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Old 15-10-2023, 16:01   #1
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Best boat for cruising

Probably been asked a 1000 times, but needing advice
Want a boat for cruising the GBR and Torres Strait
Fuel is probably #1 so what are the most efficient hulls?
I'm mad on multis but initial cost might freak me out, but the misses won't come if she's not comfortable
Not doing full-time as need time on land, so will be moored in a marina when not in use.
The remainder of the time will be spent in motorhome between the boat and home
Budget around 250k
Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 15-10-2023, 17:25   #2
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Re: Best boat for cruising

You are not quite right, that kind of question has not been asked a 1000 times, only 987 times on my last count .
Just for the non Ozzies: "GBR" stands for Great Barrier Reef.

I am sure there is not such thing as 'best boat'. There might be a best boat for you and your family, but you will find that your best boat now, is not your best boat in 2 years' time. Requirements, experience, knowledge and availability of $$ do change over time.
I am not that knowledgeable in the difference kinds of catamarans, so not qualified to comment on that.
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Old 15-10-2023, 17:58   #3
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Hi, Gasman,

1. Are you looking for a yacht or a stink boat?
2. Are you aware that you’ll have to spend a fair bit of time (5 months?) either not on the water or just risking it without insurance? Due to cyclone season.
3. With your budget you’ll be looking at a very low end cat - may not meet the wife’s criteria!
4. You can get a reasonable mono for that price but make sure you allow enough for operating costs and maintenance / upgrades.
5. Once again, check with the wife if she’d be happy on a mono or a low-end cat. Mine has made it very clear that she will only accept a cat for long-term cruising.

The above will give us more info to give you a more nuanced response.
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Old 15-10-2023, 21:01   #4
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Re: Best boat for cruising

I'm mad on multis and built a few but efficient hulls aren't the best load carriers and as you point out, cost a lot.- $250k is not what I'd consider a lot for a decent multi

A fuel efficient trawler can carry a load, has plenty of range, can offer plenty of comfort and can be found for considerably less than a half decent multi allowing plenty of cash for fuel and maintenance.

I stopped building our last cruising cat in favour of comfort, load carrying ability, time and $$
My wife agreed whole heartedly

Jeff Schionning , designer of performance catamarans himself chose power on his own vessel
And now cruises the QLD coast on this.

I see a pattern
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Old 15-10-2023, 22:15   #5
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Gasman another positive for a mono hull is marina berth price and availability compared to a catamaran.
I am not sure I would go for a converted timber trawler unless it has been well done and well maintained.
Cheers
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Old 15-10-2023, 23:08   #6
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Desirable & Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts. Great book - led me to buy a Downeast 32 Cutter.

Pros: LeFeill mast w/ track for storm main; small cockpit; companionway above the deckline; strong hull; Cutter rig is best (imo); tender so good in light air.

Con: if it capsize, it's a flat bottom boat more difficult to right.
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Old 16-10-2023, 01:33   #7
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Re: Best boat for cruising

one that does not sink !
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Old 16-10-2023, 05:45   #8
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasman View Post
Probably been asked a 1000 times, but needing advice
Want a boat for cruising the GBR and Torres Strait
Fuel is probably #1 so what are the most efficient hulls?
I'm mad on multis but initial cost might freak me out, but the misses won't come if she's not comfortable
Not doing full-time as need time on land, so will be moored in a marina when not in use.
The remainder of the time will be spent in motorhome between the boat and home
Budget around 250k
Thanks for any suggestions

Don't know your area, but...

FWIW, fuel is usually not our primary boating expense (and this is with big-ish twin engines).

Mooring, annual underwater maintenance, and insurance are all large expense items. Sometimes annual insurance exceeds annual fuel costs. The total of other maintenance/service usually exceeds annual fuel costs, and that's with me doing as much as I can myself (to manage/mitigate labor costs).

We mostly choose boats based on space, layout, and feature requirements. How many and what kind of beds, heads, visibility, bridge access (stairs vs. ladder), etc. And then we consider hulls and engines of boats that made it through our first pass. Our choice has evolved toward a planing hull with easy 20-kt cruise when appropriate... that we can mostly run at "trawler speed" while we smell the coffee. (Planing hulls are not always comfortable at trawler speeds, though, depending on weather, sea states, etc.)

Hum a few more bars about how you'd use the boat, what you like, etc... and more ideas might surface. Note also trawlerforum.com is a sister site with much more emphasis on power boats.

-Chris
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Old 16-10-2023, 12:12   #9
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Here are my thoughts:

A catamaran is a much more comfortable live aboard boat than a monohull. The extra space is fantastic. Frankly, living life at an angle (monohull) is exhausting, and the rocking that they do in rollie anchorages is also tiring. Look around at a sundowner gathering in a monohull. Everyone is hunched down inside the cockpit bimini/dodger cave, while folks have room to sit comfortably in a catamaran. There are 2 downsides of cats: they cost a lot more, they often have poor upwind performance. The windward performance can be fixed by buying a boat with daggerboards. By the way, a lot of monohulls have poor upwind performance too because they are shoal draft.

Despite the better pointing ability and speed of a performance catamaran, I would stick with a fiberglass (not carbon) boat with keels (not daggerboards). The initial cost of a performance boat is probably twice that of a cruising boat and the insurance costs are likely twice as much too. If you have an accident and break a daggerboard on a performance boat, the trunk is probably going to be damaged too. Fixing all this will take very specialized repairs that are going to be hard to find and expensive. But if you damage the keel on a cruising boat, there is a good chance that the damage will be isolated to the keel, which is structurally isolated from the hull. There are yards all over the world that can do these simpler fiberglass only repairs.

Catamarans are hard to come by these days, there are a lot more cruising boats on the market, which of course means that they are easier to come by and less expensive. Depreciation of a boat really adds up and I let someone else pay that. Within the first year of purchase: 10-15% depreciation. By the fifth year of ownership: 20-30% depreciation. By the tenth year: 30-40% depreciation. There are lots of 5 - 10 year old boats on the market. So, I advise shopping for a cruising catamaran that is 5 - 10 years old. By the way, if you think that buying a new boat will free you from repair headaches, it just doesn't work that way. It is actually the opposite because you need to get the builder and the OEM involved in order to get a warranty repair done, when instead you could have found a repairman on your own.
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Old 16-10-2023, 12:32   #10
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Re: Best boat for cruising

So you definitely need a monohull. Catamarans have a nasty, violent motion while underway or even at anchor when the wake of a boat hits you on the side and then there’s the horrible slamming of the bridge deck into the seas in open water, a big turnoff for most sailors. Besides that, cats are for wimps

With your budget you can get a nice 44-47’ monohull even when it’s a Beneteau or similar. They give you more than enough space to live aboard, have a gentle motion and the heeling is what absorbs the nasty violent motion from a multihull.

Fuel is not a concern because you use sails for propulsion and will have enough budget to add a large solar array for electrical power.

If the missus doesn’t fancy a monohull then trade her haha
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Old 16-10-2023, 12:32   #11
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Re: Best boat for cruising

You could buy a 38ft cat for $250k but you’d put another $100k into it getting ready to cruise. Everyone does.

If you can’t spend $350k, It’s better to get a good monohull that your wife can live with.
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Old 16-10-2023, 12:43   #12
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
.

Fuel is not a concern because you use sails for propulsion
These are the waters I have cruised for 40 years
Not that many actually sailing these days
Especially north of Cairns

Seems it's either too windy so they run away to marinas at the first sign of 20 knots
Coming from the wrong direction so they cower behind islands waiting
Then not enough wind so they motor like madmen on underpowered boats, not carrying enough fuel and dragging an expensive mast through the air.
Get there just in time for the next lot of 20+ knots and hide in a marina again.

There was a day when sailing boats could actually sail and people had patience and planning to get the right weather window but now it seems it's all got to be done to a deadline.
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Old 16-10-2023, 14:13   #13
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
There was a day when sailing boats could actually sail
Perhaps the word "Best" should be outlawed in regard to boats?
With the budget the OP has, and if he really wants a boat that can "sail" no matter the weather, you'll look long and hard to find something that will be much better than an S&S Swan.
Of course, in this video the wind is only about 70Kts.
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Old 16-10-2023, 14:19   #14
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Re: Best boat for cruising

https://www.schepenkring.com/boats-o...sgraaf-design/

Actually this ship sailed the GBR and Torres Strait during the circum nav 2016-2018, from Mackay to Darwin.

Diesel 0,66 l/nm or 3,3 l/hr at 5 to 6 knots, fuel tank 1000 liter. Efficient hull design with narrow bow entry (as are the Dashew's).
Due to start 2nd circum nav in 2024, so in Australian waters in 2025.
Refitted last period, so no major costs anymore.
Blue water cruiser for small crew (e.g. a couple with 1 or 2 crew), nor suitable for charter or the like.
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Old 16-10-2023, 15:55   #15
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Re: Best boat for cruising

Gasman, I'm doing it in now, in a fairly heavy Monohull, If I had my option again, I would have preferred a bigger mono hull like a Amel, but if I was limited to the GBR it would be a cat.

I avoid burning diesel, in the past month coming down from Magnetic I watch the herd and monitor other boats with my AIS, frankly most don't hesitate to burn diesel. If I see that I can arrive in a anchorage with the available wind before sunset thats good enough, sometimes I may have to motor to a spot by a certain time, knowing the predicted wind will kick in and get me to my chosen destination, it would be great if your spouse can sail, a night passage at times would be pretty handy.

This is my first boat, spending what I did on something I may not enjoy was hard, but now I'd spend more with confidence. But Marina Fees are up there, worse for cats, getting longer term boat storage is getting worrying, Insurance forces you down south where the Marina fees are higher or not available. Everyone dreams of a better boat. If its your home for major part of year its easier to justify a bigger better yacht.
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