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Old 26-10-2020, 08:39   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Copenhagen, DK
Boat: Looking
Posts: 56
First boat for cruising the Med

I'm inching closer every day to making a decade+ dream of mine come true. Cruise, liveaboard & work remotely It's cool that I can track my dream here on this forum. My first sailing holiday was in 2012. And since then I've been working hard to get closer to it.

As my work is fully remote, my plan is to cruise the Med for 2-4 years and then decide on the next step & upgrade to a different boat maybe.

My budget is around 60-70.000 EUR.

1. I want a comfortable boat with enough space for a couple & 1 kid.

2. As this is not the final, "dream-boat" (that would be a Garcia Exploration 45). I'm looking for a boat which will not lose a lot of value over a 2-3 years period.

3. I'd like to buy from a first owner and not a charter boat.

4. I'd like something that works from the get-go. I realise everything breaks, especially on boats and I'm prepared mentally to throw money at the boat. But I'd rather have a smaller, cheaper but in good condition boat, than an old Hallberg-Rassy which I'd need to start working on immediately.

I was thinking of going for something like a 34-37 ft boat, 2010+, from Beneteau, Hanse or Bavaria. That doesn't mean that I'd say no to an older, but very well maintained boat.

I've been looking on yachtworld & on scanboat, but one difficulty I am having is filtering out charter boats.

Let me know your thoughts please! Thank you in advance!
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Old 27-10-2020, 01:16   #2
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Boat: Beneteau Sense 46
Posts: 95
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

We have been sailing the Med for a few years now and like you went through a deep thought process to decide on what we wanted. We went bigger, Sense 46, but the principles are the same. I would not necessarily dismiss ex charter as you will get more boat for your buck and given you only want it for a few years, if you keep it well it will keep its price as your bought "cheap" in the first place. If you go for a big reputable charter company they will be well looked after.

1 You will live most of your life outside so a good swimming platform, large cockpit and as much beam as you can get in the length. The more modern the boat the bigger the beam hence have a look at ex charter. Older boats tend to be narrower and offer less accommodation. The Med is really just coastal sailing with a few overnighter's. You are not sailing oceans.
2 Assume you are sailing shorthanded so a weird feature I wanted was to be able to sleep on the cockpit seats to support the wife when on watches. Length of the seat was important (I am 6 foot).
3 Shade is an absolute requirement so good and large bimini/sprayhood.
4 Self sufficiency. Assuming you are not flushed with cash set the boat up to be as self sufficient as possible. Watermaker, lots and lots of solar, large battery bank for power storage and a generator if size permits. Marinas in peak season are eye wateringly expensive.
5 Air-conditioning NO. Power hungry and expensive. We opted for silent good quality fans which do the job of keeping you cool.
6 Ground tackle. Essential upgrade, especially if you do opt for an ex charter which will have the basics. Lots of chain and new generation anchor. This will be expensive but worth every penny when in a big blow at anchor.
7 Size, go for the largest boat your budget will stretch to. IMO at least 40 foot especially if you are going to live aboard even look at 45 feet boats in your budget. Proportionately every foot increasing volume and cockpit space exponentially. We chartered a 34 beneteau before we bought our Sense and it was unbearable after a few days with internal heat and moving around.
8 Good tender with at least a 5 HP engine. If you anchor a lot that extra power gets you to the shore quicker. Also invest in a outboard crane as hauling it of the tender is back breaking work.
9 If just the 3 of you I would go for an owners version (ie 2 cabins) as this will give you more space, however, unlikely to find on an ex-charter boat.
10 Inmast furling is a much easier sail management system than slab reefing especially short handed. Assume your not going to be racing around the cans. Again most ex charter boats will have as standard.

As far as your choice of boat is concerned any of the production manufacture's are plenty good enough for Med sailing and you are sort of spoilt with choice. Personally for what you want to do any will fit the bill if you apply the criteria we wanted when we were buying.

Good luck with the search and hope to bump into you one day.
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Old 27-10-2020, 13:05   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: The Med
Boat: Catalina 36 MKI
Posts: 182
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haddock1 View Post
We have been sailing the Med for a few years now and like you went through a deep thought process to decide on what we wanted. We went bigger, Sense 46, but the principles are the same. I would not necessarily dismiss ex charter as you will get more boat for your buck and given you only want it for a few years, if you keep it well it will keep its price as your bought "cheap" in the first place. If you go for a big reputable charter company they will be well looked after.

1 You will live most of your life outside so a good swimming platform, large cockpit and as much beam as you can get in the length. The more modern the boat the bigger the beam hence have a look at ex charter. Older boats tend to be narrower and offer less accommodation. The Med is really just coastal sailing with a few overnighter's. You are not sailing oceans.
2 Assume you are sailing shorthanded so a weird feature I wanted was to be able to sleep on the cockpit seats to support the wife when on watches. Length of the seat was important (I am 6 foot).
3 Shade is an absolute requirement so good and large bimini/sprayhood.
4 Self sufficiency. Assuming you are not flushed with cash set the boat up to be as self sufficient as possible. Watermaker, lots and lots of solar, large battery bank for power storage and a generator if size permits. Marinas in peak season are eye wateringly expensive.
5 Air-conditioning NO. Power hungry and expensive. We opted for silent good quality fans which do the job of keeping you cool.
6 Ground tackle. Essential upgrade, especially if you do opt for an ex charter which will have the basics. Lots of chain and new generation anchor. This will be expensive but worth every penny when in a big blow at anchor.
7 Size, go for the largest boat your budget will stretch to. IMO at least 40 foot especially if you are going to live aboard even look at 45 feet boats in your budget. Proportionately every foot increasing volume and cockpit space exponentially. We chartered a 34 beneteau before we bought our Sense and it was unbearable after a few days with internal heat and moving around.
8 Good tender with at least a 5 HP engine. If you anchor a lot that extra power gets you to the shore quicker. Also invest in a outboard crane as hauling it of the tender is back breaking work.
9 If just the 3 of you I would go for an owners version (ie 2 cabins) as this will give you more space, however, unlikely to find on an ex-charter boat.
10 Inmast furling is a much easier sail management system than slab reefing especially short handed. Assume your not going to be racing around the cans. Again most ex charter boats will have as standard.

As far as your choice of boat is concerned any of the production manufacture's are plenty good enough for Med sailing and you are sort of spoilt with choice. Personally for what you want to do any will fit the bill if you apply the criteria we wanted when we were buying.

Good luck with the search and hope to bump into you one day.
Be aware that if you plan to sail around Greece, the monthly tax (TEPAI) goes up dramatically if your boat is 12m or longer (30EU vs 100+EU a month).
Don't agree with the watermaker, it's a nice to have, but you can get clean drinkable water fairly easily.
Also, invest in a windscoop. This will hugely reduce the heat inside.
If you go ex-charter (good deals to be had) pay extra attention to the gearbox (most charterers seem to have learned that you need to go from full ahead to full astern in one second without stopping at neutral), the windlass and the toilets. And yes at minimum 60-70m chain and a decent anchor.
A light wind sail is also essential to have if you don't want to be on engine all the time.
Heating is not required, assuming that you'll winter in a marina or harbour. A small oil-filled radiator working on 220V is sufficent.
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Old 27-10-2020, 23:48   #4
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Boat: Beneteau Sense 46
Posts: 95
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by De.windhoos View Post
Be aware that if you plan to sail around
Don't agree with the watermaker, it's a nice to have, but you can get clean drinkable water fairly easily.
Not sure I totally agree with this. Many of the islands it is recommended not to drink the mains water and also in peak season they get incredibly busy. Most water access is on the fuel pontoon and, aside maintaining a holding pattern for 30 mins or longer in boat mayhem to wait your turn, most will also charge. Also some of the remoter locations wont have any water refill options. Don't underestimate the amount of water you will need showering each time you swim, pre going out, cooking washing up etc etc and boats of this size will not have over generous tanks circa 200-300 litres which will be used in a flash. I swear by our water maker (Dessalator 60ltr per hour) which is DC powered and I can run from the solar panels during the day. Saves a lot of hassle seeking a refill every week (or a couple of days when my daughters are visiting). IMO.
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Old 28-10-2020, 01:13   #5
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Posts: 182
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haddock1 View Post
Not sure I totally agree with this. Many of the islands it is recommended not to drink the mains water and also in peak season they get incredibly busy. Most water access is on the fuel pontoon and, aside maintaining a holding pattern for 30 mins or longer in boat mayhem to wait your turn, most will also charge. Also some of the remoter locations wont have any water refill options. Don't underestimate the amount of water you will need showering each time you swim, pre going out, cooking washing up etc etc and boats of this size will not have over generous tanks circa 200-300 litres which will be used in a flash. I swear by our water maker (Dessalator 60ltr per hour) which is DC powered and I can run from the solar panels during the day. Saves a lot of hassle seeking a refill every week (or a couple of days when my daughters are visiting). IMO.
I can only talk about Greece and Turkey, That's where I've been sailing for the last 8 years. During that time I've only been in 2 or 3 places where the water on the dock wasn't drinkable. We have about 300 liters of water on board and that lasts about 2 weeks. Granted we are pretty disciplined, but we do shower after swimming. Just not long. We also use salt water to rinse dirty dishes etc, before using sweet water to do the washing up. We also have a good water filter on a separate tap for drinking purposes.
As I said I feel that a watermaker is a nice to have and not an essential item.
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Old 28-10-2020, 02:54   #6
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Boat: Beneteau Sense 46
Posts: 95
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

I guess it depends where you are sailing. My cruising ground tends to be the western end of the Med, Spain to Italy and it's not so easy to get the tanks filled and some islands are a definite no no when it comes to drinking the water. If you can afford it I think a watermaker is a very good addition. Even having to visit a marina every two weeks would be a pain especially in peak season in our neck of the woods. Found most Europeans boaters don't seem to understand the concept of queuing at the fuel dock. I have also found sometimes they will limit the amount of water you can take because of time. Sound very different your end of the Med. I just like the complete independence and freedom to use as much water as you want and only need to top up with diesel once or twice a season The rest of the time blissfully bobbing around on the hook but I do get your point you can live without one it's just a pleasure to have.
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Old 28-10-2020, 05:55   #7
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Location: Copenhagen, DK
Boat: Looking
Posts: 56
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Thank you both for sharing your valuable experience!

I will take into consideration charter boats & bigger sizes. The main issue I have with them, I don't have the experience to detect any problems with the boat. I will have a professional survey of course - but I was thinking, excluding charter boats, would increase my chances of avoiding a lemon.

I really like the Beneteau Oceanis 393 size & layout. I would love that as a boat for the Med. Maybe the swim platform could be bigger. But the interior layout looks perfect for what I need. They would be older e.g. 2005-2007, not sure if that's a big difference compared to 2010 to warrant ignoring them?

I have a few questions:
1. what are good websites to track boats on? I mentioned yachtworld and scanboat. Any other I should keep an eye on? Any other secrets (e.g. contact chartering business directly etc)
2. What is a good negotiating practice? How much from the advertised price could I try to haggle for? e.g.: 5-10%?
3. For winter - what is a good place in the Med to wait for spring. I expect I would be renting a berth in a marina as you mentioned De.Windhoos. What's the price, and do marinas accept liveaboards?
4. I expect Internet is good enough across the Med? Is that true for more remote islands as well? For my work I need a good enough connection, probably unlimited plans with at least 3G coverage.
5. I have a RYA Day Skipper license at the moment - and not the ICC. I plan to get the Coastal soon (but COVID got in the way). Would this be a problem?

Thank you again so MUCH! When (not if) this dream will become a reality, I will hope and try to meet you guys in the Med, if you are still around there.
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Old 28-10-2020, 06:49   #8
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

And one more: any good blogs, youtube channels - with Med liveaboards, cruisers etc?
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Old 28-10-2020, 07:05   #9
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Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Typically same age Bavaria will have more work to be done compared to say a Hallberg. These production boats they always have something. If not permanent leaks from stanchion bases (Bavarias) then rudder problems (Bene). Etc.


If you hate teak, get a Contest - like Hallberg but some came without teak.



I would buy an older UK or Scandinavian boat. If you hate Nordic cockpits, get an Arcona or a similar boat.



b.
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Old 28-10-2020, 08:50   #10
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcid View Post
And one more: any good blogs, youtube channels - with Med liveaboards, cruisers etc?
sailing fair isle. they're on exactly the sort of boat you don't want
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Old 28-10-2020, 09:14   #11
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

I always loved Hans Christian boats. I'm just not sure if these kinds of boats align with what I need. And I laid out my reasons & thought process. But I'm open minded and here to learn from more experienced people. I'm trying to find out what the best boat would be for me:
- 3-4 years in the Med
- 70K EUR budget for the boat (+ initial repair to make it sea-worthy if required).
- Should keep its value and be easy to sell in 3-5 years so I can upgrade to a bluewater boat then. That's not to say I'm not going to maintain it properly. I am not saying I want to recoup my investment or make a profit in 5 years But it makes sense to think about this aspect I think - considering my goals.
- It will be used to liveaboard 365 days in the Med by 2 adults and one 8 year old kid. I will be working from the boat on my laptop.
- I'd prefer to anchor for most of the year (except winter). So we'll need to be fairly self-sufficient. Solar, very good anchor to sleep without worry, heating in the winter, big enough water & fuel tanks or watermaker, good dinghy, etc, etc.
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Old 28-10-2020, 09:51   #12
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Ha. That guy (who sails Fair Isle) told me that he wouldn't sail an Amel 50 across the Atlantic as it was not seaworthy enough!

Guess it needs a full keel, skeg rudder, canoe stern and is missing the baggywrinkles on the shrouds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flightlead404 View Post
sailing fair isle. they're on exactly the sort of boat you don't want
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:20   #13
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Re: First boat for cruising the Med

add in easy access from the water. You'll be in the med and swimming will be a big deal. A boat with a swim platform is great for this plus it makes getting on/off the dingy with bags/shopping/kids much easier.

A lot of the more modern designs have beam carried well aft which means greater storage and liveaboard space below plus more lounging spaces on deck.

This is just my preference and maybe you want something more traditional but remember is has to work for the rest of the family also. Life is a lot easier when they like it also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcid View Post
I always loved Hans Christian boats. I'm just not sure if these kinds of boats align with what I need. And I laid out my reasons & thought process. But I'm open minded and here to learn from more experienced people. I'm trying to find out what the best boat would be for me:
- 3-4 years in the Med
- 70K EUR budget for the boat (+ initial repair to make it sea-worthy if required).
- Should keep its value and be easy to sell in 3-5 years so I can upgrade to a bluewater boat then. That's not to say I'm not going to maintain it properly. I am not saying I want to recoup my investment or make a profit in 5 years But it makes sense to think about this aspect I think - considering my goals.
- It will be used to liveaboard 365 days in the Med by 2 adults and one 8 year old kid. I will be working from the boat on my laptop.
- I'd prefer to anchor for most of the year (except winter). So we'll need to be fairly self-sufficient. Solar, very good anchor to sleep without worry, heating in the winter, big enough water & fuel tanks or watermaker, good dinghy, etc, etc.
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Old 28-10-2020, 12:15   #14
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Posts: 94
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinof View Post
Ha. That guy (who sails Fair Isle) told me that he wouldn't sail an Amel 50 across the Atlantic as it was not seaworthy enough!

Guess it needs a full keel, skeg rudder, canoe stern and is missing the baggywrinkles on the shrouds.
Are you saying that some sailors are a bit opinionated?

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Old 29-10-2020, 01:12   #15
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Boat: Beneteau Sense 46
Posts: 95
Re: First boat for cruising the Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcid View Post
Thank you both for sharing your valuable experience!

I will take into consideration charter boats & bigger sizes. The main issue I have with them, I don't have the experience to detect any problems with the boat. I will have a professional survey of course - but I was thinking, excluding charter boats, would increase my chances of avoiding a lemon.

I really like the Beneteau Oceanis 393 size & layout. I would love that as a boat for the Med. Maybe the swim platform could be bigger. But the interior layout looks perfect for what I need. They would be older e.g. 2005-2007, not sure if that's a big difference compared to 2010 to warrant ignoring them?

I have a few questions:
1. what are good websites to track boats on? I mentioned yachtworld and scanboat. Any other I should keep an eye on? Any other secrets (e.g. contact chartering business directly etc)
2. What is a good negotiating practice? How much from the advertised price could I try to haggle for? e.g.: 5-10%?
3. For winter - what is a good place in the Med to wait for spring. I expect I would be renting a berth in a marina as you mentioned De.Windhoos. What's the price, and do marinas accept liveaboards?
4. I expect Internet is good enough across the Med? Is that true for more remote islands as well? For my work I need a good enough connection, probably unlimited plans with at least 3G coverage.
5. I have a RYA Day Skipper license at the moment - and not the ICC. I plan to get the Coastal soon (but COVID got in the way). Would this be a problem?

Thank you again so MUCH! When (not if) this dream will become a reality, I will hope and try to meet you guys in the Med, if you are still around there.
1 Have a look at theyachtmarket.com. You can create an account and save boats that you are interested in. Just did a quick scan and there are plenty on there within your price bracket. Search for boats 10K above your budget because you will have wiggle room. Such as https://www.theyachtmarket.com/en/bo...4005416&page=1
2 As above when ready start your offer circa 15-20% of the asking price and move up if rejected. Should expect 10%.
3 I am British and because the idiots in my country decided to leave the EU (I am a remoaner) I am looking to base myself in Turkey, actually eyeing up a marina in Northern Cyprus (KARPAZ GATE MARINA - North Cyprus Marina). Given its latitude less cold winters and very inexpensive.
4 I too work from the boat and have a vodafone 4G dongle (30pm) which gives me 50GB more than enough for what I need and marinas will have free WiFi over winter. Coverage very good in most locations at anchor.
5 If you have a RYA day skipper this automatically entitles you to an ICC which you will need.
Hope this helps.
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