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Old 09-03-2020, 14:08   #1
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What boat would you buy?

My wife, our 5 year old daughter, and I are about 2 years from almost full time cruising and we still go back and forth about which boat to start aggressively looking for. I know there are dozens of threads out there asking "what boat should I buy" so I'm not going to ask that. I am, however, looking for some ideas about boats we've never considered (or even seen before) and your reasons why they are great.

So if you had a budget of around $225-$250k for purchase and refit which boat would you buy and why?

Edit: couple of extra details, we are looking for a sailboat, we will likely stick to warm climates and would like to be able to do major crossings occasionally.
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Old 09-03-2020, 14:16   #2
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Re: What boat would you buy?

Gee

Will you cross oceans ?

Will your operate in temperate climates or tropical climates

How many days of autonomy do you need


Are you a sailor ? Or a cruiser ?
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Old 09-03-2020, 14:16   #3
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Re: What boat would you buy?

Power or sail? Living aboard with a small child I'd look at catamarans and trawlers, starting at about 40' in each. On the trawler side I'd be very careful about seaworthiness. Most do not impress me in that area, being far less seaworthy than a typical 40' monohull.

First time ownership I'd minimize the refit and spend on ready to launch. You don't want a two year refit at this point.
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Old 09-03-2020, 14:32   #4
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Re: What boat would you buy?

For three people, there is no reason you need to jump to a cat, especially given your price range.

Given your price and if I was forced to pick ONE boat, I'd seriously look at an Amel Santorin. 46 feet, they are running $135k-$150k. They are robust world cruisers, with lots of room for a family of three, and you get $100K left over to refit and still put a big deposit into the cruising kitty.

Not a lot of them in the USA, but they are not at all rare in the Med.
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Old 09-03-2020, 17:01   #5
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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For three people, there is no reason you need to jump to a cat, especially given your price range.

Given your price and if I was forced to pick ONE boat, I'd seriously look at an Amel Santorin. 46 feet, they are running $135k-$150k. They are robust world cruisers, with lots of room for a family of three, and you get $100K left over to refit and still put a big deposit into the cruising kitty.

Not a lot of them in the USA, but they are not at all rare in the Med.

Hmm I hadn't considered a ketch, how much do the maintenance costs go up because of 2 masts?
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Old 09-03-2020, 17:23   #6
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Re: What boat would you buy?

One more factor to consider, with a smallish child on board a lot of the boat handling will be more or less singlehanded. Even if not, is your wife like mine 5'4" and 100 lbs soaking wet or a 6' Amazon? That would influence my decision to some degree. One reason I have a 42' boat. That's as large as I can carry the main from the forepeak to the deck and bend it on by myself.

You're younger and probably stronger so maybe a bit bigger. With a child on board I would go for a center cockpit aft cabin for several reasons. First it gives mom and dad a separate and somewhat private cabin. Also you have a cabin that's a bedroom and not a convertible dinette or similar. When you're tired, off watch, whatever you go back and get in bed without having to move sails, move cushions or whatever.

So I would stick with something in the mid 40s in length. Center cockpit with cutter rig (less complex, more efficient). My wish list in that size and price range would include:

Stevens 47
Tayana 48 (they might make a smaller one)
Moody 42 or 46
Oyster 46
Hylas 46
Hallberg Rassy (several models, look for one without teak decks)

Not intimately familiar with all these but all the makers have reputations for building solid boats. AND, this is far from a complete list. I'm sure others will come up with lots more.
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Old 09-03-2020, 17:28   #7
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Re: What boat would you buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuru05 View Post
My wife, our 5 year old daughter, and I are about 2 years from almost full time cruising and we still go back and forth about which boat to start aggressively looking for. I know there are dozens of threads out there asking "what boat should I buy" so I'm not going to ask that. I am, however, looking for some ideas about boats we've never considered (or even seen before) and your reasons why they are great.

So if you had a budget of around $225-$250k for purchase and refit which boat would you buy and why?

Edit: couple of extra details, we are looking for a sailboat, we will likely stick to warm climates and would like to be able to do major crossings occasionally.
In the first place you and you wife should be out sailing every week, year 'round (NO EXCUSES!). Get on a racing crew, and visit every boater cruiser you can find, talk to them, BUT SAILING ALL THE TIME!

In one year you'll know what you want in a boat and won't be asking total strangers for ideas and you'll increase your chances of lasting more than two years on your new boat about 500%

If you don't do this you are very unlikely to make it as world cruisers.

"boats we've never considered (or even seen before)"

But since you asked me:

Buy an early TP52, say a 2006 model, one which is in original condition. Cut the cockpit off and have a house built. Sell or store the racing sails and buy a Dacron main and working jib, a refrigerator, a wind vane and paint the interior. Oh, pin the mast jack.

Learn to sail that boat and when your 5yr old is 15 she will be a world class sailor.

You might have to restrict your sailing areas to ones with a bit of depth; that boat will draw 10' but you'll fly across oceans.

That's what I'd do and I'll bet you never considered it before.

By the way, I'll wager you will dismiss my advice about getting in some sailing, serious sailing, right now, for whatever reason you come up with, and in five years you'll be off on a different dream; you will have failed at cruising.

And excuse me if you already are, but if so, why don't you know what you want?
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Old 09-03-2020, 17:41   #8
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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By the way, I'll wager you will dismiss my advice about getting in some sailing, serious sailing, right now, for whatever reason you come up with, and in five years you'll be off on a different dream; you will have failed at cruising.

And excuse me if you already are, but if so, why don't you know what you want?
We already sail about as much as possible, we do several trips up to superior a year (generally a few 3 or 4 day trips with the occasional week) and we have a 20' O'day that we sail at the local lake on most weekends. Even though it's a little boat we feel it's pretty good experience since the lake is surrounded by bluffs so it goes from 6kt winds to 30kt gusts pretty regularly. We are stuck in our current location due to contracts with our employer and the availability of daycare (need family for nights and weekend shifts)

I don't see us changing our plans since we have been saving for this for almost 14 years, we've just bounced around a lot on how we can fund it. The main reason I'm asking for other options is because we have narrowed our list down to about 3 boats but there isn't a lot of variety available to charter on superior so I figured while I have the time I want to look at all our options.
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Old 09-03-2020, 18:03   #9
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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Originally Posted by nuru05 View Post
We already sail about as much as possible, we do several trips up to superior a year (generally a few 3 or 4 day trips with the occasional week) and we have a 20' O'day that we sail at the local lake on most weekends. Even though it's a little boat we feel it's pretty good experience since the lake is surrounded by bluffs so it goes from 6kt winds to 30kt gusts pretty regularly. We are stuck in our current location due to contracts with our employer and the availability of daycare (need family for nights and weekend shifts)

I don't see us changing our plans since we have been saving for this for almost 14 years, we've just bounced around a lot on how we can fund it. The main reason I'm asking for other options is because we have narrowed our list down to about 3 boats but there isn't a lot of variety available to charter on superior so I figured while I have the time I want to look at all our options.
I get your situation. Fair enough.

OK, so, do this:

Plan three trips, week long vacations, to Miami, San Francisco, and San Diego. Stay in a hotel. Line up a couple of day charters in the size of boat you think you'd like to buy, nevermind the make, and make sure they'll go out sailing in the ocean (or bay, when in SF). The other days look at as many boats for sale as you can. Just go on a dozen boats a day.

By the time you've done that, on top of the sailing you already do, you should have a good idea of what you like and what you don't.

Then just keep looking at anything and everything until you strike gold.
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Old 09-03-2020, 18:05   #10
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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By the time you've done that, on top of the sailing you already do, you should have a good idea of what you like and what you don't.

Then just keep looking at anything and everything until you strike gold.
That's a really good idea, I hadn't considered just staying in a hotel and taking day trips out on a bunch of different boats.

How exactly does one go about looking at a dozen boats a day? Can you just go to a big marina and walk through the ones for sale? Will we need to get in touch with a broker to show us around them?
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Old 09-03-2020, 18:09   #11
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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That's a really good idea, I hadn't considered just staying in a hotel and taking day trips out on a bunch of different boats.

How exactly does one go about looking at a dozen boats a day? Can you just go to a big marina and walk through the ones for sale? Will we need to get in touch with a broker to show us around them?
Either way, it'll be long hard days looking at boats all day, but somebody has to do it.
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Old 09-03-2020, 19:08   #12
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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So if you had a budget of around $225-$250k for purchase and refit which boat would you buy and why?
I would keep working until that budget is at least doubled.
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Old 09-03-2020, 19:11   #13
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Re: What boat would you buy?

I heartily second wingsail's advice on physically getting out on as many boats as possible is really important. Even if you are only considering a pre-owned boat (which is honestly what I would strongly recommend) it may be helpful to go to a boat show or two that has various boat manufacturers offering demo sails simply as an easy way to get out on a lot of boats and get more familiar with what you can expect out each incremental size increase to know the size that is best for you (keeping in mind the bigger the boat the bigger the maintenance and docking budget is forever...)



I would also add that once you're pretty certain what your top one or two choices are that you charter for a full week or two staying on the boat because that shows live-ability as well as sail-ability..


(Possible examples of seemingly little details which may be overlooked are: is the galley laid out that it is easy to cook a meal while underway? Do you always hit your head when you get out of bed? Do you have good visibility both at the helm AND also comfortable places you may be when sailing using the autopilot? Is the windlass up to par for regularly anchoring? etc).
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Old 09-03-2020, 19:13   #14
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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I heartily second wingsail's advice on physically getting out on as many boats as possible is really important. Even if you are only considering a pre-owned boat (which is honestly what I would strongly recommend) it may be helpful to go to a boat show or two that has various boat manufacturers offering demo sails simply as an easy way to get out on a lot of boats and get more familiar with what you can expect out each incremental size increase to know the size that is best for you (keeping in mind the bigger the boat the bigger the maintenance and docking budget is forever...)



I would also add that once you're pretty certain what your top one or two choices are that you charter for a full week or two staying on the boat because that shows live-ability as well as sail-ability..


(Possible examples of seemingly little details which may be overlooked are: is the galley laid out that it is easy to cook a meal while underway? Do you always hit your head when you get out of bed? Do you have good visibility both at the helm AND also comfortable places you may be when sailing using the autopilot? Is the windlass up to par for regularly anchoring? etc).

Do you have any examples of boat shows that offer demo sails? We went to both Annapolis and Miami this past year and I didn't see that at either.
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Old 09-03-2020, 19:50   #15
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Re: What boat would you buy?

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I would keep working until that budget is at least doubled.
Double? I think $250,000 is plenty for buying and fitting out a cruising boat. I spent almost $100,000 less to buy a 42' Pearson and add all new everything except the engine and mast. To be fair that's only direct boat costs and doesn't include mooring, docking, storage costs but still.
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