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Old 13-06-2006, 11:14   #1
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Hi everybody,
Wendy and I live in Norfolk UK, I'm in my early fifties, and Wendy is a little younger, age undiscosed! We are both working at present, but are planning to escape from it all, firstly to the med then perhaps onward to further fields. Hopefully within the next two years before age and any imobility catches up with us!!!
We are currently putting the financial wheels in motion to buy our boat, something around 43~48 foot, I'd prefer steel but a quality GRP hull may win the day. We ideally want to be self sufficient as much as possible, marinas are not where we want to be! (unless its very windy!)
Neither of us are 'hairshirt sailors' however we don't have infinite funds, what we are looking for is a lifestyle where we take responsibility for our actions, (no nannie state!) and socialising within a community of like minded people. We'd welcome input from anybody who shares our plan, either doing it already, or is in the planning stage, like us!
Bryan and wendy
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Old 13-06-2006, 12:01   #2
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Aloha Bryan and Wendy,
Welcome aboard!! You'll find all the answers you need from the friendly folks on this forum. I've owned boats from 22 to 42 and crewed on boats to 55. My favorite size for a couple is 35 and cutter rigged. I'm certain there will be others who argue with that but they also might be the same type who enjoy all the fancy gadgets that I don't care about.
For example; I'm wanting to buy new sheet winches for my 42. They will be $5000.00. If I were replacing sheet winches on my 35 cutter they would be $3500. The list goes on from there.
Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 13-06-2006, 13:37   #3

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Breyan & Wendy:
Actually, IMHO, ("marinas are not where we want to be! (unless its very windy!)" Marinas are not where you want to be, ESPECIALLY when it's windy.
Think banging (hard) on a dock vs heeling & swinging at anchor.
When it's really nasty, I want my boat moored/anchored, and myself ashore at the local watering hole .
Welcome aboard.
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Old 13-06-2006, 18:26   #4
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Welcome to cruisersforum, Bryan & Wendy.

Well. If I were to advise you on what size of boat to buy. It would be a 43 to 45 footer.

How much sailing experiece you both have under your belts?

Welcome aboard.

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 14-06-2006, 06:55   #5
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Bryan & Wendy
Your plans sound exactly like our own except were a couple of stages ahead of you and a few years ahead in age (but still mobile!)
My wife and I live in Kent UK and have been planning our getaway for several years. Last September we saw a Moody 471 at Hamble Point Marina and bought her. Since then we have been fitting out and launched on April 28th.
Last week we took a shake down cruise to the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark.
We plan to sail the boat down to the Algarve region of southern Portugal during August and September this year and leave her there ashore for the winter whilst we sell up at home ready to make the permanent move on to the boat next Spring.
Then, like yourselves, we plan to 'do' the Med for the summer and then who knows!

We'd be happy to share our experiences to date with you if it will help.

Colin & Jane
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Old 14-06-2006, 08:21   #6
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All questions of cost aside, when it comes to cruising couples, I've read in several places that 32' is about right. Obviously, 60' allows for more creature comforts, but when the weather gets ugly two, usually midlle-aged, people are generally unable to safely handle gear of that scale. Remember, when boat size goes up, things don't increase at a linear rate. That's good for living space, bad for hauling up ground tackle when you're being blown towards shore.
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Old 14-06-2006, 09:16   #7
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Quite right I agree with you. Fortunately the Moody 471 model we have bought was specifically designed for short handed long distance cruising.
The previous owners (a middle aged couple) who we went out sailing with only two weeks ago returned from a 5 year circumnav in April 2005 and said that they found the boat very easy to handle and felt very safe in her despite 60 knot winds experienced in Indonesia. As for the anchor, we have a 1200 watt windlass!

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Old 15-06-2006, 10:41   #8
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Hi everybody
Thanks for your input, it seems everybody has a different opinion on the best size of boat, I guess it's down to personal opinion. We really do think that about 43~48 foot is about right for us. As I said, I would prefer steel- does anybody have any good/bad experiences? I realise the maintenance is higher, however there will be lots of time and I am an engineer with a practical bent. As an engineer, I realise I probably want to over engineer everything for safety, but that's the cross i bear!
Good sailing,
Bryan and Wendy
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Old 15-06-2006, 21:12   #9
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I echo the sentiment that bigger is better up to a point, then it can become a liability. Its not that much of a challenge in calmer conditions, but imagine you hit some heavy weather with a confused sea, and you can see those larger sails suddenly becoming a liability. Or when you discover the furler has locked for some reason and you can't bring in the headsail as the wind picks up.

There is an an adage - get the smallest boat that will keep you happy - I pass that on to you.
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Old 16-06-2006, 07:09   #10
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This is a tough one - size. Bigger is more comfy and with the waterline faster and that means shorter passages and that IS a safety issue.

The accomodation plans really DO add a lot when you get into the 40s... and when your whole life has to fit in there... stowage is also an issue.

BUT.. handling is the kicker. As noted above the forces and the prices for everything on bigger boats get up there pretty fast. Electric winches can mitigate a lot of those issues but not always. Lots of sail handling cannot be done with electric assist.. especially in storm conditions when you might have to set a storm jib or a trysail (set them BEFORE conditions call for it).

Manuevering around marinas and in anchorages are more challenging with a bigger boat and if the draft is up there you are out of luck for some anchorages and crusing areas.

Handling anything in optimal conditions is NOT a benchmark for the right size for you. This is a complex decision and in the end I would recommend the smaller end of the range IF it can meet your accomodation needs.

sv Shiva
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