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Old 06-01-2008, 22:15   #1
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Monohull for Lake Ontario/Great Lakes and bluewater

Hi all.
I'm new to cruiser sailing and this forum, my question is what monohull boats are capable of making trips down the coast to the Caribbean but will mostly be used in the Great Lakes, based out of Toronto. Im looking at Cruisers around 26 to 35 feet. Under $30,000 initial boat price, and what it will cost to maintain. 2 possible 3 man Crew, age isn't a factor so no so called "Easy to Use/on the body" equiptment is overly necessary.
Also any info on what certifications or special equiptment is needed to do so other than the basic pleasure craft operators card.
Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
-Ryan
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Old 06-01-2008, 22:55   #2
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Oh and the cheaper the better so obviously used boats, and all work on the boat will be done by myself and my friend(friend with years on the water both racing and as an instructor; mostly digney's... and fixing up small boats. Myself a couple years in laser's and handy in carpentry and fiberglass repair, both of us are in our 20's so setting up electronics shouldn't be a problem). Just looking for a Inexpensive cruiser capable of making a couple trips to warmer water in the near'ish future.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:09   #3
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Although I might venture into areas I shouldn’t with an inexpensive boat, I don’t think I’d be tempted to go too far with a “cheap” boat…

There are probably hundreds of boats in that size/price range that have successfully completed extended voyages (Cape Dory, Pearson, Bristol and a host of other manufacturers over the years), but given that you seem to be interested in older boats, the condition of the vessel (hull, rigging, sails and systems…) will probably be at least as important as the original design…

You might get additional input from the more knowledgeable sailors hereabout if you narrowed the question to the criteria important to you – beyond cost and LOA…

For instance, how important is; shoal-draft, sea-berths, headroom, which techno-gizmos, length of cruise, etc., etc… not to mention, what is the likely experience of the crew…
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryango View Post
Hi all.
I'm new to cruiser sailing and this forum, my question is what monohull boats are capable of making trips down the coast to the Caribbean but will mostly be used in the Great Lakes, based out of Toronto. Im looking at Cruisers around 26 to 35 feet. Under $30,000 initial boat price, and what it will cost to maintain. 2 possible 3 man Crew, age isn't a factor so no so called "Easy to Use/on the body" equiptment is overly necessary.
Also any info on what certifications or special equiptment is needed to do so other than the basic pleasure craft operators card.
Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
-Ryan
There's tons of boats that fit the really broad guidelines you've given. Assuming you're looking up here, you'll find lots of older C&C's, CS's, Aloha's, Mirages, Hunters in that price range around 27 to 30 feet. The Canadian built boats, especially the C&C's and CS's hold up well and have a higher price as a result. CS 30's still sell for over $50K but 27's are well within your price range. They are also generally very seaworthy boats that sail quite well. Lots of these smaller boats have done what you propose to do. Get a diesel, don't settle for anything else, you're going to do a lot of motoring on that trip. Watch out for squishy cored decks, that is a very common problem on older glass boats and while not always a show stopper it can be.

This link is to a site made by a couple who took a CS27 down your proposed route, quite a lot of good information on it:

http://members.aol.com/donatkdg/CS_27.html

I would normally recommend looking at a Catalina but I am biased. They are relatively scarce up here and they tend more toward the comfort side of the equation. We are looking at doing this trip ourselves in a year or two, maybe in a bigger boat but at the moment preparing our 28 to do it.

I think most folks on this board wouldn't consider the Caribbean as being true bluewater sailing since it's largely island hopping. At the moment, at least in Cdn waters you don't need any certification, as long as you don't intend to operate a dinghy with a little outboard, for that you will need the PCOC. But you should probably take some courses in piloting and seamanship.

Go out to Port Credit and have a look at the brokerages there, you will get a very good idea of what's available. Also, the boat show starts next week and there will be many brokers there. Good luck on your search.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:29   #5
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An oldie but a goody is the Mark 1 C&C 35. Good boats and very tough.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:11   #6
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thanks for the replies so far guys. My buddy is a sailing instructor so piloting the boat isn't a concern, mainly whether or not the voyage could be done in an older monohull of that size and if it were legal to do so. jdoe71 i really like the catalina's as well and i'm all for comfort, just wanted to know if it was safely doable. Any idea's on necessary electronics and equiptment?
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:31   #7
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My buddy is a sailing instructor so piloting the boat isn't a concern, mainly whether or not the voyage could be done in an older monohull of that size and if it were legal to do so.
Well the good news is there are no legal requirements for killing yourself. Any boat you choose will be allowed and no one will stop you. All you need is proof you own the boat and a passport. After that it's more of a matter of what you can do with what you can afford. When considering cheap boats I would look for ones in the best condition. Brands mean nothing in the type of boat you are looking for - cheap! I would look at at least 25 boats before you buy one. You will learn a lot and it won't cost much. Better condition means less to spend after you buy it. Sailing the great lakes is about the same as the ocean except with less salt. The weather and conditions are both pretty severe when the weather kicks up. The great lakes won't cut much slack when it comes to bad weather the waves may be a tad smaller but the frequency closer.

The range 26 to 35 ft leaves a lot of room. You might do better with 27 to 30 ft since the bigger boats are going to be projects more than sailable. "Safely doable" won't be comfortable so you might better go for "safely". You really will be doing small spaces in favor of boats unable to make the trip. You'll probably need to do a bit of refitting to get this trip set up so you can really do it. After all that, you'll probably be short hopping picking your weather as you go. With that approach you could fair well.

Once you find a boat I would still pay the extra money for a marine survey so you can at least deal with the worst problems. Your trip will require a fair amount of preparation and some short legs to get the boat and crew checked out and fit.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:26   #8
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Originally Posted by ryango View Post
thanks for the replies so far guys. My buddy is a sailing instructor so piloting the boat isn't a concern, mainly whether or not the voyage could be done in an older monohull of that size and if it were legal to do so. jdoe71 i really like the catalina's as well and i'm all for comfort, just wanted to know if it was safely doable. Any idea's on necessary electronics and equiptment?
It's not really safe to have just one person who knows how to sail/pilot. What happens when he gets a whack on the head from the boom? You need to learn how to sail and pilot as well as know the collision regulations/rules of the road. The ICW, as well as the waters around Toronto are heavily used and your buddy can't be on watch 24/7.

Smaller is cheaper to buy, operate and maintain, and bigger doesn't necessarily mean safer or better. Paul is right, look at lots of boats, there's hundreds close to you to start with.

For equipment, start with what the law requires for safety as a minimum, that information is readily available on the web on the federal website and many other places. Aside from the obvious basic things such as good ground tackle, docking lines, compass, etc., you should read some cruisers blogs to find out what they did and how they equipped their boats. But until you actually get a boat and start using it you aren't going to know what YOU need.

Electronics, bare minimum is VHF (fixed and a handheld), GPS chartplotter with charts (fixed and a handheld), depth sounder. I'd also get a complete set of paper charts and guidebooks for the route as well. And again, go to the boat show next week, you'll get tons of information there (and it will make you think summer is not that far away!).
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Old 08-01-2008, 21:49   #9
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Very good info and pointers all around, i do know how to sail and the harbour rules and so on, my buddy would just be in charge since he is the most experienced. Thanks again everybody, any other pointers or opinions would be appreciated!
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Old 14-01-2008, 21:11   #10
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On average how much are docking charges?
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Old 14-01-2008, 21:20   #11
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On average how much are docking charges?
By the foot! Populated areas charge more. In our part of the world you can pay from $4 / ft to $1.75 / ft depending on the day of the week, season, and more than all that location. Weekly rates usually get you the 7th day free. You may also be looking at a $5 / day electric charge (if you plug in). Some places will throw in WiFi and TV. The quality of the place also may dictate rates but location would be the number one factor in how much a slip costs.
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Old 15-01-2008, 21:41   #12
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thanks all around!
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