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Old 18-12-2016, 01:30   #1
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Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Hi.

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I apologies in advance for yet another "what boat should l buy" question. My family are planning on buying a boat in Florida or the Caribbean late next year. Ideally l'm after a boat with 3 sleeping areas as the kids will be 13 (girl), and 11 (boy), and then there's the wife and I.
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.

I'd prefer the boat was a monohull and will need to be less than 45 foot or so I think. The budget would ideally be around $30,000 US, maybe more if absolutely needed. I'd also prefer no spade rudder boats.

We'd be planning on sailing outside of hurricane seasons, and we'd be trying to pick good weather windows for the longer trips, but with a family onboard we want a safe boat. we'll be sailing about 30% of the time so we want a boat for sailing, not one for parking in a marina.

Any advice will be much appreciated, and won't be taken personally.

Cheers
Peter
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Old 18-12-2016, 04:41   #2
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pirate Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

A budget of $30K is going to limit your choices somewhat, both/either on size and quality.. hope you've something set aside for getting her sorted.. if you want more than the basic equipment.
Maybe something like this.. not a great performance boat but roomy and comfortable enough for your needs.
Hudson Force.. a leading member here could maybe throw some advice your way as he's lived aboard one of these for many years..
Good Hunting..


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Old 18-12-2016, 04:50   #3
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Peter.
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Old 19-12-2016, 01:01   #4
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Thanks GordMay for the welcome, and boatman61 for the advice.

I'm looking at buying late next year so I'm really after designs that may be available for asking up to $35K to $40K at some stage, rather than actually available at the moment. There seem to be loads of boats available for under that figure in the under $30K boat post, but I'm really after some guidance as to what may be a good type of boat to add to my list of possibles to look at later. Ideally I'm after a design with 2 single births for the kids in the stern, a double for my wife and I in the bow, and something that could be sailed single handed if my wife or I were to get crook mid ocean.

To complicate the issue I'm thinking I could pay more for a better boat with the idea of reselling it later in Australia where the prices of sail boats seem to be higher than in the US / Caribbean. I realise there's import duties, Gst etc (I've followed the various post, and I'm a CPA and Financial Adviser so I'm aware of it to a point) in bringing in a boat, but the boat I need to bring the family safely to Australia is probably more than I need once I get back here, so I may end up selling it when we get back here if we decide the Pacific adventure is enough for now.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers
Peter
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Old 19-12-2016, 06:14   #5
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

You're focusing on living space, and that's fine, but you also need to think about the boat components that are critical to making a safe, comfortable passage.

Tankage - If you don't have a water maker, figure how much fresh water you'll need on your longest passages, and include a margin for safety. Same for diesel. If the boat you pick comes with small tanks, you'll need to supplement.

Condition of the rigging - shrouds, stays and chain plates have finite lifetimes and can be fairly expensive to replace. If over 15 years old, especially in a salt water environment, think about a professional inspection and possible replacement. Or at least have the means to rig an emergency shroud or stay if you lose one.

Sails - you don't want to start a passage such as you're contemplating with worn out, baggy sails that won't perform well and might fail in heavy weather.

Engine - Find a good mechanic to check it out. Think about sending out an oil sample for testing. An engine expert can tell a lot from an engine oil sample analysis.

Electrical system - enough reliable battery storage and charging capacity is essential. Will you rely on the engine to charge your battery bank, or will you install solar panels and/or a wind generator.

Things that can sink you - carefully inspect the rudder post/tube, through-hulls and bilge pump(s).

When buying an older boat, you really need to have a sizeable contingency fund available. You will inevitably have expenses that you didn't expect.

Vane steering - will you and your crew self-steer the whole way, 24/7, or will you install a wind vane steering system?

You could easily double the amount you pay for an older boat outfitting it for long ocean passages.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:10   #6
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Sailingsoon,

SteadyHand has published a CF thread about boats available in your stated price range. A Google Custom Search for sailboats under $30,000 will probably find it for you. It will not be easy to find a 3 cabin, safe, strong boat in that range, but I hope you prove me wrong.

Buying a boat isn't like buying a car, and as a possession, requires more frequent upkeep; and even a milk run trip such as you propose would be best undertaken by a family with some sailing experience, it is a big commitment, I'm hoping you're already a sailing family(?).

Ann
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Old 19-12-2016, 15:39   #7
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Not knowing your situation or total budget, I think you are starting very low for a boat that will house your family. Older boats need a lot of inspection before making them a safe home for your children.

Safety would be my biggest concern, then there is upkeep. Are you a sailing family now? Do you currently own a boat? There a many very good boats in that price range and you don't have to break the bank, but IMHO. You will be putting your family in grave risk unless you do your homework for a trip of that size.
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Old 19-12-2016, 16:23   #8
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Hi Ann, Hud3, and Hamish_ct. Thanks for the posts.

We are a sailing family (of sorts). We all enjoy sailing together, and try to charter different boats each time we holiday. We don't own a boat, but are in talks to buy a share of one in the new year to increase our time on the water.

The plan is to buy the boat in Florida (or somewhere nearby), spend a month or so fixing it up, then sail around the Caribbean for a while to get to know the boat, and to work out what else needs fixing / tweeking with. While we fly home to work for several months we'll get some things that need to be fixed done in Panama. If the boat isn't right to go across to the Marquesas soon after we get back then we'll spend more time in the Caribbean fixing it up and sailing. I have work commitments of 5 to 6 months per year, so I have some flexibility on leaving when the boat is ready, and when we are comfortably.
We're more that prepared to pay extra for the safety gear (satellite radio, life-raft, several epirbs, etc etc etc) mechanical spares, and probably for a watermaker. Some of this stuff can be sold on ebay later if we don't need it then.
I've been a lurker on the site for years and have read the advice given to the many people wanting to buy a leaky boat and sail around the world without much thought, planning or money to back them up. I don't think this advice applies to me, but I'll take in on board anyway just in case

While price is a factor, it isn't the main factor (you can't put a price on your families safety). The reason I'm after thoughts on a boat that has enough space for the kids to have their own areas (so three cabins or separated areas), and for something that could be purchased for US$30,000 (so listed at $35,000 with little obvious to fix, but the usual $10,000 plus to spend in the first 6 months) is that there needs to be parameters somewhere. If I looked for something for $50,000 with very little to fix it would still probably have $10,000 plus to spend in the first 6 months, plus another $10,000+ for extra safety equipment. I guess I'd rather go with the former if possible.

I've been watching the sub $30,000 post for a while and there are some nice boats there, but as Ann says, most don't have 3 cabins. I'm hoping to find a sub 45 footer that has split the larger stern berth into two singles.

Thanks again,
Peter
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Old 19-12-2016, 23:11   #9
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Sailingsoon,

How about an Adams Naut 40, 40 ft. 3 cabins. Might find one here in Australia, so you'll have to circumnavigate.

Maybe some of the French boats will have 3 cabins starting around 40 ft. In fact, the Via 36 does, but there is no curtain to make the forepeak private; however, two aft cabins, and a detached head, which is good.

Maybe a Catalina 40? Not that I am recommending them as a strongly built boat, but something's going to have to give here, if you want a "quality boat". It seems, maybe, unrealistic, to pay less for it than for your car. The boat has to keep all of you safe on the water, halfway around the world, and your budget doesn't extend to a really first class one. For a couple, I'd say go smaller, but with your kids the age they are, i suspect they'd be happier with their own spaces. Quite a challenge.

Keep up the good work. jMaybe there's a way to get sailboatdata.com to spew out 3 cabin boats. Look at boats built for the charter trade, which tend to be longer on accommodation, and then make her stronger, and budget more time and money for upgrades, stuff like replacing/upgrading chain plates, and standing rigging is expensive, and sometimes there are things to do upgrade attachments for hardware to install backing plates, places to thicken layup to avoid oilcanning. There's lots doable, but it usually will require time and close supervision if others are doing it, and professional guidance, if you DIY.

Ann
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Old 20-12-2016, 00:44   #10
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Agree with all that has been posted so far, but have you considered simply taking a cabin and running a partition bulkhead down its center with a sliding door separating the two halves? That will let you take a 2 large cabin vessel and make a master plus two smaller units out of it with just the addition of a very thin non-structural bulkhead. Something perhaps two inches or less thick won't add much weight and will be easy to construct if you have ANY experience or aptitude with a hammer and saw, perhaps a little stain and varnish. A screw gun could replace the hammer, really, and would actually be better because nails can work loose where screws generally would not.

That little remedy could make the rest of your plan more doable than it would be if you held to designer/building plans of layouts, which frankly seem unlikely to meet all your ticks at the price point you are speaking of, as you won't be able to get a custom designed vessel, even a small one, for that, and still be able to take the family safely to Australia from Florida.
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Old 20-12-2016, 10:47   #11
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Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Having thought this through for my own family and our intended cruise I have a few observations:

1. Each kid gets their own personal space. Going offshore that means a cabin or a permanent berth with dedicated storage. A separate cabin has secondary implications for boat size and cost so I'd stick to berths. Permanent berth means pilot berth or quarter berth.

2. In addition you need a good berth in the main cabin for the offwatch adult, that means quarter berth, pilot berth or settee (fore and aft galley seat). Dinettes (transverse bench seats for galley table) make mediocre to poor berth underway.

3. As boats get larger they get a lot more difficult to handle in heavy weather, on passage or at anchor. Based on the Xmas 1982 debacle in Cabo San Lucas L&LPardey drew the line at about 37' for a couple. While you will ah e the kids along and can use them as crew generally in heavy weather I doubt you will let them do much. So essentially you will be sailing as a couple during heavy weather. With contradictory desires for boat size I would aim for 34'-37' with an ability maximum of 40'.

4. Older boats have 2 things going for them:
A. They tend to be cheaper so you can get a larger boat for the same amount of money up front.
B. They are more likely have the type and number of berths you need. Trends in interior design led to fewer pilot and quarter berths starting in the early 1970s.

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1409
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1420
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1371

If you are willing to forego the attach rudder then the best recommendations I have are:
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1599
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1977
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Old 20-12-2016, 15:10   #12
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Sailingsoon,

How about an Adams Naut 40, 40 ft. 3 cabins. Ann
Thanks Ann. I'll add the Adams 40 to my list of possibles. I've also found that the Moody 39, Ansjo Steel Ketch 39, and Mason 43 may fit the bill if I can find any of them for the right price in suitable condition.

Cheers
Peter
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Old 20-12-2016, 15:17   #13
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingFan View Post
Agree with all that has been posted so far, but have you considered simply taking a cabin and running a partition bulkhead down its center with a sliding door separating the two halves? That will let you take a 2 large cabin vessel and make a master plus two smaller units out of it with just the addition of a very thin non-structural bulkhead.
Thanks SailingFan. This may be an option. I'm okay on the tools (I was raised on a farm, and went to a Technical High School where I was taught how to do lots of stuff to a certain level. I've partially rewired a house and put up 7 or 8 non structural walls in my previously very open planned house) so I'd be okay separating a berth into 2. I guess I'd need to find a cabin that would allow entry to both halves of the newly separated cabin.

Thanks again for the idea.
Peter
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Old 20-12-2016, 15:55   #14
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post

1. Each kid gets their own personal space.
Permanent berth means pilot berth or quarter berth.

2. In addition you need a good berth in the main cabin for the offwatch adult.

3. As boats get larger they get a lot more difficult to handle in heavy weather, on passage or at anchor.
So essentially you will be sailing as a couple during heavy weather. With contradictory desires for boat size I would aim for 34'-37' with an ability maximum of 40'.

4. Older boats have 2 things going for them:
A. They tend to be cheaper so you can get a larger boat for the same amount of money up front.
B. They are more likely have the type and number of berths you need. Trends in interior design led to fewer pilot and quarter berths starting in the early 1970s.

MORGAN OUT ISLAND 33 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
MORGAN 34 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
SEABREEZE 35 (ALLIED) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Thanks Adelie - lots of useful stuff to think about.

Realistically, at this stage I'd prefer a smaller 33 to 37 foot boat, but as you say it's all about the trade offs. There needs to be space for the kids to get away from each other if need be, and for the storage of food, water, and spares for the Galapagus to Marquesas portion where a 33 foot boat may be sailing for around 20 to 30 days. A 40 foot boat should be around 12% faster, so this would knock about 3 days off the trip, meaning 3 days less food etc that was needed. Ideally we'd want to provision enough to feed us the basics from Panama to Tahiti if there was room on the boat so we wouldn't need to ravage the islands of food in the case where there wasn't enough for the locals after the last cruise ship had docked. I won't be in any rush to complete any of these voyages, but maybe a slightly larger boat will get us there in more comfort?

Having said that, a smaller boat with a double cabin that allows door access to a subdivided it into 2 may work, or a quarter berth that doesn't took and feel like a Japanese capsule hotel may work for my son for a few months at a time.

Thanks again Adelie,

Best
Peter
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Old 20-12-2016, 16:39   #15
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Re: Good boat for a family to sail from Florida to Australia

Hard light of day (maybe a little brutal) ..... 30k for a sound family voyager for that trip will cost you 100k in the end and take a full year to get ready. All this is assuming you actually like your family.
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