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Old 05-14-2006, 12:32 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2006
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Default Narrowing The Search - Safety First

I'm 23 years old have about 5,000 nm offshore experience, mostly on deliveries and and as a flotilla guide (Corfu, Greece). The cruising lifestyle is extremely appealing to me and am currently postioning myself (financially and other wise) to be able to shove-off for an extended period before I am 30.

One of the largest questions that will have to be answered of course is that of the vessel. I have researched a number of yachts over the last year. My slogan has become Safety First; that the yacht I choose must have the capacity to withstand the worst ten seconds that I will encounter during a circumnavigation (Or Southern Ocean passage or wherever the worst ten seconds may be). I realize that these ten seconds are unpredictable and a function of my choices as to where and when to sail. But my point is that lay-out and speed etc are secondary to me when first evaluating a boat. I want to know first and for most if it is a proven vessel.

This brings me to my dillema. I am having trouble finding a concise list of 35ftrs that meet my 10 second rule. So far I have on my list the Wauquiez Pretorien 35, Tartan, Hallberg Rassy. But maybe used charter "bath-tubs" (e.g bavaria, jeanneau, and beneteau) would be just as safe for a leisurely world cruise.

Any wiegh-ins would be welcome.


All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.


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Old 05-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
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if you try to imagine the worst ten seconds that could happen on sea to you, you will never find a boat, that will stand up to your standards. There will always be the one situation a boat can not survive. So - I am sorry to say - I think your criteria are entirely wrong. Savety is an important factor - but any good and proven long keeled cruiser will take you safely round the globe, many circumnavigations have benn successfully finished in catamarans or former charter boats. Safety on sea means also to avoid dangerous situations - wich is not always possible but should be followed as a rule.

Next to safety comes the layout of the boat - you will spend most of your time at anchor - not fighting storms and waves. You will want to bve able top live in relative comfort under deck as well as on deck - and you will want to entertain the many friends you will make on the blue water stopping points. So comfort is major factor when choosing a long distance yacht.

Then there comes the question of the hull material. I personally prefer steel, but htere is always the rust to consider. The only material I would never even consider is wood - due to its vulnerability to certain worms.

Last of all consideration is performance, provided the boat of your choice will be able tgo everage 100 nm in 24 hours downwind in your average tradewind. You will find that almost nobody ever sails close hauled on long distance - again due to comfort reasons. And if its the roaring forties or screaming fifties you want to sail, then it should be downwind as well - you wouldn't make much headway against the waves your dreaming of.

Last advice: Go ahead and make your dreams possible - but don't try to be dangerous as you do it. Just make your way peacefully and you will not only enjoy it hugely, but you will also make a tremendous experience and - hopefully - many friends.

Good luck

Ben (one, who's done it)

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:02 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 15

One more thing - I just saw, that you are dutch, so maybe you understand Germnan. There is a german sailor by the name of Bobby Schenk who has circumnavigated the globe quite a few times and written a few books about his experiences. YSou will find very good advice about how to choose an oceangoing vessel and all the truely important criteria on his webpage www.yacht.de/schenk

Again, good luck

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Old 05-16-2006, 10:46 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2006
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I went with a Pearson 365 Ketch....but man...there are 1000's if not 100's of thousands of 35ft boats out there that could pull off a circumnav......the important thing isn't to spend all your time planning...but doing!
Rich Boren


Pearson 365 Ketch

Avila Bay, Ca.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:17 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I think the general notion in the above post - that safety is one important ingredient in picking a boat, but others compete for it in importance - is correct.

I would suggest that, when you consider a boat, you narrow your focus: first, be clear about where you will be shopping. It will not help you to think of Tartan boats if you are shopping in the Dutch Schelde marinas. Second, I would offer some cost targets for us. I think very highly of a new Tartan with its epoxy lay-up and composite spars...but I think many older Tartans (tho' not all) were not suitably built to do a Circle. Obviously, new Tartans cost huge gobs of money; older Tartans range from very affordable (and IMO unsuitable) to more expensive and more suitable. Third, rather than trying to solicit the advice you need via your own post here and elsewhere, start by mining the many threads on this topic that already exist in key sailing/cruising BB's. You will find opinions differ greatly on your topic, but that can be helpful rather than just confusing. Don't look for the 'one right answer' but rather the key variables and what their pro's & con's are.

While again there are exceptions, I would recommend you not consider one of the lightly built boats being built by high volume manufacturers. There are just too many ways in which they can be marginal in use and difficult to repair when heavily used. Opinions vary widely on this, of course.

Were I you, I would start my shopping in The Netherlands. If my budget was small and I wanted a great sea boat, I would look carefully at older smaller Contest boats, among others. The Dutch build very good boats, their owners care very carefully for them (especially important in an older boat), and they are relatively lightly used because of the short season. I would probably start by looking at a Contest 31 HT or HTB, but there are many to pick from.

When we cruised The Netherlands in 2004, we were very impressed with the boats we saw there...altho' the prices were a bit steep. Look around and you'll find many choices to pick from. And good luck to you!

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Old 05-17-2006, 12:26 PM   #6
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Also, you can look for boats in other parts of the world. There are MANY boats for sale for very reasonable prices around Panama, etc. You could start your cruise someplace nice and warm.

I wouldn't put performance last on the list, as the boat that can avoid the storm has a better chance of survival than the boat that must fight through it. Not many places on the planet have sudden, vicious meltimis like the Mediterranean.

I also wouldn't put comfort low on the list, as a comfortable crew generally makes better decisions than an uncomfortable, tired crew.

Check out www.sailingcatamarans.com Especially check the forums there as the designer has some recent posts about abandoning his 32' catamaran in the middle of the atlantic in a very, very bad storm. The boat was reported afloat and upright later, like many boats that are abandoned by their tired, uncomfortable crews before they actually start to sink.

There are TONS of boats that can do it, in all manner of sizes and shapes. Finding one that suits you is the key.
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12

I'm new to the forum becoming a member after being a topic of the forum as I sail solo around the world with just one stop. bare with me please.

Johnny, you sound like you anticipate some hearty offshore sailing. So for what it is worth...this is what I have found. I have a Southern Cross 28'. Built as a blue water boat in Rhode Island. Great size for offshore soloing, but gets a little tight, even for 1, for long term living. Before leaving on this trip I had to essentially rebuild my boat and so was able to do so at my own specs. Mine is an older, core hulled fiberglass boat. a double ender, modified full keel, heavy and solid as a rock. After a rebuild of the delaminated hull and rotted/delaminated deck hull joint, I know she is solid. That joint is now put together wrapped in fiberglass, epoxy resin, with a hefty rail as a mold to the whole joint. It's overbuilt maybe, but it is because of the extent to which I have gone to ensure the structural integrity of this boat, that I had peace as we sailed to 60' seas, months of windward sailing and storm fronts one after another. I caution anyone expecting a circumnavigation to be a tradewind pleasure. My choice of style of sailing is rare and requires compromises to meet the challenge of so many oceans and a time line. most cruising is done with several long hauls and lots of shorter legs where there is alot of choice about the experience you will have. For me, starting on the US east coast vs a European port started my trip to wind, but I was to windward more than half of my 5 1/2 months to NZ, despite pilot chart references and tales of westerlies. The weather doesn't read charts. Except for solid tradewind shoots, winds clock and back in circles. You are going to sail to wind a certain percentage of the time. I did as much damage to sails and rigging flogging in low winds as in the high winds.

I recommend being very intimate with the structure and systems on your boat. She is going to take a beating. Over sized wire, blocks. If you have a budget, don't settle for used equipment. A few "simple" standard new systems are better than alot of old complex ones. I did my first trip soloing around the N. ATL ocean with used stuff and I paid in frustration and loss of sleep, yet I made it. Whatever wasn't new in Nov. when I left RI,is no longer working for me. Make an investment in knowing how to "do it all". Whatever I don't know will bite me and cost me. "The learning curve" is real though. It takes time. Each boat is unique. Alot of "experts" who will work on your boat aren't sailors and can't know "your" boat. Your boat is your home. Comfort, dryness and plenty of storage is important.

Yet,I agree with sv_Third Day, no matter what, go sailing. I went before I or the boat was ready and we figured it out along the way. I am eternally grateful to those who supported me. They saw the tenacity with which I stuck to the refits and knew I would be alright. It has been an awesome experience. Donna sv_Inspired Insanity

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