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Old 12-03-2008, 06:48   #16
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Jack,

You were the one who put the numbers out there. I only gave you examples. I guess since it is your game, and your ball you can choose to leave with the ball if you wish. Seems to me it is not a very good way to get the help you are asking for......BEST WISHES
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:08   #17
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Jack, may I suggest...
This is a good excercise, but your aproach is lending itself to far too many variables. Would you be willing to start over with a few parameters in place?
1) Where (I know you touched on this, but the overall plan might help)
2) How many? (Is it just you, or will you have more people on board)
3) Are you young and looking to do this on the cheap? Or are you looking for a retirement plan?
4) Will this be on a fixed income, or savings?
3) What is your skillset? (Are you a seasoned sailor? Or, does an 8' sailing dinghy intimidate you?)

All that said, it is fine to plot it out on paper, then go for it, but you might be better served to start crewig on boats, and learn to use the equipment, then decide what works and what doesn't. This will also give you a better opportunity to decide if the physical act of cruising and spending long periods of time in tight quarters lives up to the dream. There is no shame in spending your golden years as an armchair sailor sitting in your library looking out over the ocean, but the commitment to go out on that ocean should come with the experiance of knowing that it lives up to all that you have read about it.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:43   #18
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Thank you Kai.

I am young(ish) having just turned 34. Lots of athletics and activities that involve prolonged physical discomfort. I will spend most of my time solo but hope to have visitors for a couple days at a time. I was sorely tempted by a 24' boat a few weeks ago but ultimately couldn't make peace with the head under the vberth. "Baby could you wake up and go outside for a bit? I have business..." Nah. Too much.

Where was I? Oh, right. Money.

Tying up my affairs stateside over the next couple of months will determine my actual finances but I will have between 500 and 1,000 per month in recurring income as well as a small nest egg. However, as stated before, I want to do this cheap- very cheap. In every category I want to start with the absolute cheapest option- then, evaluate if I am willing to give that a try. The head configuration on the 24' boat was a good example of this. I was able to make peace with the space issues- but ultimately decided I'd be willing to pay more and go a couple feet bigger to get a better configuration.

As to the where... I'd like to head south as far as, say, Peru or even Chile, then head back north and evaluate the finances/operation feasibility of heading across the water.

I am sailing now and will continue to do so in the months before I head south and buy a boat. I have a lot of support infrastructure in the San Diego area and will spend a few months living aboard and sailing full-time before heading to Mexico.


I am a sucker for all things shiny and I know if I don't give myself some HARD limits I will blow through the savings and wind up in trouble. A 2,500 boat with a couple thousand in build-out could be completely replaced for the price of a 10k boat that isn't guaranteed not to be a problem. Of course the flip side is that even if the 10k boat takes 3k a year to keep floating it is a better deal than buying a new 2,500 craft every 3 months...

I *suspect* based on my research so far that I could be south of the border and happy on five or six thousand dollars. If I CAN do that I will. If I can't do it I will spend more- but I want to have a very solid idea of the practical limits so I can set the right budget for myself.

I will end this post with a cut-and-paste from Latitude 38 that I think excellently reflects my position:
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
"I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
- Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)
As quoted by Stuart Kiehl
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:58   #19
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OK, there are many boats that might suit your needs, but let me suggest you start this off based on a bare bones Catalina 30. This will be close to the top of your boat budget, but would be a good fit for the average starting cruiser planning coastal cruising.
So, there is $25-$30k.
The boat should have an inboard diesel as mentioned previously.
As many reasons as people may give not to have it, I strongly recomend roller furling headsail. $2-$3k not including sail mods.
An auto pilot is a must have, especially if you will be single handing. Add another $2k+ or -.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:07   #20
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I'm sorry if I misunderstand... Are you suggesting I spend 25k on the boat itself?

The absolute most money I will possibly have is 30k. That will be my every penny in the world. Spending all of that on infrastructure is exactly what I am hoping to avoid.

I did see a Ranger 32' last night and I've read a bunch of blogs from a couple using one of those...
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:21   #21
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So maybe an older Catalina, even drop to a 27. My reasoning is two fold. One, these are good boats for your purpose. Two, they hold their value. Good chance of finding a 27 under $10k
From there, you would hav $15k to outfit, and a $5k buffer.
FYI mid 70's Catalina 30's are in the $10k range, but come with a gas engine. You can repower one of these with a diesel, but you can expect to be out of pocket about $10k to do that. You might shave about $2500 if you can do the work yourself. The 27's generally have outboards, but they fo have a well, so it is a consideration. You still have not mentioned your experience. This makes a huge difference in where you start.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:25   #22
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<Spending all of that on infrastructure is exactly what I am hoping to avoid…>

Jack, if you haven’t already scanned it, John Vigor’s little book; Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere may be a worthwhile read for you… Amazon, used in paperback should be fairly nominal… Some of the boats such as the Flicka or Dana that he writes about are way outa the price-range of this discussion, but he runs down a pretty good list of factors he considers and also highlights some reality priced oldie-goldies… His rating system is a tad subjective, but I’ve found it pretty well informed…

Your V-berth versus toilet decision, just highlights how personal a choice these things are… My bride is fine with that scenario (our B24 is as you describe…) however, try as I might, I could not convince her of the worthiness of a bridge deck – which she sees as a minor hazard… some of your choices will seem wise to almost anyone, and a few (doubtlessly) will only make sense to you… not to worry…

Another more general Google search you might find worthwhile are those involving micro-cruisers… I scan them quite a lot, not because I plan to take these geriatric bones off on an around-the-world venture in an 8-foot dinghy, or some such, but because those who live in truly limited space have come up with quite a few innovative ideas that may be worth adoption in my decidedly more spacious 24-footer… The more traditional sized vessels are nice, and I’ve lived on a couple approaching the high-forty-foot range over the years. But wisely chosen, smallish vessels can easily include all the necessities, and then some…

As for boat shopping, don’t forget eBay… one has to be ready to jump, but every now and again something interesting pops up… I bid an embarrassingly modest amount on our little Bristol and, wonder of wonders, no-one countered… sure it’s needed some elbow grease (although not a whole lot in the seaworthiness department) and still does, but two couples would probably have a greater Saturday evening semi-formal dinning tab than the original cost, so you can find little nuggets outside the brokerage arena every now and again, so it’s worth keeping an eye on `em from time to time… needless to say, however, you are largely dependent on your own eye, there… but, hey, that’s half the fun…

Or, you can use something like New and Used Boats For Sale, where, even if you put in ridiculously low dollar amounts, you’ll almost invariably find something worthy of a passing glance… I window-shopped there for several years and stalked several boats… in the end, I purchased somewhere else, but it was an inexpensive education…

I would suggest, however, that you give yourself enough time to get to know your boat before you untie for your extended adventure… purchasing down here with the bottom-feeders invariably has a higher risk of “unknown” components than vessels farther up the food chain -- and you’ll probably find it more comforting to have had the time to discover any “must-do” projects before you’ve fully severed the umbilical cord…
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:27   #23
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Guess I might not understand you budget here. Does 30k include your nest egg etc or just boat and refit costs?

Anyway - while we were looking we came across a Fuji32 in San Diego. The boat was in pretty good condition and while it had a couple of leaks needing attendance the damage done seemed minimal. It was listed at 32k but had been on the market for some time and was really well equiped (radar davits dink sails good looking engine etc) and generally well presented inside and out. We only spent about half an hour on the boat as it didn't fit our needs but my impression was that it was READY to go.

There are also some Westsail 32's here on the west coast listed just over 30k. I've talked to a couple of people who have put serious miles on these boats and still loved them.

There was Cheoy Lee 36 in Long Beach listed at 25k (again on the market for some time). This was in pretty good condition (including having the teak decks stripped off and replaced with GRP) and inhabited my own fantasies for a while. Note that in the 6 months on the market this boat probably cost its owner 3k just in slip fees.

From what we've seen 30k will get you a "pocket cruiser" that is ready to rumble. 20 -> 30 will get you a pocket cruiser needing some elbow grease and and 10 -> 20 will get you a decently appointed coastal cruiser.

One think we learnt was that pictures of a boat online are worth 10% of seeing, feeling and smelling the boat in real life. Some boats were better and other were worse!
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:32   #24
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Aloha Jack,

Ok, Coronado it is. Get one with a small diesel if you have a chance to shop around. New rigging is a big plus in your purchase. Hull to deck joints is a thing to check and of course keel bolts.
If you are cutting costs then purchase a used Naples Sabot or El Toro for a dink. They are light and serviceable and can be placed on deck. Get the smallest outboard or a Minn Kota electric to power it or plan on rowing. Not a bad choice because rowing is great exercise.
I'll look on eBay and craigslist next time I'm shopping.
Good luck and this looks like a fun thing to do. I'd also look at Catalina 27s and Columbias as well as Newports if you like that type of boat. If it were me I'd look for a lower freeboard, older style, narrower beam but if you liveaboard you'll want more interior space.
Kind Regards,
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Old 12-03-2008, 13:11   #25
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Jack Long,


Something that MAY be of interest to you. Back in 1998 we were looking to outfit our Nor'Sea 27 for long term cruising. Something that opened our eyes.


Once you pick the boat, parts is parts...


Jill and I sat down with the West Marine catalog and went through it page by page. We then opened a spreadsheet and entered into it all of the ides. We did NOT chose an item by need, just what we might want. We then added in how many we needed (like one each for some items or spares for others).


WOW!!! The total came to US $32,490.28.


From there we decided what we did NOT need. We then rated items by how much we needed them. That gave us a list to work from and we had time to wait for items to come on sale. Almost every item we needed did come on sale.


We also put in a code for items that had a shelf life (like life raft, water maker and things like that). We put those items off to purchase until the very end. It's more important to have life left in an item that to get it on the cheep.


You can see see our list on our WEB pages, go to “Information on our outfitting Guenevere” then “outfitting and spares”. I would give a direct link, but it may not work.


Hope it helps


Greg
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Old 12-03-2008, 13:58   #26
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"It might be better to just sail off in the fantasy boat now and pretend it went well."

Thanks ! That made my day...

I think I'll pretend it's windy so I can sail...ooh, ooh, I think I'll pretend the sail is already up - no, I'll pretent I went forward to put it up and a mermaid swam by...no, wait, she didn't swim by - she came aboard!

Now where was I?
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Old 12-03-2008, 14:44   #27
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Delezynski has a good point. I have used this method extensively. And, it sounds like that is what you are trying to do collaboratively here. So, we can go back to the Columbia if that is your first choice. I stand by the items I listed previously. I would add a few more basics. Water can be a problem in the long term. You have three basic choices: Haul it in jerry cans, a catchment system, or a water maker. I would choose a small watermaker, something like the Spectra Ventura 150 would probably suit your needs.
If you want to keep it cheap, you will be hauling jerry cans around searching for water, but at least they are not very expensive. Depending on your location a catchment system would be the best and least expensive choice, but you have to be in a location with reliable rain fall, and sufficient tankage to last between rainfalls. I suspect that based on the information you have posted so far, that might not be a good solution for you.
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Old 13-03-2008, 01:25   #28
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Kai- my experience level is low but I will spend a few months sailing just about full-time before I leave civilization.

Dcstring- I did look at Twenty Small Sailboats... And I think "stalking boats" is a great description for what I am doing except I view it more as "trend analysis". My thought is that I don't know what specific boats/bargains I will find in June so I am A) learning to spot them now and B) getting a grip on the lowest common denominator. I am using this Coronado 27 because I am very confident I can find a similar boat for a similar price in 3 months. If I can find a better option come go-time then awesome!

Theonecalledtom- 30k would be my every penny in the world. It includes "bus fare home" if things go real ugly. I agree with you about seeing boats in person. I am actually SHOCKED at how many boats I see for sale at the harbors that aren't up on Craigslist/Ebay.

Skiprjohn- at first glance the Naples Sabot and El Toro seem more expensive than I would expect. It almost seems that dinghies are either painfully expensive, or almost free. Like people post them at silly-high prices then give up and just give them away... Maybe I just don't know where to look?

What do you think of a wide two-seater kayak for the dinghy job? I would like to bring one anyway, can get it for close to free, will be solo most of the time, and they have outboard kits too... If I really needed the extra space for groceries or whatever I could tow a cheap inflatable kids raft or something...?

Delezynski- awesome! I am now reading through your whole site- I am about halfway through the position reports then will be done. Yes, that is a helluva shopping list!

Kai (again)- I will primarily use jerry cans for water. If I find myself somewhere wet I might try to rig some catchment system but otherwise I'll be carting cans. Watermaker is pretty high on the luxury list but they are just too darn expensive for me to justify right now. Maybe I will get lucky and find a boat pre-equipped.

A used (go Amazon!) copy of Sensible Sailing arrived today. I've never seen a used book so... used... from Amazon before. I am going to go read a bit!

-Jack Long
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Old 17-03-2008, 06:24   #29
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Okay, so I've thought about the various items in this thread, done more reading, and made a few choices. Most are general but informed by my continually evolving understanding of my requirements and goals. Earlier I requested specific examples- I guess what I really wanted is "checkable price points".

The platform is still an early 70's Coronado 27 in sailable condition with a Suzuki 9hp outboard.

Remember, my goal here is to do a practical outfitting at the least expensive level I can manage. More money can always be spent later- specific deals and opportunities at the time of purchase change a lot of this but I am looking for a lowest common denominator. It should be representative of something that could be executed on at any given time.

Base price for the boat is 2,500.
Survey 450
And I am including a 950 misc. repair budget.
The goal is something that will stay floating, stay steering, and stay blow-able. Anything else I get in this part of the budget is gravy.

Dinghy (specific): I've decided to go with the kayak plan and, for now, I am going to skip the motor. Yes, there will be many many many times I will wish I had more cargo capacity, better protection from the elements, greater stability, and the speed/freedom of the motor. However, unless a lucky deal happens I don't see a solution I am happy with for under 1k. The entry level porte-boat is tempting but it is a lot less nuke-proof than a sit-on-top kayak. Also, I have a hook-up... I can fully outfit a nice short and wide kayak for 250 or so.

Propane grill (general): 100 bucks. (not including bottle/fittings/additional mounting stuff)

Fridge: I'd really like access to artificial cold but even the inexpensive units plus whatever additional power is required look like they will run close to 1,000. Unless I can chop that number in half I will apply the "f&#*k it I'll use ice" strategy.

VHF (general): I am currently thinking two cheap 99 dollar units. One a hand held for backup purposes. I had excellent luck with cheapo- CBs in a former life so I feel pretty good about this... Is there any substantial difference in the hardware/tech that I am missing?

Depth/GPS (general): Looks like I can get into this at around 500 bucks but I don't yet have a sense of the quality/value trade-offs.

Power: Still kind of "in the dark" here. Laptop, radio, GPS, fan, lights, whatever else... I guess I need to set a target use model before I can dig in here.

At this point I am looking at 4,950 for core systems minus power.

Am I dead crazy about anything yet?
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Old 18-03-2008, 05:46   #30
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<practical outfitting at the least expensive level…>

Welcome to the bottom-feeders’ federation… Sounds like you’ve got the scent; however, I think (no shortage of opinions here… although I’m occasionally short on facts) your $950+/- repair budget could be a tad skimpy unless you are an exceptional scrounger and close to good sources, I’d guess more like double to triple that over your initial few months – one used sail will eat up most of that, throw in a new set of running rigging (don't skimp here) and ground tackle and you’re already edging over budget… second, propane grills, power for laptops, etc., etc… would run a distant second to ensuring the rigging was as good as I could make it – grills (of some fashion) you can get almost anywhere, sails, turnbuckles and the like are hard to get away from a chandlery or marine salvage (my favorite..). If you’re an experienced kayaker then you know `em better than me, but a used dinghy shouldn’t run more than a few hundred and load-carrying capability is no comparison – only time I’ve ever used an outboard was on an inflatable, which don’t row worth a hoot…

Yer techno-gizmo department is about my style; however, that may not be particularly prudent… In and around saltwater boating for several decades, I think I’ve only used a CB or VHF two or three times (total) except to listen to the weather, and now just carry an el-cheapo handheld, just in case… ditto on depth finder - none, only had a couple of fishing boats that had `em years ago, lead-line works great, but recently got a GPS – I’m finding the wonders of satellite navigation are pretty intriguing… acquired a little 72 series Garmin – gives lat/long and course (no charting to speak of), for the used price of about $75 a pretty neat gadget…
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