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Old 12-09-2009, 11:22   #1
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Planning a Three-Year Circumnav

Hi folks,

having read through a gazillion posts on this and other forums, I would like to take the liberty to open up a new thread.

We; wife, toddler and myself, are planning to depart summer 2011 on a circumnav. We will originate from Northern Europe, taking the traditional route down to the Canaries, joining the ARC to St Lucia in November and then continue towards Australia etc.

The main issue for us right now is the selection of a boat.
We have previously sailed an old 27-fot Albin Vega, and a brand new 39-fot Jeanneau.

I would appreciate the comments from forum members currently in process of their circumnav, or having recently completed one.
Our idea is to purchase our vessel in spring 2010 and use the remeinder of 2010 to refit as needed.

Some linear constraints:
We would like to have a fairly new boat, year model 2002 and newer.
We are agnostics in terms of cc vs. aft cockpit; production boats vs "hand-made", sloop vs ketch.
We would like to focus on 48-60 fot vessels.
Boat will be singlehull.

I would very much like to hear from owners of newer "production boats" in terms of their experience with upgrades needed, faults corrected and other weaknesses needed to be addressed in order to make the boat fully circumnav proficient.

I realize and appreciate that these type of questions pop up all the time, and that is why I try to be quite specific in what our goals are.

Hoping to get a nice discussion going to help me and my family out in reaching our goal of selecting a safe and nice boat for our circumnav dream.

All the best

/Shoe
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:30   #2
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Couple things to think about when purchasing.. we had gone through the idea of buying a newer boat and setting it up with our needs.. what we did was figured our "Lump Sum" of what we wanted to spend.. for us it was around 300 to 350k which gave us a pretty good range of thought..
After looking at a few boats at the shows, we found we would be paying for items we would never use and getting things we had no use for..
Went from there to looking at boats that had the potential to do what we wanted and still work within our budget.. when the retro-fit was added in..
I came out of a racing background so a performance cruiser was what we were looking for.. something to haul ass underway and still have the comforts for the wife and I at anchor..
The layout was our next priority.. large living area with room to streach your feet out.. and a berth that would be comfortable for years of use.. We dicided on a "pulman" berth..
The wife wanted a dedicated cooking area and I felt the same way about a navigation station, didnt want to share the areas with other parts of the boat for use..
4 or 5 boats fit our needs for the lay-out we we were looking for with the ability to modify as the years went on..
with the avalable funds, we were able to pick and chose within the budget..
We didnt settle for anything, we chose it all.. what we bought was a race proven
"Thoroughbred" from the mid 80's. A Beneteau FIRST42.. Now this was 10 years ago so the boat had almost 20 on her for years but we were able to find a prestine "Owners Version" with very little use on her for around 85k..
The first retro-fit was around 75k bringing all mechanical and rigging including sails into "New Condition". This included all electronics, dodger, and Bimini...
The next "fit" was about 60K when we installed the solar, wind-charger, refrigeration,watermaker and and new galley for the wife..
We've been on our boat for 7 years now, and its performed better than we could have ever expected..
Doing what we did, and how we did it is not for everyone but we did know what we wanted for the future, the funds were there, and re-cooping the money spent was not a concern as we had no thoughts of selling the boat.. we figured we would have to live out the time to re-gain what we put into her..
What we did get was exactly what we wanted, and for less price that we had planned..
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:43   #3
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Thanks Randy for you input.
I can see the benefit of chosing a proven vessel and doing the retro-fit.
Unfortunately, I am not able to spend the time needed to manage a retro-fit.

You raise an important question that I left out of the original post; budget.

I have USD 700k available for boat purchase and any additions needed to make the boat fully operational for the circumnav.

/Shoe
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe View Post

Some linear constraints:
We would like to have a fairly new boat, year model 2002 and newer.
We are agnostics in terms of cc vs. aft cockpit; production boats vs "hand-made", sloop vs ketch.
We would like to focus on 48-60 fot vessels.
Boat will be singlehull.

I would very much like to hear from owners of newer "production boats" in terms of their experience with upgrades needed, faults corrected and other weaknesses needed to be addressed in order to make the boat fully circumnav proficient.
If your plan is a 3 year RTW and then sell the boat, I would focus on the 'better brands' (HR, Swan, Oyster, Amel etc) as that will give you more reliable resale value. I think the most satisfied owners we know who have gone RTM in your situation (quick trip with production model +48') have had HR's and Amels.

It depends on the deal/condition boat by boat, but given your general circomstance I would focus on the boats 3-5 years old. Younger than that you will pay a 'near new' price premium that is usually not really justified and older than that and you start to get into 'rebuilding age' and may have wires and hose and pumps to replace. Our experience is its important to buy a production boat that was built during an economic upswing when the yard was going well financially, than during a downswing when the yard was cutting corners.

I would focus on the 48-53 size. Bigger that and you start to have a boat that is more difficult to maintain and handle without crew, and which is more difficult/expensive in marinas and haul-outs. I think there is generally a 'death zone' in the 55'-65' range where the boat needs crew but is not big enough to house them.

In terms of modifications, there are large books written on this but . . You want to make sure the autopilot(s) are bulletproof, and you need good seabunks (with lee cloths/bunk boards) for everyone. You will be living more at anchor so need a robust anchoring system (anchor and windles) and a robust battery bank/charging system. You will probably want offshore sat communication (iridium or fleet broadband depending on how much you want to spend) for weather and family.

We have been RTW twice and there are quite a few thought on our website (below)
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:51   #5
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Est,
You bring up something I had completely forgot about when we bought ours and that was how many people it takes to handle the boat.. Because it was just the wife and I , I felt that i couldnt handle anything larger than a 42 foot by myslf.. And we didnt want to be in the position where we HAD to have others on the boat when we traveled.. For Us, the 42 was the right size.
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Old 13-09-2009, 12:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
If your plan is a 3 year RTW and then sell the boat, I would focus on the 'better brands' (HR, Swan, Oyster, Amel etc) as that will give you more reliable resale value. I think the most satisfied owners we know who have gone RTM in your situation (quick trip with production model +48') have had HR's and Amels.
The Amel Super Maramu is definitely an option. The newer HRs might be just a tad too pricey.


Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
an economic upswing when the yard was going well financially, than during a downswing when the yard was cutting corners.
Interesting point! I suppose a 2005-2007 Amel would have been built during an upswing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I would focus on the 48-53 size. Bigger that and you start to have a boat that is more difficult to maintain and handle without crew, and which is more difficult/expensive in marinas and haul-outs. I think there is generally a 'death zone' in the 55'-65' range where the boat needs crew but is not big enough to house them.
I agree. 55+ is getting too big to handle for us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
In terms of modifications, there are large books written on this but . . You want to make sure the autopilot(s) are bulletproof, and you need good seabunks (with lee cloths/bunk boards) for everyone. You will be living more at anchor so need a robust anchoring system (anchor and windles) and a robust battery bank/charging system. You will probably want offshore sat communication (iridium or fleet broadband depending on how much you want to spend) for weather and family.
Thank you for the specifics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
We have been RTW twice and there are quite a few thought on our website (below)
I read through a large part of your website. A great source of information!
As a result, I have spent the better part of the weekend looking into Aluminum monohulls such as the Atlantic, Koopmans, Alubat Ovni, and Allures.
Although quite an investment, the safety factor is really appealing to me.

Are there any reasons why I should not pursue the Aluminum-track?

/Shoe
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Old 13-09-2009, 12:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe View Post

Are there any reasons why I should not pursue the Aluminum-track?

/Shoe
I obviously like aluminum but fiberglass is a perfectly acceptable material and there are ALOT more fiberglass boats out there and you are much more likely to find a good deal on a fiberglass boat. So, I would put aluminum on the plus list but certainly not rule out fiberglass.

One trick for what you are doing is finding a really good and tough surveyor, not for knocking down the price (though he will help for that) but to get a good list of what needs to be done to the boat. You need a surveyor who has spent enough time at sea so his recommendation list is not just the regulation/requirement sort of stuff but included the practical at-sea needs. A good practical survey report will give you a big jump on the refit.

If you have a big pile of money you can just buy my boat and I will build another
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Old 13-09-2009, 13:54   #8
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If you have a big pile of money you can just buy my boat and I will build another
Do you have a ballpark figure regarding the hull construction cost of your boat, and maybe also an idea of how that would translate if I would build a 50-fot?

/Shoe
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Old 13-09-2009, 15:40   #9
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Hi,

Done it 2003 - 2007 from Sweden, via Panama, RSA. Allegro 27 (sort of like Albin), no kids.

Q: Our idea is to purchase our vessel in spring 2010 and use the remeinder of 2010 to refit as needed.
A: Can be done, but get a sound and well maintained one.

Q: We would like to have a fairly new boat, year model 2002 and newer.
A: Like why? Insurance issues? Re-sale value?

Q: cc vs. aft cockpit
A: ac unless boat longer than 35 then both can be good so just follow your hearts,

Q: production boats vs "hand-made",
A: production,

Q: sloop vs ketch,
A: sloop if you want to go the easy way - (Europe-Panama-Aus),

Q: We would like to focus on 48-60 fot vessels.
A: Good on you mates - big boat nice boat, just do not go nuts and buy something you cannot manage when the **** hits the fan,

Q: Boat will be singlehull.
A: ??? What wrong with a cat?

Hugs,
b.
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Old 14-09-2009, 00:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
Do you have a ballpark figure regarding the hull construction cost of your boat, and maybe also an idea of how that would translate if I would build a 50-fot?

/Shoe
I would strongly recommend you not get onto the new built track. First, it will take twice as long and twice as much money as anyone will tell you. And second, you probably don't yet have the experience to make a custom build worthwhile. Don't go with with a new build unless you happen to want to build a boat (rather than go sailing).

The costs for a new build (47-50' would not make much difference) vary all over the map depending on how the owner wants to do it. At one end of the spectrum, if you go to a conventional yard our boat would cost about $.75m-1m. If the owner wants to directly hire/manage subcontractors you can cut that 30-50%. If the owner wants to do work himself you can cut it much further. We had our hull welded in a shed in Florida and then did the fit out ourselves.
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Old 14-09-2009, 02:01   #11
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With $700k I would be buying a new production boat, beneteau 50, 54 or even the new 58 fully optioned, fully your own and fully luxurious...

Stuff buying someone elses on super maramu

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Old 14-09-2009, 05:33   #12
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We had our hull welded in a shed in Florida and then did the fit out ourselves.
Florida, I see. I was under the impression you had it done in Netherlands, but I see now that it was the drawings that came from there.

I have some contacts who do boat interior fittings, but I realize that there is much more to it than that.

Alright, let's forget about building. I will buy a production vessel.

I am pretty confident it will be an Aluminum hull. Used or new? Depends on delivery times from the yards I guess.
Fall/winter is the time for boat shows in Northern Europe. Time to start looking around.
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Old 14-09-2009, 05:40   #13
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With $700k I would be buying a new production boat, beneteau 50, 54 or even the new 58 fully optioned, fully your own and fully luxurious...

Stuff buying someone elses on super maramu

Mark
I had a Jeanneau 39ds, brand new. If the larger production boats from Jen/Ben are anything like the 39, I would not like to go on any longer trips with them. It will be too much hassle changing almost all the hoses, screws, black water tanks, windows, you name it. But from a liveaboard perspective, I would pick the Jeanneau 54DS and park it in Miami Beach' Sunset Harbor Marina.
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Old 14-09-2009, 06:40   #14
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I am pretty confident it will be an Aluminum hull. Used or new? Depends on delivery times from the yards I guess.
In the size you are looking at, my current favorite is this Dijkstra design built by K&M:

Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects

K&M Yachtbuilders
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Old 14-09-2009, 08:57   #15
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On Page 147 of the electric latitude 38 Latitude 38 eBooks - September 2009 there is an article about a couple who did a 3 year circumnavigation on a benteau 473. It is worth a read.
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