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Old 26-09-2013, 07:36   #31
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

Many of these old boats had their bottoms fiber-glassed over up to the water lines but unfortunately you could still have soft spots from wood worms.

As attractive as she may appear, you have received good advice from many.....don't do it. You and your SO could possibly end a beautiful relationship over the disappointments and frustrations.

Life is good....
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Old 26-09-2013, 08:04   #32
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

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Originally Posted by fjwiley1 View Post
Many of these old boats had their bottoms fiber-glassed over up to the water lines but unfortunately you could still have soft spots from wood worms.

As attractive as she may appear, you have received good advice from many.....don't do it. You and your SO could possibly end a beautiful relationship over the disappointments and frustrations.

Life is good....
The seller stated that they should have someone look it over,If its at a marina and not on the hard ,give it a sea trial and look it over real good If it runs and floats it is no more trouble to keep up than any other boat,of course the person could take all the advice from folks that have never seen tha boat and think all the sheep should follow there lead and you will have no boat ..You dont have to be very smart to look for punky wood and sprung planks(if the bilge pump runs all the time ,then act like a sheep baa baa.)good luck and watch out for those sheers ...
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Old 29-09-2013, 12:44   #33
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

If you plan to cruise, be aware that as you approach the equator, teredos ( and other wood eating worms) become more and more voracious.

I bought my first wooden boat 54 years ago. That was also my Last wooden boat.
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Old 16-10-2013, 13:06   #34
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

prices for boaters have just gone way up. Marinas in Back Creek are running around 9k per year for a 44 ft monohull as a way of comparison. To live aboard throw another couple thousand at it in live-aboard fees, laundry fees, etc. And remember that is strictly to rent, no equity build up as a house could potentially provide. The money is simply gone.
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Old 16-10-2013, 13:54   #35
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

That's a really good point, schoonerdog. My husband and I are wannabe cruisers, trying to plan how much boat we can afford. I'm reverse engineering that figure, starting with making a very detailed spreadsheet of every single piece of gear and provisioning needed to safely (for our family of five) ship out. Once tallied, I'll factor in how much we think we can rent our apartment for (we live in Manhattan and have what is by those standards a large apartment), our savings and what's left is how much boat we can afford. It will necessarily be a range since some boats will require little in the way of gear and others will require a lot.

But the bottom line is we need to be able to rent our apartment to finance our cruising dream since selling it would mean sinking all that money into a boat, which is basically a floating depreciation mechanism.
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Old 16-10-2013, 14:39   #36
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That's a really good point, schoonerdog. My husband and I are wannabe cruisers, trying to plan how much boat we can afford. I'm reverse engineering that figure, starting with making a very detailed spreadsheet of every single piece of gear and provisioning needed to safely (for our family of five) ship out. Once tallied, I'll factor in how much we think we can rent our apartment for (we live in Manhattan and have what is by those standards a large apartment), our savings and what's left is how much boat we can afford. It will necessarily be a range since some boats will require little in the way of gear and others will require a lot.

But the bottom line is we need to be able to rent our apartment to finance our cruising dream since selling it would mean sinking all that money into a boat, which is basically a floating depreciation mechanism.
How old Are the kids?
Where do you want to go for two yr? Caribbean or Europe?
Have you considered getting a couple 3 Lasers and going out 1-3 times a month for 3-4 hr? If you can get the kids invested in sailing it will make talking them into the trip easier.
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Old 16-10-2013, 14:45   #37
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

So MUCh great advice above, it's hard to add anything except this. You appear to be going into a boat because it's cheaper than apartment living. When you compare size and facilities you may be cheating yourself and, more importantly, your new bride. I'll say it again: Until she leaves the dock a boat is simply substandard housing. If you will have none of the payback of boating and all the expense and hassle you owe it to yourself to compare the boat and dock rental costs to what you might get in a rented apartment for the same money.
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Old 16-10-2013, 17:43   #38
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

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How old Are the kids?
Where do you want to go for two yr? Caribbean or Europe?
Have you considered getting a couple 3 Lasers and going out 1-3 times a month for 3-4 hr? If you can get the kids invested in sailing it will make talking them into the trip easier.
Kids are 16, 8, and 5. Our teen is dead set against cruising, and since she may well be in college before we set sail, that may be just as well. We'd like to cruise Europe and Caribbean since we have relatives everywhere, so year each might be how we not disappoint anyone. We plan to start with sailing lessons for everyone, hoping the kids will get into it. Weather is about to begin to be rough here though so real sailing may have to wait till spring since it will be difficult for us to take off to warmer climes until May.
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Old 16-10-2013, 21:37   #39
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

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Originally Posted by RedFeather View Post
Kids are 16, 8, and 5. Our teen is dead set against cruising, and since she may well be in college before we set sail, that may be just as well. We'd like to cruise Europe and Caribbean since we have relatives everywhere, so year each might be how we not disappoint anyone. We plan to start with sailing lessons for everyone, hoping the kids will get into it. Weather is about to begin to be rough here though so real sailing may have to wait till spring since it will be difficult for us to take off to warmer climes until May.
I would hold off on buying the boat for a year to see if the teen comes around once they learn to sail, but probably you should count on them skipping the trip.

I have a girl 6 and a boy 4 and our plan is to go to New Zealand before she hits high school. Consequently we have been giving a lot of thought to what we want in a boat.

The first key conclusion I have come to is that with kids we want a pilot berth or quarter berth for each kid. They each need the security of a place that is theirs. Giving them a dinette seat or settee seat that has to convert every night and is community seating thru the day isn't enough, it is not a place they can go to anytime they want to sulk, or rest or be 'alone', or read or ... If we had a lot more money we could afford a newer boat with multiple cabins, but we don't so the aim for us is an older boat with pilot berths and/or quarterberths.

The second key conclusion is that while there will be 4 people aboard, 2 of them as children will not be contributing significantly to the operation of the boat. In settled weather they can probably stand a short watch together twice a day, but in heavy weather you will probably want them below. That means that in heavy weather or a rough anchorage the boat will be double-handed or less since one of you will need to check on the kids periodically. This argues for a smaller boat. In one of their books L&L Pardey discuss the Xmas 1982 Cabo debacle where more than 1/2 the fleet of 40 odd boats was driven ashore in an unexpected gale. One of their conclusions agreed to by a number of the sailors that were there was that above about 37' it was very difficult for a couple to manage the boat. Holding the boat size to 37' for your family may not be possible, but it is worth aiming for. With a lot of experience and extra gear (read money and maintenance holes) you can get away with significantly bigger. I personally wouldn't go over 43' period.

See the following posts I have written for other people wanting to go on a limited budget. Recommendations vary slightly with crew size.

If you have a preliminary budget for buy and outfit I could make some specific recommendations.

Family Boat ...

Boat Recommendation - 35-45' Bluewater Boat with Two-Cabin Floor Plan ?

What Size Sailboat Can Be Safely Operated by a Solo Sailor ?

Newcomers needing advice on boat purchase

My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Coastal Cruising Boat Selection Help
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:34   #40
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

Excellent advice, Adelie. Many thanks. We started off thinking we would spend somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000. With more thought, we realized we probably needed three cabins and two heads, so we upped our budget to $125,000 to $150,000. In another turn, as my gear spreadsheet started to look like the party goods list for Tyco Inc. before they all went to jail for fraud, we downgraded the budget to $75,000 to $100,000. Our two youngest kids don't mind sharing, but my teen must have her own space for all our sakes. And for trans-Atlantic and other long crossings, we'd need a berth for at least one crew member. Almost forgot to mention: My husband is 6'4" and 5-year-old is already 4'.

Boats we like are the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter Legend, Tayana Vancouver--all in the 40' to 44' range and with either three or four cabins. Crazy?
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Old 17-10-2013, 00:29   #41
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

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Originally Posted by RedFeather View Post
Excellent advice, Adelie. Many thanks. We started off thinking we would spend somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000. With more thought, we realized we probably needed three cabins and two heads, so we upped our budget to $125,000 to $150,000. In another turn, as my gear spreadsheet started to look like the party goods list for Tyco Inc. before they all went to jail for fraud, we downgraded the budget to $75,000 to $100,000. Our two youngest kids don't mind sharing, but my teen must have her own space for all our sakes. And for trans-Atlantic and other long crossings, we'd need a berth for at least one crew member. Almost forgot to mention: My husband is 6'4" and 5-year-old is already 4'.

Boats we like are the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter Legend, Tayana Vancouver--all in the 40' to 44' range and with either three or four cabins. Crazy?
Keep in mind that outfitting costs will run 33-66% of purchase price, so is your $75-100k price point buy or buy&outfit? Assuming it is a buy only number then to hit you price point and keep the volume of boats manageable I have limited consideration to boats introduced in the 1980s or earlier.

The Vancouver has berthing issues, it wasn't built with 3 seaberths in any version I found. Fine boat for a couple, just not a family. VANCOUVER 42

The Tayana model of the Vancouver has sail area problems, you would wind up motoring a lot more than a better canvassed boat. I don't know about the berthing. TAYANA VANCOUVER 42

HUNTER 43 LEGEND
HUNTER 40 LEGEND
HUNTER 45 LEGEND
None of the Hunter Legend has appropriate berthing. The 40 & 43 look like IOR hulls, which can have some weather helm problems in heavy weather but are fine in normal weather if sailed a bit conservatively, eg be careful with the spinnaker flying.

FIRST 42 (BENETEAU) Deep draft, Good berthing provided pilot berths have not been converted to storage.
FIRST 405 (BENETEAU) Deep draft. Ok berthing for 4.
OCEANIS 430 (BENETEAU) Don't see a good place for the offwatch adult to sleep.
FIRST 435 (BENETEAU) Double aft cabin model looks ok.


SUN FIZZ 40 (JEANNEAU) Looks ok
SUN CHARM 39 (JEANNEAU) Looks ok but a bit light.
SUN LEGENDE 41 (JEANNEAU) Checkstays on the mast so a light mast section and a boat geared for racing. Berthing issues.
SUN ODYSSEY 43 (JEANNEAU) No adult seaberth on port tack assuming one kid to each aft cabin.
FIRST 456 (BENETEAU) Check stays...
GIN FIZZ 37 (JEANNEAU) Good berthing, plenty of sail area, partial skeg for the rudder.
SUN KISS 45 (JEANNEAU) Check stays, berthing issues.

My take is that convenience at sea trumps convenience at anchor or in port even though seatime will only be 10-30% of your total time. At sea you need to be manning the boat around the clock and poor sleeping arrangements can lead to poor judgments. So sleeping arrangements at sea are more important than dining and entertaining arrangements. Beginning in the mid-70's to early-80's interior designs shifted towards accommodations more geared to coastal and protected water sailing with few overnight sails, this is what the vast majority of people were doing with their boats so manufacturers responded.

Since you want to go offshore I would suggest looking more at older vessels laid out more with racing in mind. The older boats tend to be plenty well built but were expected to carry a reasonable sized crew on longer races so they had more good seaberths. Boats designed for cruising generally were, and still are, designed with a couple in mind, not a family so they tend to be short on good berths.

If you want to go down this road:
CAL 40 Wonderful berthing and sail area. Moderate draft. Good reputation.
CAL 43 Wonderful layout for whole family, plenty of sail area. Draft a bit deep for Bahamas and canal are off limits. Only a few ever built.
PEARSON 40 Wonderful berthing and deck space. Acceptable sail area. Wonderful draft for the Bahamas and the canals of Europe.
COLUMBIA 43 Wonderful berthing and layout in general, tons of deck space. Deep draft.
SANTA CRUZ 40 Deep draft, not many built, wonderful layout, well but lightly built.
YAMAHA 36 Rather deep, partial skeg, good berthing provided pilot berth haven't been converted to storage, excellent sail area, a bit light.
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Old 17-10-2013, 15:40   #42
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

We were thinking that $125,000ish would be the max we could afford for everything, buy + outfit. You said in one of the posts you mentioned earlier that all things equal, you'd prefer the CAL 40. Why, specifically? I looked and saw only a couple for sale.
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Old 17-10-2013, 20:37   #43
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

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We were thinking that $125,000ish would be the max we could afford for everything, buy + outfit. You said in one of the posts you mentioned earlier that all things equal, you'd prefer the CAL 40. Why, specifically? I looked and saw only a couple for sale.
Last issue first, while there are only a couple for sale, enough of them were built that there is always 2-6 of them available.

Why do I like the Cal40? Personal reasons and practical reasons.

Personal reasons:
I have a long history with Cal's in general. From the time I learned to sail there was member of my club who had a Cal34 that I would occasionally ride on. I raced on Cal 40's for about 3yr. By exposure I picked up an appreciation for the Cal aesthetic.

Also I am an engineer and more than most I find beauty in function, so utilitarian styling is up my alley so to speak.

Practical:
I learned what the foibles of the Cal 40 and Cal's in general are:
There is a metal beam across most Cal's under the mast or under the mast post that may have been built of stainless or mild steel. The mild steel ones have a propensity to rust out after this long if the PO's haven't been very good at keeping the boat dry. This is a major repair if it needs to be done. The plus side to this beam is that it does an excellent job of resolving the shroud and mast forces better than most boats.

The Cal 34 & 40 have moderate weather helm issues. In the case of the 34 this was corrected in the Mark 2 & 3 models with a rig change that made the boat faster too. In the case of the Mark 1 shortening the foot of the main or adding a very modest bowsprit does the trick (bowsprit adds fore-triangle area which will help speed). For the Cal 40 a redesigned rudder ($1-2k?) is the fix. Some early Cal40's had short bowsprits that either helped with this issue or gave more sail area for racing, reason lost to time, maybe somebody out there knows.

On the Cal 40 the galley area is a bit short changed. The biggest problem is that the sink situated well to port will backflood when heavily heeled on starboard tack. This isn't a very common event, and is remedied by closing the drain seacock, though the sink is unusable until heel decreases. This issue is something a fair number of boat suffer from.

The Cal 40's have a reputation for the tabbing between the hull and bulkheads being a little light. A couple weekends work with fiberglass would cure this. Don Casey's books address how to do the work.

While the Cal 40 has nice wide side decks, the shrouds partially obstruct them. For stock Cal40's this is pretty minimal but on some the shroud base has been significantly narrowed and the shrouds are right in the middle of the side deck. In very heavy weather one will crawl forward if fore-deck work needs to be done. I can crawl past them but folks with wider hips might have a problem This is worth trying out when looking at any boat to buy. A lot of really charming looking boats have very narrow or obstructed side decks. Not a big issue when coastal sailing, but offshore it becomes a safety problem.

The tradeoff for the wide side decks is a narrower doghouse. This creates a sense of less volume, though this is more appearance than reality. Since berths and storage are outboard, people walk nearer the centerline and need headroom there, not outboard. For coastal sailing I would go with the apparent roominess below. Offshore I'll take the side decks. A side effect of the narrower doghouse is that the railing for the shelf that sticks out from the bottom of the deck makes wonderful handhold for adults, right at shoulder or neck height depending on how tall you are.

Pilot berths, quarter berths and settees galore. Kids and adults all get really good seaberths underway until you get up to about 8 people, but the boat isn't big enough in other ways to cruise with 8.

The Cal 40's have intermediate shrouds despite being a single spreader rig. This makes adding a removable inner forestay that much easier, less to do. I am a proponent of inner forestays. With an inner forestay carrying a hanked on staysail I would be happy to have a roller furling headsail. I decline to deal with foil luffed headsails in heavy weather when cruising shorthanded.

The boat is pretty moderate, not terribly wide nor particularly narrow, nor particularly heavy or light (by today's standards). Lots of lateral area in the fin to dampen rolling. Moderate draft (6') for its length. It doesn't have any serious behavior problems except the weather helm and that isn't very bad.

Plenty of sail area for it's displacement so it should do fine in light air with the right sails.

Really good bang for the buck. The boats are available for $40-60k. With a $100k budget a lot of repairs and outfitting can get done.

Since our goal is to go offshore I want to maximize traits that are good underway even at the expense of creature comforts at anchor or in port. The Cal's designed in the 60's and very early 70's tend to give me more of the features I want towards that end.

If were were just going the sail around here, maybe go down to Baja or up the coast into the Canadian islands, a Cal 34 would be perfect. If we were going to go cruising offshore indefinitely then we would go with the Cal40 or maybe even the Cal43, but the cruising goal is rather intermediate, years and maybe decades of local and coastal sailing and 1-1/2yr cruising with the kids at an age where they have not yet gotten very big so the Cal36 seems the best compromise.

Staying slightly smaller also improves safety somewhat. Although the 36 will be slightly more susceptible to being capsized in really bad weather, being just that much shorter (3.5' or about 8%) and a lot lighter (4000lb or 25%) means the boat is a fair bit easier to handle in bad conditions. Being capsized is a fairly low probability hazard compared to lot of other handling problems. For a discussion of this read “Capable Cruiser” by Lin and Larry Pardey, specifically the chapters dealing with the Cabo San Lucas debacle. While a lot of people would argue that improved technology allows a smaller crew to handle a larger boat, my feeling is that when things start going wrong, the improved technology starts creating new problems to replace the ones it solved. I prefer to keep to keep a boat simpler which has the side effect of decreasing the maintenance load and increases the goof off opportunities.
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Old 18-10-2013, 10:12   #44
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Re: New Here - Opinions Appreciated!

I would highly advise that you partially finance as the bank will make sure the funds, transfer, title goes smoothly and make sure you have 5 to 10 grand saved for those surprises. The bank also has preferred surveyors to use, can help with the value/offer, and its always great to have a third party to blame things on. Hey, I want to buy the boat but the darn bank!

You can pay the loan off early if you want to. You can get a loan to buy the boat but you can not get a loan to remodel and/or repair. So do not run out of money.
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Old 18-10-2013, 10:50   #45
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I would highly advise that you partially finance as the bank will make sure the funds, transfer, title goes smoothly and make sure you have 5 to 10 grand saved for those surprises. The bank also has preferred surveyors to use, can help with the value/offer, and its always great to have a third party to blame things on. Hey, I want to buy the boat but the darn bank! You can pay the loan off early if you want to. You can get a loan to buy the boat but you can not get a loan to remodel and/or repair. So do not run out of money.
This is pretty much our plan now that we are in buying mode.

Huge down payment and pay off the boat quicker while living aboard learning that particular boat and getting it just right before casting off for good.
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