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Old 08-08-2012, 02:40   #1
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Production Boat Offshore - Summary ?

Hi everyone! My 1st post here but I have been an avid reader and parasitic information sponge for some time... Thank you all for your generous sharing of extensive and sometimes dearly bought knowledge!

In the hope of (a) giving a little back and (b) in the hope of a critique of my choices I am now posting...

My wife and I decided some time ago to sell up and go cruising. We both have some limited sailing experience. Our plan is to sail from the UK early 2013 down to the Med for a season and then hopefully with some more experience join the ARC 2013 and begin an open ended circumnavigation.

My biggest decision has been boat choice and I have chewed over it for ever. I have finally decided on a 42 to 46 ft proddy boat. Probably a Beneteau Oceanis 46. My reasons thus.....

1. Cost! Having around 150,000 GBP to play with will buy me a very clean, well cared for nearly new proddy boat we can almost climb aboard and sail. As much as I am not a mechanical nincompoop, I do not have the specific skill set, time or inclination to buy a 10 yr old+ custom boat and update, renew, refresh the systems aboard. I could if needed go considerably higher with my purchase budget... BUT - This would probably shorten our cruising schedule and as much as I appreciate the difference in depreciation rates between proddy and custom craft, as I see it my absolute maximum loss is 150,000 whereas should I buy a boat costing twice this, the write off could equally be greater.
2. Comfort. Although we plan some blue water crossings 95% of our time will be coastal. The space and comfort offered by modern proddy boats wins hands down in this part of its use.
3. Offshore use. Should we be planning off season crossings or high / low lattitude sailing I would choose differently. Because we, like 95% of leisure cruisers, will have the choice of when to cruise and where, we sincerely hope to avoid survival type weather. I judge that a well found proddy boat with competant crew should be seaworthy enough to take care of us where we are heading.
4. Speed. In conjunction with the above, one of the safest ways I know of to avoid heavy weather is to be somewhere else. Anyone who knocks the performance and "sailability" of modern boats has obviously never been on one...
5. Style... This is of course entirely subjective but I love the clean sleek style of the modern proddy boats. I have to say that I think the modern Bavarias have gone too far but the Benes, especially the 2006 - 2010 models really "float my boat".... This matters! You all know what I mean here.

Of course, I also recognise the compromises this decision means. The main one in my view is a slightly less comfortable motion in heavier seas than a custom boat. Additionally, less tankage is an issue but not insurmountable. I see the storage space issue as irrelevant as the size of boat I am looking at will have room and to spare for the two of us. If there are any issues with rigging, chain plates, anchor systems etc that need beefing up I will need to address these but I do not forsee this as a likely issue for our use. If I feel otherwise once we have some miles under our belt I will address this prior to ARC.

I personally feel that hitting a dock wall / container / rocky lee shore in anything other than a Royal Navy frigate is going to result in significant damage to any craft. This is a factor of competance of the crew and a blessing from the "lady"... If I felt I could not avoid at least 2 of those 3 by seamanship I would go back to the estuary and sail a dingy.

I hope someone will bother to read all this... Please critiqe as you see fit! I sure dont know every damn thing!!! Thats about all I am sure of !

Again, many thanks for the enjoyable threads that have kept me glued!

Mark
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:24   #2
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Hi Mark, and welcome with your first post.

I just bought a Jeanneau 40.3 Sun Fast which is going to be our circumnavigator. And I bought this boat for much the same reasons as you are expounding.

1- The Sun fast has a mast in Keel - makes for a much stronger boat if you get caught in heavy weather.
2- Most times it will be my wife and I and a 40-45 foot boat is probably the biggest size we can safely handle
3 - comfort, comfort comfort we like comfort
4 affordable - ours is from 2006, so well cared for it is as new and cost us 115 euros.
5- we plan on mounting a targa bar and other goodies which will add about 70k euros. but will then have solar, wind, wind rudder, water maker etc etc
6 it will be our home for at least 4 years probably more. It has enough space and is easy enough to sail that we won't end up "going dead" in it
7 we just had it out in heavy gale conditions - 40-45 knot winds, 3 meter waves and she performed like a champ - no issues at all.
8- Being a production boat - spare parts are available the world round - yes I am aware that you might have to wait a long time for a part to arrive - but on a custom boat you can wait forever.

go for it
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:33   #3
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

There's a few ex-naval ratings that have found frigates are made of ally, and bend rather artistically.
For a look at a wide range of boats and no obligation pop into Why Thornham? : Thornham Marina and Multihullworld.com in thornham marina.
There is a better range of boats there than in most boat shows. All staff very helpful.
Don't rule out Cats until the wifes seen one.
Saw a 37ft Prout recently for 70k. Serious cruiser, serious live aboard, and change to get things right. Like a motorhome compared to a caravan.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:39   #4
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Thanks Carsten, Unlike my wife, I find the moderate blows very exciting! I am lucky that she is as keen on sailing as I am but she probably has more sense than me!
One of my pre-requisits is a bow thruster! As well as sailing I have owned an inshore motorcruiser and that bow thruster sure makes tight marinas less stressful! It always seems to be Sam ( wife ) who is leaping from the bow with a rope and a prayer :-)
I wish you joy of your Sun Fast! I bet its an exciting boat in 40 knots!!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:46   #5
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Thanks Eleven, Will have a look. We are off to Gibraltar for 3 week charter in Sep but should be back in time to catch the last day of Southampton boat show... Does anyone else suffer from "Shiney Syndrome"? I have bought many a motorbike in the past just because it was so shiney :-) I struggle like hell at boat shows...
Maybe I am part Magpie?
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:48   #6
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Mark

I has a bow thruster, whihc I have never had before. Those that don't have bow thrusters say "If you know how to sail - you don't need one" and those who have them say "It's a god send!"

Having now done both - It good to know how to land the boat without one and great to have one, because it make landing easier.

My wife and I split the skipper/crew duties so half the time it is me making the "death leap" Having to do that make you appreciate why a good skipper should be able to lay the boat right alongside the pier and the crew just step off without having to risk life and limb.

Vinni (wife) is a good skipper and with both of us doing both jobs we understand the nature of the beast. If you are going serious cruising, I'd advise you to get Sam started on the skipper role. It will help you both.

Yeah the ride at 40+ knots was quite a thrill. WE followed up the next day by sailing out into 30-35 knots winds. Both days we averaged over 9 nautical miles per hour of distance - which is really flying. 37 naut. miles the first day and 49 naut. miles the second
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:56   #7
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

I agree completely that joint skippering is vital. In truth it never really worked that way inland but that will have to change at sea! Besides the safety considerations, and I do not underestimate those, lets not forget that it really is very good fun!
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:57   #8
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Making the lady take the leap?
You really rely on her getting you home with a broken leg. She has to be more capable than you.
And I do know how it hurts to let someone else con your boat. Best to keep quiet, or just call out the distances ( or arms held apart ).
Single handers prefer to take bouys off the stern, just need the lines laying out in time.
Stepping off on a lee pontoon is fairly safe, but not when the boat is drifting off. ALWAYS leave one competent person on board.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:14   #9
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Carsten is right. It has to be shared. And in truth doing it together is part of the experience! One of the reasons for the Gib trip is we are both doing our RYA coastal skipper cert together. I see it very much as "our" adventure.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:28   #10
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thames 4 Blood View Post
I hope someone will bother to read all this... Please critiqe as you see fit! I sure dont know every damn thing!!! Thats about all I am sure of !
Made sense to me! Hopefully the "you will die if sailing a production boat" people will not start up on you.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:38   #11
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mark & Sam.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:38   #12
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Vinni is a Yachtmaster offshore (studying for her Yachtmaster Ocean) and I am a Yachtmaster Ocean.

Sailing is a hell of a lot more fun if you both do it (and less tiring - you try standing the watch for 3 days straight). Besides cruising is a lifestyle and therefore you both need to buy into it completely - which means learning how to do it.

And just to give you some idea of how dedicated Vinni is - last winter she took her motor mates exam (I also have it). Not that she gives a damn about fixing motors, she prefers to leave all that up to me but she refuses to to be in a position where she is unable to do if the need arises.

But we do have duties which are pretty much firm. I fix engines - she goes up the mast. I cook and make drinks - she does most of the cleaning. Until she gets her Yachtmaster Ocean I'm the one who gets to use the sextant.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:49   #13
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

It sounds like you've already made up you mind regarding the type of vessel. I would encourage you to also look at the Jeanneau line which have a few upgraded features and are considered more of an ocean going vessel. Keel stepped mast, heavier rigging and more rugged construction techniques etc.

One other feature you don't want to miss out on will be hull shape which will give you a more kindly sea motion especially if you plan to anchor out most of the time. Jeanneau offers this over Beneteau. I'm talking about the sickening motion that gets started by swells while anchored in a relatively flat bottom wide body vessel... the side to side movement of the boat which seems to launch everything that's not tied down to the other side of your interior. You should be able to find a very nice well-equipped Jeanneau in your price range in today's economy.... especially here in Europe.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:06   #14
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

I aspire to take my Yachtmasters in time but at the moment I feel I get more from the courses I take if I have the relevant experience on a practical level 1st... Im not sure if this is contrary? I guess its about getting the maximum value from the course.

Thanks Kenomac for the thoughts Re Jeanneau / Beneteau! My mind is in no way made up and I appreciate any educated advice! I particularly like the Jeanneau 439! I did not know there was a discernable difference between these two brands but that would make a real difference!
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:20   #15
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Re: Production Boat Offshore - Summary?

Your plans are good, I would treat the Biscay as serious water, or serious delays, if the weather shakes out like this spring/summer.
There is the canal system, a great holiday and a chance to learn the living aboard.
And a few months in the Med. It's an ocean, probably with more shoreline that some oceans, and a wide range of adventures from walking up greek hills to see what's there, to catching octupi and pretty and edible fish snorkling. I'd reckoned on a couple or three years at least before heading out into the blue yonder.
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