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Old 28-03-2015, 23:20   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Posts: 6
Production Boat Liveaboard + Costal Cruiser + Occasional Ocean Passage (Beneteau 50+)


I trust this note finds you all well and you're having a nice weekend! This forum has been a great resource and I've enjoyed the posts that I've read thus far, thank you for the contribution.

With current curiosity piqued, I'm starting to lay out the beginnings of a concrete plan that I'd like feedback on based on your experience.

A quick background is that I'm in my late 20s and looking to adventure cruise for an extended (somewhat open ended) period of time. Ideally, I'd like to push off and cruise for 3-6 months, take a break for a month then get back onboard and cruise for another 3-6 months... maybe doing this 2-4 times for a few years or more. I have no real time constraints and may fly back/forth for obligations should they arise. Some of the goals for the adventure are going with the flow, exploring different parts of the world including the Mediterranean and learning more about different cultures.

My experience sailing is somewhat amateur. I've been sailing regularly for 5 years, racing on a weekly basis for a few of those years - sometimes more often during warm months. I've been through a few structured courses (when I first began) as well. 14' Lido is what I learned on (a blast), then 30' Shields followed by bareboat certification, etc. In addition to courses, I have raced single handed one design boats and crewed on a team (bowman) of a 33' Shumacher-Design Synergy 1000 boat for a few years. I still join that boat a dozen times per year. Recently, I have been lucky enough to crew a Volvo Ocean 60' (VO60). I enjoy learning that boat and pushing the limits.

It seems there has been much debate about production boats and their ability to blue water sail. If anyone has valuable opinions that are backed with experience, I'd be glad to hear it. Let's stay on topic and try to stick with informed opinions if possible.

Some of the things I'd like to achieve while picking a boat and planning this adventure include maintaining a similar quality of life as I have on land. This means high quality (organic) food, some network connectivity and the space to spread out a bit on the boat. At the same time, I'd like to keep it simple and clean, packing my whole life on the boat (I regularly live in 500-600 square feet). I'll be traveling with one lady and potentially 2 additional at some point. The provisions on the boat should be made to accommodate 2-3 comfortably. The lady assures me that she can dehydrate organic food and prepare amazing dishes that last up to two weeks during passages. Apparently a few days of prepping and making food before pushing off will set us up for a few weeks. Stoked on that!

For budget, I'm beginning the outline now. I'm going to leverage the boat as financing terms are favorable from what I've read. If interest rates are less than half of other investments where cash can be placed, the boat will be leveraged.

Two ideas I would like to consider regarding budget:

- cost of living while at port (on average, around the Mediterranean, Micronesia, Melanesia, French Polynesia)
- cost of living while at sea (on average)

Items I'd like to consider regarding equipment, rigging, crew, safety:

- boat capabilities, build quality, space, maintenance, equipment
- additional items (necessary/niceties) for cruising
dinghy, generator, solar system, wind system, water system, dive tanks, snorkel gear, surf boards
- adequately prepared crew, well read and adequately experienced

For the boat itself, I am not set on a particular vessel. I'm open to just about anything at this point. I have however done quite a bit of research on the Beneteau Oceanis line as well as the Beneteau 54 (2011). I've also done some research on the Bavaria which seems to be a brand that has a large amount of heat around it (Capable! No, NOT Capable!, Trust me, Capable! No, NO WAY Capable!, etc). Outside of the french manufacturers and Bavaria - Oyster seems to strike my fancy. I understand this may be getting into another ballpark - so I'd like to be well researched before making a decision. One thing - it seems the British do a better job on their sailboats than their cars... while I am privy to German when it comes to vehicles (does that mean the debated Bavaria brand may have adequate engineering?) perhaps a different area in Europe builds finer vessels?

Hard budget is $400K for the vessel itself. It would be nice to be in the $2-300 range but sometimes ponying up is a better investment and more fun.

See Budget Numbers (At Port) HERE and (At Sea) HERE. What are we missing? (High Level Numbers are $50-80K down and $3-6K per month, not including expenses outside of sailing/liveaboard).

Okay, some questions:

- I've never cruised more than a few days as most of my experience is racing. I plan on getting some weekend/week trips in before I push off. How much experience do I need before I start heading down south or east (to Cabo or Hawaii)? Maybe I should jump on a transpac beforehand?

- Rigging - If I were to go with a production boat, how much rigging is involved to get the boat in long term cruising shape? Realistically, the boat will see some ocean passages but mainly be cruising the coasts. I do however want the boat to be SUPER capable of transpac, atlantic crossing, etc.
- forestay / backstay modifications?
- hull / keel capabilities?
- lines & sheets, upgrade or is factory adequate?

- Electronics - What electronics are nice to have that aren't crazy maintenance? In a car, I prefer a Porsche GT3 or BMW M3 opposed to a Mercedes C63 or Bentley, which is more complex and thus seems to have more failures when pushed to the limit. I have a feeling I will want to keep this same philosophy, while taking advantage of the technology that will be useful

- Dinghy - I don't know why but I really am interested on what the largest and most reliable dinghy is that I can fit on any of these boats. Do we put it on the bow? Do we have a garage for it? Is it inflatable or inflatable with hard bottom?

- Generator & Power - What systems would you recommend based on the above and below? How would you outfit the boat?

- Water & Fuel - I'd like to maximize here obviously. Secondary tanks that were optional may have to be outfitted, recommendations?

- Communications - How can I get some sort of internet connection while in port cities? I'm not expecting to have internet while doing crossings... only when close to a town or city. In addition to internet, how about sat phone for crossings?

- Safety - What am I overlooking? Should we invest in one of those RescYOU rafts or is that overkill? Is there something reasonable out there that is adequate?

- Disaster Recovery - Doubling up on autopilot gear, rudders, props, etc. Seems to be the norm. Any suggestions here?

Lastly, timeframe for all of this is up in the air. Perhaps in 9 months to a year, perhaps in 1.5-2 years, it all depends how my current fiduciary obligations are going. In the interim, I'd like to put together a rough plan and gain as much experience racing/sailing around So Cal as I can.

I'd like to hear from folks or be linked to posts that have similar voyage planning if possible. It would be amazing to learn from your experience so I can shape this dream and start to move towards these goals.

Your input is appreciated!

Cheers to health,

pureenergy is offline   Reply With Quote

beneteau, cruise, cruiser, liveaboard, passage

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