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Old 26-07-2015, 12:43   #1
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pirate Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Cheers,

I found this place a week or so ago, and after reading a few hundred fascinating posts I'm quite happy that I've stumbled upon forum that is not filled with people irritatingly trolling and fighting, but actually seems to be about beginners as well as awesomely well-versed and knowledgeable people making intelligent conversation - kudos to you all!

I'm 42 and I've been sailing for more than 15 years (don't remember exactly how long). Some offshore competitions as a junior crew member (my first one was the Bergen-Shetland race in a strong gale, complete with scopoderm patches and groovy hallucinations ), but more often just archipelago cruising in Finland and a few longer offshore trips from Finland to Sweden and Denmark with my own boat.

I love the open sea. The tranquility and beauty of sky and clouds blending into water. The unchained rest from busy streets filled with busy people reading their busy calendars. Peace.

I also love to plan - maybe dream - ahead before I eventually make quite spontaneous decisions. I actually think that good decisions can come from stuffing my head with huge amounts of information, letting the subconscious dwell on this night and day, and then finally take the leap of faith spontaneously, instead of trying to be overly rational based on something that's maybe a bit incomplete.

Don't know, but it's worked (or maybe it hasn't?) this far.

So. Seeking advice for a suitable boat and happiness at sea, and here's where we at the moment:
  • We want to spend more time on water. Winters in Finland are cold and dark. Quite a lot of people use their vacation month (in Finland we generally have four weeks of summer vacation, many pick July) to sail and spend time in the archipelago. We thought of doing that and further extending July to June and August by actually living in the boat somewhere near our workplaces (essentially harbours in/near Helsinki).
  • A long term dream has been to cross the Atlantic. I thinking joining the ARC would be the smartest thing to do. Taking the boat down to the Canary Islands will take a couple vacation months (I guess), so maybe this would be a three year project once we have the new boat. ARC Portugal seems cool as well.
  • An even longer term dream has been to continue further West after the Atlantic crossing. My thinking at the moment is that this isn't very practical with just one month of summer vacation/year, so maybe in ten years or so, we will have the opportunity to take some time off work and a spend it elsewhere.

We're looking for a boat that:
  • We can comfortably live on with a family of two adults and two kids for a few months at a time.
  • Is structurally safe and seaworthy in whatever weather an ARC crossing can throw at us.
  • Can be sailed safely by a crew of two (healthy and relatively fit persons)
  • Is light, airy and comfortable to live in (no dark wooden caves)
  • Is suited for island hopping in the Caribbean
  • Is priced between 200k-500k eur.

At the moment we have our eyes set on Hanse 505 or 575 as the base alternatives, but we're very open to everything else. Discussion about STIX, righting moments and waterproof companionways and are incredibly interesting. Equally so aspects of sailing speed, comfort, sails and sail trimming. Practical issues regarding to boat size? Boat type? Cats?

Presently we're sailing a cruiserized IMX-38 and looking to buy the next boat within 1-3 years. Leaning towards a new one, but used might work as well.

I think we will have tons of questions as time goes by.

Please don't be afraid to offer advice that might hurt
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Old 26-07-2015, 15:12   #2
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

We've have and quite like the Beneteau Oceanis 38, just over a year old now. I know it's not any longer than your current boat, but it's open layout provides much more living area. Newly designed in 2014 it's a fantastic performer for a cruising boat and CE A-10 rated.

It's quite a bit shorter than a 50 but with a removable masters cabin partition is nearly as spacious as the 48. It will be at the lower end of your price range. With your budget, you would have plenty left for sails and customizations. You'll appreciate the smaller boat handling and lower slip fees if the boat meets your space requirements.

I'm 193cm tall and have standing height inside. We have three teens, two over 185cm and there's plenty of room for all of us.

It has only 1 head, but an optional separate shower and 3-cabin version works well for us. The shower could be trivially converted into a 2nd head if need be, but neither are adjacent to the master's cabin.

It's extremely easy to sail single-handed, with two people it's a piece of cake. I would order it with the self-tacking jib, the standard 105 Genoa, and a code-0 on a furler. With both the code-0 and Genoa out wing-on-wing there's no need for a downwind chute.

There's an active owners group here and on Facebook; around 120 have been built so far.

Give it a look even though it's smaller than what you're you're looking for.


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Old 27-07-2015, 10:02   #3
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Hard to know what's available in your area. With your budget I can imagine a lot of boats, but is the Hanse the style and/or displacement you are looking for? With big spade rudders and deep keels, I think most would advise against those for cruising, but of course there are people sailing them all over the place. My own taste is to avoid spade rudders because I crewed on a big fast boat where the spade rudder snapped off in the middle of the night far from friendly shores. Give us some more particulars on the boats you are looking at, I'd say.
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Old 27-07-2015, 11:05   #4
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
We've have and quite like the Beneteau Oceanis 38, just over a year old now.
Thanks again for this post. We're going to a boatshow in Norway in a bit over a month and as it happens they are showing one of those (as well as some bigger versions) there. Will surely take a look!
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Old 27-07-2015, 11:23   #5
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Hard to know what's available in your area. With your budget I can imagine a lot of boats, but is the Hanse the style and/or displacement you are looking for? With big spade rudders and deep keels, I think most would advise against those for cruising, but of course there are people sailing them all over the place. My own taste is to avoid spade rudders because I crewed on a big fast boat where the spade rudder snapped off in the middle of the night far from friendly shores. Give us some more particulars on the boats you are looking at, I'd say.
Yes. I understand the scope of the question is a bit wide.

I've sailed most of my miles with a Dehler 34 and now a couple of years with the IMX-38. These are both boats I've really liked to sail. The IMX is quick and nimble, has a great deck layout and feels good on the water in all kinds of weather (both outside and inside).

If I'd like to live on the boat, however, for three months a year or so, using it as some kind of a mobile summer cottage, I would choose the Hanse interior and layout hands down. It looks like a fresh and inviting Scandinavian apartment.

So a combination of these. Maybe a compromise that doesn't exist?
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Old 27-07-2015, 13:15   #6
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

I used to work in Finland at a place called Norpe Oy. Twice a week I would have to catch a little tiny plane to get me back and forward to Helsinki airport and used to enjoy flying along the coast line looking at all the islands and coves. From the air it looked like a great place to explore by boat and that was often where my imagination was for the duration of the journey.
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Old 27-07-2015, 14:45   #7
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Originally Posted by paulanthony View Post
I used to work in Finland at a place called Norpe Oy. Twice a week I would have to catch a little tiny plane to get me back and forward to Helsinki airport and used to enjoy flying along the coast line looking at all the islands and coves. From the air it looked like a great place to explore by boat and that was often where my imagination was for the duration of the journey.
It is! I think it's absolutely beautiful even though it's kind of the grass on my side of the fence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archipelago_Sea (cool pictures)

"The sea area between Sweden and Finland, the north Baltic Sea, is a collection of nearly 100.000 islands and skerries." (Chartering company, no affiliation)
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Old 27-07-2015, 22:03   #8
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by mglonnro View Post
Cheers,

I found this place a week or so ago, and after reading a few hundred fascinating posts I'm quite happy that I've stumbled upon forum that is not filled with people irritatingly trolling and fighting, but actually seems to be about beginners as well as awesomely well-versed and knowledgeable people making intelligent conversation - kudos to you all!

I'm 42 and I've been sailing for more than 15 years (don't remember exactly how long). Some offshore competitions as a junior crew member (my first one was the Bergen-Shetland race in a strong gale, complete with scopoderm patches and groovy hallucinations ), but more often just archipelago cruising in Finland and a few longer offshore trips from Finland to Sweden and Denmark with my own boat.

I love the open sea. The tranquility and beauty of sky and clouds blending into water. The unchained rest from busy streets filled with busy people reading their busy calendars. Peace.

I also love to plan - maybe dream - ahead before I eventually make quite spontaneous decisions. I actually think that good decisions can come from stuffing my head with huge amounts of information, letting the subconscious dwell on this night and day, and then finally take the leap of faith spontaneously, instead of trying to be overly rational based on something that's maybe a bit incomplete.

Don't know, but it's worked (or maybe it hasn't?) this far.

So. Seeking advice for a suitable boat and happiness at sea, and here's where we at the moment:
  • We want to spend more time on water. Winters in Finland are cold and dark. Quite a lot of people use their vacation month (in Finland we generally have four weeks of summer vacation, many pick July) to sail and spend time in the archipelago. We thought of doing that and further extending July to June and August by actually living in the boat somewhere near our workplaces (essentially harbours in/near Helsinki).
  • A long term dream has been to cross the Atlantic. I thinking joining the ARC would be the smartest thing to do. Taking the boat down to the Canary Islands will take a couple vacation months (I guess), so maybe this would be a three year project once we have the new boat. ARC Portugal seems cool as well.
  • An even longer term dream has been to continue further West after the Atlantic crossing. My thinking at the moment is that this isn't very practical with just one month of summer vacation/year, so maybe in ten years or so, we will have the opportunity to take some time off work and a spend it elsewhere.

We're looking for a boat that:
  • We can comfortably live on with a family of two adults and two kids for a few months at a time.
  • Is structurally safe and seaworthy in whatever weather an ARC crossing can throw at us.
  • Can be sailed safely by a crew of two (healthy and relatively fit persons)
  • Is light, airy and comfortable to live in (no dark wooden caves)
  • Is suited for island hopping in the Caribbean
  • Is priced between 200k-500k eur.

At the moment we have our eyes set on Hanse 505 or 575 as the base alternatives, but we're very open to everything else. Discussion about STIX, righting moments and waterproof companionways and are incredibly interesting. Equally so aspects of sailing speed, comfort, sails and sail trimming. Practical issues regarding to boat size? Boat type? Cats?

Presently we're sailing a cruiserized IMX-38 and looking to buy the next boat within 1-3 years. Leaning towards a new one, but used might work as well.

I think we will have tons of questions as time goes by.

Please don't be afraid to offer advice that might hurt
The first observation I have is that really you will be cruising the boat single-handed. While there may be 2 fit adults on board and kids that may or may not be able to contribute, your really need to be able to single-hand the boat in heavy weather as long a nothing significant breaks. In heavy weather if you need to call up the off-watch per at all they are not getting the rest they need in order to handle their watch without help. Fatigue leads to poor judgement just at the time you need your best judgement. Overall this argues for a boat that is modest in size or that is specirically designed for shorthanded cruising. The only boats I can think of in that catagory are Sundeers (which can currently be had for $350K-500K).

Second, not wanting to live in a cave is what we all want. Big wide open areas are great for living in but not so great for passagemaking. When you have 3 or even 2 steps to take between handholds in heavy weather though this becomes a safety issue. While passagemaking will only be 10-20% of your time, it seems to me that safety during that period is more important than aesthetics and convenience at anchor or in a marina.

Third, speed is all for the better but, until your boat gets into the 60' range you are not going to be able to outrun weather, and even then you will still occassionally get caught. Consequently it seems to me that sacrificing build weight and the strength it implies for lightness and speed is a risky trade off. For a good discussion of this read: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/200mile.pdf.


I would think that you would have no problem with a Hanse in the Caribbean. Sailing it there from Europe would be a mild risk but not terrible. Going beyond the Caribbean into the Pacific though would be starting to push your luck.

As a memeber of a family that intends to sail from the US to New Zealand and back I feel some kinship to your plan. I think it would be very good for your children.

Good Luck.
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Old 28-07-2015, 02:18   #9
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Thank you, Adelie, for your kind comments! I notice I will have to try my best to avoid being defensive and starting a "is Hanse blue water capable" discussion , but anyhow, here are my reflections:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
The first observation I have is that really you will be cruising the boat single-handed. While there may be 2 fit adults on board and kids that may or may not be able to contribute, your really need to be able to single-hand the boat in heavy weather as long a nothing significant breaks. In heavy weather if you need to call up the off-watch per at all they are not getting the rest they need in order to handle their watch without help. Fatigue leads to poor judgement just at the time you need your best judgement. Overall this argues for a boat that is modest in size or that is specirically designed for shorthanded cruising. The only boats I can think of in that catagory are Sundeers (which can currently be had for $350K-500K).
Yes, a very important point. The Sundeers seem like magnificent boats from what I could find online. From a practical standpoint, it might take a lot of effort to travel around the world to see the few ones that are currently on the market.

The Hanses are advertised as easy for short-handed cruising. I assume this might be so at least in fair conditions, but it would be interesting to hear to real life experiences of Hanses in not so good conditions. I guess reefing the main shouldn't be too much of a hassle (anyone here with a 3rd reef btw?), but changing a heavy headsail probably is.

Quote:
Second, not wanting to live in a cave is what we all want.
Sorry, I realize my comment wasn't very well thought out

Quote:
Big wide open areas are great for living in but not so great for passagemaking. When you have 3 or even 2 steps to take between handholds in heavy weather though this becomes a safety issue. While passagemaking will only be 10-20% of your time, it seems to me that safety during that period is more important than aesthetics and convenience at anchor or in a marina.
Yes. I have yet to step inside a Hanse to get a feel for how hard/unsafe it would be to move around it in heavy weather. The IMX has nice sea births. Hanse's large double bed with space on the sides doesn't seem well suited for blue water sleeping.

Quote:
Third, speed is all for the better but, until your boat gets into the 60' range you are not going to be able to outrun weather, and even then you will still occassionally get caught. Consequently it seems to me that sacrificing build weight and the strength it implies for lightness and speed is a risky trade off. For a good discussion of this read: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/200mile.pdf.
Yes. Counting on being able to outrun weather (all the time) seems like a bad idea. More speed will give more flexibility in planning to avoid it, though.

The construction strength issue is critical. Since I'm not a construction engineer/scientist (and maybe will not ever become one?), I'm quite interested in facts/scientific information relating to the strength and durability of different hull constructions subjected to heavy conditions. I guess I could ask Hanse for the scientific reasoning why their yachts are up to par (or better than) competitor A, and the same question to competitor A regarding Hanse, but... it would be nice to find some freshly compiled and rather more objective literature. How about incident reports? Are there any large databases of sailing incident reports that could be used for statistical analysis?

Quote:
I would think that you would have no problem with a Hanse in the Caribbean. Sailing it there from Europe would be a mild risk but not terrible. Going beyond the Caribbean into the Pacific though would be starting to push your luck.
Nods.

Quote:
As a memeber of a family that intends to sail from the US to New Zealand and back I feel some kinship to your plan. I think it would be very good for your children.

Good Luck.
Thanks again for your kind reponse. Kind wishes and the best of luck to your plan as well!
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Old 28-07-2015, 06:17   #10
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by mglonnro View Post
  • Is suited for island hopping in the Caribbean
  • Is priced between 200k-500k eur.

At the moment we have our eyes set on Hanse 505 or 575 as the base alternatives, but we're very open ...
Good efternoon, mglonnro!

With that budget please stop thinking of mass production boats. There are much better alternatives to Hansa, etc ...

Cordially,
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:10   #11
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

Maybe a cat. A lagoon 400 or FP. Pick one up new in France for around 300K, export it within 6 months so no vat payable. Take a look at the Atlantic odyssey as a good alternative to the arc.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:58   #12
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Good efternoon, mglonnro!

With that budget please stop thinking of mass production boats. There are much better alternatives to Hansa, etc ...

Cordially,
Steamer
What alternatives to production boats would you suggest?


Richard
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Old 28-07-2015, 17:55   #13
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Originally Posted by mglonnro View Post

  • We can comfortably live on with a family of two adults and two kids for a few months at a time.
  • Is structurally safe and seaworthy in whatever weather an ARC crossing can throw at us.
  • Can be sailed safely by a crew of two (healthy and relatively fit persons)
  • Is light, airy and comfortable to live in (no dark wooden caves)
  • Is suited for island hopping in the Caribbean
  • Is priced between 200k-500k eur.
Have you considered a Nauticat?
A new Nauticat 37 should fit your budget, is easily manageable by a couple, and will serve you equally well in both Baltic and Caribbean seas. Cross the Atlantic too. It may be a little too small for a family of four, but when something breaks up, you will be glad it is not a 50-footer. Or you can go for a slightly used "42."
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Old 28-07-2015, 18:46   #14
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Please don't be afraid to offer advice that might hurt
Welcome. I always think that it is good to plan well in advance, and you are obviously putting much thought into your plan. I'm sure you'll find the vessel to meet your needs, as money does not appear to be an obstacle.

With that aside, and not that it is any of my business, you lightly touched on the topic of your spouse and children. Is everyone "gung-ho!" for the plan? The confines of a "small house on the water" can get old quickly, especially for children ... and sometimes wives. Regardless, I hope you've had the fireplace chat, or five.

My priorities in a live-aboard sailing vessel? Water, food, fuel capacity, Internet access (for business), laundry, storage, reliability, back-up systems, and ease of sailing single-handed. Not to mention, "SPACE"! My wife and I are currently eying mono-hull vessels 58-64 feet in length.

Good luck, and fair winds!
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Old 30-07-2015, 03:36   #15
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Re: Seeking Advice for Suitable Boat and Happiness at Sea

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Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
With that aside, and not that it is any of my business, you lightly touched on the topic of your spouse and children. Is everyone "gung-ho!" for the plan? The confines of a "small house on the water" can get old quickly, especially for children ... and sometimes wives. Regardless, I hope you've had the fireplace chat, or five.
Yes, I hear you. I think planning is good and necessary, as well as fun, rewarding and exciting, but I try to make things easier by being very open to changing everything if so needed. Nothing wrong in having a new 10 year plan next year as long as we all are mostly "gung-ho!" about it, and yes, get to actually implement some of the plans once in a while .

Quote:
My priorities in a live-aboard sailing vessel? Water, food, fuel capacity, Internet access (for business), laundry, storage, reliability, back-up systems, and ease of sailing single-handed. Not to mention, "SPACE"! My wife and I are currently eying mono-hull vessels 58-64 feet in length.

Good luck, and fair winds!
Cool and thank you! I'm a bit curious. Can you send a link to one of the vessels you are interested in?
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