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Old 17-03-2017, 19:45   #1
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Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Hearty hello to all Sailors, everywhere around the world.
This might a bit of a long post for the sake of accuracy, so I apologize in advance for that.

Quick background story :

I am a 27 years old commercial diver lucky enough to have landed a 4 years contract about 6 months ago. Having saved 25k AuD$ during these first 6 months, and if I add my previous savings, I will be looking at anywhere between 200k and 250k AuD$ in 3 years and a half.

As a sea lover and a passionate diver/freediver, I am very hopeful that this would allow me to realize a childhood dream of mine :

Buy a sailing boat, travel between the tropics and spend a couple years diving/freediving in as many amazing places as possible.

I have read numerous posts on several forums asking for circumnavigation budget without giving enough information about themselves, their lifestyle and their expectations so I will try to be as exhaustive as possible.

First, I have a lot of experience on motor boats as I use them daily at work but a rather limited sailing experience. The Upside is that I have 3.5 years to work on that aspect. It is also very likely that I can have an experienced sailor friend of mine coming on board for the first few months to help with this.

About the boat, my inexperienced idea would be a medium size catamaran type Gemini 105MC (was following SlapDash when they did a circumnavigation on it a few years back) as I value comfort a lot. I will most likely spend 90+% of the time at anchorage and will have "non-seaproof" people on board quite often as well.
I will most likely enjoy the sailing part as well, but the main focus of the trip will be exploration/diving/freediving and I am not looking to break any sailing speed record.

If I had to rank my concerns by priority that would be :
1) Safety
2) Comfort, liveability
3) Easy to use, Maneuverability
4) Space, storage
5) Pure sailing performance, Speed

I don't want to generate yet another monohull vs multihull debate but any opinion about boats or boat types that would suit my budget/needs is more than appreciated. I am not dead set on a catamaran, it's just that my reading so far seems to favor them a bit compared to monohulls for what I want to do with it, price being the main problem.
I would also like a boat that has a nice resell value and is relatively easy to sell as I intend to sell it after the trip and put the money into a deposit for a house.
From what I can see, Gemini 105MC are close to 110-140k AuD$ on Yachworld which might (or might not) fit my budget but like I said, I am open minded to pretty much anything at this point.

About the trip, I would like to depart from Europe, spend a summer getting used to the boat in Mediterranea, doing some coastal cruising and a bit of Island hopping, then spend a few months exploring it a bit more.
Cross Gibraltar, go down to Cape Verde, cross the Atlantic, Carribeans, Central America, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Galapagos, Cross the Pacific, Marquises, Tuamotus, French polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fidji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia maybe a bit of SEA and then come back to Australia. Duration can be anywhere between 18 and 36+ months depending on budget and most importantly, depending on enjoyment.
This is a perfect plan but I am more than open to changes depending on the boat location during purchase and other factors.

About myself, I consider that I am on the frugal side of things as I barely ever go out and get most of my enjoyment from hiking/diving/freediving/exploring nature rather than cities/bars/restaurants.
I will probably go to a restaurant once a month and that's it.
I am also non drinker and non smoker.
Yet, I do consider a good diet to be important and do not intend to survive on bean cans.
Outside of boat purchase, preparation, insuring and maintenance, my living costs should be relatively low. I will probably spend a bit on diving and fishing equipment here and there but nothing crazy.
I do not intend to take trips home during these 1.5-3 years as my family and friends would be coming on the boat regularly.
I am also pretty experienced in mechanics/maintenance as a part of my job and will most likely be able to do a lot of DIY, including outboards repair and maintenance provided I have the parts or can order them.

So here comes a few questions :

1) Is 200-250k AuD$ (150-190k US$) a reasonable overall budget for the trip considering my living style and expectations ?
2) What boat do you think would suits my project and budget the best ? Is the Gemini 105MC a decent choice or Am i way off the mark ?
3) Am I underestimating boat preparation costs, maintenance costs, mooring costs, travel fees etc ?
4) Is it possible to insure your boat for this kind of trip ? If yes, what am I looking at, price wise ?

This project is clearly in the early stages and I hope this post will be taken seriously as I had this idea stuck in my head for more than 20 years now and all my sea-related jobs keep pushing me towards it more and more.

I believe that you have to give yourself a deadline or you end up never going and these 3 years and a half left on my contract fits pretty nicely both budget and time wise.

My main aim with this post is to give a clearer shape to the project and assess if it is realistic within this time frame and for this budget.
I am open minded to any suggestions, opinions and stories as I am mostly seeking for knowledge at this stage.

I thank in advance everybody brave enough to read this post to the end and I wish you blue waters and quiet sailings.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 17-03-2017, 21:49   #2
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Now you did it, you asked for opinions on a public forum!

That being said, I'll at least give you mine, and preface it that I own a Prout Snowgoose so have a little admitted bias here.

Your budget - basically you will spend whatever you have. Depending on the boat purchase price and whether or not you like to eat out / rent cars / sleep in marinas, etc it may be more than adequate or way too little - you are the only one who can pencil it out.

For the boat - Gemini 105 MC's are technically ocean rated, and frankly are a very neat boat. Some have completed very serious offshore passages, and I know of at least one which crossed the Atlantic the wrong way in the northern latitudes. That being said, the hull layup is moderate to thin, and the build quality is good, but to a price point. My opinion--and it is just that--is that a Gemini could do what you want, but they really excel at coastal cruising, not true blue water work.

If you are set on a budget catamaran, good other brands to consider is Catalac - lots in Europe, extremely tough but dated styling; or a Prout Snowgoose. The Snowgoose is extremely similar in a lot of ways to the Gemini, but is noted for much heavier build quality - many (including mine) have completed circumnavigations.

One downside to smaller cats is they generally do not like working into a short steep chop. Our Prout does pound (irritating but not damaging) when the chop gets over 3-4'. On bigger waves it is no issue as the boat just rides over the top nicely. You can greatly reduce the pounding by angling into the waves, or simply avoiding those conditions. Larger cats with more bridgedeck clearance generally pound less, or at least take larger seas to begin pounding.

Another downside to small cats is their extreme sensitivity to loading. Prouts like mine get a bad rap from being slugs as they are frequently severly overloaded. In cruising trim--with 5 people aboard, food for 4 weeks, kids school books, and all my spares, tools, large dinghy, etc. Kyrie tips the scales at around 16,500 pounds. She motors at around 7 knots, and comfortably sails at about 8 knots without pushing it as long as it's blowing over 15. I have done my utmost to keep her as light as I can, and limit what I carry as much as practical. She still could use a diet though.

Another thing to consider is the ride on a cat is very different from a mono. Not everyone likes it - Due to their form stability and relative light weight they have a quick snappy motion in a seaway. At anchor, however, my cat is incredible. It sits flat while I watch my neighbor heel over with its mast inscribing circles in the sky.

Like I said, just my opinion, YMMV

https://cruisingkyrie.blogspot.com
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Old 17-03-2017, 22:48   #3
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Cheers for reading and answering !

I am pretty inexperienced so it would be foolish of me not to consider every opinion and suggestions.

The Prout 37 seems to be available on the market at a decent price point depending on how old it is. I believe the fact that there is a lot of them from the 1970's and 1980's still available and active shows that they are fairly durable.
On my budget that would probably be a model from the late 80's or early 90's, and I have to say the idea of getting a boat 30 years old is bit scary to me, probably without any basis, as I am guessing a well maintained boat this old is probably better than a trashed recent one.

I will have a look at the Catalacs as well.

I am looking for a Cata <40 feet or so as I will be probably be alone about a third of the time and it needs to be easy to operate single-handedly. Also from what I have read so far, the smaller is also the cheaper to maintain and operate so if a 34-37 fits my needs that's all good.
I take note of it about the weight, that should be fine considering what I want to do with it as long as I don't go crazy with the diving equipment.

The comfort at anchor is the main selling point to me as I do intend to spend extended periods of time chilling there and exploring around.

As for the budget, I am really looking for the maintenance/Insuring/repair/mooring costs/Travel fees side of things as I am confident I won't spend much outside of that as I have an extremely simple lifestyle.
I have a friend telling me about 10% of the boat's price per year in maintenance/repairs, does that seem about right ?

Thanks for the insight and have a good sailing from Alaska !
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Old 17-03-2017, 22:59   #4
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Sounds like you are on the right path with the research. You may consider buying a cheap (ish) mono as a starter boat to gain some experience before you drop the money on a much more expensive and complicated catamaran. As an example, our first boat was a Albin Vega, and we had an absolute ball with her. Those can be had at or around $10K US depending on condition.

The 10% figure depends on too many factors - the biggest being what kind of shape it was in to begin with. For ours, which started in near bristol condition, it has been closer to 3% for the first year at least, but that is with only about 1500 miles under the keel and full-time liveaboard usage. I'm sure more miles would mean more repairs as well. One that has more wear on still functional systems could be a lot more as things break from age or use. For a rough idea, it seems somewhat reasonable though.
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Old 17-03-2017, 23:16   #5
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Bob,

certainly as a diver cats have many advantages.

Sounds as cost of living for you will be minimal on your budget.

Not sure the availability of Seawind 1000XL's in Europe but they are very seaworthy and low maintaince vessels. They also hold their value well.

Add Seawind 1000XL to you search.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...rd-181204.html

Check out this thread in the multihull section.
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Old 17-03-2017, 23:57   #6
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Hey Downunder ! Thanks for the answer.

I had a look at the seawind 1000XL and it's definitely a boat that I'd like but it seems a bit out my price range at the moment. I see them at 250k AuD$ on Yachtworld which would be pretty much my whole budget. The boat looks amazing tho and I'd happily get one if I had more money.

The thread you linked is interesting. I don't care much about getting a washer and a laundry machine but I am definitely looking into bringing a dive compressor onboard.
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Old 18-03-2017, 12:29   #7
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Keep plenty set aside if using Panama canal transit. 12 months last January (ie 2016) cost approx 2400 for the fees including, as i was single handed, agent, ropes, 4 rope handlers pilot and the heaps of various fees they find to impose on you. This for a 33ft cat. Mind you the alternative being the cape which might cost just as much re fuel, the bad weather, time etc etc.
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Old 18-03-2017, 12:52   #8
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Hiya, what a wonderful opportunity for you and good on you for planning such an experience.
In my humble opinion, I would purchase my cat here in Australia - you have a many more choices here in Oz and, depending on which countries are on your hit list, plan a departure from Aus heading north.
One day you WILL want to return and that said, as your vessel would be an Australian Registered Ship, you can re-enter with no GST or other major import costs. If you buy internationally you will have some serious outlays upon entering your home country. Upwards of AU$15,000 for a boat which you might buy for AU$100,000. So be careful to factor these costs into the equation.
Good luck and enjoy this great experience......
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Old 18-03-2017, 13:01   #9
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

I think a cat is the pretty obvious choice for you, given what you want to do. Makes a great diving and living platform. I would throw the Lagoon 380 onto your list; while it's at the upper end right now, 3.5 years could change that.

What you will find is that outfitting a boat for living on the hook in remote places requires two systems that any boat you're looking to purchase might not have; auxiliary charging (solar, wind), and a water maker. Both of these open up your options tremendously. You'll need to make fewer stops for fuel and water, basically. Given the expense of adding auxiliary charging, you'll need to make the calculation of whether it's worth it to you for the freedom it gives you as you probably won't recoup the install cost in fuel savings by the time you sell the boat. In any event, if the boat you buy doesn't have these, you'll probably want them, and so include that in your budgeting. There's a lot of other stuff you'll need as well. Finding a well outfitted boat is going to save you money as it's cheaper than outfitting a boat after the fact yourself, within reason.

I would start looking at boats now, in terms of familiarizing yourself with makes/models and actually inspecting a few. If there are listed boats convenient to you, call the broker and go check it out. You'll start to figure out what would work for you and what wouldn't, but you'll also start to learn about the spectrum of condition that boats on the market are in, from poorly maintained up to pampered.

Start learning now. For your trip you need to be a sailor, navigator, mechanic, plumber, electrician, rigger, weather forecaster, medic, and a few more things. All those skills and knowledge are not only key to doing the trip safely, but also inexpensively. Stuff on a boat breaks, often, and if you have to hire someone every time something goes south you'll be a lot poorer for it.
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Old 18-03-2017, 14:57   #10
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I think a cat is the pretty obvious choice for you, given what you want to do. Makes a great diving and living platform. I would throw the Lagoon 380 onto your list; while it's at the upper end right now, 3.5 years could change that.

What you will find is that outfitting a boat for living on the hook in remote places requires two systems that any boat you're looking to purchase might not have; auxiliary charging (solar, wind), and a water maker. Both of these open up your options tremendously. You'll need to make fewer stops for fuel and water, basically. Given the expense of adding auxiliary charging, you'll need to make the calculation of whether it's worth it to you for the freedom it gives you as you probably won't recoup the install cost in fuel savings by the time you sell the boat. In any event, if the boat you buy doesn't have these, you'll probably want them, and so include that in your budgeting. There's a lot of other stuff you'll need as well. Finding a well outfitted boat is going to save you money as it's cheaper than outfitting a boat after the fact yourself, within reason.

I would start looking at boats now, in terms of familiarizing yourself with makes/models and actually inspecting a few. If there are listed boats convenient to you, call the broker and go check it out. You'll start to figure out what would work for you and what wouldn't, but you'll also start to learn about the spectrum of condition that boats on the market are in, from poorly maintained up to pampered.

Start learning now. For your trip you need to be a sailor, navigator, mechanic, plumber, electrician, rigger, weather forecaster, medic, and a few more things. All those skills and knowledge are not only key to doing the trip safely, but also inexpensively. Stuff on a boat breaks, often, and if you have to hire someone every time something goes south you'll be a lot poorer for it.
Suijin

Good advise.
Might be able to find a good priced Lagoon or FP in Europe/med.
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Old 21-03-2017, 00:03   #11
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Re: Budget and boat for 18-36 months at sea, EU to Australia

Noted for the Panama canal. I will add another 5k$ in the budget for that.

Good point for the resell of the boat Bushy !
Maybe I am not looking at the right places but I find boats to be a lot more expensive in Aussie than in Europe or the US.
I will keep an eye for opportunities around thought.

Cheers Suijin for the info.
Watermaker and Solar panel/Wind turbine definitely look like something I will need. I intend to explore around and not to stay in marina for weeks so autonomy would be essential.
I actually love the lagoon 380 and it's layout. I just wish it was a bit less expensive. At the moment I see them between 200-260k Aud$ which is my overall budget.
But yeah 3.5 years might change that hopefully, stronger Au$ or if I can renegociate my contract midway. Plus the boat aging a bit.

I guess the info I am struggling the most with is what %age of the budget can go toward buying the boat.
If I end up with 250k Aud$ in 4 years and for this trip, what kind of boat can I expect to be able to afford ?

I am well aware that it depends on the boat and whether it needs a lot of love and maintenance but I want to have an idea of what I would be looking at.
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