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Old 19-12-2007, 13:43   #1
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Three Cabin, Center Cockpit Boats

If plans go as planned over the next month or so... we will be starting out boat search. While I have made searching Yachtworld a hobby, I am sure there are good boats out there that I have never heard of. I don't just mean good individual boats but entire makes!

We are planning to live aboard cruise as a family of 4 for several years at least. The kids will be 11 and 7, we will home school and the boat will be our only home. We are planning to spend the first year on the eastern seaboard mostly day sailing from anchorage to anchorage and spending time in places we like. Basically, taking it slow while learning and enjoying ourselves. We will work our way south into the Caribbean, eventually through the canal and west. Who knows how far or long...

So we want a blue water capable boat. We want each kid to have their own cabin and thus to have room for active grandparents to come visit. My wife is not going along with this plan if it means "camping in a cave" ie: living aboard long term in something crazy cramped (she understands that any boat is going to be tiny... we have owned a number of boats). We prefer center cockpit boats as we like having a larger aft cabin that is somewhat separated.

Budget.... all in including after refit costs (I assume ANY boat no matter how nice is going to suck up $25K in refit costs right up front) no more than $200K. Lower is better.

Boats on the "interesting" list so far....

- Gulfstar 50
- Cheoy Lee 53
- Vagabond 47 (love the looks,.. but expensive and lots o upkeep)
- Stevens 47
- Beneteau Idylle 51 (though not a center cockpit... big negative)
- Endeavour 52
- Morgan 462

Comments?

What other boats are out there that would work within these guidelines. I want the smallest "big boat" that fits the needs. Please try and refrain from pursueing the typical "you must go small and very simple or you will all die" refrain... I know what I want and like. Not everyone is a Pardey so let it go.

I know there are probably good older boats that would fit our criteria that I have never even heard of... what say you?



Terry
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:24   #2
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Three cabins and a non-charter boat layout (ie, actual living and storage space for extended cruising) does not come in a small monohull. Have you given any thoughts to a multihull? Many catamarans including some under 40 feet will meet your stated criteria. For example, used PDQ 36's, Solaris Sunstream 40's and 36's, and Prout 37's are seaworthy, have a separated tri-cabin layout and are available within, or below your budgeted cost. Since the rigs are smaller it will also cost less when it is necessary to replace sails, standing rigging, running rigging, etc. than on the 50 foot monohull.

Anyway, just a thought.

Brad
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:40   #3
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Brad... I dont like cats. Sorry. Maintenance is more, slips and haul out more, initial entry price is more.... but most of all, well... they are ugly. Sorry, don't mean to offend but aesthetics mean something and a nicely proportioned monohull is a thing of beauty to me while a cat is, well uhhhhhhh lets just say they are very functional.



Terry
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:50   #4
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Beneteau 42 CC could be an idea. You'd get one only 4 or 5 years old for that price.
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:57   #5
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Sailing Magazine

A very comfortable boat.
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:59   #6
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The Fantasia 35 is a great live-a-board boat. I've owned mine for 30 years now. Our family of 4 lived a board and cruised for over 20 years. I am currently doing a refit and plan to continue cruising.

Fantasia 35 - Bruce Bingham designed Cruising Sailboat - fantasia35
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Old 19-12-2007, 15:01   #7
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Terry:

If you consider the forepeak an at ancor/shoreside suite then it might count Liberty 458 cc.
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale=

I hope to be on the east coast in a year or three. I have a 9 and an 11 year old. Maybe we can hookup.
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Old 19-12-2007, 15:07   #8
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I'll co-sign irwinsailor's sentiments regarding the Irwin 52cc.

My then-wife and I had the pleasure of enjoying one for a week in 1989 (I think it was) down in the BVI. It was owned by a Kansas wheat farmer, and skippered by a 23-year-old British lad who could do things with that big yacht that had the usual bareboaters we encountered shaking their heads. He was fearless, knew his cruising grounds intimately and we were eager and agreeable. What a great time!

The vessel was everything the review attached to irwinsailor's post says about the Irwin 52. We still fondly reminisce about that trip, and that vessel.

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Old 19-12-2007, 15:51   #9
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Charlie... I REALLY like the Liberty 458. I mean really really like those boats. I looked at tons of pictures of a 3 cabin version a year ago or so. But in the end, the 3 cabin versions have an extremely awkward forward area and the two cabin version dont have 3 cabins. If I were looking for a boat just for my wife and I to live aboard cruise the Liberty 458 would top my list. The interiors on those boats are drop dead gorgeous.

Tao and Irwinsailor....

You know, I like the Irwin 52. No doubt huge bang for the buck. BUT.... it just seems there are too many build quality issues. The "reputation" I guess has put me off. I have read that article before and while it is flattering Kretschmer also says "It may not be the ideal ocean crossing machine". Well, an Open 60 may in fact BE the ideal ocean crossing machine (that or a 747) but I can't afford one. I don't know.

On the Irwin stuff like chain plates and rigging and other critical blue water build aspects have a reputation as lacking. Is this incorrect? Would an Irwin 52 be easy enough to upgrade without breaking the bank? I honestly do not know. A year or so ago I was really looking at the ads for them and reading everything I could find but I sort of decided they were not appropriate. Should I reconsider that?


Terry
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Old 19-12-2007, 16:15   #10
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Have you looked at the Cal 2-46? It has a bucket-full of room for a vessel that size. The main salon is up and it has large windows. I know you are going to hear all the "Big window" cotastrophe stories but a lot of these Cals have been succesful cruisers and circumnavigators.

I delivered one from Hawaii to San Fransisco one time. I was quite pleasantly surprised at how well it sailed and being up in the salon with a 360 view was really nice. I think that it would be a huge bonus for the kids.

I think that you are wise to stick to a 45'+ vessel. They are kinder sea boats and easier to handle (more forgiving).

I also had a friend with a Cheoy Lee 53. It has a lot of room too (for sure). I'm not a great fan of big bow-sprits. They are a pain to anchor.

I always suggest that people look for a good "Worn-out" boat at a bargain price. Replace all the rigging, electronics and spend $ on the mechanical. That way, you start out with all NEW gear and you get the oportunity to really get to know your vessel before you leave. You will end up with a lot more boat for the same $ and over time, you will save a lot of $ and hassle.

I don't like the way that the Irwins (that I have seen) mount their chainplates. I have even seen them totally glassed in. It just appeared to me that they built that vessel to sell and couldn't care what happened after it left the yard..

I had a Passport 45. I think it was the best sea-going (small boat) vessel that I've ever sailed (maybe prejudice). It was a center cockpit 3 cabin also. It was like an slightly larger Peterson 44, with a lot more head-room and a stand up companion-way to the aft cabin.
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Old 19-12-2007, 16:16   #11
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Send Gene Gammon a email. He know a great deal about them. I will take my boat anywhere in the world. Also like the article stated many of the boats have been upgraded and major problems addressed.
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Old 19-12-2007, 16:35   #12
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Terry...We just recently bought a Stevens 47 (hence trying to sell you my Islander on Lake Lanier a couple of months ago). I cannot recommend this boat highly enough! I just sailed it down from Wilmington NC to Savannah GA (outside) and it sailed beautifully!! it is a very smoooooth boat...we got 2.6kts out of 3kts apparent and it just glided relentlessly along....I LOVE this boat. There is one (not for sale) at the very end of one of the first docks on the left as you go into Aqualand on Lake Lanier...you could go look at it....look for the biggest mast....The Stevens would serve you and your family VERY well....safe, forgiving, purpose-built bluewater boat with loads of room and storage. We are leaving in a few weeks and not looking back for about 10 years...I cannot wait!!

Bennett Bros Yachts in Wilmington are the experts on these and they have a Stevens as well as a Hylas 47 for sale...the Hylas is exactly the same boat with slightly inferior hardware (for that time) and a different name but otherwise identical. (I don't work for them but they treated me SO well while refitting my Stevens!)

Good luck with your search...if you have any questions pvt msg me on here....

Michael
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Old 19-12-2007, 16:42   #13
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No problem - I've always preferred function over style, even though we are talking about such 'gorgeous' designs as the Gulfstar 50, Endeavour 52, Morgan 462 and Cal 2-46. As to being more expensive to maintain, I beg to differ - most cats can be beached in order to clean and repaint the bottom etc.

Anyway, just a suggestion. I've moved on from a series of monohulls because, although I too prefer the look of a traditional monohull with a sweet sheer and overhangs, I thought the speed, space, resale and stability advantages of a cat (combined with the ability to anchor where monohulls fear to tread) outweighed issues of form. Of course, I'm not someone inclined to Gucci loafers either.

I understand that some people don't like the look or feel of a catamaran. Fair enough. But know that calling someone's boat ugly to their face is like attacking their wife. I say, vivre la difference! Anyway, good luck in your search.

Brad
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Old 19-12-2007, 17:11   #14
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If one of the three cabins can be the main cabin, a Kelly Peterson 44 would be ideal and you can have one ready to go for well under 200k. Or you could get into a Kelly Peterson 46 or nearly identical Formosa 46 for closer to 200k. These are great blue water boats... cutter rigged, center cockpit and very fast.
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Old 20-12-2007, 06:33   #15
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Brad:

True, the boats I listed are not Hinckleys or Aldens in good looks. Also, I errrrrrr wasn't trying to insult your wife?!? I wasn't calling YOUR boat ugly, I have no idea what kind of boat you own. I do not want to make this yet another mono vs cat debate, the board has plenty of those already. I am a mono guy. Thats just the way it is. Your a cat guy. Not that there is anything wrong with that....


Speedoo: The main cabin is not a berthing cabin in my requirements. I like the KP's, but they are short a cabin. In my 3 cabin requirements not all 3 cabins have to be big. A small 3d cabin is fine. But we want each kid to have their own little space to call their own. I also have another key reason for this requirement related to ideas on also chartering our boat at some point.


Michael: I am JEALOUS! Congrats on the Stevens and great to hear your casting off the land lines. I ended up buying an '83 Hunter 34' the week after I looked at your Islander as it was turn key. I sailed her 2-3 days each week all through the summer and early fall but sold her in October as the sale price got me out without a loss and with the lake levels so low and going lower owning a boat on the lake struck me as a bad idea. The Stevens does strike me as a great boat, my only concern is getting and refitting one within the price range I have set.


Kanani: I will check out the Cal 2-46. I tend to agree with you on buying an older boat that is in need of a complete refit. I am very mechanically inclined (have rebuilt over a dozen cars including vintage racecars) have lots of tools and I get projects done.

Buying an older boat that has not just had a complete top to bottom refit seems like it would almost always result in getting a "hodge-podge". By this I mean you have a boat with some gear original and thus perhaps 30 years old, some gear 10 years old, some 5 years old and some new. Technology changes rapidly relative to refrig systems, A/C, inverters, generators and particularly radar and electronics. Having a hodge podge of gear results in inefficient systems that really are not perfect for each other. It also results in less reliability overall. So you pay more for a supposedly ready to go boat but you end up with systems integration issues and ongoing repairs to the older systems.

I would prefer to buy an older boat that pretty much needs everything and get it cheap. Then dedicate time and money to going through the boat from one end to the other and replace everything. That way is all new, everything is chosen so it works well with everything else and in the end you have what is in effect a new boat for way less than 1/2 the price of an actual new boat. For example: buy an older mostly original Gulfstar 50 for $85K or so. Then spend $110K+ on a total refit doing most of the work myself. The end result would be far better than most anything you could buy at the same end price. Plus, through doing all the work myself I end up knowing every system upside down and backwards... a huge plus when it comes time to do maintenance or fix stuff.




Terry
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