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Old 01-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Hi all,

First of all i would like to say hi and introduce myself as a possible and hopefully keen contributor to this site.

To start straight of the bat is a question to any who care the time to respond.

In 5 years from now which puts me at 50 I will be well into financial security (considering all goes to plan) and totally intend to pursue a life long dream. Now 13 years ago BC (before children) I had the dream to build a cruiser and sail around Australia and if all went well the world. Well I am happy to forego on the build your own boat plans but definitely keen to pursue the sailing dream.

Now due to work and lifestyle at the moment I am unable to spend alot of time on the water but have managed to do a bareboat here and there and a few sailing courses along the way. My skills are there but obviously not as great as I would like.

So is it possible that buying a big boat and heading north along the east Coast of Australia with little off shore experience a good idea or am I totally mad?

Also is there some sort of cruising gang that you can join up with where you head off in groups to locations like a wagon train, offering each other support along the way?

Your thoughts and opinions on the above would be greatly appreciated.

Once again thank you for taking the time time to read the post and look forward to be being a keen member.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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A hearty "Welcome Aboard". The VBs are on "Delatbabel" this week.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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Not daft at all. What do you mean by a "big boat". You can do it in a lot less than a big boat (which I consider anything over 40 feet).

Here's a link to our log of our trip up the coast back in '97, bad weather and all Mooloolaba to Darwin

I'm a bit of a whinger - I was still recuperating from a year of pain and treatment and the weather was less than ideal. It was an interesting trip, and it would probably have been better had we gotten an earlier start.

You might find some gathering boats in Manly or Mooloolaba/Buddina. Manly has so many marinas and so many boats that there are bound to be some boats heading north.

Good luck.

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Old 01-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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What do you mean by a "big boat".
I have it my head that a something around 50' - 55' Steel Pugh or similar is what I like. I know its more than what I need but I do like my space.
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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but I do like my space.
This is a common statement among people who haven't owned a big boat. It always makes me smile. A 40' boat is a big boat in terms of cruising. A 55 ft steel boat = huge and heavy. The responsibility that comes with huge and heavy is...huge and heavy when getting in and out of tight spots, slips, anchoring in a crowded anchorage...

The cost of operation/berthing/maintenance is not linear.

You don't mention a sailing partner/spouse etc. It is very difficult, after a boat reaches a certain size, for it to be solo cruised. Further, the larger the boat, the more likely it will be a costly vessel and you'll want to insure it--but the insurers don't like inexperienced cruisers nor do they like solo cruisers on big boats.

Having said all that, if you're a risk taker and you are not budget minded, these are moot points.

I'd suggest that you charter a few boats similar to what you are considering--or you find owners who will take you on as crew for a little jaunt or two so that you can see the performance and work associated with the types of boats your interested in. Your views may change, or you may settle into a happy comfort level in terms of getting a really big boat.

Fair winds,
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:33 PM   #6
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I'd suggest that you charter a few boats similar to what you are considering--or you find owners who will take you on as crew for a little jaunt or two so that you can see the performance and work associated with the types of boats your interested in. Your views may change, or you may settle into a happy comfort level in terms of getting a really big boat.
This is a most sensible advise. Nothing like a hands on experience. As far as I am concerned a "big boat" is any boat larger then what I can handle all by myself. A boat that can be singlehanded gives the gift of looking at your crew as a great luxury rather then a necessity.

Fair winds
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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HI Bugsy

I am a 63 year old who spent 7 years as a liveaboard on a 38 foot steel yacht in my 40s and is now cruising in a 44 foot medium displacement boat with a cruising partner about 50% of the time. I would not want a bigger boat even if I was given one for free. Why ? well you need crew on the bigger stuff especialy if something goes wrong. I can manage sail hoists, tuck in a reef, recover anchors, pickup buoys and go alongside on my own and without winches if I have to. That is not as easy and may not even be possible on a 55 footer.

Quote:
Also is there some sort of cruising gang that you can join up with where you head off in groups to locations like a wagon train, offering each other support along the way?
As to the above the answer is a quaified YES. Most cruisers follow well establiched routes with specific and sometimes quite small weather windows See World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell. There are rallies the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is one and informal buddy boating is very common.

However the benefits are mostly psychological, if you have a major problem it is not likely that another boat will be able to aid you mid ocean. Yes rescues have taken place by the 'buddy boat' however they are the exception that proves the rule.

http://sailingonelep...d.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:01 AM   #8
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HI Bugsy

I am a 63 year old who spent 7 years as a liveaboard on a 38 foot steel yacht in my 40s and is now cruising in a 44 foot medium displacement boat with a cruising partner about 50% of the time. I would not want a bigger boat even if I was given one for free. Why ? well you need crew on the bigger stuff especialy if something goes wrong. I can manage sail hoists, tuck in a reef, recover anchors, pickup buoys and go alongside on my own and without winches if I have to. That is not as easy and may not even be possible on a 55 footer.

As to the above the answer is a quaified YES. Most cruisers follow well establiched routes with specific and sometimes quite small weather windows See World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell. There are rallies the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is one and informal buddy boating is very common.

However the benefits are mostly psychological, if you have a major problem it is not likely that another boat will be able to aid you mid ocean. Yes rescues have taken place by the 'buddy boat' however they are the exception that proves the rule.

http://sailingonelep...d.blogspot.com/
G'day you two. Sure hope 'bugsy' pays due attention to what you've said. There is much knowledge there in such few words, hope he doesn't overlook that. I've been 'messing around in boats' since before he was born both as a way of life & a business. I've just sailed on a couples first boat - a 50' steel cruising sloop rigged - 23 ton - fully set-up to go cruising. They have know absolutely no idea of how to handle a vessel of such size, weight, volume & awkwardness as all large yacht invariably are. After 5 wks of trying to advise them & getting paid for it - I got off the yacht before someone or something - got broke - seriously. As the saying goes - 'you can't put brains in monuments'. NOT good at all. I would suspect, like Brenda said - most 'newbie's' - seem to think, - - bigger is better; that might be when securely anchored in port & in the cockpit having 'sundowners' on a lovely sunny afternoon however the whole scene changes very quickly & invariably goes 'pear-shape' when one needs to take control of a situation that is 'not written' in the books. Big boats require - many years of 'hands-on' experience - many experienced yacht-knowledgeable strong people & VERY very deep pockets. There are few exceptions to this general rule. He should pay much attention to many experienced people in these forums who have 'been-there' - 'done-that' & I'm sure then that the size of his choice will diminish accordingly. I sure hope so. Whilst I wish 'bugsy' much enjoyment, I sincerely hope he goes - softly, softly. It might do well for him to remember - - 'fools jump in where angles fear to tread'

TQA - great web 'thread' you put above. Now these people 'can' sail & get the most from their adventures. Thanks for that. Helps to keep my 'soul' alive til I get back to sea. Ciao from 'JJ-geri-hat-trick' james.

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Old 01-29-2011, 06:32 AM   #9
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Just got back from some "time" on a 60 footer... Wow did I miss my 34!!! One of the most noticed problems was DRAFT... Our Tartan drafts 6'3" and I thought that was bad until I tried to navigate near shore with nearly 8 feet below me!!! There wasn't any doing "on my own" without the electric winches and help from at least two crew when the wind piped up... We had no chance of getting under any of the bridges on the inland route... Oh, and when you do have enough crew onboard for proper watches, then the "room" you wanted so bad is taken up by others, and as most on this board know: crew choice is one of the deciding factors in trip enjoyment! It took quite a bit longer to get her underway than a smaller vessel. I would really been bummed if the windlass gave out in a poor anchorage (and you know that is when they do). We had to anchor farther out in the anchorages than I was used to in order to have swing room. Oh, and most really cool third world marinas can't accomodate anything over 35-40 feet!

That said, I have met couples with large sailing yachts that they handled well (As long as no real emergency showed its ugly head). And a few that are downright good at it... But they have all sailed for years and years.

We wanted a boat we could still be sailing when we get older and weaker (Yes, that happens to some of us!). We got GREAT advice here, and someday we plan on "knowing" something... Until then, we will chime in occassionally and at least act like we have learned a bit from the wonderfully helpful people on this site.

The poster seems to have the right spirit and the fortitude necessary to carry from dream to reality. Moreover, they have the love of adventure and wanderlust that most of us can't shake. Here's to them, and the others like them here that all share our love for the oceans, and especially the people of this planet!

Thankful to all,

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Old 02-03-2011, 11:00 AM   #10
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Wow I thought this thread was dead and buried and so I went missing for a bit only to find there is exactly what I was looking for.

GREAT HONEST HELPFUL ADVICE.

Its this sort of thing that encourages me to continue on because of you fantastic people who have taken the time to share your thoughts and hopefully guide me the right direction. I like everything you have said and yes i de agree with you. That's right I am new and a bloke so my philosophy was bigger is better well you all have justified that is not the case.

A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL.

Ok in saying that is there any one who can give an opinion on the following boat;

Boro 42

1990

Steel

Just a general thought into how this boat would handle a trip up the east coast of Australia.

Once again thank you.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #11
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We are glad to help you here. We hope to hear more about your plans and progress as you go towards your goal of cruising.

An aside here regarding attitudes towards big vs small boats--I really believe that it is best for folks to go with the smallest boat they can work with unless they've got a good sized cruising kitty. I also believe it is best for folks to simplify to the point of being able to maintain everything aboard and not being overwhelmed by the complexity of their boat and its systems (whether or not they've got funds for other folks to fix complex things). Smaller and simpler are the goals then. We happen to presently have a unique cruising boat in that it is a larger boat (54'deck 69'LOA) and it was built as a cruising boat 80 years ago and we (mostly) use it as it was used so long ago. I won't get into the details of our particular (and peculiar) choice as it is unique choice that I wouldn't recommend for most cruisers.

However, owning a bigger boat, I have a lot of "big boat" friends and can say that there is no absolute about the who and why of big boat sailors and which ones are amazingly capable vs the ones who are not. There are no stereotypes that hold true other than the fact that a bad sailor on a big boat will shortly have "incidents" which at best are regrettable and at worst cost lives. Just because someone has sailed forever doesn't mean they will be able to handle rough or emergency conditions on a big boat; just because someone is a new sailor doesn't mean they won't be able to do so smartly. It is a matter very individual to the person more than to the boat.

The odds are pretty great, though, in all our favor, that almost any sailor with a little experience CAN handle a smaller boat (less than mid-30 ft range or say 12 or so tons) without getting into too much trouble that he/she can't get out of. This is great news because the smaller boats are more affordable and generally easier to get into tight anchorages or marinas where a larger boat won't fit. Lots of reasons to go small.

Yes, many non-cruisers romanticize the idea of cruising on a large boat. However, unfortunately, I find a surprising number of non-cruiser boat owners /sailors with what I call "inverse snob" behavior towards large boat owners. What is this? It is the small boat owner who generalizes and stereotypes the large boat owner or large boat experience in a negative manner. Beware of this. Just as you should beware of people who recommend a boat of a certain minimum size and ignore all the great really small (30' or some less) cruising boats. The best way to really learn about owning and cruising aboard a large boat (or small) is to talk to owners of boats like those you're considering. Get their opinions and experiences. You will likely find it very difficult to solo sail anything large without excessive equipment reliance that can be risky. However, if you're sailing with skilled crew aboard, your situation will be different. You will also likely find it very difficult to be self sufficient for long periods of time with a really tiny boat. All boats have their strengths and weaknesses and you'll only learn about them by talking to people who actually own those particular boats.

The happy small boat owner will give you valuable information about owning a small boat. Suggest you take with a grain of salt what he/she says about the big boats--even if he/she once owned a bigger boat. Often, it is only cost (a big important "only" though) which keeps people out of big boats or forces them to downsize; but for some reason folks won't just 'fess up to it and move on. The exception to all this is when you run across older folks who have downsized into a smaller boat that is more manageable physically. These wise folks will often give you the honest truth in terms of what they loved about their big boat and what they now love about their small boat.

The happy large boat owner will give you valuable information about owning a large boat. Suggest you take with a grain of salt what he/she says about the small boats unless he/she once owned a smaller boat. Again, it is often money that makes the decision here too--the small boat owner moves up to the bigger boat when they have the funds to do so. Once in the bigger boat, though, they often forget the conveniences of the small boat in terms of handling.

All of the above is just my opinion. Since we have a classic boat of the sort that very few people cruise aboard, my view from left field may or may not be helpful to you!

Fair winds,
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:35 AM   #12
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Well it certainly impresses me that so many are willing to offer advice in helping me make the right choices. I totally understand and accept your opinions thank you very much.

My cruising will more than hopefilly not be alone, I do intend to do this with my family or at the least 1 of my family members. So the crew will consist of at least 2 when sailing (inclusing myself). My intentions are to buy a boat, sail around Port Philip Bay for a while to learn about the boat. Then do a couplke of very short Bass Straight passages as I prepare to plan for the East Coast adventure. If all that goes well then the world will be my oyster. Where have I heard that before hmmmm. lol.

Anyway without holding a gun to anyones head I would dearly love to have some guidence on the following. Now buying a boat is going to be a huge exercise and buying the right type of boat is something that many people have opinions on.

Now we would all like a indestructible boat but they already tried that in building the Titanic, well in saying that it wasnt really the boats fault was it.

I am looking for low maintenance, good comfortable boat that can offer as much saftey as a boat can offer.

So what type should I be looking at and can I get something good for AU$100k or less. Comfort is the big factor for me rather than speed and of course as much saftey I can get is good.

I have looked at GRP, Steel and Ferro. Would you buy a Ferro boat, they look as nice as others and are alot cheaper but why?

So what is your opinion on what boat I should be looking at? Material type that is.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:16 AM   #13
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Please disregard my previous post.

I thank you all so far for the honest feedback you have given.

I am now reading the book

Handbook of Offshore Cruising: The Dream and Reality of Modern Ocean Cruising

By Jim Howard, Charles J. Doane

and it seems to be answering a lot of questions. If I make it to the end of this book and am still keen on going then I am sure I will have a better insight into what type of questions I can ask.

Once again thank you and I will be back soon.

PS: I am however entertaining the thought of a nice looking Steel Cruising Yacht

http://vicsailwesternport.boatpoint....33&TabID=95308

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Old 02-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
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I am looking for low maintenance, good comfortable boat that can offer as much safety as a boat can offer.

So what type should I be looking at and can I get something good for AU$100k or less. Comfort is the big factor for me rather than speed and of course as much saftey I can get is good.

I have looked at GRP, Steel and Ferro. Would you buy a Ferro boat, they look as nice as others and are alot cheaper but why?

So what is your opinion on what boat I should be looking at? Material type that is.
Hi Bugsy, I can remember the Gangster movies !! Another day.

Would not consider a Ferro boat unless I knew it's history very well - even it was built professionally, still would like to know a detailed history. Not to say that ferro is inherently a problem mix of materials for a hull - BUT if water gets in then the reinforcing iron oxidises, expands and results in real problems.

AS far as finding a boat with low maintenance, that depends almost entirely on how the previous owner looked after the boat - here one needs to see and understand a maintenance log if it was kept. This is just one item a surveyor of your choice would be contracted to give his professional opinion " Does this Boat indicate that it has been well maintained ??"

In my experience boats that require low maintenance are those that have enjoyed TLC on a daily basis - which requires some level of basic hand and power tool skill - understanding 12v DC and 110/240 AC systems. Have on board workshop manuals for all the mechanical equipment - and able to interpret these.

I would buy welding equipment, learn how to use it. Learn about Epoxy coatings, and find a steel boat with one mast under 40ft for around $70,000 AU.
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