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Old 09-02-2018, 03:53   #1
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First Boat!! please help!

Hi Everyone.

I've been sailing for about 10yrs, started with dinghies and chartered in BVIs and Puerto Rico over the last 5yrs. I've never owned a boat but now that kids are becoming easier to manage (6 and 4yrs old) we are thinking to buy our first monohull. To be honest, I've been browsing yachworld on and off for the last 4 yrs mostly dreaming, comparing and researching so i have an idea of what's out there. having said this, i'm still undecided on what is best for us as a family.

Cruising areas for us will be south florida, bahamas, caribbean. We would like something solid, bluewater.

- budget of 150k max 180k USD (so i'd imagine 150k for boat plus fixing some stuff)
- something fairly recent, 10 max 15yrs old.
- ideally something that can easily be singlehanded (that i can use on my own and with family)
- 35-40ft
- i love center cockpit but we also like to have lot of space outside so maybe aft would be better
- something easy to re-sell in say 4-6yrs when we would think to upgrade to bigger boat and do some serious cruising.
- I love Southerly's but they are pricey. I also looked at Najad, Malo, but same story.

I'm not sure if the best strategy is to get something relatively cheap/low quality (Beneteau, Bavaria, Hunter) use it to death and then upgrade in 5yrs to a proper bluewater or if I should go straight into some high quality boat even if small in size (as i don't want something that is too old). any advice?

thanks
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:42   #2
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

Always a difficult question to answer since everyone's ideas are relative.

You mention "blue water." What does that mean to you? I know what it means to me. I have seen many boats that are designed as coastal cruisers doing blue water with no issues. That does not mean they or you should, but most boats are far more capable than their owners. Try to remember that most larger European boats (some of which you mentioned as cheap/low quality) are sailed across the Atlantic to the US for delivery to dealers.

You should also keep in mind that most boats that are sold come from those "cheap/low quality" (your words) manufacturers. This means they are usually easier to find, and later, easier to sell. Whether we agree or not on capability of a given vessel, those glossy ads in the magazines sell boats, over and over again.

All of this being said, you have a decent budget to work with. You should be able to find a decent, well maintained, older, blue water capable cruiser in the 40'-50' range. If you are ready to buy, then keep your eyes on the ads, keep an open mind, and let brokers in high traffic areas know you are in the market.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:04   #3
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pirate Re: First Boat!! please help!

For what you have in mind you do not need a 'Bluewater Boat'..
Its island hopping and coastal sailing.. I think the longest transit would be from say SXM to Antigua.. or BVI's to SXM.. but 24hrs max port to port in the main.
Unless of course you want to go Florida E to I65 then S to BVI's or SXM.. maybe 7-10 days and just over 1000nm.
Any number of 'production boats' are more than capable of these waters, as proved by their sheer volume.. 'Bluewater's' are maybe 1 in every 1000..
With Bene's etc look for the A and B CE rating.. even the US built ones have this rating if they are EU companies with a license.. the A is for Ocean and the B indicates Offshore capable.. and your good to go.


http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...bviyachtsales&

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...bviyachtsales&
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:23   #4
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

I agree with Boatie. Just get a well equipped production boat, i.e. decent electronics and solar. Ideally, you'd find one that had just had a moderate refit (rigging, sails, etc, whatever) as that presents the best value (the seller won't get their money back in the price, and you benefit from that).

Another reason for going with a competent coastal cruiser is generally speaking, more "liveable" space (cockpit space and layout, cabin space and layout) than a traditional bluewater cruiser.

You might want to consider a shoal draft keel as well. Opens up more anchorages in exchange for less offshore performance, which you don't need or will only need a small handful of times.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:34   #5
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

If you’re absolutely certain that you want to sail for many many years, then consider skipping the small boat and go direct to the big boat. Buying a boat takes a lot of effort and then fixing it up somewhat and making it your own, let alone remodelling it as per the Admiral’s requirements also takes a huge amount of time. Basically by buying one boat instead of two you’ll save yourself quite a bit of money and lots of aggravation, unless of course you want to start with a smaller one precisely to save on marina and other fees.

Other than that, I’ve always bought the likes of Beneteau and Catalina to live aboard full time and cross oceans, sailing about 5,000 miles a year when I’m actively moving—there are years here and there when I’m mostly in a marina.

If you buy a lightly used production boat then I’d recommend reselling it after about 20-30,000 miles to “put it to pasture” with a weekend sailor. They can’t take that much more even though I get the impression my current Beneteau can.

So depending on how much you intend to sail you can choose between one (or several) production boats, or one higher quality blue water boat.

Check out the Beneteau 44CC. They were meant to be high end and Beneteau outsourced their manufacturing to Wauquiez, a high quality builder. Or so I have been told. I’ve been on board of some and the interior woodwork is indeed a notch superior to other Beneteaus of the same generation.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:01   #6
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

What's best for my family would be a boat my spouse can get back to port with the kids after I've gone over the side. 35-40 feet is too much first boat.


With your budget, I'd look at a Sabre. Solid, high quality production boat.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:38   #7
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

A tip my sailing mentor gave me when I was looking for my first boat years ago after deciding to upgrade from my Ranger 22 to a blue water cruiser (before deciding to build one and going through the process of finding a suitable design) was to look for boats that are from the more northern part of the US. The Freshwater of the Great Lakes is nowhere near as hard on the hull and systems as saltwater. But even northern saltwater boats are not bad as they get pulled out of the water for months at a time during winter. Effectively this means that a 10yo boat that has been properly cared for in the northern climates has about as much wear as a 5yo boat in warmer areas. He was partial to Tayana yachts in general and had actually worked for them in the 70s/80s taking boats to shows on both sides of the Atlantic and said he always felt extremely comfortable and safe. If you don't mind do a little more work then some of the older boats out there can be had for very little and you can use the money saved to outfit it how you want to and possibly buy a bigger boat.another tip he gave me was not to fall in love with a boat for it's layout, in other words don't buy a wreck of a boat just because you like the lines or layout there will always be another to come along.
Cruising World made a pretty good list of their top 40 cruising sailboats that you can see here

https://www.cruisingworld.com/sailbo...best-sailboats

You'll find a lot of the stuff they recommend are older boats and designs for the reasons you gave about quality, but also I have found a lot of boats nowadays just don't seem to be designed to be cruised, they feel like they are designed with more of the charter industry in mind rather than being able to safely make bluewater passages for extended periods.

Personally I have always liked the Islander yachts, in particular the Islander 36 and Islander Freeport 43, as well as the CAL 35 pilot house but they are a little older. I could keep listing boats that I like but that'd be a long list.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:26   #8
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

I started with a Morgan 41 OI. Shallow draft for the Bahamas and solid, roomy for the family. Mine was sloop rigged with self-furling jib. Had our 5 year old aboard and taught him with the Calvert School supplies. She’s not the greatest sailing boat but offers what you will need. Good luck, Steve
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:57   #9
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

Age is not as important as maintenance. 15 years doesn’t say much and there are some 20+ year olds that I would step on and cross an ocean before some 10 year olds :-)

That being said here’s your boat and you’ll have a ton of $$$ left over for all kinds of adventures!

Read “Hunter? Really? on the blog for more info!

All the best! Exciting time in your life!

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Old 09-02-2018, 09:14   #10
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

Drew is spot on about the Sabre. They are well thought out and well built boats.

Depending upon what the boat you buy comes with, you may wish to allow a little more for for kitting out the boat. Many say that a you should allow 25% of the cost of a new boat for equipment. For a used boat it can be a higher percentage depending upon what you want.

Some examples of this include things like electronics. I have customers who often have ten or even fifteen year old electronics, but you need to be prepared to replace all of it. I'm a minimalist when it comes to electronics, but some like a lot. The issue is that sometimes, when one piece of equipment fails, there may be no replacements. For example, one customer's transducer failed, but it was no longer manufactured and there new ones were not fully compatible with the ten plus year old chart plotter. When he bought the new chart plotter and transducer, he also had to replace the rest of the instruments such as his wind, depth, etc. gauges. It is very possible that electronics will be your largest expense after the purchase.

Other equipment you may need include Jerry cans, a dinghy, an outboard, life raft, PFDs, fun stuff (kayaks, etc.), winch handles, sails (these may rival the electronics in price if you need several), canvas, cushions, etc. I have three sailboats and the first one came fully loaded with many spare sails including a spinnaker, tools, foulies, life preservers, flares, etc. I needed very little for the boat. The third one came with almost nothing, and the second one is somewhere in the middle. It all depends upon the previous owner and what he wants to leave.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:02   #11
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

I went through the same process, finally I found a Hunter 45 DS with the "ocean package".
The boat is very sea worthy, crossed from the Caribbeans to Boston and I felt very safe even in 50 knots winds.
This is the biggest boat I can singlehand.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:33   #12
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

A lot of good advice given. A boat is much ,much easier to buy than sell. I would buy what i need. A center cockpit with aft stateroom is great with kids, and was a idea of a morgan, lots of room, shallower draft, roomy . Coastal crusier would work for you.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:45   #13
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

Lots of great advice above. Sometimes these threads go off on a tangent but this one works for me.
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Old 09-02-2018, 17:44   #14
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

I like to say that buying a boat is like the costs for having a baby. Its just the tip of the iceberg on what you will eventually spend. So for your multi-year boat budget (separate from the cruising budget) I would target to not spend more than 50% on the initial purchase.

When I was looking for my boat one advisor listened to my long list of "requirements", and then told me to forget all that and "just get a boat now and go", because its more about the experiences and the people that you meet than the boat.
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Old 09-02-2018, 17:53   #15
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Re: First Boat!! please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguabago View Post
I like to say that buying a boat is like the costs for having a baby. Its just the tip of the iceberg on what you will eventually spend. So for your multi-year boat budget (separate from the cruising budget) I would target to not spend more than 50% on the initial purchase.

When I was looking for my boat one advisor listened to my long list of "requirements", and then told me to forget all that and "just get a boat now and go", because its more about the experiences and the people that you meet than the boat.
I like this one.

As a former broker I recall the “data guy”. He showed up a every show and knew every detail of everything. Had spreadsheets comparing models, could quote all specs.

He never bought a boat.

Then there was the vision guy (I can’t think of a better name). This guy showed up at the show, looked around, bought the boat that “spoke” to him and a few months later sent a postcard from Panama.

Like Aguabago said, buy a boat and go. What could go wrong?!? :-)
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