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Old 23-02-2010, 15:54   #1
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Ideal Sailboat for Great Loop + More ... Designs ?

Its that pesky sailing bushman again ...

Having inspected a few boats on the market this last week I feel I have a better idea of what I'm looking for in a sailboat that I would do for a Loop trip, but also serve me thereafter in S Florida area.

I have inspected and researched the CSY37 (sd) Endevour 37 and Allied Mistress39 and have written the first two off due to poor sailing performance for use after the loop ... the Allied was good but not many available to choose from.

So, have decided to up my budget from 50K to 60K all in ready to go.

I think I'm looking at a Cabo Rico 38 / Gozzard 36 / Bayfield 36 / Morgan 382/3/4 in order of descending price ... I'll be lucky to find the 1st 3 in this price range but you never know ...

Does any one have any more designs that meet the following :

Revised "must" List ( More or less in order of Priority ... ) :

1) 33' - 40' LOA
2) 5' Draft.
3) Good Tankage +- 40 Gal Diesel / 80 Gal Water / 20 Gal Black.
4) Good motor / low hrs ie. mechanically sound for +1500 Nm + Good Alternator.
5) Twin bow rollers, Good ground tackle and powered windlass.
6) Basic Electronics : Wind / Depth / Spd / VHF ... I'll add own GPS / Plotter
7) No mid cockpit mainsheet track for ...
8) Full Dodger + Bimini enclosure.
9) Solar Pannles + reliable Battery Charger.
10) Good Refrigeration.
11) Must beat, track and hove-to ie. Good for Bahamas / Turks / Keys and East Coast trips thereafter.
12) Comfortable live aboard for 10 - 12 Months ( Possibly longer )
13) "Relative uncomfort" with another couple for a week at a time

New : "Wish" List :

14) Rig : Sloop or cutter (or Yawl ) : Clear cockpit ...
15) Solo Sailing friendly.
16) Reasonable chart table.
17) 16) Separate shower stall.
17) Water heater on the engine.
18) Tender / Outboard / Davit.
19) "Reasonable" suit of sails in "Reasonable" condition

perhaps someone who has done the loop on their sailboat can comment ?

Thanks in advance for any input !

"A fool and his money are easily parted"
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Old 23-02-2010, 17:14   #2
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I am not sure the Big Loop stands for a circumnavigation or sailing around the US?

b.
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Old 23-02-2010, 17:27   #3
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well # 16 is so so. as much as that chart table looks great, how much time to you spend at it vs the galley or salon? 30 mins vs 18 hours. Many people get by just fine using the salon table for there charts.

Looks like you are doing your homework keep us up to date and advise us on the Loop?
Also, Marina living or on the hook the whole way?
#10 most marine Refridge is only good for about 10 years so might be better to upgrade yourself with a keel cooler unit for the carib sailing.
and 15 should be up there at #5 or so, you can always add missing stuff but making a bad sailing boat better will cost too much.

Good luck and keep at it.
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Old 23-02-2010, 18:12   #4
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you're not going to find a Cabo Rico 38 in that price range. Add another $15k if you want to get serious about a Cabo Rico.
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Old 24-02-2010, 06:41   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Just so there's no confusion, I'm planning on doing the Great Circle Loop of canals on the Eastern USA from Florida via Hudson, Lakes, Canada, Ten-Tom Canal to the Gulf coast. - sorry if I caused andy confusion here ...I guess I talk about it a lot at the moment and so refer to it simply as the "Loop"

#16 I'm gonna stick to my guns about the chart table for chartwork, that's how I grew up and although I'll always use GPS / plotters etc, I actually enjoy chartwork - Also good for an office for me - besides, when I'm in the dog box with the Missus, at least that space is mine !

#10 I agree about replacement if required, but having the area dedicated to this purpose in the initial design will make the upgrade easier.

#5 I'm thinking that with no traveller in the cockpit and a reliable autopilot I should manage setting, dousing reefing and trimming OK, although it would be a plus to have reefing lines + halyards leading to the cockpit ( One still has to go forward for hooking the Main tack on the Bullhorn unless it's slab reefing ... but Ill take your advice and move it up to below #11.

So Now : Revised "must" List ( More or less in order of Priority ... ) :

1) 33' - 40' LOA
2) 5' Draft.
3) Good Tankage +- 40 Gal Diesel / 80 Gal Water / 20 Gal Black.
4) Good motor / low hrs ie. mechanically sound for +1500 Nm + Good Alternator.
5) Twin bow rollers, Good ground tackle and powered windlass.
6) Basic Electronics : Wind / Depth / Spd / VHF ... I'll add own GPS / Plotter
7) No mid cockpit mainsheet track for ...
8) Full Dodger + Bimini enclosure.
9) Solar Pannles + reliable Battery Charger.
10) Good Refrigeration rpovided for in layout.
11) Must beat, track and hove-to ie. Good for Bahamas / Turks / Keys and East Coast trips thereafter.
12) Solo Sailing friendly.
13) Comfortable live aboard for 10 - 12 Months ( Possibly longer )
14) "Relative uncomfort" with another couple for a week at a time

New : "Wish" List :

15) Rig : Sloop or cutter (or Yawl ) : Clear cockpit ...
16) Reasonable chart table for chartwork and office use.
17) Separate shower stall.
18) Water heater on the engine.
19) Tender / Outboard / Davit.
20) "Reasonable" suit of sails in "Reasonable" condition
21 ) No Cored Decks, pref. same for the Hull.

Still looking for similar sailboats per above which have done this route ...

"you can achieve ANYTHING you can convince your mind to believe ... "
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Old 24-02-2010, 08:00   #6
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Why are you looking at boats like the Cabo Rico? Isn't the Great Loop mostly on rivers and up the ICW? You want something with a shallow draft and with masts that are designed to be unstepped for travel on canals, etc. I'd be looking for one of those English Coaster motorsailers, if you can find one on this side of the pond.

If you want a sloop or cutter, I'd look for a centerboarder or a swing keel boat, e.g. a Pearson 35 that has been upgraded or a used Southerly.
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Old 26-02-2010, 16:01   #7
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Hi Curmudgeon !

I accept that the canals will be mostly by motor, but being a sailor, I have much dificulty with the notion of owning a sailboat that doesn't actually sail !

My first choice for the canals would be a twin screw trawler, if this was the only trip that I hope to complete in the years to come. Also, the purchase price, diesel cost and upkeep of a trawler are beyond my means. As it so happens I have been running a 87' trawler for the last 2 years so I am well informed in the dept ...

I will be happy to suffer the inconvenience of unstepping the mast ... esp if I can find the right sailboat that will allow this trip to hopefully be the first of many to other awsome cruising areas.

Yes to the southerly, I have a 35 in mind and am speaking with the owner at the moment.

Undecided about the Pearson ... I will look into them a bit more, so thanks for that.

I guess I still think that there are designs out there that have the vital 5' draft and that will track well, even if then don't point like a J boat !

I appreciate your comments.

Bayfield 36 Anyone ?

Still looking for anyone who has actually done the route with a sailboat ...

Not-yet-Sailing-Bushman.
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Old 26-02-2010, 17:19   #8
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Those Coaster ketches sail pretty well by all accounts.

As for Southerly, the 110 is on the very short list of modern boats I would like to own. Maybe if I hit the lottery....
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Old 27-02-2010, 08:45   #9
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Did Chicago to Mobile in the mid 90's on an O/I 41. Two masts, two booms and lots of wire on deck. Boat with mast down 67' long, most of main mast forward where I could watch it. Bitch to handle in and out of locks with any crosswind. but after 30 or 40 practice locks, I got to where I could take a disabled boat in a side tie thru a lock. This trip was 1500 Statute miles, took us 6 months and we went too fast to smell all of the roses. Great loop is several thousand. Plan on pulling the boat at least once maybe twice, in western NY and in Chicago. and leaving it for winter. When you make the trip, stop the boat get off and sight see. We averaged 30-50 miles /Day when we went,depending on anchorages. 2 or sometimes 3 laydays in a week.

Tow boat operators were great, as were lock tenders. We used 2 radar reflectors and some yellow road stripe reflective tape and achored out most nights. Tow boats run 24/7 and we got lots of calls about what the heck were we to light up their radar and show up in their zillion candlepower spotlights.

Fun trip. Take your time and enjoy it.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:03   #10
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Dixonwj, thanks for the feedback !

Ps, I had a look at the Morgan 41 classic this weekend - a bit out of my price range and a little bigger than I want but a real beauty !

We will be spending a full year and will try to make the best time we can to get North asap for the longest "warm" summer weather window.

We are all about the sight seeing, and both bicycles will be comming with !

I love the Idea about the Radar reflectors AND the reflective tape - Great tip !

We were thinking of finding out how much to ship the mast to Mobile from NYC, it sure would make things easier !

We looked at a Bayfield 36 ( Poor condition and overpriced ), an Ericson 38 ( Great layout - not sure about how weatherly she is in a blow ), a Gulfstar 40cc ( Nice but a pity about the aft cabin access - also deck core issues) and the Morgan 41 Classic this weekend, and have a Southern Cross 35 and Gulfstar 41 in our sights ...

The search goes on !
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:17   #11
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I wouldnt count many of what you list as great sailors....and not sure it really matters. You will be motoring alot on your trip. Shoal draft is a great asset but doesnt make for great sailing to weather....I'd go shoal draft....
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:44   #12
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Hi Cheechako, Thanks for the input. Point taken and understood.

I know that out route will be mostly under power, but there will be trips after this one ( I hope ) which will require a sailboat with reasonable sailing qualities. If she doesn't point high, at least she should track OK, together with some of the other favorable sailing characteristics that I mentioned earlier.

Perhaps my thread should be renamed " 35'-40' X 5' draft sailboats that actually sail well ... " that should stir some debate !

Anyway, any boat I finally choose is going to be a compromise, so it's just by sorting through all the options of 5' draft sailboats that will find me what I'm looking for.

I get one chance to choose the boat, and I spend a lot of time looking at all the options, but really, the most important thing I have to remind myself of is to actually start the trip !
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Old 02-03-2010, 16:00   #13
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yea, I hear you. I think for cruising pointing to weather is overrated...but maybe not for you! personally, I gave up sailing to weather years ago and on my last sail boat usually motor sailed unless I could get pretty close to the rhumb line. I really value minimal draft though... just a personal thing... My 47 mono was 6'5" draft and we made due with what we had. My 30 footer in the mid eighties was 5"6". I always found myself wanting to tuck in next to shore though!
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Old 03-03-2010, 17:26   #14
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Just my 2 cents worth here.. For us, and this is just my openion.. My boat was not bought because I injoy sailing, I do love sailing but thats beside the point..
We bought our boat because it suits the needs of what we are looking for.. we injoy traveling and having our home with us.. and much of what we plan on doing involves great distance between ports, so a sailing vessel it the best pick for us..
And we've already decided that when we finish traveling the world, we'll trade in our sailboat for a 5th wheel and travel the US.
So My reasoning is that if I were going to trave inland waters for any distance, I be looking at trawlers.. Ya I know they're stink pots, but a trawler of about 30 feet will have as much room inside as a 45 to 50 foot sailboat.. The draft is shallow and when you figure the cost of sails and rigging, it kinda off-sets the price of fuel.. and besides that, you'll probably be under power most of the time anyway... you wont have to worry about bridges, you'll have more room around the motor.. and if you find one with a good size flybridge, it will give you three times the space of a cockpit..
Just my thoughts
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:32   #15
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Thanks Randyonr3

I am a career captain on an 87' trawler style motor yacht and I agree with all you say.

For me, it home for the next 2 - 5 years and I am thinking of using the inland trip and ( + the East Coast trip up / Gulf coast trip back + Bahamas ? ) as a "settling in period", really moving aboard and getting the "housekeeping side of my life sorted out.

Also, we need a break !

We have been working on various vessels for the last 10 years, so this will be the first time we have a "home" of of our own - Are we excited or WHAT !

After that, We intend to move with the seasons, Carribbean, North East USA, Bahamas, and follow the "stinkpots" which in our plan equate to "Pots-o-Cash !" so traveling by sail thereafter is on the cards.

I have a Cabo Rico 38 in my sights and will check it out next weekend, I just Love them Crealock designs ! ( 5' draft and actually sails well for a cruiser ! )

Enjoy the weekend !
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