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Old 27-01-2015, 14:11   #16
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

As previously posted the difference between 35' & 50' is huge. You need to decide what the smallest boat you can live with is & look for the best quality & condition boat of that size you can find. 35 to 40' is certainly big enough to go off shore & would be comfortable for 2 people. Going with the smallest boat that will suit your needs makes a lot of sense. Easier to handle & cheaper to maintain. You can probably find a good quality boat like a Cabo Rico, Pacific Seacraft, Island Packet, to name just a few, in that price range but they may be older boats and/or need some work. You could find a newer Beneteau, Catalina or Hunter because they start out a little less expensive. You need to read everything you can & look at a lot of boats. It's boat show season so go to as many as possible. Look at every local boat for sale you can. The more you look at the more you'll get an idea of what you like. I found taking pictures to be a huge help. After a while a lot of boats can run together so take lots of pics so you can keep track of them.
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Old 27-01-2015, 14:12   #17
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Have a look at one of these if you can, proven, cheap and well made S&S 34 Association | Welcome to the Sparkman and Stephens 34 Site
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Old 27-01-2015, 19:55   #18
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Yes, 35ft to 50ft is quite a range. You need to answer this question. Do you want a floating condo or a sailboat capable of sailing the worlds oceans.
When I asked myself the same question, it always came back to the number 42. After I found my 42, I heard a quote from the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "The answer to the question of life, the universe and everything is 42". Interesting that 42 is about halfway between 35 and 50.
Absolutely, more important than size is seaworthiness. Always in the back of my mind is another quote. "Mother Nature, in whose lap we sit and who nurtures us, sometimes eats her young. Enjoy your search.
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Old 27-01-2015, 22:12   #19
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

FWIW, I'd think a $100k 50 footer would not be a very good boat. The boat we left the US in, in 1986, was 36 ft., and was 9 yrs old when we bought her: we paid $64,000. Decent sails, new engine. I do not think the OP will find a good 50 footer in his price range.

Something else to consider is what age will the OP be at retirement? If he is expecting to leave soon after retirement, he is going to need the best, and probably it will be the smallest, he and his partner, if any, can tolerate.

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Old 28-01-2015, 02:09   #20
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Under 100k, you will be very hard pressed to find anything in the 50' range that is not in need of major repairs. Is it possible to? Sure. Look long and hard enough and you can find a steal anywhere. Just don't bank on it. However, cut that down to 44' or less, and you can find a huge number of boats in your price range that are ready to go with few repairs or mods needed. At that point, it all comes down to taste. Do you prefer something traditional like a Tayana 37, Tayana 42 or Kelly Peterson 44? Or something more modern like a Bene (or any of the other builders)? Good luck with your search!

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Old 28-01-2015, 06:27   #21
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Another factor to be cognizant of is that the overall length (LOA) is not always the best way to measure the size of a boat. Waterline length (LWL) & displacement are arguably better way to measuring size.
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Old 28-01-2015, 06:32   #22
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

From personal experience of looking for an offshore sturdy boat on a very tight budget I did not come up with many potential candidates in 35-38ft range that did not need substantial refits or repairs at under $50K. Because that is a realistic upper limit of your purchase price if your total budget will be $100K as you will need that much to refit and have some $ leftover for the immediate cruising kitty. I did find a very well built although somewhat neglected (but not too bad) early 80s 36footer of higher than average initial quality, Mariner 36 (NH). Have not refitted it fully for cruising yet, but it will be well under $100K incl. the initial purchase price when all is said and done, more like under $60K. Although only 84 were made here are a few for sale at under $50K and some under $25-30K and the boats being that old most sellers, being long time owners, are very ready to negotiate so that there is a chance you can walk away with one at $15-20K, a steal for such a boat, assuming it's not a wreck. Good luck!
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Old 28-01-2015, 06:40   #23
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

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Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Another factor to be cognizant of is that the overall length (LOA) is not always the best way to measure the size of a boat. Waterline length (LWL) & displacement are arguably better way to measuring size.
Funny that you mention it. I was rereading one of Hereshof's (Jr?) books recently and that's how he describes ALL boats he talks about - LWLs only, saying somewhere that the trend to describe the boat by it's deck's length is deceptive and should not be used for anything as it does not accurately reflect boats abilities, capacities, etc. I think Slocum was saying the same thing. Basically LOA is a marketing gimmick that stuck.
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Old 28-01-2015, 07:09   #24
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Just to clear up a few points. The wide size range is simply because I do not know exactly what I do want yet. Ideally the plan would be the Caribbean for the first year or so and then off to the south pacific. Those big boats are beautiful inside and look so comfortable but I know the smaller ones would be less maintenance and less work to handle. I understand size comes at a price both up front and down the road but still, I might or might not be able to handle it.
I plan to cast off when I am 56 and so far I am in very good condition (for my age, if only I could have done this 25 years ago ). We have looked at some boats to get ideas on what we like and what we don't. Still, we are just starting this and I have little knowledge on just where to go. I am ordering some of the already mentioned books so I am sure that will help. I am sure I will know even more after the first 6 months of tramping around the Caribbean but I want to get it as close to right from the beginning as I can.
Thanks again everyone, please keep up the suggestions and advice. I have some reading to do including all that I can on this forum.
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Old 28-01-2015, 08:16   #25
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

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Funny that you mention it. I was rereading one of Hereshof's (Jr?) books recently and that's how he describes ALL boats he talks about - LWLs only, saying somewhere that the trend to describe the boat by it's deck's length is deceptive and should not be used for anything as it does not accurately reflect boats abilities, capacities, etc. I think Slocum was saying the same thing. Basically LOA is a marketing gimmick that stuck.
As quoted from Slocum's Book Sailing Alone Around the World, "Smooth-water sailors say, "Where is her overhang?" They never crossed the Gulf Stream in a nor'easter, and they do not know what is best in all weathers. For your life, build no fantail overhang on a craft going off shore."

So no overhang aft. Got it? Good
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Old 28-01-2015, 09:35   #26
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

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As quoted from Slocum's Book Sailing Alone Around the World, "Smooth-water sailors say, "Where is her overhang?" They never crossed the Gulf Stream in a nor'easter, and they do not know what is best in all weathers. For your life, build no fantail overhang on a craft going off shore."

So no overhang aft. Got it? Good
Slocum knew perfectly well that an overhang means lost bouyancy.
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Old 28-01-2015, 09:41   #27
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Overhangs are the product of stupid racing rules.
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Old 28-01-2015, 17:34   #28
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

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Overhangs are the product of stupid racing rules.
But they look so pretty! Lol.

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Old 28-01-2015, 18:15   #29
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

If you're interested in reading, I highly recommend Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook. Tons of information about picking out a boat.
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Old 28-01-2015, 18:17   #30
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Re: Suggested 35'-50' for extended voyages.

Absolutely, some of the prettiest boats ever. J Class is probably the ultimate example. Amazing boats. I actually saw a couple of them sailing up in Newport several years ago. I also saw one of the races in Newport in '83 when Connor lost the America's Cup to the Aussies with the first winged keel. It's a shame what the race has become. If I had my way they'd go back to racing wooden schooners.
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