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Old 26-08-2008, 01:44   #1
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Thumbs up New to board, sailing.

Hi all, new Cruisers and Sailing forum members here. We're not just new to the forum, but new to the cruising lifestyle and sailing/boating in general. So.. Hello!

Anyway, my wife and I are planning on retiring by the end of the year and will move to FL to go look for a new home, the kind that floats.

Basically, we are cashing out, buying a boat and will be living on it, full-time.

The first month we plan to stay in FL, in a nice comfortable slip, while we get used to the boat and life aboard her. We'll take the boat out whenever weather permits and get some more hands-on experience.

Then we plan on moving on to the Caribbean since it's got a lot going for it (close, easy passage, beautiful destinations, relatively safe and cruiser friendly).

Another thing: we're probably very atypical live-aboard cruisers:

-We're both in our early 30s.

-We have NO sailing experience (we're taking a coastal cruising class before we leave for FL so we won't be totally clueless, just nearly so ).

-We don't actually own a boat (of any kind) right now.

So... By now probably 90% of you are thinking we're insane and are going to get ourselves killed. Well.... we figure the best way to get experience is to get out there and do it. I've always picked up things fairly quickly so you might say I'm quietly confident.

We've done a lot of looking at online broker's listings ("boat porn!") to get an idea of prices and availability and it looks like there's plenty of inventory out there and some of it is even in our price range!

Which brings us to the first and most important task, buying a boat. It's also the one I dread most. I know a good survey should go a long way towards us not getting stuck with a lemon but there's never any guarantees.

So here comes our question: Given what we are looking for (let me sum that up real quick here):
- multi hull, 30ft to 40ft
- Somewhat roomy since we'll be live-aboards
- Shallow draft (this is one of the main reasons we are looking at cats)
- Easy for a single person to handle since it's just the two of us and one will be sleeping while the other is on watch during passages.
- Blue water capable. We're expecting to eventually (when we feel ready) make an atlantic crossing so we can cruise the med.
- Two engines for redundancy as neither of us is a mechanic, I've rebuilt some bike engines in my time but I'm not kidding myself about how much that will help when it comes to boat engine repair. This one is not a show-stopper for the right boat, but it's a "very much would like".

So... given those requirement, could you kind folks suggest some brands and types of boats we should be looking at? And (in my opinion) even more important, what to stay away from at all costs?

I was looking at a made-in-China, designed in Australia boat last night. At first it seemed a dream come true (LOTS of boat for the money) but a little research revealed that as usual, if it appears to good to be true, it is, in fact, too good to be true. The boat was not all that great (to say the least).

This got me a little worried as we're both boat shopping neophytes and we would hate to spend a large amount of money on something that's not right for our purposes.

So we're hoping for some suggestions on which boats we should be looking at, and also, what to look for in particular when inspecting a boat (should the surveyor take care of most of this?).

I've got some more questions about the surveying process as well, what forum should I post in concerning that?

This has gotten to be much longer than intended sorry for rambling on!

I've been lurking for a short while now and it looks like you have a great community going on here with lots of helpful people, I look forward to being a small part of it.

Thanks very much!
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Old 26-08-2008, 02:06   #2
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Welcome to Cruiser Forum sjpm - You won't be the first cruising couple with a plan.

There are a lot of what cat to buy threads around here. You might want to post a separate note in the catamaran forum.

You can also search the threads here with this special Google Site.

Cruisers & Sailing Forum

Good luck.
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Old 26-08-2008, 05:07   #3
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Hi there. We are doing a very similar thing, relying on brothers past experience to get away from it all.
He's convinced us an old Prout is the way to go. Partly as what you buy and sell for is he same numerically if you take reasonable care of it.
We'd settled on a twenty year old boat selling at the same price it was sold new at.
Might be a worthwhile choice for you two too. The Snowgoose 37 is the oldest model but still sails well and matches most modern apartment boats in everything but accomodation. Headroom limited to 5'6" in the main saloon but this isn't a place where you'd stand around anyway. Kitchen and toilets in starboard and port hulls with good standing room. Berths depend on model, some have wider berths but sail a little slower (Elite's) some don't and sail well.
Prout MD is now part of BroadBlue and carry's on with the aft mast set up that makes sailing simpler and safer. All lines are gathered at the foot of the mast which stands on the rear saloon bulkhead, i.e. the front of the cockpit.
Visit one and judge others by what you see. Do you want more headroom, berth width, cost etc. Certainly worth not buying new and suffering the immediate depreciation if you find it's not for you after all. Easy to trade up to the right one when you have a better idea of what's right for you.
Good Luck. Wish I was thirty and retiring.
Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 26-08-2008, 21:56   #4
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Thanks guys, I will definitely copy the appropriate parts to a new post in the multi hull forum, should have done that in the first place. Got carried away there a bit while typing, call it anticipation fever.
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Old 27-08-2008, 11:38   #5
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Aloha Sjpm,
Welcome aboard! You can do it and you are not any more crazy than the rest of us here on the forum. I think it is a requirement.
I'm not into cats so can't help you much in that department. I wish you luck on finding your "dream boat."
Kind regards,
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