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Old 12-06-2017, 09:05   #1
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Thinking about a boat....

Id like to hear some of the old timers opinions about boats. When I first started looking I was sold on the Old Whitby 42s. I was really wanting something with a full keel that i would feel comfortable doing passages in. However.... Wife has crushed my dreams. so I'm probably going to be looking at something smaller. Good news is i think I'm actually starting to sway her opinion with all the great sailing youtube channels. Realistically I will likely start with something small, get more experience with living aboard, and move up when I'm in a financial spot to do it (and the wife is fully "on-board"). What I wanna know is, you guys that have had boats for 20+ years, even the same boat for that long. What would you have thought about differently now vs. when you first started out?

So what would I be using the for? Primarily a weekend warrior, however i would want the capability to sail and live aboard it in the Bahamas (I live in florida within an hour of multiple marinas).

What about the Hull? How do the different types of hulls stand for the long hall?
- I really love the look and feel of a wooden boat, but aluminum seems very convenient to weld, polish and paint.

Sail Configuration?

Power Gen?

Minimalist setups?

I'd really love the input from some seasoned sailors. In my head i'm thinking i could swing a NoríSea 27, or something along those lines and put some work in it and just start. Stop thinking about it and looking at boats and just start.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:13   #2
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

I would encourage you to respect other opinions than just mine, but I do have some of the "old timers" opinions that you are requesting. My wife and I lived aboard for 45 years and owned our most recent boat for 32 years.

I regards to the hull, I strongly favor fiberglass. Wood can be suitable at higher latitudes, but it won't last long in tropical or even mid-latitude waters. Metal hulls tend to suffer from deterioration associated with poor ventilation, electrical activity and opposing metals.

When considering the rig I would say that we enjoyed our sloops but did best with the ketch that we had for the longest time. Our greatest pleasure with our split rig was that it allowed us passage under the many fixed 55' bridges. If vertical clearance were not an issue, I would choose a cutter if I were starting over.

Regarding the keel, I strongly favor a keel with a leading profile that presents a gentle angle to whatever grounding might occur. This is probably related to my habit of gunkholing, poking about in the shallows from Maine to the Bahamas. A long keel and not a full keel best presents this gentle forward profile. The term "full keel" is often misused when speaking of a long keel with a cut-away forefoot.We frequently tested our draft limits and would not want the harsh impact associated with striking the earth with a fin keel or an unprotected rudder. This, of course, is a choice related to how you would chose to cruise. This means we were most pleased with a long keel contiguous with the rudder that would not snag crab or lobster pot lines.

As Florida liveaboards and living at marinas while employed, we found air conditioning essential. We enjoyed redundancy for power,- large battery bank, diesel generator, solar panels, wind generator. During our long terms of cruising and anchoring out we enjoyed these diverse means to keep a reserve of 12VDC.

We began our cruising lives with a performance, fin keeled, Sparkman and Stephens design, but grew to love the big "truck" Morgan Out Island that carried us tens of thousands of miles leisurely.

There are many good choices that will differ among individuals.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:33   #3
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Thanks Hudson, I appreciate all opinions. And i didn't even think about the Bridge height. That is something to weigh on.

So between metal and fiberglass would you say that metal hulls require "more" maintenance than fiberglass, or "different" maintenance? The main concern i have is long term operating cost. Now. I wouldn't consider myself a yaht builder by any means but i have done a fair amount of work with plasma cutters and welding. I guess in my head it seems like you could just cut out and replace bad spots from time to time.

The picture i attached is what i would consider a "full" Keel. Is that what you are meaning by Long Keel?

And basically... If i'm staying tropical I've got to have some kinda way to cool the cabin down. 'Nough' said.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:50   #4
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

I strongly favor fiberglass also. For Florida and the Bahamas, most any boat in decent shape will do. Shallow draft though. I lean to the longer keels and protected rudders, but realistically a modern fin keel would be fine also. My friends had a Pearson 38 which they damaged the rudder twice in the Bahamas... pretty much their fault thru lack of attention to details, but the spade can be much less forgiving than a longer keel /protected rudder is my point.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:52   #5
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalwest View Post
Thanks Hudson, I appreciate all opinions. And i didn't even think about the Bridge height. That is something to weigh on.

So between metal and fiberglass would you say that metal hulls require "more" maintenance than fiberglass, or "different" maintenance? The main concern i have is long term operating cost. Now. I wouldn't consider myself a yaht builder by any means but i have done a fair amount of work with plasma cutters and welding. I guess in my head it seems like you could just cut out and replace bad spots from time to time.

The picture i attached is what i would consider a "full" Keel. Is that what you are meaning by Long Keel?

And basically... If i'm staying tropical I've got to have some kinda way to cool the cabin down. 'Nough' said.
Most would say that's not a "full" keel. A full keel often being quite a bit longer forward. But it is a term often used for that type of keel. That is probably my favorite style underbody though. Alberg, Cape Dory etc are similar and well proven.
A Nor Sea is a small boat with limited head room. For your use a more beamier design might be better and more room.


This might be a better picture of a "full" keel. WESTSAIL 32 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:55   #6
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Finalwest, I have developed some skills with working with and maintaining fiberglass and I don't have any history with metal work; therefore, my answer above was based upon what I have done well. I would also not do well maintaining a wood hull, but those with the appropriate skills could do better. Maybe there is a reason why there are so many fiberglass hulls other than the ease of maintenance, but I do think that the easy care is a factor.

I would tend to call your diagram a full keel, but there is a continuum of variation and your example seems to be "on the fence". Notice that there is a nearly straight line from the waterline at the stem to the forward low point of the keel. If this line were convex, then it would definitely be a "full keel". If this line were concave, then it would be a "long keel". I'm sure others may define the hulls by another descriptor.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:17   #7
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Thinking about a boat....

There are a lot of more experienced voices here than mine but I'll add my 49 years of experience to the "seasoned sailors". Most of my time was as a weekend warrior too, until I retired then moved aboard and went cruising. My cruising has been also mostly coastal. The only wisdom I can add is to be as realistic as possible about how you will actually use the boat. For local sailing in mostly good weather any reasonably well found boat can be made to work. Long keel, mid length keel with skeg hung rudder or fin keel with spade rudder are all out there sailing.

My preference is for a rather heavily built boat that is capable of far more than I will ever intentionally ask of it. Where I sail now harbors are rather far apart and while weather is mild year round it can turn nasty unexpectedly. Still, I have to admit that my choice of boats (while I can justify it rationally) is mostly a matter of aesthetics. I like the older designs that look like they come from a workboat a heritage. I like bulletproof fiberglass layups and overbuilt rigging and hardware.

But, since you are still trying to introduce your wife to the joy of sailing, do not overlook comfort and convenience. For the same money you can buy a "newer" production boat with wider beam meaning more interior volume that may feel more familiar to a landlubber. You don't need a "blue water boat" (whatever that is) to get you and your family started.

My advice is start easy and as inexpensively as you can. Discover sailing together. Move up together.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:13   #8
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

We are sailing a boat that could be seen as a variation of the Norsea 27. We are much lighter, somewhat beamier, etc. but otherwise we share the keelshape / rudder and most of canoe body shape. Not identical but sort of like another take at the same task.

Now I have seen a NS27 on dry in Sao Miguel and I have talked to one owner who sailed his from the States to here (Canary Islands) and onwards (to the States).

My gut feeling is it is a great starter boat if this style is what you are after. They had some build issues (most boats had some though) and they are actually very narrow and their ballast ratio is not all that conservative. The upside is your SA will be satisfactory and you can have one with an aft cabin of sorts. Etc.

So, if you are into the -simple basic and old school' then this can be a great boat to get into and start playing. Just try to buy one that is sound and not to pricey. Where we are, this style / age of boats come at 10 to 15k and I would not pay any more than 20k for a clean, sound and well fit out one (new engine, new sails, etc.)

You can mess about at Sailboatdata and seek a number of alternatives that will probably fit your needs.

Cheers,
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:32   #9
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

I'm fairly new to sailing, 3 years in. So I won't offer any insight as to boat style and material.
I do however also have a wife who is hesitant. We own a smaller boat(26') which she rarely goes on. She gets no pleasure from it and strong winds or waves unnerve her.
She does enjoy charters though. The larger boats are better set up for comfort, more stable, ect. All around "feel" safer to her.
If your wife is hesitant about sailing, my advice would be to do a live and learn course over a few days or a week. Pick an instructor well, someone she is comfortable with and trusts. A female instructor would help as well.
Starting with a "holiday" feel also will make sailing become something to look forward to, for her.
Good luck, and keep it fun.

On edit, chartering or courses also let you be on different styles of boats, and can evaluate for yourself the different options.
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Old 12-06-2017, 18:25   #10
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Those are very good points. I'm just trying to keep an eye out for some local boats. There are few Contessa 26s here on the cheaps. I guess I just feel if don't start somewhere I won't start at all.
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Old 12-06-2017, 20:09   #11
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

For shallow draft and low-cost entry into the sailing world, have a look at composite trimarans. Find one in good shape, though. You don't want to spend all your time rebuilding a tired boat.
The other benefit (for some, not all) is less pronounced healing.
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Old 13-06-2017, 10:18   #12
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Hi Finalwest, everyone is making some great comments and there is a lots to consider, when cruising. I have been sailing off and on must of my life but just recently became a cruiser. I started out in Guatemala sailing around the south caribbean and ended up in Corpus Christi. I have a Whitby 42 and I just love her. Very comfortable and easy to sail. The Bridge height thing was not much of a concern until i got back to the states. I have owned my Whitby ( Shared Dreams) for almost 5 years and i am the third owner. I would agree having a larger stronger boat has made a big difference. You do feel as well as are safer in a full keel heaver boat. Because when you do run into that storm, and you will that larger boat is much nicer. The Whitby are a self righting boat just in case. Looking at different kinds of boat it mostly boils done to what you want to do on the an find the boat that fits those needs. I am sorry to say that I am selling my Dream, my first wife past away recently, and my second wife is not a sailing fan. If a Ketch rig is one you are thinking about, a Whitby is the best. If you would like to see pics give me a call @ 405-850-9242 I can email you all the info.
Peace and pleasant sailing. Ken B.
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Old 13-06-2017, 10:24   #13
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Opinion: Liveaboard, florida, hot, need a/c, wife newto livingaboard, comfort, your crusing . galley ,room, head, shower,room. your wifes needs and comfort and security are your priority, now that you have established that sit back and enjoy. A morgan center cockpit aft state room would suit your needs and not chase you back to land after 60 days. There are some good boats in fl. stay away from wood, fiberglass, toredo(sp.) worms are hard on wood bottoms.😏
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Old 13-06-2017, 10:44   #14
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

HI Ken Z, you make some great points. Being in the states I have found A/C to be more needed as much for when you are docked both for keeping cool but also keeping the dehumidified. Not so much when i was cruising, just pop a hatch. And my center cockpit does give me a lot more aft room.
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Old 13-06-2017, 11:21   #15
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Re: Thinking about a boat....

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalwest View Post
However.... Wife has crushed my dreams. so I'm probably going to be looking at something smaller. Good news is i think I'm actually starting to sway her opinion with all the great sailing youtube channels.
Greetings Finalwest,

I caught the above in your post and wanted to give a little input/hindsight...

Whatever you buy... make it something you can resell quickly just in case you hit the god awful "see, I told you so" doldrums. Boat yards and brokerages are littered with us "guys" broken dreams. If you truly want to go as a happy couple... go slow. Don't rush. Be patient.

Share video channels with your wife like "White Spot Pirates". A single female out cruising or others like it on Youtube. Just send her the links and let her watch them at her own speed with no pushing from you. Us "guys" can be intense sometimes.

Hit your local marinas and yacht clubs and meet some happy sailing couples. Let your wife get to know these sailors and ask questions of them at her own pace, not yours.

This input comes from a been there, done that guy. It's not the type of boat or shape of the keel that really matters... it's doing it together as a happy couple that really counts.

Good luck to you!
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