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Old 20-04-2011, 08:28   #1
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New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Warren & Paula here ,
We are in Mobile, Al and have lived here all our lives.
We are shopping and researching which cruiser to buy for sailing from here to the virgins. We have sailed day sailer's over the years but no blue water and we would love to have one for jaunts out of here to the virgins and somewhat south. Any suggestions as to size and what boats you recommend would be appreciated. I am thinking near 40 ft and strong and roomy.
No racer, dry cockpits welcome.
Well thanks for letting me join. Happy Sailing!
My moniker is offgridman
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Old 20-04-2011, 10:49   #2
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Welcome aboard. Size, and type is determined more by what you feel comfortable with than anything else. Lot of boats with work.
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Old 20-04-2011, 12:59   #3
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

A warm welcome to you, you came to the right place for help, advice and just plain fun. In terms of 40 footers, depends on your budget, what's around locally, and what takes your fancy. I'm sure you know not to commit to anything without paying for a full survey and I'm equally sure you'll get fixed up soon. Me? I would go for the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 but I might be guilty of a little bias there...
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Old 20-04-2011, 13:13   #4
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

How many people are we talking?
How much experience among you?
What budget? By budget I mean what do you want to spent sailaway (buy & outfit) and what do you have to spend per year?
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Old 20-04-2011, 13:36   #5
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
How many people are we talking?
How much experience among you?
What budget? By budget I mean what do you want to spent sailaway (buy & outfit) and what do you have to spend per year?
Enough to stay out of trouble. I am a licensed airplane pilot and grew up on the water. So navigation is easy, staying ahead of the sea is not.
No blue water experience to be had between us without denial.
Mostly just me and the misses sometimes guests will go along.
But this will be the exception rather than the rule.
I can spend what I need but to say I am cheap is OK with me.
I always attempt to get the best deal for my money.
I was looking more for advice more on the strengths and weaknesses of the boats than a full tutorial in sailing.
What boats are OK if they are Old?
What boats to stay away from. IE Foam cored?
What cabin layouts are better from your point of view and why.
That kind of thing.
I feel it is better to research and learn all I can about construction types, durability, ease of use and then decide what boat best suits me.
So far I have decided that less than 37 ft the cabins seem to me are to small.
I am a large man at six four tall and 275 lbs. So more room is better.
I have been called the McGiver of the wilderness by my friends.
So repairs are OK but not desired.

Thanks
Offgridman
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Old 20-04-2011, 23:40   #6
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Quote:
Originally Posted by offgridman View Post
No blue water experience to be had between us without denial.
Mostly just me and the misses sometimes guests will go along.
But this will be the exception rather than the rule.
So with 2 regular adult crew the two things you want are a good main cabin berth for the offwatch and a place to sit that won't disturb the sleeper for the on-watch person.

An excellent berth would be a pilot berth (dedicated berth with minimum motion), a very good berth would be a quaterberth (dedicated berth with a bit more motion and next to the the companion way so closer to traffic). A good berth would be a settee (has to be converted nightly and may be right next to traffic, but minimum motion same as pilot berth. A dinette might be OK (more hastle to convert every night, oversized so special arrangements need to be made for lee clothes.) Aft cabin berths would be good (very private dedicated berth, but near the end so the motion significantly more than the main cabin). In any kind of weather, the V-berth will not be usable for sleeping.

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I can spend what I need but to say I am cheap is OK with me.
I always attempt to get the best deal for my money.
Not really an answer to the question asked. I'll assume $40-80k sailway cost, above that I lose interest and don't have as much to say about makes and models.

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What boats are OK if they are Old?
Most boats DESIGNED in the 1960's should be just fine. If production continued into the '70's or even '80's without a major redesign they should be fine. An example would be the Cal34 which had changes made in the mid-70's that were mostly correcting a problem with the rig and rearranging the cabin, structurally they were pretty much the same.

Boat designed in this period were a bit overdesigned, a combination of being early in the learning curve for fiberglass design and the effect of the handicapping rule then governing racing, which affected the kinds of boats that were built for general use.

Being older gives these boats a longer fatigue history, but because of the slightly thicker scantlings the same or less of the fatigue life has been used.

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What boats to stay away from. IE Foam cored?
MacGregor would not be a suitable boat for offshore, except for the 65' pilothouse model.

Some of the boats designed in the 70's geared heavily towards racing would not be very good either. During the gas crunches in the 70's a several companies jumped on the sailboat band wagon and came out with some real loosers. Generally the manufacturers that started late 50's or early 60's continued to make reasonable boats. Ask about specific models from the 70's and I'll give you my opinions and reasoning.

I am ambivilant about foam or balsa core. It can be used to make a boat that is just as strong as solid glass at a significant weight savings. On the other hand once there is water intrusion into the core you need to take some steps to repair fairly quickly or the problem will grow into a major repair. The other problem is that it has a lower punching strength than solid glass. If the boat runs aground and dries out on a rough surface or hits something solid in the water there is more likely to be damage requiring repair for water getting into the core.

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Originally Posted by offgridman View Post
What cabin layouts are better from your point of view and why.
For life on the hook I like the galley up one side and a dinette opposite, gives plenty of room to cook and socialize, and gives quarterberths.

Underway the galley by the companionway is best, gives better ventilation and makes for a compact space you can wedge yourself into to cook, and everything is within reach. Also a settee dining arrangement is better underway, the fore and aft bench mean you are leaning into the table or leaning back as the boat heels. Leaning sideways to eat, as you would with a dinette is a PITA.

Choosing kind of depends on the kind of sailing you want to do, it you want to make offshore passages go with the second. If you are mostly going to go up and down the ICW then the other arrangement might work better.

Quote:
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So far I have decided that less than 37 ft the cabins seem to me are to small.
I am a large man at six four tall and 275 lbs. So more room is better.
I understand the height thing, I'm 6'2" and my wife is 6', and understand that a longer boat is more likely to have headroom, though even the big ones tend to top out around 6-4. That said smaller boats have really big thing going for them, when things get really bad in an anchorage or undersail they are a lot easier to deal with. On a 40' boat nothing can be manhandled, everything has to be finessed. Also when things break on a smaller boat it is much easier to come up with a fix. Keep in mind that a lot of your time will be spent on deck, the more so if you arrange for sun and weather protection with a dodger, bimini, lee clothes and maybe a sun awning for in port.

If I were you I would consider boats down to 33'.
My suggestions would be

RANGER 33 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
RANGER 37 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CAL 34 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CAL 36 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CAL 40 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CAL 48 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 34 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 36 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 43 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
COLUMBIA 50 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
MORGAN 36 O/I Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
MORGAN 41 O/I Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com

Your best bet for headroom is the Columbia 34 and 43. In addition to headroom you will get nice big decks to work on and a very spacious feeling below because of the raised deck with bubble design.

My recollection from sailing on a friend's M41O/I was that I had space over my head. On the otherhand the O/I series of boats are really mediocre sailors, they were designed for charter trade in the caribbean. Also center cockpits tend to be wetter than aft cockpits in heavy weather.

The Cal 40 might give you head room but otherwise would be my pick for the best all around in terms of well built, speed, galley arrangement and berthing arrangements and nice wide side decks to move about on in heavy weather.

The Cal36 just gives me head room but is what I am looking to buy as it meets my berthing needs, is smaller, a lot cheaper and almost as fast.

Hope this helps
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Old 21-04-2011, 04:29   #7
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Hey there - welcome aboard!

Sounds like your choice is simply between old or new - if you want strong go for a boat built late 70s or early eighties - they didn't know how strong that new fibreglass stuff was, so hulls from that era tend to be super thick!

However, if you want roomier, buy newer. Although you can see the light through the thin fibreglass, newer boats often have wider sterns, which makes a huge difference space wise.

Of course, if image isn't a problem for you, you could go for an older cat - that way you'll get thick fibreglass PLUS loads of space....
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Old 21-04-2011, 07:43   #8
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

I had the link for the wrong Columbia 34 in my earlier post, here's the right one:

COLUMBIA 34 Mk II Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com.

Mark 2 model with bubble top which should have headroom approaching 6-7, and more spacious interior with the raised deck.
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Old 28-04-2011, 13:44   #9
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Re: New Member Hi Guys & Gals

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Searching for the right boat is really hard but looking in a local marina is a start.
kind regards,
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