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Old 22-12-2016, 19:02   #46
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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I'm only after quality and low price, age doesn't bother me. I probably prefer older to be honest.

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I agree.
Structurally, those boats have either stood the test of time and age , or have obvious failures

Newer boats, while cosmetically prettier, may have had cheaper construction standards and latent defects.

This puts the onus on you to become better informed about doing your own initial survey and studying the reputation of your shortlisted choices.

On the 3rd cabin, I think a higher priority would be to find a good convertible salon to bunk (midships) so that off-watch crew have a comfortable place to relax and sleep.

Hot bunking the best berth will be what you will do anyway rather than trying to sleep on the ends
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Old 23-12-2016, 08:29   #47
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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We'll be doing the coconut milk run during the window recommended by Jimmy Cornell, so basically Panama to Galapagos to Marquesas to Tahiti in one season.
Have you been to the Galapagos? Is it worth doing the multi island pass by boat or better to do one island and do tours, or is one island enough?
With the Marquesas is it worth the trouble going to any of the small atolls?. The tides and corals make it look too like a lot of work getting in and out of them.

Cheers
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Someone else already answered the part on the Marquesas/Tuamotus well, so no point in repeating.

Re the Galápagos. We spent a month there in 2015 on an Autografo which allowed us to visit Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela. LOVED it. We think next time we'll aim for the full 3 months the Autografo allows. Saying that however it is expensive and you need to be excited enough about the animals and the uniqueness of the Galápagos to offset that.

With 4 of us the total fees including the Autografo, agent fees, clearance costs, quarantine inspection, inter-island clearances, etc, etc. ended up somewhere around $1600-1800 (we don't have our records handy right now for a more accurate number). Friends who did the one island (between 7 and 21 day stop dependent on the Port Captain's discretion) paid around $600-700 from memory. (Noonsite has a ton of info on the latest costs so I won't duplicate them here.).

As for the question of the Autografo vs the one island and doing tours to the others. For 4 of you I think you'd find that you'll very quickly spend more than the difference between the two options on tours to the other islands if that is your plan. Tours tend to be relatively expensive in the Galápagos compared to Central and South America standards. Think more like North America or Australian costs. There are quite a few activities on the islands that are free, but you are quite limited on where you can go without being guided. (This upset quite a few of the cruisers, but we came away convinced that Ecuador is very justified in limiting unsupervised access after witnessing the way many of the tourists interfere with the wildlife in the unsupervised areas - often to get a selfie or a 'good shot'). We probably spent an additional $1500-1800 over the month on tours and a couple of dives (for two of mustang only my daughter and I dive).

Is one island enough? For us, no. Part of the uniqueness of the Galápagos is being able to see the differences between the islands based on the their age. The differences between Cristobal and Isabela (about 80 miles apart) are amazing and I think you need to spend some time at each of the islands to truly appreciate the differences. Again though, you have to be excited by the science or you'll probably just find yourself fixated on how expensive it is and frustrated.

To make a long story short, my recommendation lately to a few other cruisers considering the Galapgos has been as follows:
- Read Noonsite for the latest on clearance fees and requirements
- Accept those costs at face value and don't assume you're going to be able to 'do it cheaper' or avoid some of the costs. You may, but probably not a significant amount and don't count on it. Write that number down and imagine for the next step that's what you paid on your first day in the Galápagos.
- Now find and watch either (or both if you can) the BBC or David Attenborough documentary series' on Galapagos.
Now......
- If after watching those you find yourself researching the various options to see the animals and sights that caught your eye, reading more about the geological variation and development, etc...... my guess is you'll love the Galápagos.
- If after watching those you find yourself still fixated on ways to reduce the clearance fees, or agents fees, bemoaning the fact that it's one of the most expensive cruising destinations in the world and debating whether it will be worth it....... my guess is that you'll be disappointed by them.

Just my thoughts. YMMV
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Old 23-12-2016, 08:58   #48
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

might be able to find force 50 or formosa 51 that cheap but it would need work before deep water sailing. much of the work of readying a cruising boat for sea can be done in water. as long as boat floats, and is mechanically sound, you are good.
have fun.
i have found a few force 50s and formosa 51s for around 20-30k usd. condition?? ha ha ha haha best know how to fix a boat well. and how to assess damages due to neglect and abuse due to financial fail.
you may wish to check the police/coast guard auctions of confiscated and impounded boats, as well as repo boats for availabilities of any marque. donot forget lien sales...
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Old 29-12-2016, 00:02   #49
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

LOL I saw a Formosa 41 near here (in Gainesville, Florida, of all places, FAR inland from water she could get into, to the point of needing a semi truck, MANY wide load permits, and escort vehicles, to take her probably close to 80 to 100 (or more) miles for deep enough water access to put her into the Atlantic or GOM), and they wanted Five Thousand (USD) for her.

Of course, she also had vines rooted into her hull sides, the mastwork and rigging were "gone" (as in "not there" or "sold already at some point in the past") and she looked like potential money pit hell (internally she is largely stripped, evidently or in shambles because there are VERY few internal photos on the listing).

A real shame that someone let her get that way and left her like this... She had beautiful cabinetry and woodwork inside, at least according to a pic (but there are also other pics that were not this vessel, so...??). A real shame...

Seems like MANY thousand dollars and a TON of restoration and this could be an interesting deep water boat. I have no idea what the masts and sails or other rigging would cost, and this guy claims he is not moving a cent down for this thing. Of course, YOU move it to wherever you want her to go, but you will have to even work on the rudder and shaft, and I am betting the prop went with the rigging and most of the internals to someone else...

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Old 29-12-2016, 07:55   #50
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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LOL I saw a Formosa 41 near here (in Gainesville, Florida, of all places, FAR inland from water she could get into, to the point of needing a semi truck, MANY wide load permits, and escort vehicles, to take her probably close to 80 to 100 (or more) miles for deep enough water access to put her into the Atlantic or GOM), and they wanted Five Thousand (USD) for her.

Of course, she also had vines rooted into her hull sides, the mastwork and rigging were "gone" (as in "not there" or "sold already at some point in the past") and she looked like potential money pit hell (internally she is largely stripped, evidently or in shambles because there are VERY few internal photos on the listing).

A real shame that someone let her get that way and left her like this... She had beautiful cabinetry and woodwork inside, at least according to a pic (but there are also other pics that were not this vessel, so...??). A real shame...

Seems like MANY thousand dollars and a TON of restoration and this could be an interesting deep water boat. I have no idea what the masts and sails or other rigging would cost, and this guy claims he is not moving a cent down for this thing. Of course, YOU move it to wherever you want her to go, but you will have to even work on the rudder and shaft, and I am betting the prop went with the rigging and most of the internals to someone else...

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this is the RARER THAN HEN TEETH cruising version.
overgrown by weeds??naaaw--they are around not in and through. easy peasy for someone with a skill.
this is a damn good buy for someone wanting a GOOD heavy trade winds sailor CHEAP. know how to repair and win. hire out and lose.

this is a really good buy for these. must have skillzzz... and yes there are support groups for the folks who love these boats.
i am not able to load any pix of a standard yankee clipper for comparison, a s my wifi fail has overcome function.
i paid 4650 usd for my yankee clipper--this is a worthy boat. even not afloat
this is the model i searched for when i was searching for my bird
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Old 29-12-2016, 08:57   #51
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

No mast, no engine. I will pass.
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Old 29-12-2016, 19:23   #52
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Thanks Hobie-ind, lots for me to take from that.

Thanks for the idea zeehag.

Gotta agree that I'm after a motor and mast as a minimum 🤓


I'm putting together a spreadsheet of different possible boats to compare theoretical nm per day, Brewer Comfort etc. and I have a question about displacement of a fully loaded boat. Is it right to add about 5000 pounds to the saildata displacement info for water, diesel, food, crew, gear etc for a blue water journey to work out the various Ratios? Seems a lot to add to some of the lighter boats. I'm guessing the 5000 pounds is about right for a 25000 pound boat, not a 15000 pound initial displacement boat.

Cheers
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Old 29-12-2016, 21:12   #53
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by Sailing Soon View Post
Thanks Hobie-ind, lots for me to take from that.

Thanks for the idea zeehag.

Gotta agree that I'm after a motor and mast as a minimum 🤓


I'm putting together a spreadsheet of different possible boats to compare theoretical nm per day, Brewer Comfort etc. and I have a question about displacement of a fully loaded boat. Is it right to add about 5000 pounds to the saildata displacement info for water, diesel, food, crew, gear etc for a blue water journey to work out the various Ratios? Seems a lot to add to some of the lighter boats. I'm guessing the 5000 pounds is about right for a 25000 pound boat, not a 15000 pound initial displacement boat.

Cheers
Peter


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Dont get so hooked on numbers. Just sail and find what you like. I have sailed on boats with good comfort ratios that I thought were crap sea boats and others with bad comfort ratios that I really liked. Sailing is sailing, not spreadsheets.
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Old 30-12-2016, 06:39   #54
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
this is the RARER THAN HEN TEETH cruising version.
overgrown by weeds??naaaw--they are around not in and through. easy peasy for someone with a skill.
this is a damn good buy for someone wanting a GOOD heavy trade winds sailor CHEAP. know how to repair and win. hire out and lose.

this is a really good buy for these. must have skillzzz... and yes there are support groups for the folks who love these boats.
i am not able to load any pix of a standard yankee clipper for comparison, a s my wifi fail has overcome function.
i paid 4650 usd for my yankee clipper--this is a worthy boat. even not afloat
this is the model i searched for when i was searching for my bird
OK, so the seller does not know what he has then. I would imagine that the mastwork and rigging would cost more than the hull does at this point, the engine would cost likely more than the mast and rigging does. So we are someplace around 30K or more before transport with this thing (plus taxes, about 6 or 7% but the registration here is only $6 a year because of the age of this vessel !). Not sure what the interior is overall because there are too few pics to show anything in detail other than the woodwork in the one photo.

So, if you have about $50K to spend (base cost, sails, electronics, cushions, other refit costs, prop, hull paint, transport costs, yard cost to lower her into the water, etc.) and a bit of time, I suppose this could be a deal for you, and get you equipped and running IF the structure is otherwise intact?

I don't know what the decks look like, the owner offers no pix of the deck and is amazingly not informative enough to tell us with them what a deal or loss this thing is. I may be fantastic, or it may be full of water (fallen yellow pine needles are acidic as hell and hold water under them to cause all sorts of rot issues, more than leaves even, and the roaches and scorpions...wow...) and the upper deck could be MISSING, and therefore this vessel may be too unstable and floppy to even transport, given that the pictures are in some cases at LEAST 6 years old....

Those trees take a while to grow in this area to get to that size, and the pics on the trailer are NOT the recent ones. The distant side pic in the woods looks most recent, and I have no idea how old it is, but I have seen this listed over and over again. His insistence on no lowball offers yet no additional photos showing internals or deck areas makes me damned curious, though, as to what those actually look like. Are the winches there? Are the steering systems in place? Folks here often strip a vessel, sell off the parts, and THEN try to sell the shell. Is that what this is?

It is a very large vessel to be sure, but I don't know what it is precisely, only what the owner listed it as.
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Old 30-12-2016, 06:53   #55
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by Sailing Soon View Post
Thanks Hobie-ind, lots for me to take from that.

Thanks for the idea zeehag.

Gotta agree that I'm after a motor and mast as a minimum 🤓


I'm putting together a spreadsheet of different possible boats to compare theoretical nm per day, Brewer Comfort etc. and I have a question about displacement of a fully loaded boat. Is it right to add about 5000 pounds to the saildata displacement info for water, diesel, food, crew, gear etc for a blue water journey to work out the various Ratios? Seems a lot to add to some of the lighter boats. I'm guessing the 5000 pounds is about right for a 25000 pound boat, not a 15000 pound initial displacement boat.

Cheers
Peter


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Hey, with cash comes options, you stated you had money to work with, and time, this offering I relocated for you may be JUST the thing for you... Money buys spars, sails, and other sundry items. I have no idea what internals are missing or present on this vessel, but it MAY all be there inside and only sails and engine missing. If that is the case, you may still have an excellent deal here and you would have minimal investment per volume, and this thing may fix your expectations about everyone having separate cabins, bathrooms, swimming pool (upside hard dink filled with water is a helluva bathtub), etc., and STILL falls within your budget.

To know how much weight you have to add, you have to weigh what you are adding! How much for water, how much for fuel, and how much in clothing depend on the capacities and the amount of crap you are bringing to the vessel in question. Is your family of the "never know what you may need so bring it all" sort, are any the "we could really love to watch movies all the time and play Xbox" group, anyone into collecting rocks or bringing the pet lizard collection? You have to decide what this number is by actually weighing these things, and calculating the weight of food and stores you are bringing, as well as all the sundry crap you are intending to bring aboard, and what you end up with will be the actual figure. Now, once you come up with that, toss a third of that crap back onto land, and what remains on board will be the real weight.

Don't forget the dink, what sort of vessel will that be, outboard, sail, or oars (all three?), and how much will it weigh? No way to know until you have an example in front of you that fulfills your expectations. Don't get the cart before the horse here...
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Old 30-12-2016, 15:13   #56
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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To know how much weight you have to add, you have to weigh what you are adding! How much for water, how much for fuel, and how much in clothing depend on the capacities and the amount of crap you are bringing to the vessel in question. Is your family of the "never know what you may need so bring it all" sort, are any the "we could really love to watch movies all the time and play Xbox" group, anyone into collecting rocks or bringing the pet lizard collection? You have to decide what this number is by actually weighing these things, and calculating the weight of food and stores you are bringing, as well as all the sundry crap you are intending to bring aboard, and what you end up with will be the actual figure. Now, once you come up with that, toss a third of that crap back onto land, and what remains on board will be the real weight.

Don't forget the dink, what sort of vessel will that be, outboard, sail, or oars (all three?), and how much will it weigh? No way to know until you have an example in front of you that fulfills your expectations. Don't get the cart before the horse here...

When the family charter a boat, or fly we only have personal carry on luggage of 7 kg or less each. Of course food is above this on the boats.
I can see that the extra weight for the blue water boat would be hard to figure for different boats, but was after a ball park figure as to what they would usually carry above the official displacement figure. For example Adams 13 has a displacement of 6560kg, and can carry 300l of water and 160 l of fuel, and sail area of 99.82 sq.m. Of sail. Does the official displacement include this 460kg of liquids and ?kg of sails?

Thanks SailingFan

Cheers
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Old 31-12-2016, 01:15   #57
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

It depends on the manufacturer, sadly, in what I have to seen to date in the US. I don't know about Europe or Oz, however, nor Asia either. Someone else will have to add information relative to these other areas. I had always assumed that dry weight calculation is static for all jurisdictions, but have been proven incorrect in that before on occasion because manufacturers may not actually WEIGH the vessel in reality, only calculate weight based upon materials consumed in construction or by calculating the figure using software that does not account for minor variations that may exist from one hull to the next in the series. Then there are the kit boats and refit vessels that populate the world....

In the US, what I have seen is generally that some manufacturers seem to add in a slight allowance which allows them to be off a hair, incidentally or accidentally covering the weight of fabric aloft (not extra sail suite items, however, only what is used when each halyard is actually ON something of canvas) and the weight of rigging both standing and running. They generally do not include weight of tankage of fuel or water. They do not include anything you are adding on board in terms of electronics or cushions, clothing, food, people, etc. in dry weight. Essentially we are talking vessel empty, factory installed ballast, with some allowance rigging a single set of sails aloft (nothing stored on board).

Still, even that can change, and these are figures from the manufacturer, not the condition you find the vessel actually in. Consider also that as fiberglass is hygroscopic (absorbs water) over time, and that all sailors seem to add things of the electronic sort and many kilos of wiring and batteries (which are NOT fully included in dry weight as a general rule), the vessel, even empty, gets HEAVIER over time, especially if it has had a damp bilge or repairs to the hull over time that have been allowed to take dampness into the resin in the vessel, or refits have occurred. This variance is normally minor relative to total dry weight, but it depends on how many batteries, how much the radar and sonar kits weigh (and where the transmitters and receivers relative to COG are mounted), however.

It also can be affected by deck damage or any other exposed glass, all of which can add water weight (although not a massive figure in a smaller boat, but in one the size of what you are talking about, calculate that water weighs what, 8.345 lbs a gallon for freshwater, and gasoline 6 pounds, diesel runs about 7.1 lbs a gallon US (sorry, we Americans never seem to have come to accept the metric system)? Figure your tankage in gallons, and do the math accordingly to see what that adds to your vessel's stated dry weight.

Add in the materials you are bringing along, PLUS every electronic item that did not ship with the bare hull, single-set rigging, and engine combination (chart plotters, sonars, radar, etc. have to be added in, even if they shipped with the boat because manufacturers tend to assume that you will change these out over time, even if they shipped new with the boat, so are not included in dry weight as a rule). Also add changed rigging spars (larger/smaller/additional ones or different technology will change dry weights).

Still, with all that, what you add in terms of liquids and stores will constitute the majority of added weight. Also keep in mind that it takes a hell of a lot to drop the vessel on her lines even an inch, and there are formulas for that available online (free) that are based in internal hull volume and the shape of the hull can be a factor as well, especially on a sailboat.

Visually, you can typically check the bootstrap (that black line painted just above the waterline on most recreational boats) and as long as you are evenly loaded and not overloaded, it will still be visible above the actual waterline. Some will say you can load past that point, but I personally am a little reluctant to do so on power boats, and see my sailboat as no exception to this guidance (I am unsure you can call it a "RULE" but I personally see it as such). I never get the bootstrap underwater when the vessel is sitting still at the dock. If it looks like I am encroaching on it, stuff comes off, but that is me.

The Westsail 32 may for instance weigh factory dry at 19,500 pounds US, but can readily accept another say 4,000 pounds US weight in stores and water, fuel, equipment and accessories (and people) as a general rule, but you cannot necessarily apply this to other vessels because the construction and volume of this vessel will be different to that of other vessel designs. You cannot use this example and then multiply percentages of weight of allowed cargo to calculate and assign numbers to other vessels because of this. The hull volume and construction, plus where the weight is located, all affect how much additional weight you can carry beyond the dry displacement figure for the vessel itself.

In any case, this is my own thought based on years with power boats and less time with sailboats but tons of research over the years on both types; others will have all manner of opinion in this but I try to keep the boat lighter rather than heavier.

I cannot stress enough that you must consider how high in the vessel you place weight, because a pound up on the mast expresses a massive lever force against the stability of the boat, and if you put 100 pounds of material above the static initial COG on the boat, you can cause heeling moment to change SIGNIFICANTLY depending on the shape of the hull and how much ballast the boat has, hull volume, etc. Everything is connected and relative in balance and effect to everything else.

You will have to do some research based upon the exact model and year vessel you locate to determine what the figures are going to be, and remember, the bootstrap does not lie (assuming some well-meaning but incompetent PO did not paint a crooked line). If it looks crooked relative to waterline, your load is unbalanced, and if it is underwater, you are overloaded (or in the process of sinking).
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Old 02-01-2017, 00:38   #58
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Have your plans changed significantly from your first few posts on this thread?

If not, I have the following thoughts:

- The OP suggested that with a family of 4......"We're planning on buying the boat, fitting it out and sailing the Caribbean over a 4 month period. We'll then put it on the hard in Panama then fly back to Australia for several months. We will then sail the boat to Tahiti, then eventually back to Australia." To leave a couple months for cruising (and having the family actually enjoy the trip rather than simply hanging at the boatyard or the dock working on the boat), that leaves a couple of weeks to find a boat and close the deal, 2-3 weeks for 'fitting it out', and a week to prep it for leaving in Panama before heading back home. I think this safely excludes project boats. It also really precludes serious scrounging during the 'fit-out'. Maybe one or two good deals, but to meet that timeline buying new is more likely. If any work needs to be outsourced (ie. windvane , the timeline will make shopping around and getting competitive quotes or estimates will be challenging. So it's quite possible you'll be forced to go with the guy that's available right now and in my experience the best generally aren't hanging around ready to work tomorrow...they're booked. There will be exceptions and you could get lucky on some or all these points (the unicorn of the boat world), but the more a plan and budget counts on getting EVERYTHING good, cheap and fast, the more likely it is to disappoint and potentially scuttle your plans.
- Given this timeline, IMO, you need to focus on very simple boats that are already set up for blue water cruising, and ideally are still being cruised so all systems are functional (not having been sitting in a marina for extended periods where invariably systems will require work to get going again or can't be tested during the survey/seatrial). 'Set up for blue water cruising', to me, means solid self steering gear (windvane that works well deep downwind in light air and/or electric autopilot with adequate sparing for both the autopilot and the power system it requires - hand steering for extended periods with small crews is not desirable), an easy & safe to rig pole system, light wind sails, sufficient water tankage for at least 6 weeks, good robust reefing systems, a solid reliable engine, a robust enough electrical system with enough redundancy or sparing to keep the nav and comm's equipment running, liferaft & EPIRB, solid ground tackle and windlass, and a reliable dinghy & outboard (rowing with a family of 4 in the way of the oars gets old fast). I would also suggest that some consideration be given to the ability to get wx updates offshore and basic storm gear as even though you're planning on the 'milk run' in good weather seasons, while rare, the pilot charts and historical records do show significant wx can be seen over much of it at any time of the year. 1 in 50 years is a really low likelihood until you're in that spot with your family on that year.
- At $30k (or even $40k) for the boat and $10k to fit it out, you're probably pushing the bottom 1% end of the normal cost curve for a boat, for a family of 4, for the trip you're describing. At the risk of offending some, the experience of buying a boat in this budget range then spending years fixing her up tied to a dock in a marina or even cruising along the U.S. Coast, Mexico or even the Caribbean isn't remotely applicable. What you're proposing is different. The shortage of people describing how they've done what you're describing is notable.
- Just before Christmas we caught up with 3 other families in Melbourne for supper while passing through and I mentioned this thread. All of us have done the trip you're describing, one of the guys had done it twice, and two of the families have just finished a circumnavigation in the past couple of years. I found it interesting when one of them commented that $30k was exactly what he paid for his first boat in the late 90's on Florida for the trip back to Oz. Then he outlined what he spent the next $50k and around a year on while in Florida and cruising down the Caribbean to get it where he was comfortable with it for the South Pacific.
- In the past couple of years in the South Pacific. we met a couple of singlehanders or couples that were likely close to the budget you're describing and they all had a couple of things in common. They had very simple boats, typically in the high 20's to low 30' range. Only one had refrigeration that I can remember, all had very low power usage, generally limited to charging for a computer, iPad or possibly a chartplotter, only one had an small tiller mounted autopilot as a backup to his windvane. All were very independent and did virtually all work in their boats themselves, with all but one taking a while at home to fit out their boats before leaving. The remaining boat was bought in St Lucia in October, in Panama by January, then off to the Galápagos and home in a French Polynesia by June. That was a 34' Wharram catamaran with freestanding junk rigged masts, no refrigeration or even a fixed icebox, one burner stove, windvane steering, and two 15 hp outboards for propulsion. Really cool boat, but VERY basic, pretty wet in any kind of seas and having been on the boat, it's fine for two people, but would be pretty tight for 4. He was also quite experienced and comfortable with the risks he was taking.
- I'm not saying it can't be done and you're right, you have to put a target somewhere, but there's also a point where your budget puts you in a spot where your chances significantly increase of not doing the whole trip because you've either blown the budget or schedule with unexpected surprises.
- I recently saw a thread where Mark J carefully outlined what he spent for his boat and what he did to get it ready. It might be interesting reading:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-177370-2.html
I think he bought a boat in the Caribbean and left in about the time you're describing.

Finally, the work to calculate load capacities, displacement and therefore estimated crossing times you're doing is entirely academic IMO given that your average speeds in real life will likely be more impacted by the effectiveness of your downwind rig and your comfort with leaving sail up at night. We had many friends who's pole systems and/or light air sails were very cumbersome to rig, so they didn't. They ran at speeds significantly below capability therefore. We also had lots of friends who would douse their spinnakers or drifters each night due to the difficulty of dousing them singlehanded or risks from the additional time required to get off watch crew out of bed to douse the sails if needed. Many shorthanded boats also put a reef in every night regardless of conditions as a precaution to reduce the likelihood of having to go forward if the wx picked up, or having to wake the off watch crew for assistance again. Both of these means you're potentially sailing well below any theoretical speed you've estimated over 1/2 the time. A well thought out reefing system and a light wind sail plan and equipment are possibly the most important safety elements on a cruising boat in my opinion. You'll use both exponentially more than any storm gear you'll buy.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:14   #59
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Someone else already answered the part on the Marquesas/Tuamotus well, so no point in repeating.

Re the Galápagos. We spent a month there in 2015 on an Autografo which allowed us to visit Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela. LOVED it. We think next time we'll aim for the full 3 months the Autografo allows. Saying that however it is expensive and you need to be excited enough about the animals and the uniqueness of the Galápagos to offset that.

With 4 of us the total fees including the Autografo, agent fees, clearance costs, quarantine inspection, inter-island clearances, etc, etc. ended up somewhere around $1600-1800 (we don't have our records handy right now for a more accurate number). Friends who did the one island (between 7 and 21 day stop dependent on the Port Captain's discretion) paid around $600-700 from memory. (Noonsite has a ton of info on the latest costs so I won't duplicate them here.).

As for the question of the Autografo vs the one island and doing tours to the others. For 4 of you I think you'd find that you'll very quickly spend more than the difference between the two options on tours to the other islands if that is your plan. Tours tend to be relatively expensive in the Galápagos compared to Central and South America standards. Think more like North America or Australian costs. There are quite a few activities on the islands that are free, but you are quite limited on where you can go without being guided. (This upset quite a few of the cruisers, but we came away convinced that Ecuador is very justified in limiting unsupervised access after witnessing the way many of the tourists interfere with the wildlife in the unsupervised areas - often to get a selfie or a 'good shot'). We probably spent an additional $1500-1800 over the month on tours and a couple of dives (for two of mustang only my daughter and I dive).

Is one island enough? For us, no. Part of the uniqueness of the Galápagos is being able to see the differences between the islands based on the their age. The differences between Cristobal and Isabela (about 80 miles apart) are amazing and I think you need to spend some time at each of the islands to truly appreciate the differences. Again though, you have to be excited by the science or you'll probably just find yourself fixated on how expensive it is and frustrated.

To make a long story short, my recommendation lately to a few other cruisers considering the Galapgos has been as follows:
- Read Noonsite for the latest on clearance fees and requirements
- Accept those costs at face value and don't assume you're going to be able to 'do it cheaper' or avoid some of the costs. You may, but probably not a significant amount and don't count on it. Write that number down and imagine for the next step that's what you paid on your first day in the Galápagos.
- Now find and watch either (or both if you can) the BBC or David Attenborough documentary series' on Galapagos.
Now......
- If after watching those you find yourself researching the various options to see the animals and sights that caught your eye, reading more about the geological variation and development, etc...... my guess is you'll love the Galápagos.
- If after watching those you find yourself still fixated on ways to reduce the clearance fees, or agents fees, bemoaning the fact that it's one of the most expensive cruising destinations in the world and debating whether it will be worth it....... my guess is that you'll be disappointed by them.

Just my thoughts. YMMV


Great post, my feelings exactly.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:17   #60
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Have your plans changed significantly from your first few posts on this thread?

If not, I have the following thoughts:

- The OP suggested that with a family of 4......"We're planning on buying the boat, fitting it out and sailing the Caribbean over a 4 month period. We'll then put it on the hard in Panama then fly back to Australia for several months. We will then sail the boat to Tahiti, then eventually back to Australia." To leave a couple months for cruising (and having the family actually enjoy the trip rather than simply hanging at the boatyard or the dock working on the boat), that leaves a couple of weeks to find a boat and close the deal, 2-3 weeks for 'fitting it out', and a week to prep it for leaving in Panama before heading back home. I think this safely excludes project boats. It also really precludes serious scrounging during the 'fit-out'. Maybe one or two good deals, but to meet that timeline buying new is more likely. If any work needs to be outsourced (ie. windvane , the timeline will make shopping around and getting competitive quotes or estimates will be challenging. So it's quite possible you'll be forced to go with the guy that's available right now and in my experience the best generally aren't hanging around ready to work tomorrow...they're booked. There will be exceptions and you could get lucky on some or all these points (the unicorn of the boat world), but the more a plan and budget counts on getting EVERYTHING good, cheap and fast, the more likely it is to disappoint and potentially scuttle your plans.
- Given this timeline, IMO, you need to focus on very simple boats that are already set up for blue water cruising, and ideally are still being cruised so all systems are functional (not having been sitting in a marina for extended periods where invariably systems will require work to get going again or can't be tested during the survey/seatrial). 'Set up for blue water cruising', to me, means solid self steering gear (windvane that works well deep downwind in light air and/or electric autopilot with adequate sparing for both the autopilot and the power system it requires - hand steering for extended periods with small crews is not desirable), an easy & safe to rig pole system, light wind sails, sufficient water tankage for at least 6 weeks, good robust reefing systems, a solid reliable engine, a robust enough electrical system with enough redundancy or sparing to keep the nav and comm's equipment running, liferaft & EPIRB, solid ground tackle and windlass, and a reliable dinghy & outboard (rowing with a family of 4 in the way of the oars gets old fast). I would also suggest that some consideration be given to the ability to get wx updates offshore and basic storm gear as even though you're planning on the 'milk run' in good weather seasons, while rare, the pilot charts and historical records do show significant wx can be seen over much of it at any time of the year. 1 in 50 years is a really low likelihood until you're in that spot with your family on that year.
- At $30k (or even $40k) for the boat and $10k to fit it out, you're probably pushing the bottom 1% end of the normal cost curve for a boat, for a family of 4, for the trip you're describing. At the risk of offending some, the experience of buying a boat in this budget range then spending years fixing her up tied to a dock in a marina or even cruising along the U.S. Coast, Mexico or even the Caribbean isn't remotely applicable. What you're proposing is different. The shortage of people describing how they've done what you're describing is notable.
- Just before Christmas we caught up with 3 other families in Melbourne for supper while passing through and I mentioned this thread. All of us have done the trip you're describing, one of the guys had done it twice, and two of the families have just finished a circumnavigation in the past couple of years. I found it interesting when one of them commented that $30k was exactly what he paid for his first boat in the late 90's on Florida for the trip back to Oz. Then he outlined what he spent the next $50k and around a year on while in Florida and cruising down the Caribbean to get it where he was comfortable with it for the South Pacific.
- In the past couple of years in the South Pacific. we met a couple of singlehanders or couples that were likely close to the budget you're describing and they all had a couple of things in common. They had very simple boats, typically in the high 20's to low 30' range. Only one had refrigeration that I can remember, all had very low power usage, generally limited to charging for a computer, iPad or possibly a chartplotter, only one had an small tiller mounted autopilot as a backup to his windvane. All were very independent and did virtually all work in their boats themselves, with all but one taking a while at home to fit out their boats before leaving. The remaining boat was bought in St Lucia in October, in Panama by January, then off to the Galápagos and home in a French Polynesia by June. That was a 34' Wharram catamaran with freestanding junk rigged masts, no refrigeration or even a fixed icebox, one burner stove, windvane steering, and two 15 hp outboards for propulsion. Really cool boat, but VERY basic, pretty wet in any kind of seas and having been on the boat, it's fine for two people, but would be pretty tight for 4. He was also quite experienced and comfortable with the risks he was taking.
- I'm not saying it can't be done and you're right, you have to put a target somewhere, but there's also a point where your budget puts you in a spot where your chances significantly increase of not doing the whole trip because you've either blown the budget or schedule with unexpected surprises.
- I recently saw a thread where Mark J carefully outlined what he spent for his boat and what he did to get it ready. It might be interesting reading:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-177370-2.html
I think he bought a boat in the Caribbean and left in about the time you're describing.

Finally, the work to calculate load capacities, displacement and therefore estimated crossing times you're doing is entirely academic IMO given that your average speeds in real life will likely be more impacted by the effectiveness of your downwind rig and your comfort with leaving sail up at night. We had many friends who's pole systems and/or light air sails were very cumbersome to rig, so they didn't. They ran at speeds significantly below capability therefore. We also had lots of friends who would douse their spinnakers or drifters each night due to the difficulty of dousing them singlehanded or risks from the additional time required to get off watch crew out of bed to douse the sails if needed. Many shorthanded boats also put a reef in every night regardless of conditions as a precaution to reduce the likelihood of having to go forward if the wx picked up, or having to wake the off watch crew for assistance again. Both of these means you're potentially sailing well below any theoretical speed you've estimated over 1/2 the time. A well thought out reefing system and a light wind sail plan and equipment are possibly the most important safety elements on a cruising boat in my opinion. You'll use both exponentially more than any storm gear you'll buy.


Great post, pretty much sums it up.
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