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Old 13-02-2015, 17:59   #1
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50ft yacht

Hi all
Planning on heading to Greece next year to buy a yacht and spend a couple years sailing it back to Brisbane, Australia to sell it and hopefully pay off most of the venture.

I read a post where a chap said, other than when docking, if you can sail a 47ft yacht you can sail a 50ft and practice docking (the boat will likely be a Jenneau or a Bene (let's avoid the "production boat" discussion as I've read lots of those already).

Is a 50ft significantly harder for a couple to sail (I am 40 years old, 6"1' and 88kg ex rugby player and my wife is a strong 5"7')?

As it will be our home for two years I like the space of a bigger boat (I'd buy a Cat if I could afford one). Looks like I can get a 50ft for about $120k and would expect to spend about 20k on it over two years in maintenance.

It looks like a similar boat sells for 250-350k in Australia.

I have done an Atlantic crossing and am going to race down the local yacht club for the next 1.5 years to try gain more experience before leaving, as well as do a bareboat charter in the Whitsundays to see if we are still boat lovers afterwards
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Old 13-02-2015, 18:25   #2
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Re: 50ft yacht

hi,

there are quite a few posts on this. but in my case I went from lasers and albacores and laser I II's in my teens to 20 years away from sailing, to a 37 foot hunter (OMG) for 6 years, to a 50 beneteau. the only difference between them is money and systems. the systems on the hunter were much less involved compared to the beneteau. everything on the beneteau is bigger and heavier and way more expensive. but the sailing is still sailing.

you and anyone else can do it. just make sure your wallet can! good luck
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Old 13-02-2015, 18:43   #3
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Re: 50ft yacht

Thanks Mick, if we found a decent seaworthy 50ft Bene for instance, what would one expect to put aside as a reserve for a two year trip for maintenance for say a 45ft boat and a 50ft boat... I think your point about the wallet is a good one. Did you find a massive difference in cost when you bought your 50'


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Old 13-02-2015, 19:12   #4
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Re: 50ft yacht

The difference in handling a 50 foot boat versus a 47 is insignificant, although some boats handle better than other. My wife and I sail a Beneteau 50 by ourselves, but mostly in the Caribbean where anchorages are easy and marinas are a little more spacious than in Europe. We've been in marinas in Croatia, Greece, and Turkey on a Jeanneau 44 with a bow thruster, and were glad to have the thruster. Depending on your boat handling skills and your crew's skill and strength, a 50 might keep you out of some marinas. On the other hand, city docks in Greece, restaurant docks in Croatia, and small marina docks in Turkey are delightful and easy no matter what size boat you have.

Just as important as the size of the boat is the type of prop it has. Don't even think about a folding prop for tight maneuvering. The half knot speed gain is not worth the hassle of little control in reverse. A fixed or feathering prop will be fine. The feathering prop will give you less drag than a fixed prop, but that's not likely to come on a production boat and they are pricey.
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Old 13-02-2015, 19:32   #5
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Re: 50ft yacht

Furling sails and/or Lazy Jacks make a big dif when handling a large boat short handed.

My 150 hank on Genoa was tough to change out single handed on a pitching deck. Especially when I was already tired.

A new roller furler was a good investment for me.








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Old 13-02-2015, 20:00   #6
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Re: 50ft yacht

Sounds good re: prop advice, bow thrusters and furlers, added to my list of things to look for in a bigger boat.

Have i heard that furling main sails might be an issue if you get caught by surprise with a big blow?


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Old 13-02-2015, 20:12   #7
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Re: 50ft yacht

The rather bizarre throw-away opinion on folding props is worth a whole 'nother thread. Folding props are much more efficient in reverse AND they can save you between 1/4 to 1/2 a knot an hour when you move forward. That means a difference of between 6 to 12 miles a day -> every day and Oz is a LONG way from the Med.

Back to your original question. If you can sail a smaller boat and understand the principles behind it then a 50 footer will be the same but 1) less responsive, 2) much more comfortable, 3) a lot more expensive to maintain. The maintenance part (again worth a different thread) is not to be dismissed lightly as 50 foot boats generally have quite a few more rather handy systems aboard which will require daily TLC.

Just from our experience: 15 years ago jumping from a 33 footer to a 52 footer and cruising full time, what I noticed was with the bigger boat I was spending about 3-4 hours a day fixing things and I got used to only having 80-90% of systems aboard working at any given time. I did not have the same issues with the smaller boat. (But the bigger boat encouraged a fantastic woman to come with me while the smaller boat was more like babe repellent by comparison).

Cheers.

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Old 13-02-2015, 20:44   #8
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Re: 50ft yacht

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
But the bigger boat encouraged a fantastic woman to come with me while the smaller boat was more like babe repellent by comparison.
n
I have never seen or heard a better version of "size matters." Married since the beginning of the 90s, I can confidently say that a "fantastic woman" is oh so very much worth the cost of the large boat.
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Old 13-02-2015, 20:55   #9
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Re: 50ft yacht

Wow, that sound like a LOT of maintenance!! What on earth can take 3-4 hours per day? I am not much of a handyman (at the moment, planning to learn how everything works before leaving and how to fix things).

Can you give examples of daily work required? Did you buy a boat that needed lots done to start off with or am I biting off WAY more than I can handle and should get a smaller simpler boat.. I'm already married but would like to hang on to her so bigger better


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Old 13-02-2015, 21:09   #10
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Re: 50ft yacht

oscar,

I agree with pretty much ever thing dhiller says...especially the prop. ...we have a flex-o-fold and it is awesome.

my wife wanted the bigger boat, so I reluctantly agreed

maintenance wise, the old boat was 25 years old and I spent way more time fixing stuff than I liked. the newer boat takes about a half hour longer to wash...but the rest isn't showing it's age yet...but we are outfitting a few things for some more long distance sailing...so you may or may not have a similar experience depending on what you buy and its state when you buy.

I think most people would say about 10% of the boat value per year is a rough guide to annual expenses...some will argue more or less depending on many variables. so far I am slightly less...but this year with the outfitting, it may be a bit more. I can't tell you what you need to have put away for 2 years, I doubt anyone can...there are too many unknowns. at minimum, buy the boat and have it outfitted. ..have at least 10% of that per year available. then you have to live. there are a few threads about this.

we have roller furling main and genny. ..the main works great, but geometry when furling makes a big difference...something to be careful of.

the sailing will not cause you worry!
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Old 13-02-2015, 21:23   #11
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Re: 50ft yacht

If you take a hard look at your numbers, you'l figure out that it will not pay off any of your adventure for you.

Even if you sailed home 'quickly', you'd still be sitting on the wrong side of even.

I just started making a very long list of expenses... then i deleted it. I concluded that people don't take kindly to rain on their parades.


Here's an ex-charter 2009 Beneteau Cyclades 50 you could buy for 120k and spend ~20k getting voyage ready (more if you want to be comfy).

...and it would be listed for $200k in Aus: 2008 Beneteau Cyclades 50 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

You'l have a bunch of costs during the sales process (flights/accomodation/haul out/surveyor), and then a whole lot more after that - insurance, dockage, rum, cruising permits, charts, rum, spares, dinghy, outboard, tools, immigration fees, canal crossings, crew rum, sat phone, replacing your broken bits and fixing the semi-broke bits, rum import tax, entertainment, fuel, food, wine, beer, gadgets, minor repairs, major repairs, yada yada yada...

If you're already sailing, you'l want to ship a bunch of tools & equipment to Europe...

I'm assuming there is no cost of funds here (opportunity cost anyone?)

You're going to have to pay 17% (~25k) to the nice customs man in Aus, and you're going to pay 10% (~20k) to the nice salesman who sells your boat.


Sorry, i'm rambling...

Long story short - maybe try to do some hard work on a budget.

Do it for the love - not the money, or you're likely to be bitterly disappointed.


PS: Here's a link to a bunch of other peoples cruising expenses
The Cost of Cruising ~ SV Estrellita 5.10b

PPS: I started with the same idea, and ultimately concluded that I'm happy for it to cost me +/- 50k, and i'll be happy I did it.

PPPS: You could have a cat if you wanted - there's plenty of 40' cats in your budget. eg. 1989 Simpson Du Bois Temple Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com or 1989 Jeantot Privilege 12 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:23   #12
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Re: 50ft yacht

oscar,

i re-read your initial post, and i miss understood you wanted your adventure to pay for itself or most of itself. very few people could manage to what you are proposing and even come close to breaking even.

you should be able to this all and arrive in Australia and sell your boat for 1 dollar. if you can't afford that, then sailing the 50 foot boat is very least of your worries.

I do not want to rain on your parade...and I do not know your finances, do what ever you can afford...

and one more thing - "I you can live, you can afford it." (I told my parents that when I was 4 years old) so I may or may not be the best one for advice
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:56   #13
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Re: 50ft yacht

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarb View Post
Wow, that sound like a LOT of maintenance!! What on earth can take 3-4 hours per day? I am not much of a handyman (at the moment, planning to learn how everything works before leaving and how to fix things).

Can you give examples of daily work required? Did you buy a boat that needed lots done to start off with or am I biting off WAY more than I can handle and should get a smaller simpler boat.. I'm already married but would like to hang on to her so bigger better


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More systems = more maintenance. Quite simple really and that's it. Our Tayana 52 had a generator, water maker, two toilets that didn't work (actually they worked fine but the wife hated them so they had to go), 18 seacocks that needed replacing, air conditioning that was necessary in marinas in Thailand, a windlass that caught fire while we were being blown onto a reef in the Maldives, refrigeration, microwave, propane stove/oven, radar, SSB, various lights that didn't like salt air (same with the fans), hoses that leaked, latches that broke and paint that peeled. And that is 15 years after the fact and just off the top of my head.

Oh yeah, we blew the head gasket on the old Perkins in Eritrea and spent a month at anchor hanging upside down over the engine with a massive torque wrench in 100 degree (F) heat with diarrhea taking the engine apart and putting it back together again.

Would I do it all over again? Yep and we're about to take off now with two little kids and a different boat.

Forget about the money. It's not why we do this crazy stuff.

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Old 13-02-2015, 23:06   #14
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Re: 50ft yacht

Thanks everyone for the good feedback and ideas about costs. I should clarify the intention is to come as close to breaking even as possible with the intention of buying and selling for more and having a budget of about 60k for two years. Worst comes to worst we'll dry dock her somewhere and I'll come back to Oz/London and do a 6 month contract (about 50k saved) as I'm an IT contractor. Main purpose of the post was to find out thoughts on boat handling of a 50' but all the other info and sense of reality is invaluable. I looked into doing this two years ago and put it off owing to needing to save more money, couple of investments have done well and another year of saving and we should have about $250k budget all up. Main thing is to look at possibility of recouping money if possible with the knowledge that coming home alive is the real focus


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Old 13-02-2015, 23:32   #15
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Re: 50ft yacht

Oscar, let me add a few drops to the rain on your parade!

It is patently unlikely that your 125 K$ Bennie 50 will sell for a whole lot more than that purchase price here in Oz. Remember that it will be a couple of years and ~25,000 miles older when you wish to sell her. The above advice about duties and tax are correct, and brokers don't work for nothing. The bottom line is that you will be awfully fortunate to sell at par, and more likely will take a significant hit on your "investment".

The good news is that if you are a competent sailor you will have no problems with sailing such a boat. And really, nowadays there isn't so much difference in complexity between 35 feet and 50 feet -- everyone "needs" all the same toys. Further, I sail a 46 foot boat and can say with absolute confidence that I do not spend 3-4 hours a day fixing things. There are periods of intense activity like the annual slipping for bottom paint and doing routine servicing before passages, but no such ongoing travail. Sure, every now and then things break or fail, and ya gotta fix them, but I assure you that few yotties spend 3 hours a day dealing with them.

Perhaps you have already done so, but some research in old threads here on CF will reveal heaps of words about the very scheme that you propose... it isn't a new idea, and has been discussed at great length here in the fairly recent past. Use the advanced search function and be prepared to spend some time reading.

In short, with your described experience the sailing will not be an issue, but the finances will be. Be realistic in your appraisal of the numbers and see if it is still attractive. If so, go for it and have a great cruise.

Jim
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