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Old 12-10-2019, 00:28   #1
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First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Hi Cruisers,

I am looking for some advice please. I have been dreaming about telling the boss to take his job and... for quite a while now and am getting steadily closer to the mark.

The dream is to explore the world whilst taking my home (boat) with me. I have done a little sailing over the years but have spent most of my time on the water in powered fishing and pleasure boats, so whilst I have spent a lot of time on the water, I am definitely a sailing novice. I have no concerns as to whether I will enjoy the lifestyle as this has been my dream for 40 odd years.

It looks like I will be single handing for the most part, however will look to take on crew if I come across people that are the right fit.

So the advice part, what boat to buy?

I am going to need something that
  1. Is a proven blue water boat
  2. can be sailed both short and single handed
  3. is forgiving for a novice
  4. has the space for crew
  5. and isn't stupidly expensive

I am realistic about budget (I think) and expect that if I can find a boat in the $20k to $30k range i will probably spend as much again refiting/upspecing the boat to suit my needs.

I have seen a 1987 O'Day 40 on yacht world that seems to fit my needs almost perfectly but I know nothing about the O'Days, are there any O'Day owners or previous owners out their that might have some advice?
Is this completely the wrong boat for my needs?
Are there better options that i may not have come across?
have I stumbled across nirvana at the first go?

Thanks in advance

David
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:27   #2
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, David.

O'Day 40 Used Boat Review
https://www.spinsheet.com/boat-revie...ed-boat-review
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:21   #3
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Hello David, great idea! I don't know the O'Day 40 but looking at some photos it looks like a solid boat which can take you anywhere. Provided... the equipment is in good order and you have the necessary sailing and seamanship skills.


Not sure if you're looking for the following type of feedback but here goes anyway.


I guess I am approaching my own project the other way round: learned to sail in dinghies, raced laser for many years then crewed on yachts on the European circuit, anything technical I love which is now proving handy owning a boat and I earned some money which means I am not freaking out too much when the next purchase comes along. So now I have my own boat. I strongly believe that if you want to be truly happy on board, you should really be proficient in the various skills required.


- you need to know how to sail quite well. It will be safer and you will get to places faster.
- handling sails single handed is not a big problem, but is a skill in its own right. By knowing how to handle sails well, you will not be tempted to eg wait too long to reef because handling those sails will not prove a challenge/nuisance every time.
- Navigation. Doing a course, or several courses, helps tremendously. And you will really need to learn those lights, sounds, shapes, etc, etc. Knowing what you are looking at adds to confidence.
- Equipment. Where to start. General advise is: you should be able to repair everything, without exception (ok, not the internals of a failed gps receiver of course, but knowing how to isolate faults and then fix if reasonably practical should be part of your skillset). And then you need some money to buy new stuff now and then.


And this last point is critical since you are looking to buy a boat from the 80's in the price range indicated. Everything will need to be replaced or receive some major service. The 20-30k refit budget is realistic as long as at least you have a decent engine and decent sails & rig. If the engine is dodgy (and you'll see that soon enough just by looking at it) and there are no sails to speak of, then a refit budget closer to 40-50k will probably be required. So you need to be aware of the true costs and you must be able to do most things yourself. Otherwise double those costs again...


I look forward to hearing how it goes! And I do like that boat you are considering...
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:35   #4
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

The "best boat" for you is such a subjective question that it is hard to give advice. The post just ahead of this one has some very good advice contained in it and I will add some comments from my own perspective.

We also started as dinghy sailors and have owned 4 keel boats over the past 30 or so years. We have not yet found the perfect boat but the one we have meets most of our needs. The estimated refit cost for a boat that is "bare" and from the 80's, is probably pretty close to the estimate in the previous post. Boat gear is expensive. We have replaced the rigging twice on our current boat twice in the past 12 years (about $5K each time) and added or replaced electronics and safety gear for an offshore passage. We have done two offshore passages in the past 12 years and they worked out reasonably well. Last year we spent more than $13K on a new liferaft (the old one could no longer be serviced - we bought it second hand); a water maker and a new AIS system. And probably another $10K on other assorted bits and minor upgrades. Be prepared to spend more than you think you will. This is in addition to what we spent 15 years ago after buying the boat and replacing sails, etc etc etc

Regarding the Oday 40, it is a Jeanneau XFizz (I forget which one exactly) built in the US using some cheaper components than were used on those built in France (plastic rather than alloy portlight frames are one example). One lived next to us for several years when we were tied up in Mexico. The interior is well laid out and spacious. Bill Seifert in his "Offshore Ideas" book (title is not exact) uses it as an example regarding some desirable characteristics for the interior of an offshore boat. Our neighbour claimed that it sailed well (it is his first boat and he learned to sail on it - it was for sale in La Paz, Mexico earlier this year and might still be). The gel coat was not holding up well in the Mexican sun but otherwise it looked like a good boat. He never had any mechanical issues so presumably the engine was well maintained. The only think that I didn't like about it is the transverse berth in the aft, master cabin.

I strongly recommend looking at a number of possible boats, both on the web and in the water if possible. Talk to owners of the boat that you are interested in who are not trying to sell one to you. Most owners will talk about the good and the bad regarding their boat.

If you are planning to go offshore, there are a couple of books that will tell you something about the characteristics of a suitable offshore boat and the models that are proven performers. The first book is The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat by John Vigor. And the second is Sailing a Serious Ocean by John Kretschmer in which he lists in one chapter, the boats that he thinks are suitable for going offshore. I suspect that the People's Choice award probably goes to the Passport 40.

Good luck and enjoy looking for a boat - it should be a lot of fun.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:09   #5
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

DGMyles of course we can be gentle, you never asked about free fuel from oil rigs or any other crazy questions.
I read the review on the ODay and the balsa core hull on a 80s boat could be an issue. If you find one you like make sure you get the hull surveyed and be prepared to walk if the surveyor finds any issues. There are plenty of articles on wet balsa core with pictures to show you what type of nightmare you could end up purchasing. As a surveyor I prefer solid glass hulls below the waterline. The oldest glass hull I have surveyed was built in early 1960s and was still in good condition.
Cheers
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:33   #6
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Worth a read --
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...t_bibl_vppi_i0
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:26   #7
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

My first thought was exactly what Fore and Aft pointed out.
It's a buyer's market. I would keep looking.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:59   #8
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Yes keep looking. This summer a "ready to go" with all the goodies already aboard (For real - ready for a circumnavigation) William Garden designed, Philbrooks built Fast Passage 39 sold out of our marina for, I'm told, Can$45K.

Here is a write-up:

The Fast Passage 39 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org

Here is the arrangements sketch and the specs:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/fast-passage-39

All the best

TrentePIeds
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:03   #9
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Welcome and Happy hunting look for a smaller good sea boat and go for it do og be put of with the 30 year experience guys and don't spend a fortune doing it up plenty second hand stuff out there and replacing rigging twice is 12 years in another post and spending 12000 on a liferaft show people have to much money than sense. Work towards your goal do most work yourself and most old electronics on a boat will do just as good for ocean sailing such tripe come up on here you really need to work through it, good seamanship like a navigation course is good and the get yourself Rya days skippers US equivalent and head out gaining experience as you go if you have the right attitude and mental commitment you will do it do not give up on. Your dream and do not let any one tell you it's. Not possible if everything in life was not possible we would as a species be extinct by now, God bless the armchair admirals
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:20   #10
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarian View Post
Welcome and Happy hunting look for a smaller good sea boat and go for it do og be put of with the 30 year experience guys and don't spend a fortune doing it up plenty second hand stuff out there and replacing rigging twice is 12 years in another post and spending 12000 on a liferaft show people have to much money than sense. Work towards your goal do most work yourself and most old electronics on a boat will do just as good for ocean sailing such tripe come up on here you really need to work through it, good seamanship like a navigation course is good and the get yourself Rya days skippers US equivalent and head out gaining experience as you go if you have the right attitude and mental commitment you will do it do not give up on. Your dream and do not let any one tell you it's. Not possible if everything in life was not possible we would as a species be extinct by now, God bless the armchair admirals
Hhmmm, quite a sentence but got through it ok, no worries. The earlier poster spent 12k on a life raft AND many other items, ballpark figure sounded ok to me without the poster sounding inappropriately rich!

Ultimately it's all down to playing the game of chance. Probably you will be fine, maybe not. By preparing well and accepting that occasionally you need to spend some money, you'll greatly tilt the odds in your favour. But being on your own, who cares? The assumption being that you're an adult.

HOWEVER, in the event of you inviting others on board to crew for you, the situation changes completely. Then you will be responsible for not only the boat and yourself (and I repeat, who cares, unless you put coast guard lives at risk) but also other human beings. And then you'd better have equipment and a skillset which is fit for purpose.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:34   #11
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Speaking about the odds: look at that other thread about that yacht washing up on a beach in Florida. The facts are not known yet, but it seems the propulsion failed (rope in prop) and that was it. Boat written off. Conditions were not particularly crazy, perhaps hoisting a sail may have helped, or throwing in an anchor, or... That dream is now over, a hell of a lot of money thrown away, for what? To prove that you don't need to know what you're doing if you want to live the dream? It wouldn't be my advice to embark on an adventure like that.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:42   #12
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

dgmyles, as you may have guessed, you are joining the class of dreamers, doers and doners. The question you are asking is like walking into a restaurant and asking what the best meal is. There are some good points posted here, everyone wants success and everyone wants to grab the brass ring on the first time around. Here's my thoughts based on recollection when I was in your shoes. Talk to many. Ask who would want to buy their boat back. Plastic boats in the tropics and sun don't fair as well unless they are well kept. I agree with the Fast Passage design and build, I had cruising friends on lots of Cals, Spencers, Passages and other builds. Lots of dreams ended up in marinas and yards, lots of baggers that ran out of money and effort too. Come back to the forum with your specific questions, many here have the experience you are seeking. And good luck. This is your dream.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:00   #13
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeinSdL View Post
Hhmmm, quite a sentence but got through it ok, no worries. The earlier poster spent 12k on a life raft AND many other items, ballpark figure sounded ok to me without the poster sounding inappropriately rich!

Ultimately it's all down to playing the game of chance. Probably you will be fine, maybe not. By preparing well and accepting that occasionally you need to spend some money, you'll greatly tilt the odds in your favour. But being on your own, who cares? The assumption being that you're an adult.

HOWEVER, in the event of you inviting others on board to crew for you, the situation changes completely. Then you will be responsible for not only the boat and yourself (and I repeat, who cares, unless you put coast guard lives at risk) but also other human beings. And then you'd better have equipment and a skillset which is fit for purpose.
Thankyou for your response mmmm a tad long and pompous 12000 on a liferaft when mine cost less than 1000 second hand still in date and offshore and for 6 so it does seem to much and checked out people with money do not seem to be avle to batgin hunt like a second hand clothes think they go all wobbly at the knees good to hear that your reading my post though
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:15   #14
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

You do get a lot of boat when purchasing an O'Day. However, if once you obtain adequate experience you are still intent upon embarking on serious "blue water" cruises, I would NOT recommend an O'Day. I have owned an O'Day 26 (diesel) for a number of years - and three O'Day sailboats prior to that - and while it is a great little boat for coaster cruising, there are better options for blue water cruising than any O'Day sailboat. Yes, there is obviously a significant difference between the O'Day 26 (or an O'Day 28 for that matter) and an O'Day 40, but you might want to look at several of the following sailboats which are better suited for serious ocean cruising; namely:

Cape Dory 36 (priced $25,000 - $40,000), Cape Dory 30 ($12,000 - $40,000), Cape Dory 28 ($10,000 - 25,000), and Cape Dory 25D ($9,500 - $15,000); Island Packet 27 ($40,000), and Island Packet 30 ($39,000).

Also, if you plan to do a lot of single-handed sailing, you might want to reconsider your interest in a 40 foot sailboat - length, size, does not make for a safer passage; that is dependent first upon the seamanship of the captain and the strength of the boat. I would consider any of the above listed boats over the O'Day 40, and I doubt if you will find any member of this forum disagreeing with me!
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:20   #15
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Re: First Post..... Be gentle :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmyles View Post
Hi Cruisers,

I am looking for some advice please. I have been dreaming about telling the boss to take his job and... for quite a while now and am getting steadily closer to the mark.

The dream is to explore the world whilst taking my home (boat) with me. I have done a little sailing over the years but have spent most of my time on the water in powered fishing and pleasure boats, so whilst I have spent a lot of time on the water, I am definitely a sailing novice. I have no concerns as to whether I will enjoy the lifestyle as this has been my dream for 40 odd years.

It looks like I will be single handing for the most part, however will look to take on crew if I come across people that are the right fit.

So the advice part, what boat to buy?

I am going to need something that
  1. Is a proven blue water boat
  2. can be sailed both short and single handed
  3. is forgiving for a novice
  4. has the space for crew
  5. and isn't stupidly expensive

I am realistic about budget (I think) and expect that if I can find a boat in the $20k to $30k range i will probably spend as much again refiting/upspecing the boat to suit my needs.

I have seen a 1987 O'Day 40 on yacht world that seems to fit my needs almost perfectly but I know nothing about the O'Days, are there any O'Day owners or previous owners out their that might have some advice?
Is this completely the wrong boat for my needs?
Are there better options that i may not have come across?
have I stumbled across nirvana at the first go?

Thanks in advance

David
Welcome! We started sailing with pretty much the same agenda as you mentioned, and to be honest - and after quite a few years on the Forum -
have decided that much doubt and confusion can be eliminated for newbies by buying a true 'Cruising' sailboat. Period. Forget 'cruiser/racers', or 'racer/cruisers'. The arguments are endless, and get quite heated. If you want to cruise, buy a cruising boat. Your budget is right around where ours was. You can find some decent Downeast 32's, Southern Cross 31's, CSY 33's, etc. close to your price range. Westsails 32's if they need a little work. If you really need room for 'crew' Downeast 38's provide plenty. But to buy a bigger boat than you can handle (or afford) to provide space for crew is a mistake in our minds, especially if you do so to provide privacy for potential crew. It's sort of like a mature couple buying a 3 or 4 bedroom house so they have room for guests, and the kids. And it's nonsense. Get what YOU need, set it up for comfortable, secure short-handed (maybe single-handed) sailing.
All the best to you!
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