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Old 15-02-2007, 15:05   #16
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You will know more about your situation soon. The prospects are probably not too bad but you will probably require chemo and regular review.
I wouldn't rush things, you will probably be sidelined for a few months anyway.
40' is probably too big for one person try 34-38 with probably 36 being a reasonable compromise.
Living on a boat in a marina is one thing, I suspect you want to cruise, which also involves living aboard comfort but a lot more.
You don't want to spend 2 years getting the boat ready so pay up and get a good one.
Singlehanding is ok but anything shared is more fun -if that is a realistic option.
Quite possibly you could find someone who wants crew as a starter, if you have done a few courses, and have some experience.
You may feel a need to get on with things but a plan to get there over a year or so may work as well.
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Old 15-02-2007, 15:24   #17
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Hi Rich,

Glad you have a great doctor. If your going to toss a coin on your survival, go to a place that comes up heads more than tails. I didn't want to go to Seattle from Maine but I'm alive today so it was well worth it.

I also would not go with a boat over 40' for your size crew (you and a possible partner). Someone pointed out that I sail a Westsail 32. This is true. I am 6'2" inches tall and my Westsail is 6'4" down below. For her length, she is HUGE and has incredible amount of stowage. The best thing about it is that I can handle her ALONE in sailing, docking, anchoring, etc.

There are a LOT of great boats out there under 40'. With your budget, you can find a good boat in outstanding condition in the 36-38 range. Look for a boat with relatively new sails, re-rigged within the last 5 years, and re-powered. These are the big ticket items for most boats outside of hull or deck delamination which is cancer of the core of the vessel. Don't touch a boat that has this problem. There are a lot of boats out there that have moisture problems, so be aware. Moisture and delamination is generally caused by poor maintenance or neglect.

Teak decks are wonderful but they can hide a lot of problems hidden underneath. I would stay away from teak decks for this reason plus they do require ongoing maintenance.

Hang in there.

HERON
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Old 15-02-2007, 16:29   #18
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Heron,
I hope I don't wind up tossing a coin, but I agree with your philosphy, if I've gotta gamble I do want to at least stack the cards in my favor.

I appreciate your advice. That's why I decided to join this forum. I had never heard of a Westsail before. Given the breadth and experience level of the folks on this board, I knew I would learn a lot more than I could on my own.

I've always found that it's quicker and easier to find solutions to a problem if there are more heads involved in the process, and since there seems to be many heads on here just overflowing with information, I sincerely hope no one minds if I tap into that wealth of knowledge.

Keep those cards and letters (and ideas) coming. I'll read em all as quickly as I can, and thanks to all for the responses so far.

Rich :cubalibre
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Old 15-02-2007, 17:19   #19
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Aloha Again RichT,
The reason I would go no larger than 36 on deck is that I've owned lots of different boats. I've worked on lots and I'm still working on my 42 after 15 plus years of ownership. It has 6' headroom. So my message is based on personal experience. Longer boats don't necessarily have more headroom. If you want to sail and liveabord now then go smaller. My old Mariner 35 had 6'4" head room. I don't like aft cabins so would not have one regardless of headroom.
I believe the Westsail 32 has lots of headroom. Many boats from 32 to 36 have 6'4" headroom. I really don't pay much attention to that because when I'm below decks I'm either sitting at a chart table or the salon table, sleeping or cooking. The galley is the only place you need excessive headroom for the cook and also ventilation.
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Old 15-02-2007, 17:42   #20
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[QUOTE=SkiprJohn]Aloha Again RichT,
Longer boats don't necessarily have more headroom. I don't like aft cabins so would not have one regardless of headroom.

John,

Thanks for the observation. You are definitely correct in your statement. I looked at a 43' Albin Nimbus recently. Reasonable price, 49K, nice boat, but it barely had 6' in the salon area, and in the aft head I had to bend my knees or hit the overhead. That might be okay if I were cruising all the time, but I figure even if I cruise the Caribbean or Europe, given the time, there will still be days when the vessel will function as a liveaboard, and I'm just not into banging my head constantly.

Curious about your other statement. Why don't you like aft cabins? I had the impression from previous discussions that they are more comfortable underway. Have you found that to be contrary? I have seen very few v berths that I felt I would be comfortable in, except maybe the Hunter 45 which is really a double offset to starboard. Appreciate any explanation you can offer. I may be a bit spoiled by having had large homes in the past, but living aboard a boat is bound to be different, including not having my usual California King bed, so I'm open to new options, given an explanation.

Thanks for the input,
Rich
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Old 15-02-2007, 22:19   #21
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Hey Rich, from another retired biker gone sailing. When you mentioned hearing of the site in a bar around Ventura, I immediately thought of Elusive, but then you said gentleman, and I knew it couldn't be him
A close friend of mie survive lymphoma, twice. It is a terrible situation, and all I can say is enjoy every minute you can. I am of the opinion that a smaller boat, around the 28-30 foot range is ideal for single handing, but there are many here who do not share that opinion. In fact, Elusive single hands a 43 footer quite efficiently. What ever you do, do what you like. I can offer this advice. choose a boat hat is big enough to be a comfortable home, but small enough that a day sail is not a major undertaking.
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Old 15-02-2007, 22:40   #22
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I'm single handing a 45ft'er. And no fancy pant winches, just plain old ones.
There are two things I did fit though, that I would not do so well without.
Furling headsail
Autopilot
No matter what sizw bgoat you have, if you can have those two things, you can sail single handed with ease.
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Old 15-02-2007, 22:47   #23
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Well.. *I* have "fancy pant' winches ... :P self tailing makes all the difference!
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Old 15-02-2007, 22:59   #24
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Hi there Rich,
Best wishes from down-under for your new health program. I would just like to add a comment to Kai Nui's about the size of vessel you are looking to manage single-handed. long ago I set a target size for my dream yacht at 45' or 14M as the largest berth I could comfortably afford and compromised on upwind sailing efficiency with a ketch rig to reduce sail handling dramas...(same type as 'Wheels'). I have had no regrets as I enjoy the extra space for all my "stuff" and having 12-15 friends or family out on day-sails is a breeze. The berthing dramas are more dependent on prevailing wind versus berth orientation and how expensive my neighbour is. Draft at 6'-6" is also something to consider depending on where you intend cruising. Another avenue you may wish to consider is a motorsailer which would offer smaller sail area, shallower draft, more kW for comfort and more living space per foot on deck....not my personal preference but still very popular where rough sea conditions are less frequent.
I suspect you will eventually find the perfect vessel for you that fits all your needs and will be a surprise choice to the rest of us....good luck with the quest.
Windrift

P.S. I have just read Wheels and Thomas's comments and totally agree.....I choose autohelm as my No.1 sailing partner and the furling headsail is No.2. I also have 'Fancy-Pant' (electric 2-speed S/Tailing) sheet winches but mostly crank them by hand to get better feel on sail trim so would not be too concerned if the electrics fell over.
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Old 15-02-2007, 23:19   #25
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Kai,
You obviously know more about Elusive (Thomas) better than I do, but I assume every one I meet is a gentlemen, until they demonstrate otherwise, Guesss that's old school, but hey, that's me.

I appreciate your insights, as well as those of others here. One obvious advantage to a smaller craft is cost, however, that is mitigated by brand, i.e. some larger, but less elevated status boats, can be had for the same or less than smaller, highly sought after boats. Sort of like an older very large Lincoln towncar is cheaper than a smaller newer Porshe.. I'm in no way saying that Swans, or Perinni Navis and such are not excellent boats, but unless I win the lottery in the next couple of months, they're out of my league, along with Junneaus, Hylas, and quite a few others.

A chap I met at the same bar in Ventura offered what I thought was good advice. He said "do not buy the biggest boat you can afford, buy the smallest boat that will do what you want it to do and make you happy". Made good sense to me.

Also, and this is considering you're input Alan, they're are things that one can do to make handling a larger vessel easier. While in Florida, I went out with a salesman on a 456 Hunter. He single handed it out of the docks, set sails, and got us out into the St. Johns while I sipped a Heiniken. Seems to me that things like adding an electric winch, or windlass, extra electronics, or even a bow thruster for getting into tight docks, would make a lot of the chores easier.

Given that I've flown aerobatic aircraft, raced cars, and done a few other dangerous, if not downright stupid things, maybe I'm overconfidant, but I think using caution, and really learning how your craft handles would make a big difference in what one could handle.

I haven't had the privilege of sailing with Elusive, but I have been on his boat, and I gotta admit, I like the layout, if I had to tie up somewhere and live on it for an indefinite period. It would make a nice nesting place.

You guys are giving me lots to think about, so keep the ideas coming. I'm still digesting it all at this point, but the day will come when it will pay off and I'll have all of you to thank.

RichT
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Old 15-02-2007, 23:34   #26
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Windrift,
Thanks for the good wishes and the suggestions. I have not sailed a ketch rig, mostly sloops, and a couple of cutter rigs. Is the ketch really easier to sail? What are the advantages, disadvantages over a sloop, over a cutter? Several folks have advised that single handing a cutter with a self tending staysail would be easier than a sloop. Opinions??? Your experience?? I feel like that robot who came alive in the movie (Johnny 5?) more data, please???
Rich
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Old 16-02-2007, 03:24   #27
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Hi Rich,
I would agree that a Cutter rig gives more sail area options than a sloop and a tracked staysail reduces cockpit activity when tacking...(a sales feature on charter boats in the Med..) The primary thought in my mind when singlehanded (most times I sail) is the possibility of being overcanvassed during a blow and trying to reduce sail area without someone at the helm. Being able to set an inner foresail (cutter) of reduced area and then dropping or furling the working jib in its lee provides a good reefing solution if enough warning is available. The cutter rig is also of great advantage downwind when set gullwinged with the jib. With a greater number of smaller sails the handling advantage is obvious however the hullform of some yachts may be ill-disposed to a cutter or a ketch rig as the Center of Pressure will be further aft....more so in the ketch or yawl. This may be offset by fitting a bowsprit and moving the rig (CoP) forward, however the hull designer (or a marine architect, rigger etc) would best be consulted before taking an axe to the current rig. The ketch rig simply gives more configurations for different points of sail biased in the circumnavigators normal downwind direction (West to East) with reduced sail sizes and an overall lower CoP (less heeling effect) for the equivalent sail area as a sloop or cutter...(safer in a mid-ocean gale at night). Smaller sails means lighter and smaller sail bags being heaved up from below, less efficient sailplan in light airs, less rig tensions and sheet loads, Lower C of G, smaller winches, reduced pointing ability as the mizzen is in the eddy flow from the main...etc, etc.
'Windrift' does not have a bowsprit but would benefit from one under sail, however my marina fees would increase due to the extra length. This minor problem has been disguised with a large asymetric MPS and a dousing sock....(easier to use singlehanded than the furling jib). Also I don't sail with the mizzen set but use it purely for rolling anchorages and stability when motoring upwind in traffic.
There will be many other sailors out there with greater skill and experience than I who will have varied opinions about the merits of different rigs and I would stress that what I have outlined here is purely what suits my salty mind and is possibly more a definition of the pace at which I prefer to travel than any other reasons be they technical or traditional. I have only owned 'Windrift' for about 7 yrs but she has been set up and sailed by very experienced short-handed sailors in the twenty plus years she was based at San Diego YC and covered over 80-100,000 ocean miles between Oahu, Tahiti, California and New Zealand. I feel humbled each time I step aboard by the hands that have touched the same helm.
I guess my point is that Your Boat needs to reflect Your Needs...so you won't need to be concerned about not having some fitting or function if you don't intend to sail under those conditions.
I have a cruising buddy who recently removed an inner forestay and tracked boom staysail from his 50' Tahitian because his wife complained that she couldn't sunbathe on the foredeck...?..!
"..never used it anyway.." was his comment. I'm not sure if that was true or he simply chose to believe it to keep the peace...!
Cheers
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Old 16-02-2007, 12:15   #28
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Aloha again Rich,
I've sailed on 2 boats with aft cabins, Celestial 46, and a Cal 2-46 and although they make a very nice liveaboard/apartment, when at sea I didn't care for the motion in the stern next to the engine compartment, ontop the prop strut and listening to steering gear.
I know there are others who don't share my opinions and that's ok. I just will let you know what I think from my perspective of lots of sailing time but only 3 years sailboat liveaboard time (Mariner 35 ketch).
At sea a fore and aft berth in the center of the boat is most comfortable with a quarterberth being ok for the next watch. I like v berths in port and salon berths at sea.
I prefer not to have all kinds of electric and electronic gadgets aboard. These are all dependent on the generation of electricity so requires a noisy genset, lots of engine time or big solar arrays plus electric panels, lots of breakers and wiring. Electric anything will return to the sea faster than any other functional part of a sailboat so it'll be the first to let you down while you're cruising or offshore. Again, just my opinions.
Good luck in your quest for a perfect boat.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 17-02-2007, 01:55   #29
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Windrift/JohnL
Thanks to both for your input. Good points from both. More to mull over????
Does it ever end??? boyoboyoboy....

Rich
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