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Old 11-12-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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Hello everyone
This is my first post on here so please be gentle with me. I am seekin some advice about what boats would be suitable for a family of 4 to curcumnavigate on. We have no real preferences yet as we have never sailed. Also what options are there for work while we're out sailing the high seas. I have a back ground in diesel mechanicing and my wife is a perpetual student. I have been recently laid off and we're interested in using everything in savings to just buy a boat and leave. Is this even a plauseable idea let alone a practical one?
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:52 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention the kids are a boy of 9 and girl of 7.
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. You'll find this group to be a little kinder-gentler that some of the other online sailing forums.

If you intend coastal cruising or just island hopping in the Caribbean you have many more choices than if you want a bluewater capable boat. What is your budget and where do you intend to sail? Do you already sail?
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:21 PM   #4
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We will be doing complete curumnavigations so we will be in need of a decent blue water boat. As for budget we're figuring around 50k ish depending on how decently equipt it is as we know we will need a water maker and a hooka diving system
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:49 AM   #5
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Hi bschlott. This is a fairly typical first question and lots of information can be gained by travelling around the various yachting forums and using the Search facility.

Your budget is adequate for an older vessel of about 38' and most people here will tell you to buy a steel yacht, although I have a personal preference for ferrocement due to initial cost being much lower. Timber requires a serious maintenance commitment and fibreglass doesn't offer much margin for safety on such a trip if you manage to collide with a rock or a reef. Whatever you buy, it should be rigged for easy single-handed sailing. The single-masted sloop and cutter rigs are probably the most common, with dual masts (ketch, schooner, yawl) becoming rare.

The first issue to contend with is to ensure that all members of the family can handle it. A friend of mine was recently given a ferro yacht after the new owner did a short delivery trip and discovered that his wife and both daughters were seasick the whole time and refused to go aboard the yacht ever again. So try to go out with someone in their yacht for a weekend, or rent one for a week and see how it all goes.

Sailing is mostly long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror as you try to figure out what's happening in an emergency. From the sounds of it you will be the primary person responsible for dealing with such emergencies, so at this stage you should start studying all the systems on a yacht and how they work. Very handy being a diesel mechanic for a start but skills in woodwork, electrical wiring, plumbing, sewing, tying knots, learning what food to stock for the journey so that it doesn't perish, cooking, computer skills and 1001 other things are also necessary. You can't just call a plumber out there if the head blocks up or one of the thru-hulls starts to leak.

To make the actual trip, the yacht will need to be on a national register (not necessarily the US register), all family members and crew will need passports, radio licences will need to be acquired by at least one person, visas will need to be obtained for all countries visited which don't have reciprocal agreements with the USA, and you'll need to be aware of customs notification requirements before arrival. You can only clear customs at certain ports (see the government websites for that) and will need to fill out a bunch of documents. This page has a excellent summary:

DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEED €”

I'd strongly suggest that you acquire training to at least RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal level. This will then allow you to get an International Certificate of Competence, which is required in Europe. But you can do that in stages, Europe doesn't need to be your first destination.

You could easily do a month on blue water without a watermaker if the tanks are 1000 gallons or so, and watermakers require a LOT of maintenance. Just remember, hot showers are a luxury out there and you'll generally rinse the dishes in seawater before washing them. A hookah diving system could be useful in the tropics for cleaning the hull or finding something dropped overboard, but a PADI diving cert wouldn't go astray for safety reasons.

Expect to spend the next two years in preparation. By the time you set off you'll know enough to figure out how to make a living. Many people alternate between cruising and working a standard job. And who knows, maybe some of your wife's "perpetual studies" will lead to an alternative source of income.

Most of all, get out there and have a blast. May you never be the same again.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:57 AM   #6
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Correction: Water tankage for a month only needs to be about 1000 litres, not gallons. i.e. about 250-260 US gallons.

The average adult uses about 10 litres a day, and can survive on 2.5 litres.

It's a fairly normal practice to top up your tanks with rainwater collected in a bucket.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:55 AM   #7
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Look at the prices of boats in different places around the world before you buy. It's common to find cheap boats for sale around the Pacific Islands, SE Asia and sometimes the E coast of the USA. Be prepared to look at many different countries to find something in your budget.

If you're going cruising the world it really doesn't matter where you start from. Oh, except Somalia. Don't buy a boat in Somalia.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:18 PM   #8
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Well I do have my advanced open water diving cert through padi already and the plan is to get my dive master cert sometime in the near future. As far as the water maker I guess we could live without it but for piece of mind it's something we would like to have lol. We are are just really trying to find the "brand" name of some boats people feel are good enough to sail in deep water. Also hoping maybe there will be some people who have sailed enough places to give a rough idea as to some ways to be able to earn about 2000-2500 a month without having to come back to the U.S. To do it. Thanks for the responses so far
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
The following article contains a lot of good information for anyone looking to buy an offshore cruising yacht.
Hope it helps.
Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:47 AM   #10
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Good news on the diving cert. Delay that thought about a watermaker until you study the pickling procedure necessary to winterize one. They are truly a PITA and a power hog.

Brand names are for people with unlimited cash. Look for a steel 38'er in the $30k range and budget the remaining $20k on fixing it. Any yacht of this price will need "modernization" with LED lights, newer instruments and radios and maybe a bit of welding and paint. You may just find a bargain in a yacht with a dodgy diesel, and we all know you can fix that. :-)

Buy in haste, repent at leisure. And remember the two happiest days of a sailor's life are the day he buys his yacht, and the day he sells it.

Tell you what, find a few you like the look of and we'll tell you what's wrong with them. :-)
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Old 11-14-2015, 03:42 PM   #11
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If I were to do it all again this is the sort of deal I'd be looking for:

36 FT Rebuilt Boden- Excellent boat for serious sailing | Sail Boats | Gumtree Australia Albury Area - Albury | 1078503107

This one is a little smaller than you need for the family but if you read the details you'll see what I mean. Happens more often than you might imagine, btw.

I can also highly recommend Cap'n Fatty Goodlander's "How to Buy, Outfit and Sail a Small Vessel Around the World." The Kindle edition is a mere $7.67 and worth far more. He's a great fan of the fibreglass yacht but apart from that all the advice given is spot on.

http://www.amazon.com/Outfit-Sail-Ca.../dp/B00638SJII
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #12
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I agree with your assessment of the Goodlander bloke's book (in fact many of his books) and also of the Pardey's low cost cruising guides. However, I don't understand your reluctance to promote GRP as a good building material for boats.

Over the years I have heard many criticisms of timber, aluminium, ferro cement, steel, glass over ply etc. as building materials, and recognise that any badly built boat is dangerous. But a well built boat made from any medium will generally withstand the rigours of the sea. Concrete boats developed a bad name because so many were home built and were terrible, with many suffering catastrophic failures through groundings, and even from being side swiped by other boats. Similarly, trimarans got a bad name for being underbuilt by DIY'ers with more enthusiasm than talent.

Some hard chined steel boats sail like a block of flats, and without constant maintenance (I have a rolled steel boat) they will deteriorate faster than boats built from any other material. New technology in building and the development of hi-tech polyesters mean modern GRP boats are almost unmatched in low maintenance toughness. Old fibreglass boats are a different animal. Often people will say something like "My 1975 boat is built like a tank. One and a half inches of glass in the bottom, unlike the flimsy boats of today". Of course this is bulls**t. Old style glass becomes brittle, suffers from osmosis, and is just another fallible material. It's almost the same as the old timer saying "They don't make cars like they used to......". Well thank God for that! No one is going to say their 1970 Buick is better than the new article from a safety, strength and low maintenance perspective.

Personal preferences aside, a good, modernish GRP boat is the boat which will take you to sea far more quickly than an old concrete/timber/ composite or steel boat will. New steel, aluminium and glass will resist a blunt puncture force equally. Concrete falls short, as does glass over ply, both of which will fracture rather than bend under the same distorting force which will deform steel and glass.

Finally, I went to the Fort Lauderdale boat show last weekend and fell in love. The object of my love is the sailboat equivalent of Elle McPherson...That is, unattainable for a humble bum such as I.It came in the form of a Hylas 70, launched in 2007 and for sale for a mere US$1.95 million (AUD$2.7million). It's just like this one.....
2007 Hylas 70 For Sale | AMANTE | Las Olas Yacht Group

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My soul can reach........(With thanks to Billy Spokeshave)
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Old 11-15-2015, 03:15 AM   #13
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Not sure if this is the right thread for yet another rant on the comparative advantages of yacht building materials. I have absolutely no aversion to fibreglass yachts, so that would seem to torch your straw man. I believe this is the second time you've gone off half cocked, the first being at my mention of Beneteau yachts several months ago.

Goodlander's reasons for promoting fibreglass are not related to durability, but low maintenance and ready availability. On these points I surely agree with him. I neither know nor care about older fibreglass yachts built inches thick. However, I sure would rather have steel or ferro under me if I hit a reef.

And as for your taste in women ... Elle? Well, I do have to admit she has improved over the years. Thanks to her constant association with French photographers she's now illiterate in two languages. OTOH I'm guessing that conversation isn't a priority here.
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:59 AM   #14
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Half-cocked; Rant?
Touchy..Jeez.
I think you need to go sailing.
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