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Old 08-05-2010, 16:57   #1
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Looking for a Good Single-Handed Offshore Boat

Hi all,

Been browsing the forum for a while, finally broke down and registered today

In the next few months I'd love to get my hands on a boat that's good for single-handing off shore sails.

My first BIG trip will be floating down the east coast of the US to Panama, then across to New Zealand.

I've heard good things about Catalina's, but I've also heard they won't be good for off shore sailing.

I know I'll need something with a full keel, but other than that, I'm not sure what I should be looking for. A heavy boat, something light? 30' or bigger/smaller?

Thanks for any ideas you can shed (or books you can recommend on the subject).
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Old 08-05-2010, 17:33   #2
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Aloha and welcome to the forum of many opinions!
I have a couple links after my signature and a book recommendation. Check them out to answer some of your questions.
Although not recommended as a world bluewater cruiser Catalinas show up in some far away places.
Full keel is not required.
kind regards,
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Old 08-05-2010, 17:34   #3
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Oh, I always recommend 32-36' with aft cockpit and diesel inboard.
regards,
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Old 08-05-2010, 17:37   #4
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Hi, welcome to the forum.

You may also use the search option above to browse other threads for this subject. There has been plenty said before.

The US to Panama is not all that hard BUT bad weather can be met ANYWHERE and from my personal experience the stretch from the Southern Seas (say Tonga, Fiji or NCal) to NZ can by pretty dangerous for any small craft. But, sure thing, not just there. Among other factors, I would look for a boat that will take bad weather.

The boat you want will depend on your skills and abilities. If you are very skilled and very strong, you will have more choices. If you are wee and not a great seaman, probably go for a more conservative boat.

Search the threads / look up the brokers / educate yourself. And ask specific questions - they will be answered with more specific know-how.

b.
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Old 08-05-2010, 17:57   #5
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Hi, welcome to the forum.

You may also use the search option above to browse other threads for this subject. There has been plenty said before.

The US to Panama is not all that hard BUT bad weather can be met ANYWHERE and from my personal experience the stretch from the Southern Seas (say Tonga, Fiji or NCal) to NZ can by pretty dangerous for any small craft. But, sure thing, not just there. Among other factors, I would look for a boat that will take bad weather.

The boat you want will depend on your skills and abilities. If you are very skilled and very strong, you will have more choices. If you are wee and not a great seaman, probably go for a more conservative boat.

Search the threads / look up the brokers / educate yourself. And ask specific questions - they will be answered with more specific know-how.

b.
Thanks B. I hadn't thought about talking to brokers just yet - but that's a good idea. Nobody said I have to buy one from them tomorrow

As of now I'd probably want something more conservative, but by the time I'm actually leaving on this trip, I plan on being much more experienced than I am now.

Of course that's not saying I'll be a seafaring expert - just more knowledgable than the babe I am in this world as of today.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:13   #6
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Quote:
Thanks B. I hadn't thought about talking to brokers just yet - but that's a good idea. Nobody said I have to buy one from them tomorrow
I am a poor foolish broker myself. Although mostly we are a pretty mean old lot, some of us do have feelings left, and all of us are working on a commission basis for survival. It is not very nice to just be an information seeker. I know that there has to be some degree of that. But unless you are really honestly interested in a certain yacht for sale or can provide other reasons for incentive, you are best to keep minimal contact. Your questions are better directed here or to friends who do this in an altruistic vain. I do not mean to be judgemental but am trying to express the feeling on the other side of the fence. Sincerely, R
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:38   #7
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I disagree. Boat brokers ought to work to get paid. If a lot of people call with annoying questions, so be it, that is the nature of selling things!!
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Old 09-05-2010, 16:41   #8
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How much money do you have to spend?
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Old 09-05-2010, 16:52   #9
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How much money do you have to spend?
That's the question, isn't it

I'm still saving up, but to be safe, we'll say I have $20,000 to spend on a boat -I'm obviously looking in the used market with this low budget.
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:04   #10
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First there is a book about single handed sailing that describes the boat you are looking for. About 32', heavy displacement, cutter, etc.

Ah yes, here it is: Singlehanded Sailing" the Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers - Richard Henderson

For your money I would look to this:

1982 Ganley Snowbird Junk Rig Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

I saw it last year and thought it was quite nice. Junk rig will make it easy to sail, vane is necessary, steel will keep initial price down.


ORRRRR...................

You could look at this, which needs more but costs less.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...1-a-38108.html

Hey Jordanship, nice seeing you here. Hope Rigpa sale went OK. We just brought our new boat up to Philly.

Howard
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:41   #11
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That's the question, isn't it

I'm still saving up, but to be safe, we'll say I have $20,000 to spend on a boat -I'm obviously looking in the used market with this low budget.
For 20K you wil be looking at the very, very low end of "seaworthy." And unless you have serious boat repair skills, it will likely cost you thousands more to make that low end boat seaworthy.

But here is a list of suitable boats compiled by someone with far more experience than I. Try looking on Yachtworld.
http://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/boatlist.htm
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Old 09-05-2010, 18:13   #12
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(...) For 20K you will be looking at the very, very low end of "seaworthy." (...)
YES / NO

The planned sail is East Coast / Panama / NZ. So a relatively small boat will do. Then the 20k is ... well... it is OK if one knows what to look for and how to get it ocean ready. My boat was about this price level too. She took me around - twice the distance and across some very choppy waters too. (Not to say that we did not have bad adventures that very likely COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED in a bigger craft!).

On a low budget the key is to be aware of what is essential, how to select things, make things and fix things. If one gets a boat and then hires people to fix / prep her for an ocean voyage then any budget will be wiped out in no time.

So, learn, learn, learn and DIY, or with a little help from your sailing friends.

b.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:05   #13
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we'll say I have $20,000 to spend on a boat...
$20K can go an amazingly long way if you have a good eye for value and are handy with your hands – and have the time and inclination to apply both. $20K can also be a recipe for disaster when influenced by naive expectations, artificial time constraints and/or unscrupulous sellers (whether of vessels or chandlery), etc., etc.... There are quite a variety of boats out there in your "reality" price range, but you’ll need to anticipate a fair amount of sweat-equity to be confidant going to sea… For instance there is a Cal40 sitting rather forlornly in the yard (where our little chunk is) with a handwritten sign asking $20K… cosmetically no prize and to look at it, an offer for $15K might be accepted, but seeing no overt structural compromises the actual refit might not need much more than the additional $5K for a DIY, although condition of sails an motor are an unknown (I'm just dumb enough to think I can master either, so generally I worry about other things...) and paying “professional” refit rates can quickly get prohibitive… The above brokers’ comments were disappointing, but look for the unadvertised bargains sitting out there and use each as a learning experience – with the proper reading material (the suggested Vigor books are a good place to start), some real diligence and just hanging around boat yards (not always to be confused with marinas – look for a place that actually builds boats, even if small ones) can equip you nicely for when that opportunity of opportunities pops up… don’t buy (or sail) until you’re ready…
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:07   #14
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YES / NO

The planned sail is East Coast / Panama / NZ. So a relatively small boat will do.

b.
Well, thy say the trip from Tonga to NZ can be difficult. I've never done it, but my brother-in-law has (in his 75 footer) and they encountered 25-30 ft. seas and had to tow a drogue for several days.

I would not want to make that trip in a marginal boat.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:37   #15
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With $20k you could find yourself an older Cal 34, Ranger 33, Cape Dory 30, Bristol 30, Islander 30, Albin Ballad 29, Scampi 30, Tartan 30, Albin Vega 27. (lots of other choices).
Non of these are full-keel so they sail well. All of these (in the right condition) I would trust to cross oceans.
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