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Old 07-06-2007, 11:49   #16
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sometimes you can find boats through public auctions, either police auctions, or bank auctions, for a small amount of money.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:53   #17
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Well Kai, you wouldn't be over-fed.

138: You are correct (IMHO), learning to sail and honing your skills with a smaller boat is the ideal method. However, multihulls are much different than monohulls. I would suggest you practice with a smaller mono, if that is what you intend to use to cruise about.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:13   #18
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Look at a Contessa 26. They have circumnavigated more than any other boat of it's size. Have seen them for less than $10,000 list but don't be afraid to make an offer. They are good sailors and make much faster passages than much larger 'cruising boats' to shame because they do sail so well. Also an Alberg 30 is a very seaworthy boat and very comfortable size for a single hander and possibly even a couple. Have seen these come up under $10,000. Expect all these boats to require a lot of attention but quite often it's largely cosmetic as they have been abandoned and look it.

The important thing on any boat is realizing what is necessary and what is ego. To actually get out there and do it, you need 4, maybe 5 sails, a sextant, quartz time piece, a S/W reciever for time ticks, a dinghy, and adequate ground tackle. Hand held GPSs have gotten so cheap it would be foolish not to take a couple along and you can buy B/W chart plotters for next to nothing, as well. Used charts can be had cheap and traced if you want them for free. A depth sounder is really nice for areas with dark water and it could be a life saver for navigation in the soup if your GPSs die on you. Other than that, you don't NEED anything else.

Once you have the boat, move aboard and work and live on it as you make improvements. Living aboard will make a lot more money available for the boat and give you a chance to modify the boat to meet your needs. There is a world of difference in the livability of a boat that has had additional and better organized storage space added.

Almost anything on a boat can be done by a rank amateur with study, asking the right questions, a willingness to try and hard work. All of this is great knowledge to have for any cruiser, in any case, and could be a source of income while you are out cruising.

Don't know if you mentioned where you live, but large sailing centers have tons of used gear available on Craig's List and periodic Marine Flea Markets at very good prices and there is also Ebay. You can equip a boat with very servicable gear for a fraction of the new prices and quite often the stuff is better than new, just not the current haut monde.

Once your gone, you can stay out very cheaply if you avoid the Marina on the Left syndrome. Anchor out as much as possible, stay out of the bars and expensive restaurants. Hang out with the real cruisers, live off the land and say hello to the locals.

FWIW, we lived in a VW bus with our Labrador and six puppies while we built our W32. The boat seemed like a palace after the bus. I worked full time on the boat and my wife worked to meet our living expenses. We were able to launch the boat in a year and go cruising in 18 months. We spent less than $5,000, in todays money, for 18 months of cruising. That included everything including boat maintenance and toys. To be fair, everything on the boat was new when we left so had very few expensive repairs and we were loaded to the gills with food. An older boat may have higher repair costs but, by keeping the boat small, all the systems will be relatively cheap to repair/replace.

Some of the comments on your plans remind me of the words of our late VP, Spiro Agnew. They sure are, "A bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism." You;ve got a dream, live it. One thing in my life I have no regrets about it is the 4 years we spent on our boat.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:35   #19
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Contessa 26 is a bit larger in interior than a 26' International Folkboat but other than that they are nearly the same. Our club just bought our second Folkboat for $4K so I know they can be had inexpensively even though they need a "little" work. They are definitely bluewater.

Wasn't Trekka a modified wood version of the International Folkboat? Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old 07-06-2007, 14:02   #20
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so far, the posts have been very helpful and positive. thanks, guys. i especially appreciate all the suggestions for specific boats to look for. keep it up, please.
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Old 07-06-2007, 16:54   #21
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Believe your thinking of Blondie Hasler's boat. IIRC it was called Jester and was a stock Folkboat hull with a junk sail rig. Weird looking and not a great sailor with that rig. He competed in the first single handed Transatlantic and maybe the second.

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Old 07-06-2007, 23:26   #22
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I can't think of a better cruising boat in the 30 foot range that you could get for around 15k than the Searunner 31 Trimaran. Equaly at home gunkholing around the Bahamas or crossing the Pacific. You even have a place to store your surfboard so you are not stumbling over it as you would on a small monohull. As a surfer and a Hobie sailor you would appreciate the lively responsive handling and sailing at 7-10 knots in normal conditions. Sure beats plodding along at 4-6 knots in a small monohull.
The Contessa 26 is a capable boat but have you ever seen the tiny cramped interior, no thanks. Same for the folkboat and Cape Dory 25. The Alberg 30 would be a better choice or maybe a Pearson Triton 27 or it's Tarten 27 sister, how about an Ericson 29, their are any number of choices. The Searunner still beats them all IMO. A Cross 31 tri would be a good one too but may be harder to find.
Picture is the Searunner 31 Time Machine just completed a cruise from California to Texas.
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:25   #23
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Aloha Peter,
You are right. It was Blondie's boat I was thinking of. Trekka still sails and I saw her at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend two years ago. It is very small for crossing the ocean. My memory isn't what it used to be. Got those two mixed up.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:10   #24
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i see a lot of older pearson 26 and 27's for sale, yet i've only heard anyone mention the pearson triton (?). what is the difference, and why aren't the smaller pearsons any good for cruising?
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:36   #25
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Almost all the small fin keel boats are day sailors for protected waters. The hull lay ups tend to be on the thin side, the reinforcement not well done, they are lightweight boats without much carrying capacity and the flat bilges accentuate their quick motion.

For me, the worst thing is they have no keel sump. Any water in the bilge will roll up the sides of the boat soaking everything. BTDT in a Columbia 26. Every channel crossing we made had water slopping on the cabin sole. No matter how hard I tried, never able to keep the bilge/cabin sole dry when the seas were running.

These boats are also mostly flat bottomed wich accentuates their quick motion. Load them up and the wetted surface increases geometrically hurting light to moderate wind performance. Will the short keel and flat bottom lend itself to selfsteering.

The older boats with full keels tend to have slack bilges to reduce wetted surface and deep sumps to contain the water that inevitably finds it's way below. The slack bilges make for an easier motion. The bilges sacrifice initial stability but enhances ultimate stability. A definite safety factor. Full keels do not a good tracking boat make. It is definitely more likely that a full keel boat will track well, however.

The Columbia 26, Mark II may not be the best example as they don't have a reputation for high quality, but as an example. After 2 years sailing around the Islands, all the bulkheads, except the aft one, had busted loose from the hull. The boat oil canned badly going to weather in a sea. The boat would not track so had to be steered with close attention all the time. Not a boat to inspire confidence and make long passages.

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Old 08-06-2007, 21:09   #26
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cyrano, I am surprised you did not comment on Steve's suggestion. I have sailed small and big boats for years. I am a recent multihull convert, and am hooked on the older tri's. All of Steve's comments plus the fact, witha little epoxy, auto parts store fiberglass, and plywood, you can fix anything on the boat, or add anything to it. Depending on your dedication to the project, there are lots of these boats out there for next to nothing. A Piver Nimble is on EBay right now. Not sure what it will go for, but I would bet, under $10000. True, there are things to be wary of, but there are good older tri's out there. Saw one the other day on EBay built in Alviso. Don't recall the design, but if it was built in Alviso, it was built by hippies, and it has to be good (I know, I have a winch handle that says so)
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Old 09-06-2007, 17:37   #27
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it seems like a good suggestion, but i'm a little wary of the bigger multihulls. are they as overpowered as the small hobie's? my 16 is a real bitch to tack in any kind of surf, and it really doesn't sail well at all in even just a few feet of chop; too light for its own good, i guess.

i'm still trying to get a feel for names i should be looking for, too--in monohulls and multihulls alike. that's one of my biggest problems: i'm a decent sailor, i just don't know that much about boats. i have the same problem with instruments, being a fantastic (in all modesty ) guitarist; i don't know the first thing about guitars.
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Old 09-06-2007, 19:36   #28
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A cruising multihull is in many ways quite differant from what I would call the "sport boats" the various Hobies, Nacras, etc. The F24 and F27 Corsair trimarans with their high displacement floats and high powered sailplans are not a good comparison either. The older designs that are in your price range are in all truth rigged fairly conservatively and should not be intimidating to a decent sailor as you describe yourself. They do in some instances require differant handling techniques. Piver, Brown Searunners, Cross, and Horstman are the names to look for, these would mostly be trimarans. Cats in this price range may be harder to come by but look for an Iroquois, Heavenly Twins, or a Wharram design.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:25   #29
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It seems like you have the most essential elements already

Welcome, Cyrano. I have been away for a bit, and am just catching up on new posts.
I think the most important things in sailing/cruising on small boats are:

1) A willingness to learn about sailboats and sailing;
2) the desire to learn to fix them (and oh, man, there's a lot to learn;
3) An understanding that you don't need anywhere as much stuff or space as modern society tells us

Though I am looking for a slightly larger boat now, I live on my Catalina 27. Once you realize what it is that you really need to live, it's plenty of space.

Also, I have not seen it mentioned here, but just living on your boat, especially in or near a marina(s), you will be amazed at how much other sailors will advise and help you, how much you can learn and how much equipment can be had for free or very little. It's a great life, good luck!
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Old 14-06-2007, 19:02   #30
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i hope this isn't too contentious a question to ask here, but i'm curious if anyone would like to weigh in on the twenty small sailboats listed in the john vigor book. they are:

1 alberg 30
2 albin vega 27
3 allied seawind 32
4 bristol 27
5 bristol channel cutter 28
6 cal 20
7 cape dory 25D
8 catalina 27
9 contessa/j. j. talyor 27
10 contessa 32
11 dana 24
12 falmouth cutter 22
13 flicka 20
14 folkboat 25
15 francis/morris 26
16 nicholson 31
17 pacific seacraft 25
18 pearson triton 28
19 southern cross 31
20 westsail 32

thanks again for all your helpful responses...
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