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Old 19-11-2003, 12:32   #16
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Question #3 & 4

How small of a space can you stand to be in for three days without stepping outside?
How much stuff do you want to carry?
How tall are the both of you?
These as well as others are all personal preferences!
A new vessel is nice but unproven and new only lasts until that first voyage. Also I'd stay away from the charters. These were out there to make money not someone’s pride and joy, and they're all used up and probably need a bunch of work.
If you’re going to a broker with 150K, he's going to try like the wind to dump anything, as fast as he can, on you!
Surf the web for a while! See what's out there. Take a trip if you have to if it looks good, it may save you thousands! Don't get in too big of a hurry! And weigh out the differences between quality vs. quantity! You'll be happier with quality! It also has a higher resale value.

Which goes to #4. You'll never get back the money that you put into it, just the experience. Time has proven the experience is worth more then the money. Look at the harbors, they're full!
Just keep the maintenance up on the vessel and you'll get back what it's worth in relation to the economy.

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Old 19-11-2003, 12:52   #17
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Question #5

Mono or multihulls will be pretty much the same in hot weather. A monohull will be warmer in the cold normally. It depends upon the heating system.
If you're afraid of Cats, I'd stay away from them. Personally, I'd like a Cat, just out of the budget for now.
Cats are a whole different animal . You really need to get some experience on it before heading out in the deep.

Well, that should do it for now. I'm sure there are others with opinions and suggestions. The best to ya both on your search!

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Old 19-11-2003, 15:00   #18
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A Quick Couple of Comments

If you go to a broker with $150k he's gonna do everything he can do to get his cut of it & not a dime less. Also bear in mind that $50k will buy one helluva nice boat, leaving $100k for fitting out & cruising, or better yet ... at home where it can make money for you while you cruise.

Keep checking the classifieds, my suggestion would be to set a search limit or range on price & see what sort of boats come up. Do that for awhile with some of the online listing services & you'll develop a much better idea of what's out there. When you see boats of interest you can google search those particular boats for whatever info might be online. This would include reviews, cruiser’s journals, owner's forums, etc.

Also, the first boat doesn't have to be the ultimate boat for you ... it might be good to do a season or two on anything seaworthy that you can both handle well & spruce up a bit for decent resale. You'll be a bit saltier on the second go around with very clear ideas of what you want & need. My guess is that whether you do this with forethought or not, that it actually will go very much like that. Whatever you buy now will be a trainer ... might as well acknowledge that & let it work for you now.

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Old 22-11-2003, 16:42   #19
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the right boat...

kiamaria, have you considered renting/leasing a sistership (similar make/model) sailboat for several weeks before you buy something? That way you will quickly discover what you like & dislike in a sailboat.

Also helps narrow the search down for the right boat.

Better to find out before before the purchase.
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Old 23-11-2003, 17:06   #20
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Yes, I have done this and it was very informative. We sailed for 7 days on a Benetau 473. Loved it but I could see a lot of changes that I would make for storage. We brought along a lot of gear and used just about all of it.

Thanks anyway!!
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Old 10-01-2004, 23:55   #21
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Just signed up after a bit of lurking and found this thread to be very interesting. After 12 plus years of hoping to get cruising my wife and kids and I have actually put the plan in motion to do it starting next June. It only took us about two months to put all the critical details of our plan together such as, budget, boat size and type, itinierary. Although, as I said, I have been anticipating this for quite a while, and in the meantime sailed quite a bit on a variety of boats (cat experience didn't thrill me except flying off the wind around Point Conception) and read as much as I could get my hands on (Latitude 38 ranks high!)
So anyway here are the specifics we have so far:
Boat - Stevens 47' Bluewater, sails well, cutter rig, already outfitted for cruising. 23 year old boat seams just right for low depreciation if it is in good condition to begin with, we knew we did not want a project boat and resale is important.
Financial - borrow equity from the house at low interest rates, plan to sell the boat after cruising for one year for, hopefully, in the range of what we paid. Expect to live off cash savings of around 15-20K for one year. Rent house.
Itinerary - New England in the summer ('04), head down mid atlantic in the fall, make the crossing to the eastern Caribbean and then work our way down to Grenada, then west through ABC's, Cartegena, San Blas, canal then back up west coast to home in CA by June '05. This may not be the most relaxing pace but we cannot afford to take longer off work and kids will need to rejoin their classmates.
We will have boat insurance (around $2400 per year) and expect to find a no frills catastrophic medical plan to cover only severe emergencies (around $2,000/year for a family of four)
The primary motivator for us was the fact that once our kids become teens we don't think it would work, then college tuition would be looming etc, etc. Also, we are all healthy now and don't want to put off until a time when maybe we will not be so fortunate. Leave from our jobs also became a very real possibility and so we decided to go now. We expect to meet many wonderful cruising folks in the upcoming year and hopefully some with kids as well. I'm sure there will be more to discuss and we look forward to chatting. Chris
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:55   #22
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I just noticed this thread. I am amazed that no one tried to explain to the original poster that a 50 foot boat is a huge boat for a crew of only 2 1/2 to handle, 1 1/2 of which are total novices, on a trans-oceanic passage and that a Beneteau 51 is not a suitable boat for offshore work, and that the boats that come out of charter are almost all next to completely shot. I am also surprised that no one has pointed out that while these are reasonable questions being asked, the answers are just the tip of the iceberg of the vast amount of knowledge that it takes to go offshore safely. I am also surprised that no one suggested reading every thing that kiamaria30 and her boyfriend can get there hands on.

When there are only two adults on board they both need to have a comprehensive knowledge of how to run the boat and get her safely home. To safely venture offshore she and her boyfriend should be conversant with or else be studying books on and getting practice with:

-Anchoring skills
-Boat handling
-Boat husbandry
-Diesel maintenance and repair
-First aid
-Fishing and safe edible species
-Governmental regulations (that includes rules of the road and rules regarding entering foriegn ports.)
-Language skills (This may only be rudimentary)
-Sail trim
-Storm and heavy weather tactics

With a carefully conceived course of study a reasonably intellegent person can pretty well cover those topics in a year. It is helpful if you start out with a small coastal cruiser during that time so that you can try out ideas that you are discovering in the course of your reading. While people are comfortable going offshore with varying degrees of boat handling and sailing skills, it almost impossible to learn to sail well on a boat as big as you are considering. If learning to sail well is inportant to you then you should try to start out sailing and coastally cruising a light weight 23 to 28 foot fin keel/spade rudder, tiller steered sloop. The learning process will be rapid accelerated and at the end of a year or two you should be able to quickly sell a boat like that at close to what you have in her.

As with fitting out, Any large boat that you buy for under $150K will have some age on her. I disagree with delmarrey that it is easy to find a suitable offshore craft for under $50K. It can be done but it usually means a much more extensive major refit and that quickly takes you into a much higher overall cost for the boat. Your best bet is to try to find a suitable boat that someone else has fitted out but then not gone. These are generally the best deals asuming that the 'fitter out' had a reasonable understanding of what they were doing. The best cases are typically boats that are almost finished as their partially finished status further decreases thier value.

If you simply go into the used boat market place and try to buy a boat that seems Okay but which hasn't been fit out for offhpre work, you can expect to find some ‘issues’ with any boat. Unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to need to address some combination of the following items:

· Sails, chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, deck canvas, standing and running rigging that are beyond their useful lifespan,
· an engine that is in need of rebuild or replacement,
· worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
· worn out upholstery,
· Out of date safety gear
· electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
· electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
· Blister, fatigue, rudder, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
· Keel bolt replacement (bolt on keel) or delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.
· And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic issues.

Also few coastal cruisers have the kind of robust hand holds, hold downs, tie offs, latches and safety bars that are required for safe offshore work.

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Old 13-01-2004, 06:29   #23
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I just ran across this thread also.I don't have much to add, but just a few comments,and observations.

I thought the information provided here,was very good,pertaining to the original questions posed.While a host of sailors say that they are going "blue water" sailing, or offshore, I would dare to say that probably only 1 out of 50 actually do. The odds are probably much higher than that.For the 1 out of 50 that actually do, I don't believe they come to these boards asking how to do it.I've spent 20+ yrs.sailing in a variety of waters gaining hands on experience,while at the same time reading,studying,and researching to prepare myself to eventually do a trans-Atlantic,or possible circumnavigation.I assume anyone seriously considering such a task does the same, but maybe that's a false assumption?

If someone were to come to me and say "I'm going to ride my Katanna crotch-rocket from the east coast to the west coast,loaded down with camping gear so that I can camp along the way." I wouldn't tell them - hey, you know there are better suited bikes for what you want to do, you need to have the suspension checked out, the additional weight of camping gear is going to throw your center of gravity off, or have you taken a defensive driving course? I assume they've given the idea some thought,and planning.If they haven't,they will find out about it before they make the first 100 miles.

Boat selection - It always amuses me when someone says this boat, or that boat isn't suitable for offshore work.Yes, I know there are design specs. that indicate how sea-worthy a boat is,and for a potential serious blue water cruiser, thay shoud be researched prior to buying any boat.But I also know I've met a lot of people that have done some pretty amazing things with boats that I wouldn't consider "suitable" for what they did with them.Is a Beneteau 50 suited for the task referred to? I don't know because I'm not familar with the boat,nor have I researched it.To further complicate the issue, I have no idea where this boat will be taken. I would dare say that it's sufficient to take to the Carribean though without any additional information.I would sail my 26 footer there with no second thoughts,as many others have done.

Crew size- Yes, a 50 ft.boat is A LOT of boat for 2-1/2 people,but it can be done, depending on the experience of the crew.I've sailed a 45 Atlantic in the Greek Cyclades with a small crew which most of them had never been on a sailboat before.With the exception of raising the mainsail, I pretty much sailed the boat single-handed. I also took the boat through a Meltemi, bared poled into one of the smallest,busiest ports in the Cyclades, while my crew remained below. To the other extreme,I met a couple in Key West last summer that had sailed a 27 ft.boat from England to Key West with no instruments aboard.The spectrum can be very wide on this issue.

Through my travels, one constant has always been the same in the many ports I've been in. That is the variety of boats. Small, large,shiny,well equipped,and not so well equipped.It's obvious that some have done some serious cruising while others have just faded under the sun.Usually, it's the smaller ones that look like they've been well used.I agree with Del, that a blue water capable boat can be had for under $50K. I've researched boats for over a year, and have seen many boats for under that price that could do the task.I also know sailors that have done it. I'm speaking as a "hands on sailor" though. Someone that can, and will do the majority of upgrades that would be needed on an older boat.Even so,a boat in the $50k range isn't going to have all the bells and whistles that so many curisers feel are necessary today.

My point to all my comments is this: Everything pertaining to cruising is complex, but yet relative.This is a "cruising forum",and as such I believe we all try to throw in a tid bit of useful information to questions asked, but this isn't "Basic Sailing 101."
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Old 13-01-2004, 07:07   #24
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Well said Stede!
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Old 16-01-2004, 17:46   #25
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Hey guys/gals

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. I think a cheaper boat is in my future. I am worried about not having enough money in the kitty to stay and enjoy cruising and have to come right back to the hell I'm living in now. Mind you it is not really a bad life just not one that I would choose for myself. I know that I can not stand another winter in Michigan. Even if I have to save another year I plan to do it in California close to the ocean. I have a goal and I only plan to revise it not trash it completely. Sooooo, if I have to, I will go out to California stay with family until I can find a suitable boat and then spend time working on it until it is ready for big water and I have enough money to stay on the water a little longer.

Eventually I will reach and live my goal.
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Old 16-01-2004, 20:19   #26
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You can always show up at the yact club on race night and get a ride on something, that way you will get some sailing experience.
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