You sound a lot like my wife and I. We are in our early 30's, 2 pets
and looking for our blue water boat in the 100k range. We do have prior sailing experience so I will try and lend any knowledge we have found and currently looking at. All of these boats being recommended are spot on. Baba's, Panda, Hans Christian, Westsail, Tayana, Union, Lord Nelson
, these are all the preferred ocean sailers under the 100k marker. Some are in amazing shape and will take you safely in just about any condition. My wife and I love these boats not only because they are extremely heavy, sea kindly and well built, but the lines and the classic cutter
look always turns heads. They may not have the room some of the newer models have but you will quickly find out the room is sometimes a disadvantage when out at sea. We are from SoCal but now live up north in Seattle
and have sailed up and down the west coast
. Here are some things to keep in mind on your journey looking at boats.
1) "Teak" means work. Any exposed teak
will need to be taken care of and that usually is when you are sitting in port and want nothing more than to kick back and enjoy a beer
. If you get teak
decks, your gonna have a bad time... Guaranteed. Although very pretty, they attract deck core
problems and you will be spending a lot of time and lots of money
on your 20-30 year old decks then you ever imagined. Living in San Diego
is pretty arid and a boat that may have deck
problems and leaking may be invisible until it rains or you make your first passage. Either/or you don't want to be living aboard
when this starts and you do not want to pickup the tab when you have to do some core
2) You want a long keel
. I know this is hotly contested but having an exposed rudder
on a Beneteau
or Jeaneau is not the smartest of choices. They are gorgeous boats and perfect if you plan on sailing to Catalina
and back. A ocean sailing experience is taking a gamble. Yes many people have sailed the ocean with these boats but it is always better to be safe than sorry especially when you are in the middle of the ocean with no support or assistance. A team in the haha a few years ago lost
their boat but colliding with a whale that ripped off the rudder
mount of an exposed skeg rudder.
3) Boat brokers are not your friend. This is one that might send a few people charging
after me. They represent the seller of a boat and I have yet to find one that did not act like a used car salesman. "boats in incredible shape," "she just got back from a trip to Hawaii
." Both of these answers turned out to be false when we found a boat we liked a few months ago, made a offer and got the survey
. Turns out the boat had serious problems the boat broker
knew about and the boat came back from Hawaii
in 1988. That is a $1000 dollar mistake that we do not want to repeat again.
4) If you are looking in the 38-42 foot range, I would recommend you look at boats in the 70k range. Remember you need to keep 15k in the bank for emergencies. Engine
failure, deck problems, osmotic blisters
on the hull
, these are a few problems that you may face and you need to have some money
stashed away to afford these problems. Use the remaining funds to outfit your boat. There is no such thing as a turn key blue water boat. New rigging
, alt power, wind vane
are just a few things you will need to outfit on your boat. Even if the boat is in pristine condition, chances are you are going to have to replace or outfit at least one of these items. Not cheap!
5) When you finally find a boat you like, make the offer and if accepted, get a survey
. I know you can argue both ways on this but as a fairly new sailing enthusiast, you need someone to back you up. Do not and I repeat do not use the survey company the boat broker
recommends. Go research
or ask around about reputable marine
surveyors. Like anything, certain surveyors specialize in certain model boats, know the problems and what to look for. They have and will miss things on your boat that you wish they would have found. But the key mantra is you want someone who is going to be looking out for you and not the seller.
We have been looking for the past 14 months. It's extremely fun but in our case, extremely time consuming. Have fun out there and best of luck on your adventure.