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Old 06-20-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
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We went down to the All Sail show in Oakland and were able to crawl thru a few boats. I like the Island Packets a lot. Attended John and Amanda Neal (sp) offshore seminar.

Here are the questions:

1. We are looking at buying the boat about 2 years out. When do you start looking in earnest?

2. Really don't want one until I sell the house, but would you borrow the bucks for the right boat and pay it off once you sell the house?

3. Buyer Broker? Get one or not? One guy or Multiple?

4. If number 3 is yes, anyone with a recommendation in the Nortwest?

I thought the Neal's did a good job of making me a little more open minded on boats to consider and what to look for in a boat.

5. One of the boats they suggested was a 35 Wauquiez. Saildrive? No personal expereince with them, but I don't like the looks of them. Opinions or experience?

Thanks in advance.

DW from Boise, temporarily in Naknek, Ak.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:05 AM   #2
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Welcome back! Glad to see you here again.

Some answers--

1. We are looking at buying the boat about 2 years out. When do you start looking in earnest?

Right now is still a good time to buy a boat. Prices are low. I imagine for at least the next year you'll find (in the USA) that prices will remain very reasonable. We didn't look for a boat in earnest until we were ready to plunk down the cash to buy it. We "researched" a lot of boats for about 2 years but only really "looked to buy" for about 6 months before making an offer. We'd given ourselves 1 year to find a boat, though. We wrote the contract on the boat on February 1st with an agreement to take possession of the boat on-or-before August 1st of that year. We placed the full price of the boat in escrow with BoatUS (which operates a good title search and closing service, btw) for the months between Feb and August. This is because we could not take possession of the boat until that summer and the owner was willing to work with the right buyer to make the deal work out. We ended up saving slip fees (about $700/mo) for that time between Feb and August, so it also sweetened the deal for us, too.

2. Really don't want one until I sell the house, but would you borrow the bucks for the right boat and pay it off once you sell the house?

NO! Haven't you noticed that foreclosures are still increasing in the USA? Home values aren't going to be going up a whole lot in the next two years (don't know where you live, but this is a general statement) and unless you have tons of equity in your house, you may be stuck with a house plus boat plus high mortgage all which require a job to support. I know you talked about possibly getting a boat and living on it for a two year period (moving closer to the coast) and then cruising--I take it that is not an option? Owning house and boat at the same time is very hard since you've doubled your maintenance responsibilities but not the time you have to do it all in.

3. Buyer Broker? Get one or not? One guy or Multiple? If you happen across a broker that you "click" with, great. But, this isn't like buying a house and the ethics of these folks well...sometimes questionable. We looked for boats via Yachtworld and via a broker that we did click with and who specialized in the sorts of boats we were looking for. However, the boat we bought was via a private individual, no broker involved.

4. If number 3 is yes, anyone with a recommendation in the Nortwest?

Comment--the thing you should be looking for is a good surveyor. I don't have a recommendation... but your surveyor will help with deciding if your planned purchase is worth the money or not.

5. One of the boats they suggested was a 35 Wauquiez. Saildrive? No personal expereince with them, but I don't like the looks of them. Opinions or experience?

No personal knowledge. Looking on Yachtworld I see this ad:

The Pretorien 35 is a ‘go anywhere’ performance cruiser built in France by legendary boat builder Henri Wauquiez. The Wauquiez company is known for producing some of the strongest and most capable offshore yachts ever built that look as great as they sail. Chimere's medium-displacement solid FRP hull achieves high strength through a massive internal stringer system and a uniquely strong bulkhead-to-hull/deck fiberglass joint. The very high aspect ratio sailplan drives this boat easily in light winds. Yet the very high ballast-to-displacement ratio of 46% with its lead ballast located at the bottom of a deep sump generates a very large righting moment allowing her to comfortably power upwind in 40+ knots of true breeze with sail appropriately reefed. The deep full-skeg rudder assures maximum control and security. Multiple circumnavigator and BOC competitor Hal Roth chose the Pretorien as his cruising boat for his third time around and was quite happy with his choice for comfort and functionality. The boat has drawn rave reviews from other authorities ranging from The Practical Sailor through Cruising World. You will not find a more capable, good looking performance cruiser for this price.



My personal experience is that a tall rig and a deep ballast means the boat will snap back upright w/o a seakindly motion in all but the heaviest winds. Even though the ad states "comfortable" the combo of tall rig and deep ballast isn't comfortable though it can be safe. Figure they must be referring to other aspects of comfort--ergonomics etc. A heavy boat generally requires more wind and can sail in higher winds. The "with sail appropriately reefed" gets you back to a low aspect rig plus heavy boat...what most cruising vessels are to start out with. So, seemingly, since most of us don't want be running around in 40+ knots of wind but rather prefer say 15-20 knots, the high aspect rig will probably take you places faster in these lower winds--but you won't be as comfortable doing it as you'd be in some other cruising boats. I prefer a full keel boat with cutaway forefoot and keel hung rudder so the skeg rudder isn't something I'd want to see. More likely to catch fishing lines, get damaged when you end up grounding yourself, etc. Just opinions, opinions and everyone has them but hope you can file this opinion away for future reference.

+++++++++++++

Have you learned what is important to YOU in a boat? draft? bluewater? pilothouse/shelter? material of construction? split rig? size? systems? If you can expound on what you think is important to you, many CL members can share insights about their boats or opinions about those boat attributes.

Good luck in your search. It is a great time to be in the market looking for a boat!
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:07 AM   #3
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I've heard lots of sailors complain about sail drives, haven't met one who said he loved his. My impression is, difficult to repair, more likely to be a problem, stay away.

I believe that being debt free makes one's cruising choices freer and takes the stress off living. There are a whole lot of boats looking for new owners, I'm sure that you can find one when you want to. As much as we loved our Watermelon, had it not come available when we were seriously looking I am sure we would have found another boat at least as suitable for us. Perhaps more suitable, who knows?

I personally like Wauquiez boats. Since our Watermelon was a medium to light displacement boat with a high aspect rig and a deep fin keel (well, not terribly deep - 7'2"), I think that their potential for discomfort is exaggerated. (don't take the next comment as an implied criticism of anyone, but) what a lighter, high aspect rig requires is a bit more attention to sail trim, more attention to wind and sea conditions and reefing early.

After a year of owning Watermelon we had still not REALLY learned how to sail her well. After two full years of cruising we were still learning how to sail her, and I would say that the Caribbean was a great teaching ground for that. There are more strong winds, more surprises as one enters and exits the lee of the islands, and more points of sail in order to get home, than any place else we've cruised. Peter says you'd have to be a masochist, though, to do some of the sailing we did. That's another story, though.

Look now, keep looking. See a boat that's pretty, make friends with the owners so you can get to poke around and pick their brains. Get a club racer to talk to you about his (beloved) boat, and how it handles. Look at them all, bribe your way on board as many as you can. You want to know what you like, what you don't like, what others complain bitterly about, what boats are kept tidy and neat because they are easy to keep tidy and neat, what boats are uncomfortable to sit in, rest in, sleep in. As you look you will see some constants of comfort and convenience that will make it easier when you are finally looking for your own boat. the other advantage is you will get a good idea of price and value.

You're on your way, aren't you?

Super.

Jeanne
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:56 AM   #4
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JeanneP--thanks! for giving additional info about having a high aspect rig and the extra attention to conditions that one must pay. I've sailed in light displacement boats with high aspect rigs and know exactly what you're talking about I think I'd probably lay a boat (like SV Watermelon) down in moments of inattention to the land contours, etc.

I have a hard time comparing apples and orange here, but I do know quite certainly that if you have enough weight deep, your boat snaps back to attention in heavy seas unless there are some nice heavy winds to go with it. I don't know if this particular boat has "enough" for that to be a problem--but the ad read so it can be inferred.

And, I do think that it is much easier to sail along (more slowly usually) in a lower aspect, lesser performance rig if you're not much of a sailor or don't know what you're doing. On the other hand, if you need to claw off a lee shore, the last thing you want to be in is a boat that is so forgiving that it doesn't do anything well--including get you out of your predicament. I also know a fellow who sails a boat similar to SV Watermelon with 1 reef in at all times--he's an old fellow, solo sailor, who had one too many knockdowns and decided that he'd rather go slow and stay alive. LOL.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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When Henri Wauquiez's company was building the Wauquiez sail boats they were top class, When they were taken over by a mass production builder in France -- from that day -- well!?

If the Pretorien 35 was built during 1982>>85 by Henri it is regarded as a classic.

I used to crew on Skip and Denise Rowland's 40 something Wauquiez in the King's Cup - we did well, mainly because he insisted that we finish first. Beautiful, good design, strong boats.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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You're on your way, aren't you?

Super.

Jeanne


Yes I am. Certainly on my own pace, but wife and I are on the same page. Chartering, looking, and reading the cruise sites has helped me develop a feel for what I want. I was reading SV Trims blog last night and remember when he was on here a few years ago and now he is doing it. A few more years if we both stay healthy, we will be doing it.

DW
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