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Old 10-10-2009, 06:44   #1
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Circumnavigation Advice for Complete Novices ?


We are completely new to this site and in reality to sailing. Our plan is to learn to sail, buy a yacht and sail around the world for a few years. We are hoping to start this adventure in around 6 months and so we are now seeking as much advise as possible. We have sailed on yachts before and one of us crewed a long passage but overall we really are quite clueless so please bear with us.

We believe that an appropriate CIRCUM yacht to be handled by a young inexperienced couple would be around 40ft - 45ft and after some back and forth have decided its probably best to learn, provision and set sail from the UK (as opposed to NZ being our other option). Any thoughts on UK v NZ. Based on our estimated monthly running costs (being USD 4k PCM - does this sound reasonable?), we will have around USD 225k for the yacht itself (including fit out, insurance, provision etc).

Basically through looking at pictures and reading articles we are trying to work out what type of yacht is best for us given our budget. Our latest preference is something like a Sun Odyssey 42DS (2006), but we are really keen to hear comments as to the suitabilty of this yacht compared to other Jeanneaus. We like the light the DS provides and also the 2 cabin version. We have also looked a few Benneteaus, Hunters, Dufours, i.e. production line boats. Would appreciate any feedback from people who don't just have to rely on pictures.

Naturally we need to learn to sail before we cast off and so we have been looking at various courses. The 14 week yachtmater course looks pretty comprehensive but reasonably costly at around GBP 7K + per head. Should we buy our own yacht and then try and find an expert who would be willing to teach us over a couple of months or would a structured course be best. Either way any info on both options appreciated.

Many thanks for your time.


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Old 10-10-2009, 07:24   #2
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Sounds like you have good ideas

Go for it.

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:39   #3
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Do the course, when the **** hits the fan, and it will, you will be so glad you did.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:49   #4
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It sound like you have the right idea by adopting a "baby steps" philosophy.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:47   #5
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See if the reality of sailing matches the dream..... go sailing, get some experience and then make plans if all goes well.

Circumnavigation is a biggie - just one ocean is more than 95% of sailors ever achieve - don't let me put you off, but see if you like it first.

Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:59   #6
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Thanks Ed. I guess that although we consider our novices, I should clarify that we have sailed before with friends and parents and one of us has crossed the pacific from Panama to NZ on a 50ft ketch (as crew). We also plan to sail around the MED for a year before making an ocean crossing to the the Caribbean (for which we would invite / pay for a qualifed skipper to lead the way). Not sure if this alleviates fellow members concern for our plans?
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:11   #7
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I did the YM course at BOSS 12 yrs ago, absolutely invaluable. and they are an outstanding outfit. If you do the course with them you will not need a skipper to help you cross the Atlantc, especially if you do the Ocean part of the course.

They might also cure you of the notion that pretty production boats with big widows are good for circumnavigation. People do it but they are not necessarily the best. However much money you have to buy a boat use 70% for purchase and keep 30% for will need it.

Good luck

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 10-10-2009, 19:38   #8

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
<snip>However much money you have to buy a boat use 70% for purchase and keep 30% for will need it.

Good luck
And don't think that if you should buy a new boat you won't have things to fix. You might even consider upping your reserve even above 30%.

Keep in mind as a couple in reality you are singlehanding much of the time so keep that in mind while looking for your boat - and I agree the big pretty windows would scare the heck out of me in a blow.

I'll be 60 by the time we cut the dock lines and I envy you knowing what you want to do a lot sooner in your live.

Fair winds!
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Old 10-10-2009, 20:04   #9
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I agree with the conservative money talk. This adventure will be about twice as expensive as planned. That is the nature of boats, they don't call em "holes in the water for you to pour money into" for nothin .

Here is a formula to use when boat buying, or budgeting for a boat project, heck anything boat related (or if its parked next to a boat!)

Estimate the price (estimate high!), double it, and it will be close to what it will cost.

BUT it is worth every cent and still cheaper than land life.
Cheers and have fun,
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:11   #10
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My advice is to take at least a very basic sailing course to really understand the dynamics of sail trim. Very small boats will give you these lessons quickly.
My personal opinion is that a well put together 32-35 foot boat with simple easy to repair gear is a better option than a larger boat with lots of gear that you may not know how to fix. Fiberglass, diesel engine, aft cockpit, sloop or cutter rig and well cared for are just minimum requirements for me. You'll have your own requirements once you've started looking seriously.
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Old 12-10-2009, 13:21   #11
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Before you go...check out a few good books:

Sailing alone around the world, Joshua Slocum
Maiden Voyage, Tania Aiebi
and if you really want to scare your self out of it....try The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger, and Then read proving ground, forgot the author.

Then get a chapmans piloting and seamenship Book. and have a fun trip.

Oh and there's a book out there by a couple who have sailed around the world in a 16 Foot sailboat. I haven't read it, but I'm looking for it. Anyone know who they are?
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Old 12-10-2009, 13:57   #12
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Getting off post, but avril25, maybe you are thinking of Shrimpy [18ft] with Shane Acton and Iris Derungs , published in 1981. regards Bruce.
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Old 13-10-2009, 06:14   #13
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Welcome to the forum, and I think most will agree knowledge and experience will prepare you for your exciting journey. Good luck in your preparation.
Tom and Marilyn Free eLearning prep center for the new sailor. Plus links to over a half dozen FREE On-line Marine Magazines
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Old 13-10-2009, 17:45   #14
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42DS is a much better deep sea boat then youwould think, sailed one in mid atlantic through a mother of a storm , handled it well. Good boat.

Note if you sail the med, youll be more then able to cross the atlantic without needing a skipper etc. Its a doddle.
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Old 14-10-2009, 01:39   #15
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It seems that you are buying a boat specifically for a circumnavigation and perhaps selling it afterward??. If this is the case I would tend towards stronger boats with heavier equipment than the Hunter, Beneteaus, that you mention.

Regardless of opinions on seaworthiness (dealt with ad-infinitum in other posts), a boat designed for extended offshore use will be more comfortable, will suffer less breakages and will retain more of its $ value when you come to the end of the trip.

Lighter production boats do not generally come with equipment for extended cruising, that's not the market they are aimed at; the ground tackle is too small, the hardware is boarderline, no storm sail, no trysail etc etc. All this equipment will need to be bought. If you buy an "offshore boat", much of this equipment will be on board.

Think of the resale value - Would you buy a second hand Hunter or Beneteau that has been circumnavigated when brokerages are full of those that have been used lightly for day sailing??

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budget, circumnavigation, yachtmaster

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