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Old 03-24-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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Hello, I am just beginning the journey into cruising and would like to avoid some pitfalls.

I have some good experience with small boats, and raced Z class in my teens. I have a motorboat which Iíll get rid of. I have a boat masterís certificate.

My idea is to go straight to a (40ft odd) cruising yacht, and Deborah and I will spend about five years coastal sailing and studying. Sensible? Or spend those years with something smaller (and cheaper)?

And type of boat. I have talked myself into steel. I donít mind the slower travel, and like the strength and impact resistance it offers. Iím open to having my mind changed though.

And, if steel, I like the look of the Cox 40 and the Ganley Tara and they seem to be in my price range. Has anyone had experience of or with either of these?

I would welcome any comments on this, or anything new that might help me get started safely. I am in Wellington, New Zealand, and will start any local expeditions from there. Thanks for putting up with this ramble. Jeremy

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Old 03-24-2007, 09:58 PM   #2
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Hi Jeremy,

I do not think there is any great benefit in working your way up the size scale. With the obvious experience you have as a seaman, you will have all the necessary logistical skill to understand the differences, for which you will need to compensate.

I can't help you with the designs you seek information regarding, but the Kiwi's are a great sailing boat nation and local surveyors will, I am sure, point you in the right direction.

Best wishes


"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 03-25-2007, 09:54 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome Jeremy.

I completely agree with Auzee on this one. The one important factor to remember is that seamanship can be termed as MCS. No, not Monitoring, Control and Surveillance but Mostly Common Sense. Remember that and you will be fine.

Welcome to the cruising world.


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Old 03-25-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
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Mark Twain once said "you should buy the best boots you can afford because they may help get you through times when you can no longer afford them."

I agree with Auzzee & Nausikka (and Mark Twain) - follow your hunches and buy the most boat you wish to afford.

I bought my first boat in 1981. I set out to buy something I could carry on the roof of my VW and finally put my money down, six months later, on a Santana 21 that came with a trailer & a station wagon for a tender & dock box! Now we're living full time on Boat Number Four - an S&S designed Hylas 49. Each boat was purchased thinking it will be the last I'll ever need.

I have concluded that it's always a good idea to choose a popular boat from proven designer & builder because they actually tend to appreciate over time and they're much easier to sell when the time comes... same idea as buying the cheapest house in the best neighbourhood.

I've always purchased a fixer-upper boat with a good pedigree and have always made money whenever it came time to step up in size. Our last boat was a neglected custom production boat which we purchased in 1994 in Hawaii for $18K. We moved aboard and put 25,000 nautical miles & smiles in her wake while fixing her up along the entire way. We sold her ten years (and three oceans) later for $70K when we fell in love with a bigger, prettier boat in the Caribbean. We had to cough-up another $15K to move aboard and start all over again, making her seaworthy - a Labour of Love.

The best thing I've come to learn after all this? It is the difference between what I want and what I need to be able to happily, safely & comfortably head for the horizon.

I no longer have the need to want a West Marine catalog!

Happy hunting,

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Old 03-26-2007, 05:44 AM   #5
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Thanks, Kirk (and you others too)

this is all very comforting advice (and thanks too for the welcome).

The idea of buying a doer-upper is a good one, and not at all off-putting. You buying prices were amazingly low.Again, cheers for that.


PS. Did you really make money on each one, or did you have a few surprise expenses (like rusted keel supports, vital broken bolts, that sort of thing)?
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
or did you have a few surprise expenses (like rusted keel supports, vital broken bolts, that sort of thing)?
It will always be surprises, even with the best surveyor. Not sure about everybody else but 30% of the boat purchasing price as precaution against "surprises" works well for me. Now, the number is entirely debatable depending on boat type, size, age, amount of gears etc, etc.

S/Y Charisma
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