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Old 28-12-2013, 10:26   #1
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Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Hello all,

I am a long time lurker here and occasionally post a few questions. I have been in the market for a sailboat for quite some time, piecing together information for the past few years. I will try to describe what I'm trying to do, and then my options. I'm just looking for some tailored feedback to my situation. I apologize ahead of time for a lengthy post.

Over the years of looking at boats, looking at countless models of yachts; I have read just about every article on every yacht, as well as almanacs such as The Voyager's Handbook and Singlehanded Sailing. I would like to think I possess some knowledge on boat design, what I need on board for cruising, etc. That being said:

I have narrowed my search down to a few models, all of which are within a range of 40-47 ft. All of the sailboats I am interested in are moderate displacement sloops, some aft and some center cockpit. I am located in Sarasota, FL, and intend on keeping the boat here in Sarasota/St.Pete area until it is outfitted properly, and then sailing south with the intent of cruising the Caribbean first, then back north up the U.S. east coast, and then across to the Mediterranean. This is a long term goal, but that is eventually going to be the plan, more or less.

For most of the time spent aboard in the Caribbean, it will be myself (27) and my father who is in his 60's, and my mother will be coming and going at her will, as she doesn't like to be aboard for too long. I'm thinking that most of the time the boat will be handled by just my father and I, with the exception of a friend here and there who knows how to sail. Both my father and I are competent sailors, and have decent experience. We used to own a Hunter Legend 35, and have been on many overnight sails, etc.

The reason I'm posting all of this information is because I've seen a million of the same thread posted here on CF, about what boat should I get, etc., etc. I thought I'd post my own thread and give you some information about myself, and start asking my own questions.

Currently, the dilemma I'm having comes down to a boat I'm seriously interested in, which is the Caliber 40. I am aware that there is the 40 and the 40LRC, which has extended tankage. I have found two Caliber 40's, one is a 40, one is the LRC, both in my price range, both the same exact price. Here is my question:

The Caliber 40 is a '94, has electronics, and is cruise ready. She also has a brand new Yanmar (0 hours). The only thing I would add would be an arch and hard top bimini to support solar panels and wind generator.

The Caliber 40LRC is a '99, and is basically a blank slate. She has low engine hours, is a newer boat in great shape, but has no electronics whatsoever. This boat appeals to me more however because I feel as if it's the perfect canvas to do exactly what kind of electronic setup I want.

Both boats are listed ~$150k. Regardless of if these are good prices or not, I am just trying to get some feedback as to what your opinions are, and which route you would take. I have estimated that for the older Caliber, I will still need to spend ~$15k for an arch and power generation, while with the newer LRC, I will need to spend that as well, with the addition of around ~$20k for a proper offshore electronic setup. I will stop my typing here, and allow for some responses. If I think of anything else I'll tack it on to this thread. Thanks so much if you actually read all of this,

Cheers,
David
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Old 28-12-2013, 10:38   #2
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Have you had both boats surveyed? Nothing is "cruise ready" no matter what the vendor says. I would go with the newer boat and install the electronics. The older boat probably need everything updated. 20 years is a long time in boat electronics. 20 years is a long time as far as rigging goes. 20 years is not a long time for a well maintained diesel, why the new one?
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Old 28-12-2013, 10:48   #3
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Most likely the electronics' on the 94 is ready for replacement anyway. Chart plotters have come a long way since then and are a lot cheaper - go figure. If you lose your CP or your autopilot it's a big deal. I think most of us out here would tell you that a autopilot and or vane is the best friend you'll ever have and the most important piece of equipment. Radio's have also come along ways but not cheaper. Just saying.

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Old 28-12-2013, 11:38   #4
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

I'm with the lrc too, as long as it surveys well otherwise. better to add the things you want to add instead of what the po put on. you also might be able to get a better price because it has little or no electronics.

by the way, do they both have the same draft? less draft would be a consideration for me..
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Old 28-12-2013, 11:50   #5
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Don't just estimate but actually make a list with REAL prices for all the gear the newer boat will need. And if you can't do the installs yourself, double the gear price to cover the installs. I've always found it to be about double what most people Guess off the cuff rather than seeing what the stuff and all the supporting equipment actually costs.

After doing it both ways, and with the price being equal for the two boats, I would buy the one that needs the least amount of STUFF because buying all that new stuff costs a lot more than people think. It's not uncommon at all for people to buy a "DEAL" of a boat for $100K and then spend $50K getting her ready with all the gear. If I could get the preveious owner to buy that gear for me...well that is a win.

You don't need all new gear to go cruising...but you do NEED some money left in your kitty after buying the boat!
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Old 28-12-2013, 11:54   #6
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

LOL there is no such thing as a cruise ready boat....Not even when new. I've seen a few that had new electrical and plumbing or a new engine. But there is always work that needed to be done, or should be done.
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Old 28-12-2013, 12:17   #7
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post

The Caliber 40 is a '94, has electronics, and is cruise ready. She also has a brand new Yanmar (0 hours). The only thing I would add would be an arch and hard top bimini to support solar panels and wind generator.

The Caliber 40LRC is a '99, and is basically a blank slate. She has low engine hours, is a newer boat in great shape, but has no electronics whatsoever. This boat appeals to me more however because I feel as if it's the perfect canvas to do exactly what kind of electronic setup I want.
How old are the electronics on the 94'? If more that a few years they aren't really worth anything (doesn't mean they wouldn't work good and serve you well for years).

BTW - there are plenty of good fairly inexpensive electronics that will do just fine for 90+% of people.
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Old 28-12-2013, 13:49   #8
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

There have to be more differences between these two boats than just the electronics? Before declaring them otherwise equal, Id really take a hard look at their general level of maintenance and cleanliness, their other systems, the condition of their sails, canvas, and rigging, their spares and equipment inventories, etc. Replacing even a fraction of the other systems can be just as expensive as electronics and nowhere near as fun. The boat thats better maintained, cleaner, and has the fewest deferred maintenance issues wins in my book.

Id also not overlook the fact that the LRC has more than four times the fuel capacity of the non-LRC. You'll get a huge variation of opinion on what is the "right" amount of fuel to carry for any given passage, but if you come down on the side of wanting more, it's a lot easier and more elegant to deal with a boat built that way than to adapt one that was not.
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Old 28-12-2013, 21:12   #9
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Some more information:

The bare bones LRC is located in Maryland (I am in Florida) and I have not yet seen the vessel in person. From what I gauge from photos and descriptions, the boat is in very nice condition. Here is the boat:
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...s#.Ur-gF0ouezg

The Caliber here in Florida I just looked at today. Although she has a new engine, and somewhat new electronics, she does need some TLC. I was happy about the layout of the interior, as both the 40 and the LRC are identical hulls, same draft, same interior, etc. The interior was cozy and met all of my needs, however this certain vessel needs too much work to justify the cost. This makes me feel comfortable about planning a trip to Maryland to see the LRC. After thinking about my future plans considering trans-oceanic passages, tankage is a serious consideration and I think the LRC is a better buy in the long run.

Now I'm concerned about putting together a list of electronics and upgrades I would want for the outfit. Should I go to a marine store such as Westmarine, or start piecing together equipment online? I would like to ask people on this forum about such things, but should I start a new thread in the appropriate sub-forum? Thanks again for all your help,

David
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Old 28-12-2013, 21:32   #10
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

DDabs,

When figuring it electronics my advice is to generally stick with one company for everything, unless there is a definite reason not to. Despite all the manufacturers swearing they work with others, I always seem to have some compatability issue.

As for what you need... Whole different question.
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Old 28-12-2013, 21:46   #11
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but when talking about going off shore, you seem more concerned with electronics than the basic boat. You have not said a word about sails , rigging, ground tackle, safety equipment, yet you are talking about 20K$ worth of electronics for a proper off shore system. A properly lighted compass, a hand held GPS with backup, a VHF with AIS and a couple of handheld backups, and a reliable depth sounder will get you anywhere you want to go. Of course that means paper charts and the ability to use them. That might run 2K$ and the rest of the 20K$ is fluff that makes you not have to think, or makes you think you are safe with all of the gadgets and dodadds. I must admit that I love radar, and I pretty much retired my sextant when GPS became affordable, but to put your faith in following lines, or electronic charts that are like your grandkids computer games is never a substitute for basic knowledge. David, I am not writing this to sting you, but for all of the new cruisers who read CF and get nice easy things confused with basic necessitys. What happens when the electrons fail???? I think I am going to create a new medical term for cruisers. (ELECTRON DEPENDENCY SYNDROME). Maybe it will get into the new medical dictionary(I doubt it). I dont know anything about a Caliber 40, but I hope it takes you many, many miles. Good Luck. _____Grant.
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Old 28-12-2013, 21:56   #12
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

gjordan,

I completely understand what you're saying. I am fully confident on sailing this possible Caliber 40 back from Maryland with nothing more than the depth and wind gauge which are the only electronics installed and a loaned handheld GPS from a friend. As far as sails, rigging, etc., I am confident with the hardware installed on the Caliber. As long as the survey turns out to be positive, I should be able to get the boat back to Florida and start my outfit.

The reason I'm asking so much about electronics is because I haven't been around marine electronics for a long time, and if I'm going to be doing extended cruising, things like AIS, radar, GPS, etc., are all things I know I am going to WANT on my boat. Will I need them? Perhaps not, but this will be the only time I'm doing this, and I want everything done right.

Not everyone likes to rely on just a compass and hand held GPS. My father is getting into his late 60's and prefers to do things the easy way
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Old 29-12-2013, 00:30   #13
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Ddabs, I have to agree with Grant here! I'm in my mid 70's and prefer to do things the easy way... sort of! All those electronic geegaws are cute, and nice, and convenient to boot, but really a drain on the cruising budget.

GOOD sails, standing rigging, running rigging, ground tackle, engine/drive line and waterproofness are not cute, but are REALLY important. Just passing a survey does not mean that those items are up to the rigours of long term cruising.

I too think that you are barking up the wrong chandlery.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-12-2013, 00:42   #14
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but when talking about going off shore, you seem more concerned with electronics than the basic boat. You have not said a word about sails , rigging, ground tackle, safety equipment, yet you are talking about 20K$ worth of electronics for a proper off shore system. A properly lighted compass, a hand held GPS with backup, a VHF with AIS and a couple of handheld backups, and a reliable depth sounder will get you anywhere you want to go. Of course that means paper charts and the ability to use them. That might run 2K$ and the rest of the 20K$ is fluff that makes you not have to think, or makes you think you are safe with all of the gadgets and dodadds. I must admit that I love radar, and I pretty much retired my sextant when GPS became affordable, but to put your faith in following lines, or electronic charts that are like your grandkids computer games is never a substitute for basic knowledge. David, I am not writing this to sting you, but for all of the new cruisers who read CF and get nice easy things confused with basic necessitys. What happens when the electrons fail???? I think I am going to create a new medical term for cruisers. (ELECTRON DEPENDENCY SYNDROME). Maybe it will get into the new medical dictionary(I doubt it). I dont know anything about a Caliber 40, but I hope it takes you many, many miles. Good Luck. _____Grant.
+1 to the above - seem to recall a thread in here not so long ago from a guy who abandoned ship 'cos he ran out of power to run the electrics/electronics/motor - seems he didnt realise you can sail without power...
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Old 29-12-2013, 01:43   #15
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Let me just add one small detail...

Since the one carries so much more fuel (undrinkable at best); has her fuel carrying capacity affected either her stores capacity or her water tankage?

For me, the water tankage is EXTREMELY important, and I would depend on sailing, but not on dying of thirst, which may be over-stating the issue, but is where my thoughts are.

It is silly, IMO, if you are not a mechanic, to depend on fuel capacity to get you out of a difficult situation. Too often, clogged fuel filters interrupt motorized travel in sailboats. You must be able to sail the puppy! Our little engines are auxiliaries. Sails are our source of motive power. I've only been a sailor since about 1978, but my experience is that even in very little breeze, only enough to move the boat at less than one knot, you can move, and you bloody well cannot with clogged filters, clogged water intakes, ropes around the prop, and all the bad things that happen to people who depend on motoring alone. The reason for this rant is that I would not want you to think that perceived motoring ability might outweigh water storage resources for cruising, or even food storage...

Ann
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