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Old 01-08-2006, 14:26   #1
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Good boat for 5

It seems like so many of the boats I see are designed for 4 people, or 2 with occassional guests. What are some of the good bluewater vessels that would be set up for 5? I am very very early in the planning stages of cruising and am just looking around at what kind of sailboat would serve us.

Age of the boat is of no concern to me, but if I could have it all, I think I would prefer a steel boat. (Murphy's law has followed me around for too long!!!!). I have three daughters that would be teenagers by the time I set out, so not small children.

I am interested in a boat that does well in low wind conditions as well.

Any ideas? thanks....am just daydreaming now, but hopefully one day I can go.

Mack
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Old 01-08-2006, 14:27   #2
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Forgot something.......

I can't afford something in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.....
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Old 01-08-2006, 15:38   #3
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Hi Mack,
This is just my opinion. There will be others I'm sure.
If you want something that will sail well in low wind conditions don't go with steel. Too heavy.
Any boat will sleep 5. Just have to make room.
My Mariner 35 would sleep 6 pretty easily. Even better when you are underway because there has to be someone on watch which makes for another bunk below.
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Old 01-08-2006, 15:42   #4
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As a general rule, steel boats are not usually the boats that go best in light wind conditions. Fibreglass might be a better option for light breeze sailing. You may wish to consider buying an ex charter boat...this can be a risky business, because they can be worked pretty hard. Nevertheless, there are plenty of good ones out there too. Bear in mind that charter boats tend to be designed with more cabins than standard "owner's" versions, so this would be a good way to get a boat with enough cabins for your needs. Beneteau, Jenneau, Dufour, Hunter are all production boats that might be woth a look. Assuming that you want a 4 cabin vessel, you are probably looking at something in the 40' or more range. Many charter companies buy new boats and sell them after about 5 years, so you can get a relatively modern boats for a fraction of the new price
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Old 01-08-2006, 16:28   #5
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Thanks for the reply...

I don't know that I am really looking for a four cabin vessel so much as that I have a place for everyone to sleep and store thier stuff. Everything I have read says it is important that everyone have their own bed, and I want to make sure I have that for them. Having ample storage space for provisioning for 5 people is a concern of mine.

I don't necessarily have to have steel.
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Old 01-08-2006, 16:38   #6
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Almost any vessel can sleep 5 people at a pinch, but if you if you are planning on spending any decent length of time on board, it really helps to have some space to call your own. You can't exactly just go for a walk, so having your own spot where you can go to be alone is good. Considering that you have 3 teenage girls, I reckon it might not be a bad idea to look for a boat with 1 double & 3 single cabins. Bear in mind that cabins on a yacht are, as a rule, tiny, so it isn't like you are setting yourself up to have to buy a huge boat, but I am sure your daughters will be grateful of having their own little nook.
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Old 01-08-2006, 18:03   #7
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Mack, even most 28 footers will sleep five or six in separate bunks. That's not a problem. But "stowage" means weight. Water and fuel tankage mean weight. And weight means poor light wind performance--unless you have a lot of sail area and a long waterline to spread the load, which puts you in the 42-45 foot range probably. 36-38 foot range, for sure.

The problem with ex-charter boats is that they are usually built somewhat as floating condos, with lots of amenities and room for time in port, and a convenient diesel engine for light wind days. Separate cabins are going to push you over 40' really fast, anything under 38 tends to have a main cabin and a foreward, and that's that. So...between want/need/budget you may have to look at what's out there and decide which way to jump. Practical Sailor has two good volumes that cover probably over a hundred popular used boats, many in that size range, with their collected reviews. That might give you a fast way to look them over, get some opinions (owners not just reviewers) and see what the options are.
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Old 01-08-2006, 19:32   #8
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I'll definitely take a look at that practical sailor volumes...something I can find on their website I hope?

I am really hoping to keep it under 40 feet, moreso for costs etc, but like you said am worried that I have enough for stowage of stuff for 5 people for long hauls.
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Old 01-08-2006, 19:59   #9
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Afraid not, Mack, they sell those two volumes. Maybe you can turn them up used on Amazon or Half.com. I don't know any other place/book where you can find so many reviews, plus owner comments, in one place.

Part of sailing is adapting to the sea (and boat<G>) rather than trying to fight it. With five aboard, having only one head will require some cooperation, or the budget for two heads. And consideration for hot water, or other plans.<G> But that's all part of it. With enough money you can do it any way you please, but on a budget...part of that is learning a different way to do things. Like, if you put a glass of water, tea, whatever, down on a keelboat and forget about it--first tack and it is gone, and the next 7-11 may be 500 miles away.<G> Sunglasses on deck? Yup, same thing. then again there's much less housework dusting and ironing to be done.<G>
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Old 01-08-2006, 20:56   #10
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Thanks! I will go look for them. I have plenty of time as I am planning on doing this in about 5 years. I have plenty of time to annoy everyone and then figure out what I am doing. <G>

I think we can manage one head. One hairdryer might be another problem all together. I really don't want a large boat. May have to set up a watch schedule and a head sked! <G> There will be a lot to adapt to, and I think that is half the fun. I have been many places in my career where I have had to adapt to a minimalist environment, and I got used to them pretty quickly (in the army...go figure). I am sure they will too. I think the tradeoff will be worth it.

thanks for the great advice!
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Old 01-08-2006, 21:06   #11
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I am surprised no one has mentioned a cat. Granted, the price may require a little shopping to find what you are looking for, but I have seen many medium size cats with sufficient accomodations for 5 people to be comfortable. Yachtworld has a number of them under $200,000 and a few under $100,000. For a family that has been used to living in a house to move onto a boat, the extra space on the bridge deck, and the seperate areas will be very welcome.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:13   #12
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I have to agree with Kai Nui. Sure almost any boat can sleep 5. Itís not sleeping thatís the problem. With 3 girls, theyíre each going to want, and perhaps deserve, some space of their own. If youíre going to cruise for any period of time, that is the real issue.

Almost any cat coming out of charter will have 4 cabins and 2 heads.

Cats are also fairly good in light air, at least reaching of going down wind.

The price may be a little higher but the charter folks have been using them long enough that there may be some out there for the 3rd or 4th owner with a price in or near your budget.

Cruising with 4 women and one man on board, yer a brave feller, ye are.

George
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:05   #13
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You all have to be carefull before you use the word CAT.....we may have to go into a very long discussion if you know what I mean.......If you have a chance just go look at a Cat,I don't have to say anything else. and let me know what your wife and the kids think about it.
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:47   #14
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Be careful about letting your wife and kids see the cat before you know you have the $$$$ to do it though. They are nice but it is a much more limited market to buy a used cat than a monoand as such fetch a higher price. They are nice though. Adding a couple posts together you might be able to buy one out of a charter fleet. and then put that boat into another charter fleet and the boat would pay for itself for five years or so. Neighbor has a friend who is doing that (or is it friends cousins uncle's brother (who has a nice singing voice)) and says that he is actually making $ adnd using that to pay off the cat early. Worth investigating.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:32   #15
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I will take a look at them. I only know enough about them to be dangerous, so I will have to do some serious research. So far in just casual browsing though, they seem to be quite a bit more expensive than the monohulls. And I have browsed over some mixed reviews as far as their weather handling capabilities and being able to find place in the world setup to work on them. I am not trying by any means to start a mono-multi war here ( I see that has happened a few other times <G>).
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