OK, I am new as well, but have the boat for my intended purpose and am working on it, so a little ahead of you in that regard (and possibly that regard alone, so for what it is worth, here are my thoughts...). I have 8 years of sea and near shore time in the US Navy
, and have had multiple boats for inland and coastal power boating
, etc. I have had my share of electrical
and mechanical issues on the water, and have seen some pretty hairy sea states to include 20+ foot waves in the North Atlantic. I am not brand
new, I am just new to my own
If you are not able to function alone, you probably don't want to head
to open sea with only one other person, especially
on a 40 foot boat. I would suggest some coastal experience first, learn your vessel (more on that below), learn how to handle things should your mate get injured or become unavailable somehow, and have enough wisdom to see when you are getting into weather
that is beyond your capabilities (i.e., spend time closer in to learn this before heading beyond the safe harbors you have close to home).
Second, I would go on some trips on several other folks' boats to figure out what you do or do not want on yours. The savings on this alone can probably make a difference in your cruising budget
beyond your emergency
fund, from what I have seen to date on my relatively smaller boat (27 feet). You will also get a lot of experience and advice in real time that will be of great benefit when you have to pay for the damages to your own hole in the water.
If you can go to a sailing course, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Information is your friend, and books
don't cover it all (or at least, do not reveal it all in an efficient manner relative to the lifetime of any of us mere mortals).
I am not in the Pacific, but it would seem that 40' is plenty of boat, given proper skill level and solid construction, good repair, and reasonable seamanship skills (none of which you currently possess in vessel or personal qualification if I understand your initial post). Fortunately, all these can come with experience and practice, and you can learn this without spending the cost of a vessel to get this information.
I have found at least three schools of thought when it comes to condition of a first blue water vessel. The first is that you should have one that is not new, but very solid and mostly in great shape (costs a bit). The second is that the vessel should be new so that all is in "great shape" so that you are prevented from having to rebuild
years of damage and poor maintenance
(costs varied amounts based upon the vessel selected and just how complicated you want the boat to be).
Then there is the third school
, get the cheapest thing you can find and fix as you go (not my preferred method, can be very costly and may get you noplace good at all, but may be a great way to get in cheap
if you are luckier than any other person on the planet, which is unlikely).
Then there is the fourth school
, the one I selected. I found a vessel that serves to be my starter boat, and will one day be traded off most likely for something larger. This vessel has several issues, and is being worked through as rapidly as I can do it, given my greatly reduced available funding
level relative to that you list. However, when I am done, I will know every internal nook, cranny, wire, system, and flaw (or even potential issues) with the vessel, and probably how to repair them underway. I will also be able to set the interior
up such that I can control how I access each area, how these systems interrelate, and even add some nice touches the original designer
did not install either because of economies of production or because the technologies were not available at the time. For instance, I am adding radar
, something that was not available to this size vessel when it was originally built.
Consider the level of maintenance
skills you will need to handle the systems on the vessel you want as your cruising vessel, and whether you will be able to handle rebuilding them yourself, as well as your level of skill at celestial navigation
should the power go out. Consider whether your understanding of the 27 states of sky is sufficient to navigate potential weather conditions that your dead computer system cannot display for you.
Get time on the water with someone else's vessel to learn what it is you want (or don't want) on the boat.
Get time on the water with someone else to learn the handling of the vessel with supervision but no actual manual assistance for those emergency
situations that often end badly because you did not have a third hand available in the emergency and did not know how to handle the task with one hand (you need to hold on to the vessel with the other in many of those situations!).
Get time on the water with someone else to learn how to make repairs
to various systems (unless you are planning to keep a full time engineer
Get time on the water to see if sailing on the ocean is even FOR you.
Your vessel (when you actually get the one you will want to travel on) should be in good repair but does not have to be brand new. A used one may be a better buy because it also may have most or even all the toys you want to install already on board, saving your perhaps as much as half the vessel cost in some cases for a perfectly serviceable sailboat.
Whatever vessel you get, check the sail inventory. Sails
cost. Large ones cost more. High tech ones cost most.
I have to demit to others to comment on the choice of purchase
location, I imagine that the AUD is more powerful in some places than others, and that varied levels of availability exist for the boat you want. Still, I would definitely do a great deal more investigation and practice (even if on a tiny sailboat) before shelling out that much money
on a boat that you have ability to destroy in minutes simply through inexperience should you find yourself sole master in an emergency on her maiden voyage (with you at the helm).
All that said, take it for what you like, I would get a practice boat for maybe a couple thousand dollars (in USD value) and sail it like you stole it for a while. Then, when you have at least a few months at the helm
, you will know more about what you really want in the bigger one and what you definitely can do without.
My two cents...