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Old 25-02-2007, 11:11   #31
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Aloha Drew,
Have you been to a marina? It sounds like I'm asking a stupid question but over here we have no marina except one with about 100 boats in it. Mostly sportfishing and its 100 miles away from me.
If I had your opportunity to walk docks, visit with people who have boats, etc. it would be easy to pick a boat I like.
That's my suggestion. Also, there was a Columbia 34 and a Douglas 32 on eBay the other day. You might want to take a look at the pictures.
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Old 25-02-2007, 12:36   #32
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A Man's Yacht is his Castle

Drew, he say:
Where do you fish, drink coffee, read, etc?
That "outside living" is usually done in the cockpit. Sidedecks ("just enough deck space to fall off the boat") need to be wide enough to navigate safely from the cockpit to the foredeck, but have little value beyond that, in comparison to the internal volume one enjoys by having a wider cabin trunk.

If you have any way on at all a fishing line will be trailing from the stern, making the cockpit the logical place to be to hold the rod (most likely you will have a holder, though). I love to read and sip coffee on the foredeck in the morning, but underway, I want to be out if the wind, behind the dodger, so there I am in the cockpit again.

In short, the ability to lounge on the foredeck is a romantic fringe benefit of an overall bigger vessel, but IMHO shouldn't be put on a list of desireable qualities in an ocean-crossing yacht. Those "foredeck moments" typically occur when anchored, and then even the smallest yacht will offer your posterior and a cushion some small patch of acreage, even if it's sitting on an overturned crate and leaning back against the bow pulpit.

Central to the question of how big is the deck layout, arrangement of gear, access to controls, type of controls, etc. Thoughtful attention to these details will allow a single- or double-handed crew to safely sail a certain boat, while not able to safely sail another similarly sized, but differently rigged, boat.
s/y Elizabeth Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 25-02-2007, 12:59   #33
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Walking around a Marina will give you a good idea of what is around and the layouts available.

A shade over 30 foot, but appears to meet your requirements.

It's a Westerly

Westerly Pentland archive details - Yachtsnet Ltd. online UK yacht brokers - yacht brokerage and boat sales

They come in 4 main versions (Pentland / Renown / Berwick / Longbow) which had between them various combinations of bilge and fin and some with a (small) aft cabin and both sloop and Ketch rigged and wheel and tiller steering.

I sailed on one of these that included some very sh#tty weather accross the Bay of Biscay, I was very impressed with the boat. (Less so with the Skipper, but that is another story).They have at least crossed the Atlantic and no doubt have gone farther afield. I would certainly have no qualms in going anywhere on one.

In fact I was tempted to buy one instead of the Seadog, they certainly sail a lot better than what I have. (and sail a lot better than what they look! - the high coachroof is actually a great height for sitting down whilst fishing ).
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Old 26-02-2007, 11:46   #34
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I'm starting to fall in love with the Tayana 37, but the Tayana Vancouver 32 also looks pretty nice. A very unqualified/uninformed preference of course, based mainly on looks. Very pretty boats. Pricey brand-name, tho...

Any thoughts on these as single-handed liveaboards?

BTW - Does the age of a sailboat matter very much? It seems the Tayanas I could afford are from the '70's-'80's.
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Old 26-02-2007, 12:07   #35
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Aloha Coyote,
If well cared for the age of a boat doesn't matter too much. There was a time in the mid 70s when fiberglass resins became expensive so yards began doing cost cutting by making thinner hulls and using weird combinations of resins. It resulted in lighter hulls for some models and in some cases severe blistering problems as in the mid 70s Newports.
You might want to check with a marine insurance company, and/or lending institution in your area to see if they have any age requirements.
Kind Regards,
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Old 26-02-2007, 12:46   #36
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See the discussion (especially RichH) at Sailnet:
Tayana 37 Questions . . . - SailNet Community
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Old 26-02-2007, 12:52   #37
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Good advice. Thanks SkiprJohn and GordMay.
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Old 27-02-2007, 13:08   #38
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Good advice all around guys...thanks.

Just curious what you guys think of:
1. Old in wooden sailboats from the early 20th century.

2. Stripped boats -- those that someone else has taken down to the barebones.

There are a few really decent looking boats for sale here in Europe, but some of the are 1930's era wooden boats (seem well-maintianed though) and some more modern steel or fibreglass boats that people have completely stripped down to nothing and started rebuilding; basically they are strong floating shells that need all new everything on the inside.

So, from a project point they are both obviously good for quite a bit of time. And, I suppose if you had to do everything from scratch you'd definitely know what you were getting. But, could the lower costs of these boats be wiped out by the cost of fully outfitting them?

Basically, with a cheaper boat, are you better off starting with a mostly bare base, or cleaning up somebody else's previous mess?
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Old 27-02-2007, 16:24   #39
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Hi Drew,

You can do some searches on this forum about wood vs steel vs fiberglass. I've not owned steel or aluminum but have had friends with them and there are as many problems with them as there are with wood in my point of view. Wood is good in colder climates and if you are going to be near the boat or living aboard. If you plan to be in the tropics wood boats can be a nightmare. I know from experience. I finally sailed my wood boat to the PNW. Now I'm with fiberglass and it is much easier to maintain.
Finishing a boat is not cheap or easy. However, you can rebuild it to your taste and quality which is a big plus for a lot of handy people.
Good luck in your choice.
Have you checked into large Columbia sailboats? Lot of flush deck styles that give you a lot of open deck for fishing, lounging etc.. I like their 34.

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Old 27-02-2007, 18:09   #40
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I started with the equivalent of a stripped out boat. You can see my efforts in my blog below.

My original time estimate to sail away was about 1500 hours and it looks like this is about what it will take. I am currently estimating another 1000 hours to cruising condition, however much of my work will need to be redone over the next ten years.

Over the next few years I am up for new everything in the interior and much renewal/installation on the exterior.

If you can pull the boat from the water, set it up straight and level, with good scafolding (a major cause of injury in boats is falling from the boat while it is on the hard) round the boat and some storage nearby then this is the way to go. It should be quicker and easier and possibly cheaper. Rebuilding in the water sucks.

It would have been better for me to take everything out of the boat (including the engine) and totally clean the interior before starting. Caution : Stripped boat interiors are very slippery with many awkwardly placed bits to trip on and many sharp things to fall on. Proper scafolding in the interior is essential.

A new engine is an essential part of the rebuilding process. Working with an old engine sucks.

Particularly for a steel boat a major renewal of the interior paint may be necessary. Modern two pack paints have dangerous fumes.
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Old 27-04-2007, 16:02   #41
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Coyote, hi,

A great boat to learn on is a MacGregor. The older 26 foot models sail really well and you can pick one up for around $6000. They are trailerable and if you are anywhere near the North East of the USA, join our club and sail with us ( We have introduced many newbies to the love of sailing and the support and cameraderie of the group reassures many while learning.
We moved from a 14 footer on our lake (very challenging sailing) to a 22 foot MacGregor, then a 26 Macgregor. We sail on Lake Champlain, Naragansett Bay, Buzzard's Bay to Martha's Vineyard, Boston Harbor, to name a few.

Then the bug bit: we now are the proud owners of a 39 foot O'Day which is 23 years old. We knew going in that it would take several seasons to bring her up to grade safety wise, and we are in our second season. We too are thinking of ending up with her in the Med, but baby steps first to take her ,and us, out into the ocean to see how that feels before we are really committed. We want to try living aboard for a while in the summer as well. She is moored in the Narangansett.

It's all a matter of constantly pushing yourself a little beyond your comfort zone, to keep on learning and challenging yourself, acquiring new skills the whole time. A large part is learning to be self sufficient (here, here, Pardy's).

Good luck! Weaverani
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:54   #42
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New to site and new cruiser

Retiring next month to move aboard Mariposa. Hope it all works out as I'm ready for a big change.
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