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Old 03-07-2018, 15:47   #16
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors


I sent a reply earlier today from my iphone but it does not seem to have posted so I am recreating it:

Welcome to sailing and the cruising life to the search for your boat!!!

Another boat you may want to consider is the LeComte NE 38 Sloop. These boats were built in Holland and designed by Bill Tripp Jr. (same designer as the Hinckley Bermuda 40) and they were well made and beautiful and they sail very well and are very seaworthy and have an extremely sea-kindly motion - even in heavy weather.

I have had my LeComte NE 38 for 20 years now and I have sailed extensively all along the New England coast from Maine to NY in all sorts of weather from light air to intense conditions including 45 knot winds and 8 - 10 foot seas. My boat, Sequitur, has a hull configuration that includes a cut-a-way forefoot, early fin keel design that is the hull itself (not an attached fin keel) and a skeg hung rudder with gap between aft edge of keel and the leading edge of the skeg so this boat is quite maneuverable (also backs up well).

Your search for your boat should be studied and rigorous and in my opinion, your decision should be for a design that you love because of multiple factors, including: aesthetics, strength and construction of hull, sailing characteristics, sail handling and rig details, interior layout, deck and cockpit configuration and anchoring handling details. If you plan to live on your boat, it would be great if every time you rowed up to it or motored up to it in your dinghy, it was a visual pleasure as well as a comfort to arrive home. Each of us has such a different and personal sense of aesthetics that the subjective visual pleasure factor is very broad but I do hope you find a boat that is both a great sailing boat, safe, rugged, seaworthy and beautiful because life is too short to sail around in anything less. Another nice thing about the NE 38 is the head room and I am also 6'-2" and can stand easily in the main cabin due to the cabin top design which also affords great light and vistas out to your surroundings.

I have seen a few LeComte NE 38's sloops and yawl's for sale in your price range and the lower cost ones will need a good bit of repair and upgrading though the ones at the higher-end of your budget or perhaps slightly above will be in better shape and require less work - be ready to sail in coastal waters more quickly and give you the opportunity to get more experience before heading out to sea. However, if you really plan to do extensive blue-water sailing, it is pretty safe to say that any boat you could purchase for 40k is going to need some significant upgrading to make it ocean worthy.

You should charter a variety of boats, get sailing on as many different designs that fit your interest and budget as possible and your initial list was a good starting point. I agree with others that have said you need to get on board boats, sail them, handle them and get a sense of what works for your needs and interests. Personally, I would stay away from boats with a hull configuration that has a shallow dish like shape with a thin "bolted-on" fin keel attached as these tend to be a bit herky-jerky and not very sea-kindly (fine for day sailing but not for living aboard). Older boats may be more affordable and CCA type designs as well.

Wish you the best of luck in your search and if you want more information on the LeComte NE 38 design, feel free to email me directly.

Best wishes, Paul
P Alter - NYC - Sag Harbor, NY
2002 Grand Soliel 46.3 - 47' Sloop - "Signorina"
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Old 03-07-2018, 19:45   #17
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Lots of good ideas but, as has been said, once the basic criteria are met, how does the boat feel to all four of you, down below and on deck. Remember, you'll spend a lot of time in the cockpit.

For a good range of boats considered to be seaworthy for Cape Horn, have a look at the fleet sailing in the Golden Globe 50th anniversary re-enactment (GGR). A previous reply to your question has mentioned older designed and built yachts and all the GGR are older designs and all have long keels. In quotation marks is a quote from the GGR website []

"Approval for Production yacht types for entry into the Golden Globe Race has now been restricted to the following 22 yachts with the following general specifications:

Of fibre reinforced plastic construction.
Designed prior to 1988 and have a minimum series of 20 yachts built from one mould.
Have a hull length of between 32ft and 36ft. Bowsprits, wind vanes and outboard rudders, boomkins, pushpits and pulpits are not measured.
Have full-length keels with rudders attached to the trailing edge.
A minimum design displacement is 6,200kg.
2018 Golden Globe Race approved designs: Westsail 32 • Tradewind 35 • Saga 34 • Saltram 36 • Vancouver 32 & 34 • OE 32 • Eric (sister ship to Suhaili) • Aries 32 • Baba 35 • Biscay 36 • Bowman 36 • Cape Dory 36 • Nicholson 32 MKX-XI • Rustler 36, Endurance 35, Gaia 36, Hans Christian 33T, Tashiba 36, Cabo Rico 34, Hinckley Pilot 35, Lello 34, Gale Force 34."

I have a Herreshoff Nereia (in Australia referred to as H36) cutter rigged built in Steel about 1980. Designed by L. Francis in, I believe, the late 1940s. At least one has circumnavigated and mine is certainly sea-kindly. I've had this boat since 1984 mostly coastal sailing but did sail to Indonesia in the Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally. Rigged as a cutter (originally a ketch design), she is very easy to sail solo or 2 up. But, low freeboard means it is a wet boat. Just an example of an older design; there may be fiberglass versions in the USA.

Good luck, Jim
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Old 03-07-2018, 20:35   #18
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Originally Posted by oceanshoretiga View Post
Lots of good ideas but, as has been said, once the basic criteria are met, how does the boat feel to all four of you, down below and on deck. Remember, you'll spend a lot of time in the cockpit. ....
Remember the list in another part the actual post quoted above is just that, a list prepared by a committee. Only your choices count. BTW, although the poster seems to have a concern about "wet" boats, the Westsail 32 is considered a "wet" boat by most. This is not the Garden Party of Ricky Nelson fame, and the only folks you need to satisfy are yourself and your spouse. Take you time, listen, read, ask, investigate, inspect and enjoy.
"Old California"
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Old 03-07-2018, 21:27   #19
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

You could get a uniflite Valiant 40 for cheap. They have been known to blister but if you can find one in good shape with the intent to only do it for say ten years, chances are it’ll never be an issue and even if it is you’d be getting it cheap anyways. A lot of them come up for sale, very well equipped just back from a cruise. BUT a lot also come up that have been rotting dockside for a while, but chances are there’s one near you. They are great boats and don’t let the hype put you off from them. They have a lot of the characteristics you’re looking for but generally without a lot of the other issues, sprits, cheap rigging, iron fuel tanks, ability to back up etc etc. For one known issue and possibly just cosmetic. Also look through Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : good resource.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:50   #20
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Since you're in Atlanta I'd focus on boats in Florida. There are a ton of them and you can find some great deals. The more boats you see the more you'll know what you want. I think your parameters are good, I'm also a fan of full keel / attached rudder designs. Having cruised in Florida for many years I know that running aground is a fact of life & fin keels don't like that. Personally I'd make draft a parameter & keep it under 5'. Chances are you'll start out cruising Florida and the Bahamas or taking the ICW north and a shoal draft will make life a lot less stressful.

I'd take a look at Island Packets. They tic all your boxes although they can be a little pricey and you'll most likely need to replace the chain plates, no small task, but they are well built roomy boats.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:15   #21
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

With a $40K budget, that is going to limit you on an IP, unless you get lucky.
Then figure $10K on chainplates, as I’m sure that budget will only get you an older IP that should have them replaced.

When we left we found a good home for our Chocolate Lab. She is a wonderful dog and we miss her, we even took her on the boat one weekend and she was miserable.

Just me, but I think you could do worse than a Westsail 32.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:20   #22
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Lots of good comments on worthy boats to consider so not much for me to add.

But in regards to where you get your initial sailing training, I’d suggest doing it close to home so you save $$ for either more training or boat equipment. No point in wasting money on airline tix or hotels if you can avoid it. Also, there’s more than enough to learn when you’re starting out without simultaneously trying to deal with the things you mentioned that can become distractions when you’re trying to develop some good basic habits. The fact that you did mention them and know you need to learn about them tells me you won’t neglect them when the time comes. So, for now I’d just focus on nailing the basics and developing some good habits, and then do lots of reading and questioning experienced sailors you’ll run into, and look for chances to crew in places where tides or currents or fog or ledges or reefs or whatever is an issue so you can learn without having the responsibility of being the skipper. I’m sure that even the most experienced circumnavigators will agree that the learning about all the various facets of sailing and cruising will never end and one of the most important keys to success is something you’ve already demonstrated you have, curiosity and a willingness to make an effort to learn what you need to know, and then some.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:48   #23
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

I’d also like to comment on having a dog aboard while cruising. Since your dog is already a member of your family I understand you have no choice so I’m not saying don’t do it. But there will be additional challenges. Up until last December we were blessed with having “the best dog ever” and everyone we know would end up telling us that so it wasn’t just our own bias. But even so, you have to constantly consider the dogs needs and for even the best of dogs it’s a lot more of a challenge than on land.

I’d stay away from center cockpit boats because long companionway ladders and dogs don’t mix. Also, it’s nice to have a transom entry of some sort because lifting a dog in your arms while standing in a moving dinghy can be hard on you as well as hard on the dog. How do you plan to deal with “bathroom issues” while at anchor or on overnight cruises and will your dog be ok with it? We have a combo swim platform and dinghy chocks on the back of our boat that can be lowered to beneath water level or raised to deck level and we were able to train our dog to pee as soon as we lowered her enough for her toes to get wet and this was a huge time saver and convenience for us. But we still had to take her ashore twice a day and that was sometimes very inconvenient and conflicted with other things we wanted to be sailing or sleeping or staying out of the rain or....

I believe the issues regarding visiting other countries with a pet that must come ashore for exercise and other needs has already been brought up and deserve consideration.

All that said, I can completely relate to your attachment to your dog and there’s a great dog sailing book that I read a few years ago called “A Sea Dogs Tale” by Mullenberg that relates some of the adventures the author shared with his wife, 2 sons, and a remarkable dog, not necessarily in that order.
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Old 07-07-2018, 16:27   #24
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Thank you all for your generous responses, especially as I now know that the "which boat" question is a newbie's faux pas! Still, you've given me good advice and much food for thought.

Once all our affairs are wound down in ATL, our plan is to relocate to Pensacola or Ft. Walton Beach and base training and buying from there. I'm affiliated with a sailing club that has a Pensacola location, and can train up / use their boats while searching for our own, plus crew for random other folks. We're for damned sure not sailing off until we're both ready and comfortable.

In the meantime, we'll spend as much time on Lake Lanier as possible - I'm taking out a sweet little S2 tomorrow morning, in fact. And the reading continues apace - Pardeys, Calder, Slocum - I have become laser focused in a very unusual way.

The dog is going to be an X-factor for sure. To our knowledge, she's never even seen a body of water larger than a fountain, so there really is no telling how she'll like it. She's a tough old girl, though, having lived on the streets and come through two life-threatening accidents, still wagging her tail. I'm betting she'll be the same kind of trooper.

Definitely aiming for a swim platform (or mizzen deck?) where the pup can do her business. She's well housebroken but will let fly in an emergency... hoping this means she'll adapt and go on the boat. If not? We will have to deal somehow...

Actually, I'm more concerned about David's concern for the dog than I am the dog herself... I've explained that he cannot jump in after the dog if she falls overboard, that it would, at a minimum, create more problems than it solves... but I'm not sure he's in that mental place yet. Hardcore pet-overboard drills are in our future.

Thanks again, all, I will try to update you further along to let you know what we go with!

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Old 06-09-2018, 10:48   #25
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

I see seaworthiness differently from you

This much said, I can say a boatyard built, well upgraded and maintained W32 is a relatively safe boat. Simple, inexpensive too. And not ugly either.

We know one couple who sailed one from NZ to the islands and back. And our friend Bill sailed his W32 clone (a Kendall) from Australia, rtw.

So, in my book, a W32 would be one of the good choices for a boat to live in and to sail places.

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Old 24-09-2018, 16:58   #26
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

I promised to come back with an update... Just closed on a gorgeous 1986 Tayana 37 that just happened to be in a lake near my home! It is exceptionally well-maintained and came with a ton of valuable equipment (windvane, water maker, dinghy etc). We have a few months of prep and training ahead of us before up-anchor in 2019!!!
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Old 24-09-2018, 18:09   #27
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Wow! Congratulations! Very nice choice!
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 24-09-2018, 18:35   #28
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

Excellent choice. I have always admired that boat.
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Old 08-10-2018, 21:37   #29
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Lightbulb Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

I am the owner of an (AUS) Endeavour 24 MKII, of which the Australian forums offer little active discussion about, and although this is a US site, I have assumed that given the vastness of knowledge when combining many sailors I may find what i'm looking for.

I am a young sailor of 27 and have recently returned from 9 months crewing on various types of old and new monohull yachts. Two years prior to beginning my crewing experience I purchased my E24, and I am seeking to find answers, or at least insights, to the following questions (feel free to suggest more accurate questioning):

1. Who has taken a similar size monohull on long ocean passages?
2. What limitations, benefits and insights could you provide on the vessel and upgradeds/refits that worked or didn't?
3. I am planning to replace the stock rigging with 6mm cable and reinforced chainplates. Are there any downsides to this modfication?
4. Would a windvane or autotiller be more suitable?

I have read much literature on handling small boats at sea, but would just like to create a dialogue straight from the horses mouth.

Thank you and fair winds and seas to you all.

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Old 09-10-2018, 12:16   #30
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Re: Seaworthy Boat Selection for New Sailors

It might be better to start your own thread on sailing a packet cruiser, and search here too, but based on my 10 year experience with a 24’ which was all coastal except for a short bluewater jaunt, I’d say stowage is a main concern. Gotta keep everything simple and compact. I’d also say it’s not either/or for self steering, but have both. The windvane will probably end up being the workhorse. The rigging issue has been brought up in other threads. Going too big on rigging yields few benefits compared to added weight aloft after a while. I think beefing up the chain plates is a good idea though, keeping in mind the weak link in the system then is probably in the mast or spreaders though. Just a few thoughts. Where do you want to go in that little boat?
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