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Old 06-02-2009, 02:13   #1
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Good boat for coastal cruising in tropics

My wife and I are Americans living in Singapore and will be here several years. We are fairly new to cruising (history of sailing, short history of cruising). We are looking for an entry-level sailboat to cruise coastally out of Singapore to Indonesia and Thailand in mostly protected waters (i.e. no blue-water sailing). My wife and I will usually use it for daysailing and trips up and down the coast for several days. It needs to have fairly shallow draft and good ventilation for the tropics (we chartered a MacGregor 26M with poor ventilation and don't want to do that again).

Occasionally we may want to have another couple with us and/or our college sons. Here are our needs below. I've searched the various threads for a similar profile to this question, but not found anything. Thanks for any opinions you can share.

What boat would you recommend to fit this profile?
  • 28-36 foot range to coastal sail in tropical waters
    • Trips from daysailing to one week
  • Able to single-hand
  • Good toilet - my wife doesn't want a stinky porta-potty! A shower would be nice
  • Lots of light in cabin (can you add portholes?)
  • Good ventilation in cabin - only sailed in tropics
  • Comfortable enough that it doesn't feel like camping all the time
    • Comfortable for two, but can sleep up to five if need to (three sons occasionally home)
  • Shallow draft for gunkholing
  • Anchor windlass when our strong sons are not with us!
  • Fairly inexpensive as an entry-level boat
I've considered a multi-hull, but don't think we can afford it.

Thanks! Steve
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:40   #2
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Questions like this come up from time to time.

I wonder if anyone has done a spread sheet like chart where features of boats can be compared (and even sorted somehow). This hasn't been done it would certainly be helpful.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:18   #3
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A warm welcome to you, Steve. Good to have you with us.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of advice, but I have a question for you. Do you intend to buy the boat locally? What's the market like there? You may be limited in what you can buy, depending on how far afield you intend to go in your search. One possibility is to check out the chartering companies in the region, with the idea of buying a boat coming out of charter. There are quite a few charterers up in Malaysia and Thailand.

Our resident Singaporian, Ex-Calif (Dan) is off on a snowy, icy business trip, but I'm sure he'll chime in with some words of wisdom soon.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:15   #4
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Thanks for the welcome!

Actually, after learning about what is appropriate for our situation, my next question was going to be what might be available locally. So, you beat me to the punch. I figure I'm 9-12 months away from buying (due to some business trips), but trying to get an idea of our needs and the local market from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The charter business is a good idea. I'll start checking that out. I've heard to be careful of charter boats, however, since they may not be well taken care of.

Looking forward to any words of wisdom, including Mr Ex-Calif!

Steve
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:40   #5
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If you don't want a stinky head, I recommend a freshwater flushing system. You might want a decent sized watermaker too. Either of these items can be found or installed on just about any boat.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:22   #6
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I'd just like to point out, many of the characteristics you mentioned can be accomplished after purchasing a boat. Swapping out the head, adding clutches to make it easier to handle solo, a windlass, etc. can all be retrofitted without too much trouble or cost. Obviously this is not true of things like cost and draft.

There are some bilge keel boats such as the Westerly's that are well built, inexpensive and have very shallow drafts for monohulls. Unfortunately, I doubt you come across too many in your area.
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Old 06-02-2009, 18:16   #7
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Talking You need a Cat!!

We have a Seawind 1000XL 10m catamaran which completely suits your requirements. If I read the lead time correctly, you can order one today and the delivery will meet your schedule..

Cheers
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Old 06-02-2009, 22:31   #8
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Hey Sandy,
Thanks for the idea on the cat. However, I'm pretty sure that a new cat will be way out of my price range. I've salivated over cats, but think that a used monohull will be more within my price range: US$15,000-35,000.
Steve
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Old 06-02-2009, 23:04   #9
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Goto www.yachtworld.com . Do an advanced search, price range, sailboat and, country.

John
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:09   #10
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Hi Steve and welcome to sunny Singapore. Hud is right. I am currently in Cincinnati where thankfully the temperatures have come off freezing for the first time in 14 days. I get back on Feb 20th.

What sailing clubs have you investigated so far? There are several choices each with a different flavor. We are at Changi Sailing club and although I am biased think it is the friendliest one on the island.

There are lots of folks in your category but unfortunately the selection of boats is not huge.

I would love to introduce you around when I get back and perhaps get you and your wife out for a sail on our boat. I will send a PM as well.
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:22   #11
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Thanks, guys, for the feedback. I've found a Beneteau Oceanis 321 at a charter service in Thailand for sale. Can you guys share with me the pros and cons of buying from a charter company? I've got a preliminary report that they give to the owner telling him what maintenance they recommend for him in the coming year along with what has been replaced/repaired in the past year(s). Price looks good, but don't know if a charter boat will be a bad investment.
thanks,
steve
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:34   #12
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Ask member MarkJ. He and Nicole bought one last year in St. Maarten and sailed it to Aussieland.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:03   #13
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Caveat emptor

Before buying any boat make sure that you have a reputable surveyor complete a thorough report. You should also have a mechanic check out the drive train as some surveyors will simply indicate what engine is present. You might have a rigger check out the standing and running rigging. A sailmaker might also check the sails. If the boat passes muster, then a sea trial is in order. You might want an experienced skipper along.

I expect that your insurance company will require the survey, at the very least.

Jack
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