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Old 27-09-2019, 14:16   #1
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After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Iíve been looking at buying a yacht/boat to live aboard with my wife and 2 Ĺ year old daughter that would take us from the Med, across the Atlantic, cruise the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and onto the Galapagos and across the pacific visiting the many charming island it has on offer with a long stop in NZ before completing the circumnavigation past good hope and back to the med. I was raised on the water and had a 12 year career in the Superyacht industry with 10 of those years as captain. I currently own a brokerage and yacht refit company in malta so I think Iím quite clued up on yachting.
YET Iím so confused about what boat I think is best for what I want. Iím so drawn to older weíll built full keel yachts but my wife is insistent on a cat for livability. She also says if we canít afford a cat I want a Beneteau or jeanneau because they seem homely. I understand where she is coming from because a stable platform of a cat brings such comfort especially when weíd be at anchor most of the time and are not planning on testing the southern ocean apart from South Africa. To be honest I canít afford a cat at this time and donít want to wait till I can as the desire to get away from this negative corporate world is my one drive for a happy life! So the options that I have are mass production boat with comforts and space which my wife falls for( as do many people who donít understand whatís out there) or a solid boat from the 80ís that gives me peace of mind. Whenever Iíve raised a discussion within many forums I always get that Beneteauís have crossed more oceans than any other brand, yet I just have such doubts about the strength of these boats. I wish I had the cash flow to set myself up with a new solid cruiser but I am not in that position. Another issue is the transom, having a little girl I see it as a necessity from a safe boarding to and from the tender as we head to shore and back. So my point is the more I research the more confused I become. I think itís time to make a call and see what our choice is like! Iíd love your feedback positive or not!
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Old 27-09-2019, 14:19   #2
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

I’m about 30 years in with boats. I have owned boats the whole time. I have two of them right now and I can’t decide which one to keep. One of them is the 80s Solid cruiser like you were talking about. The other one is a high-performance catamaran.

Looking forward to see the results of this thread. Because I am in the same situation as you. I cannot figure this stuff out.
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Old 27-09-2019, 14:49   #3
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

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...Another issue is the transom, having a little girl I see it as a necessity from a safe boarding to and from the tender as we head to shore and back...
There will be a lot more to come on this thread, of that I am sure. Opinions galore.

On the subject transom boarding: On many occasions we've had intimidating boarding experiences on and off of boats with transom boarding stations.

If there is any wave or chop in the anchorage the transom will be rising and falling. Further, it is not easy to bring a dingy alongside this heaving stern and the persons boarding have to clamor over the bow of the dingy, timing it carefully.

On the other hand, with a midships boarding ladder the dingy can come along side and be held in position while one parent climbs up then can reach down to help the child.
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Old 27-09-2019, 14:53   #4
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Danmlt,

From my perspective, I think your wife is going on visuals to make her decisions, she doesn't have direct knowledge of repairing liner built boats or the problems they have. She sees, fast, easy to sail, modern: and the ones she likes are built to appeal to women, so the designer did a good job with his task. They are not built with DIY maintenance in mind.

For a boat for a circumnavigation, that you want to make safe for a young child, I think your own idea should work splendidly. One of the problem with the newer boats is the wide spaces with no handholds: as a small child, something that limits how far she can fall will be safer in a seaway. As she grows, she will need a berth of her own and a place to study. I think the older monohull can provide that, too.

My bias is that all my experience is with monohulls, and I will let others speak for catamarans.

**********

I'll tell you a little story on me. When we had decided that we wanted to buy a bigger boat (after 17 years of cruising), I told Jim I wanted to have a bed I could walk around to make. I had lost patience with making our bed on my knees. However, island beds come with center cockpits, and also with devoting a whole lot of space to just sleeping, which is a small percentage of one's time. We looked at a couple, and I found that I actually then agreed with Jim, it is too much volume to spend for sleep: I'd rather have the storage! Also, I liked the aft cockpit boats better, and was really quite well pleased with a boat that took store bought sheets that I didn't have to re-fit!

**********

If you choose your older boat well, I would imagine that your good lady will grow to love it, too.

Ann
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Old 27-09-2019, 15:14   #5
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Dont think you should limit your 'good old boat' just to the 80's. there are some solidly built boats well into the 90's that are just as solid with more modern look. feel and layout that might appeal to your better half
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Old 27-09-2019, 15:23   #6
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

There’s so much to this it’s hard to know where to begin.

A few points from my opinion:

You can always board an aft cockpit boat from the sides, so that argument is irrelevant. And boarding from a well designed stern access is a million times better almost all the time, particularly for those not inclined to climb over things.

If your wife doesn’t like the boat you are pretty much dead in the water before you start.

You can sail safely around the world in almost any modern production boat, certainly those of the size you’re talking about. The condition and quality of the particular boat you’re looking at is far more important than its design or brand.

If you’ve owned a refitting company I suspect you’re going to be able to diagnose and repair almost anything anyway.

I have not been impressed by the thought behind the design and build of some of the larger Beneteaus that my fellow boaters down here have. When maintaining our boats we are often stumped (or at least very irritated) by issues that come up. By contrast, I’ve regularly been pleasantly surprised by the accessibility and ease of maintenance I come across in this boat. You’d never have imagined it if you asked me twenty years ago... I was such a brand snob but things change.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d have a new Discovery 48 in a heartbeat if I had the budget, but since I’m not doing the “sell it all and buy a boat” thing my budget was more modest. But for my budget, I much prefer having a modern production boat in good condition than an older boat.

Never forget that however much you think you’re buying a boat, your wife thinks you’re buying somewhere to live.
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Old 27-09-2019, 15:40   #7
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Most people that give you a opinion are just regurgitating stuff they've heard, in reality they don't know.

Your right, lots of Beneteaus are crossing oceans, if the naysayers are right then they should find evidence to support it and show us, heresay is not evidence.

I've got a mate with a big old Tayana on the hard right now, hes spending a fortune getting the hull planed, the latest problem is diesel dripping out through the core (parts of the outer skin have planed off), one of his old black iron tanks is leaking and diesel has some how found itself into the core.

Another friend who just finished his circumnavigation on his beneteau 473 is mean while on the move again, heading to Mexico.

Dont kid yourself all old boats were built better, often they were built better, it's a myth.

If the all the new boats are so bad how come I'm not seeing it? I'm in a yard right now ,surrounded by a number if other yards, literally 100's of boats, where are all the major new boat problems, I'm not seeing them here.

You could not pay me to own and old boat unless someone has spent a fortune on it making it new again.
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Old 27-09-2019, 15:52   #8
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

happy wife = happy cruising life
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Old 27-09-2019, 16:11   #9
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danmlt View Post
Iíve been looking at buying a yacht/boat to live aboard with my wife and 2 Ĺ year old daughter that would take us from the Med, across the Atlantic, cruise the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and onto the Galapagos and across the pacific visiting the many charming island it has on offer with a long stop in NZ before completing the circumnavigation past good hope and back to the med. I was raised on the water and had a 12 year career in the Superyacht industry with 10 of those years as captain. I currently own a brokerage and yacht refit company in malta so I think Iím quite clued up on yachting.
YET Iím so confused about what boat I think is best for what I want. Iím so drawn to older weíll built full keel yachts but my wife is insistent on a cat for livability. She also says if we canít afford a cat I want a Beneteau or jeanneau because they seem homely. I understand where she is coming from because a stable platform of a cat brings such comfort especially when weíd be at anchor most of the time and are not planning on testing the southern ocean apart from South Africa. To be honest I canít afford a cat at this time and donít want to wait till I can as the desire to get away from this negative corporate world is my one drive for a happy life! So the options that I have are mass production boat with comforts and space which my wife falls for( as do many people who donít understand whatís out there) or a solid boat from the 80ís that gives me peace of mind. Whenever Iíve raised a discussion within many forums I always get that Beneteauís have crossed more oceans than any other brand, yet I just have such doubts about the strength of these boats. I wish I had the cash flow to set myself up with a new solid cruiser but I am not in that position. Another issue is the transom, having a little girl I see it as a necessity from a safe boarding to and from the tender as we head to shore and back. So my point is the more I research the more confused I become. I think itís time to make a call and see what our choice is like! Iíd love your feedback positive or not!
Btw, good on your wife for wanting some comfort, nothing wrong with comfort, it's much better than being uncomfortable.
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Old 28-09-2019, 01:37   #10
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

We ended up in a 40ft cruising catamaran (Lagoon 400S2 OW, 3 cabins 2 large heads with separate showers), we love it. Plenty of space, good liveability on the way and at anchor, big salon, galley up (converted to electric), big cockpit area, with a full enclosure even usable in ugly weather, sport bridge, inside second chartplotter, wind instruments, VHF and autopilot remote, it is not a performance cat, but robust and I assume safe.

We have not crossed oceans yet, but have done several long passages in the med last year and this year, also in bad weather conditions, squalls and high waves.

You have to reef early and depower the main sail, stick to the reefing guide, in higher swell and bad weather with wind above 30kn aparrent do not use the main at all. According reefing table you could sail the reef 2 up to 45kn, dont do it. The genoa is then sufficient to propell you.

The motion of a cat is very different to a mono, it does not heel, on a wavy sail to the wind it's more like a SUV offroad on a bumpy trail, including a wet deck and slapping. But items on the table stay on the table.

Beam reach, where monos heel only, cats are quite stable but flip flop over the waves from the side, some times there is some slapping at the nascelle.

Downwind sailing is in contrast a pleasure, monohulls flip flopp, cats surf the waves absolutely stable, there is barely a noticeable motion even in stronger winds.
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Old 28-09-2019, 02:57   #11
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

All boats compromise something - there is no perfect boat and boat perfection is a very personal subjective thing anyway. Similarly, for a cruising couple, particularly with children, there are more compromises to be made.

We have owned four boats over the past 30 plus years. Our big cruising accomplishments so far include Vancouver to Mexico and Mexico to Tahiti. If we were to buy another boat I would look for something that handles wind and difficult sea conditions well, has a very comfortable and functional cockpit and a very functional interior with lots of handholds and storage.

Our current boat in Papeete (a Beneteau) has never caused us to believe that we were at risk because of bad boat design or construction even while in 50 kt winds and 9 metre seas off of northern California; a terrific cockpit for any kind of passage and for the long periods of time spent at anchor or in a marina. The interior is comfortable, safe to move around in (lots of handholds) while on a passage, including cooking, but storage is not the best - not enough, poorly organized and hard to access. Engine access can be challenging. Its noisy in big seas - the hull is not very thick above the waterline.

I am not keen on the newest generation of Beneteau Group boats with a few exceptions. The interiors are very spacious but not suitable, IMHO, for an ocean passage where the probability of being thrown around is quite high on a daily basis. In my view, they are too spacious.

I once managed to go up on a reef ( my responsibility but we had bad charts, I was not paying enough attention to where we were going, and I had been given bad advice from another sailor) in Indonesia in our Van de Stadt 34, built in the 70's. A bit of bottom paint and gelcoat chipped off but the boat was otherwise undamaged. The hull build was very solid. It is unlikely that our current boat would suffer so little damage in the same circumstances. But the Van de Stadt had a very cramped interior and a poor cockpit layout. It sailed well but I would not want to cross an ocean in that boat - maximizing comfort is very important for me and my partner on a long and bumpy passage.

Most importantly, if buying a used boat, I would want to be absolutely confident that the boat had been well maintained.

Good luck and have fun finding the boat that will serve all of the things that you and your family want from it.
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Old 28-09-2019, 05:51   #12
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Damit, the non negotiable with us was an open transom. It is just so much better for swimming from. With our kids they can either sit with their legs in the water or just hang onto the edge of the transom while splashing around.
Wingssail nothing stopping us from boarding on side if it is to choppy at the transom. Either works for us, but I just hate seeing people lever themselves up onto the yacht using a stanchion.
Daletournier your right most modern boats I survey and that’s all brands, really do not have major issues. I have seen a few shortcuts taken with quality control but nothing that is a big issue. As for older boats they can be a hole in the ocean. Not so much the quality of the build it’s more like old fuel tanks, engines, wiring, sails and interior that cost a fortune to update.
Choose the yacht your wife likes Danmlt and if it’s not the right choice then your next boat will be the perfect yacht for you. It’s not like you are only allowed one yacht in your lifetime.
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Old 28-09-2019, 06:04   #13
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

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Damit, the non negotiable with us was an open transom. It is just so much better for swimming from. With our kids they can either sit with their legs in the water or just hang onto the edge of the transom while splashing around.
Wingssail nothing stopping us from boarding on side if it is to choppy at the transom. Either works for us, but I just hate seeing people lever themselves up onto the yacht using a stanchion.
Daletournier your right most modern boats I survey and thatís all brands, really do not have major issues. I have seen a few shortcuts taken with quality control but nothing that is a big issue. As for older boats they can be a hole in the ocean. Not so much the quality of the build itís more like old fuel tanks, engines, wiring, sails and interior that cost a fortune to update.
Choose the yacht your wife likes Danmlt and if itís not the right choice then your next boat will be the perfect yacht for you. Itís not like you are only allowed one yacht in your lifetime.
Cheers
Hi Fore & Aft, I'm certainly not against old boats, it may seem that way. I started of the same as most thinking old and heavy were the only way to go. I've been surrounded by boats everyday for a decade now and my observations made me question what I thought I knew.

Nothing escapes age, nothing! Old boats are old, people very rarely understand just how many parts and systems make up about.

I have a hand Christian behind me on the hard. I had a very respected rigger on my boat this week, he told me he couldn't tighten the rigging on that boat, the mast step has collapsed and theres some sort if bulkhead issue .

I helped last week replace the keel bolts on a 38 year old boat, literally dropped the keel and had new studs made up. The list goes on.

Boats age and the work that needs doing compounds with age unless the owner has constantly done what's needed.

Here's one eg of newer vs old. I have poly water tanks and aluminum fuel tanks, if I ever needed to replace one (which I most likely wont) I pull the floor up and remove, real simple. A mate on an old boat needs to destroy his teak interior to get the black iron tank out.

Old is often a false economy built on a false reality.
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Old 28-09-2019, 06:10   #14
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

Hi

I have Not read all the replies... I m in a hurry... And Please excuse my english... But i want to give my two Cents to this.

1) a New boat is much more a whole in the water.. But it is not called repair cost But depreciation. You dont feel it That Hard.. But it is awfully expensive!

2) i am Not a frightened Person...and i am far from beeing overly cautious... But IF i am gonna cruise the ocean and IF i am taking the Most previous in life... My family... With me... THAN i Would only Do this in a boat That was BUILD by all means to protect the Crew to the outmost possible!!
And...it is no secret That all those cosy spacy and friendly coastal cruisers Are NOT!

check ted brewers Website about Yacht Design.
Make your own caculations about seagoing comfort and heavy weathter safety. Show them to your wife!

Have someone translate www.fortgeblasen.at for you... And their thoughts about Features of a Yacht That protects you!

Think about the ONE TIME when the Yacht is flipped over by the one Monster wave in the one Storm you never never never wanted to encounter!

Make Sure your bucket will never crack... Burn or sink!

And... Forget about a those cats... Tris.. And beneteaus etc..
Holiday harbour bf 4 boats... Or at least Sports Tools That can be replaced If lost 1nm from shore....

Regards
Ralph
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Old 28-09-2019, 06:12   #15
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Re: After two years of research im more confused than even on what boat is right

The flipside is also that the OP has a marine business. Can’t you leverage that? I mean, your cost of labor is very low compared to anyone else. You could certainly buy a catamaran that needed some work and put the money into that work getting it done quickly with your employees?
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