Hello, Kate from Maryland
, or Dr. Kate,
All your previous sailing experience will stand you in good stead, although freshwater waves and ocean waves are noticeably different (you'll see.)
limits you to something old, and I think you should be looking in about the 28-32 ft. size range. The older boats, the brand name doesn't matter so very much, but their condition is everything. Big $ items are re-engining; re-rigging; new electrics; repairing soft decks; and even if it really needs a new suit of sails
Depending on your physical size, keeping it small like that means that all the work
will be easier on your body (except the groveling: "boat yoga" can be really hard on your knees), as well as your budget
, as will keeping it simple. One big challenge is how do you arrange your emergency water
supply? For most people, their longest trip will be from Mexico
, or Panama
to the Marquesas
. You need to have about 50% more than your hot weather water consumption
for 30 days or so, depending on your boat's rate of travel, so pay huge attention to water tankage.
If you search on Trente Pied's posts, just within the last two weeks or so, he has written for someone who shares the dream you have, about how to estimate the long term costs of boat ownership
. He may even keep a separate file of his own with some of his long, informative posts, but I'd suggest you take a look at it, because your suggested expenses are in the low end of the range, and his post provides a useful framework for considering your options. [Use the CF Custom Google
search under the Search button.]
Imho, you should try crewing
on a few ocean passages before you commit your future to this dream. While your previous sailing experience stands you in very good stead as a preparation for coastal cruising, looking to crew on a few long passages, over two weeks will tell you a lot about the ocean and how you like the whole experience. If you can, try to find a small, very simple boat to do it on.
If you plan on taking on crew for passages, you may want a slightly larger boat, perhaps a 30' to 36' boat. The two women
singlehanders we have known best one had a 30 ft. ("Mighty Merry"), one a 32 (Pat Henry from "Southern Cross") ; however CF's very own gamayun has a Freedom 38 on which she did the singlehanded Transpac; and our KelseyB restored a 30 ft. Dutch steely that she has singlehanded. Jeanne Socrates, a Najad
38 (iirc) [oldest woman singlehander to circumnavigate]; and Suzanne Cuber-Hurphy, an aluminum
Dutch design Kloopman built 40 foot expedition one-off monohull
[first woman singlehander to do the NW passage].
Boats look biggest when you are looking up at their bottom in the haulout yard, holding up your 2" carbide blade scraper to strip off the paint
sickness, or your sanding
block, for smoothing the bottom in prep for new paint
Once you start looking at boats, you'll start getting an idea of which ones will work for you, at that point, you will be able to ask here about them, and there are a few surveyors here (boatpoker is one, who has written "Boat Survey
101" which tells about how to look at an old boat you might want to buy). https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...1-a-78671.html
My own 30 ft. experience includes coastal cruising and a roundtrip from San Francisco
on a Yankee 30, 22 days on the return trip, but as a couple, not a singlehander.
All for now,