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Old 07-12-2021, 17:44   #1
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Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Hi All,

I am a novice sailor and haven't sailed for many years, but now my kids are growing up sailing and sailboats are back on the agenda

My dream boat would be a Buizen 48, but I am about 500K short, so the reality is I have 50K to spend and looking at saving another 35-50k for the refit.

I am based in Sydney Australia and am looking for a Blue Water boat to meet my needs.

1) Approx 40ft
2) 6'2 headroom
3) Reasonably fast
4) Skeg Hung rudder
5) Pilot house (If possible -I love them) - I like the safety aspect and protection from the elements and view to the anchorage or on passage
6) Cutter rig
8) Steel or fibreglass - I like the thought of steel for security but concerned when it is surveyed, can they really tell how much rust is in it?
9) Boat has a user forum or internet presence . My first sailboat was a Compass 28 and it was a godsend having a group of people that knew every little issue and the fix!
10) Self steering - I have to do a lot more research on this but I guess it will depend on what boat I get, but the emergency rudder option sounds good.
11) Lots of portholes and hatches for light and ventilation

I know price is going to be the biggest issue but hopefully someone knows of of such a beast.

Any help finding my new "Dream" boat would be much appreciated

Thanks,
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Old 07-12-2021, 20:37   #2
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Are you looking to buy a boat in Australia?

If that 50K is AUD that's asking a lot, maybe an extreme fixer upper, needs new sails, shot engine etc

But you never know, captain died family just wants it gone...
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Old 07-12-2021, 22:12   #3
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Thanks Paul, looking to buy in Australia.

If 50K isn't realistic I will have to bump up the budget and or scale back a bit.
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Old 08-12-2021, 00:27   #4
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

You might be able to get something in the 30-foot range.
Will need work. How much depends on what your comfort level is.
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Old 08-12-2021, 01:22   #5
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Aussie'.
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Old 08-12-2021, 01:28   #6
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Oz market is currently hot. $50k might buy you an old Roberts 39 or similar, they have a pilot house. Not sure about the height. You would probably need + $50-100k to bring it up to reasonable condition. As others have said, I think I would start with something smaller, S&S 34 / Van de stadt 34 / UFO 34. Those yachts are more in line with a $50k purchase and $35-50k for refit.

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Old 08-12-2021, 01:45   #7
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Thanks ilenart, I am coming to the realisation I am probably going to have to up my budget to 100k. I like the look of https://www.boatsales.com.au/boats/d...AG-AD-19518049 but don’t know much about them.

I quiet like the look of the S&S and van de Stadt so I might do some more research on those
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:41   #8
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

I'd put my money in a wallet, and fly to the USA or the Caribbean where the boats lie thick on each other, and they are given away almost free with a super-sized fast food take away ....
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Old 08-12-2021, 08:03   #9
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Aussie, refits on a first boat are a problem. Yeah, you get the boat cheaply, but then the time and money necessary to bring it up to snuff multiplies. The beginning sailor then spends all his/her sailing time and money working on the boat rather than sailing. That can easily extend to years. A better tactic, I think, is to aim at a more modest boat that is ready to go.

Remember: The owner lowered the price because it was going to cost more than that to do the repair.
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Old 08-12-2021, 09:47   #10
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Panama is the place where dreams are abandoned, I would look there...still it is a tall order for the price.
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Old 08-12-2021, 12:22   #11
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

When we were looking for a bluewater boat, I found this book very helpful:

Vigor, John. The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat (still available via Amazon Kindle edition or a second hand bookshop).

There are many opinions regarding what makes a good bluewater boat but Vigor provides advice based on some basic principles.

For example, the photos of "Scintilla" show a cockpit with virtually no bridge deck. When a breaking wave fills the cockpit with water, it will find its way into the cabin unless there is a watertight hatch in the companion way. Big cockpit drains will help but not eliminate this problem. We watched our cockpit cushions float away in one of these events, but the high bridge deck and huge cockpit drains kept the water out of the cabin. The bridge is a bit of a pain when going down below, but important.

I agree with the advice provided in previous posts - buying a project boat will seriously distract from sailing time. The latter is really important to prepare for offshore cruising in addition to a well found boat.
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Old 08-12-2021, 13:36   #12
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

+1 on spending most of your budget to get a ready to go vessel vs saving half or more for a post purchase refit. It's amazing how these costs can spiral to multiples of what you intended to spend.

Many Australian Slipways don't have a great reputation when it comes to working with customers to keep costs down.
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Old 08-12-2021, 13:54   #13
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

My boat, a DownEaster 38 would suit you well if you can find one in Oz. There are a few.
38' on deck but with bowsprit makes 41'. 6'4" headroom and cutter rig. Built in 1975 so you'd want to have good survey.
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Old 08-12-2021, 13:56   #14
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.
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Old 08-12-2021, 14:02   #15
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Re: Dreams vs Reality - First Blue Water Cruiser Advice

I bought a boat around 12 months ago which has similar features to what you are seeking. She is/was by no means a project boat. I went into the purchase with my eyes open as much as I could and had the usual surveys. I allowed $50k for repairs and upgrades on top of the $53k purchase price. With things I’ve subsequently discovered (and hopefully nothing more major to come) I’ll be spending around $65k instead of $53 which will put the total investment at around $115k. I live aboard and do most of the work myself (apart from more skilled stuff like welding a new fuel tank). Whatever boat you buy will need some work for repairs or for your desired upgrades. But don’t underestimate the time and costs for a $50k boat which I think was your original budget. Also if an ageing steel yacht, fit-out and insulation can often hide rust which is very tricky to get to to see and repair.

When you get round to buying, I very much recommend you find a highly recommended surveyor who is experienced in your hull material of choice and a member of AMSA. In my haste to buy my boat I used a local surveyor who claimed extensive experience in aluminium yachts and was not an AMSA member. I’m paying the price for that poor choice of mine as he missed many obvious and costly defects.

There isn’t a deep market for yachts in Australia and choice is pretty limited, hence prices have been creeping up over the last year or so. Which means if you find one you like you’d need to jump quickly or consider other markets (COVID aside) such as NZ or Langkawi.

Good luck in your searches. She’s waiting somewhere for you!
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