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Old 22-05-2014, 17:47   #1
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Living the Dream

I am new to this forum, and the idea of a large boat. I've been researching for a long time trying to figure out the best vessel or plan or how things are done and how much they should cost etc... I am NOT new to sailing however. I haven't been a boat for a couple years, but for many years I did race Snipes and Rebels. I adore Snipes for their superior lines and racing qualities, however I don't know if a giant Snipe would be comfortable to live on or even practical, especially considering this is more of a cruising idea because I would rather have my ship strong and comfortable instead of fast. Although fast on some level would be good as well.

Basically I'm trying to decide a few things here, bearing in mind that I know essentially nothing. Should I go with a sloop, ketch, or schooner? Does a full keel really have an advantage over a fin keel? Is it better to use gaff rigging? How much does boat size matter?

My goals are to start out by making trips from SC to the Caribbean and eventually go through the Panama Canal and sail to Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and around the world. From what I've figured out and I could be incorrect I should get at least a 35 foot (10.67m) boat with a minimum of a 6 foot draft. I know that Formosa Ketches(Hudson Force, Island Trader) are a gamble on quality, but I think they are gorgeous boats. I'm also curious how much slips cost. I tried figuring it out and I can assume by the foot is literal but I don't want to assume. However I did the math and for a 35 foot boat that's 450 USD. That might be normal, I'm not sure.

Is there a boat size or trait that I should avoid for island hopping or for open sea travel? I feel that it is important to mention that I need to be able to handle this vessel solo if at all possible.

Thanks in advance for any advice, tips, criticism etc...
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