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Old 21-06-2007, 16:41   #1
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HI FROM DOWNUNDER

Hi fellow forum members.
You may gather from the title that I am from Australia. A look at my profile will reveal more about me but in brief I am 46 years of age, live in Melbourne and sail a Hartley TS21 trailer sailer with my wife, Sue.
I have never contributed to a forum before and am unsure on which is the correct path to take to post my question(s) so I thought it best to start here and see what happens.
Sue & I have three sons aged from 18 to 22. After what seems too short a period we have recently become 'empty nesters'. All three of our boys have moved out. Our youngest son has departed the home only temporarily. He is currently at a summer camp in Maine teaching young people how to sail. He is due back home in September but he is making noises of travelling then to the UK.
As a result of our changed circumstances we have been re-evaluating our lifestyle and are considering selling the family home and using the money to purchase a yacht and a smaller home. Our intention is to possibly live aboard the yacht, keeping many of our wordly goods in storage and renting out the small home to offset the mortgage outgoings.
As my wife and I both love sailing and are happiest when afloat we are quite excited at the prospect. Our problem now is what type of boat?
We have never done any blue water passage cruising and our idea of the right type of boat is unfortunately being formed by a lot of lounge chair decisions. We thought we'd narrowed the field and settled on what we believed would be the right yacht suited to our needs. Up till now we thought a centre cockpit, sloop or ketch rigged, 40 to 45 footer would be perfect. We reasoned that the centre cockpit provides us with our own 'space' aboard and the length would provide adequate room for us to live aboard. Boats such as the Norseman 447, Passport 40, Peterson 42/44, etc. etc appear to fit the bill.
However, recent advice from an experienced blue water cruiser suggested we should not be looking at anything larger than 35'. 33' being possibly the ideal length. His reasoning being that the larger the boat the harder everything is to handle, such as retrieving the anchor, reducing sail, etc. He also suggested that the bigger the boat the bigger the maintenance expenses.
As you can see, we are now faced with a quandry. We value this particular friends advice but are concerned that the smaller boat will be too small to live on. Equally we don't want to end up with a boat that is too big for us to handle without having to invite additional crew on board every time we wanted to go sailing.
In posting this I am hoping to receive some good advice from those who know and have already been down this path before.
Looking forward to receiving your replies.
Cheers,
David.
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Old 21-06-2007, 17:20   #2
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Aloha David,
Welcome aboard!! Your friend is very wise. I would advise the same. Monohull, fiberglass, diesel engine, cutter rig, aft cockpit.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 21-06-2007, 18:52   #3
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G'day!

You plan sounds great. The hardest part is actually getting time on the boats in question. Chartering a few times might be a good idea although pricey. I hear the Whitsunday's are great and are on my to do list.

This probably won't get you into the final boat you want but a week on board will give you an idea of the space available.

I agree to go a little bigger. After living in a house your whole lives the confinement can be significant. Have you considered a cat? For living aboard they have lot's of pluses.

Regardless, as experienced sailors you probably know a sloop or cutter rig might be be easiest in terms of sail handling. With furlers, lazy jacks, having most lines routed to the cockpit, electric windlass etc. you can have a very easy handling boat.

For me 38-42 is the "right" size. Two handed docking is probabkly the only challenge but who wants to go to a marina?
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Old 21-06-2007, 23:01   #4
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Thanks for your prompt reply SkiprJohn.
I take it you agree with my friend for his same reasons. Why do you favour an aft cockpit and not a centre cockpit?
David.
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Old 21-06-2007, 23:08   #5
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Thanks for replying Dan and I like your Aussie greeting - nice touch!
We have chartered a Catalina 320 in the past for a week. It was great but possibly more suited to the charter fleet rather than the cruising life. We're not too phased at the idea of confinement. We once spent 2 weeks on board our 18 foot Hartley trailer sailer (pre our 21 foot Hartley) cruising some local Lakes with 2 of our three boys. It was cozy to say the least. Our boys suffered a bit of cabin fever but Sue & I survived without an issue. we believe we could comfortably stay aboard our 21 footer for a month at a time.
The Whitsundays are supposedly terrific.We haven't cruised there yet ourseleves but we will one day.
Thanks for the catamaran suggestion but we're not too keen on them for blue water cruising. We're bits of purists when it comes to yachts. Anything that doesn't self right when capsized is not our cup of tea.
David.
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Old 21-06-2007, 23:37   #6
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The advantage of a centre cockpit is privacy for the boys when they join you with their girlfriends. Also space when one of you is in the doghouse. A 34 is ok for two but when you look at it it might be bearable for a month or two - there isn't much to spare. If you want longer term stuff 40 is ample and 37 liveable. Aft cockpit is better in a lot of ways except a private sex life.
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Old 22-06-2007, 02:31   #7
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greetings from Melbourne Australia !! Centre cockpit for reasons as above. 36 to 42 foot. sloop rig with a few extra bits of string for fun. As you can see below what l have and what l am building. The decision is purely practicle. Much larger and it becomes to much to handle, (Solo) If you are sailing two up l think it is important to think of sailing it solo, and set the systems up that way. This takes a lot of pressure off long trips (" sorry l know your tired and have just gone to sleep but l need you to get up and help me with this sail change......") etc. Auto helm...the novelty of helming wears off at about the same time that the bum goes numb !! Do you sail in the Gipps. lakes ? If you do look out for "Idler" my very low freeboard 30 footer, come and say g-day.
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Old 26-06-2007, 16:18   #8
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Just a suggestion: Adams 40' centre cockpit are a really nice option for a cruising live-aboard. Comfy, roomy, sea-kindly, reasonably good sailing performance and easily handled by two people. My partner's parents in their late 60's live are live-aboard cruisers in a steel shoal-draft Adams 40. I have lived on board with them for the odd week here and their. Good boats, and generally plenty of them around / for sale in Aus.
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Old 26-06-2007, 20:36   #9
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go a cat 35ft gives you the same room as a 44fter mono and more comfortable sailing living
sean
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Old 26-06-2007, 21:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan
Just a suggestion: Adams 40' centre cockpit are a really nice option for a cruising live-aboard. Comfy, roomy, sea-kindly, reasonably good sailing performance and easily handled by two people. My partner's parents in their late 60's live are live-aboard cruisers in a steel shoal-draft Adams 40. I have lived on board with them for the odd week here and their. Good boats, and generally plenty of them around / for sale in Aus.
Weyalan.
Thanks for your advice. I checked out a web ad for one and they look a nice boat. Since posting my query my wife & I have had a bit of a rethink and are now possibly looking at purchasing a smaller keel boat on which to cut our teeth before stepping up to the larger live aboard. We're aiming possibly at a 30 footer and are quite keen on the Nicholson 32. It is praised as a good see going yacht with an easy motion and good manners in heavy conditions. Any thoughts?
On such a boat we'd undertake some trips across the 'paddock' and see if we really do like life at sea. This approach means we won'r be quite selling up and sailing just yet.
David.
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Old 26-06-2007, 22:32   #11
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Aloha David,
The Nicholson is a good choice. Well built craft.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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