In reading a lot of the threads on CF, I see that people continue to mix up full-time cruisers and having a boat for part-time use. This thread was to encourage individuals who wish to go boating
at weekends and holidays to take the plunge by being careful in their choices and only getting what is really necessary for safe boating
and economical use.
There is obviously a difference in having a boat for full-time cruising and live aboard both in cost and equipment
and having one for the purposes as mentioned above. That said, it is still possible to be frugal in choosing a vessel at the best value for money
within your price
For me as an individual with an average income
, I understand the principle of being restricted in my choices by an aversion to borrowing money, and by what cash is available without having to sell assets. In reading yachting magazines and online forums
, one would think that the minimum starting price
for a well found yacht or catamaran
is over $200,000!
This is fine if you have the credit stream or cash to enter the market at that price point, but for the rest of us this is just a pipe dream. For the working person myself included, I see boating and sailing as an enjoyable hobby much the same as caravanning or using an RV. To this end the vessel has to meet certain safety
standards and equipment
needs to be sufficient for any unforeseen event. It is not a requirement of owning a boat to have the latest electronics
maker or any of the myriad newfangled gadgets that make life easier on board.
last week a friend of mine purchased a Catalac
8m for £16,000. The survey
stated the boat had structural integrity, and recommended replacing a couple of standing rigging
wires, a rewire and the resealing of a couple of windows. Yesterday, I went to see the vessel on the hard
and to drop off some filters and I had picked up for his outboard
, and was amazed at how much better it looked for a good scrubbing and cleaning
and buffing of the hulls. The new owner is a carpenter/builder by trade
, and already is beginning to transform the interior
with the modification of the existing floor plan and new wood replacing some of the aged panels
. One of his plans is to replace the ceiling padding with lightweight wood panels
in the design of his own making.
John is quite an experience sailor. Combined with his knowledge of woodworking, is a tip he passed on to me that he was not going to varnish
the ceiling wood. He was going to liquid finish it with a sealer, and this would prevent condensation
forming and dripping down. I just passed this tip onto you because it may be helpful.
For myself I am happy with the vessel that does not require huge sails
and the necessity to go forward all the time to deal with sail issues. I like sails
that can be pulled up, and reduced as the wind
rises from the cockpit
. Replacing the sails is much cheaper as well. Rigging
costs are cheaper, line runs are cheaper, and mast
lengths are usually smaller. There is also the benefit of being able to lower the mast
single-handedly and quickly if required.
A couple of years ago when I was looking at the Gemini 105
, I was really impressed by the layout and the space. I still think it is a lot of space for a single
person or a couple with room for guests. However this is my personal view as another commentor on cruisers forum was less than impressed with the space for himself and his wife. He thought it very small for a cruising cat. I guess it comes down to expectations and usage. It basically is what you are prepared to deal with and whether or not compactness is something you can live with. I come from the school
of thought that suggests finding a vessel of the minimum size you are happy with, and can control single-handed with ease, is better than an oversized vessel that leaves you anxious.
A lot of experienced sailors on CF discussed the merits and problems associated with different vessels and give their opinions as to why they would not have a certain boat. Invariably these comments come from long distance sailors, and whilst I read their comments carefully and note them, they actually do the frugal sailor a power of good when it comes to purchasing
one of these vessels which are available for a good price and will only be used for local and coastal work. However and for example, I allowed myself to be talked out of purchasing
the Gemini 105
because it was a "lightly built" and not very sturdy sea vessel. The reality was that for the use I wanted it, the vessel was perfect, not to mention it has crossed the Atlantic and Pacific many times.
So for those of us wanting to sail on a limited income
at weekends, we must be prepared to examine each and every vessel on its own merits and compare that to the usage we want out of it.
Sailing is an expensive hobby but it need not be if we choose it not to be.