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Old 21-05-2010, 22:11   #1
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wanting to build my own sailboat and get on the water. 25 years building peoples homes on land and cant stand the thought of digging in for the rest of my life.i am very capable with plans and all tools; but need to be pointed in the right direction. we are a family of five so i have an idea of boat size required. would lean toward steel construction. based in melbourne australia, want to sail long distances in no great hurry i have two strong sons so help managing a vessel wont be an issue. what type of boat would be a good option.by the way hi to all and please forgive my typing. would appreciate any input.
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Old 21-05-2010, 22:22   #2
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For five to have live-aboard room and an 'alone' space gets hard with less than 40ft. Even for a Cat. For economy I'd suggest something around ten years old, more for the dollar, or less dollars that starting from scratch. Getting her ready for five to live will require water and food storage based on six weeks afloat. That's a lot of space, water particularly though a watermaker with generator, allows for domestic voltage washing machine/cooking/power tools but they are costly. Solar to reduce fuel consumption at the genny.
Search the internet for Catamarans from 38 to 48 ft, mono's maybe a little longer.
Your skills will help to keep running costs lower but to earn off a boat could mean getting stuck in some beautiful location and still working 8hr days. And the sea is dangerous.
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Old 21-05-2010, 22:34   #3
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Hi Eleven

Thanks for your reply, would a cat be fine for long voyages? Could you elaborate on 'the sea can be dangerous' quote?
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Old 21-05-2010, 22:38   #4
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Old 21-05-2010, 22:47   #5
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You'll need a year or so to get basic seamanship up to taking the family on a month's voyage. Storms, stupidity and combinations of little things destroy boats. For most builders only Storms and accidents apply which reduces the risks considerably.
Catamarans are nearly always GRP, are lighter, more roomy, female friendly and have multiple bunks. Sailing speeds are similar in all directions, very adequate for family cruising.
There are some great recent video's on this site. I'll dig some out for you. The only plus I've seen for steel is under pirate attack (bullet proof). The only minus for mono's is that they are sure to sink when holed, most cats will stay afloat without a bottom, even upside down. If a mono rolls over they are likely to loose crew and rigging. Search for the 'Queens Birthday Storm'. The Auusi - NZ race/rally that went badly wrong a few years back. More later.
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Old 21-05-2010, 23:02   #6
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Try the following threads:-
Building a Kit Catamaran
Corsair 37 or Dragonfly 35: Which Is Better for Blue Water Passage Making ?
Privilege 42 /435
Leopard 38 Near Sydney ?
Multihull Disaster Story from Med
Just paste each line into the search box and it should come up with some interesting reading for you but only on Cats, the family cruising life. There'll be a mono man along shortly with his twist.
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Old 21-05-2010, 23:06   #7
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This is the last current entry in the 'Sinking Cats' thread.

The boat with the scuba divers is a lagoon. Many of them have the double disadvantage of being very heavy and having very little structural bouyancy. FP would be harder, yes, as would privilege. And from South Africa, gunboat, SF 50 and 44, Admiral I think as well, and Africancats has also done a great job of designing an unsinkable boat.
Dolphin and PDQ are also excellent and made in South America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar
YIKES! It had no mast, the salon door was open; it was swamped. Clearly a Fontaine Pajot, French-built cat in the upper thirty to lower forty foot range. You don’t see this everyday!

I inquired around the island the next day to learn the cat was abandoned in terrible weather somewhere near the Bahamas and was left dismasted to its own devices. It had just been found the day before, seventeen miles north of San Andres in the open sea, drifting westward in the currents and trade winds.

However disturbing the scene, the incident is a testament to the “unsinkable” rating of European-built catamarans. Brands such as Lagoon, Fontaine Pajot, and Catana utilize watertight bulkheads, foam sandwich construction, and other buoyant materials that actually qualify their cats to be certified unsinkable.

When you think about it, that’s pretty darn nifty! Not all cats are created equal and some catamaran brands are not certified to meet unsinkable standards and will not remain floating if totally swamped. Those “Brand X” cats will plummet to the bottom if they take on too much water. It’s a good question to ask when shopping for a cruising catamaran.

And the proof is in the pudding. The Fontaine Pajot full of water drifted across the WILD and rough central and western Caribbean and there she sits, still on the surface.
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Old 21-05-2010, 23:18   #8
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thanks so much, now i have alot of reading to do and will let you know how i get on thanks again
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Old 17-06-2010, 12:31   #9
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
I hope you can find all the information you need.
I've of the opinion its best to buy than to build now that it is a buyers market for boats. Building will not save you money and you won't be out on the water as quickly as buying.
regards,
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Old 17-06-2010, 15:10   #10
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Hi Freelife


Advice here is worth what you pay for it and sometimes we get so caught up with who we are and what we are doing that we do get carried away. Advice given needs to remember what your circumstances are including where you are sailing from and to. As it happens my last boat was a 40 plus foot steel boat (some thing along the lines you where talking about) my next one will not be but that is because my sailing plans have changed. If you are looking at steel google Roberts steel boat plans and you will come up with at least 2 sites where you can have a gander at layouts and plans. I assume that you will have already seen that there are many such boats on boat point and the similar places and that the prices for steel boat are attractive. There are a couple of reasons, one being that a lot of steel boats were/are owner built and quality varies esp in finishing. The implication of this is that the relative cost effectiveness of building in steel may not be as you think.


A couple more observations from MY perspective for what thats worth:
Dont build/buy a boat that requires all of your available crew to sail it. You are better seting up your boat so that at least in most situations it can be single handed to allow for watches on passages with the reassurance that you have additional crew for docking and sailing in heavy weather.


Multihulls great if you have a Wombat mentality, not that I am bias, much, rofl

regards and welcome
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Old 17-06-2010, 15:49   #11
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You may want to look at the Metal Boat Society Website Welcome to the Metal Boat Society Lots of info there on building steel and aluminum boats. If you do decide to build, this site is invaluable.

Be careful about advice pro/con about the monohull/multihull argument. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages and no one seems to be neutral. It's like talking cars. Everyone has their favorite. it's like asking which is better, Chevy or Ford? the best thing to do is check it out yourself.

The previous posters are right though, right now it is definitely cheaper and quicker to buy a used boat. It's a buyers market. But if you do, get a professional marine surveyor to go over the boat thoroughly before you give anybody any money. Also it sounds like you need to take some courses in basic seamanship and navigation. Know before you go as they say.

I hope it all works out for you
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