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Old 03-12-2020, 11:52   #1
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34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Good day,


We are currently doing research on systems and algorithms for detecting, classifying and localizing whales and dolphins using passive acoustic monitoring.



We basically use two methods. One is where we use a dipping hydrophone from our boat, and the other is where we deploy floating sensors/ buoys.


At the moment we are using a Beneteau First 26, which is an awesome boat for day sails.



However, I would like to go out for extended periods - two/ three days, and also venture to deeper waters in order to test vertical arrays for localisation of vocalising whales.


As such, I would like to get a boat that is over 9 meters / 30 ft. The requirements for getting a commercial endorsement for skippering a larger boat (> 9m) is substantially more complicated than for boats smaller than 9m, but something that I am willing to do.


We have a limited budget, so we cannot buy the latest and greatest boat. I was thinking of getting a basic boat, and then build her up over time.


I saw an ad for a Nicholson 35 that is in our budget, however, the boat is marine ply with glass skin?? We would also need to fit another engine - I was thinking of getting a secondhand Perkins 4108 and rebuild. Is the marine ply a big disadvantage? Also, I hear the Nicholson 35s have rather difficult gearbox setups (z-drives) which are hard to get parts for. One option would be to fit an outboard to the boat, while we rebuild the main engine. (Would a 15 HP outboard work?)





The other option is a Bruce Roberts 34. (34 Roberts - (MON34-0396) SECOND HAND (30' TO 39') YACHTS / MONOHULLS YACHTS / MONOHULLS YACHT AND POWER SALES Cape Town South Africa)
Here the engine is again a gamble - but something that we can hopefully sort out.





For our perfect research vessel, we do not worry too much about the interior. We can do a bit of woodwork ourselves. Basically we want to sleep 3 or 4 in the boat. Our crew would be 5 persons maximum. A nice heads will be great to have.



My plan is to take time to get the boat up to Cat B (40 NM offshore) - two to three years. However, we will need to be able to do day sails within a month of acquiring the "new" vessel.


Do you think this is a workable plan, given that we have limited funding. We do receive funding annually, though. (We would be able to rebuild the engine in year 2)


Which of the two boats would you go for? Or neither of the two?


Any advice will be greatly appreciated,
Jaco
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Old 03-12-2020, 14:36   #2
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Jack,
What coast and what region?
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Old 03-12-2020, 14:54   #3
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

What's the budget?

You can find 30-35ft monohulls pretty cheap, so no reason to be talking 6 figures.

While a sound marine ply boat may be OK, if you don't have the experience to tell if that's the case and if you buy a lemon, it's likely not worth repairing, so steer clear and look for something like a solid fiberglass model. Since it's a work boat, you don't need pretty, just solid with a reliable engine.

PS: strapping an outboard on the back of a monohull not designed for outboard power is a horrible solution.
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Old 03-12-2020, 20:19   #4
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Still looking, eh? Do not be tempted by the idea of cutting down one of the three IMOCA boats that will be arriving in Capetown shortly. They are NOT what you want. 'Glassed-over plywood can be OK, but it is hard to tell, so pass on that one too.

The 34' Roberts might be OK. Roberts designs are not speedy or exciting sailers, but some of them do seem to get around. Roberts does not build boats, he sells plans, so the quality of the construction goes from home-built castastrophes to professional works of art, and everywhere in between. Roberts boats often sell at a discount because of this. The photos in the listing make this one look good - but good looks won't keep the water out. Take someone who knows about boat construction with you to go check on this one. Diesel engines that have not been overly mistreated tend to last a long time. It is probably easier (and cheaper) to get one working again than to replace it. Would the broker or owner agree to try starting the engine? If not, though rates are difficult to judge, paying a mechanic to come have a quick look might be worth 1000 rand or so - after you've determined that the boat is soundly built.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:55   #5
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

We have a 1976 Pearson 365 that we are putting up for sale. Just finished having the Perkins 4-108 rebuilt and the hull painted. Getting ready to install the new cabin sole. All sales, rigging, canvas, cushions, etc., are nearly new and in excellent shape. Looking to walk away with $30k, but would negotiate that for your worthy endeavor. If interested, you can reach me at diplogrunt@hotmail.com.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:19   #6
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Thanks for all the replies.


I should have mentioned, we are based in False bay, close to Capetown, South Africa.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:49   #7
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Glad to hear you gave up on the current boat for your purposes.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:50   #8
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Buying an old boat with an old engine is risky. The cost of replacing, or even a proper rebuild of an engine can quickly eat up any savings from buying an older boat. That is the primary reason that older boats go for low prices. Look for boats with newer engines.

Older wood boats require a very careful survey to search out hidden problems. Steel boats rust from the inside out so inaccessible areas of the hull require special scrutiny. Fiberglass doesn't age so a well built fiberglass boat that has not been damaged will last a long time. Keel bolts can be an issue on older boats.

Bottom line - any boat that you are serious about buying should have a marine survey done by someone experienced with the hull material of the boat.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:01   #9
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaco Versfeld View Post
Thanks for all the replies.


I should have mentioned, we are based in False bay, close to Capetown, South Africa.
I think for a research boat, I'd be looking at steel trawlers. Sail boats won't use as much diesel, but the ongoing maintenance could easily offset the fuel costs since it doesn't sound like you'll be traveling that far. I have no idea what the market is like in South Africa or what your budget is but around here (in the States) you can usually find such a boat for less than $50,000, especially if it needs some TLC.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:13   #10
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

I think neither. Repowering is expensive. As I am planning to sell my boat in the first quarter of '21 I doubt if you could do better. Morgan 33 sleeps 4 confortably, 6 is a stretch. Outboard bracket but not needed as Kabota engine is low hours. 12' beam makes this more space than many 35s.
PM me if interested and Fl location not a problem. Thinking low price 15K.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:24   #11
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

it might e best to spend your meager budget on fundraising. Then buy a better boat.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:25   #12
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

To help clarify this thread - the OP is near Capetown, SOUTH AFRICA. The Roberts 34 he's looking at - which he says is within his budget range - is ASKING less than USD 6500. It has a Volvo diesel - probably from when the boat was launched in 1986. It is being sold out of an estate: the owner died. His wife or relatives probably don't sail and want to be out of slip fees and maintenance chores ASAP. All these factors make it worthwhile to check out this boat. Perhaps the estate would be willing to make a donation to the research group - don't know what the incentives for that are in South Africa, but it might be worth inquiring.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:59   #13
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

In Jan this year I bought a project 1985 Irwin Citation 34' with reasonable sales and rigging but had to assume the engine was toast because it would not crank. I paid a scrap price, $1500 for the boat. (Ideal Coid isolation project)
Found a guy that sold ground up rebuilt yanma's, with a core at $4000 and I'm a degreed mechanical engineer, so was able to remove and reinstall myself.
I have some internal/external cosmetics to potter on but, after 6 month, we were able to take her out for an overnight cruise.
Not the prettiest because of some paint scrapes on the hull striping but all in all am very please.
Once the cosmetics are done I reckon I have a ~$15 - $20k yacht.
Gotto add, I'm a workaholic and don't stop, sometimes to the detriment of my health lol, but I get it all done and done properly.
We're planning an extended (3 week) coast hopping cruise next year, then the plan is to sell and do again on a bigger boat up to say 40'.

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Old 12-12-2020, 00:24   #14
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Hi Jaco,


I posted a reply on the other thread you had created but was directed here.



To clarify, I am based in Cape Town and have sailed on the sea here for over 45 years. I have owned keelboats for the past 18 years and currently own a steel Lavranos 40 moored in Hout Bay.


As other posters have mentioned, sea conditions around the Cape are often very tough. Swells of 5-8 meters are common. We regularly sail in winds up to 40 knots, especially in summer, when Southeaster predominates.


Whilst the Mozambique/Agulhas current does affects us, it is mainly dangerous on the Wild Coast between East London and Durban, about 400 miles from Cape Town. From Cape Agulhas (the Southern point of Africa) to the west, the cold north flowing Benguela current is dominant.


Now to the boats. Although there are a relatively small number of sailing boats in SA compared to other countries, there designs developed for our conditions. A number of them are discussed on this website: https://sayachts.blogspot.com/



The Muira is a 9.15m sloop boat designed by Oswald Berkemeyer in the early 70s. It is very seaworthy and well regarded design, but a bit slow and plodding. For a stable platform in the big swells a Muira maybe the right choice and there are a number in good condition available.

I would also have a look at the Lavranos 34. All though it is a one design racing boat from the 1980's, the L34 is strongly built and has a wide cockpit with a scoop for launching and retrieving things (and fishing). It is also a lot faster than the Muira and very easy to sail in southeasters.


I know that particular Nicholson 35 you mentioned. It has been lying unused on the marina (near my boat) for more than 10 years. I would not recommend it.



The Roberts looks interesting but I don't know it.


If you want some help or just a chat you can message me. I am in Hout Bay most days.



Kind regards and fair winds


Max
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Old 12-12-2020, 00:46   #15
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Re: 34 / 35 ft Sailboat for reseach

Hi Jaco


I had posted on the other thread that you had created but was directed here.


I have sailed on the sea off Cape Town for the past 45 years. I have owned keelboats for the last 17 years, based at Hout Bay. My current boat is a steel Lavranos 40.


Here we regularly (like every second week) sail in swells of 5-8 meters and in winds up to 45 knots (especially in summer when the Southeaster howls). As a result some boats have been designed for these specific conditions. Some of them are discussed on this website: https://sayachts.blogspot.com/


The Muira, a very tough 9.15 meter sloop designed by Berkemeyer in the 1970s is very well suited to our conditions and will create as stable a platform you can get in the big swells and winds. It is however a bit slow.



I would also look at the Lavranos 34. Although it is a 1980's one design racing boat, it is very strongly built and has a wider cockpit with a scoop for launching and retrieving things (and fishing). It is also a lot faster than the Muira and very easy to sail in southeasters.


I know the Nicholson 35 you mentioned as it is moored on the same marina as my boat. It has been standing there unused for more than 10 years. I would not recommend it.


I don't know the Roberts 34.


You are welcome to message me and we can chat. I am in Hout Bay most days.


Kind regards and happy sailing.


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