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Old 16-02-2014, 23:56   #46
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

I would also factor in even as a handy man depending on the vessel you'll end up with some jobs that do require more than one head. I base this opinion on serveral decades of living aboard and cruising. I'm pretty mechanically inclined and creative myself but hit walls and need to pull out the check book.

Although I absolutely love the HC33 and owned a HC48 I would recommend for your first cruising boat to be something as low maintenance as possible. Keeping up with the wood work alone (teak decks or not) can easily interfere with your time to take care of other general maintenance unless the significant other has similar skills.

Although it can be ascetically pleasing all the wood work has to be a labor of love to make it worth it. If you lose funds or time to keep up, all that wood becomes very ugly really fast.

As for living aboard. sleeping arrangements can be a challenge with a significant other but it's a fraction of the battle.

I've lived on boats with different significant others from 30ft to 62ft. My Ideal size for two people now is between 37 and 45ft. with your budget I would up your size to at least 37. That's not to say you can't live on something smaller. But if you truly plan to live aboard long term (more than 5 - 10 years) I'd up the size.

Storage will be key if you have to spend sometime in a port doing some land job for a while. Plus when you're not moving those walls can close in quick.

Also in port while those long bowsprits are fun and pretty they add to your LOA when paying for a slip. I'm used to living of the hook for the most part but I've taken 40 hour a week consulting jobs when I'm not diving where the tender and the suit don't mix. When I was living aboard active duty in the Navy when whites were the uniform of the season the slip I remained.

When liveaboard relationship is in trying periods and yes you'll have them despite the romantic life. Hitting the local marina can give some sense of relief or sense or normalcy for a season.

If you're planning to get a boat and move aboard to do a 5 year cruise then matriculate back to normal society I'd stick with your plan.

If you plan to make this a way of life for many years I'd at least go to 37ft. Although there are many blogs of long term cruisers doing it on smallish boats. They are the minority in the real world. Over my lifetime I've met and lost many cruising friends/couples that did a few years than made the jump back to land living. There is nothing wrong with this nor does it make them cruising failures but many times the minimalistic lifestyle wears off for one or the other or both.
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Old 17-02-2014, 01:41   #47
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

My policy for any boat i have bought over the years is "which one I can sell again when the time comes" . That is first and foremost! Everything after that is a series of "oh well, I can put up with that" and "it would be better if". But I am sure my personal policy has saved me a lot of money and frustration over the years. Boats that are heavily over-customed or somewhat different to their peers can sometimes be very difficult to sell. Not that any of this helps with berths vs galleys other than its something to keep in mind
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:15   #48
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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Originally Posted by satdiver View Post
I would also factor in even as a handy man depending on the vessel you'll end up with some jobs that do require more than one head.....
You make some good points!
1. "Handy Man" - I do realize I'm not going to be able to do it all myself nor would it make sense sometimes, for sanity sake My statement was more to point out I'm willing to do work and save a few bucks if and when I can.

2. "Wood Work" - I love the way the HC33, Baba 35, Rafiki 35 look but I probably would never buy one with a teak-deck, which is rare. I've heard the stories of what lies beneath these old teak decks and its not pretty, and like you said "Its a labor of love" and I simply would rather be spending my time out and about then lacquering some dull wood.

3. "Size" - My wife and myself live in a tiny apartment and we both can see where we can still downsize. I'm quite certain 35-37 would be more than enough space. My biggest concern in this department is maintenance & slip fees. If we were to get a bigger boat would it stop the dream of getting out there?

4. "Land Work" - What comes to mind here is putting on a white collar work clothes and keeping them clean on a boat might be a nightmare, is this true?

5. "Bowsprit" - They do look good but I agree. I could see where the price would start to add up for having a three foot stick, but would the added sail area make up for it on a heavy laden boat; probably not, eh? I guess if you have the option avoid.

6. "5 year cruise" - I believe it will be more of a "5 year cruise" that I hope turns into a way of life however currently its too soon to tell. If we were just going to go thur the Caribbean I would probably buy a Southerly 100 32.

7. "Bigger Is Better" - I will think about the increase in size, but as I said before I'm more concern the price of living will make it so we never leave the dock.
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:25   #49
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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My policy for any boat i have bought over the years is "which one I can sell again when the time comes" . That is first and foremost! Everything after that is a series of "oh well, I can put up with that" and "it would be better if". But I am sure my personal policy has saved me a lot of money and frustration over the years. Boats that are heavily over-customed or somewhat different to their peers can sometimes be very difficult to sell. Not that any of this helps with berths vs galleys other than its something to keep in mind
For a first time owner these words couldn't be more true. I would hate to buy something I could never sell once I found out it wasn't the boat for us, which one always try to avoid but one never knows. This discussion really all happened when we went a boat show last month in St. Pete. Boat Shows are the (I do enjoy them but...) they show your wife all these huge and open boats that would cost hundreds of thousands to own and are simply impractical for anything other then coastal sails. She really liked the Beneteau Oceanis 38 for its open v-berth.
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Old 18-02-2014, 11:29   #50
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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Originally Posted by blueyama View Post
I knew about the Alajuela 38, but I never knew about the Alajuela 33. They don't look like they make it to market much. Are they fair priced?
They do seem a bit rare but they are out there. The one I looked at a few years ago was in Oregon. It needed A LOT of cosmetic work but the guy was selling it for $20k.

Here's one for sale for $65k:
Home

As regards bigger vs smaller: I'm 30yo and think my boat is a great fit for a young couple (not that I could argue that long-term Still looking for the woman). But it's a wonderfully quality boat, has everything you need, a shallow draft, and didn't require me to go in debt. I'm also fully self-insured with personal savings. But I'm also very much in the "tiny house movement", and I'm young. If you think you wife will be happier with something bigger, than you definitely know better than I But don't get the biggest boat you can afford. Get the smallest one that makes sense for you guys.

I was on a 37' for a few years before buying my own boat. The 37' was nice but the boat I own now is cheaper and better quality, and is still comfortable for 2-3 people.

Just two cents from some dude on the internet
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Old 18-02-2014, 11:47   #51
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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For a first time owner these words couldn't be more true. I would hate to buy something I could never sell once I found out it wasn't the boat for us, which one always try to avoid but one never knows. This discussion really all happened when we went a boat show last month in St. Pete. Boat Shows are the (I do enjoy them but...) they show your wife all these huge and open boats that would cost hundreds of thousands to own and are simply impractical for anything other then coastal sails. She really liked the Beneteau Oceanis 38 for its open v-berth.
Some might take exception to characterizing a Beneteau Oceanis 38 as "simply impractical for anything other then coastal sails".

I think your biggest problem is trying to find the "home run" boat on the first shot. From what I remember of your previous posts, you don't have much time on the water yet. You might be better served to just get something, like a Hunter or Catalina in 30-foot range, and sailing it and living on it for a while. Things that seem important for you now will most likely entirely change after you spend some time on boats. What might seem like an inconvenience of a v-birth might be fine later because you decide that you would rather modify your salon to have a big open birth while at anchor. Or you might decide that the idea of spending a month in the boat sailing between ports is not for you. You might want to change your plans to where you are sailing only a day or two in between ports. In that case the quality of the birth as a sea birth might not mean as much.

My recommendation would be to find a live aboard marina. Find a boat for under $20K and do some learning. Learn to sail. Learn to spend time at anchor. Learn to maintain. Learn what you might actually want on your boat.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 18-02-2014, 12:28   #52
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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1. Overall? buying the boat is going to be a mixed bag of Cash and Loan, wherever the sweet spot is. The search is just getting started, we do however plan on moving on to said boat this year. I plan on finding a boat for say $45k and probably haggle down to somewhere in the high thirties (e.g. 38k). I have a bit set aside for outfitting and fixing up. I'll do most the work myself ( I'm a bit of a handy-man). To get her seaworthy for the Caribbean I'd say we are going to spend around 40% of the cost of the boat, so $15-20k. So my theoretical price is somewhere around 50-60k for the boat said and done to get her to the Carribean.

2. I've always heard the age old saying 10-25% for a maintenance... I'm new to the game but I plan on buying a fairly small boat in today's terms, probably around 30-35ft give or take a few feet. I'm hoping keep our cost down by going small.

3. The big plan is to become live-aboards, then go sailing offshore to wherever the wind takes us. Realistically, we plan on sailing through the Caribbean to start. After we get our feet wet we'll probably do some more outfitting once we have a better understanding of what the boat is lacking.
I just reread some of your previous posts on this thread and say this one. If you are planning to have a mortgage on the boat when you head out, don't forget to budget insurance. When I looked at this last year it would be in the area of $2,000-3,000 for insurance that would cover the Caribbean from a US based insurance company. You could get an off-shore plan cheaper but our mortgage requires a US based insurance company. That settled it for us. No mortgage when we go. We re-tightened the belt and came up with a new budget for getting rid of the mortgage and leaving debt free. It will mean a little less money in the kitty but it will end up meaning more time out cruising and it will be easier to make up our plan as we go.

Another thing I saw from your previous posts is your statements about fin keels. Personally I think you are getting caught up in the "prevailing wisdom" rather than the science of it. Find a full keel boat today. A lot of the traditional full keel boats have switched over to fin keels. Hell look at Oysters, considered one of the pinnacles of ocean crossing boats, fin keels. Many sailors have crossed oceans on fin keels, including Zack Sunderland (17 when he finished his circumnavigation), Abby Sunderland (16 when her boat was dismasted during storms, still a float), Mike Perham (16 when he circumnavigated), all young sailors in fin keels. Small fin keels have done Northern Atlantic crossing, sailed to the Fiji Islands from the west coast. I would suggest you do some reading on initial stability vs. overall stability, hydrodynamics of boat design and computer aided boat design. Many of those ideas from "prevailing wisdom" come from anecdotes and from times prior to computer aided boat design. Fin keels do not make a fatal flaw, even for inexperienced skippers. Many times abandoned boats are found floating perfectly fine after the storm. It was the crew that couldn't take the rough weather, not the boat.

Fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 18-02-2014, 12:33   #53
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

Can't believe I forgot to mention this. A great resource that is fun to read and I think would help a lot is the book Buy, Outfit, and Sail: How to Inexpensively and Safely Buy, Outfit and Sail a Small Vessel Around the World by Cap'n Fatty Goodlander. Excellent book that could be a big help to you as you weigh your options.

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Old 18-02-2014, 12:57   #54
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

For the Carribean, probably more inportant than fin or full keel is the strength of construction, especially for the rudder. Of course, by buying some sort of full-ish keel you get rid of the rudder concern as well as the bolt on keel concern for an old boat.
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Old 18-02-2014, 12:58   #55
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
Personally I think you are getting caught up in the "prevailing wisdom" rather than the science of it....
I would suggest you do some reading on initial stability vs. overall stability, hydrodynamics of boat design and computer aided boat design. Many of those ideas from "prevailing wisdom" come from anecdotes and from times prior to computer aided boat design. Fin keels do not make a fatal flaw, even for inexperienced skippers. Many times abandoned boats are found floating perfectly fine after the storm. It was the crew that couldn't take the rough weather, not the boat.
A couple of notes.
There's no boat nor any single design parameter being perfect for everybody. Every design is set of compromises, which should meet the given requirements as closely as possible. Stating the requirements is the most important decision to make before desingning or purchasing the boat.
Computer aided boat design has nothing to do with this. every self respecting boat designer is able to draw as good boats without a computer. Computer just makes some of the calculations on the fly and spares the room of draftsboard among some other things, BUT computer doesn't make a better boat.
BR Teddy
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:31   #56
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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A couple of notes.
There's no boat nor any single design parameter being perfect for everybody. Every design is set of compromises, which should meet the given requirements as closely as possible. Stating the requirements is the most important decision to make before desingning or purchasing the boat.
I don't disagree with this at all and I hope nothing I posted would lead the OP to think that. But how do you define the "given requirements" if you lack significant knowledge or experience? That was my point. Get a boat and get some experience. Then you can define the given requirements.

Quote:
Computer aided boat design has nothing to do with this. every self respecting boat designer is able to draw as good boats without a computer. Computer just makes some of the calculations on the fly and spares the room of draftsboard among some other things, BUT computer doesn't make a better boat.
BR Teddy
Computer aided design isn't just about drawing the boat. It allows for the modeling of forces acting on the hull and rigging, the estimating of material strength requirements, the modeling of the hydrodynamic properties of the hull without hand carving models that are then tank tested. It makes for a better understanding of the compromises you eluded to in your post. Resulting in, IMHO, a better boat because it takes better advantage of the construction materials used and uses modern concepts of hydrodynamics to shape the hull.

I am not saying this can't happen without computers but it takes far more time and energy. I have been to Gary Mulls' shop in Rhode Island, the man was a genius and the number of hulls he carved to tank test is staggering. Every time he wanted to tweak a design it was back to the drawing board, then to work bench to carve and then to the tank to test. It was weeks long to see how a change performed. Now it takes minutes.

That is why I think looking at advancements since computer aided design has come into use is important before you deem a particular aspect of a boat "unseaworthy". You can say that about keels, rudders, anchors, etc.
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:44   #57
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

I'd recommend aiming for a "right now" boat.

Get it now, get some experience, and sell it in a couple of years if you want something else.

That's likely what you'll do no matter what boat you get, so why get one that needs a lot of ongoing maintenance, that will also be difficult to sell in three years?

Get a popular model that's in decent shape. Think cash instead of loans. Think affordability.
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Old 18-02-2014, 13:50   #58
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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A couple of notes.

Computer aided boat design has nothing to do with this. every self respecting boat designer is able to draw as good boats without a computer. Computer just makes some of the calculations on the fly and spares the room of draftsboard among some other things, BUT computer doesn't make a better boat.
BR Teddy
That sounds good, but I don't think that it's true. You can certainly design it, test it, and change it faster on a computer.

I'm sure any boat designer could draw the basic boat on a napkin, but there are some advantages of CAD which no current boat company is going to ignore.
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Old 18-02-2014, 14:26   #59
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

Anwers blue..
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
I don't disagree with this at all and I hope nothing I posted would lead the OP to think that. But how do you define the "given requirements" if you lack significant knowledge or experience? That was my point. Get a boat and get some experience. Then you can define the given requirements.

Requirements needing no experience like crew size, strength of crew, sailing area and weather, price tag etc. Being inexperienced sailor gives a requirement for easy forgiving handling..


Computer aided design isn't just about drawing the boat. It allows for the modeling of forces acting on the hull and rigging, the estimating of material strength requirements, the modeling of the hydrodynamic properties of the hull without hand carving models that are then tank tested. It makes for a better understanding of the compromises you eluded to in your post. Resulting in, IMHO, a better boat because it takes better advantage of the construction materials used and uses modern concepts of hydrodynamics to shape the hull.

There are ISO standards (among others) for strength requirements for recreational boats. Computer modeling for hydrodynamic properties is based ob standard models to get any accuracy, dreams. Tank testing normal recreational boats never happens with sufficient accuracy..

I am not saying this can't happen without computers but it takes far more time and energy. I have been to Gary Mulls' shop in Rhode Island, the man was a genius and the number of hulls he carved to tank test is staggering. Every time he wanted to tweak a design it was back to the drawing board, then to work bench to carve and then to the tank to test. It was weeks long to see how a change performed. Now it takes minutes.

True, it saves time (and money) but doesn't make accurate performance estimates.

That is why I think looking at advancements since computer aided design has come into use is important before you deem a particular aspect of a boat "unseaworthy". You can say that about keels, rudders, anchors, etc.
BR Teddy
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Old 19-02-2014, 10:08   #60
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

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Some might take exception to characterizing a Beneteau Oceanis 38 as "simply impractical for anything other then coastal sails".

I think your biggest problem is trying to find the "home run" boat on the first shot. From what I remember of your previous posts, you don't have much time on the water yet. You might be better served to just get something, like a Hunter or Catalina in 30-foot range, and sailing it and living on it for a while. Things that seem important for you now will most likely entirely change after you spend some time on boats. What might seem like an inconvenience of a v-birth might be fine later because you decide that you would rather modify your salon to have a big open birth while at anchor. Or you might decide that the idea of spending a month in the boat sailing between ports is not for you. You might want to change your plans to where you are sailing only a day or two in between ports. In that case the quality of the birth as a sea birth might not mean as much.

My recommendation would be to find a live aboard marina. Find a boat for under $20K and do some learning. Learn to sail. Learn to spend time at anchor. Learn to maintain. Learn what you might actually want on your boat.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
People have rowed across the ocean in things many times smaller than a Beneteau Oceanis 38, so no doubt its capable of making an ocean voyage.

My wisdom is not my own. I wouldn't trust me either but I have read many a book from John Vigor's Offshore sailboat, The Voyager's Handbook by Beth Leonard 100,000 nautical miles, mahina.com John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal together they have 584,000 miles of international sailing, even James Baldwin of atomvoyages.com has a modified full keel on his boat, Larry & Lin Pardey have a full keel. These people have been there and know what makes a good offshore boat, more then many of us here. If I had to bank my families safety on someone I would choose a collective of the most experience persons. This boat doesn't really fall into the guidelines they suggest.

I couldn't sleep comfortably knowing if we went aground with a bulb-fin keel shown in the picture, its going to do some damage. Perhaps, if it was at an angle like valiant 40 and wasn't in the shape of a spike. If you ran aground with that thing it would be like an anchor digging in. The boat is very beam-y which could mean if it ever capsized it might not right itself anytime soon. Its flatter hull generally means pounding against waves. Many a cockpit will be pooped at one time or another, larger cockpits equals more water aboard & down below. The prop is unprotected... That being said would I take one offshore "Yes" but would I buy one for going offshore? It wouldn't be my first choice, for one I couldn't afford $200,000 price tag.



On another note, This article might be of interest to you if you ever want to do any modifications to your boat for going further offshore (its a catalina 320 probably very similar to your own boat):
Atom Voyages - Delivering a Catalina 320 to the Virgin Islands
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