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Old 18-09-2008, 10:23   #1
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Another one looking for a boat.

Everyone has probably heard this a thousand times but in reading through the threads I see a lot of varied opinions and things about boats. I thought I would ask again but also ad a few specifics as to what I am looking for so you all can help me make the right choice the first time.

First off I'm retired Navy and got a lot of sea miles under my belt. All on steel ships though. Mostly big ones like battleships and carriers but I spent 5 years on a tin can too. I'm not scared of the ocean at all though and when I hit the waves in my own boat I'm going to hit it hard and not come back for a long time. I want to spend my retirement years in the Pacific bopping around from Hawaii to the PI and hong Kong to Australia.

I'm not rich by any means and don't want to buy a mega yacht. Just something large enough for two people to live aboard comfortably and small enough that two people can handle skillfully.

I have to have a diesel engine. I guess most boats do now days but I know some don't. I've been cold dark and dirty as we called it too many times to be stuck without power or a means of propulsion.

Having absolutely no experience with sails I'm looking for opinions on what type of rigging I should look for. Single mast, two mast? What can two people handle and what would be reliable? I'm not so much concerned about speed as I am reliability. I learned a long time ago that it's better to ride out a storm then it is trying to out run one. The only time a ship I was on tried to run we ended up with 3 missing shipmates and 3 more dead when we went back looking for them.

If I know the boat I choose can take a pounding then I can too. It's no fun being upside down in a hurricane. Been there!

I would like an older boat. Not too old but one needing overhaul and I want to do it myself so I know it's done right. I plan to upgrade all the electronics myself, rebuild engine, whatever it takes all by myself. I was an engineer and can handle this part easily.

With that in mind, for a sail boat, what would be the ideal hull material to have? I've worked with steel, fiberglass, wood and composite before. I prefer steel but everything deteriorates I know in salt water. Whatever it is I would hope it's easy to patch if I got a hole or split seam while underway.

I guess that's enough to start with. Thanks in advance for any advice you all have getting my first and last boat.
Well, to clarify, I'm getting a 25 footer with a single mast probably this month to start taking sailing lessons in. In a lake! Over the next two years I want to have my ocean going boat ready, get my captains license back and start putting some more sea miles on. I haven't even see the ocean since I retired 13 years ago.

I've been looking a lot at the 40-50 foot taiwan built ketches. Probably not the best choice in the world according to many people but that is roughly the size I would be comfortable with. Smaller would be ok if it's a truly sea worthy design and comfortable.

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Old 18-09-2008, 11:09   #2
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Hi and good luck,

You will find many, very knowledgeable, and friendly folk here. But I hope you realize that your question is rather like "What's the best religiion?".

Not being a spring chicken myself, I would tend towards either a cutter or ketch rig of somewhat moderate or above displacement. For what you are contemplating I would also be looking at the 40 to the possibly 50 foot range. Steel would be nice but I wouldn't want to be saddled with the preventative maintenance, so I would stick to fiberglass. Perhaps if I knew more about steel or aluminum I'd be willing to change.

One thing that should definitely take part in your decision is draft. Where I live on the SW coast of Florida, 6 foot is considered DEEP. I draw 5 and there are times when I wish I drew less. That consideration alone will severely restrict the number of boats available if you opt for the shallow draft. I'm rather fond of full keel boats but others will disagree there too.

In summary, my choice, 40-50 ft, fiberglass, moderately heavy displacement, ketch or cutter rigged, and 6 ft draft or less with a full keel. I have one but the captain's license is not really necessary. I got mine rather as a merit badge. Now a ham license would definitely be useful and I'm working on mine.

Now let the fireworks begin.


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Old 18-09-2008, 11:12   #3
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there are many smaller boats out there that will fit the bill made here and abroad. just go on line and looking. noonsight has a listing and review of many good boats ,their sizes etc. ask at different sights as you did here you will get a multitude of opinions. Taiwan turkeys are ok if you are careful. some say they are slow but i don't know what slow is based on. they are heavy and can take a beating. most of the older boats require defferred maint. now. it all depends on what you want/are willing to spend.
the sloop rig is the fastest, then the cutter, then ketch, then yawl. all is relevant. in the size you are considering a ketch would reduce the sail area handled, as the sails are smaller in size. also you have more combos of sail you can have, but at a price$
good luck
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Old 18-09-2008, 11:28   #4
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I really appreciate the replies and I understand how everyone has different thoughts on boats. That's what I'm looking for though so I can make an informed decision. I will also make sure I hire a surveyor before I buy one too. I have a lot to figure out between now and the time I fork out the cash.

I will say that I have been looking online at a lot of CT-54 boats and like the looks. I was going to check one out in Corpus Christi last weekend on a trip there but Ike put that off. I hope the boat, and it's owner got out ok. I haven't been able to get hold of him since. I'm thinking that will be a nice comfortable and stable boat for long family cruises. From what I am reading about them I just have to make sure it's checked out good and that I know what I am getting into.

Speed really isn't a concern. On that Fast Frigate I was on we hardly ever went over 5 knots. Not unless a Russian sub came up on the sonar or some drug smuggler tried to be stupid. We could go about 30 knots but my captain liked trolling speed better. So did I. Going 25 knots or more on a carrier all the time just wasn't my idea of fun. Especially working in the engine room like I did back then. Those steamers get a little toasty in the hole at that speed.
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Old 22-09-2008, 17:32   #5
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I have a Hans Christian; I love it. Solid, beautiful, simple.
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Old 23-09-2008, 08:09   #6
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You do have a nice looking boat, and website! Here is my website if you are interested. No boat pictures yet but hopefully soon.

I was stationed in San Diego for several years and miss it. If I was allowed to have my business there I'd move back in a second. My first ship is a museum there now. The Midway. 3 generations of my family sailed on her over her almost 50 years of service.
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Old 23-09-2008, 10:40   #7
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I have a Hans Christian; I love it. Solid, beautiful, simple.
Wow, that is a beauty. I can see why you love it!

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