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Old 09-02-2012, 08:44   #1
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Advice on a New Boat

My wife and I have decided to buy another boat. We have been “land locked” for five years due to health issues she had which now have been corrected. This and the life change or shift away from a life putting kids through college, and working all the time has us looking back to the ocean for our fun at last. After ruling out a 2nd home on the coast we decided it was time to expand our freedom and go back to sailing. Our experience has ranged from a 55 foot gaff rigged schooner to sunfish, our last boat was a 30 foot Ranger sloop but there have been many others in our sailing life. We both like to race in the club races, and raced our own boats as well as crewing on more serious racers in more competitive events, but now think we would like a boat which would be used more as the 2nd home we have rejected on land. As Sailors we have a life time of experience. We both started in sunfishes, and between us we have almost 100 years of sailing experience. That does not make us great sailors, but it has exposed us to many of the dangers of being on the ocean and taught us we don’t know it all which is an important part of surviving on the water.
We have been looking at several boats which were not available when we bought our last boat. One which caught our eye is the Jeanneau DS. We were hoping some on the forum would have experience with this make/model. It seems to have more living room than the other 42 footers I have seen, I like the rod rigging, keel stepped mast, and the raised main cabin. I think the reduction in steps will help when we get older and might extend our sailing life. The cabin light is like nothing I have seen in a mid-size boat. Articles I have read all point to it handling well in a mix bag of seas, but not being something to cross the ocean in. That is not an issue for us as we are coastal cruisers types. I have also looked at a Caliber 40 which looks strong enough to go anywhere; it has everything you could want in a boat, but with a higher price. We live in the Mid Atlantic (North Carolina), and most of our sailing will be up and down the NC, SC coast, which is not all that bad and has lots of inlets to slip in during the afternoon periods of bad weather. The Jeanneau is a little faster, but I am sure you give up stability for that speed. The Caliber is traditional, much like the Dickerson 38 we sailed in the 90’s. I can’t say anything bad about either boat. I was hoping some on the forum have already experienced these boats and can give two returning sailors their views.
I have a couple of other questions; one is on in-mast furling the other on the pilot house type helm on the Jeanneau. I know both of the boats I mentioned have the in-mast main option and was wondering what advantages and disadvantages came with it. The Jeanneau has the option to move the helm mid ship starboard, or get two helms in the aft area. I understand the two helms and think it may be an over kill for us at this point, but like the idea of the dodger protection in bad weather with the mid helm position. I was wondering if any had used the mid-ship helm and could give me some feedback.

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:16   #2
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Re: Advice on a new boat

I lean toward a single helm also. Also like the idea of fewer steps to get below. I loved my catamaran for that reason. For coastal cruising I say get the one with the arrangement and amenities you like. I like some of the Jeanneau's also. I had in mast furling, and the advantage, for coastal sailing especially, is that it's easy to store, and easy to set... no cover etc. The disadvantage is it effects performance a lot.... and can be prettty troublesome jamming etc at times. There have been very long discussions on this forum regarding in mast furling, so I'm sure you'll hear from the "believers" and "non-believers"!

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:49   #3
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Re: Advice on a new boat

I was set against in mast furling , until I sailed one in the BVI for a week and loved it. We are going again this year for two weeks and will be getting the same boat for just that reason .

Get a feathering prop, that will more then make up for any lost performance the Inmast furling my bring. If you are going to grow old with this boat the Inmast will be invaluable in a few years .

Good luck

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Old 09-02-2012, 17:30   #4
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Re: Advice on a new boat

If you've raced, you may find in-mast furling less than pleasing. Getting the main to roll up smoothly requires cutting the sail in ways that do not improve performance. In-boom might provide better performing sails, and be easier to fix if it snags.
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Old 09-02-2012, 18:04   #5
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Re: Advice on a new boat

In mast furling will reduce sail area 10% and decrease performance. Choose in boom or traditional with lazy jacks. Look at a Kiwi prop. Great feathering prop at a substantially lower cost that most. Very reliable. Dual wheels vs a single wheel depends on he size of the single wheel. In a boat that wide you want a large diameter wheel that allows you to sit on either side as the boat heels. If the aft cabin configuration will not allow a large diameter wheel (which is my choice) then I would opt for the dual wheels.
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Old 09-02-2012, 19:06   #6
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Re: Advice on a new boat

We are recently retired & also wanted to get back into cruising/sailing. 30yrs ago BC (Before Children) we cruised for 2 or so years (Australian east coast/papua new guinea/solomons). So we set about doing our homework for the best boat that suited us. Therefore we came up with the Jeanneau 42Ds or Jeanneau 42i. Both lovely boats with good sailing abilities and comfort factor. To cut a long story short we didn't end up getting a Jeanneau but are sure would have been happy if we did. One thing we didn't really like about the DS was the lack of goog ventilation and opening hatches as we would be in tropical areas of Oz. That may not be an issue for you. In our seach we came across a guy (Paul) here in Australia who did a circumnavigation of Oz in his Jeanneau 42DS. His website details his journey - Home Page . The boat performed quite well and had a furling mainsail. Check it out. We do not know or have had any contact with or have any affiliation with Paul. You could maybe ask more q's about the boat if you wanted - I think it is for sale but that would not be of interest to you.
Finally we ended up buying a Dufour 425 Grand Large and are very happy with her - sails well & comfortable. Having ditched all the houses (all rented to fund our different lifestyle) we have lived aboard for 7 mths now and don't plan on getting back into a house for several years.
Good luck in finding the right boat.

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