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Old 06-08-2006, 07:00   #1
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Advice wanted on 38-41 liveaboard cruisers

Wife and I will be picking up a boat next year and would like to be coastal cruising at least 9 months a year. The other time we will spend in our RV. We have been full time in our motorhome for 5 years now since retirement. We have been looking at Benneteau's and Hunters primarily since they fall in our price range and seem to have the room we think we need for all our "STUFF". We plan to cruise primarily the Pacific west coast, but may initially may need to cruise the Gulf coast first since it seems what we are searching for is on the East coast. All comments, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated. BTW, is it better to have the boat shipped to the west coast or sail it. We don't have to be anywhere at any particular time and do have the option to pick our weather.

Thanks,
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:16   #2
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For new boaters, you are starting with one big plus. You are used to living in confined area with limited storage (RV). We have guests who sail with us at times. They adapted easily because they are RV'rs.

Are you looking at Benneteau's and Hunters new? They are fine for coastal cruising, but if you are looking at new, expand your horizons to used boats and get more for the $$ in size, equipment, and/or comfort.

Trucking or sailing a boat is a bigger issue. For a new sailor to take an unknown boat from one coast to the other as a maiden voyage is bold. Doable? Yes. But get used to sailing first, and really research the route. It is a trip I would love to make and may someday if I don’t run out of sailing days before I run out of destinations.

You’ll find lots of good advice on this forum.

Welcome aboard.

George
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:36   #3
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Richards designed Cheoy Lee's. Personaly I prefer the 38 to the 41 for seakindlyness.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:36   #4
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Have you considered a MORGAN OUTISLAND 41?

They're full keeled and not exactly a performance sailer - but they sure make a comfortable liveaboard. Some cosider them a more a motor-sailor... which would compliment your motor-home life style. It's a successful design with hundreds produced and they range in price from $25K to $75K. I've seen them in ports all around the world so I know the're capable of bluewater tradewind sailing. Earl Hinz sailed throughout the Pacific aboard a Morgan OI 41 (s/v Horizon) while writing his very informative guides.

Sailing a boat from the Gulf of Mexico to California can be a real slog. I'd want to take the better part of a year and do it via the Caribbean and then Hawaii after Panama.

Dockwise can ship a 40 ft boat from Ft Lauderdale to Ensenada for about $10K in a matter of weeks.

But for Ten Grand - I'd take the adventure, see the world and maybe catch a few fish.

Happy Hunting,

Kirk
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:04   #5
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I would agree with some of the posters who suggest buying a used better quality boat rather than a new Hunter or Beneteau. When talk about sailing a boat from the US East Coast to the US Pacific Coast that places a lot of wear and tear on a boat, perhaps something comparable to 5 to 10 years of use for a normal coastal cruiser.

While you can time that trip so that it is a milk run I suggest that the reality is that is a trip that would probably favor a boat that is intended for offshore use.

A couple choices that I would throw out might include something like a Caliber 40 LRC, Pacific Seacraft, Valiant 40 or perhaps something like a Kelly Peterson 44 (a particular favorite of mine). The Peterson like the Cheoy Lees that are mentioned above originally came with teak decks. I would not even bother with one that still had its teak decks.

I personally would avoid the Out Island 41 mentioned above for a whole range of reasons. Although they make very comfortable live-aboards and can be beefed up to do offshore cruising, in my experience with them, they really are not very good offshore boats both from a build quality and motion comfort standpoint.

Good Luck,
Jeff
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:46   #6
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Appreciated the info; we were looking at a used boat, simply for depreciation reasons. We are not complete novices on the water, but have never contemplated such a trip on a new boat to us. And really have not considered a passage to Hawaii. Regarding the Morgan; have not read anything good. Would prefer an older boat but insurance requires us to purchase one that is no more than 10 yrs old. Haven't seen a Cheoy Lee anywhere near our budget of abt $110,000 that new. Like I said before we are in no hurry to get anywhere except out of bad weather season.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:36   #7
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Aloha D&C,
I keep giving the same advice each time it is asked on this forum so most here think it is old hat.
You've asked for advice so here it is:
Pick a boat between 32 - 36 on deck. No larger. Fiberglass hull. Cutter Rig. Find one with a good reputation for quality. Acquaintances sailed their Hans Christian 32 across the Atlantic and now selling their boat for $90K in Philiadelphia. That would be an example of a very good quality, well made sea boat with all the gear aboard for cruising. There are many more examples.
Larger is not always better nor is it more comfortable and I think it is better to get used to not having so much stuff and having a good quality sailing craft.
Good luck in your search. There is the perfect boat out there for you. You just have to find her.
Kind Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:49   #8
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I am curious why you would buy the boat on the East coast. There a are a number of boats that fit your description available on the West coast. Sailing through the canal would be a nice trip, but in consideration of wear and tear on the boat, it will not save you money. Trucking the boat is far more economical if you are approaching it from a delivery standpoint. If, as was suggested, you approach it as a destination, it is worth the expense.
FWIW, I have a 40 foot Challenger ketch that will be going up for sale in the next couple of months. IMHO, it would suit your needs very well. If interested, PM me, and I will send you the specifics.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:40   #9
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D&C Martin,

Lots of good suggestions above. Here's my take on a couple of points not already mentioned.

You say you want to sail the Pacific Coast. Why? And where on the Pacific Coast? In general, good sailing destinations are few and are VERY FAR APART on the Pacific Coast, and involve a lot of sometimes rugged ocean sailing. Are you really up to this? Exception: the Pacific Northwest in summer.

Sailors with limited experience are more likely to have more fun on the East Coast. You can sail from Maine to Florida with very little ocean work required, hundreds (nay, thousands) of fun and interesting places to stop, never far from "civilization" or help if you need it, etc., etc. The West Coast is no place for inexperienced sailors, or for those who really like to gunkhole. Ditto for the Gulf Coast, though it's a bit more friendly.

Re: boats, those mentioned have a lot to offer, and your budget of $110K is more than enough to find a sound, good sailing, older vessel which can take you anywhere in comfort and with a turn of speed. My son is in the process of purchasing an older (1984) 42' sloop in excellent condtion -- very clean -- for about $62K. When he gets it fully fitted out for long-distance cruising, the total cost will be far less than your budget. And, it would be good to heed the advice about going smaller rather than larger. A boat under 40' has much to recommend it.

So, I'd opt for sailing the East Coast most of the year, and exploring the West Coast by RV. To horribly paraphrase a cruiser's saying, "nothing goes to windward like a V-8".

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:46   #10
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Don't be mesmerized by floating condo's. Most of these boats have lots of open space but little, if any, usable storage space that will be needed for long term cruising. Figure out what you will be taking with you and put in piles. Get some rough measurements as to size and then thoroughly check out any prospective boat. I'm particularly big on drawers. They aren't the most effective use of space but they are the most effective storage. You can easily get at things in a drawer which is not the case for lockers. They also tend to stay dry while lockers often fill with water.

The best boats are ones that have been prepared and used for cruising. Typically the owners have made many of the modifications to make the boat livable and practical for cruising. Daysailing and cruising are too totally different uses of a boat and, unfortunately, the cruising side takes more expensive items.

Beneteau's, at least the new ones, and Hunters don't look like boats I'd be caught dead in, offshore. They are built to a budget and are all eye candy. Remember what candy does to your teeth.

Check out the Morgan 38, Pearson 365, Tartan 37, Allied 36, for production boats that are affordable and have a good reputation for quality of build. Jeff H's list boats are all good but I'd go smaller and cheaper.

In any case, expect to put 10-20 or more boat units into any boat you buy to get it ready.

Aloha
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:57   #11
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Again, appreciate all the input. I am still restrained to a boat less than 10 yrs old, so an '84, '86, etc. is not an option for me. And far as the Pacific west coast I am referring to the WHOLE west coast from Valdez to Peru.

Thanks again,
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Old 06-08-2006, 13:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&CMartin
Would prefer an older boat but insurance requires us to purchase one that is no more than 10 yrs old.
Find a different insurance compay. I had no trouble with Progressive insuring a 1980 Cheoy or a 79 Hunter.
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Old 06-08-2006, 13:18   #13
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As we are Alaska residents and the boat will be (for insurance purposes) birthed in San Diego our insurance options are very limited. Besides Progressive is definitely NOT a company I as a veteran would wish to support.

Thanks again for the advice,

Donald
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Old 06-08-2006, 15:35   #14
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Donald, For coastal, I firmly believe in going with the biggest boat you can afford, and handle. Off shore is a different story. I agree that West Coast sailing is a bit more effort than East Coast in some areas, and not as warm, but from your starting point, it is all down hill. As for Progressive, I am curious about your misgivings. For basic boat insurance, they are competitive, and if you ever do have a claim, their special lines adjusters are all very knowledgable on boats. This is in stark contrast to companies that try to send adjusters out who handle cars, and don't know a mast from a boom.
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Old 06-08-2006, 15:55   #15
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I can underatand your misgivings about their "liberal" suport. But it comes down to the where you want to vote with YOUR dollars. I'd at least investigate other insurers before being forced into a boat that might not be the best for the job.
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