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Old 25-01-2009, 06:51   #16
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You are in an enviable position and your timing could not be better. It is certainly a buyers market for boats. I would suggest a few things.

Money, in all cases, is much more important than the boat. Whatever you spend on the boat, is cash tied up for a long long time, that cannot be used for anything else, such as investing, travel, living and food. You will blow a lot of cash in the beginning of your cruising life, good to have as much as you can.

It is certainly possible to get a great boat in the $90-150k price range. I would not go higher than 140 (really, 125, and hope much less) in any circumstance.

Valiant's are certainly great boats and many have carried livaboards and cruisers for years. As have Tartan's, Tayana's, Bristol's, Island Packet's, HC's, Shannon's and Wauquiez's, among many other's. I would agree that if you are going to sail solo, get a boat that YOU can solo. You will find that most people just do not have the time or patience to make transits with you. I would then put your range somewhere 38-42 with 38-40 being ideal.

When looking, consider speed and tankage. There is one segment I do often, Lake worth inlet to Key Biscayne, about 65-70nm. You want to be able to make a segment like that in daylight and thus you need a boat that will clip that off in 10-12 hrs. A crossing to Bimini is the same. A slower boat makes these particular segments a longer trip that needs more planning....not a big deal...leave in the early morning before sun rise..etc. Just a point to consider. So....LWL and PHRF can tell you *something* about a boats speed.

Of the above, you will be motorsailing a lot. Thus consider a boat's tankage and engine. You want to carry a good amount of fuel, but not too much (weight) and you want a boat with a big enough engine. Some boats come underpowered, some over. Over would be nice. Big prop too...for plenty of bite.

When looking...measure everything. Boat designers are very clever and the space down below can appear more spacious than it is. Measure the berths, in particular, and the settees. I bet you will be surprised at the differences. Measure the head. Many 38's will compare favorably to many 40-42's. Displacement and LWL can give you *some* ideal of how much space a boat has down below.

Finally, you will need a good amount of cash to add the things you need for cruising. SSB radio, dink, upgrades to electronics, plumbing and electrical. New batts, reconditioned starter and fuel injector pump on the engine. New fuel lines. Safety gear. Charts. Figure $25-30 min.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck.


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Old 25-01-2009, 11:29   #17
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Originally Posted by porttack View Post
This is too much fun. I have to watch that it doesn’t become an addiction.

Here’s a budget hypothetical:

I want to convert my land assets and move onto the water, within 3 years. My assets are currently down to $500,000 because of the RE market. I expect to retire in 3 years and will have about $2,000 clear monthly retirement income from an IRA. I also expect somewhat of a recovery, but for this hypothetical assume $0.5M is all I have up front to invest in the boat, the gear and any reserve funds.

I have moderate coastal cruising experience (2.5k miles). I intend to cruise the Caribbean, with a one-time pilgrimage to the south pacific. I need a boat that is rigged for single-handing but comfortable for 4 people from the occasional 1-2 week visits. I much prefer the anchor to the dock. I have my eye on some boats in the 38’ – 44’ range. No project boats. As you see I gravitate to more heavily built passage makers, in the cutter configuration. I’m a big guy myself.

1995 - 2001
Cabo Rico
• Valiant
Cape Dory
Island Packet

1985 – 1995
• Tashiba
• Hans Christian
• Shannon

Given the budget and the goals above, how much would you devote to the boat? How much would you devote to the rehab and upgrades? How much to the cruising fund? What additional boats should I consider? Why? Why? Why? And why?

Thanks you old salty dogs.

Can you work with your hands? You will have to learn because when the boat breaks somebody has to fix it. If you can work with your hands why not build a boat in your spare time? Ted Brewer, Dudley Dix and many others have some great designs. You can chose exactly what you want. If you go second hand you have to take what is available.
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Old 25-01-2009, 13:20   #18
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Boat for the buck. There is alot to be said of the early 70's US boats. I.E. I am very biased about Columbia's. Heavy built hulls and inexpensive to buy. There is a C-50 up here that is a very, very nice boat. Needs some work, but with teh saved purchase money, you can get her outfitted for alot less tahn buying one already outfitted. As a younin, my stepdad and I used to deliver for for realy nice boats on teh East coast from Maine to the ICW and into teh windwards. A Sou'Wester 42 come3s to mind as a really, REALLY nice boat that is VERY, Very seaworthy. Teh price is definately prohibitive to me though. A Morris Justine is a nice smaller boat taht fits into the Hinkley train of thought, Chuck Payme is a great designer and Tom Morris used to have a great buch of craftsman working for him, bet he still does....
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:39   #19
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porttack, I had the opportunity to see the Valiants closeup: We had our boat berthed in the marina where they are built for about three years. We got a good chance to see them being built, and talk to the Valiant folks. A couple of our dock buddies had Valiants, and they were avid enthusiasts. I don't think there is much negative to be said about Valiant's build quality, seaworthiness, or record of passagemaking. I've had a chance to spend some time aboard and poke around in nooks and crannies....they are built like tanks. Everything is heavy-duty to overbuilt. It's largely made in-house. But you have to decide what you want in a boat. Valiants are built principally for passagemaking. You will find many boats with more beam, more interior space, and larger cockpits. But the storage and systems are excellent. So, are you looking to log in blue water miles, or spend more time on the hook? This could have a significant bearing on boat choice. I have a Catalina 42, which had a good purchase price, lots of interior space, a large cockpit and a sugar scoop stern, all things which work for me right now. No one would pit it against a Valiant as a passagemaker, however. My wife and I eventually plan to go offshore for long-distance cruising. Our current boat will likely not be the boat for that purpose, but right now, it's great for coastal stuff.
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Old 25-01-2009, 18:29   #20
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Like your topic, Porttack

Dear Porttack:

We find ourselves in a similar position but may be a bit ahead of you. We have the boat but still have the home and I am still working. Would like to free ourselves of the home when the market gets some blood back into it.

We did find that vessels in places like Fort Lauderdale have returned from lengthy cruises and are now looking for new owners. They certainly need to be surveyed and the electronics may need to be replaced or upgraded to meet your needs and the engines need careful evaluation.

The neat thing we found with Fort Lauderdale is that the services for boats are attentive and competitive. This was an improvement from our experiences on the mid Chesapeake Bay where we felt stuck between a rock and a hard place at times. It is key to learn to do as much or all yourself.

We found the 34 ft. Cabo Rico met our needs, choose the smaller size vessel due to the lower costs per foot for dockage, bottom paint, etc. Ya gotta know if teak is a joy or a chore for you. Some let it go and only redo it after returning from their journey in time for sale. She is forgiving and fun to sail.....heavy with a low freeboard.

Tankage is important...our little boat carries 165 gal. of water in two tanks and sadly only 50 gals of diesel. She came with many items you might want on a cruising vessel thanks to the good original owners....gallows, davits, heavy duty windlass, new mast and standing and running rigging, Anchors and anchors, 300 ft. chain rode, self tending winches, barbeque grill, brand new full size shade cover, new Caribe RIB, ham and single sideband radios and on and on. We wanted to avoid teak decks and tanks that can age and have problems.

Though I am very focused on making the break from the rat race to the pleasures of full time cruising, I am also fully aware that if I don't die with my deck shoes on, I will be returning to land. That transition needs some thought yet and I think that will give piece of mind. It is the details of health care, insurance and investments that need resolution. Good luck with your search. The hunt is fun. We looked at every Island Packet for sale on the east coast finding what we thought would be "our boat" and then saw the Cabo Rico 34. We bought the second one we saw. You will know what will work for you. The hunt is fun.

warm winds,

S/V "Tango"
Kent Island, MD
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Old 26-01-2009, 10:50   #21

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Interesting thread.
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Old 26-01-2009, 19:00   #22
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I would also look at the Cherubini 44 Ketch. Beautiful boat.

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There is also a 1979 available for 180k on Yachtworld.
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Old 27-01-2009, 08:35   #23
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It is indeed a very interesting thread. That was, WAS to be our budget around 2015, but about half of that was to come from the sale of my restaurant which due to the poor economy is not doing well and it's gonna be a struggle to hold on to it. Sorry that was kinda rambling...

We had planned to spend no more than 125k on a boat, bank/invest the rest and shove off.

It sure would be nice to have the 2k a month income, I think you can live pretty well on that from what I have gathered.
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:24   #24
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All the boats you mention in the '85-'95 years will be project boats.
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Old 27-01-2009, 13:17   #25
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
All the boats you mention in the '85-'95 years will be project boats.
Most of them will be project boats period at under 125K, regardless of age.
Here's a Shannon that is parked in a slip about 50 yards from our place in NC. I have walked past it many times. The ad says there have been upgrades, but I haven't noticed any. Certainly the exterior teak needs work.

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Old 27-01-2009, 15:21   #26
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Look for a Bob Perry design ;<).
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Old 27-01-2009, 15:46   #27
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Originally Posted by jimking100 View Post
Look for a Bob Perry design ;<).
A Valiant 40 or Golden Wave 42 in decent shape for under 125K would be a very nice find.

A Tayana 37 or a Baba 35 would cost less.

I almost bought a Baba 30, but it was just too much teak for me.
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