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Old 02-28-2007, 05:02 PM   #1
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I'm posting this topic on behalf of a friend of mine who is in the market for a new boat. His budget is in the region of £150K or thereabouts.

The primary goal is to buy a boat that meets the following criteria : ---

Capable of undertaking a safe, comfortable circumnavigation for 4 - 5 crew.

Length anywhere from 40 to 50+ feet

His current exposure to different boats is pretty limited so some key questions arise. I've shared my experiences and preferences with him but it always helps to solicit other peoples advice!

You could probably buy a newish mass production 45ft+ yacht like a Jeanneau, Bavaria, Dufour etc, quite comfortably for this kind of money. But do they make good ocean going yachts? A lot of them seem to have pretty light displacments and rely on the newer designed fin keels (fine for light cruising but perhaps a tad uncomfortable and less stable on offshore passages?)

Being based in the UK, it is hard to avoid the reputation of the Oyster Yachts. Even a 1990 vintage 485 or 55 will set you back £200K but do you "get what you pay for"?

Would he be better to dig deep and buy (1) a very well equipped but much older yacht like an Oyster, Hylas, etc (2) go for the middle ground and get a well configured cruiser like the Island Packet 45 or (3) buy a cheaper mass production yacht and spend some money on it.

All thoughts, feedback and discussion would be appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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Hi Magor,

This is one of those how-long-is-a-piece-of-string questions. You have mentioned many of the world's best brands and while there are some who will criticise boats such as Jenneau and Beneteau, they all have proven themselves as world cruisers.

My preference is for a long keel and if I had the dollars to openly choose, I would pick a big Island Packet. However, my much less expensive boat has a full keel, canoe stern and is a sloop with an inner staysail. While she has contested the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, many racing purists will claim she is a barge.

My 'wet' season next door neighbour is circumnavigating on his Bavaria 50. I'm envious, but the bottom line is that I would still feel more confident in mine in a big blow, purely because of the short handed nature of my cruising and the underwater configuration of my hull.

I still feel the best way to select a cruising home is to have a basic set of criteria on how and what will be suitable for the chosen cruising grounds....then stand on a lot of yachts. One will eventually scream "I am the one". Then it is a matter of a little rum for Neptune and 'let's prove the world is flat'.

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Old 02-28-2007, 10:18 PM   #3
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Hi David

Thanks for the input. All views are helpful. I too like the big Island Packets. I'll pass your views on since I think the best advise comes from those who "done a bit and seen a bit". If nothing else, it might help to narrow down his short list.


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Old 02-28-2007, 11:26 PM   #4
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Everyone has a different idea of what works. We opted for a big old full keel girl who doesn't mind the storms, heaves-to well, is a ketch so not so hard on us older folk, has gorgeous living space, and more wood than many enjoy. By the time we repaired and outfitted with the mod coms, we probably spent about what your friend has available and have fixed her up the way we want her. Would I have liked a new boat? Well, maybe. Would I have liked something already fixed up and ready to go? Obviously. Did I have the money to have everything I wanted? Nope. And, yes, I'd rather go to weather better than Sea Venture does, but in the long run, how much time cruising is spent beating? Some, surely, but are we in that much of a hurry? I think, when all is said and done, I'd rather have the stability and the ability to slide over crab pots and lines and sit up on bars instead of breaking a keel or a rudder. And I like being able to use the jib and jigger when the going gets rough. But, that's my preference.

If I were your friend, I'd do what David says and try out different boats. See what makes him comfortable.


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Old 03-01-2007, 09:35 AM   #5
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This question gets asked a lot on the various boards..

But for what it's worth there are a few schools of thought. One is the full keel etc, the next is something faster with a longish fin keel and a skeg rudder, the those that go for the fin keel spade rudder choices.

Personally I'm a fan of the middle ground boats. I like boats that are built to a higher standard and designed more for getting out there than the normal production boats.

I would suggest looking at [in no order] : Passport, Hylas, Shannon, Moody, Oyster, Hallberg Rassy, Wauquiez, certain Tayanas [48/52] to name a few.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
My preference is for a long keel and if I had the dollars to openly choose, I would pick a big Island Packet.
I would agree that the Island Packet would be my first choice as well. However, having been following the progress of Cisnecito on their circumnavigation, I'm extremely impressed by some of the average daily crossing distances that they have made with their 47' Swan.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:44 PM   #7
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['Magor' date='Feb, 06:02 PM' post='5169']

"His budget is in the region of £150K or thereabouts. The primary goal is to buy a boat that meets the following criteria : --- Capable of undertaking a safe, comfortable circumnavigation for 4 - 5 crew. Length anywhere from 40 to 50+ feet"
The difficulty in responding to the basic criteria set by Magor's friend is one of being constructive, ie : A typical sailing circumnavigation of the world is by the trade winds and the Suez and Panama canals; This is a route followed by many cruising sailors; the use of the trade winds makes it a relatively easy sail, although it passes through a number of zones of calms or light winds. The distance (without meandering too much) no less than 20,000 nautical miles - as much as 25,000 nautical miles. At a average cruising speed of 4 knots - 100nm/day without stopping - our cruisers are looking at 8 months of very close proximity.

So with the above in mind and sticking with 4 crew on board for the whole journey - what size yacht ? In determining this fundamental question, the factors :- of number cabins; of privacy; of escape distance; of congeniality, all must be considered seriously (not forgetting that our friend wants a comfortable circumnavigation)

What are the collective skills of our crew in terms of their ability to ensure that the yacht's entire systems are maintained at a standard that will enable least reliance on external repairs and cost?

Is the friend's budget of £150,000 just for the purchase of the boat ? Or does it include all the costs of the comfortable circumnavigation ?

If we have answers to most of the above then we might get closer to what size of yacht, it's type, it's price.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:07 AM   #8
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What about a catamaran? 4 to 5 crew means a lot of people on board a 45 foot monohull. 4 to 5 crew on a catamaran is nothing, space wise. Advantages: Faster, way more space, usually 2 of everything means redundancy when something breaks, better ride sailing, no rolling at anchorage, easier to manuever, shallower draft, etc. A lot of people are cruising catamarans...more every year.

Monohulls: I like the Island Packets monohulls, but see very few out cruising. I don't know what you heard about Jeanneau and Beneteau's but I see a lot of monohull Beneteau's and Jeanneau's and no one has ever mentioned a problem. The Beneteau's make real great cruisers, easy to handle for a couple and are good sailing boats. Nice cockpits which is very important for cruising.

Important things...it's important to have good "cruising" equipment...watermakers, solar, radar, gps, anchors, batteries, etc. Buying a great sailing boat without this stuff means it's a coastal boat.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:40 AM   #9
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We cruised for more than 16 years on a Jeanneau Sun Fizz, which in 1981 was a "modern Racer-Cruiser." Light to moderate displacement, relatively deep fin keel. She was quick, went to weather well provided one reefed early, and was very roomy and had tons of efficient and easily accessible storage space. We went through a lot of heavy seas and bad weather, rode out (at anchor) several hurricanes and cyclones, including one that came through a place where hurricanes don't go. Hah!

http://www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon11.asp first paragraph, our quick trip from American Samoa to Niuatoptapu, Tonga. Ours was the lightest boat in the group that went there, and we did it about five hours faster than any of the other boats. That is one of the big differences between heavy full-keeler and a lighter, quicker, better pointing fin keeler.

Some of the people we've met on those heavy "cruiser friendly" boats suffered blue water passages a lot worse than we did. There was never a passage where I couldn't cook a hot meal or brew coffee every day.

Our Sun Fizz is much cheaper to buy than your friend's budget. He couldn't spend that much on one even if he did a complete refit with all new standing rigging. However, it is a different boat to sail than a heavy boat, and your friend needs to sail some of these boats to see what he will be comfortable with.

If we were younger and still sailing, I think that I would lobby for a catamaran. I do not believe that a multihull is a good boat for older, less experienced sailors, but I don't have enough experience with them to state this with any authority.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 03-02-2007, 12:04 PM   #10
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I've had my eye on a Cal 44 Ketch built back in the 1970s for a circumnavigation, the only problem for me is my current budget. My sailmaker in Virginia has told me new sails all 'round will cost around 12,000 for what I want to do.

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Old 03-02-2007, 05:06 PM   #11
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Dear All

Many thanks for your interest and replies. It is always very useful to learn from the experience of others. I've passed the information onwards and I think the general sentiment is "less haste, more speed". My pal intends to spend more time looking and trying a few for size before making the big leap.

Thanks again

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Old 03-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #12
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Just for clarification: I was driving along yesterday and for some reason this topic came to mind, especially my last post in which I talked about costs for us. What I realized is that I'd done calculations in my head based on the Euro as opposed to English pounds--no way did we spend the equivalent in dollars of the pounds your friend has available. Seems to me with that kind of money, he ought to be able to do well as long as he's not after the high end boats--or wanting to tick it out with everything high end.
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:57 PM   #13
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Major, the first thing I'd recommend he do is shop where the prices are in USD vs £ or Euros. With the current dollar at 1.9 or so to the £ he can get a lot of boat for his money.

If you figure 1/2 of the money for the boat and the rest for the trip then you're looking at about $150,000 for a purchace, leaving nearly that for the cruise. Do that search on Yacht world and there are any number of boats available.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by XTR View Post
I'd recommend he do is shop where the prices are in USD vs £ or Euros.
Sound financial advice, but consider the implications of the European Small Craft Directive when buying a boat outside the EU




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