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Old 23-03-2008, 19:50   #16
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H28 style boats such as the Walker 28 are great sea boats. Many have circumnavigated.
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The one on the left is an early timber version, the one on the right a fiberglass "Walker" version. This photo was taken in the Gippsland lakes. (Where I have my little boat)
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Old 23-03-2008, 20:28   #17
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Thanks to Jackdale and Sailormann for the info about the Catalina not being an open water boat. (Does this apply to all of their models?)
Basically - yes. Catalina makes a roomy, comfortable coastal cruiser. For hundreds of reasons, they are not the most suitable boats for off-shore work. The largest of their boats are more suitable than the smallest, but thaty are still not on par with Valiants, etc. There are people who have sailed them around the world and come home safely, but there are also people out there who have won lotteries, and I think the odds of each occurring are roughly similar.

Spend a lot more time on research. There are hulls that are designed and built for the open sea. If you read the archives of this and similar forums, you'll find that some names pop up regularly. Others don't. Buying the boat is just the beginning of your expenses. If I were looking to circumnavigate, and had a budget under 300K - I'd look for something under 30 feet. Good sails and gear cost money.

Buy this book:

Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (Paperback)
by John Vigor (
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Old 23-03-2008, 20:51   #18
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H28 style boats such as the Walker 28 are great sea boats. Many have circumnavigated.
Attachment 3075

The one on the left is an early timber version, the one on the right a fiberglass "Walker" version. This photo was taken in the Gippsland lakes. (Where I have my little boat)
They look like nice boats. I believe I've read that a single-hander should stick to a single mast, no?

Thanks for the book recommendation.

Thanks - Jake
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Old 23-03-2008, 21:23   #19
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Seaworthiness? Length? For bluewater?

I'd suggest reading Fastnet, Force 10 which is an interesting read. It also goes into boats sunk and damaged in that race--sorting them out by size among other things.

Many of the oceangoing racers will not allow a 30' boat to even enter, in the dual beliefs that is is too slow (can't keep the finish line up forever) and too dangerous in the open seas.

I'm not saying it is too dangerous--but that's mainly a matter of your skills at weather prediction and ship handling, versus the wx that can really build offshore. Simply being in the bigger boat, all else being equal, gives you a better chance against worse waves.

And, whatever you buy, remember that if you load it up past the design load line (easy if it wasn't intended for a liveaboard!) the boat may become a bit of a pig. Sticking ten days worth of food, fuel, and water in a boat can REALLY add pounds to it. Twenty, more so.
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Old 23-03-2008, 21:30   #20
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Space and comfort are American ways of life (I'm a yank), it's all perspective and your personal tolorance level! A sound boat is a sound boat (as long as you listen to her and keep her within her envelope)... If a person jumps into a situation without at least some research, then guess what??? you deserve it... but if you are aware of your surroundings, and know the consiquences (sp?) GO IN WHATEVER YOU LIKE!!!
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Old 23-03-2008, 21:39   #21
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Hey Hello -

I definitely do NOT have racing in my plan. If I get to race again some day, it will be as a crewman on someone else's boat!

I've definitely read many posts about cruisers / liveaboards being inches below their normal waterlines...

Because of my lack of experience, blue water will not be part of at least the first year. However, it is something that I'd loike to put on the 'some day' list so I want to have a boat that is ready. Because of that, my 'requirements' include full keel, keel-mounted rudder, tiller (preferably), etc.

From the excellent responses I've received in this and other threads, it seems that a general rule of thumb might be that the more spacious and open the cabin is, the more likely it is that you're looking at a coastal boat. It sounds like the more able long distance boats forfeit some space for more structure.
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Old 23-03-2008, 23:00   #22
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They look like nice boats. I believe I've read that a single-hander should stick to a single mast, no?

Thanks for the book recommendation.

Thanks - Jake
A ketch is a great boat for offshore. It is much easier to balance than a sloop. Single handing a ketch is no more difficult.

Jack
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Old 23-03-2008, 23:18   #23
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A ketch is a great boat for offshore. It is much easier to balance than a sloop. Single handing a ketch is no more difficult.

Jack
Very cool! I've always liked the look of a ketch. No particular reason - I just like them...

I suppose in close quarters, you just drop the mizzen (?) and just deal with the main.

What are the drawbacks of a ketch when it comes to maintenance? Two masts, two sets of rigging...
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Old 24-03-2008, 00:54   #24
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I recently went through the same struggle of which boat to buy. The Hunters, Catalinas, Beneteaus, etc... were all sexy, modern, roomy boats but I too have that desire to 'one day' venture further off-shore than a few miles. I'm a single-hander and wanted to be in the 30-34' range. I ended up with an Island Packet 27 - that's 27' on deck, probably around 31' LOA and 24'ish at the waterline. My previous boat was a Hunter 26 and there is a HUGE difference in interior space.
I think you are on the right track as far as size goes. Of course it's more cramped than a small apartment, but living aboard is the way to go.

Look at as many boats as possible and take the time to imagine this as your home - because it will be. There are a lot of good boats out there to choose from. If you have the time/money, do what I did. Fly out to an area that has a lot of boats for sale (ie, Florida) and spend a week driving the area and looking.

I don't think you said what your budget is... Of course that makes a big difference here too.
Speaking of budget, make sure you factor in a good amount for outfitting. Don't blow it all on the boat. I had heard that over and over on these forums but didn't pay as much attention to it as I should have. Now that I'm on the boat and started looking at what I want/need, my list is up to around $25k to be where I want before heading out to the Caribbean! That's a little over 50% of my purchase price...

Good luck. Keep us posted on how the search is going. Since you are probably going to be looking at a lot of the same boats I did, I would be happy to share my thoughts about them.
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Old 24-03-2008, 07:49   #25
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Go to Annapolis

Your blog shows you to be in Cape May, NJ. Take a weekend trip to Annapolis this spring and look at some boats. It will be very informative and inspirational. There is a free monthly newpaper called Spinsheet for Chesapeake sailors that is also on the web. It lists all of the local happenings; you might want to partake of some as you prepare for your voyage.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 24-03-2008, 08:56   #26
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Very cool! I've always liked the look of a ketch. No particular reason - I just like them...

I suppose in close quarters, you just drop the mizzen (?) and just deal with the main.

What are the drawbacks of a ketch when it comes to maintenance? Two masts, two sets of rigging...
The two sets of rigging are advantageous as they spread the load and reduce the mast height, moving the centre of effort down.

The only drawback comes from the fact that most ketchs are full keels, which means the do not point as well as fin keels. Just remember that all boats are compromises. No one design can do all things well.

Jack
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Old 24-03-2008, 09:08   #27
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The two sets of rigging are advantageous as they spread the load and reduce the mast height, moving the centre of effort down.

The only drawback comes from the fact that most ketchs are full keels, which means the do not point as well as fin keels. Just remember that all boats are compromises. No one design can do all things well.

Jack
That drawback is not a drawback for me! One of things that is important to me when purchasing a boat is a full keel and keel-mounted rudder. Hopefully it's never needed but I like the idea of an underside that can take a shot without things falling off...

Thanks for the clarification on the masts and rig...

- Jake
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Old 24-03-2008, 09:56   #28
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Jake-
"it seems that a general rule of thumb might be that the more spacious and open the cabin is, the more likely it is that you're looking at a coastal boat."
Not a bad generality. I forget who but one of the bpoating authors wrote something a long time ago about "never get a boat that has a space wider than you'd want to be thrown across" in the belief that sooner or later, if you are offshore you will be thrown across the cabin, and the bigger it is, the harder you (or something!) will land.
I suppose square corners on cabinets and tabletops are another tipoff that it is a "shore" boat, they'll do more damage to your ribs.<G>
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