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Old 15-04-2012, 09:27   #1
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Cruising the Med

Hi there
I'm looking for a boat to cruise the Mediterranean, leaving from Portugal, Gibraltar, Baleares, South of Italy, Croatia and Greek Islands. It will be just me and my wife in no hurries. Any thoughts you would like to share about which boat you think it's the best suited for the enterprise?
Do you think a Jeanneau Sun Odissey 36i would cut it? Too small?
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Old 15-04-2012, 09:35   #2
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Re: Cruising the Med

That would work just fine!! Its not so much the size of the boat, but the person sailing it!
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Old 15-04-2012, 09:43   #3
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Re: Cruising the Med

Sure but I'm a bit worried about storage space, although this boat has a nice storage compartment behind the shower.
I'm not expecting too much rough weather on these parts so I think this boat will do. Anyway, it's always good to know other people's opinions.
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Old 19-04-2012, 07:09   #4
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Re: Cruising the Med

It's very hard to comment because we have no idea what kind of sailor you and your wife are. A 36 footer makes for easier handling of sails when the weather is rough, a thing to think about. The berthing fees in the Med are astronomical, I've heard, so a shorter boat will help there too. But of course you also get the downsides of a shorter boat, and that is less space and lesser open water sailing qualities. More modern boats have much larger saloons but are less suitable for open water sailing. If you're hugging the Med coastline and spending lots of nice evenings in port, I think a newer boat would suit you more.

I think a 36 footer could be a nice compromise. When I went looking for a boat for me and my brother to sail on open water, I was looking at between 34 and 38 foot. I chose a Baltic 38 because of its sailing qualities and internal arrangement: less of a harbour boat, more of a sailing boat. For your trip, I would think you would want the opposite. The Baltic 38DP has less space in the saloon than a modern 34 footer.

So, all in all, I think the boat you're looking at could be just right for you. But I don't know what you have in your head when you think "space". Let alone what your wife has in her head....


Onno
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Old 19-04-2012, 07:29   #5
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Do not be lulled into believing the med isn't rough. In my view it can be far worse then the Atlantic with a short high sea that pounds the pounds the boat.

I once met a circumnavigator in a big tayana. The only place he got into trouble with excessive weather and ripped his sails and took damage has east of Ibiza

So ensure the base boat is in good fettle.


The 36i would be fine you don't need huge storage space as you don't need to carry lots of stores, or water or diesel. most journeys are 1-2 day stuff and provisioning can be done everywhere. The rest is your personal possessions and clothes etc. don't over think it.

Jeaneaux are basically a slightly better version of a beneteau. ( think Audi and VW) they have a good reputation.

Dave
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Old 19-04-2012, 07:56   #6
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Re: Cruising the Med

Very true. In my view, any place on the water can be rough, but short waves are particularly nasty. We see them a lot on the IJsselmeer in Holland and it is quite notorious for this reason.


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Old 19-04-2012, 15:54   #7
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Re: Cruising the Med

Thanks. About what kind of sailors we are? The worst kind, of course. No experience what so ever and plans to conquer the sevens seas.

I'm not really worried about the weather cause we will mostly do coastal cruising and will not sail under bad weather.

About storage, I'm just thinking about my wife's bags and shoes...
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Old 19-04-2012, 16:19   #8
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Re: Cruising the Med

PMCunha:
Having passed through all the areas (except Croatia) last year, I can echo many of the comments already made.
Portugal - Atlantic swells & fog (triggered by cold water bumping up against warm land/air - But not much wind at the time I passed thru
Med Overall - the saying "None, Too Little or Too Much Wind is true"
Although it was not the high winds it was the short high seas (already mentioned) that were nasty/problematic - encountered most once I hit Sardinia and several times heading east into Greece.

But the Volvo Ocean race got slammed leaving Alicante, Spain after I passed thru there in much calmer waters. So watching weather religiously & using the overall trends to your benefit.

Jeanneau 36i - nice boat, certainly capable, space - can't bring the house but the 2 Cabin model especially with just two people should be Ok. Are You going to live aboard or commute?
Marina costs - yes, depending on where it can be pricey.

Alternatives:
Jeanneau 379, 409, Sun Odyssey 42
or My Boat

Fair Winds
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Old 19-04-2012, 17:35   #9
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One Big Important Piece of Advice

TRAINING - You AND your wife need to take sailing lessons i.e. RYA or equivalent in your area
RYA Training | Courses & Training | RYA

It will be the best investment you can make for your safety, enjoyment and confidence .....plus You can scratch / bump the school's boats first rather than your shiny Jeanneau

P.S. My Boat......did not know I have a VW......I'm so lucky it can sail so far
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Old 19-04-2012, 23:03   #10
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The worst weather I've ever encountered at sea was in the Tyrrhenian Sea. 30+ foot waves and a solid gale for over 48 hours. I learned after the fact about Bora winds around Italy, Mistrals In the Gulf de Lion, or scirocco winds off the coast of Tunisia.
Read up on the weather patterns in the med. They can be quite dynamic and the seas will build rather quickly. I would think most cruising folks try to avoid bad weather. But doing it successfully doesn't always work out as planned.

Clayton
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Old 19-04-2012, 23:14   #11
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Re: Cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z1Krider View Post
The worst weather I've ever encountered at sea was in the Tyrrhenian Sea. 30+ foot waves and a solid gale for over 48 hours. I learned after the fact about Bora winds around Italy, Mistrals In the Gulf de Lion, or scirocco winds off the coast of Tunisia.
Read up on the weather patterns in the med. They can be quite dynamic and the seas will build rather quickly. I would think most cruising folks try to avoid bad weather. But doing it successfully doesn't always work out as planned.

Clayton
AMEN...........especially if You are trying to bypass certain areas & are on longer passages .........what it feels like in the waves
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Old 19-04-2012, 23:33   #12
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Re: Cruising the Med

One thing to bear in mind is that once you get to 40' you are into the next price band in most marinas, over 12 metres. Can add a lot to marina fees.
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Old 20-04-2012, 05:20   #13
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Re: Cruising the Med

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Originally Posted by PMCunha View Post
I'm not really worried about the weather cause we will mostly do coastal cruising and will not sail under bad weather.
Be very careful: weather changes quickly and your boat does not go quickly. If you are taking off on a 40 mile trip with clear skies but Cirrus clouds, you might be halfway when the gales hit. By the time you realise your mistake you won't be able to escape it because you're a couple of hours from port. It is absolutely naive to think you will be able to miss all bad weather!

Besides the Med winds, already mentioned by someone, note that there are a lot of mountainous ranges close to shore, possibly causing katabatic or erratic winds. Also consider that there are rocky shores without ports for long stretches, so a safe haven might be hard to get to.

I support the need for training. I have sailed a lot when I was young and saw some people get into very serious trouble just because they didn't know what they didn't know. Now that I'm returning to sailing after a 20 year hiatus, I am taking the RYA Day Skipper course, both theory and practical, because I know that I have forgotten a lot and I'm also new to yachting with an engine and heavy sails. Once my boat is ready, I will take an instructor with for a couple of days to get used to my new baby. Then I'll spend the summer in familiar waters before sailing her over to my new home in Jersey, a 700 mile trip. On that trip, I won't be skippering the boat, I'll hire a yachtmaster because I consider myself not experienced enough by September.

I think you should really consider doing something similar. If you go on the water unprepared you might hurt yourself, your wife, or the chances of staying married.

This is not said to discourage you. If you take a little bit of time to prepare yourself, and it will empower you to really enjoy yourself. The only way that you can face bad weather without panicking is if you have the experience to a) recognise it early, and b) take appropriate action before things get out of hand.

I have booked a Day Skipper course with the Yacht Sailing School in Sardinia. I think you AND your wife should do the same - gives you a feel for the Med and you will know so much more about what to expect.

Please also note: if you are two-handing a boat, it is my firm belief that both people should have the confidence to skipper it under almost any circumstances, and preferably scrap the "almost". Your wife should be participating in learning to sail as much as you are.

Good luck!


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Old 20-04-2012, 06:44   #14
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Re: Cruising the Med

Hello everyone. Just registered here and started browsing through the threats. Great stuff.

@PMCunha: I sailed a 36i (the one with the larger rig) for over 2 month from Gibraltar up to Portugal, Morocco and the Western Med and the rest of the Med with on a variety of other boats.

I can only agree with the others: You need to get a bit of sailing practice. The area around Gibraltar seems to be perfect for training and for a RYA course. A day skipper course for 2 weeks should prep you to begin with. You can even do it on your own boat once you bought it.

Sailing in the Med can be tricky with regards to wind and no wind, short waves and weather changing in a matter of minutes. However, if you stick to coastal cruising and plan your two or three longer passages well, you should be ok. Speak with the locals, they often predict the weather better than any public weather forecast.

Fees in Marinas: Relatively cheap in the Western parts (Spain, Portugal, Morocco) and increasing the more you come towards Italy, France and Croatia. It also depends on the season. July and August is a rip off in the charter regions (Croatia for example). You could work around it if you stick to the Atlantic Coast of Spain and Portugal during those month and do the rest before that. Just an idea.

The 36i: I experienced no wind to up to 45 knots on that boat. I sailed with 6 people for two weeks (not a recommendation) and with 3 people very comfortably for several weeks. Water and fuel capacities can be an issue but you will learn to deal with it. Other than that she sails perfectly fine. I would even consider her to be very fast. 8- 9 knots is not a problem. She points like a dream and is very balanced. One thing that needs a bit of experience is to sail downwind in large waves and high winds. In those conditions you need to be very accurate on the helm. I found her to be very solid, no noise from the rig below deck (compared to Bavaria or Beneteau), her hardware is excellent and you can sail her under race conditions as well as short-handed in cruising mode. If she is in a good condition, I would buy this model for what you are planning.

I know of a guy who is selling his Jeanneau 40 in Gibraltar. Let me know if you want me to put you in contact with him. Also with regards to RYA courses. Note that I am not envolved commercially here. :-). I just happen to know a couple of people down there.
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Old 20-04-2012, 14:36   #15
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Re: Cruising the Med

Gentlemen

I do appreciate your comments and concerns about training and experience but just to set things straight, I would'nt even think of doing such a thing if I didn't feel absolutely prepared for the task.

I intend to practice very hard, attend all the courses I can, study, practice some more and then, when I feel comfortable enough (retirement), I'll do it.

The reason why I'm asking this now is because I don't think you should buy a boat every year or so. I think you should set your goals straight and invest on the long term. Sailing the Med is something I've been dreaming for a long time and I will do it. When I'm ready and probably in 5 to 10 years. I guess I'll be able to build some experience until then.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your concerns and advises.

PMC
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