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Old 01-06-2009, 02:06   #61
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Buying a boat is like getting's a miracle if you get it right the first time. What you're proposing is like heading down to a nasty part of town hoping you'll find a nice girl to spend your life with. All the advice about getting experienceis right on. Date a lot. Go out with lots of boats. Sailors are a friendly lot. They love to show off their boats. Get something small and sail as much as you can. Get a feel for what you think is big enough. Then, when you have some idea of what's right for you AND whether you really want to do this, start looking for the circumnavigator. The comments about the expense are worth memorizing. Read some of the books written by long distance cruisers and I promise you'll find something about having to have a new mast sent into Fiji or some such place. I had a devil of a time getting a new starter for my engine in Nassau. Imagine doing that in Pago Pago. It sounds romantic and exciting but you really need to get in touch with the reality before you jump off the deep end. After you have done the research and decided it's for you, go right ahead. I'll buy your book.

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:30   #62
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Originally Posted by grovernors View Post

Im new, first post see <----. Ill cut right to the chase I have about .01% experience sailing, my friend took me out on a small 10 ft sail boat once. We managed to capsize the sailboat and were unable to right it. We then swam about 1/2 mile back to the beach towing this anchor with the sail still open shoreward.

I however have a passion to circumnavigate the globe and explore. Whilst being ignorant of sailing I am adept at learning.

As such here are my questions, and initial thoughts.

I have been looking into used vessels that I could bring home and fix up as a medium term project. Hands on experience doing maintenance on the vessel I feel is very important to understanding the fundamentals of sailing and an absolute requirement for solo sailing.
Without assuming anything, and taking your post at face value .... here we go....

What size, style and composition sailing vessel will best accommodate a single passenger for circumnavigation and day to day living activities? I would prefer a wider hulled craft as the speedy arrival at the final destination is not my objective, rather Im in it for the journey.
I'll cut right to the chase with "my answers" too.

ANSWER: 118' Turkish Gulet w/4 woman crew and auto-reefing sails.

REASON: If you're plan is to be a "single passenger" on a circumnavigation and you're "in it for the journey" you might as well enjoy the trip.

What size and type of power plant (IE engine) is needed if any?
ANSWER: I would probably go with the 2X 500HP diesel option.

REASON: When your offshore weather router calls and tells the Capt. to "get the heck outta there fast!" ... you wanna be able to get the heck outta there .... fast.

What are some things that I should absolutely look for or out for?
ANSWER: Pirates! Definately pirates. I would STRONGLY suggest complete radio silence while traveling offshore in unfamiliar waters and you should also keep a large compliment of cardboard deck cannons handy and a dozen or so life-size carboard Navy Seals poised with cardboard M-16's.

Also, make it a point to welcome aboard every uniformed navy personel and policeman you can find at each Port of Call. You're going to draw attention no matter what you do ..... the trick is to control the "attention" and make it work to your advantage.

REASON: No predator will attack a prey it knows nothing about, not even a pirate. As long as you keep off the radio, the "element of surprize" is in your court. The minute one of your crew members opens her mouth on the radio ... you've blown it.

Is there an old sailboat "graveyard" that unwanted vessels go to that I may be able to find a bargin from?
ANSWER: YES! But I prefer to use the term "Marina" (only because it sounds much less fatal).

REASON: If you really and truly want "to find a "bargain" .... look at the newer Turkish Gulets. Why, just yesterday I saw a 2008 Gulet that was owned by a serious "don't wanter" and the price was reduced by almost 1,000,000 Euro ... AND .... he's ready to let it go for just under 1,700,000 Euro!

Thank you for your time.
No problem. Hope this advice didn't come too late to be helpful (... and you weren't the Governor of IL when this thread started).

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:17   #63
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You can live on nothing

I read these post and sometimes it gets a good chukle out of me. I bought a 28 Morgan in Minnesota, before ever stepping foot on a sailboat prior. Also with the intent of "sailing the world" Some were mad at this, saying that someone, some day, would possibly have to put their life on the line to save me, but most were sooo supportive. I think that some you have forgoten what it was like in the beginning, if you started out with the minimums verses just got the high end boat right away. In the end it is better to out there than not!

My experience, at age 22, (now 39)sold everything, bought the boat, learned to sail in Lake Pepin in Minnesota, and in October away I went, all the way down the Ole Mississippi, way overloaded, way underpowered (9.9) but none the less free!! About a $1000 in my pocket. Leasons learned, to many to list. One funny one is that a portta potty will never be on a boat I own again, after emptying it the first time and it cavetated and sprayed 20 day old poop all over me I switched to a zip lock bag and a coffee can. LOL After running out of money, about 1 year, I would go to same day work same day pay and found that 3-4 days of work would get me by 30-45 days.
I never did the circumnavigation but did live for 2 years, met the best people and would not sell it for nothing. A 28 foot was a very big Boat in Minnesota but sure shrank up in the Ocean.

Check Florida for mid sized boats, the are evrywhere and sell pretty cheap.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:31   #64
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i would say if you plan to go below then you need to have headroom .. otherwise you will be forever slumped over banging your head and possibly injuring your back in the process.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:40   #65
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30-32 feet is just a real nice size. easy to maintain and handle, big enough for some room and to handle some weather and they are pretty darn cheap nowadays...
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:41   #66
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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
I like it! When I first went looking for a liveaboard my criteria were 33' long, 6'2" headroom and a shower. I ended up with a 1938 Seabird yawl, 25' on deck with 4'6" headroom and a hand pump for fresh water, no sink. I lived on the boat for 10 years, during which time my motto was "there's nothing you can do on your feet that can't be done on your knees"


You're right, but hopscotch would be rather painful.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:09   #67
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I'm with Dick Pluta, sailors are a friendly lot... get out on as many boats as you can so you get an idea of what works for you. We started with absolutely no knowledge or experience... just a desire to go cruising. Rather than do a long dissertation on how we went from know-nothings to today, you can visit to see how we did it.

Good Luck and don't give up your dreams!

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Old 01-06-2009, 20:32   #68
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Sailing the world is not one of my quests. It was when I was ten because not many had done it. But now I older and just want be out on the water sailing and exploring. Hell, I can even visit places I visited 18 -20 years ago and know they will not be the same. I had my thrill of ocean storms as a commercial fisherman. I am currently closing a deal on a somewhat non-original 1978 hunter 25. I know that I can handle the boat single-handed, afford the costs of up keep and cruising, and be fairly comfortable. While a newer 28-foot might afford more amenities and creature comfort, I don't want an oversized weather-helmed bathtub. If I want to do some open blue water cruising I will most likely look for a crew position. I can sail, weld, cook, work on engines, esp., the older ones, and I can do a bit of electrical work. I can do some island hopping with this boat but I won't try to cross 300 to 400miles of open water with her while someone else might try. What picture comes to my mind about people who haven't even done any coastal cruising wanting to sail the world is Capt. Jack Sparrow sailing off in the dingy at the end of "At the Worlds End" drinking a bottle of brandy. All the novices believe he is going to make it because he is Captain Jack Sparrow and all ready escaped death. In reality, the people who blue water cruise have years of experience and know enough not try and sail a dingy in open water while drinking rum.
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Old 21-06-2009, 23:28   #69
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Ahhh to have a dream. I guess if you sit in your boat and it cannot keep afloat it is too small.

Of course this is just philosophically speaking.

How small is too small to fly a plane cross country or Trans-atlantic.

27' 90HP 75mph biplane
27' 225 HP 133 mph airplane

Now most of wouldn't dream of doing this but it didn't stop Charles Lindbergh

Even though Lindbergh had not had a lesson (or even flown) in more than half a year, he had nonetheless already secretly decided that he was ready to take to the air by himself. And so, after just half an hour of dual time with a pilot who was visiting the field to pick up another surplus JN-4, Lindbergh flew on his own for the first time in the Jenny that he had just purchased there for $500.[14][15] After spending another week or so at the field to "practice" (thereby acquiring five hours of "pilot in command" time), Lindbergh took off from Americus for Montgomery, Alabama, on his first solo cross country flight, wikipedia
5 hours flying time! ! !

That said, I am not Lindbergh and would want many many hours and NM of experience
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Old 22-06-2009, 00:47   #70
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What a romantic idea -- carefully prepare a $500, 20' lake boat (Carina and me), and set off on the deep blue to sail around the world.

Well, it can be done, and it has been done. If you don't value your life too highly, then that's a good way to do it. If you survive, it will really be something to tell your grandchildren about.

Going far off shore involves risks, no matter what kind of boat you're on or how many experienced crew you have, but the risks will be about 1000x higher with that setup, than with what people typically cross oceans with.

The problem is that the open ocean is not like a pleasant meadow you can just stroll across. It is thousands of miles across in places with nothing but emptiness all around, no food, no water, no shelter except your boat and what's in it. If some important part of your gear breaks, you can die. If you get caught in a storm, you can be swallowed up without a trace, in a boat like that.

So how small is too small? It depends on what risks you are willing to take. If you want to be "reasonably safe" -- that means, not totally safe, but with good chances of surviving most contingencies -- you'll want something at least 40' LOA (or if smaller, a heavy displacement boat made for the open ocean), and you will want to make sure it's in top condition, loaded with spares, and well equipped with a lot of redundant systems. Reliable self-steering is particularly important if you're going to be alone (which also adds a huge amount of risk). You will want to spend some time acquiring various skills including how to fix things when they bring, and how to handle heavy weather.

If "reasonably safe" is not required, then you can do it on whatever you like. Oceans have been crossed in dinghies, and in rowboats. Even on windsurfers, I think.
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Old 22-06-2009, 06:15   #71
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If you want the definitive answer read "A Speck on the Sea" by William Longyard. It is a compendium of every crazy voyage in every kind of small vessel. He describes dozens. There is a review with some citations here:


The description of what Paul Boynton did is of special interest. It doesn't get much smaller than his "vessel".

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Old 22-06-2009, 08:09   #72
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displacement might be a better indicator than length

Because of the amount of weight that must be transported during a long passage, beginning with such niceties as water and provisions, I think it's better to consider the question: "How light is too light?"

From my perspective, anything displacing less than 9 tons would be unacceptable, and something displacing more than 12 tons would be desirable.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 26-06-2009, 18:50   #73
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Much good information in this thread already.

I think it was Nathanial Herrishoff who also said of blue water voyaging, 'Get a boat that can take care of you when you can no longer take care of it.'

I suggest you read:

Robin Knox Johnston - 'A World of My Own'
Tanya Aebi - 'Maiden Voyage'
Robin Lee Grahm - 'Dove'
John Neal - 'Log of the Mahina'

All the above were young (ish) people who single-handed boats 32' or less. They did it in a variety of hull designs and with varying levels of experience. While their voyages took place a while ago you will gain a perspective of the psychological aspects of your dream as well as the physical aspect of small boat cruising. I suggested this same reading list to my son who now owns a 27' Watkins, 'Walkabout', and has made a round trip voyage from NC to Bahamas single handing back 5 days in the open Atlantic. He is now in the process of selling the boat to buy another, larger boat, based on his experience on the 27' in order to sail around the world.
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Old 19-08-2009, 09:58   #74
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I just wanted to weigh in because I own what would be considered a small boat and I chose this particular boat for many reasons. Every boat out there comes with a list of pro's and a list of con's. For people to say why bother if they don't include a watermaker, TV, and refrigerator I feel are ignorant. I have a Pearson Triton which will be able to fit 60 gallons of water. That is feasibly enough for one person for a 30 day Pacific run. Maybe to play it safe I would add jugs of water for the just in case. If you are not in a marina, are you really going to consistently try and run a TV everyday and waste precious power, pick up a good book. Your in the tropics, learn how to identify different fish or birds. Refrigerators are a luxury, if your boat is big enough and maintenance can be afforded, all the power to ya. But there is such a thing as non-perishable food and it won't kill me to drink warm water. I'm not saying that if I could have those things I would turn it down. What I'm saying is that I know what I can afford, I know that I will survive and it will still be a great experience. The Triton is 28'6", I am 6'1" and I can stand up in the cabin. I can't jump up and down, but why would I want to do that. It has a place to cook and prepare food, it has an area for navigation equipment and radios, it has a head, and most importantly it has a decent size v-berth. It has been proven as a worthy world traveler and has stood up to what the sea has thrown at her. Now I can't take an Irish spring shower, I don't have a stateroom, I don't have two bathrooms. But I bet my little Triton can go from the west coast to the Marquesas and spend less money doing it. The important thing is if the individual or couple is happy living and cruising on the boat, if they are then it doesn't matter how big it is and if it has SatTV, humidor, waterheater, Teak interior. I like my little Triton. What's better is it's mine, not the banks. Now if I could just get the damn thing in the water!!!
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Old 19-08-2009, 10:41   #75
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I humbly submit Porter's rule #2:
The ideal size cruising sailboat is 10' bigger than whatever you happen to be on
when the weather goes to hell.

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