Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-02-2009, 07:46   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Starting the Liveaboard life from UK

Hi from the UK and we are currently looking for our first boat to sell up and sail away in.

I have millions of questions and will take a lifetime to learn but we are looking at serious long distance cruising. We have trogged around boat shows and marinas and looked at many many boats. It seems that whilst new boats are all shiny and gucci, you can get a lot more for your money if you are prepared to buy secondhand.

We have been warned off buying ex charter boats and despite humming and haa ing, I really cant make up my mind whether to go GRP or steel hull. Steel has strength but rusts, GRP doesnt rust but is not so strong. I know each has its pros and cons and would love to hear from liveaboards about their experiences with either.

We are looking at perhaps 10 to 15 years of cruising and circumnavigating is on the to do list. Would GRP fit the bill for heavy work such as this and if so, would it be reasonable to expect a GRP hull of say between 4 and 6 years of age to last the distance (i.e another 15 years of long distance cruising)?

I think a minimum of 40 feet would be required for the two of us to live in comfort and have heard quite good things about Beneteau 473's. Do any liveabords have experience of these boats?

We have around 180,000 available to spend initially with a modest monthly income of around 450 once we go (rising to around 1,000 in five years time). I think I would rather spend between 125,000 and 150,000 initially and leave a reasonable amount in the coffers. As we do not intend to return to the UK for ... oh as long as possible ... we are more than happy to buy a boat ex tax i.e registered abroad.

Having spent eons of time looking at boats both for real and online any help or direction that you can give to make living aboard easier would be much appreciated.

Many thanks and best regards

Tim
__________________

__________________
creaky matelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 09:42   #2
Registered User
 
Vega1860's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: At Sea
Boat: Albin Vega 27 Lealea
Posts: 65
Hi Tim and welcome. I am new here myself but I have been living aboard and cruising for almost twenty years so I may have some insight for you.

First, you don't need a forty footer no matter what all the books and magazines tell you. I bought into that fallacy and it almost kept me from achieving my goal until a friend helped me see the light. There are many advantages to cruising in a smaller boat. In my opinion, the only reason to insist on a forty foot+ boat is to haul around your ego (Assuming you are not travelling with children)

Second, steel is good but GRP (Fiberglass for we Americans) is perfectly adequate, arguably in fact, superior in anything under forty five feet.. After all, the idea is not to run on the rocks in the first place. Older GRP boats are much stronger and pre-1975 boats are much less prone to osmotic blistering. GRP also has the ability to sit in the water or in the back yard almost indefinitely without rusting away to nothing.

There are a good many GRP boats that have successfully cruised and circumnavigated for more than twice your 15 year time frame.

At least here in the States, there are many, many excellent boats, with very few, if any real sea miles on them, available in any marina. People buy them, equip them according to Cruising World's recommendations and dream of voyaging but never actually go out for more than a day-sail or weekend.

Rather than write a lengthy article here I will suggest that you visit our web site (Links in my sig below). Be sure to visit the Voyages page as well. At the bottom you will find two circumnavigations of the globe, one by a couple, the other solo.

Malie ke kai
__________________

__________________
Cruising Log
Latest Videos
Vega1860 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 09:59   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
waverider's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Boat: O'day 30 "Waverider III"
Posts: 205
Images: 12
Send a message via Skype™ to waverider
Hi Tim and welcome aboard! Go with Glass and get a good used boat for under 100 US. If you check out our website you will see my partner and I are planning a trip in a 27 footer, now this is small for living on.

But as Malie Ke Kai as said, you dont need a 40+ footer. If that is what you want great, but you dont need it. We are looking at upgrading before we leave to maybe 34 or 36 but if we dont we are going anyway.

Cheers

Todd
waverider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 10:14   #4
Registered User
 
oceansoul63's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 43
Welcome, creaky matelot!

Secondly -- excellent post, Vega1860.
__________________
oceansoul63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 12:35   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
To: Vega1860

Thanks for the reply to my post and you certainly raise some valid points. Hopefully others will be as prompt at replying to help give new angles to decisions that have to be made
__________________
creaky matelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 16:28   #6
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Aloha Creaky. Happy to have you aboard. I will ditto what Vega says. I had an Ingrid 38. Lovely boat and great sailer. I am your average income worker and it was constantly draining me. I have a 30 footer now and time will tell but I think financially easier. Rigging will be 1/2, fuel 1/2. Slip rent 30% less and much easier to find than a 40 ft. slip. The list goes on.
Also I have built 3 steel boats (and have the scares to prove it) and owned 2 of them. I'm a GRP guy all the way. Glass is more than strong enough. It is more prudent to work on your sailing and navigation skills than it is to get a steel boat with the mindset you may reef it someday. Learn how to stay off a reef. I have owned F/G boat which were 1 1/4" (40mm) thick! I'm a true believer in an older, well designed inexpensive cruising glass boat.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 17:17   #7
Registered User
 
roger.waite's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
Boat: Samsara, a Ross 930
Posts: 380
Suggest you get a copy of Hal Roth's "How to sail around the world ..." and Bill Seifert's "Offshort sailing ..." for an initial read.

The short story is: that there are a lot of excellent glass fibre boats that will do the job, that length helps but too much becomes an encumberance, and that you could leave a good portion of your money working for you instead of sinking it into the boat.

Good skills & equipment are always worth more than modest increases in length ...
__________________
roger.waite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 17:32   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,465
Decisions, decisions...

G'Day, Creaky,

The argument about what is the best size for cruising rages onward in this and other forums, and there is no "right" answer. With your capital situation and the current sorta depressed market, you can very likely get the 40 footer you describe and still have some money left to add to your income (and this is a VERY good thing to do). A smaller boat MIGHT reduce your costs, or allow you to buy higher on the quality spectrum, but boat costs are a bit capricious and hard to predict.

But, comfort, both at sea and at anchor, is easier to anticipate: bigger IS more comfortable! We've done long ocean passages in 30', 36', and now 46' yachts, and each increment in size has made life better for us. INdividual requirements vary, and frankly, as Ann and I have aged, the need for greater creature comforts has ramped up. I don't know where you are with regards to that, but it does make a difference, no matter what the small boat contingent say. Incidentally, we once did a month long cruise in a Catalina 22, with 2 adults and two small kids aboard. Had a good time, but we were about 30 at the time...

And on the steel/GRP battlefield -- there are great boats built in both media. There are certainly no worries about the strength of GRP in terms of sailing ability, but equally there is no doubt that steel (or alloy) will generally survive sitting on a reef better. ONly you can decide if that particular aspect of a boat is important enough to drive your decision. For us the increased performance of lighter glass and now strip-planked composite construction has outweighed the doomsday factor (to say nothing of the desire to avoid the constant paint maintenance required with steel).

Anyhow, good luck with your quest... it's a good life!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
__________________
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2009, 20:08   #9
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Hi Creaky...Here is a web page that allows you to plug in some numbers and see what is a good cruising boat and what might be better for around the buoys kind of boat. Often times you will see that a properly designed 30 ft boat can have a higher comfort factor than a 40 ft. boat. Thus dispelling that larger is always more comfortable. My vessel has a comfort factor of more than 40. The same as a Peterson 44. It can go either way depending on the design.
These threads have a lot of great information for you and it can be difficult at times sifting through truth and just bold statements.
Sail Calculator Pro v3.52 - 2000+ boats
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 02:12   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks to you all. It seems perceived wisdom leans to smaller boats for liveaboards .... sub 40 feet. I know I might seem a bit dim here but apart from the greater expense of being on a 40+ foot boat can anyone enlighten me as to the pros and cons for both?

Thanks and best regards
__________________
creaky matelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 02:18   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks Roger, Celestial and Jim. For info we are 49 and 47 so comfort will be quite high up on the agenda. We also envisage those that have flown the nest wanting to occasionally fly around the world and visit us with girlfriends in tow if the destination seems glamourous enough! Hence my queries regarding 40+ foot boats.

What a great site !

Best regards

Tim
__________________
creaky matelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 04:48   #12
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
As my bio says, "tied to the dock" - but have been "messing around in boats" for a while......

Quote:
Originally Posted by creaky matelot View Post
We have been warned off buying ex charter boats
Their is some good info on this site on ex-charter boats - including from folk who have bought them To me it seems not such an automatic no no as many say. Simply a matter of a) whether the boat types are suitable for intended use and b) their condition vs price.......pretty much the same as any other s/h boat - after all, a charter boat doesn't self destruct 5 minutes after leaving charter.



Quote:
GRP or steel hull
Pros and cons to each. Also depends on what you are likely to hit Coral and Ice seem to be favourites. Most other objects can be avoided by reading a chart / chartplotter. Apart from ships - and for that hull material is perhaps less important than luck


Quote:
would it be reasonable to expect a GRP hull of say between 4 and 6 years of age to last the distance (i.e another 15 years of long distance cruising)?
Yes. It would be reasonable. But that alone is not a guarantee. Need a decent build quality. Well built does not have to mean weighs 40 tons and carved from solid oak or top of the range () boats - just to be aware that different manufacturers have different approaches to build quality. Good news from buying s/h is that stuff becomes known thanks to the power of Google

40 foot plus? Never been there myself But sounds reasonable. Of course some 40 foot plus boats will be bigger than others. You should also think about what type of cruising you will be doing and where - will guide your choice of boat. No point living with something that is capable of rounding Cape Horn in a F10 enroute to the Antarctic if Marina hopping in the Caribbean for the next 10 years. Nothing wrong with either approach to life, nor to say that all boats that work well for Marina hopping in the Caribbean are not capable of doing other things - more a question of would you want to / would it be pleasant / or fun

As I am sure you already know, the more you learn the more questions you have - and some of your answers will have to be discovered yourself enroute......but that is all part of the fun in life
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 05:24   #13
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by creaky matelot View Post
We have around 180,000 available to spend initially with a modest monthly income of around 450 once we go (rising to around 1,000 in five years time). I think I would rather spend between 125,000 and 150,000 initially and leave a reasonable amount in the coffers. ...Tim
Hi Tim,

OK, I'll admit it, I like bigger boats and I like new boats

180k GBP is lots; 450 GBP per month is not much at all.

For 15 years with that money I would be buying a brand new boat - virtually no maintenance problems for 5 years and still save enough to beef that 450 per month to over 1,000 per month.

Jump the channel and go have a look at the new Beneteaus 43 and 46. The 46 is a good size for a couple. The 473 was excellent too - but if you have the money go the new

Quote:

OCEANIS 40 YANMAR 3JH4E 29 KW (40 HP) D
79 391,50 93 285,01

Iron Keel Draft 1.90 M
OCEANIS 43 YANMAR 4JH4AE 39 KW (54 HP) D
94 187,50 110 670,31

Iron Keel Draft 2.00 M
OCEANIS 46 YANMAR 4JH4TE 55 KW (75 HP) D
117 066,50 137 553,14
The first figure ex-vat second is incl vat plus add 20,000 GBP options and fit out to cruise ready. You'd negotiate some of the options in the new price I would think.

That leaves you with an extra 30k to pad your 450 per month.


Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 05:38   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane
Boat: deboated
Posts: 672
glass vs steel - if you damage glass you can repair almost anywhere with steel you require a welder and they are hard to use on a reef. As has been said best not to hit the reef in either! Size - yes you can cruise in almost any size boat but like most things in life there is a happy medium. Most of the time the small boat advocates use the argument of not needing all the gear that the large boat allows, water maker, generator etc. So do you like to have a shower? Small boat less water storage, no room for water maker oh well forget the shower. When waying up size you need to think about these basics not the usual microwave oven, coffee makers etc that are used by many on these sites to justify not needing a larger boat. As for old vs new your choice is simple, buy old and spend nearly as much again bringing the boat up to an acceptable safe standard remembering that it will not be worth much more than what you paid or buy something newer which has the benefit of modern design, materials etc and is usually easier to work on and should cost less to maintain. I am sure my comments will receive plenty of flack but think about it. Would you buy an old car, not collectors item, that needed as much money spent on it as you paid, just so you could drive it which added very little to its resale value?
__________________
meyermm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2009, 10:28   #15
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by creaky matelot View Post
Thanks to you all. It seems perceived wisdom leans to smaller boats for liveaboards .... sub 40 feet. I know I might seem a bit dim here but apart from the greater expense of being on a 40+ foot boat can anyone enlighten me as to the pros and cons for both?

Thanks and best regards
If it's just liveaboard, I would always lean towards a larger boat. But if sailing and doing it as comfortable and safely, I think you need to look at boat handling. You are only a few years younger than me and I know as we age it get a little tougher to reef, change sails in bad weather, anchoring and so on. So it's probably going to be a compromise. Maybe a happy median, say a 35 ft. double ender sloop or cutter rigged. Over on this side of the pond, a Fantasia 35, Union 36 or Hallberg-Rassey 35 come to mind. Also try this link to see what is available at what prices...good luck.
Advanced search for new and used boats and yachts. - YachtWorld.com
__________________

__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
liveaboard

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
starting the life rydstn General Sailing Forum 7 01-09-2008 17:24
12 year liveaboard and enjoying life!!!!! serenity Meets & Greets 4 27-08-2008 13:32
Starting out El Sueno Meets & Greets 3 17-04-2008 10:35
Starting again Talisker Meets & Greets 1 11-08-2007 15:36
Starting Out Bonfire General Sailing Forum 17 01-02-2006 14:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.