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Old 29-03-2013, 22:34   #1
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The perfect cruising boat

Everyone has an opinion on the "perfect boat" and many would most likely be right! For my part, I bought a used Valiant 40 in the late 80's and have never looked back. I singlehanded the boat as far as Rarotonga (Cook Islands) and there met the love of my life and so the single days are over. I think the Valiant was what she liked more than me!
The boat has been awesome. I have now lived aboard for almost 24 years. The older Valiants do have there drawbacks (fire retardant resins used) but you can get them cheap. We did the hull fix-up for the fire-retardant goop Uniflite used about 14 years ago. It is not that hard or expensive to do.... just very time consuming... and you must be fit. So far, no more issues at all...
40 feet used to be a "big boat" but from the well monied people we see out here today, on much bigger boats, it seems not so anymore.
I always joke that even if someone gave me a bigger boat for being a "great guy" i would have to turn around a sell her. The point is that 40 feet is about what I can afford to maintain and not have to work too often. As boats increase in size the cost of owning them increases exponentially. Anything you can think of for the boat gets more costly. That means you have to be wealthy or working to keep it going. As we are not wealthy we rely on our ingenuity to keep things going for the most part. This has worked out well (mostly) for all this time.
The Valiant 40 has been synonymous with ocean-going cruising for decades now. Sea Kindly and loaded with design features to keep you comfortable. The older ones are a bargain if you can put some elbow grease into sprucing them up. Thats my '2 cents' worth.
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Old 31-03-2013, 18:42   #2
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

Hey, I'll chip in to this discussion. I fell into conversation with a smart young lad at the watering hole a couple of days ago, and when he found out I lived on a boat, he lit up like a Christmas Tree. I told him about this forum and Yachtworld as well to start looking at all the various boats in the cruising arena. I'll share this thread with him if everyone gets a rousing discussion going.

My criteria would focus on older fiberglass, tough as nails and free of bling.

Morgan 382 is high on the list.
I like the Beneteau Idylle and First series.
A CSY 37 snuck into our marina the other day and that is one interesting little vessel!
Finally for today, I think the Peasron 424s seem like a great cruising boat.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:21   #3
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

I think living comfortably within budget applies as much to boats as it does ashore - and if you can match boat to that budget in size and equipment (and you are still happy to be aboard!) then likely well on the way to "perfection".
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:32   #4
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

kite powered submarine
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:52   #5
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

Great links David
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Old 01-04-2013, 14:55   #6
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

No Valiant has yet been reported to have had structural issues due to blisters, have they? Repairs have been pretty significant and so on, but I never heard of the blisters endangering the safety of the boats. So are the repairs actually "deep cosmetic?"

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Old 01-04-2013, 17:02   #7
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

I agree with the OP. The perfect boat is the one you can afford to buy, afford to outfit(fix up) and still have enough money in the bank to get away from the dock for a year or two. If the purchase or the outfitting burn up your bank account , you will just have a nice boat to visit on your days off from the widget factory. Be realistic about how much you can spend, and you are more likely to actually go cruising.____Another 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 01-04-2013, 17:47   #8
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

Yeah... I think so... I'm not an expert on structural integrity of sailboats but probably just "deep cosmetic". The blisters were everywhere (topsides too). I spent years grinding and bogging them up beneath the water line. Trust me that when you ignore the ones beneath the waterline they create a larger and larger osmotic gradient: more water wants to get in. As these blisters grow you have to do something. After years of patches the entire bottom is a patchwork of repairs. AND.... At the next haulout there is a whole new crop of blisters waiting to be fixed. The final solution for us was to re-laminate. Lots of people with opinions about this (we found out at the time). Time has been the best test of the process we chose and the job has worked out perfectly: NO more blisters!! The whole thing took the two of us 99 days of hard labor (the fairing and sanding part) but it has been worth it. AND to be honest... we like messing about on boats.
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Old 13-04-2013, 20:02   #9
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

My older boat (1964) has been a great project. No coring issues ('cause there is none) and very few tiny blisters ever found. Not a roomy "dockominium" but storage/tankage is huge for only a 35 ft boat. She fits my idea of a strong seaworthy boat and was very, very affordable. Like the man said...you got to have something left over after buying and refitting. I am nearly ready to go after working on her for almost 1 1/2 yrs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:06   #10
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Previously unavailable in production, but with 40 boats out there cruising from Antarctica to Greenland, take a look at the Wylo 35.5. It has many design factors that will save you angst in remote places and a modest draft that can get you to places others can't reach. www.voyagingyachts.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:07   #11
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Re: The perfect cruising boat

The perfect cruising boat does not exist but a mid 70's Ericson 39B is pretty close.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:35   #12
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pirate Re: The perfect cruising boat

Whatever I can afford at the time... like my M/bikes..
As I'd tell the mocking leather jacket poseur's in bikers bars if I rolled up on a 125cc...
"What time's your last bus home...?"
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