Tiki 21 plywood catamaran. I know of one guy who sailed a sistership to my 22 foot trailorsailor to Hawaii.
I could go on for days. None of these boats where designed or built as "blue water cruisers" and they would not be my first choice but if it was all I could afford I would go for it. It sure beats the alternative of a slow and boring death as a wage slave in the work a day world.

If you can afford that nice Tarten, Pacific Seacraft, Oyster, or Passport more power to you.
But if not, get what you can afford, get it surveyed, beef up the hull, deck, and rig where needed and head out for the experience of your life. Sure it's a risk but we risk our lives everyday whenever we get into our cars and know one even thinks about it. At least you are in control of your destiny and not at the mercy of the fools around you.
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Old 17-01-2004, 08:39   #21
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Let me put this as suscintly as I can, There are dozens of good boats that can be bought for less than $30,000 that would be suitable for the kind of venture that is being proposed here. The vessel in question, a mid 1960's era Islander as about as poor a choice in that price range as a person can make. I know these boats. This is a really bad idea.

I also want to point out that while all kinds of less than ideal boats have made it around the world, they have generally done so with very skilled skippers, a lot of rebuilding and repair, and a lot of luck. The original post suggests someone who really does not under stand the basics. He may well learn but not in the short time schedule that he has set for himself and with the handicap implied by his particular choice of $30,000 boat, he has greatly reduced his chance of success. I am not saying that he can't pull this off, but I am saying that he is stacking the deck against such a likelihood.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 17-01-2004, 09:18   #22
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Jeff,

We are going to FL at the end of this month to search for a boat. I don't know that I will even bother looking at the Islander after this discussion.

We have been looking at boats for the past 6 months (in person and online) and feel that we are no closer to finding a "good" boat than when I began.

I've already booked the tickets to FL so we will look as much as possible while we are there. I have, btw, spoken to quite a few brokers, but as of yet haven't found one that seems to be a good fit. I'm not really sure where to go from here.

Thanks again for the input.

-Andy
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Old 17-01-2004, 11:00   #23
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Old glass boats

Jeff's comments on this subject are a breath of fresh air and welcome by me. The acceptance of some of the early heavy boats as being the geatest is something I can not agree with. Some early hulls had oil canning problems and the hulls flex where the keel is attached and other areas. The Catalina 27 is popular but have a good honest look at one. The fact that they have been all the way around just gives me more confidence in my own boat because it is far more struturally sound than the Catalina. The resin rich brittle boats that Jeff first brought to our attention are out there. How often did folks enquire about the conditions at the factory with respect to materials used, air temperature and so on. I did and I may be the only one that asked during the seventies when these early glass boats were built. Jeff does not follow the crowd he is leading us with good informative on the fiberglass boats and I appreciate it. I sold mostly power boats plus many sail boats but only up to 30 feet, so my first hand knowledge is a bit limited with the fibreglass 30 to 40 foot sail boats. BC Mike C
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Old 17-01-2004, 11:13   #24
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Let me try to be a little more constructive here. First, I prefer not to talk in terms of strereotypes but as a general rule, Florida may not be the best venue for your seach. The conditions down there really can age a boat. While you will sometimes see boats that seem very inexpensive down there, they are often not as good a deal as boats that have lived with the shorter sailing season, longer maintenance season of the North east and mid Atlantic States. Obviously this is not always the case, but again as a broad generality, the boats that I have looked at in Florida often were more expensive to bring back than boats seen further north.

As to brokers, it is harder to find a good broker when you are dealing with less expensive boats. It takes as much effort on the part of the broker to sell a $30,000 boat as a $90,000 boat, but their commission is three times greater. There are brokers sho specialize in older and less expensive boats and you would be best served by working with one of them. If you were in Annapolis, I could make a recommendation but I don't know one in Florida. My best advice on the 'Broker thing', in these days of the internet, is to find a single broker who is interested in you and the type of boat that you are buying and stick with just that broker rather than getting a lot of brokers in different regions involved.

If you are visiting a region to look at boats, it is very helpful to identify a broker upfront and send a list of boat models that you think suits your needs well in advance of your visit. While these boats may not be available in that area, it should afford the broker the maximum opportunity to put together a list of likely candidates which may include similar but different models than were on your hit list.

If I had to put together a 'hit list'' for someone doing what you are proposing, and with your budget, it would include the following boats: (Also, if you have a purchase price limit of $30K, do not be afraid to look at boats with asking prices up to $35-36K as you should be able to buy them in your price range):
Bristol 35:
These J.G. Alden and company designs have a very strong following and offer a lot of boat for the money.

C&C Belleview Marine Frigate 36:
Not the best choice on this list but close. Nice designs well constructed. Good ventilation, Keel/centerboard.

Cal 40:
Great all around boats. You some times see nice condition versions well within your price range.

Cal 36:
Same comments as the Cal 40.

Cal 34:
Not as robust as the other two Cal choices but good sailing boats that can be found in nice shape.
Chris Craft Apache 37:
Good boats but you would want to find a pretty well maintained model. Pay especially close attention to the rudder condition.

Columbia 34 mark 1 (mid 1960's)
While the build quality is not as good as some of the other choices on this list, these are still very good boats that can often be bought in the mid-teens. I would suggest a keel centerboard version, but one word of caution, the rudder is quite vulnerable on this design. (same problem with the Islander by the way)

Farr 1104:
These are a more modern design NZ built cruiser. They are an earlier and slightly smaller version of my own boat which to a great extent I bought to do what you plan to do. They are a very highly regarded in NZ as distance cruisers and should be easy boats to handle. They would be number one on my list if I were doing what you are doing but perhaps are a little sporty.

Hughes 38 (late 1960-early 1970's model):
Really great sailing well constucted S&S designed boats. Near the top of this list. There were two interior layouts and I would try to find one with the aft galley.

Morgan 34 (mid 1960's era keel/centerboard version)
These boats were built for the kind of island hopping that you want to do. I would try to find one of the rarer aft galley versions.

Newport 41:
These are good all around boats. Apparently there were some variations in build quality over the production run but the better ones would be ideal for your purposes.

Ranger 37:
This is a bit of a long shot, these were old race boats. They came with first rate hardware and quite a few of them have gone through extensive refits to become good cruising boats. I looked at one here in Annapolis that had a beautiful custom interior and a major rigging overhaul that sold for somewhere around $25K. In stock form they make no sense at all.

Sabre 34:
The early versions of these boats sell in your price range. These are well constructed boat with a very nice layout. They are one of the better sailing boats on this list. These are a near perfect boat for your needs.

Tartan 34:
These would certainly be near the top of this list. They offer a really nice blend of good build quality, and nice sailing ability in a well thought through design.


I would forward a list like this to a potential broker and see what he can find.


Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 17-01-2004, 21:44   #25
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I have met Mr Ranger and been to the factory. My impression at the time was I thought he was building the best boat he could given the current technology and the market place. I really wanted to add his boats to our inventory. The list you have provided is excellent and should give prospective owners something to look at. The Tartan, Sabre, Ranger, Cal and Farr have always been on my list of decent boats in that size and price range. I might add the Cascade 36 because I have read first hand reviews from an owner who has been all the way around. Beside the rudder I would be most interested to find out how the keel is attached on any boat I was looking at. BC Mike C
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Old 18-01-2004, 08:11   #26
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I was going to ask Jeff H for that specific list and now I see he has provided it. Now, Jeff H, if you don't mind, I would be exceedingly interested in the specific reference you might have for a broker in Annapolis; and while I am at it, a particular surveyor as well.
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Old 18-01-2004, 12:48   #27
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There are quite a few excellent Brokers in Annapolis. I have done quite a few boat searches and deals (including my own) with Pat Lane at Annapolis Yacht Sales. I have found him to be great to work with, honorable, knowledgeable and quite hard working. I have also been impressed with Scott Taylor at Martin Bird and Associates.

As to Surveryors, I am generally impressed with Jack Horner and Gail Browning. For many years, Gail's partner Peter Hartoff has generally seen as the default surveyor meaning that to many people his was the first name to came to mind. Many of my favorite surveyors have left the industry or are only specializing on very specific types of boats.

Jeff
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Old 18-01-2004, 14:23   #28
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We too are looking for a boat, but in the 42-45 foot range. Prefer 10 years old or younger, strong hull, sails well, long waterline, comfie motion, about 6 foot keel, liveaboard and sail in the Caribbean for a couple years and then cross over to Med likely. What are your suggestions Jeff? thanks
Ellen
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Old 18-01-2004, 14:42   #29
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What sort of price range do you have in mind?

Jeff
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Old 18-01-2004, 14:44   #30
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around 300K..give or take
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