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Old 02-12-2012, 19:25   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Townsville
Boat: Wright 10
Posts: 16
Steping up .... on the EC of Australia

My wife and I are looking to step up to a larger cruising yacht sometime this year. We both have pretty solid small boat experience (22-25ft), +15yrs sailing experience and are very used to sailing short handed together.

We're located in the tropical north east of Australia with the Whitsundays, Keppels, and Palm Island groups all within 2h - 3 days sailing range. Our plan at this stage is to spent 3-4 years coastal cruising (from where we live) and build towards longer trips of 200-600nm, with overnight passages and of several weeks duration etc. Following this the dream is to join the Louisidaes rally (Louisiades - Yacht Rally Papua New Guinea) get some bluewater experience and eventually get confident/knowledgeable enough to do such passages as Bunderberg to New Cal / Port Villa and more Sth Pac Island cruising on our own etc.

The yacht we're after is cruiser on the faster side of life (eg Farr 1020, 1104, 11.6, Wright 10 etc), I can't deny my KIWI history. My preference is something around 32-34ft, simply due to practicalities of two person handling, maintenance and of course the marina side of things. But how much different is 32ft vs 38ft, eg Farr 1020 vs 11.6? A 32-34ft vessel looks manageable yet a 36-38ft seems twice the size.

We're really interested on getting opinions/experiences of other couples as to the 'sweet-spot' with regards to cruising length.

Thanks all
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Old 02-12-2012, 20:42   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Australia
Boat: Franz Maas 37
Posts: 237
Re: Steping up .... on the EC of Australia

My experience is that there is little difference in the practical handling of a 34' to a 38' vessel of the same style. The Farrs and, of a similar ilk, Adams are fairly narrow, pretty slippery and easily handled. Where big differences are obvious, is when looking at say a Farr style 34 and a Catalina style 38. One is a nimble, race bred boat with fewer marina style comforts, the other is a little fatty which in comparisson likes to go sideways on a beam reach, but which is like a little apartment on the water.

If you are looking at the very capable offshore Farr style of boat, the difference between a 34 and a 38 is the difference, on land, between a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Camry. More room, more comfort, more power, greater stability, but just as easily moved from one place to another with no increase in crew numbers.

However, the difference in the cost of maintenance between the 34 and 38 does not represent truly, the mere 10% difference in length, width, height and therefore volume.

This is a guess, but nonetheless a guess based on experience. The maintenance costs will be at least 40% more. Sails, rigging, winches, other deck hardware, the engine and all systems are appreciably larger and therefore require more material cost when servicing or replacing. The wetted area is bigger, and the boat goes faster, requiring more antifouling pain(t). Chain and anchoring costs, as well as cost of cordage is significantly higher; and, the booze cupboard is bigger.....

If the Farr is the style you want, go the biggy..or get a great deal on an Adams 40 (excellent boats which go like buggery and are unaccountably much less expensive than the equivalent Farr).

As they say in the 'Q-E' classics.....'Choice'!
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Old 03-12-2012, 17:34   #3
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Location: Sydney
Boat: Beneteau 461
Posts: 19
Re: Steping up .... on the EC of Australia


I have sent you a PM

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