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Old 09-11-2015, 08:14   #31
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Like a couple have said, your biggest problem won't (necessarily) be the boat, but your lack of knowledge and experience for the challenging places you seem ready to tackle, without the benefit of much practice before then.

Having said that, and having gone up and down the Washington, Oregon, and California coast and around Vancouver Island, I think Vancouver Island would definitely could be far easier and safer. If you get in a hurry and go out in bad weather on the outside of Van Is, you could lose even a good big boat. It has claimed many a ship.

And if you have mechanical problems, there aren't very many places to get parts or help on the outside. Lots of places on the inside to repair but the inside is no piece of cake either. Our very experienced friends (50 yrs sailing and cruising) had so many problems on the inside they are thinking of selling their very well-found sailboat.

But the west coast south of the Straits of Juan de Fuca can make the outside of Vancouver Is. look like a cake walk. The big reason are the lack of easy places to tuck in to and the extreme conditions you can get there. Much harder to pick weather windows going along there.

The boat though - do you know how to evaluate thru-hulls on an old "cheap" boat? Pretty damn basic. How about hose clamps? Bilge pumps? Shaft and rudder seals? Batteries? The issue is not really a "cheap" boat per se but can you pick one that will keep you afloat and safe starting out pretty darn clueless.

But - you might have a great time and not have any problems, provided you stay out of bad weather and other conditions. If you aren't lucky you might lose the boat underneath you. If you feel lucky go for it.
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:40   #32
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
before you get stuck in a boat you cannot sell to anyone for anything, why not backpack and find rides whether on ocean or land to get to your kickoff point of choice
(Or destination)

This might be the best idea yet........get a backpack and hike it. Bring the correct gear (to include good hiking boots) and a couple good cell phones for safety.
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:59   #33
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

If you are in the Vancouver area why not get a little mid-20s boat and sail around the inside passage for a bit on week long trips and weekenders? You could wander around that area for years and not get bored, and you'd build up your skills.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:09   #34
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Originally Posted by MikeAndMichelle View Post
We've spent almost a year researching boats, looking at like 2 dozen boats, and reading all kinds of conflicting information and contradicting opinions. It's becoming very overwhelming and I'm scared to even pick a boat now in fear of actually picking a crappy boat in some way or form.

We don't have coastal sailing experience yet, but the plan was to sail around around Vancouver Island and the Inside Passages for a few months then down the west coast (Vancouver, BC to Chile). We wouldn't venture far from land, we'd probably always have land in sight, we would hug the coast at all times, and would keep a close eye on the weather and anchor when (or, before) it gets too rough out, or heave-to.

Can't we just get whichever boat we like most? (And can afford?) Does it really matter which sailboat you get? As long as the damn thing floats and takes you from point A to point B? I mean, there have been (crazy) people who have taken kayaks, rowboats, and a bathtub across oceans.

We don't care about looks, length, speed, or performance, we just want something cheap to get us from point A to point B. (I know, oxymoron, since sailboats are money sinks, but we can also live on the sailboat in Vancouver on the hook and around the world, so cheaper than renting an apartment or staying in hotels/hostels/airbnb down the coast.)

Our budget is under $10K. We found a Grampian 28 for $5K, and a one-off 35' ex-racer turned cruiser for $7K, and a Bayfield 29 for $12K but that's a bit out of our range, although I know it would be the best boat to take down the coast. We don't want a spade rudder.

I know they'd need some work, they wouldn't be as sturdy, stable, or strong as their heavier cousins (except the Bayfield 29). But, why wouldn't they (or any cheap crappy boat) both work, as long as we keep an eye on weather and went slow, port/marina/beach hopping all the way down? Getting off the boat and camping at an isolated empty beach if we had to, etc.?

I know the Pacific west coast is a lee shore, with not as many safe havens. I went on Google Maps and zoomed in close to land and went all the way down from Vancouver to Baja California, and it looked like from Vancouver to Ensenada there was a marina at least about ever 50-100km (I make a custom map for myself with markers on it). But then there are places like in Mexico from Ensenada to Rancho los Pinos and from Rancho los Pinos to Coņo that have almost 250km of coast along Baja California with no safe havens.

It'd be risky, but couldn't we sail through that during a 3 or 4-day good-weather window? There are dozens of secluded beaches along the way, couldn't we take cover in one of those, too? (Probably before a storm hits, as I'm assuming trying to anchor during a storm would more likely result in you getting blown into shore.)

Or am I just crazy and this is suicidal, and perhaps we should just stick to biking down the coast instead? Lol
Sounds like you need to buy a boat with a proven history. Stay away from one offs, home builts or specials.

Second you need to be able to trust your boat. This takes time.

Buy a boat in good condition that is outfitted with what you need. Then you'll be able to spend time building confidence.

Focus on learning something new each time you leave the dock.

If you buy a pos then you'll get to work on it and not go sailing.

At some point you have to leave the dock.

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Old 09-11-2015, 09:26   #35
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Keep the people in the boat~ keep the water out of the boat~ keep the boat off the rocks....

Your statement about living aboard over living in an apartment to save money worries me in that you may select a boat based on those parameters. Seldom will that coincide with a safe sailing vessel. Rigging, sails, engine/ transmission, construction and condition are often ignored when looking for a boat to replace an apartment.
I suggest you go to a marina and inquire as to who is the best sailboat surveyor. Befriend him even offering to help in exchange for knowledge. Once you know and trust him, let him help find you a boat. Just my two cents. Make sure the one you get has a diesel not an outboard and not an old gas engine.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:48   #36
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Make sure the one you get has a diesel not an outboard and not an old gas engine.
There are so many things to know about when it comes to sailing.

Most folks do agree that diesels are better, but an old, leaky diesel that you cannot trust is definitely not better than a new/newer small outboard mounted on an adjustable bracket on the stern than you can. You can also remove it when not in use on a long cruise and store below or mount on the stern railing.

A boat in your price range is probably going to have a very old leaky, smelly diesel engine...............

Attached is your basic $7 K sailboat but this one has autopilot, GPS (2), Depth, good anchors, 2011 mainsail, two good jib, and an outboard.

It did have a 10 hp diesel, and it wouldn't push the boat any better than the outboard. It also leaked and smelled. I'm probably more sensitive to the smells and leaks than most since this is my first sailboat with an engine
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:57   #37
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Mike and Michelle,


I sounds as if it would be sensible to get some sailing experience prior to buying.


I'm not even sure what your final intentions are but making an educated guess makes more sense than going in blind.


You may even find you hate it. And have pissed away your money.


As already pointed out, sailing closer to shore as being safer is a misnomer.


JMHO
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:59   #38
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

@ Mike&Michelle

TrentePied sails out of West Vancouver. Let me assure you that what you will find once you are into Straits of Juan deFuca or north of Port Hardy and around Cape Scott (West Coast of Vancouver Island) is NOT what you find crossing from West Van to Porlier Pass on a lovely morning in August! Let alone what you will find once you turn left off the Swiftsure! Be mindful of Leviathan II that went down a week ago IN SECONDS with 27 people aboard, killing 5. She was skippered by a SOLID man with 18 years experience IN THOSE PARTICULAR WATERS OF TOFINO. Yet he got rolled over by a rogue wave. In water so cold that it can kill you in twenty minutes due to hypothermia!

Apart from your post sounding as if you haven't enough experience to be able to "read" wind and wave, you need to consider that the make and type of boat, with exception of some real turkeys that I myself wouldn't take from here to Gibsons, it isn't the boat that matters. It's what's in her.

"What's in 'er" is two "things": People and gear. The latter you can buy if you are willing to spend the bux - big bux! You can easily buy, say, a Rawson 30 for eight grand around these parts. Then, to make her "in all respects fit for sea and for her intended trade", you'll need forty grand more. But easy come, easy go, eh :-)?

As for the people: You can't BUY good people. They will come to you for free if you can get yourself a reputation as a good skipper. But ONLY if you have a reputation as a good skipper. If you get the OTHER reputation, all you'll get is a curled lip!

Remember that Skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. He can't do that unless he keeps his ship safe. Only you can evaluate in your heart of hearts if you are possessed of sufficient seamanship (nebulous concept!) to do that when the fit hits the shan - as it will, even within the bathtub we all Straits of Georgia.

I think you might profit from blowing a grand on a membership in one of the local (Vancouver) proprietary sailing clubs. No names mentioned, but for many years I was a senior instructor for one of them. Go scull around on Granville Island. You will find several there. They will teach you the fundamentals so at least you can make a night passage to Nanaimo in safety. Once you've got that under your belt, you'll realize that twenty or thirty years of Sunday sailing is the minimum time budget for learning seamanship.

Send me a PM if you like

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Old 09-11-2015, 10:18   #39
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Don't hug the shore. The Pacific Coast is known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific" and strewn with wrecks that got too close to shore. It doesn't matter anyway, once you are in over 6 ft of water you can drown close to shore or 100 miles out.
You budget is way too small, but if you must, the Rawson is a good choice if you can find one in good shape. Yes rounding Van Isle will teach you a lot.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:30   #40
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

The OP shows a complete lack of respect for the sea. Sounds like another contestant for the Darwin Award.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:35   #41
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAndMichelle View Post
We've spent almost a year researching boats, looking at like 2 dozen boats...We don't have coastal sailing experience yet...We wouldn't venture far from land, we'd probably always have land in sight, we would hug the coast at all times, and would keep a close eye on the weather and anchor when (or, before) it gets too rough out, or heave-to.

Can't we just get whichever boat we like most? (And can afford?) Does it really matter which sailboat you get? As long as the damn thing floats and takes you from point A to point B? I mean, there have been (crazy) people who have taken kayaks, rowboats, and a bathtub across oceans.

We don't care about looks, length, speed, or performance, we just want something cheap to get us from point A to point B. (I know, oxymoron, since sailboats are money sinks, but we can also live on the sailboat in Vancouver on the hook and around the world, so cheaper than renting an apartment or staying in hotels/hostels/airbnb down the coast.)

Our budget is under $10K...There are dozens of secluded beaches along the way, couldn't we take cover in one of those, too?...
perhaps we should just stick to biking down the coast instead? Lol
Stick to biking until you know a lot more about boats and sailing.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:47   #42
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Ditto all of the above. The chance of getting a boat in your price range ready to do what you want to do is about zero. Even if you do all the work yourself, you will probably spend twice the price of the boat getting ready to voyage. The coast north of San Francisco is especially dangerous. Think your plans through carefully. Consider buying a cruise ready boat in La Paz, Mazatlan, etc. from someone who did all the work and wants to bail out.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:49   #43
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

I think you have to ask yourselves why you want to do this? I reread your post and it appears (and I could be wrong) you're looking for a mode of transportation that will also house you for not so much money.

The people on this forum have ... thousands of years of experience. I don't think that's overstating it (and I only peripherally include myself with 20 years Atlantic coastal experience). I read your post because I'm new to the PNW and we are heading out soon and I need all the information and tips and local knowledge I can get.

When I read the posts everyday, whether it's about a leaky head, or instrumentation, or "how I goofed up yesterday" it always conveys a love of the sea, boats, a life apart from the constant thrum of "Are we there yet?". I respect the choices I am making every day because I sit down and learn about the options before I make the choice.

Yes, it does matter what boat you choose, determine what boat will make it.

No, you shouldn't hug the coat from BC to Chile, study the charts.

If it's the destination or just seeing the sights that's important there are many better ways of doing it without risking everything - your home, your budget and perhaps your lives. This life is about much more than what I read in your post.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:52   #44
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

No it really doesn't matter as long as you've got the required skills, experience determination and courage.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:53   #45
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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The OP shows a complete lack of respect for the sea. Sounds like another contestant for the Darwin Award.
Sounds like a dreamer. It almost sounds as though they don't know if they will puke their guts out. I know you commented on the thread about when to encourage or not. I think this comes down to encouraging not to be a fool and learn something first. Come back when you have a real question.
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