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Old 07-04-2012, 11:48   #31
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

deckofficer--i have it--i am just not on boat --wifi not coming there-- so i have to go to a cafe..dangit...but, believe me--i AINT in sin diego!!! i promise and swarez...
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:57   #32
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

I recommend the graduated-length method. Get a Catalina 22(2-3 grand) and go sailing. They are not the fastest or the best, but they give you that wonderful seat-of-the-pants kick that makes a day worth waking up for. They will resell fairly well, and you will spend the rest of your sailing days comparing your big boat to how fun it was to sail cheap.

You go guy,
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:10   #33
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I have to second the suggestion about the alberg 35 listed here. I also recently saw a cape dory 30 listed on the cape dory board, with new engine, rig and tricked out for cruising. Those are both great boats, and having sailed a cape dory 30 for years, I think they are good offshore boats. Maybe not the best, with no bulwarks etc but just make a list of acceptable boats and find the best one for the money.

Love my crealock, but they are 20k over your stated budget, but I hope I never have to buy another boat. Ya right

Chase
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Old 07-04-2012, 16:09   #34
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

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Originally Posted by cruiserbill View Post
Just me and my wife. No kids, no animals (except me if you ask her). I am not too interested in High lats except I would like to cruise Alaska once. Yes, Caribbean, but also south and north America. Perhaps Australia, NZ, PNG and the sorts.

I am currently in Europe, but in a couple years I will retire and I want to sail. I am looking into taking sailing lessons while I am in Europe. Now and then I get to take a short cruise on the ocean with my job. Kind of nice.
That clarifies things a fair bit.

Outfitting the boat for offshore is going to take a significant fraction of the purchase price of the boat, 33-50%. Assuming your $40k budget is buy and outfit then you want to spend $25-30k for the boat and hold back the rest for outfitting. If the $40k is just to buy, then you know how much more to expect to spend.

Let's start with the basics of the boat, you want at least 1 good sea-berth in the main cabin for each off-watch person plus a place to sit for the on-watch that won't disturb sleepers. Best would be a main cabin berth for everyone since in a bouncy anchorage you don't need to maintain the same watch as underway. Pilot berths are the best are the best (they are near the center of pitching so the motion is easiest for sleeping), quarter berths are very good, settees (longitudinal benches) you have to convert every night are decent, a dinette (transverse benches) would probably be mediocre given the amount of conversion required but depends on the particular boat. The V-berth will be unusable offshore. Aft cabin berths would be good (too much motion to be very good) but you are not likely to find these in the size boat you can afford. If the boat was intended for just a live-aboard with limited cruising the answer would be different.

Size of boat is the next question. There are two contradictory drives in deciding on boat size:
You want bigger for the living room and ability to carry stores.
You want smaller to make handling, underway or at anchor, more manageable in bad weather. By the time you get to 40’ everything has to be finessed, nothing can be man-handled, the loads are just too big to do otherwise.

In one of their books L&L Pardey discuss the Xmas 1982 debacle in Cabo San Lucas where more than half the sailing fleet (28 of 45 boats) at anchor was driven ashore in an unseasonable gale. One owner commented that a couple really couldn’t handle things on a boat over 37’, and the Pardey’s analysis seemed to confirm this, other things being equal larger boats with more crew did OK, as did smaller boats with a couple aboard.

For a couple I would suggest 32-36’ as a good compromise size, also you should be able to buy older boats this size in good shape and with plenty of equipment aboard.

If you are going offshore you really want side decks wide enough to crawl forward on in heavyweather, 20”, maybe 18” as a minimum. Keep in mind that shrouds that land in the middle of the side deck will have to be negotiated. For a coastal boat this is less critical.

Tiller vs Wheel:
A tiller has a lot less that can go wrong with it and is much easier to maintain. It is easier and cheaper to hook a windvane up to a tiller. A tiller leaves a more room available in the cockpit when anchored. A boat with a tiller is going to cost less than the same boat with a wheel. A tiller allows you immediately know what the rudder position is.

The wheel stand (binnacle) is a convenient place to place instruments and to support a cockpit table. A wheel is easier for non-sailing guests to use. A wheel offers much more mechanical advantage.

On the other hand the instruments will last longer under the dodger. Guests will only be aboard 1-10% of the time, and for you both the tiller will be second nature after several months of use. For boats over 45-50’ you really do need the mechanical advantage of the wheel in most cases. Below 30’ it strikes me as an affectation. In the 30-40’ range if you need the mechanical advantage of a wheel the boat probably has balance problem needs to be fixed and doing so would let the boat sail faster.

My preferences are pretty apparent here. For me the simplicity of the tiller and its lower costs in several areas are the main reasons.

Does the boat have enough sail area to keep going in light air when loaded down with cruising gear? The Sail area to Displacement ratio (SA/D = Sail Area / [displacement/64]^0.666, SA is the area of the main and the fore triangle) is a convenient way to estimate this and the relative amounts of sail on boats of different lengths/weights. To me, for a cruising boat, values of 15 or 16 would be decent, 17 would be good, 18 would be very good and 19 and up would be excellent. Published displacements and SA/D is almost certainly for the light-ship condition, loaded for cruising the ratio is going to drop, more so for smaller boats.

Draft mostly isn’t an issue when cruising except in particular places. Certain places on the east coast and in the Bahamas less draft is nice, and if you want to motor the canals of Europe there are strict limits on draft. If you want to pass through the Bahamas with only a moderate amount of exploration but will spend most of your cruising elsewhere, a draft under 6’6” should be fine, you will be limited some places in the Bahamas but that is only a small part of the cruise.

You will need 3 anchors:
A) main should be a plow/CQR/Delta or claw/Bruce on 100-150' of chain & 200-300' of nylon 3-strand rope. Main should be 2 sizes up from what is recommended for your size boat.
B) Secondary is a 15-18# Danforth/Fortress type anchor on 30' chain and 250-350' of rope. Secondary should be one size up from recommended unless you get a Fortress, then get the biggest you think you can handle by hand.
C) Stern/kedge anchor should a plow, claw or Danforth on 15' of chain and 150-200' rope. Anchor one size down from what would be recommended for your boat.
D) If you are feeling flush get a fisherman/Herreschoff/Luke with same rode as B) for difficult rock and kelp situations. This anchor sized as recommended.
E) If you are feeling really flush and have the storage space get a backup for the main sized as recommended or one size up. If the main is a plow/CQR/Delta then get a claw/Bruce or visa versa. Sometimes one will work with a specific bottom and the other won’t.

Chain and rope should be sized as recommended for your boat. The unknown conditions of the bottom, the inability to see how well the anchor has set and the potential for unexpected bad weather together make the anchor itself the weakest link in the anchoring system. Normal recommendations for anchor sizing are for protected or coastal sailing. If you are going offshore with less access to good forecasting and a greater likelihood of being in a mediocre anchorage when bad weather hits means you should always anchor as if you are expecting a storm. Swapping anchors or rowing out another anchor after bad weather starts is not the smart way to go. If you are concerned about the extra weight of an oversized anchor on the boat consider using high test (G40 or G43) chain. Generally the prices are comparable or a bit low than BBB chain one size larger and of similar strength. Switching to High Test and going down a size will benefit bow weight by almost 100lb, much more than the 10-20lb weight penalty of the oversized anchor.

The chain and rope for the kedge should be downsized with the anchor, it is intended for ease of use and retrieval.

Put 2 or 3 oversized cleats on the bow, and 1 on each corner of the stern.
Install bow rollers for main and backup and a chain pawl for the main anchor. The chain pawl take the anchoring load off the windlass which are really only designed for retrieval loads and it allows you to hand retrieve the anchor without a windlass if you chose to do without one or it breaks.

If you chose to go with a windlass then you have to consider manual or electric. There are a limited selection of manual windlasses being manufactured currently and all are single speed from what I can tell. Gearing tends to be a compromise which means that for a light anchor they will be a bit slow to retrieve and for a heavy anchor they will be a bit under-powered, though a longer handle may alleviate that. If you can find a used Seatiger 555 2-speed that would be wonderful, there is a site in the UK, Homepage | Simpson Lawrence Yacht Parts & Spares, that sells spare parts.

If you decide to go with an electric windlass then you need to keep in mind that the windlass will have secondary costs beyond the purchase price. It will require a dedicated circuit from the battery and very heavy cabling to handle the power draw. It may require and extra battery and the charging resources that entails. Make sure the model you get has the option of manual operation. Convenience aside, the one advantage I see to electric windlasses is that they make it more likely you will pull an anchor up and reset it if you think the original set is questionable, human factors issue, it makes doing the right thing easier.

In general the horizontal axis windlass is a better buy. For manual operation you really have to sit down to crank a vertical axis windlass and you can’t conveniently use a much longer cranking handle.

A lot of the anchor stuff you might be able to pick up at swap meets if you attend early and stay late. This will save a lot. Some of the new anchors are getting better reps than the Bruce or CQR but have not hit the 2nd hand market much yet and are seem expensive by comparison when they do.

You will need a small dinghy. Buying an inflatable is the current general answer but it will cost you, even second hand and has durability issues. A hard dinghy with oars would be the more durable and economical answer if you have a place to build one yourself. There are various plans available for nesting dinghy's that take up a lot less deck space.

Hand-steering for days on end is not realistic, not with just a couple aboard.
There are several alternatives: Autopilot, windvane, sheet-to-tiller.

The initial cost of an autopilot may seem a lot lower than a windvane but they are electronic devices that live in the cockpit exposed to sun, saltwater and electricity (basic recipe for corrosion) and consume a lot of electricity. If you only use an autopilot, take a backup, add batteries and add another solar panel.

The next alternative is to buy a used windvane or build one yourself. Used Aries and Monitor windvane come on the market regularly. Some ingenuity will be required to fit it to the stern of your particular boat but people do it regularly.

If you want to build one check out these sites: In Memoriam Walt Murray
http://www.windautopilot.de/_de/7_dy...rray_Pages.zip
Bill Belcher and John Lecher wrote books on home built windvane self-steering.

Lastly acquire and/or make the stuff needed for sheet to tiller steering.

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf?id=1
Lee Woas wrote a great book called “Self-Steering Without a Windvane” which details a large number of alternative sheet to tiller steering arrangements, if one won’t work on your boat, try a different method.
Sheet to tiller steering will be the cheapest, but will require more attention as the boat sails.

My personal personal philosophy is get a windvane for general use, have a small autopilot for use in very light winds or when motoring and to have the stuff for sheet to tiller and figure out which methods work on my boat.

You may want to seal some of the storage compartments in the boat using waterproof hatches for access. This will provide floatation in the case of holing. This is discussed at: Atom Voyages - Articles

Consider adding a removable inner forestay for a staysail. It gives more sail area reaching in light conditions, better balance in heavy conditions since staysail is not as far foreward as jib, the extra rigging involved gives the whole mast better and redundant support.

Make sure you have a drifter and a pole to wing it out, being able to continue sailing in light air really saves on fuel. If the main is in good shape all that it should need is a 3rd reef. With more people on board a regular spinnaker would be nice if it came with the boat. It is not practical for a couple, if the wind pipes up suddenly it is difficult to douse even with more crew and at night you would need to wake the sleeping person if you needed to douse it. A moderately sized asymmetrical chute with a sock/sleeve or a CodeZero with a roller furler are much better alternatives to a spinnaker, but are also significantly more expensive than a drifter.
Decent sails can be had from used sail dealers.

Get an engine manual for whatever motor the boat has, gas, diesel or outboard. If a boat you are looking at has a gas inboard that is not a reason for significant worry, consider that while they aren't as safe as diesel, they are not dangerous per se. If anyone wants to dispute this, ask them if they have propane on board for their stove. Using the bilge blower and sniffing prior to starting should alleviate potential issues. On the plus side the Atomic 4 will help bring your purchase price down significantly compared to a diesel, and gas engines don't mind running at lower RPM's as much, and slower motoring is way better for fuel economy. Motoring at 4-4.5kt will about double your fuel mileage compared to motoring at hull speed of 6-6.5kt.

You will need a solar panel or 2, preferably on a good mount, see above Atomvoyages for one idea. 2 or 3 new group 27 flooded batteries or a pair or 2 of new 6v golf cart batteries from a 2nd tier supplier would probably be adequate if usage is limited. Evans Starzinger has interesting things to say about batteries at Systems. Over even a medium term time frame solar is cheaper than running the engine regularly to recharge the batteries. Solar panels will require a charge controller. A MPPT controller at about $500-700 will maximize the amount of power from your panels that goes into your batteries but is a newer less mature technology. A PWM controller at about $200-250 will maximize the life of your batteries and is a mature technology. If you have a lot of power draw or if you are planning for the long term the MPPT is the way to go. Short term or with small demand then the PWM is the way to go.

To conserve battery power you want fluorescent or LED light fixtures in the cabin, 1 or 2 in main cabin & 1 in v-berth. Incandescents can remain in head and berths where they won’t be used as much. You will want a single bulb Tricolor fixture at the masthead for sailing, there is not yet a cheap LED tricolor that I have found. Bebi Electronics, Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)!, has a description about converting an AquaSignal fixture but I do not have any feedback on how effective this is. At anchor an LED fixture should go with the anchor ball. Bebi Electronics - Owl is one that I have heard decent things about. When motoring there will be surplus power so the existing incandescent bulbs in the bow and stern lights are fine, even an outboard is likely to have an alternator that could meet that demand.
Limiting the amount of electronics on the boat will help with battery conservation, deptho (make a backup lead line), speedo/log, simple mounted GPS (no chart plotter with color screen needing be backlit all the time), VHF, shortwave, and maybe a stereo/CD player are about all you need. You will want a fan or 2 and if you locate them right they can do double duty blowing both over berths and thru the social areas of the main cabin. If you really need a computer, get one of the netbooks, they are optimized for low power draw to stretch their batteries as far as possible.
Consider adding built-in water tanks, more storage for the volume occupied and in the event of a holing thru the hull into the tank, the boat doesn't try to sink, the tank already had water in it, you just can't drink it now. See Atomvoyages link above.

Convert the Icebox to shelves or drawers for storage. Same with any hanging locker. Convert the space used for a sink in the head to storage.

In no particular order of preference I have found these books to be very good:
John Vigor's - The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat
Don Casey's - This Old Boat and Boat Maintenance Manual (has a section on how to do your own pre-survey so you can eliminate obvious and no so obvious duds before paying a surveyor)
Lin & Larry Pardey Books - SelfSufficient Sailor, CapableCruiser and CostConsciousCruiser.
Annie Hill's - Voyaging on a Small income
Beth Leonard's - Voyager's Handbook
Nigel Calder’s - Cruising Handbook.

Specific boats to consider are:
Contessa 32
Cal 34
Ranger 33
Columbia 34.2
Morgan 34
Tartan 34
Islander 34
Luders 33
Pearson Vanguard 33

This site, Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database., is a good source of info about boats.
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Old 07-04-2012, 16:16   #35
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Well my job is done. I at least put the idea of a Cal 40 into your head. My previous experience was only a Flying Junior and a Rhodes 19 before the Cal 40 and I can tell you going in I was thinking "What am I doing here?" after the purchase. During a mostly down wind sail to Mexico, I was pinching myself, is this for real, did I really own such a fast and fun boat? You know that certain feeling of satisfaction when you thought outside the box on a major decision and come to realize you couldn't have made a better choice for yourself? That is how I felt.
If you head down Mexico way again let me know when you hit San Diego and we can meet up for dinner or a sail.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:36   #36
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

Adelie - Wow, thanks for all that great info. I will study it and I am sure I will have some more questions.

I appreciate the support of all of you. What a great community!
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:52   #37
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

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deckofficer--i have it--i am just not on boat --wifi not coming there-- so i have to go to a cafe..dangit...but, believe me--i AINT in sin diego!!! i promise and swarez...
LOL, Zeehag, you need to get one of those little USB GPS units for your computer.

Amazon.com: GlobalSat BU-353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver: GPS & Navigation
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:19   #38
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

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If you head down Mexico way again let me know when you hit San Diego and we can meet up for dinner or a sail.
You bet. Sold the Cal 40, and haven't decided what will replace it. A cat? Maybe a Sundeer? I do get to San Diego at least once a year for a gathering called the 101 Fun Run, for T-buckets. So instead of a sail (unless you provide the boat), we could cruise over to Escondido. Mine is the maroon Track-T with covered engine, front row.
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Old 09-04-2012, 18:21   #39
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I am mainly a reader but thought I should post my thanks.

I just ordered John Vigor's - The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat. High hopes. Thank you
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Old 09-04-2012, 18:39   #40
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

Adelie,

If your the author of post #34 (you didn't copy and paste), first let me say that was some of the best advice I've ever heard given on CF, so the the OP, read his long post, information doesn't get any better than what Adelie just gave you (and us for that matter).

The OP, you might want to copy #34 and email it to yourself.
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Old 09-04-2012, 19:16   #41
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Convert the Icebox to shelves or drawers for storage. Same with any hanging locker. Convert the space used for a sink in the head to storage.

In no particular order of preference I have found these books to be very good:
John Vigor's - The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat
Don Casey's - This Old Boat and Boat Maintenance Manual (has a section on how to do your own pre-survey so you can eliminate obvious and no so obvious duds before paying a surveyor)
Lin & Larry Pardey Books - SelfSufficient Sailor, CapableCruiser and CostConsciousCruiser.
Annie Hill's - Voyaging on a Small income
Beth Leonard's - Voyager's Handbook
Nigel Calder’s - Cruising Handbook.

Specific boats to consider are:
Contessa 32
Cal 34
Ranger 33
Columbia 34.2
Morgan 34
Tartan 34
Islander 34
Luders 33
Pearson Vanguard 33

This site, Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database., is a good source of info about boats.[/QUOTE]

Love the post, adelie. Agree with some size limitation. Makes a HUGE difference in docking, anchoring, sheet loads, halyard effort, and price.

Also really like the shout-out to tiller steering, especially since I sail a Luders 33. I actually spent money converting my factory equipped wheel steering boat to tiller, and would never look back in terms of sailing, cockpit space, and steering from under the dodger. Downwind or quartering in rolly conditions it is so much easier to lean into the tiller and develop a routine then to brace yourself and try to spin the silly wheel.
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Old 09-04-2012, 19:22   #42
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

I wouldn't convert the icebox or the sink. Just use the bilge.

I would add Bill Seifert's book to the list of essential books-- not before you buy a boat, but after.
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Old 09-04-2012, 19:47   #43
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

Deckofficer - I plan on printing it when I get home. I am away on business at the moment.

Books I have -
Nigel Calders cruising handbook
12volt bible for boats
ASA Sailing fundamentals
Fatty's buy, outfit, sail
and a few others I forgot the name of plus some ocean fishing and knot tying books as well.

I watched the video on how the fellow was steering with a tiller. I thought he was pretty ingenious figuring out how to steer with a storm jib. Very interesting.

CB
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Old 09-04-2012, 20:07   #44
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Re: What is your Favorite Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Adelie,

If your the author of post #34 (you didn't copy and paste), first let me say that was some of the best advice I've ever heard given on CF, so the the OP, read his long post, information doesn't get any better than what Adelie just gave you (and us for that matter).

The OP, you might want to copy #34 and email it to yourself.
I am the author though at the same time it is a bit of a cut and paste.

New folks regularly come along asking "What should I buy?" A lot of times the didn't know the right questions to ask, had unrealistic expectations of goals and regulars that would pipe right in with specific boat recommendations that conflicted with the newbies' limitations or goals. I figured it must be really frustrating for the newbies so I started developing the stock answers and also a list of stock questions figuring it would clarify issues for the Newbies and would help focus the regulars a bit too.

The stock questions I ask are:

How many people?
Kids?
Experience?
Budget?
Where to you want to go?
Any really strong preferences?
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