First post, but I've been reading here for years!
I'm making another pass at cruising. Last time, I had dreams of sailing from Australia
to the Med and spending 4 - 5 years cruising there. My wife and I spent most of our retirement money
and bought a 44' cat. The boat was a disaster from the word go. There was rot
in the cedar stripping, problems with the diesels, endless maintenance
. It was also just too big a boat for us to manage easily and enjoy. The systems were all too old, sail handling was too difficult. etc etc. We sold the boat within 6 months for a huge loss (it was just as the financial crisis kicked in).
We licked our wounds for a while and didn't think we'd ever want to venture out on the water
again. Time heals all wounds, and we ended up buying
a small Farrier Tri (our boat prior to the cat was a stretched Farrier TrailerTri) and we're in love with sailing again.
I guess we learned a few lessons from this. First, to buy the smallest boat that will do the job. Second, buy a boat with systems that are current
and not about to all fail at once. We've also re-scoped our sailing ambitions. We no longer plan on sailing to the Med, we plan to buy a boat either in the UK or in the Med.
We plan to start cruising in the french canals, then around Italy
and agean seas. If we still love it, then we might cross the pond and cruise
in the USA, and onwards.
I've also realized the importance of getting the boat right, and how inexperienced I was evaluating our boat needs (even though we employed surveyors, delivery
captains and motor
I'd love some advice about what vessel we should consider for this voyage. On the one hand, we are limited by the draught of the canals (about 1.2m shallowest), which suggests boats like the Westerly Centaur, good power for the canals, and easy beaching on the twin fins. However, this boat might not be so suitable for Med sailing and subsequent ocean passages. I've considered boats like the pearson
26' and the albin vega
, which seem more suited to this end of the mission.
Should we reconsider the canals? I think my wife would really appreciate this part of the journey and it would ease her into life aboard with little stress. Is it possible to have a vessel that fulfills both requirements?
Also we're only considering boats in the 26' - 32' range. I think that matches our budget
and ability to manage the boat. It will only be my wife and myself and we're not getting any younger! (55 y.o now).
We'll also be evaluating boats that we're not familiar with in the Australian market, so any pointers on buying
boats overseas would be welcome. Our budget
is flexible, but I don't really want to spend more than $80000 AUD or so.
Thanks in advance