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Old 02-12-2010, 02:25 AM   #1
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Hi Guys, This looks like a great forum. I'm recently single, about 3 years now, and want a life change. This lifestyle is what I have always dreamed about and it looks perfect, However its new and I'm sure there are a few learning curves to go through as I head down this path.

Ok Let me explain. I want to semi rtire, I'm a 55 yold guy, Live in Brisbane Australia and I want to slowly cruise up the coast of Oz and work as a consultant from various ports along the way. hopefully I can live this life style for approx 10 years or more. I have no sailing experiance, just a great sense of adventure.

I dont believe that I will have trouble finding work. My problems comes on deciding what type of boat to buy, and where to purchase it from.

To me the power boats being offered out of Florida look sensational an average 40' boat costs around 30k and around 40k to ship here. Is this worth it?

Or should I spend more on a sail boat from there and try and get someone to sail it here for me,

Or should I spend the money here on a trawler etc and do it up to a livable standard her. I am tending toward a power boat because of more room. Boats in the US look better and cheaper. When I read this back I worry myself on how confusing this is..lol.. I will keep every-one informed

My very best regards

Lee
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:34 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard Lee. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Make yourself at home.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:31 AM   #3
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If you're buying a motor cruiser and sailing it up the coast of Queensland into the far north, where are you going to buy fuel?

Your average motor cruiser of around that size needs to stop and refuel about every 24 hours or less, and might need a few tonnes of good quality diesel. Your average sailboat might need refuelling every few months (depending on how much motoring you do) and will get by on far less. Have you costed up a couple of tonnes of diesel at a marina near you? Have you checked the quality of the diesel fuel at the ports heading up the coast, especially north of, say, Mackay?

Not sayin' it can't be done, just sayin'.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:46 AM   #4
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2 good friends of mine after 30 years aboard their 2 yachts, Warlock and Yawarra, and 20 years of cruising under sail, They now love cruising on their new steel motor boat Yawarra II (affectionately known as Y2). A lot of it in the Southern Ocean.

Here is Nick and Jan's website:-

Yawarra II
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:56 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard, Lee!

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the above statement regarding a 40 ft trawler needing to "refuel every 24 hrs or less". We met a 42 ft Ozzy-flagged trawler in the Galapagos (less than a year ago) preparing to motor all the way home to the Gold Coast! The owner reckoned he could make the 3100 miles to Nuku Hiva at five knots with the fuel he carried. I recently managed & operated a 58 ft sport fisherman that kept me busy in the Caribbean for nearly seven years and I could island hop at ten knots for a season on 1200 gallons of diesel... including a generator which ran 24 / 7 while we were out for days (and occasional weeks) at a time. Granted - the Virgin Islands are all within sight of each other and we'd frequently sit in one port or another drinking wine (for days & weeks at a time)... but one can go a lot further with a trawler than most of us sailors are willing to admit... so long as you're not in a great big hurry.

I suggest you buy the most boat you can afford - be it either a m/y or s/y... move aboard and make lots of good friends with owners of both types of vessels!

Whatever you decide - don't let anyone talk you out of your dreams.

To Life!

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Old 02-13-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
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If you're looking at simply pottering up and down the coast up this way and looking at a stable platform as a live aboard and a working base - you may want to consider a cat.

The point raised about having to lug a tonne of fuel about or seeking out a floating service station up here in Far North Queensland if you go down the power path is a valid one. Sail is going to open up far more cruising ground.

Why a cat in this neck of the woods? I'm a keel boat owner and for Blue water and heavy going - we'll stay with a single keel but for being able to get in up on the sand or into the many sheltered and shallow bays and inlets up this way - a cat wins hands down.

Sure - pen fees are going to be higher but if you are in no hurry and wanting the space - check out a cat. More expensive than a keel boat but if inshore sailing is all you intend to do - they might be worth a look.

(For all you offshore cat owners - I wasn't suggesting that they are not a valid blue water in the least. We sailed from Oz and back through New Cal and Vanuatua in the company of a Lightwave 45 and it handled everything thrown at us although we certainly seemed to be able to point far higher in our Alajuela 33. On a reach or downwind - forget it - we were always left far far behind in their 13kt plus wake - but it was nice to finally get to the next anchorage and find them waiting for us with freshly baked banana bread and a latte'

fair winds

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys some great advice. My first option has always been toi purcghase a motor boat, something around 50 to 60 feet, but I thought it was impossible to get it back to OZ without spending 60 to 70 bigones on tranport. The y2 website will force a rethink on that. Thank you.

My next choice is a Ketch and have someone sail that over from Florida for me, hoping that I could tag along as a decky and cook etc for the experiance.

I guess I have about 6 months or so to make a final decision so any help or advice will be carefully listend to I can ensure you. Safety of the crew, the boat and myself will be my first consideration in any aqnd all choices that I make. I just spent a week in Cooktown and watched the grey nomads sail into the harbour and I guess I fell in love with the idea.

My research so far tells me that most live-aboard complaints come from lack of storage and or room to move around, the next issue to overcome seems to be marina rent prices?? when you get a bigger boat, both these valid arguments suggest a trawler type vessel is a better way to go but I'm keeping a very open mind, hence the confusion at this stage.

Again thank you for a great web site. oops probably one more quick question please, what size sailing boat could i expect to handle by myself?

best regards to all Lee
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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Lee, don't forget to factor in the cost of the delivery/crossing AND import duties and taxes.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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We're in Florida right now, and there are bargains out there, but not advertised on the Internet. I did a quick search on all types of powerboats between 35' and 40' and found very few in the $30k price range, even on the "for sale by owner" sites. Those that were seemed to be 40-year old boats, and what was immediately obvious was that none gave the consumption in gallons per hour. In general, 35' to 40' trawlers will run at between 4 and 8 gallons per hour, making around 8 knots. Convertibles or sport fishing boats are usually fuel hogs, with 10 gph a minimum figure, and more often than not, running on gasoline (petrol). What you should be looking at is miles per gallon, diesel. Trawlers will get about 2 miles per gallon. Convertibles or sport fishing boats can be much less efficient, getting 1/4 mile or less per gallon, depending on speed (and old ones are probably gasoline engines). (our friend had a go-fast 40' boat, burned 10-15 gph at mid-range speeds, or about 1 gph).

50'? For one person? That's huge.

We have a very efficient diesel generator, and it burns about 1 liter per hour. Another cost to factor in.

We have a 34' power catamaran. We run at 12 to 14 knots with a consumption of about 4 gph (diesel) at those speeds (about 3 miles per gallon). Slower speeds and we burn about 2.5 gph (still around 3 miles per gallon, though). Our boat is very light, and very expensive - none exist at even 5 times the price you're looking to spend. Also none older than about 8 or 10 y.o.

Now the question is, what do you get for $30k? An old boat. Possibly tired engines (replacing the engines in a power boat is going to cost $30k or more). One 40 y.o. "bargain" made it clear that it needed a lot of work. Not much, anyway, unless you can find a foreclosed, repossessed boat. And little chance of finding that on the Internet.

It's true that in the current economy there are bargains out there, but you are still usually looking at old, tired boat bargains, and you have little chance of finding everything that's wrong with the boat without a survey.

Don't come to the US to buy a boat without being willing to spend several months traveling around looking at what's available, visiting the many boat yards and marinas, and having enough knowledge to first weed out the needy boats without a surveyor being called in.

Sailboats will usually be a bit more expensive initially, but fuel consumption is much less even when motoring a lot (but still only about 3 mpg), fuel is almost always diesel, and you have the option to consume no fuel by sailing. Even more knowledge needed to weed out the bad from the bargain.

Sorry to sound pessimistic, but the woods are full of boats just waiting for a starry-eyed future cruiser to fall for them, only to find out that they are the biggest money sinks out there. Good boats badly maintained, cheap boats that were never that great and 30 years down the road, are not pretty sad, hidden problems and accidents poorly repaired, just so much lying in wait for the unwary - among them some good friends of ours.

Start in Oz, look around at what's available, what's good, what's bad about them, before looking further afield.

After all this, don't stop looking, and feel free to ask as many questions as you can think of. It's doable, but not without some work.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:22 AM   #10
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Thanks again guys. wow what a great site for information.

I'm not sure how we got to 30 k to spend maybe I misled you a little JeanneP, if i have i appologise for that.

The real figure is 100k oz dollars, so I guess at 1k per foot to transport here, then it depends on the size of the boat to get the exact dollar number to spend and yes today i searched trawlers here and found a few that are worth looking at,

I also met a guy who transports boats world wide and he suggests Hawaii. He commented that a lot of people try the yachting lifestyle and make Hawaii then give up and sell their boats cheap.

I just want something large enough to be comfortable, presentable, and can give me the life style that I'm looking for.

I had a heart attack about 6 months ago and realised that life is here to be lived not squandered, definately not to be dedicate to work.

I work in the mining industry and have the chance to consulte around the country, maybe work six moths a year fly in fly out.

You know, funny thing, I sat in an office in Gove a few months back and watched the guys pull into the harbour and wander up to the employment office looking for work, at the time i thought it was sad.

One heart attack and a few weeks ago I sat on the jetty at Cooktowm and watched the same guys sail into the harbour and felt like I had arrived home.

I figure that all i need now is the key to this life style, and I figure sites like this are the shop to pick up that key and the next step is to find the boat. So again thanks folks you are being very helpful, thankyou

Lee
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