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Old 10-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
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Hi I'm a new member living in South Africa. Now that the kids have left the nest, my wife and I wish to go cruising for a few years or more. I have practically no experience but have done my RYA Competent crew and RYA Dayskipper and will do a Coastal Skipper whilst my wife does her Dayskipper. My son is a RYA yachtmaster working for a charter company in the Bahamas.

I would like to hear from experienced cruisers as to what I should look for when choosing a suitable yacht. Though we are presently selling up to go cruising, funds will be scarce, with the poor value of the S.A. Rand, and the fact we lost 2/3rds of what we owned when we left Zimbabwe, being contributing factors. Initially I was looking for something in the 42' range but now feel someting more modest of around 37' may be more approporate (expectations have had to be reduced). I realise in the price range I can afford, the electronics will need replacing, and the yacht will need a lot of work done to it. This should not prove a problem as I ran a 4x4 repair business, and have had experience with GRP and kitcken cabinetry etc.

What I need to know is what attributes, sail plans, extra kit etc I should be looking at, as well as what sort of layout would be best. Its usually best to find out from people who have used their equipment in anger as to what is best. To purchase a yacht and do the modifications only to find I was not on the right page to start with, would be annoying to say the least.

All advice welcome.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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Hi - and welcome aboard.

May I suggest that you and your wife go off to visit a yacht broker and have a look at as many yachts as you can within (and below) your budget. It would then give you a better idea on what specific questions to ask our knowledgable, friendly crew here. See what you can buy for the money available.

You will learn a great deal from this exercise - see the variables first hand and this will arm you with specific questions. Spend the weekend "kicking fenders" at the yacht mole.

I wish you much luck in finding the right boat for the type of cruising in the regions that you wish to "disappear" to. The members here will certainly give you as much guidance as possible before you put your money down.

Good luck and happy hunting.

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Old 10-20-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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WELCOME,

Go to yachworld.com, or any other site like it. You can do some serious window shopping for what appeals to your eye, and what appeals to your budget. Boats are much like cars. Not every car appeals to every person. Read everything you can about purchasing a boat, and of course pick your sons brain too! What I feel is appropriate the next person may think is a dog.......BEST WISHES in finding a boat to serve you & yours well.......i2f
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
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Welcome! to Cruiser Log,

One of the wonderful things that you will soon discover is that one can cruise on a wide variety of sailboats; you'll find folks on boats both large and small, expensively outfitted or bare necessities only--and each is suited to the desires and lifestyle of the owners

Today, it is possible, as in the past, to cruise with charts and sextant quite happily. There are some folks with no electrical systems or and no engine (look up the Pardeys if you wish to learn about minimalist cruising). The saying that cruising takes as much money as you have is really true. If you have $20K US, you will find a suitable boat and kit for that. If you have $200K or $2M US, the same.

Think about your planned cruising grounds, if areas of shallow waters and coral reefs you may find yourself pushing towards a shallow draft boat...or for high latitudes you might consider a pilothouse and a full keel.

Where do you plan to cruise? what are the conditions? what do you find acceptable in terms of "roughing it", e.g. pressure water? refrigeration? space? Do you crave high tech instrumentation and the latest in kit or are you the sort who wants a solid fuel stove and brass lantern in the main saloon? Most of us are somewhere in between. Happily voyaging on a limited income is really all about YOU and what you'll be happy with.

Looking forward to further discussions of your plans and dreams
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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I see from other responses to similar questions asked about cruising yachts that some contributors felt center cockpit yachts are not popular for cruising. I have also seen some say that centre cockpit cruisers are not suitable below a certain length. The reason I ask as here in South Africa there are a number of locally built 36' Lavranos designed Tosca C/Cockpit 'cruisers' (often extended to 39' with a sugar scoop). They appear quite sturdy with high freeboard (which I like), have a good sized aft cabin, but small saloon. What are the pro's and con's of C/C especially in yachts<40'.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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One of the good reasons for a centre cocktpit with a good sized aft cabin is to provide a couple with their own private area - one negative feature is because the aft cabin may be blinded by the

cockpit dodger , breeze on the hook may be impeded - necessitating a wind scoop on the hatch over the aft cabin. Lavaros designs are to be found in every ocean - a testament.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:50 PM   #7
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We were considering C/C cruising boats almost exclusively. This was for many, many years. We loved the idea of the aft cabin and privacy AND higher freeboard to the cockpit. However, we began to realize that our "choice" cruising grounds were going to be higher latitudes with more inclement weather and began looking for boats with a pilothouse, deck saloon, or charthouse. What we found was the sheltered second station was coupled with the aft cockpit. Thus, that is what we ended up with. Quite happily
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
We were considering C/C cruising boats almost exclusively. This was for many, many years. We loved the idea of the aft cabin and privacy AND higher freeboard to the cockpit. However, we began to realize that our "choice" cruising grounds were going to be higher latitudes with more inclement weather and began looking for boats with a pilothouse, deck saloon, or charthouse. What we found was the sheltered second station was coupled with the aft cockpit. Thus, that is what we ended up with. Quite happily
Redbopeep, I'd be interested to see your layout. I think it might be similar to mine. I have a Vanguard 1150 (anyone else seen or heard of one of these -- Dutch built boat?) with an aft cockpit and a fairly high doghouse. This leads to a fairly sheltered seated position under cover, but still with views over the poop deck and all around in front (except for the mast of course).

Photos of mine are here: http://www.babel.com.au/del/gallery2.../chiarastella/ -- there's a floor plan too of what's below decks. I should mention that there's a forward facing companionway into the aft cabin (which I didn't like) but the main route to the aft cabin is the companionway under decks along the starboard side of the boat, which also contains the main clothing storage areas (galley being port side and the single head located forward).

It's 38ft on deck (11.5m), 42ft overall including the bowsprit and the aries windvane gear. I have to say I quite like this size as it's big enough to live on comfortably for extended periods for me and my cat, 5 can live downstairs comfortably for short periods, while not being too big so that I can't handle it by myself if I have to. I had a hankering for something larger when I first went boat shopping but I have to say that the things that I looked at in the 42 - 45 ft range just felt too big for me.

Oh, and I should add that it's 14 tonnes, being steel with much wood panelling down below. Or, as my friends will tell you, I actually have a 10 tonne boat with 4 tonnes of electronics.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
I have a Vanguard 1150 (anyone else seen or heard of one of these -- Dutch built boat?)
Here's another 1150 called Moonwalker - excellent strong boat made of Corten steel - Koopman design - click HERE

The Dutch are certainly expert in steel construction. I have been assisting a friend in re-engineing

his Henk Tingen Steel Ketch - and when you get the old engine out you find the quality that the builders put into the hull.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Redbopeep, I'd be interested to see your layout.
Hi, I think we're a bit of a different layout. We have a lot of pics and have posted images of some of the Naval Architect's drawings of the boat's interior on our website which can be accessed via our blog. The blog is password protected (must register to get in) and we only let two users on at a time (don't want to slow down our server, sorry)...but given the limitations, there are still quite a few images there. None of the pics are of the inside layout since it was gutted when we got the boat and we're still rebuilding but the drawings are useful.

Our charthouse had an inside steering station which we'll have again, but the charthouse is low to the deck and doesn't have too much windage. In the recent pic below (where hubby and helper are carrying the windlass by the charthouse, you can see the scale of it. One is able to see out all around with the exception of looking up to the masts above. Here's a link to a larger view of the same image: Link



Our boat is larger than we'd planned on at 54' length on deck and 29 tons...
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Here's another 1150 called Moonwalker - excellent strong boat made of Corten steel - Koopman design - click HERE

The Dutch are certainly expert in steel construction. I have been assisting a friend in re-engineing

his Henk Tingen Steel Ketch - and when you get the old engine out you find the quality that the builders put into the hull.
Heh ... that's the one I bought and renamed "Chiara Stella".
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:14 PM   #12
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I had a aft cockpit 37 for many years and then moved up to a 45' CC. I love the clear view from there as well as being in the middle of the boat during rough seas, much smoother and dryer. For me I will never go back to an aft cockpit, there are too many benefits from a CC. You gotta love all the different styles out there. There is something for everyone.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:47 AM   #13
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Africanrefugee - Hi, I hope I can make a useful suggestion. If looking for a reasonably priced ocean cruising yacht a good place to start is Cape Town. Hang around there in early summer - many a good boat has been launched in Durban with the idea of heading to the Caribbean. One big storm on the way to CT (and you know how big the waves get off the Wild Coast) and the wife will be leaving the boat and making the ultimatum of 'either me or the boat'. Sadly many guys have chosen the wife. (sorry ladies, but it is a fact that you generally don't cope too well with hardship).

I would steer clear of the backyard ferro-concrete jobs as you really don't know what you are getting. The Angelo Lavranos boats are generally a good design.

I hope this helps.

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Old 11-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #14
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IMHO the best way of getting best possible value is to look for an existing cruiser - almost forgetting the style of yacht - as opposed to first resolving what design etc and then going trough the job of turning it into a cruiser.

As others have said - you can cruise on almost anything and we each have our preferences.

But when the budget is low you don't need to be paying monies to add on new bits to a yacht, especially when you can buy a boat someone else has lavished thier funds on but no longer needs.

Don't rush - keep youe eyes open via the web and locally - the right boat will come along.

Good luck in the search - and keep us posted on what you get.

JOHN
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