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Old 30-09-2011, 10:23   #1
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Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

Hi all,

I am trying to begin the search for my first cruising vessel, with which I hope to do a pacific crossing. I must note: this voyage is AT LEAST 2 years down the road. I am young, I have time, and I am a cautious person. I currently own an Annapolis 25 which I bought mostly out of pity. I am in the process of refurbishing it and plan to sell it as soon as I can.

Once I sell it (or even if I don't), I need to choose a vessel for the longer trip. My priorities:

Under 35' -- I know this is small, but while I will have my 2 siblings on the crossing, when it is done they will likely not be joining me for whatever's next. I like the idea of a 27-32' hull and want the absolute minimum length for a safe crossing. We will be travelling minimally and lightly

Diesel engine- prefer one that is easier to work on, as my strengths are more in fiberglass, woodworking and sail repair

Fiberglass hull-- I completely love those old Hinterhoeller 28s, think they are wonderful and am considering that as an option if it werent for the fact that I have to squeeze 3 people aboard

Would prefer a monohull to a cat, as I have more experience with the former-- never sailed a cat larger than a hobie 16

About my siblings-- they have less sailing experience than i, but we are all good carpenters etc. We are also very close and accustomed to living right on top of each other. However, I am the "captain" so I will be the one really training for this.

We do not have a lot of money. I understand that to go to sea safely, one cannot say "cheap is my goal." If cheap were my only goal, I would live out of my car until I died. But this is not our way out of the world or retirement, it is our postgrad, every-penny-towards-the-boat plan.

I am well versed in sailing, fiberglass repair, sail maintenance, rigging and tuning, boat carpentry, hull maintenance (for fiberglass hulls) and am in the process of learning electrical systems & diesel engines as I restore the Annapolis 25. Sailed and raced dinghies and keelboats for a few years

I am less worried about navigational/supplies/chart plotting at the moment not because it is not of paramount importance but because I have a LONG way to go before I am at that stage of planning and right now I need to know what kind of hull I am looking for so that I can GET it and then the real work can begin. Also not worried about a specific listing (living in AL at the moment) because I will probably not buy the boat until next spring and I dont want to rush in. Plus, I am in a position to retrieve a boat from anywhere along the eastern seaboard, potentially even up to New england. definitely retrieval from annapolis/chesapeake area would be possible, I just moved from annapolis and have tons of resources in the area, So I am seeking advice on what to look for.

Speed is WAY less important than safety to me. I am wary about such a small boat and since I will only have a year or so to train myself and my crew, I like the idea of a boat that can sail well in some weather.

For the record, I LOVE the annapolis 25, but it cant hook up to shore power, has a beam of only 6'3", and was built in 1969. But I mean, I didn't expect much when I bought it for a grand and found out that the cockpit drain to the water had no seacock and was leaking into the bilge. Haha it is just so very not seaworthy but its a great knockabout and the size is perfect for singlehanding. But I put a 2.6hp outboard on it for chrissake and it has no head or decent storage.

anyway, all help/advice would be appreciated on choice of a new home
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Old 30-09-2011, 10:38   #2
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

If your primary goal is a Pacific crossing, why not expand your search to the west coat, including Mexico. Many good deals under 35 feet.
Also, why fuss with an engine? Just another thing to go bad and you need space for the powerplant and fuel that could easily be put to good storgae space.
Spend time not only learning but understanding navigation. No need for state of the art electronics. Learn to use a sextant, charts, reduction tables and have a little hand held GPS as a back up.
Good fortune in your adventure... Capt Phil
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Old 30-09-2011, 10:43   #3
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

sorry, btw-- fine with sleeping in v-berth, also by "cheap" I mean "under 30k if possible"-- I'm not figuring 12k is gonna get me to new zealand...

also thanks Capt Phil I love your encouragement! Planning on becoming well versed in navigation, no question. I suppose I figured I'd need a motor in case of emergency when I am near land-- in the open ocean I dont plan to use it. Any thoughts on that? I am a pretty skilled at navigating but my greatest fear is drifting into another boat or rocks in a calm.
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:05   #4
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

I'd second Phil's comment on expanding your range to Mexico. I had some friends who bought a Tayana 37 with a ton of cruising gear for $40k in La Paz. They just left Bora Bora this week.
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:19   #5
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

Boats and ships sailed without engines for thousands of years, don't think you absolutely have to have one. It is a sailboat for God's sake! Learn how to sail in all conditions, including light airs, Force 9, learn how to heave to, jerry rig your sail plan, bringing a sailboat into and out of a slip and an anchor under sail. These are basic sailing skills if you plan on venturing offshore.
It is fun to learn and sets you apart from the weekend warriors... Capt Phil
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:31   #6
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

Round the world teenager nearly drifted onto a coral reef in a calm, no engine fuel, expecting the worst when the wind got up a little. Take at least 24hrs fuel, but an outboard will do, and suit the tender to, 'specially an inflatable 'lifeboat' type.
Rig a short mast and sail to give the lifeboat a chance to choose left a bit or right a bit. The outboard is just to make a landfall if you see any land, or before big boat actually sinks.
Bonus of a Cat is that it will probably float even if damaged by whale/container/weather.
It will also hold it's price better. 37ft is really about the minimum for trans-ocean. You will see BAD weather. The Cat will survive if you do the right things, your chances are a little lower with dehydration causing hallucinations and irrational fears. Mid ocean is not the place to have crew go berserk! Search 'Queens Birthday Storm' on this site and assess your boat requirements again.
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:43   #7
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

You made my point, Eleven... what good was the engine without fuel? Either cat or mono is an acceptable platform IMO... each has its good and bad points. Mono's are cheaper to buy which is a consideration of the OP's. With wind and skill you can go anywhere and avoid most major hazards... it is an adventure! Capt Phil
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:44   #8
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

Point taken. I shouldn't be so down on multihulls-- I suppose I have just seen one too many Dr. Crash photos of those lightweight racing cats flipped sideways or pitchpoling. gives me the shivers

I admit though, I am pretty determined to keep boat size down. Currently looking at a Pearson 32, is that really unreasonably small?
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Old 30-09-2011, 12:50   #9
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

A light weight racing cat pushed to the limit, and a cruising cat are two different creatures.

You don't have to use an engine, but it could be the difference in getting in safely, and sitting outside for days, or even being thrown on the rocks. Nothing wrong with knowing how to sail your vessel any time, and anywhere, but some times Mother Nature will trash your plans. The wind has a tendency to die at inappropriate times........i2f
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Old 30-09-2011, 14:00   #10
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Re: Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

someone chme in with the name of that book that escapes me right now, 20 great cruisers for under $20k or somehting like that.
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Old 30-09-2011, 14:26   #11
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Re: Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

I think a Cape Dory 30 is perfect for you. I will even sell you one with a nearly new Diesel for a price well within your budget
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Old 30-09-2011, 14:44   #12
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Re: Pacific Crossing- Need to pick a hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
... You don't have to use an engine, but it could be the difference in getting in safely, and sitting outside for days, or even being thrown on the rocks. Nothing wrong with knowing how to sail your vessel any time, and anywhere, but some times Mother Nature will trash your plans. The wind has a tendency to die at inappropriate times........i2f
Or be right on the nose. I crossed the Pacific with another fellow in a 31' cutter without a working engine and can tell you:
a) that was about as small a living space as I would ever care to deal with, but it sailed just fine
b) there were a number of reef openings into long-awaited islands that were narrow and DIRECTLY UPWIND (pardon my shouting), making them all but impossible to sail in to.
Small boats cross oceans and engines can be very useful...

Michael
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Old 30-09-2011, 16:21   #13
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Re: Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

Welcome to the forum sashaB
Sounds like you have a good plan, and a well considered approach this far out.

A few suggestions that might be food for thought and a little out of left field compared with most thinking here.

If you haven't found it yet, read the Cruising on $500 per Month thread. There is a heap of stuff there that could be useful, and if you're a speed reader you may just get through it by the time you're ready to leave in 2 years...

Also, with your repair and maintenance abilities you could do what Zeehag, another member here is doing and get a CT41/Formosa41 type boat. She picked hers up for $10,000, and that was before the gfc. Space, comfort, heavy displacement etc, but being a 30ish year old boat, working on it as you go becomes a lifestyle.
She loves her boat to the point of obsession and will probably post on here sometime. Her website is S/K Solitary Bird | The official site of the Sailing Ketch

If you are considering cats, have a look at James Wharram Designs -Home of the self-build Catamaran.
Many great voyages have been done very cheaply on his cats, and some have been very well built... others, well, buyer beware

Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:14   #14
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Re: Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
someone chme in with the name of that book that escapes me right now, 20 great cruisers for under $20k or somehting like that.
Thanks so much! I think you mean John Vigor's "20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere"? Also, my copy of This Old Boat came in over the weekend so I am having a lot of fun looking at it.

Thanks for the offer RainDog but sadly I have to get this Annapolis 25 off my hands before I can afford another boat. That does sound perfect though, I may check and see if you still have it next summer (though for your sake, if youre trying to sell, I hope you don't)
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:25   #15
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Re: Pacific Crossing - Need to Pick a Hull

Westsail 32. Not too fast, but safe and strong
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