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Old 10-05-2012, 19:42   #1
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Hull Type

I am in the process of getting into sailing,and purchasing a sailboat,35 to 50 ft,but am confused as to the best type of hull material,I have excluded wood and now the choice is between fiberglass ,composite and steel,this will be a saltwater boat so steel is last on my list because of maint. I would appriciate any input.
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Old 10-05-2012, 20:43   #2
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Re: Hull type

FG and composite still come with their own problems of course. They can both suffer from osmosis and composite can suffer delamination also. In any case a good surveyor will make sure you dont buy a boat that is about to fall apart.
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Old 10-05-2012, 22:56   #3
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Re: Hull type

riserman, be aware that there is a huge differance between a 35 foot boat and a 50 foot boat. Comfort, speed and livability go up as the size goes up, but the cost of yearly maintainance goes up much faster. Much will depend on your intended use. Weekend boat? Live aboard boat? Coastal cruiser? Round the world cruiser? Each catagory has somewhat differant requierments, and conciderably differant prices. Try to get in some sailing on other peoples boats before you buy. The more you know the fewer mistakes you will make. My 2 cents worth.___Grant.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:35   #4
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Re: Hull type

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, riserman.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:46   #5
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Re: Hull type

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Originally Posted by riserman View Post
I am in the process of getting into sailing,and purchasing a sailboat,35 to 50 ft,but am confused as to the best type of hull material,I have excluded wood and now the choice is between fiberglass ,composite and steel,this will be a saltwater boat so steel is last on my list because of maint. I would appriciate any input.
Do NOT exclude wood unless there is a clear reason why you should. Do not exclude steel or aluminum either.

Pick the material you feel most comfortable with - some of us are good at woodwork, others can weld, others can work in fiberglass, etc..

If you are good at nothing and ignorant to technical matters, MAYBE get a sound plastic boat.

BTW If you are 'getting into sailing' then consider getting a start up boat first, use her and abuse her - this is how one learns. MAYBE do not start at the 50' size.

All the above are my opinions. Not to be used for navigation.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 11-05-2012, 18:36   #6
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Re: Hull type

Thank you ,I am not a woodworker,even tho I own 7 Shopsmith tools,I rework them and give them to family and friends,I can weld a little but not very good.I may consider a smaller boat but at 70 years old I can`t waste time,I am in great shape and as a former Marine I have taken care of myself.I will go into this as I do everything and research it well, and here in central Virginia we have several large lakes that I will be able to get some training,I figure I am a year away from a purchase of a larger ocean type boat and by then I will know more.
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Do NOT exclude wood unless there is a clear reason why you should. Do not exclude steel or aluminum either.

Pick the material you feel most comfortable with - some of us are good at woodwork, others can weld, others can work in fiberglass, etc..

If you are good at nothing and ignorant to technical matters, MAYBE get a sound plastic boat.

BTW If you are 'getting into sailing' then consider getting a start up boat first, use her and abuse her - this is how one learns. MAYBE do not start at the 50' size.

All the above are my opinions. Not to be used for navigation.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:04   #7
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Re: Hull type

Doh.

Since you are 70, you might chose to go for the target boat sure. I probably would.

Go do some sailing on some 50 footers. They can differ a lot. Some are for single-handers, others need big crews. Make sure the one you pick is optimised for the king of sailing you want to do in her.

Have a look at Amels, they are big, yet easy. Maybe a good benchmark for finding the right thing.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:35   #8
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Re: Hull type

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I may consider a smaller boat but at 70 years old I can`t waste time, .......
I hear ya there!
I'm approaching my mid 60's and have spent the past 10 years/summers completely rebuilding & up-grading a plastic boat. If I were 70 I'd get the best shape & largest boat that I could single-hand that is ready to go, and within my budget!

It seems no matter what boat one buys, there always something that needs to be changed or up-graded. It doesn't matter what material it is, as long as it's in great shape to start with.
It's easier to maintain what one has that's in prime shape, then to repair/rebuild what one wants! But it is less expensive if you don't count your own time/labor.
As for the type of boat? That comes down to how you plan to use it!
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Old 12-05-2012, 17:28   #9
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Re: Hull type

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Doh.

.
Since you are 70, you might chose to go for the target boat sure. I probably would.

Go do some sailing on some 50 footers. They can differ a lot. Some are for single-handers, others need big crews. Make sure the one you pick is optimised for the king of sailing you want to do in her.

Have a look at Amels, they are big, yet easy. Maybe a good benchmark for finding the right thing.

b.

Bon voyage!
b.
Thank you again,Is a Amels a manufacturer or boat?I am on a somewhat limited budget,I am looking in the range of 50 to 80k price and I think it will be a boat to pass on to my childrean,my older son lives in Beaufort,NC ,so it would be a good fit after I am no longer in the picture,but that is a long way away...I hope.
I will start my search after I complete a sailing school and that should be within a few months,but until then I will get as much info as I can
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Old 12-05-2012, 17:44   #10
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Re: Hull Type

Looked on the internet at the Amels,They seem a little out of my price range.
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Old 12-05-2012, 19:08   #11
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Re: Hull Type

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Looked on the internet at the Amels,They seem a little out of my price range.
Not necessarily out of your range, if you step down from 50' to say 40'.

These: SHARKI 39 (AMEL) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com can be had at the upper end of your range.

Last year I was installing new electronics into one of them - plenty of space, very comfortable boat and very nice woodwork. When the electronics were ready we went to a sea trial and I can only compare the comfort of this boat to a much bigger HR that we sailed some time earlier. And she was easy on the crew - in-mast furling, all control from the most protected cockpit. OK, I got carried away ;-). There are many boats like this around.

Anyways, I bet in the US you will find countless great boats in your price range. No need to look into foreign boats while there are equally good local products aplenty!

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-05-2012, 20:35   #12
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Re: Hull Type

How many people as regular crew? Any kids?
What's your budget to buy and outfit the boat? (living and cruising costs extra.)
Where are you? US east or west coast, Europe, elsewhere?
Where to you want to go?
Are you looking to cruise extensively or liveaboard and occasionally take several weeks or months off to nip around the Caribbean or Baja?
Any really strong preferences to start with? (full/fin keel, mono/multi, spade/skeg/attached rudder, sloop/cutter/mizzen rigged)
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Old 12-05-2012, 21:11   #13
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Re: Hull Type

There really is no right answer to this as it's very much a 'rock/paper/scissors' principle with the various hull materials. Might be more helpfull if you stated what your intended use and budget would be as this will have a strong bearing on the answer. Steel is good for long distance cruisers as it can take a real battering and can be repaired anywhere in the world with minimal local skills, etc. However GRP is better for the occasional weekend sailor as its doesnt rot but can be very expensive to repair and needs specialist knowledge, etc.
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Old 12-05-2012, 21:33   #14
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As a relatively new boat owner, but lifelong dingy sailor, I would recommend to stay away from a 50 foot boat. Costs go up exponentially as you get larger and if you can't afford to buy a big boat you certainly can't afford to maintain, store or insure it in Virginia.

I spent 34K on a solid fiberglas 1982 hull and am very glad I did not go bigger. going from one h
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Old 12-05-2012, 23:45   #15
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Re: Hull Type

I would second shamrocks opinion. I haved sailed on many boat from 26 foot to 100 foot and found that boats in the mid to upper 30s are the best comprimize between comfort , speed and cost. A boat with a secure comfortable cockpit, wide side decks and 3 or 4 inch bulworks will make for a more safe sea boat. Wide side decks make for a little less cabin space but make a much nicer boat to move around on when sailing. At your age (Im not far from yours) and your budget, a 50 footer will eat you alive in cost , maintainance and energy. Simple systems rather than high tech goodies will keep you sailing longer and in boat yards less. Enough of my opinions! Best of Luck to you.____Grant.
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