Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-02-2005, 00:22   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: White Rock, British Columbia
Posts: 6
Looking for advice on first boat of our own

My wife and I have reached the point where we are looking to buy our first boat of our own, and to be honest I'm feeling a little bewildered. I'll start with the background and requiremnents of the boat. Our budget, which is flexible, is roughly $20,000US, quite modest, and to be honest, less is better and would allow for better equipment on the boat.

So far, I have spent about 5 years + on a san juan 24, followed by a passing familiarity with a wilderness 30, both my father's. The two light boats make for fun islands sailing and local racing but my wife and I have aspirations of open ocean/long distance cruising.As such, we will need to be able to live comfortably on the boat, for us comfort is relative as we are young and experienced exotic location (rough) backpackers and can make do well on the little san juan and the wilderness. With this amount of relative comfort in mind we are looking for a boat we can sail locally in the gulf islands and eventually down the road outfit for open ocean when we are ready for the voyage. The boat as a consequence of our long term plans must be more capable seas wise than either the san juan or wilderness, larger and heavier. I would like to be able to do all this with one boat and hence one purchase and become very familiar with that boat, rather than purchase an interm island cruiser and then later purchase another boat for larger voyages.

What I am really after is suggestions to help me start researching boats, I really need help getting started. Most importantly what boats will be capable of our long term plans in our price range.

As a side note I have also given consideration to building a steel boat, such as a Bruce Roberts design. Steel for what we have in mind greatly appeals to me, I have both the space and tools available to me for bulding so this is a viable option, however costs could quickly move beyond our budget. I am rather ignorant as to the costs of building at the moment, with only general conceptions of the costs. The hull costs on the plate steel and powerplant alone is not difficult to figure, but rigging/gear/interior etc is something I cannot yet judge. I would love to hear from those who know and who may have done it.

I apologize in advance for not being better informed, but this is why I turn to you, and please be gentle

Any help and guidance, even on issues not specifically mentioned, would be enormously appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Ardent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2005, 02:29   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,596
Images: 240
It sounds as though you have much of the requisite background to become a happy cruiser (backpackers etc).

Your budget of approximately $20,000 is fully adequate for a good coastal or semi-protected (ie: Gulf Isls., Caribbean, etc.) cruiser - but I don’t think you will find many passagemakers (blue-water) - even “fixer-uppers” in that price range (IMHO).

You can refit almost any boat, to make an adequate coastal cruiser - but the basic requirements of a Trans-Pac capable boat are immensely more stringent. Unfortunately, I think you are really talking about two very different boats:
a) A good coastal cruiser for about $20K cruise-ready
or
b) A basic long-range ocean cruiser starting at +$50K, then you add more value over time.

Hope to hear some spirited debate, perhaps with examples of cheaper passagemakers.

I'm in the "go small - go now" camp, and would love to learn the error of my previous opinion !!!

IMHO,
Gord
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2005, 06:20   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
Where to begin...?

Ardent, the biggest problem in responding to your query is that entire books have been written on this subject. (In the case of the Pardeys, a whole range of books!) Consequently, any comments in a BB format are going to be pretty thin...but here goes.

First, many of these Boards have archives and your question pops up regularly ('Know little, want to go water sailing">blue water sailing for not much money, what boat do I get?') Investing some time reading other archived threads (www.sailnet.com e.g.) will add to the value of posting here.

Second, you need to understand - perhaps you grasp the basic notion but don't yet appreciate its significance - that the puzzle you want to solve is a complex one. And conceptually, you have two routes open to you: a) you can start with your own (basic, coastal) boat and build your skills & knowledge base over time, all of this allowing you to make a wise choice of a blue water boat at a later date, perhaps for no add'l cost assuming you upgrade the first boat cosmetically along the way. You say you don't want to choose this path, which leaves b) building up the skills and knowledge base first, and then later applying it when you not only select a boat but have a clearer notion of what kind of cruising you want to do. (NB: 'Cruising' is an abused term and means many different things. And if you desire a boat suited to your cruising plans, you'll need to have a firm notion of what they are). Regretably, it's very difficult to have it both ways, namely buying the right boat now with limited knowledge and only a vague notion of your cruising plans, only to discover you made exactly the right choice later. But inevitably, that's what young would-be cruisers have been trying to do for 4 or 5 decades now.

(Not to beat a dead horse, but as one example let's take your question about building in steel. Lots of sound, strong cruising boats are built in steel. BUT you have little money but big plans, so inevitably you will need a boat that is smaller and simplier; that's just the financial reality you face. 'Smaller' and 'steel' just don't go together well; small steel boats are too heavy to be able sailers in lighter winds, and everyone who cruises in the mid-latitudes discovers they have to deal with lighter winds far more than heavier ones. Moreover, you are jumping off a really long pier into deep water indeed to think about building your own boat when you aren't even sure what kind of boat you want. Many have begun this path before you, using one material or another; some were even successful. But in the end, you will probably not spend less money and will end up with a boat but no sailing or passagemaking skills at the end of a time period longer than you anticipate).

So where do you go from here? Here are some references I think you would benefit by reading, as I think you face the task of building your knowledge base before you build or buy a boat. (In fact, your best 'first cruising purchase' should probably be a basic, practical reference library).
1. Read John Neal's summary of what makes a good ocean passagemaker (www.mahina.com/cruise.html). This is biased towards larger boats but John started out very small and has a place in his heart for the budget cruiser.
2. Pick up his two books: Log of the Mahina and Mahina Tiare , Pacific Passages. Both these books can be purchased used via a reseller at amazon.com for a few bucks. The first book covers John's cruising in a small 5,000# 27' sloop from your area, deep down into the Pacific and back, in the 70's. The second book covers 3 Paific cruises, starting from your area, on a 31' sloop. I recommend you spend some time with these books for two reasons: first, they were both written at a time when boats were far simplier (and in keeping with your budget) and they reflect a type of cruising consistent with your circumstances; and second, each one has an Appendix on outfitting a smaller, simple boat for extended cruising, topics that you would find informative and a bit sobering.

The basic dilemma faced by a small boat owner with big cruising plans is that big plans visit lots of requirements on a boat, each of which works against a small budget and the limited capacity of a small boat. You can sail without a raft while crossing an ocean, not bother buying a 406 Epirb, hope to make do on small water tankage and limited fuel, and so forth...but you work yourself further and further into a corner where the odds incrementally get stacked against you, when only a little more boat and a little more money can make a big difference. In addition, even small boats need top-nothc basic systems: a standing rig of unquestioned integry; rock-solid self-steering capability; reliable engine; functional if basic layout for at-sea use; good quality if basic sails; and so forth. The cost of all of these must be subtracted from the cost of the basic boat unless included in the purchase.

Finally, and to counter all of the above, let me mention that a good friend is in the process of sailing around the world right now on a basic, inexpensive production boat (Tartan 27) that he's already taken as far as the Black Sea in the Med to the East and New Zealand to the West. He's having the time of his life, has very few systems and a small budget, and is enjoying himself immensely. Of course, he's also a very experienced sailor, is willing to live with additional discomfort of a small boat at sea, and has equipped the boat with the safety gear that makes him prudent, not just adventurous. So your goal is both worthy & reachable; it's just not easily obtainable.

Jack
__________________
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2005, 07:30   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Boat: Saugeen Witch, Colvin design vessel name: Witchcraft
Posts: 383
Images: 14
WE have found that we in one way require less space while travelling than we do while static.
We own a 23 ft Halcyon. A tough little boat that was comfortable. Several of these little boats have crossed oceans, but I would not want to do it. The gear needed for such a passage would make it a crowded venture I suspect. This is NOT the boat we live on. We live on a Tom. Colvin designed Saugeen Witch.
It might be that you could begin with a smaller boat and trade up closer to your cruising time. Beware however, it seems very easy to acquire boats, and not always easy to sell them. I suspect some ofthis has to do with people wanting boats whose name they recognize. This assumes condition is good etc..
Good luck with your hunt. Let us know what boat(s) you find and ultimately purchase.
Cheers
Witchcraft
__________________
witchcraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2005, 08:55   #5
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
First boat

I will be at the Vancouver boat show next Friday and Saturday, 11 / 12 February and will be meeting a couple of other boaters at the lower food court near the entrance at 1600 on Friday. My hat will say T8.5 on the bow and Gently on the stern. I can tell you about my boat which is 28 feet on deck and also about the steel boat group which has a lot of BC members. You can send me a note direct if you want to casling@shaw.ca
Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2005, 10:47   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: White Rock, British Columbia
Posts: 6
Thanks to everyone, I feel very fortunate to have found this forum. I appreciate the long write ups and opinions

My wife and I have decided that for the short term we will be buying a light and lowcost islands boat like the san juan, a quick little martin, or a catalina or c and c etc on the "cruisier" end. This way, we'll be sailing sooner and be able to formulate a greater opinion as to what we want in the future when the open ocean beckons. The time of year here in BC is also perfect for buying a boat, mid winter and prices are low.

There is a san juan 24 and a catalina 27 I have my eyes on and will check out shortly, I'll see if I'd like to go further on either and have a survey done.

BC Mike, I'll remember to send you an email, I would like to meet if possible at the show.

Thanks to all!
__________________
Ardent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005, 07:51   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Boat: Saugeen Witch, Colvin design vessel name: Witchcraft
Posts: 383
Images: 14
Mike,
Although we are not in BC I would be interested in hearing something about the steel boat group.
I wonder if there are any around here, groups I mean not boats.
Witchcraft
__________________
witchcraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005, 08:41   #8
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
SJ 24 and steel boats

Ardent, I am familiar with all the boats you have mentioned, sailed on all of them at some time. Witchcraft, the steel boat group I referred to is a chat group at yahoo listed under origami. The principal motivator is Brent Swain who has designed a few models of boats that are easier to pull together than a traditional steel boat. There is a lot of knowledge on the group but some members are not very tolerant of other building materials. If you can not find the site I will get it for you.
Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005, 12:53   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
Every reply so far has been very informative and includes a fantastic note. SO if I may include my two cents worth.
1:Every material a vessel is built from has good points and bad points. There is none (afordable at least) that is perfect IMO.
2: When building a boat, many come unstuck with the fact that they see 90% of the boat in the hull. But in reality, the hull is about 10-15% of the overall cost, and about 50% of the overall work.
But here is a thought. Many that find that part out the hardway, have uncompleted hulls on the market and many are very cheap. You could get a hull that the hard work part has been done, and then complete the fitout. I have seen hulls complete with engine and drive train selling for scrap prices.
3:Witchcraft made a good point about size. We have a 46ft vessel and if I could afford to pay for bithing fee's, I would happily go bigger. So you have to weigh up costs of birthage and maintanance against size. But it is really nice to have the room when rafting up and haveing other folks over for a meal or wine etc. The traveling isn't essential for size determination, it is what you want to do when in the destination that is important to size.
4:We settled on a vessel that didn't have speed so much, but could handle severe weather. Being a Kiwi, we can be faced with severe weather at any time. We may just go for a sail on a beatiful sunny day and return home in a nasty howling gail. But mostly our decision was based on, how comfortable will the boat be when miles out and in a storm. Every design handles that differently and we made a lot of reasearch into people that have been through severe stuff, including a hurricane, before we decided on the boat we now have.
And that brings me to a sub point. What is the boat fitted out with and how. i.e. hatches etc. Are they ocean or coastal designs. Main entranceway. Can it be sealed off water tight. What comfort and protection do you have when at the helm, if the weather is nasty. We made this another important aspect. As we are just two of us, I neede to know that my wife was safe at the helm during here watch, if I was down below sleeping.
The list goes on, but I think that covers many important initial aspects.
Good luck.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005, 20:04   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Gladwin Mi.
Posts: 148
Heyyyy Ardent !

You may want to check this one out !http://www.hrpartnering.net/cascade.htm
May be what your looking for.
__________________
29cascadefixer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2005, 19:41   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: White Rock, British Columbia
Posts: 6
That cascade is looking pretty decent, and I take it it's in Portland? Not too far at all.

I'll keep it in mind, it is a bit of a jump in price over the current catalina's etc we are shopping for, also a jump in boat however. I'll need to decide what we're really after at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

My wife and I have began looking at J35's, a lot pricier and beyond our $20K budget but still within reach, but a lot of boat and could be worth our expenditure. It would also serve every purpose we have in mind for the boat, both present and future. I suppose this is a natural transition when boat shopping, starting small and then looking at what you could have, and most likely digressing to small again.

We shall see...

As a side note my father is selling the Wilderness 30 and buying a J35, so he is rubbing off on me. I look forward to sailing on the J35, unfortunately I feel it will end up raising my wife's and my expectations and tastes a fair bit.
__________________
Ardent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2005, 20:28   #12
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
Catalina

The Catalina boats are popular especially the 27, but I would not buy one and I have many good reasons. I have found the folks at Cascade to be user friendly. They answer emails and they have a site, probably cascadeyachts.com The soft deck story was unfortunate but that could happen to any brand of boat. A well built boat in this size range should last you a life time. The solid boats are not as fast as the newer sport boat types but are worth it when it gets rough. C&C also makes a nice 27 and 30 that are worth looking at. The Vancouver boat show was cancelled but is now back on again. I will be there Friday and Saturday. Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2005, 07:32   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
Ardent, I get the impression...

...that you really aren't sure what you want, and so are reacting to each suggestion or comment until the next one comes along.

If you aren't comfortable with investing the time to build your own knowledge base, and you feel it's time to get a boat - understandable motivations - then don't be so quick to abandon your price ceiling. The Cascade being offered is a good example of the kind of boat you say you're interested in; styling is outdated and the workmanship is basic, but its structural qualities are sound, and it's well equipped...yet you mention looking at J boats, which are a totally different type from what you say you want. What is it you want to do that e.g. this Cascade can't do? (See http://solantamity.com/Extraneous/MuggingsPlus.htm to read about one of these being circumnaviated).

Another example is a Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31, altho' I would describe both the quality of the finish and its seakeeping qualities to be better than the Cascade. It's also bigger and has more room. I found one of these two years ago, for sale by the owner on the Great Lakes and with Monitor wind vane, rebuilt engine and in excellent shape based on pictures they sent, for $20K...and the sellers were motivated.

A third example is an Albin Ballad, a 30' boat highly popular in N Europe and which is raced in the North Sea, which should tell you something about its build quality. It is fast and, like the H-R Monsun, has a very functional layout. It was selling for $19K, looked almost new because of the short seasons up there, and came with its own trailer (the owner took it home to work on each winter). The boat had been for sale for over a year and would have gone for far less.

My point is that you need to fish or cut bait. There are lots of choices that suit your needs AND fit your budget. Sitting on these BB's isn't the way to find them, tho'. I think your needs are better suited by better grounding yourself in what you need to know, but I made that point above. Failing that, I would encourage you to start digging around the Web, the print media (e.g. Soundings) and perhaps by using a good broker in your area. I really doubt you are going to find your answer here...

Jack
__________________
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2005, 10:37   #14
Registered User
 
jim lee's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Anacortes, WA
Boat: J/35 - No Tomorrows
Posts: 180
Images: 3

A J/35? I think that's a terrific choice.. But then, I guess I'm kinda biased..

-jim lee
__________________
J/35 No Tomorrows
jim lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2005, 00:23   #15
Registered User
 
Trecksail's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12
solid sailboat

I great sailboat that I don't think has been mentioned is the Paceship. You can find them at www.paceship.net
The site has specs on all the boats as well as a few very nice ones for sale.

Most of them were designed by C&C. They are solid and sail very well. The price ranges are also well within your budget.

Joe
__________________

__________________
Trecksail 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
Nigel Caulder on Hoses GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 19 30-06-2015 13:14
Island Packet 31 for Liveaboard / Offshore? Gray Monohull Sailboats 33 01-09-2013 07:26
Do Boats Have 'Souls' ? sail_the_stars General Sailing Forum 77 14-11-2010 15:25
A Primer on Fiberglass Construction Jeff H Construction, Maintenance & Refit 25 17-11-2005 11:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:21.


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.