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Old 02-08-2009, 04:42   #1
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Purchasing a Blue-Water-Capable Sailboat - Advice?

I may be in a different situation than most prospective live aboard sailors. My occupation bounces me in and out of the country at year stints. I am sick of throwing money into rentals and do not want to get tied down to a house again. I grew up racing sailboats of all types. I maintain an unlimited tonnage Coast Guard license. Other than some one-design racing a year ago I have been landlocked for quite awhile, due to my career.
Soon my family and I will be moving to the Bay Area of California. At first I was planning to purchase a race boat for the weekend sailing fix. My wife said that she would not be able to crew due to the attention required by our infant son. I know if they are not included I will never get an opportunity on the water. This led me to think about a cruising boat.
A cruising boat has always been a desire of mine for later in life. Traveling is one of my greatest joys of life. I have visited or lived in 44 countries (not always under ideal circumstances). My plan has always been to circumnavigate upon retirement.
Soon I will be living on the West Coast for a year before again going abroad. It is ridiculous to purchase a high priced house in Monterey for a year. Again I do not want to flush my money away in rent. I am considering purchasing a boat for my family and me to live aboard during that period of time. I think it will be a good primer to a later circumnavigation. Anyone can put up with anything for a year. Military members are doing it in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti… right now.
Other than cell phones and insurance I have no financial constraints going into this idea. I do not want to get wrapped into a vessel over my head financially. When all is said and done I would like to be under 100K. I enjoy working on houses, cars, boats… but I do not want to invest time in something unseaworthy. Likely all maintenance/improvement will be done by me. I have built a house, restored cars, done plenty of boat repairs, and even apprenticed in a sail loft. One of my priorities is to be sailing from the date of purchase though.
The reason I am writing this Thread is I know nothing about heavy displacement sailboats. I am not a total neophyte as I do know about naval architecture, seamanship, navigation… What I am lacking is knowledge about actual blue water cruising boat brands, models, capacities…
My initial thought was to looks for something in the 35-42 foot range. I need something that my wife would be able to stand a solo watch on confidently. At the same time I do not want her to feel claustrophobic down below. I would also like to have at least one enclosed stateroom for privacy.
I appreciate any and all advice you are willing to provide.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:33   #2
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I think you'll find a lot here already. You probably need to get a better picture of costs and prices. There is buying a boat and that can cover a wide range many that would be suitable to your price range may not be so suitable for long term cruising. There is where you keep it and you are already in an expensive neighborhood for marinas. There is the up keep and taking a used boat from old boat status to boat ready to cruise status at the same time you are living on it. It's all posible but the issues of time and money swirl around leaving a fair amount of unknowns unless you do more planning.

We have a lot of material here to go over to see what isues you have to solve and how best to handle them.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:14   #3
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I have been reading these threads for a few days. Most postings are certainly informative but contradictory to others. It seems like I gather a good idea and then it is shot down by someone else’s input.
With race boats it is pretty cut and dry; if it is faster than the other boat (comparatively) and finishes the race intact it is better. There is so much subject to personal opinion in cruising boats.
While scanning the web it looks like most of the “blue water” boats named in the threads are found only on the east coast. It looks like the west coast brokers are filled with boats that people speak ill of on this website. Am I off on this? Certainly no offense is intended by this statement. I am just trying to sort this out.
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