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Old 13-12-2011, 10:25   #16
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Re: I need some help!

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Not convinced about the freshwater or salt idea.
Agreed. The only time I'd preference a "freshwater only" boat would be in terms of an outboard engine. Otherwise, a boat's happiness/suitability is a lot more about how the owner cares for it.
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Old 15-12-2011, 18:49   #17
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Re: I need some help!

so can anyone give me a ballpark figure on de-masting/re-masting a 30 ft. boat? im looking at several brands of boats,hunter, macgregor etc. are there any i should be leary about, or any i should be looking for? is there one better than the other? what about inboard vs. outboard?
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Old 15-12-2011, 19:01   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c2damofoj
so can anyone give me a ballpark figure on de-masting/re-masting a 30 ft. boat? im looking at several brands of boats,hunter, macgregor etc. are there any i should be leary about, or any i should be looking for? is there one better than the other? what about inboard vs. outboard?
Demasting or dismasting is usually infers a mast failure of some kind.

Stepping and unstepping usually means removing and installilng the mast.

The first is pretty expensive, the second a bit cheaper.

If the mast is deck stepped at 30 feet it is possible for you and about 4-5 friends to step it yourself. You will need

If keel stepped or you don't have 5 friends or your boat yard won't let you, you need a crane.

Here we generally pool up, find a few guys needing their masts down and hire a crane for a day. Then when everyone is ready we hire the crane for a day to step the masts. Around here we get the crane for about $800 a day so $1600 round trip usually divided by 4.

The hunter, macgreggor, inboard, outboard questions will spark heated debate.

For your plans I would choose an inboard powered Hunter over a macgreggor.
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Old 15-12-2011, 19:46   #19
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Re: I need some help!

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i am planning a voyage from the florida panhandle to the carribean, i have a few questions i need answered. first i plan to buy a 28-35 ft monohull sailboat. will this be big enough to accomodate two adults and a child for 2-3 months? also what time of year would be ideal for this trip. i have 3 years to put this plan into action, i have recently purchased a hobie cat to learn the basics of sailing, i plan to purchase the big boat as soon as i find the right one, in my price range, i plan on taking several trips to the gulf to fine tune our sailing skills. heres a list of my goals before we embark.

buy boat and get her sea worthy
hone my sailing skills on local lakes and the gulf of mexico
set my itenerary
stock vessel with provisions and supplies
sail away

give me some advice, tips and pointers, Thanks a million!
Here's the flaw I see: how are two adults going to sail that boat 24 hours a day?

I would want four adults.
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Old 15-12-2011, 19:48   #20
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Re: I need some help!

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Great plan! Have at it!

Only one caveat. Now old/big will the child be in 3 years? A single cabin + salon berth arrangement may not be suitable. Two cabins, even if small would be a priority for me.

As an example, my 31' Hunter might work ... if the parents were willing to sleep in the V-berth, esp. if the child is older, the child could have the aft berth under the cockpit. There would be plenty of room for the child's belongings (scaled down appropriately for cruising, of course), and the low headroom would probably look cool to a child.

A curtain could be hung across that aft berth to make it more like a cabin. I would recommend that for the v-berth as well.
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Old 15-12-2011, 20:42   #21
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Re: I need some help!

we plan on stopping at several destinations, would try to at least find a cay or harbor to anchor in when we werent at a port. i know it would be a lot of work for 2 ppl, but young one will 9-10, she can definatly winch by then so call it a 2.75 person crew.
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Old 15-12-2011, 20:44   #22
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Re: I need some help!

rakuflames, are there any pics of your hunter on here?
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Old 15-12-2011, 21:30   #23
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Re: I need some help!

I think you have the right idea - get a boat, spend a couple years getting experience and equiping the boat, then go. You will way ahead of the game.

Do you only have 2 to 3 months for the whole trip? As someone mentioned above, that's enough time to get to the Caribbean, but doesn't leave you much time once you are there. Also, the route from the Florida Panhandle to the Caribbean is largely upwind and not much fun.

On the other hand, 2 to 3 months is plenty of time to go from the Florida Panhandle to the Bahamas, say to the Exumas, then north through the Abacos and back to the States. Lots of spectacular cruising in that area and the size boat you are talking about should't have any draft issues.

The size boat you are considering is plenty big enough for your family to be comfortable and almost anything in this size is seaworthy enough to go to the Bahamas if its in good shape. There are people cruising the Bahamas in McGregor 26's, but I honestly think that's pushing the envelope. On the other hand, there are tons of perfectly good 30 foot sailboat out there - Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, O'Day, Pearson, Morgan, Islander, Cal, and many many more.

If you go to the Bahamas, anytime after November is fine to avoid hurricanes, but I would go in April - June to take advantage of the warmer and more settled weather.

If you stick to the plan of going to the Carribean, you will need a boat at the sturdy end of the range. That trip is an order of magnitude more challenging than a trip through the Bahamas, but lots of people do it so don't let me talk you out of it if that's what you have your heart set on.

One thing you will find out about sailing is that everyone finds their own level. For some, an adventure is an overnight trip on the bay. For others its cruising around the world. And there's room for everyone in between.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 15-12-2011, 22:02   #24
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Re: I need some help!

great point zydeco, ive been staring at the map all nite, thinking i would be better off trailering the boat to miami, that would put me a lot closer to bahamas. id like to keep the trip at 3 months max. and were not dead set on any of our destination points. im assuming i wont have any problems finding a boatyard around miami to stepp my mast. would probably be easier sailing as well
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Old 16-12-2011, 07:54   #25
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Re: I need some help!

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Originally Posted by c2damofoj View Post
great point zydeco, ive been staring at the map all nite, thinking i would be better off trailering the boat to miami, that would put me a lot closer to bahamas. id like to keep the trip at 3 months max. and were not dead set on any of our destination points. im assuming i wont have any problems finding a boatyard around miami to stepp my mast. would probably be easier sailing as well
Leaving from Miami would save you a week or two of travel from the Panhandle and its an easy hop from Miami or a little ways south to the Bahamas. There are several threads in this forum that discuss various routes to the Bahamas from Miami and the Keys.

If you are talking about trailering the boat yourself, you're going to be limited to monohull boats in the 25 to 30 foot range. Most truly trailerable boats that you can launch and recover yourself at a boat ramp will be about 24 to 26 feet. The Catalina 24 is a common example but there are lots of others like it. There are a few trailerable monohulls in the 28 to 30 foot range. I think Seaward and Compac made some. All of these can go to the Bahamas if you are very careful with the weather (which you should be anyway). There are also folding trimarans like the Farrier F-27 or F-32 or the Dragonfly that are trailerable.

You may also find some boats like the O'Day 272 that are trailerable, but because they have a fixed keel you need a boatyard with a travellift or crane to move them from the trailer to the water and back.

For most other boats 30 feet and up you will need to hire boat mover to haul the boat overland to Miami. Almost any boatyard can unstep the mast and put the boat on the tractor trailer. Yes, there are plenty of such boatyards in the Panhandle and in Miami.

Another option is to hire a delivery captain to move the boat from the Panhandle to Miami. This would probably be cheaper than hauling it overland and what the heck, you might as well go along for the ride. You can learn all kinds of stuff from a good delivery captain.
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Old 16-12-2011, 20:08   #26
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Re: I need some help!

so that being said, could we safely sail a 24'-26' swing keel boat from south FL. to the southern Bahamas and back? or would this be too small? I think we could manage with the smaller cabin area. not to mention i love the prices vs. 30' boats.
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Old 16-12-2011, 21:20   #27
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Re: I need some help!

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Originally Posted by c2damofoj View Post
rakuflames, are there any pics of your hunter on here?

Email me and I'll see if I can find the pictures the last owner took when he was selling it.

The space I'm talking about, the aft berth, is the size of a double bed when the extra board is in. The problem with that spot is that the engine is at the forward end. I think it could get engine-stinky back there. You'd probably want to find a way to put in added ventilation.

There is a trade-off for the space. The boat looks "boxy" on the water. It just doesn't have sexy lines. I wouldn't have bought her just because of that if I hadn't been looking for a live-aboard boat.
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Old 16-12-2011, 21:21   #28
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Re: I need some help!

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Email me and I'll see if I can find the pictures the last owner took when he was selling it.

The space I'm talking about, the aft berth, is the size of a double bed when the extra board is in. The problem with that spot is that the engine is at the forward end. I think it could get engine-stinky back there. You'd probably want to find a way to put in added ventilation.

There is a trade-off for the space. The boat looks "boxy" on the water. It just doesn't have sexy lines. I wouldn't have bought her just because of that if I hadn't been looking for a live-aboard boat.
PS even if the aft berth is set up as a double bed, there would still be considerable room to store personal possessions.
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Old 18-12-2011, 08:59   #29
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Re: I need some help!

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Originally Posted by c2damofoj View Post
so that being said, could we safely sail a 24'-26' swing keel boat from south FL. to the southern Bahamas and back? or would this be too small? I think we could manage with the smaller cabin area. not to mention i love the prices vs. 30' boats.
That's a little hard to pin down. One person might be comfortable with a trip that another would consider sheer folly. You're the only one who can decide whether your boat is seaworthy enough to make a given voyage and whether your own skills are up to the task.

With that said, people go to the Bahamas in everything from hobie cats to cruise ships, including swing keel trailer-sailers so it can be done. The question is whether you will be comfortable doing it and you are the only one who can make that call.

It's not so much the size of the boat as it is the seaworthiness of the boat and the skill and seamanship of the captain and crew.
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Old 18-12-2011, 09:24   #30
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Re: I need some help!

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As to when.... Late October can be a buster if the cold fronts have started down. I have sailed the West Coast of Florida for 30 years; Iíve seen a mill-pond turn into a maelstrom in 6 hours with a passing cold front... THAT SAID, weather forecasting is pretty good for the fronts, as it is for the hurricanes. IF you watch your weather and learn to interpret what is going on (the talking heads donít always get the marine forecast right), you are fine traveling anywhere in Florida any time of the year. I always plan a good hidey-hole location about 3 days travel apart... somewhere to hide from the ugly! (Before the flames start, I admit to being a fair weather sailor)
And learn our Florida weather patterns that NOAA won't mention further than "a cold front will be passing..."
I would also learn how to read the sky and cloud patterns... example, mares tails in the sky tells you a front is likely to pass in 24-48 hrs.. those giant anvil heads that build in summer can be a real pisser to get stuck in when they hit.. etc..
Weather yr round is most excellent to sail in this side of the gulf.. its the short periods, in winter when the front passes that makes the Gulf unsafe to be in.
Your plan is most excellent..
Have you started considering boats yet? I would use Yachtworld as a convenient window shopper... use the advanced feature. set it for 32-34 feet
deisel fuel, monohul, fiberglass
in the areas, you can hold the ctrl key down and multi click the areas..
I would also suggest cruising the local marinas and storage yds. With this economy, boats are being sold for storage/marina fees on a far more regular basis than before.
If your budget is tight for electronics... take a look at Si-tex quality company but not one WM pushes... they have a set up that can be bought and then added on to at reasonable prices. Interphase makes a forward looking sonar that is also good, not cheap but worth every penny. OTOH, if you are cash strapped, hummingbird fish finders work.

Back when dirt was new and I first started cruising most of the boats out there were well under 38 feet. 32-36 ft was the norm... and a lot of smaller boats as well... those 25-29 footers did a lot of atlantic crossings. Living space is cramped, and if there is a kid involved them having a bit of space of their own is a good thing.
great ideas you have and good planning... cya out there!!
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