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Old 16-09-2007, 12:49   #1
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Three months to go

I have my plans set in wet concrete. I have narrowed boat choices to a Yankee 30', a Cape Dory 30", or an Alberg 30" at a cost of 10k to 15k with 30k to 50k for upgrading. While I am on a liveaboard training cruise I'll have her hauled and have the following done:

Hull, bow reinforced
Watertight bulkhead, seal anchor locker, closed cell foam installed for positive buoyancy
Mast, spars, rigging reinforced/replaced if needed
Sails inspected and replaced if needed
Deck hardware rebedded, repaired, reinforced and/or moved to deck-hull joint
Engine removed, replaced w/ large outboard?, space converted to storage
Bow thruster
V berth converted to storage
Fuel tank removed, replaced w/ water tank?
New electronics and instruments (RADAR, SONAR, chartplotter, depth/log, wind speed/direction, two autopilots, SSB, SSB receiver, VHF, LORAN-C, Inmarsat-C/Mini-M, compasses, repeaters and handhelds, GPS, AIS, kickass stereo, TV, DVD, satellite receiver) [not all of this list will make it]
Battery bank/wiring/lighting replaced
Solar panels, wind generator, towable generator
Charts, nav. books and tools
Spares, repairs, rebuild kits, tools, grab bag, inflatable dinghy w/ sm. motor
Dodger, bimini, netting over entire cockpit
Grill, solar cooker, water catchment, watermaker?
Legs for beaching, cleaning, hull repair
Drogue lines, watertight port/hatch covers, hatch gate w/ lock

I'll upgrade everything else as needed. I take the view that comfort is a personal thing, we can learn to tolerate a lot. I don't need much beyond a place to lie down, dry off, and keep stuff. I need a strong boat that can go where I want, when I want, and not have to answer to anyone other than port authorities (rarely). I'm going to see as much of the world as I can before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Any suggestions or missing items?
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Old 16-09-2007, 13:39   #2
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Ok, I'll bite. You have 3 months to go and you are considering 3 different 30 footers, all of which are at least by reputation strong seaworthy craft. You are going to spend 2x - 5x the cost of the boat on refitting. Among other things, you are going to reinforce the bow and hull and install a bowthruster. Are you planning on sailing the northwest passage?

FWIW, I agree that comfort is a personal thing, and with that in mind there is no reason that a single hander couldn't be comfortable cruising for extended periods on any of the boats you mention. OTOH, you are considering removing the engine because these boats aren't big enough?
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Old 16-09-2007, 13:47   #3
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Aloha cjbeals,
Just my personal opinion but if you get a good diesel engine in the boat I wouldn't change it for an outboard. You don't need a bow thruster. You didn't mention icebox upgrade. Most need more insulation. I don't recommend refrigeration but more insulation on the icebox will be needed.
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Old 16-09-2007, 15:00   #4
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I lived and cruised an Allied Seawind 30' for 7 years, which is pretty similiar to the boats you mentioned. No way would I choose an outboard over a diesel, bow thruster is completely unnecessary, and why would you want to seal off your anchor locker and fill it with foam? Don't you want to anchor sometimes? Personally, I like refridgeration if you're going to live aboard full time. Solar panel and wind generator will power it. The budget seems pretty good for refitting one of the "classic plastic" boats like the ones mentioned, and they're all capable of going where ever you want.
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Old 16-09-2007, 16:40   #5
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Hi guys,
Thanks for your replies, I'll deal with them first come, first served:

slomotion,
I might, it's opening up nicely with the ice melting. My plan is to go everywhere for a very long time on this boat and if I were to hit something (like a reef or coral head) or something hits me it might be game over. So I'll add beams to distribute the impact and, hopefully, flex instead of crack. I do not intend to sell this boat, it will be my home, so I'm just trying to address as many of the issues I read of as I consider possible.

The engine is weight I plan to use elsewhere, a throughhull for leaks, and a source of expense I do not want. The space is better served as storage. The outboard is lighter, more easily worked on, and trade goods if needed.

SkiprJohn,
Aloha,
The bow thruster is a "just in case". I may become injured, ill, or old on this boat and find a need for one. But it's not necessary equipment, you're right. I should have mentioned the icebox and meant to, yep lots of insulation and a drain. I drink dark beer and tequila, it's better warm.

Fishspearit,
An Allied Seawind is #4 in my choices, a great boat, just not many at my price point while I was looking. I meant to say I would seal off the door to the anchor locker, why is there one? I couldn't find a good reason. The bow thruster point is taken but refrigeration depends on what is there at purchase, not spending money on it. I'll learn to do without it, like so many other things.

Thanks again for helping me rethink my plans and shake 'em out.
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Old 16-09-2007, 17:10   #6
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No matter how much ice you put in it, tequila is always hot - not sure about dark beer, but it sounds like a plan. Go for it. Still, I would forget the outboard and keep the engine the boat was designed for - among other things it will provide real battery charging and hot water capability. If you need more storage, consider a bigger boat.
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Old 16-09-2007, 18:33   #7
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Rock resistant fibreglass...

These boats are made of fibreglass.

If you hit (as opposed to nudge, graze or scrape) a rock with them they will break.

If wave motion causes the boat to pound on even a soft surface they will break.

I would suggest that your plans include some method of not hitting rocks.

Two of the basic methods of not hitting rocks is to have an engine that is reliable under all conditions and a large anchor with lots of chain.
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Old 16-09-2007, 19:00   #8
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Just to add to the observations of Boracay - you want "(RADAR, SONAR, chartplotter, depth/log, wind speed/direction, two autopilots, SSB, SSB receiver, VHF, LORAN-C, Inmarsat-C/Mini-M, compasses, repeaters and handhelds, GPS, AIS, kickass stereo, TV, DVD, satellite receiver)."

The idea that you can run all of this stuff on a 30' boat with wind and solar power plus whatever meager charging an outboard might provide is simply unrealistic. You want a boat with a real inboard and its attendant charging capabilities, or significantly down-sized power demands, or a bigger boat with its attendant larger engine, alternator, etc.:

BoatUS.com Cruising Log
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Old 16-09-2007, 19:03   #9
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Aloha cj,
You are on a steep learning curve. The diesel while being heavier, requires less fuel to go anywhere (more efficient), therefore saving fuel weight and space. Diesel fuel is less dangerous to carry than gasoline. The diesel engine is placed more near the center of the boat and therefore provides better balance. More mechanics know how to repair a diesel than a newer outboard that has fuel injection and a little black box for ignition. Diesels do require throughhulls but well maintained they can be leak free.
At least think about it.
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Old 16-09-2007, 20:56   #10
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I'm with everyone else regarding power needs and plans. Both alternate propulsion power and the 50 amps or so per day you need to light up all the gizmos.

Even if you do go with the outboard I don't understand sealing the fuel tank. Where is the outboard's fuel gonna be? Go with the inboard diesel and big alternator.

Depending on the boat I am not sure a positive bouyancy plan is sound. If you have an 8T boat you need 8T of bouyancy if you want it to float full of water. Space wise you are probably better off with a proper life raft lashed to the deck.

There is a guy here who single handed a 30 footer from Canada. Storage is not a problem for a go alone sailor in a 30 foot boat. He has no dink but uses a long board to paddle to shore and it stores flat against the lifelines.

I'd keep the anchor locker for the aforementioned anchor and chain.

Bow thruster doesn't make sense to me at all.

And if you are single handing you definitely want a windvane auto steering system with perhaps an electronic autopilot as well.
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Old 16-09-2007, 22:52   #11
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I'm hardly trying to be unrealistic, not all of the electronics are going on, just a list to establish priorities/needs. Likelihood is an SSB receiver, VHF, depth/log, wind speed/direction, GPS, autopilot is all I'll have. Also windvane auto steering system is great idea I overlooked. Thanks for that!

I understand the quandary with the no motor vs. diesel vs. outboard. I'll keep the diesel but some please explain why you all feel an engine so critical? I shouldn't need the power and how much motoring do you expect me to have to do? I have nowhere I'll need to be, no time limits other than weather or supplies, what else do I need to consider?

Positive buoyancy not quite the right term, I just need it not to sink while I repair. No plans to have the boat fill up with water or hit rocks. Just plans to fix if it happens. The first method of not hitting rocks is not being near them, I know, but large debris (logs, containers, whales, other boats) does rarely occur and I want a plan for that, rock resistant anything is not needed.

I'm NOT closing the anchor locker , just the door is to be made watertight. I had read of leaking and I still don't quite get why there is one above my sleeping berth.

Bow thruster is out. And I'll have anchors bow and stern. Storage isn't a worry just a fact to be dealt with and something you can always use more of. Even in a home! What about a tropical kayak instead of a dinghy?

Bigger is not an option I'll consider without very good reason. I want to work within the confines of a small boat for any number of reasons. I'm not sailing for a few weeks, months or years then going back to shore to my dock or house. I intend to live on the boat, on the ocean full time. Land should be a rarity, something to journey towards.

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions, it's helping a lot to sort the possible from the foolhardy!
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Old 16-09-2007, 23:47   #12
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Rolling the dice...

Think of being on a boat as a game of chance, played with three dice.

Say triple six is a hurricane, additive counts of 3 to 20 are dead calm etc.

You can set your own values, but allocate them according to most cruising situations.

Now, roll your dice...
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Old 17-09-2007, 00:41   #13
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The boat I have on the water is 30 foot and is under powered. Although I take great pride in my practicle sailing abilities (as opposed to racing) the lack of power is a pain in the arse. Sure you can do it....and thats the way "they used to do it" ....Not having the ability to get the hell out (or in) when you need, adds a lot of stress. Watching trailer sailers of that sort of size lose bite in the water because their long legged outboards are hitting air every second wave is an eye opener. The other posters are spot on. Prioritise your boat and gear to not hitting anything (including the weather). Consider a steel boat. This wont stop you from sinking but but reduces the chances. The bow thruster can be added latter if needed, but if you are injured to the extent that you need this kind of help to dock then a working radio and a friendly on the other end will be more applicable. Anchors save lives. go big .go good. In a crapy situation and you need to stop then staying stopped is a worth while exersise. Your whole plan will change if you are now stuck up on some beach (or rock). Somtimes "sea room" is not possible or wise If you are going to be in a cyclone then battened down in a bolt hole is better than getting wacked by its full force.......remember the engine ? A lot of "improvements" dont show until you have sailed the boat for a while....just a few thoughts
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Old 17-09-2007, 00:51   #14
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Sea Kayak sounds like a good plan.

Regarding engine - I think the idea is one of redundancies and efficiencies. An outboard would work but it's hanging off the transom - Is having the outboard hanging exposed on the transom the "right" plan in all weather? How often will it pop out of the water headed into a swell?

The inboard diesel is practically bullet proof. You want that alternate power to be available, immediately, if an anchor drags in the middle of the night or a storm is driving you to a lee shore and frankly it's nice to just hit the go button on those ocassions you want to head up a river or gunkhole,just want to reposition in a marina or do those last twelve miles after 12 weeks at sea. Yes the outboard does that but again with more volatile fuel, less range per gallon of stowed fuel and fewer electrical power options.

I don't think going with an outboard is the end of the world but 99.9% of long range cruisers (using inboards) can't be all wrong.
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Old 17-09-2007, 01:18   #15
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All very good points, it's better to have than to want. Inboard it is, I'll make sure it's checked out well and carry spare parts.

Thanks guys!
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