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Old 09-10-2014, 02:55   #1
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Location: Dampier, Western Australia
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The big Blue Water Adventure

Ahh you have to love the Internet for information gathering.

Hi all,

I'm after some experienced critique of my reasoning in regards preparing an early retirement at sea.

I'll start by stating that while I have sailing experience I am by no means an experienced sailor. Nor have I ever owned a boat.

My goals (dream if you like) at this very infant stage of the journey are to:

Find and buy the best yacht I can for my budget and requirements.

Live aboard while working for about 12 months so I can tidy up any cosmetic issues ( carpenter by trade) and make myself conversant with the handling capabilities of the boat.

Sail the boat to Hobart, Tasmania, where I will spend the time and money to make the boat as seaworthy as I can. For any that don't know Hobart offers pretty cheap marina births and a great history in ships chandlery. As well as a couple of salty mates !!

Then I thought I would spend the normal few years exploring the Coconut Milk Run after or during which time I should get to know exactly what ongoing maintenance issues I would have long term with the boat.

Now after doing some research, a lot of which has been reading the great info on offer in this forum. I think I'm after a heavy displacement, full keel, cutter rig boat about 45' in length.*
Speed doesn't concern me, nor am I concerned about age or material as long as it fits the criteria, I'm after something strong, safe and easy to handle in most weather conditions, that offers a bit of comfort as a home for a number of years.

So that's where I'm up to and I Invite all your wise contents on thought process and the boats that best fits the criteria. Purchase budget will be about $150k AUS.*

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Old 09-10-2014, 03:06   #2
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Star Hunter.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:29   #3
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Location: Panama heading into the Pacific
Boat: Tayana 55
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Star, that is an excellent plan and I applaud your idea of getting an older style, heavier boat. While the Aussie Mark has made a career out of getting a Beneteau around the world I think that is more a tribute to Mark than the boat. I like Beneteaus but I like my Tayana better especially in a gale!

We cruise full time in a big heavy boat with a cutter rig and see lots of boats and their problems...Spade rudders are cute but the shaft is easily bent in a grounding. In Miami, where we live, we deliberately anchor in an area where we are aground at low tide. The ability of a boat to 'take the ground' is very important when cruising, you can even change a cutlass bearing between tides when tied to a wall and not have to worry about the rudder.

The greatest advantage of an older boat is that they are usually more 'sea kindly' and are more easily made to self steer if the auto pilot breaks. I sleep soundly when my wife is handling the boat by herself, at night, in a gale knowing we sail a boat designed to take care of the crew in bad weather.

Learn, practice, sail and enjoy life!!!

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:12   #4
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Star Hunter,

Your plan sounds good. Now for execution.

I would suggest, if you haven't already, spend a serious amount of time on Virtually all boats for sale can be found there. Explore what is for sale and what the market (price) is for the kind of boat you are interested in. Don't limit yourself to just one model yet but definitely stick with the parameters you outlined in your post.

With practice looking at all the boat porn (ads) you will get a sense roughly of the asking price of a boat of a certain vintage and condition. Take 10% (or more) off that for the real sales price. My view is when you can look at the ad and the description and you can guess the asking price within 10% or so, then you are ready to go shopping.

Good luck.

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Old 09-10-2014, 06:21   #5
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Look at a Mason 43 (older) or 44, same hull different layout. Solid non-cored hull. There are some articles online from a Brit magazine editor that bought one. Should be able to find one in your price range. They have a great reputation, great history, classic lines, and beautiful interiors.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:52   #6
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Hi Star Hunter,

Your plan sounds great! Spending lots of time getting to know your boat (once you find her)- both sailing and maintenance - is crucial! Once you are out there the bottom line is that you are responsible for every aspect of the boat and need to know how to fix/maintain her.

My co-skipper and I own two beautiful blue water boats and both of them would fit the bill for you. The only thing is that they are both smaller than what you mentioned. That, to me, is not a bad thing! You might want to think about a smaller, simpler boat.

We are in the midst of our circumnavigation (left Victoria, B.C., Canada in 2011 and did the Pacific. In 2013 we sailed from NZ to S. Africa. That is in our 1990 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37. I think that would be the prefect boat for you (of course that is a biased opinion, I admit!). I'm sure you could find one of that vintage for around the price you are looking at.

Our other boat, a 1994 BCC 28, is another tough "small" boat and she has crossed the North Atlantic a couple of times (the last time was a solo sailor - 72 years old and it was his first ocean crossing!!). Again you could find one for around your price range.

If you want to see some photos of both boats in action you could go to our blog:

Pixie's Maiden Voyage ... again. | Voyage of the SV Terrwyn

Also, you could watch a short video of the PSC when we were south of Madagascar on this last leg of our voyage. It can be found on You Tube - just search SV Terrwyn (she is the only SV Terrwyn in the world, apparently!!).

Good luck with making dreams come true!

Fair winds
Cathy Norrie
SV Terrwyn
SV Pixie

P.S. We have a Monitor Wind Vane on Terrwyn which is our third crew member... seriously!!
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:51   #7
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Hi Star Hunter,

After having done a dozen or more trips between the states and Caribbean plus four Atlantic crossings, I knew for my Pacific adventure and beyond I wanted the same boat you are looking for. Found it about three years ago. It's a Young Sun 43, a heavy displacement cutter, 50 ft LOA with bowsprit and boomkin. I spared no expense preparing it.

Spent over $50,000, during more than a year with the refit, which included a new epoxy bottom, pulling both engine and trans for total going over and replacing any worn or suspect parts, complete new Edson steering system with single engine control, two new stainless water tanks, total 150 gal, a new 50 gal stainless fuel tank added to the 105 stainless tank on board, two new heads (one electric, one manual), new 3 burner propane stove and oven, 2 new aluminum propane tanks, windlass totally rebuilt, new ground tackle with four new anchors, an 88 lb main, 55 lb secondary, 45 lb stern, all Deltas and a FX 23 for a lightweight kedge, a Monitor Windvane which has proven to steer this boat 100 %, a Kiss Wind Generater, 3 x 135 watt solar panels, all with proper regulaters, a new ground tackle sea water wash down, an AIS with alarm, 24 mi radar and 12" Garmin chart plotter, a 200 gal/day Spectra Watermaker which was only operated the day installed as I felt it not needed until I got to the Pacific. The boat already had an excellent fridge and freezer and air conditioner. Engine is a Yanmar 4JH2-DTE with about 1000 hours. Under deck auto pilot is a RayMarine 6000. There may be more. This is just off the top of my head.

Departed Ft Lauderdale almost a year ago for St Thomas and after visiting some of my favorite places sailed to Cartagena, then solo to San Blas Islands, Puerto Lindo, Portobello, Colon and finally Bocas del Toro where I am now. The boat sailed well beyond my expectations, amazingly well in light air and comfortable in heavy. Highest sustained wind was 40 k. The plan was to go through Panama in 2015, but at 78 yrs old next month, I'm finding the boat a bit too much for solo.

In early November, I plan to sail back to Lauderdale and do the required cosmetics needed to put it on the market. Hull needs painting and exterior varnish needs attention. Only thing I would add is an SSB. I am not a big radio person and already had an Iridium sat phone for emergencies. I know this boat is on the other side of the world, but it's just what you are looking for. After cosmetics are done, I expect to list it for $119,000 US. Let me know if interested.

Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:52   #8
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Re: The big Blue Water Adventure

Thanks to all fantastic info and kind encouragement. Nice to know I'm on the right track.

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