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As beginners, the best thing you could do is get some experience, starting with a 30' boat, then work

your way up to a large yacht. You'll need a crew, familiar with 100' schooners and a skipper of same. When you've paid your dues on that boat, you'll be better prepared to look into a custom set of plans for the boat of your dreams. Currently you have no idea what these sailing dreams are, but after you've manhandled a 100' schooner around for a year or two, you'll have much more insight and will likely want a more manageable craft, considerably smaller in length. I know of no set of low cost or free plans for a vessel of that size. A 15' fishing boat sure, but not a large sailing yacht. I currently have 85' and 135' sailboat plans that could be had as a stock plan set. They aren't low cost, but they are very reasonably, considering it's over 50 sheets of drawings. A set of drawings for a craft of this scale will run about 3% of the finished cost of the yacht (minimum) which is a very small price to pay for a boat that will float upright when launched. Hallo Dany.Real good advise for beginners safewalrus. I'am a beginner to sail boat too. Had experience it the hard way myself..Danysordelli, I'am trimming down our family new sail boat(at wood drying stage now) to something more manageable by us alone..o.k we still need some crew and the maids for the kids..a two mast seven sail phinisi at 150 feet LOA, 120 LOD will need 15 crews to sail..(phinisi can be ketch rig or schooner rig) o.k they got to do it manually..but I believe it is a lotsa fun if I'am able to do the sailing meself..70 feet I think is maximum size for a sail boat to be handle without profesional crew..Briand Eiland article on mast aft is one very interesting article to me..Sorry can't help you Dany on the design..our boat builders here just built from memory and experience. Anybody who is interested to have the design actually got to follow the construction progress daily and record every single thing..and for more than 50 pages of at least A3 size paper..it is very hard to come free.. You might consider Roberto Barros, here in Brasil. http://www.yachtdesign.com.br/03_esp...s_espanhol.htm If I were building a project of that size, in metal, I would be talking with Dudley Dix. At any rate you need to get hold of a study plan. There are enough ship yards in your country to build anything you want. There is no rule that you need to start out small. It is your money and you get to spend it any way that you want. None of us here know how much money you have or what your abilities are so advice to downsize might not be good advice? However, if you a pinched for money don't start a project that you will never finish. Gerald jerry you don't seem to grasp why I said start small, read it again it might sink in! Basically with a small vessel you get to play with all the bits of string and do everything, that way you get to learn! As I said above if you can't be bothered going that way buy the biggest boat you can, get a professional crew and let them do the work! You won't learn anything, (means

you'll miss a lot of the fun) and of course you won't know why you loosing a lot of money to a bunch of rip off merchants who tell you that it's your money and you can spend it anyway you can - they know this but at the same time why should they have to be robbed? (bet you could help them spend it eh!) OK I read it again. These gents want to build a big boat. They didn't mention anything about wanting to learn to sail or captain a boat. There may be a thousand reasons to build a boat of that size, for one, a charter service. There is a man from Argentina here in Florianopolis that owns 11 large charter boats the same number of boats that I own. Argentina lies 1,500 kilometers south of here and my shop is for my use only. Not much chance of making money working as a rip off artist when those conditions are considered. Gerald Ok Jerry, get your point, never thought of it that way - like everybody else thought they were interested in becoming 'yottys', But Yeah they could be wanting a cheap charter boat but.......don't think so? Even an owner needs to know something about his boat don't he? Tank all opinion a advices. All have a good reason (experiences) for to write here and i respect it. I looking for a classic design (yr. 1930-1940) not a custom yatch or new yatch. (PAR 3% of the total cost in plan is very reasonable) or where we find it. Wy, because we want to get a boat together. Jerryniff: Charter in Brazil, we never think it, but may be good idea. Ari: I know Pissini (150') plans. Nice machine. My 135' ketch costs over $90,000 US as a stock set of plans. This should give you an idea of the ball park you'll be playing in. A vessel of this size requires considerable commitment. Her basics are 135' LOA, 112' LWL, 25' beam,11' 6" draft, 231,000 pounds displacement, 27% ballast ratio, aprox.6,000 sq. ft. of sail area in a Bermudian ketch rig, 5,000 gals water, 5,700 gals. fuel, berths 20+ in several state rooms. D'Artois, i have a question for u. Engines = 300.000 EU Mast = 125.000 EU Wy found boat for 200.000 EU and you pay 300.000 EU only for the engine. Wy is the huge price variances In Argentina we found any part for a very low diferent price.

So i agree, one 100' schooner is not boat for sail alone. The boat I described was a navy-sailing vessel transformed into a yacht. So, the hull was already there and had the required characteristics for sailing. What I am talking abouts is that you have to start from scratch. Or, maybe you will find a hull of a fishing vessel of traditional lines that maybe a basis for the boat you want. In this particular respect, the Schooner rig is the best one and also very efficient; more efficient than a Ketch rig. Wooden masts here in Holland are more expensive than aluminium ones, so that might answer your question. Simply taking a long spar in way of a mast is out of the question. Boats in this particular length are very costly to maintain, Gasoil, lubrication oil, the daily jobs, the supporting systems - everything requires daily attention and daily repair. I don't know what you can get in Argentina or not, I have not the slightest idea's what pricwes are, but I do export a lot of ship's parts all over the world and so prices cannot vary that much: on the contrary. My company is specialised in supplying foreign navies so only parts that are manufactured in Argentina could be less expensive than similar parts manufactured in e.g. Germany or Holland. It is a simple tale of economics. If you start from scratch, you have to perfom the work yourself or yolu need hired labour. As a beginner you are not capable of installing a main engine and all the components around by yourself. So you require some shipwrights to do the major works. Of course your team can help. In way of doing you are learning, however it will be an expensive lesson... Talk to Thomas Colvin, he designed and extensively sailed many different types of Chinese junks. Some of them are for open sea and some of those are quite fast according to T.C. http://www.thomasecolvin.com/chinese_junks.htm Milan MMMMmm............ depend wat type of junk u wanna built. Cargo and travelling home type differ. Remember this it is stable but not intented to be a fast sail. It would take ages for u to

travel the world........ but enough room for your family and pets. A real junk was intented for trade travel in group to foreign land........ carry lots of cargo and humans labour.......... pig tails. It will be a good boat house that can move into river....... some withstand typoone but i would not recomment it. I would suggest a multi-hull.......... fast and room to spare. But then again.......... choice is in your hand........ check it out in HongKong will be nice........ Ap Liu Chou......this place have boat maker(traditional) The wood is better than ulin.. Ulin is real hard and heavy.. but those Toredo could'nt careless about it..they love Ulin..Chengal are Toredo free..In Malaysia Ulin are called Belian (Diamond).Minus those worm..Ulin will survive for a few hundred years in an open to nature environment.The choosen wood for Tuai rumah and warriors tomb (something like totem pole).Those boat builders from Trengganu do converse in more or less same slang with the Bugis from Indonesia..posibbly from the same clan..! :d Depends on size. I would venture that steel would be cheaper for the larger ones. About the bigger boat feeling safer. Much have been written about that, and, to put it shortly, it isn't. Size, especially if shorthanded (remember that you _will_ be sailing it alone, when your better half is off watch), then everything you do will rely on tech, because you're at the limit at what can be handled by one person (without tech aids). Also, the upkeep. How much time will you two spend knocking rust? Painting? Varnishing? And space-wise, I have to say, that once again, I like it small, if there is too much space, you also have so much more space to gather speed through the saloon in rough weather. I haven't calculated it, but the interiour difference will be about twice of that of a 33footer, all things being equal, resulting in you having to get much bigger sails, anchors, winches, rig, do much more to the interior and so forth. I say, keep it as small as possible, that way you might even be able to live a little more, both before, during and after. As a sidenote - the moment you're near a shipping lane, 45ft is still microclass. Sounds like good advice, I think. It is so hard to know what you want untill you have actually tried the things out. In another thread I (and others) have talked before about that "I did it all myslelf" feeling that a lot of us seem to be after. What I and others have made the point on, is that simply substantially restoring, modifying or improving a boat will probably give you more than enough of that feeling. You don't necessarily have to build the thing from scratch. And to try to build a 40ft+

boat for your first build? You might never finish, and it might just put you off your dream of sailing round the world. In the three years you say you have, I would go out there and do like Karsten says. Buy a fiberglass boat with some of the features you think you are after very soon. Maybe do some work on it to get the feel and scale of how much work will be required to build your own. Get out on the water. Pretty soon you will have a much clearer idea of what you want for a round-the-worlder. Or if you even want to go round. Sell it before your three years is up, and then either continue with your building plans, or just hunt down the sort of boat you want, or you want to modify to. I am also infected with that dream about building my own round-the-worlder. But after doing all the work I have done restoring my first boat, a wooden 30 footer, I tell you, I think I would much rather just buy the sort of hull and rigging that I am after, and then add on the final touches I would want, like the interior fit out, a deck house, etc etc. The question is, what do you want to be more, a boat builder, or a sailor? If you buy a boat, you can always play at being a builder too, there is always something to fix, work on or modify. However if you start to build your own boat, you are pretty much stuck being a builder untill you finish the thing. Many people don't. I like 'mucking with boats' but sailing is really what I want to do. So I think when It comes time for me to get my round-the-worlder, I shall be buying, not building. Best luck whatever you choose. But make sure whatever you do, you start to get out there on the water in the sort of boats you think you are after (crewing or whatever it takes.) Ok...... US$ 170,000- boat and travelling expense? I think you are crazy if you are still in Europe........ for 40+ft and equipment and world sailing expense. But for 70,000 you'll get a Phinisi Schooner with a small engine......... bare minium interior..... and furniture at 45ft with sail of course and anker Then again better craftman would cost more.............. I am building a Sparkman & Stephens 45ft yawl in New Zealand from a 1945 design. The hull will be strip planked with Kauri and 2 x 45 deg. laminates placed on laminated frames, giving a total of 32mm thick. I believe 30mm to be the minimum to be seaworthy. I have changed the interior design slightly to improve the living and give more bunks now 7. I think 45ft is the biggest that a short-handed crew could manage, even with winches and a split sail plan etc.

As far as costings are concerned, I can tell you the following: Hull, deck and interior - all finished USD320,000 Equipment - USD100,000 Spars and sails - USD40,000 Installation of equipment - USD40,000 Painting - USD 8000 and that is tight costing. Do not think you can do it for any less. New built boat prices are a function of the cube of the length, almost. To build this boat in the USA would cost >USD1m. In Europe, I could imagine it would cost Euro750,000. Hallo Andreasmehlin, looks like I'am not the only dreamer..welcome..if your budget is tight for Europe market..come to Asia..a few thousand islands to explore..a few thousand bars and pubs to crawl..a few thousand temples, churchs,mosques and so on..and so cheap..why not get a good 70 footer Indonesian built wooden boat..plus 3 crew..sail this region when ever you are free...3 months a year is good enough ?There is charter program that can be arrange when you are not around..That USD200K is real hugh value here..I attach this site for you to see what the others had done. You can get a boat..have fun..sailing..dive..and still keep your job and house back home in your country..when you are ready to sail on your own and circumnavigate.. than only you go for it..! I had attach this hyperlink before in other thread. Hi, Yup, the more I read into the old thread with great post by the amount of people who love boat design, I began to realised how much I lack understand about the boat building industry.......after alots of month reading and communication, with boat builder and shipwright, I began to enlighten and had a need. That why, I deciede to make my own first boat from a designer and real NA. It is not expensive compare to my sanity. This thread reveal not a spur of hot air, but a calculated mean of redesign Bruce Roberts Trader 65 ft to fit my junk need. I would want to outfit it for circumnavigate but rather I think I would private charter it until I am near even before venture sailing and cruising from inter island Indonesia and later to the world. I have bought study plan of the Trader 65 and would want to explore the possibility before I buy the full plan and start my Max. 3 years hammering of my wallet and other resources. I have a rendering guy coming to work for me but still in Surabaya. He did not get any spec from me, except the weblink of Bruce Robert and the model. He would do a detail rendering of the Trader 65 later from the study plan with my modification. Cosmetic only.

If anybody, have owned a Trader 65 or have any idea what I need to include in this boat, pls dont hesitate to contribute your ideas into my boat as a friend. I am a beginer and I hope to start from here. Wellydeckhand Bruce Roberts seems to have a good marketing department, insofar as sending out plans. I was once on their mailing list, too. The pleasant-sounding copy describes what the boat is intended for, but fails to mention how long the design has been around or how well it actually performs. Some old designs are classics, but not all of them. Pictures of vessels under way are included, with some testimonials from Papua New Guinea or some such place. The likely builder-owner, after spending untold years putting his bathtub together, isn't likely to be too critical of his "baby", even if it took him months to make a trip others do in weeks. The discounted prices that may make used Roberts designs attractive at first glance are an indication that the market is wary of homebuilt boats of unknown quality that, though they may float, don't necessarily move forward easily or handle well. There are enough used boats of known construction quality and known sailing characteristics that taking a risk with a Roberts design (which may have been modified from the plans by the builder, to boot) probabaly isn't worth it. Hmm OK, Outside ofthis thread I am not hearing any accolades about Roberts boats. How about Dudley Dix? or Ted Brewer? Am I missing any other good designers of steel boats? These guys seem to be in the same business. I don't know about their reputations or any thrid party details about their boats either. At some level, I agree with the comments above. Bruce Roberts has some reasonably nice design, but he also has quite a few worse than mediocre designs in his catalog. His Spray series, while quite popular, produces designs which would not be very appealing to sailors who care how well a boat sails. I like most of Dudley Dix's work. He seems to have a good sense of proportion and seems to do the kind of careful engineering and detailing that produces good boats. In the 60 foot range I really like his Dix 64 which (except for its extreme shoal draft for a boat this size) is a very moderate and seemingly well thought through design. His 65 foot Liberte' design sails out of Annapolis, and so I see her underway quite often. I am less impressed with that design. Ted Brewer is an extremely respected designer of traditional cruising boats. My father owns one his 42 foot FRP production boats and it has been an excellent boat. I am not familiar with his bigger designs.

Tom Colvin is a guy who thinks out of the box. He has designed a wide range of traditionally based metal boats. While all kinds of grand claims have been made for these boats, I think that in reality, these are good solid boats that seem well suited to the non-performance oriented distance cruiser. I also like the work of Yves Tanton who is a very ingenious designer and who seems to produce very clever designs. The only set of his drawings that I have seen was somewhat incomplete but I don't know whether that reflects that specific owner's objectives or Mr. Tanton's norm. Van der Stadt is extremely respected for their very high quality steel boat designs. I am more familiar with their midsized modern designs and their 35 to 42 foot older designs, but I have known owners of their larger designs who have raved about their boats. I worked for the late Charlie Wittholz who had a great eye and was a very conscientious designer. Last I heard, his family was still selling his designs. I worked on a number of his steel designs and I think that watching him work, he was someone who genuinely understood what made a boat work and tried very hard to produce good designs. If you were going to build a boat this large, I seriously want to suggest that you consider a custom design, a design that works for your specific needs and goals. Only you know what you want out of a boat, and frankly if you are going through the trouble to custom build a boat, then the small incremental cost of doing a custom design only makes sense. If I were going to do a custom design, I would strongly suggest that you contact Antonio (Tony) Dias (Antonio Dias Design 171 Cedar Island Road,Narragansett, RI, 02882). I have known Tony for may years and I really love his work. His designs are beautiful to look at, but more importantly extremely well thought through and carefully crafted. I do want to touch on the premise of this thread. "My dream boat is a steel hull schooner or ketch with lots of room. Roberts has the designs that seem to fit." and at the heart of it, it sounds like you want a steel 60 footer with an antiquated rig I think that it would be easier to answer your question about designers of steel boats, if we understood what you are trying to accomplish with this boat. Designers, like the people who buy their designs, have strong design personalities that inform the thousands of design decisions that must be made in the course of producing a design. In other words, Do you plan to build this boat yourself, or have a yard build it, or buy a used boat? What do you plan to do with this boat? (i.e. live-aboard, distance cruise, charter) Where do you plan to sail this boat? How experienced are you as a sailor or boat builder? This is an enormous boat that will take a large crew to handle safely. What is your goal for a boat this big? Why are you focusing on Steel?

I would add Steve Dashew's designs to that list for a modern boat in that size range and constructed of aluminium or steel.

Big, fast, comfortable ketches. I think that building a 60 foot boat fomr the ground up that is not custom made exactly to your specs is like throwing away a million dollars to avoid spending 20,000. If you are talking about finding existing hulls, then you will find the Roberts stuff to be all over the place in terms of construction quality and "personalised" specs...many of which do not work because they were thought up by the amatuer guy welding the thing together in his backyard rather then someone that has a clue. Shack...I don't particularly like the Roberts designs either...Check out Van de Stadt designs...they design boats even Jeff H and I can agree to like! A couple of anecdotal tales: An acquaintance has (and had built) a custom Brewer 42, in aluminum as an offshore boat and they are very happy with it. It is a conservative looking boat, with a very liveable interior plan. It has been down the west coast a couple of times to Mexico, but in the end spends most of her time coastal cruising (and casual racing!). Brewer has a proven track record. Years back I met a fellow from Wash state who had built a semi-custom hardchine version of the Norseman 440, also in aluminum. This Perry production design was modified by Perry for the builder, and the result was impressive. It helped that the builder was something of a perfectionist. Dix has a good reputation for easy-to-build designs that perform well. In this world of instant communication his being in S.A. should be no obstacle. v.d.Stadt has eons of experience in this medium. All the above would have a long list of designs under their belt - perhaps one of their designs could be tweaked to suit your needs and/or reflect more modern thinking, rather than starting from scratch. Best wishes for your project however you take it! Reply With Quote

OK, I got a hcance to sit down and review the advice coming in on designers. Here's a

summary. Bruce Roberts - cheap, get what you pay for risky? Ted Brewer - a player Dudley Dix - people like his stuff Tom Colvin - curiosoity? Yves Tanton - solid and experienced, fast yachts Van der Stadt - solid and experienced, ditto Charlie Wittloz (RIP) - strongly recommended Tony Dias - strongly recommended Steve Dashew - looks nice, cutting edge stuff Anyone see a key player missing, here? I see you left Robert Perry off you list - he may be worth consideration as well. Sometimes I think this place should be change its name from Sailnet to 'Field of dreams', with the tag line 'build it and they shall sail'. I must say that you are thinking really huge considering how little sailing experience you say you have. Designing and having a custom boat requires a vast amount of informed decisions. A great yacht designer can help steer you through the process but ultimately there are a whole lot of subjective decisions that have to be made along the way and with all due respect when you talk about a boat this large, it is really hard to develop the kind of knowledge base that will allow a novice to make the right call, and the wrong call can prove very expensive if not lethal. As we used to joke on a similar subject, building boats based on good marine design decisions is expensive, but building based on bad decisions is wildly expensive. Which is not to say, 'Don't do it'. Which comes back to the question at hand. I would agree with the suggestion that you add Bob Perry to your list. In many ways, Bob Perry is a good as they come when it comes to designing cruising boats. He has a great eye, good common sense, good engineering skills, understands what it takes to produce good performance and good sea manners, and lots of experience. He's also a good communicator and a very decent person. I have heard second hand that he is also very reasonably priced for someone of his expertise and experience. Although not the first name that might come to mind for a cruising boat, Bruce Farr designed a series of really wonderful cruising boats in the late 1970's and early 1980's that would be really super cruisers even today. I own one of the 38's from that series, and have sailed on one of the 54 or so footers. Great short-handed sailing boats. I think if I were looking for my ideal distance cruiser over 50 feet, an updated version of Farr Design Number 86 http://www.farrdesign.com/086.htm would be near the top of my list. Modifying an existing design by a top notch designer may actually be a very reasonably priced way to go. Tech support at Farr has been excellent.

Another designer who I really like is Jay Benford. Jay is very much out of the Ted Brewer mold, but I think that Jay has stayed a little more current in his thinking than the venerable Mr. Brewer. I know Jay personally and have always thought he would be a great guy to work with. I also like Robb Ladd from Annapolis, Maryland. I have known Robb for over 25 years and he's very good at what he does. He designed Patience Wales' (from Sail Magazine) boat a few years back and I was very impressed with that design. Karl, (dawg-gone-it I am drawing a blank on his last name) at Chesapeake Marine Design has a really nice eye and I think would produce a very nice traditional design. Also he's just a good guy just to talk to. Then there is Chuck Paine (C.W.Paine) who has a sterling reputation. His design for Reindeer, an adaptation of which eventually became the Morris 45, was one of the most impressive modern cruisers that I have seen in recent years. Several years ago, I ran into Reindeer at Bert Jabins yacht yard in Annapolis and I found myself standing there just gawking in awe at her design. Other advice, if you plan to sail the boat shorthanded, I would seriously give up the idea of a traditional schooner rig. Schooner rigs are neat to sail if you have no where to go or are a museum ship, but really are not very practical for distance cruising. In that size range, and with a concern for safety and durability. I would give serious thought to some of the new Marine Aluminum Alloys. Although aluminum sounds expensive by the pound, priced by equal strength and equal size, there is a lot less weight to be purchased. I would also consider sheathed cold-molded wood construction, which again is probably one of the least maintenance and one of the highest strength per pound techniques that you can use in that size range. End of lunch so back to work, Jeff Ummm...there are a couple of problems with your reasoning in the last post. First and foremost is that "weight" of materials or hull on its own does nothing for safety or stability except slow you down and expose you to more chance of being caught out by bad weather fronts. Weight does not equate to safety or performance unless it is in the right place. Having a heavy steel hull does nothing for stability...and in fact requires MORE ballast in the right places to compensate for the heavier hull. So you end up with a MUCH heavier boat because all of your specs go up. More ballast to hold it upright, bigger and heavier rig to

move the extra weight around, bigger and heavier gear to control the rig....You end up chasing your own tail to no greater purpose at all. And by the way...that is the quintessential defintion of most Bruce Robert's designs. making up for the builder's expected lack of skills (A good assumption given their business model) and access to higher tech materials by substituting "bulk" and low tech. You end up with boats that mostly have the sailing characteristics of arthritic wombats...and those are the success stories. My estimate is that way more then 60% of Roberts design hulls are dotting backyards and factory land as lawn art and sculptures to grand ideas left 1/4 finished. Next point you may wish to reconsider is that the design and the materials are, in the case of any worth working with, linked at a very real level. Boats that are designed and tank tested and refined to be made of aluminium are going to sail and sit at very different lines if constructed of steel. The construction specs are also going to be somewhat different. So do not start by shopping the design. Start by reading broadly (Beyond US based designs and boat building concepts). The europeans are huge on aluminium boats, as are New Zealanders and quite a few of the top-end Australian and South Africans. Steel has it's benefits...But compared to a modern marine grade aluminium, it's major saving grace is cost and ease of repair in foreign ports. But on a 65footer...pack a miniwelder the size of a woman's handbag, and a TIG kit. You will then be more self sufficient then a GRP boat in most circumstances...And with aluminium, you can carry around a of 6x4 sheet of patch material and not have the weight issues seem silly the way you would with steel. Got to go, crying baby. End of the world. I love being a dad.

Sasha I recently took a trip to SE Alaska and spent some time there wandering the docks. This is serious fishing territory and fishermen are serious about reliability and longevity. I was very surprised to see a large number of Aluminum hulls. I think there is a lesson here. SASHA I heard much about the corrosive resistance marine grade aluminum (5000 series I think). Suppose to be great stuff, and easier to work with than steel (weight and tooling.) Get a designer. Tell him you want a certain flavour above waterline and a lot of comfort, then tell him that he can do whatever he needs to below the waterline to give you the best of all possible worlds. As long as a good designer has a free hand in at least one facet of the design, then he can usually make it all come togetehr. It is only when a client has overlapping restrictions on ALL fronts that he is left shaking his head.

By the way, having thought about your case, My advice would be to spend a couple of thousand dollars and buy a nice old GRP 26footer of some semi-decent kind. Doesn't have to be anything other then a dodgem car as long as it doesn't actually sink out form under you. DO NOT SPEND MONEY SPRUCING IT UP. Do not try and own the prettiest boat in the harbour. Just go sailing. every weekend if you can. And keep a log of what you do and don't like and notions that come to you as you go. Keep looking at big boat designs and ideas as you do this...gradually it will all gell, and you will get some experience in the meantime...including of the stuff that no one ever thinks about "I am knackered just scrubbing the hull on a 26footer...what the hell do I want to do with 65 feet???' type questions which nothing but ownership will get you (like the fun game of "track that smell"...). After a few months of this you can start approaching designers and yards with a lot more confidence. It will take them most of a year to build your boat. Not the hull alone, that will fly together, but I promise that it will bog down at some point. When that happens, being able to go sailing on yor own ,allbeit smaller, boat is a great stress relief and sanity keeper. When the new boat is all doen and sea trialed and "yours"...I promise that you will sell the 26 footer from the 1970's for almost exactly the same money you paid for it. That is a year and a half of free boat hire and sailing lessons, as well as hobby, experience and design testing and development. Best money you will ever spend in boating! Here endeth the late and probably unnessacerily pompous lesson. Goodnight There is a very wise man on this forum named Jeff H. He taught me a lot when I went looking for my boat. Now I ignored much of his advice in the form of data and hard facts (still gambling that might pay off) but I did pick up some really valuable ways of seeing things to do with boat ownership. The main one of these I have found to be of great value ever since (and which has proved itself well and truly accurate) is that the hull represents about 30% of the monetary investment that makes a "boat". With a pricey construction material like aluminium you can probably call it 35%. This means that you still need to pay very real money for riggin, spars, sails, electronics, fit out etc. BUT...And this is a size XXL but.. The choice of hull is the MAIN determinate in the boats resale value thereafter. So lets say you decide to go with a kit plan design, and build it (really well) using fibro cement (I might be guilding the lilly somewhat for this example, I know). Now you have saved a bit on the hull...but you still have to buy top of the line spars (especially to push the heavier, less efficient hull around) and rigging and hardware and so on.... So your

saving is not that huge across the entire project. But when you go to sell it....It will be just another concrete boat that people shake their heads at. The choice of hull material and design has devalued the rest of your investment. This is basically what BR design builders do not seem to realise, or if they do, they make the trade off because building their big boat in the BR way means they get to spend $100 here and there over a period of years instead of having to cough up thousands upon thousands at a go. This makes sense to some poeple and thus it has a market....I would rather decide between buying a small and reasonable boat I could afford right now or taking out a loan and absorbing the interest as the cost of getting something good...and getting it NOW. So the deal is. When buying a used sailboat off a website or magazine, do not calculate spending every dollar in your budget ont he purchase price. What you want to spend is about 75% of your budget, as the rest goes on what it takes to make the boat, ready, yours and where you need it to be (as well as insured and legal and such). When building, consider that the budget for the big bit that you actually sit in and live in and think of as "the boat, mostly" is only 1/3 of what the total cost is going to need to be. It is a great rule of thumb to not have financial heart attacks and crippling delays due to cost over-runs. Rememebr, any money you have left over at the end of the project just translates as buying extra time and freedom to actually spend sailing (the cruising kitty). That's a really good reason to use the rule of thumb! Can't claim to have any familiarity with Bruce Roberts designs but I think this is very good advice. A smaller boat (to start) is a great way of finding out if the actuality stands up to the romantic. If you don't love it or use it (while you are figuring out what you really want in a larger boat) you may save yourself a very costly and time-consuming error. Also, it may cause you to rethink the aluminim or steel hull and even the 60 + ideas. One can certainly cruise the world comfortably in a boat in the 40 to 48 foot range with a far greater flexibility (and a much smaller crew or even single-handed) and without all the maintenance issues caused by a steel hull. If I were you, I'd find an old Pearson 323 or something like it and continue working on the master plan. In all events I wish you the best and envy you putting your dreams into action. I hope that it all works out well for you. Shack... why is it again that you've decided on a metal boat? With Kevlar, Arimid, Turawon & such they can build tougher than steel hulls out of glass now and you don't have to live with any of metal's drawbacks. Most people get into metal for high latitude sailing or due to their own boat-building skills or because they have some exotic design they can't get executed any other way. It seems to me that you are searching for a design and won't be building it yourself so is the Arctic in your future?

Camaraderie asks a good question there Shack. While I own a steel boat I didn't set out to go steel it just happened that the right boat turned out to be steel. I fully expect that our next boat will be glass again. Quite frankly I prefer the low maintenance option but the only materials I would definitely rule out would be planked timber (and I don't include cold moulded, triple diagonal planked, west system etc) and concrete. Magnusmurphy, A long time ago, I was intrigued by the idea of building my own sailboat, and I looked extensively into the Bruce Roberts designs. Went so far as to buy one of his books, and corresponded with Bruce Roberts himself, who seems very earnest and approachable. I finally concluded that it was a foolish idea to try to build a large sailboat (I was hoping for something in the 50 ft range). Since then, I have reviewed a lot of opinion about building one's own boat, and I was on target with my initial analysis. But back to your question: There certainly are plenty of Roberts designs out there on the seas cruising, but one thing I will remark about the ad you linked to: it's the defensive tone used to describe the boat in the ad. It almost sounds more like a rebuttal than a testimonial. The other thing I will say about buying a "custom" boat is that irrespective of the build quality and sailing characteristics, my readings suggest that these boats have tended to be extremely difficult to sell once one owns one. The "brand name" issue comes into play, and boats built by recognized yards seem to hold value better. There's a huge discount for "custom". I'm sure you are not contemplating selling the boat in the finite future, but resale value should be part of your own consideration in valuation of a prospective boat. Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in these matters. I own a (oh dear) production boat from one of the Big Three, a Catalina 42 (bias admitted). Just an interested novice who enjoys discussion. Q I had a strong bias against home built, until I stumbled into the boat I own now. While advertised as a home built, I discovered that the guy who built it owns and operates a steel fabrication company. He built the boat for himself and only sold it because he's now building a 44 footer. I have viewed a number of European and N. American steel hulls, and none came close to the workmanship of this boat. The interior is a little funky, but those things are not too difficult to change out. The hull, OTOH, is to die for. There is a saying: "The worst boats are home-built, and the best boats are home built." So, yes, don't cross home-built off your list. Just go in with eyes wide open. I had a "professionally built" Bruce Roberts 40. Give me an owner built boat any day. Some of the stuff the "professionals" did was beyond belief.

In this economy, there are no real savings in a home built. I built a Roberts 34(steel). Was not real impressed with the design. I have sailed on a Roberts 43. Sat low on her lines and was not a great sailing boat. Like others have said...it's a mixed bag. I spent my spare time over 2 years building a GRP Swarbrick S97 and had never done anything like it before. But 24 months later having learnt how to layup, fit bulkheads, build furniture, install engine, cut and weld all stainless, IMHO it was a better build quality than seen on most production yachts. For me it was cost effective. At the time got me into a 35 foot race yacht fully kitted for maybe 30% of a new production boat of similar specification. Sold it 48 months on for double my hard costs. There are thousands of Roberts yachts out there cruising - most of then chosen on their ease of self build in stell as opposed to sailing quality. As in life, you generally get what you pay for - so whatever you look at be it home built or production - just make sure its surveyed before you part with the cash. I've been told by a friend of Roberts ,that if you ask him to find a builder, he charges a $10,000 finders fee. Check out the discussuion on skeg failures on Roberts designs on the metalboatsociety.org site. What's the sweetest boat you've ever sailed on? By that I mean, a boat that is well balanced, can be easily trimmed to hold a course on her own, without an autopilot or a hand on the rudder. A boat that doesn't pound in sloppy seas. A boat that sets her shoulder in a blow, and then politely holds it. A boat that is simply sweet, well-mannered, a pleasure to sail on. As opposed to some that have a very narrow notch where they are well-trimmed, or need constant tending on the helm (like a J/24). I'd have to say the most well-mannered one I've sailed on yet has been the Islander28, which even Bob Perry said was a wonderful surprise in terms of how mannerly it was. (And the basis for a number of his later and larger designs, for that reason.) It may be relatively heavy, and the builders did tamper with the design (changing the keel-stepped mast to a kludged deck-stepped one with an offset support), but it balances quite easily and then continues to sail itself, with no one on the helm. Something I haven't seen done on any number of boats from any number of makers, both larger and smaller. So what boat has particularly impressed you? Not for being fast, not for being any one thing, but for being so well-mannered that it puts others to shame, and shows how boat design really is an arcane art.

I'm going with the C&C 30 MKII. Rock solid, great lines, and goes like the wind. (funny) __________________ The coolest rides we've had was on our Martin 242, racing in Howe Sound with 20+ knots and flat water, planing into the double digits with the kite up. On a par with that was surfing down the rollers off St Vincent on a Bene 36.7, rushing into the teens there too. But I'd have to say the sweetest boat I've been on would be our recent week on a friends' Passport 40 in Mexico. Solid, steady, extremely well mannered, dry and comfortable... verging on luxurious. Palmer Johnson 43. Sailed out f Baltimore in 30 knot winds with all sheets up, and she barely broke 20 degees heel. Made a winner out of me. Next was my Irwin 37. Goes straight without touching the helm, slices through 6 to 7 footers, sweet ride. Same for the 38 Endeavor next to me. Then there is Larry's Pearson Vangard...great riding boat. Island packet 485, I love it. Yep... I'd lean towards my Passport 40. Even loaded down with thousands of pounds of cruising gear, she'll still point at 30 degrees apparent and, if you balance the sails right, track on course with barely a touch on the helm. Easy.... Giulietta. An amazing custom racer/cruiser... she handles well although a little tempermental when you are first getting a feel for her. After that she's like a race horse... 15kts easy. Beautiful lines, extremely well designed and one of a kind. Sweet. Just last week we went out on our friend's custom-built Columbia 50 for the first time. It wasn't finished by the factory, so I'm not really sure exactly what it is. My friend said it was a 52 deck, so the original builder stretched the hull to fit... Still a Gary Mull design, though. Anyway, WOW. What a sweet sailor! We were just outside of Friday Harbor between San Juan and Lopez, wind was 12-15, and with a single reefed main and 130 genoa we effortlessly did 8.5 kts. She felt strong and powerful, with very little helm... They sailed the boat from Maui to Friday Harbor three years ago in April. Took them 14.5 days. That's pretty good even for some TransPac times. It's not as fast or as pretty as Gulietta. But then, there aren't too many boats that are! Still, for $60,000 my friends have one helluva boat... Hinckley SW-42. I've sailed bigger and faster, smaller and faster, but none sweeter. Nelson Marek 68. Sweet sled ride. Best memories are slicing through the Mac fleet at 81/2 knots in 7 knots true wind going upwind and surfing at 17 knots in 8 foot waves and

25 knots of wind in control. Boat sails like a big dinghy. Picture is boat going under the Bluewater bridge in Port Huron, I'm the third crew from the stern. I have sailed a bunch of boats, as you can imagine. Still, the best one I have ben on is actually the Catalina 400. I am not saying that because she is my current boat. I am being honest. SHe is fast (loves running in the 7's), sure footed, well balanced, points well, very comfortable down below, and has a nice, slow, easy motion. I think there are better boats out there, but I can only give this boat praise. Her drawbacks are her draft, lazarette, some difficulty in her system runs, and that she has two small heads versus one good one. But my wife would not budge on the last one as we have two boys. My last boat; a J/37. She was fast and easy to sail. Sold it in a weak moment. My current boat, J/34c sails well, but not quite as nice as the J/37. Also, the Tartan 37's get really good marks in my book. Very well mannered boats. Seawind 33 catamaran. Wow! I can stand up and walk around without looking for something to hold onto. Welcome to flat sailing. Please note that I didn't build it, I had it built by Delmar Conde Yard, in Aveiro Portugal, a yard with a vast experience and over 60 sailing vessels all hand built. Delmar is also the Builder of PT INOVAO, now MIKE DAVIS, 5 times Portuguese Champ. and whose hull mould was used on my boat. I just designed the deck and interiors, to fit in a racing hull!! That's all I did, and I spent countless days and hours admiring them work, I did varnish a piece once, but that's all I did. If it were simply a question of, all else equal, "How does the crew fare when the boat rolls?", you might have a valid point. But it's not even the keel design that is at issue when distinguishing between "bluewater" and coastal boats. The real question concerns the boats resistance to rolling in the first instance, regardless of keel design. Designers can calculate the limit of positive stability (LPS), i.e. the point at which the boat will continue to roll over through 360 degrees rather than self-right from the direction of the knockdown. There are minimum suggested LPS figures for off-shore boats, and it's pretty rare for coastal designs to meet those minimum requirements. Many of them fall well short. http://www.tedbrewer.com/sail_aluminum/ichiban.htm ICHIBAN A 33' Aluminum Junk Rig

Brewer Design #154 ICHIBAN is a custom yacht and was designed as a permanent retirement home for a couple with occasional guests. Her radius bilge aluminum hull is strong and requires only low maintenance, ideal for a retired couple. The fin keel/skeg rudder underbody reduces wetted surface and contributes to good light air performance and an easy helm. The accommodations are comfortable and homelike, as befits a live-aboard yacht. As well, she has very generous stowage for a vessel of her size and this is essential for a full time retirement home afloat. Ichiban---sailplan.gif (26442 bytes) click drawing to see larger image The unusual rig spreads generous sail area yet it is very easily handled. Setting sail, reefing and tacking are all simplified with the fully battened junk rig so she can be single handed with ease when required. Her owner reports that she performs very well indeed and, though she might give away a point to windward, ICHIBAN makes up for it in off wind speed and the ease of tacking. All in all, ICHIBAN is worth consideration as she is one couple's answer to long term voyaging and they gave a great deal of thought to their needs. They have voyaged to Central America and the Caribbean with no problems and still find that the rig and general design suits their needs to perfection. Why did we decide to build a junk-rigged vessel? Aside from the simplicity of sailing, we built this particular boat because we fell in love with her lines. We decided that if we were going to take a few years off to build a boat, it had to be something unique and beautiful. Although we had seen pictures of the Chinese junk-rigs that have sailed around Hong Kong's harbor and many other places in the Orient for hundreds of years, it never occurred to us that we would build a similar boat. So, how does our boat sail? We absolutely love the way Moondancer sails on a beam reach or deeper. When the wind comes over the stern and we let the sails out on either side, people onshore smile, wave, and take pictures. At times like that, I swell with pride. Surely there is nothing more beautiful than a junk running wing-and-wing. However, with the good comes the bad. Junk-rigs, as a rule, can't point as high as Bermuda-rigged sloops. Moondancer is no exception. She really doesn't like to sail upwind. As sailors, we discovered a long time ago that we don't like to beat too hard upwind either. Thus, we share a kinship with our boat. Twenty knots of wind at our back is the ideal condition for all of us. Standing the Test of Time

One of the strongest and most vocal proponents of the junk rig is Robin Blain, the current Secretary of the Junk Rig Association based in the UK. Blain says that this rig configuration was developed 2,000 years ago by Chinese mariners and has only gotten better with time. He refutes the criticism that a junk rig can't sail to windward. The junk's only limitation on windward ability, says Blain, is imposed by the boat's hull shape. He says that junk-rigged racing boats have been proven to sail within 35 degrees of the wind. Another beauty of the junk rig, claims Blain, is that unlike Bermudian rigs, these sails are so efficient that they don't have to be tended as closely. Blain claims that the efficiency of the junk rig also has other advantages: The sails needn't be made of high-tech materials, and compared to Bermuda rigs, these are the most quiet sails available because they don't slat and snap against the rigging; there isn't any rigging. For additional information on the Junk Rig Association, contact Blain at: Junk Rig And Advanced Cruising Rig Association 373 Hunts Pond Road Fareham Hants PO14 4PB phone 44 01329 842613. Beautiful rig..so easy to make..so cheap to maintain..I love it too. Probably because more modern hulls have greater capability. The big weaknes of a junk is its huge ballanced rudder. It is not only needed to steer the vessel but to provide latteral ressistence as well. It projects well below the vessel's bottom and only retracts virtically. If it should strike ground, the vessel could lose not only its steering, but its latteral resistance as well. A big part of traditional Western keel design has been sturdiness and rudder protection. Maybe that comes from Greek galleys that had to be beached every night and Viking ships that also served as landing craft. Even modern high performance sailboats usually have the keel considerably deeper than the rudder. I believe it was the Portuguese who first started putting junk rigs on Western hulls. Apparently, that was a big improvement on 16th and 17th century ship design. The hybrid vessel was faster than the Chinese boat and much more weatherly than than European boat. But. As I have said before, I see no reason not to put a full keel on a junk, especially one that's expected to do blue water work and sail in poorly charted areas, and take advantage of the West's greatest contribution to sailing vessel design. And yet have a boat that looks like a junk.

For a fast, comfortable, blue water capable and roomy cruiser that is also affordable, I would nominate the Kelly Peterson 44. I would think many people would like an Oyster of manageable size, say 50 ft. etc. They are made for short handed sailing and are quite nice below. Seriously - the Oyster range of boats have always been appealing cruising yachts. This one the 53 - has the sort of configuration - that I like - with the high safe and roomy, centre console (needs a roof for cruising) - and that stern boarding area. Hallberg Rassy 48 Not to be a stick in the mud, but best really depends on who is going to be sailing her. Different people, different needs. For my wife and I, a Catana 50 is probably the best. I think anything designed by Colin Archer would have to be on my short list. Cruised for 9 years on a Morgan 34 with almost no problems, so it gets my vote! You shuld only vote for boats you have personal knowledge of. Skookum 47' thru 70' , Ed Monk Sr. design. For blue water cruising. Solid built, good seaboats, smooth through the water. I'd vote for the V-40/42. They have proven time and again that they can do it all. George Day, editor and publisher of BLUE WATER SAILING, said there are more Tayana 37's cruising the world than any other class of boat. There are generous, very smart sailors here who will hopefully reply to you but in the mean time I can tell you, we have had 2 Tayanas now(lost the 1st one in Hurr Francis). We are learning so our sailing experience is limited but I did much research before buying and have found for our price range, safety/stability/design qualilies, Tayana fit. We have replaced rigging, and look closely at chainplates. Our newest aquisition has had the black iron tanks replaced. I can say that in every ICW marina we have been at (GA to FL only) so many people come up and ask, "is that a Tayana 37", and tell us great stories about having owned one or sailed on one. There is an active Tayana Owners Group at SailNet, here are some links for you. http://list.sailnet.net/read/?forum=tayana http://my.boatus.com/forum/default.asp Nancy This is going to be a tough call for me. I went to look at a valiant and it was beautiful and plenty of sailboat for me. On the other hand It was -not- plenty of apartment in the islands on the inside. I started out long ago daydreaming about owning the big charter boat. I have owned rental property and still do. One thing I have decided is I would like to avoid other people renting my boat !!! I have also read a couple of Hal Roth books

and he has just about sold me on the smaller boat. And yes to him a Valiant 40 is a big boat------also bigger than anything I have Skipper 'd. I am just having trouble letting go of the 30 year daydream of the bigger boat. For the Bahamas might I also suggest a Vagabond Westwind. We draw 4'11" and most boats come with a self tending staysail. I've never sailed on the other boats, but I fell in love with my Hylas 47. The only possible drawback to it compared to the others is in docking. Docking a big boat can be scary. I'm finally comfortable docking it with my wife, but I would probably never leave the marina if I was singlehanding. Yesterday, a fellow with a Carver 57 brought his boat into the marina in about 20 knots of wind and crashed into several other boats, not to mention a concrete piling, before abandoning the attempt to get the boat into his slip. There was a lot of angry talk on the docks after that BECAUSE THE CARVER 57 IS HIS FIRST BOAT, and he can't handle it. I don't mean this to sound abrasive, but just because you can afford a 47 footer doesn't mean you can handle one. I don't have any trouble putting my 46 footer in its slip, but that's because I learned over a course of three decades on a series of gradually larger keelboats: a 22', then a 30', then a 37', then a 41' (that I lived aboard and cruised for eight years,) then finally a 46 footer. If you have any question whatsoever about whether you can dock the 47' boat, then please do the rest of us the favor of not buying it. You'll find out here in the sailing community that we have absolute respect for the fellow in the Santana 22 teaching himself how to sail, but no respect at all for the fellow trying to accomplish the same thing in a Hylas 47. This goes doubly if you're trying to teach yourself the art of singlehanding. I am sorry, but I have to violently disagree with all this crud about handling a 47 ft boat. boat handling is a skill that improves with experience, but the really important thing is the experience. two weeks constant boat handling in confined waters with a teacher who knows what they are doing should solve the problem. Where a larger boat becomes a problem is if the marina is too small for the size. The other major problem is pride. I know I can do it, I don't have to ask for help .....crunch. A bent boat shatters pride far more than asking for help. A real sailor knows when he needs help and asks for it in sufficient time, and is very gratefull to those who assist. Even the best can still get it wrong, thus if you are not sure about the wind/tide effect in a berth, and the ability to get into that berth, ask for help, or ask for an easier berth.

I spoke with the owner of the new Carver 57 this morning, right after the marina notified him that he'd best start looking for a new slip, either that or hire a captain to run the boat. It turns out that the poor fellow had hired an instructor with a hundred-ton ticket to spend a few weekends teaching him how to dock the boat. Additionally, he'd been assured by the dealer that if he purchased both bow and stern thrusters that he'd have no trouble docking it. In my previous yacht club a fellow who'd done well during the dot-com boom ordered his first-ever boat--a new Swan 56--and then joined the club, and then started working toward ASA keelboat certifications. He discovered, to his horror once the boat finally arrived, that he couldn't really take it anywhere without professional "crew." After a couple short years he sold the boat, quit the club, and turned to other pursuits. Anyone who has done any amount of cruising has watched as newbies with a fresh ASA bareboat certification display a complete lack of knowledge about how and where to anchor. Whose fault is this? These folks were sold a bill of goods that said if you take all the lessons (costing thousands of dollars) and pass all the tests you'll be able to charter bareboats anywhere in the world and do the cruising thing. And all too many of them end up chartering boats too large for their skill sets where all they can do is motor from one anchorage to another and hope that they can find a real cruiser at the next anchorage and anchor close to him. No. Sorry. Hylas makes a great boat, but a Hylas 47 makes for a lousy starter boat. No. Sorry. Hylas makes a great boat, but a Hylas 47 makes for a lousy starter boat.
I'm glad I didn't listen to that advice! But I do recommend taking as many classes as you can. Learn to drive rental boats from professional instructors before you think of buying your own. Start small and then work your way up. Then once you have purchased your own (after test sailing it) have someone who knows how to drive yours well, AND who knows how to teach, teach you to drive it. There is no

reason to be afraid of a boat just because it's big, but a healthy respect and knowing your limitations will save you lots of heartache. The problem is that you won't know your limitations until you learn them firsthand! IMHO docking is the least of your concerns. The problem is that the forces increase geometrically with larger sails, etc. So do the costs. If you are singlehanding, what do you need, really? A good seaberth, a convenient head and galley and a well organized deck with good winches, You need a seaworthy boat that balances well with self steering and a reliable engline. You need radar with a proximity alarm. You could find these attributes in many boats under 30 feet. Why so big? Is it because the admiral wants a floating condo that also happens to be single-handable?

I would read very carefully this article by some well known world cruisers about their jump from 37 to 47 feet. http://bethandevans.com/pdf/tenBiggerboat.pdf I would pay particular attention to the line about when starting out you need a boat that gets you out of trouble, rather than a boat that gets you into trouble.

In fact, here is a statement by Evans that if doing it again he would aim for a 42 foot boat, if not sailing high latitudes. http://bethandevans.com/boats.htm __________________ John, sailing a custom 36' double-headed steel sloop--a 2001 derivation of a 1976 Ted Brewer design. One final comment, springing off the point that Larry made, if indirectly. What's most critical, IMO, is not the size of the boat but her displacement. Displacement determines sail area for the most part. And also, to a degree, ground tackle. The size of each will determine your dependence on mechanical aids. I think the light D/L ratios that the Dashews advocate works for boats over 45'. But for my size boats, around 35', I think moderate to heavy displacement works better for true cruising, both for seakindliness and better ability to hold and ferry cruising stores. I recognize most people will differ with me here. In any case, don't get overly fixated on size; keep displacement in mind. You can have two boats of similar size but vastly different displacements, and they will require quite a bit of a different amount of work to make them go. To my way of thinking the first question is, what's the maximum sail area I want to work (and what kind of sail plan for that sail area)? Next, do I want light, medium, or heavy displacment? Once those questions have been answered, the size of the boat has already been determined. In other words, the starting place for me is sail area and sail plan, not boat size. Of course, the sail area question begs the first order question, how dependent on mechanical aids do I wish to be? Perhaps that is the real first question in the analysis, the most profound, and the most personal. My wife and I cruise very happily for months at a time on our Sceptre 36. Easy to handle etc. I charter 50's in the Caribbean but have several crew to run it. The extra amount of muscle power to handle a 50 over a 36 is immense. Go with the 40 and you will be able

to handle it and not exhaust yourself rather than having fun or waiting for crew all the time. I guess I would second what Rex says. I have been coastal sailing my Valiant Esprit 37 for 25 years in Southern California. Its perfect for that. Great singlehander and couple boat. But now that I have basically retired, with lots of time, I am agonizing over moving up in size. I would like to take the boat to Mexico, but keep thinking of that Baja Bash home to San Diego. The prospect of 750 miles into seas and wind makes me wonder what another 15 feet of waterline would mean in terms of comfort and speed. I just chartered the possible next boat, a Beneteau 57, with 49 feet of waterline and deliberately sailed upwind from St. Barth to Antigua to try and make up my mind. My take away was that it was uncomfortable, but that my Valiant would probably have been very uncomfortable. And that with the bow thruster, powered primary winches, and roller mainsail furling the promise of short handed sailing is there. But I have this nagging feeling that whenever I wasn't pounding to weather, or entertaining, I would pine for the simplicity of my 37. I guess for me sailing is about freedom, and I am afraid I would be giving up alot of that with a bigger boat. The old 24-footer lacked an engine altogether, which was a challenge in itself. I've always liked heavy displacement boats, so the next boat was a 31 ft double ender with a displacement of 6000kg (13000 lb). Engine or no engine, the step from 3800 lbs to 13000 lbs was huge when docking. After owning her for two years I had no problems docking or undocking single handed. Now we've moved up to 41 ft and almost 30.000 lbs, a Transworld 41 (CC version of CT 41). With bowsprit and davits she's close to 50 ft. There's a huuuuuuuge difference docking 13000 lbs and 30000 lbs and previous experience come in handy. I have never ever (knock on wood) damaged anyone elses property, or my own and the trick is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. I never put myself in a situation if I'm even the least bit uncertain about the outcome. That ofcaurse means that I can't always have the spot I wuld have liked, or I might go for a different marina than I would have preferred. Preparation is also a keyword. Sometimes we spend an hour or two docking or undocking. Marinas around here are relatively tight, 15 years ago 32 ft was considered a large boat, it's not anymore and the marinas haven't grown as the boats have, so planning your moves is important and the experience to anticipate upcoming situations and take preventive actions is also very important. I know though, that there are plenty of situations I wouldn't be able to get out of without damage and I only hope that I'll never end up in one. Sailing the Transworld 41 is a joy and it never occured to me that she might be too much to handle at sea. Being a ketch, each sail is relatively small and I easily sail her alone. If you go large, a ketch or yawl would be a good idea for single handing. Smaller sail are easier to handle and the two masts give you a vast range of different options for different winds. This boat is probably as big as we'll ever go and she is really all we want. Ofcaurse there are downsides when docking and when maintaining but it's worth it. We'd never use the extra space in a bigger boat unless we end up having lots and lots of kids

Consider the size you want and think you need. A well laid out 40 ft boat would probably suit a couple (definately a solo sailor) better than a 47 ft boat. The ofcaurse it depends on how you plan on using her. Lots of kids? Guests and friends joining you? Lots to consider... A lot of people here have expressed a lot of snobbery about their seamanship skills, and discouraged you from buying a boat they might like to have themselves but can't afford. Sorry to say that, but there's definitely an element of that in the discussion, and it may mislead you in making your decision. A Hylas 47 is not a Swan 56. Not so much because of the size, but because that Swans of that era were just not set up to sail short-handed. A modern cruising boat in the 45 to 50 foot range, like for example a Hylas 47, is perfectly normal for a person with Road Runner's experience, in my opinion. It will be more stable and secure in heavy weather than a smaller boat. It will have powered winches, which will make short work of handling the sail area. It will likely have in-mast furling mainsail, which makes reefing from the cockpit a cinch you can do alone. It will have a bow thruster, which means it will be easier to dock than a 36 footer without one. "Easier" is relative; docking is a skill which requires a lot of practice on any boat, and certainly requires some knowledge concerning the effect of wind and windage. It will have a powerful linear-drive autopilot and will track straighter than a smaller boat, so it will behave better on autopilot while you mess with the sail trim, than a smaller boat. It will be no harder to single hand, and probably easier, than a smaller boat with nonpowered winches and regular non-furling mainsail. We are ALL amateurs here, with varying levels of skill and experience. That guy in the Carver 57 would have been smashing up other boats in any kind of boat -- the problem was not the size, but the fact that he just didn't get enough instruction or practice before trying it on his own. The right reaction to his misadventures is really not disdain, but a feeling of "there but for the grace of God go I", in my opinion.

I heard a story about a guy, told with affection by some friends in England, some sailors with vast experience, who found out he had cancer at about age 50. He sold his business, spent about a million bucks on a brand new Oyster 485, and set out to sea -alone. He had never even been on a sailboat before. After a little bit of coastal sailing to get a feel for it, he sailed his boat -- alone -- across the Atlantic, cruised the Caribbean , took her through the Panama Canal, and all the way up to Alaska, before returning to England. He had no serious problems or misadventures. He died soon after, saying he had had the time of his life. So Road Runner -- don't listen to the nay-sayers. Buy whatever you like, and can afford. Just be sure to get enough practice, and instruction, that's all. I second that sentiment Dockhead. Do what suits you. To me a 50' boat is small.

My point is he'll do just fine on a boat like a Hylas 47, which will be no harder to dock or single hand than something in the 30-odd foot range, and maybe will be even easier, and you guys shouldn't discourage him. My question is: why such a big boat? 47' Hylas...? Yes, Kretschmer and others like them a lot, especially the earlier Stevens, great bluewater boat, etc. But 47' for two people seems excessive to me. What exactly are you planning on doing with her? Are you going sailing with your wife or is she just joining you in the marinas and local sails? How much comfort do you really need? How much entertaining on board are you doing? If you go bluewater later will you singlehand? Easy enough in light air but what about when it gets rough? IMHO I'd go for something smaller with a really nice cabin, maybe a pulman fore cabin or a fuller aft cabin than the Valiant 40. There are so many boats you can get in the 38-42 range with your budget. You would spend less, have more $$ for gear and onboard comforts And have less of a hole over time. The costs over time in slip fees, maintenance, etc. will be huge compared to a smaller boat. Purchasing Sea Life Our Experience of Buying Overseas. The general accepted way of buying a boat is waiting for the right one to come on the market in an area close by. Then you can have a good look at it and go for a sail before making an offer. We wanted to take advantage of a disparity of economic times between USA and Australia to buy a boat saving the shipping cost to Australia. We can then cruise off into the sunset. On a return to Australia 15% tax needs to be paid. Buying a boat over the internet and in a different culture is difficult and has high incidental expenses. To make it easier I wanted to look at one specific manufacturer and just a couple of models that should be in my price range. Beneteau has captured my eye at the Sydney Boat Show. They are good boats built on a production line to force the prices down. Further they are built with the consumer firmly in mind instead of the dictates of old

fashioned 'salts'. This has given them deep exposure to the charter market as well as a clearly defined resale value both in Australia and overseas. Their popular status gives that resale market liquidity i.e. you can sell them easily if the offered price is at the market price. I wanted a boat less than 10 years old and not in need of more than a good clean and polish. I am not interested in 30 year old boats that need refitting. Our price range would include the Beneteau 36 footer 361, either an ex-charter boat, or a never chartered one, and perhaps an ex-charter 393. The search area: USA and Caribbean. Some shiver at the thought of an ex-charter boat and are much in preference of a boat with only 200 or 300 hours on the clock. However I found the prices expected for lightly used boats far above the market value and a strong reticence to negotiating. Ex-charter boats are in a different price bracket and have realistic owners. 3 very nice 361's in the USA would not negotiate to a similar price as a same year excharter 393. The 361's would have been $7,000 more than the 393. When you need to cruise across oceans the decision is a no brainer. Using the internet to search for boats is exactly the same as looking at houses on the net. As we just spent one full year buying our house we know the professional photos bare little resemblance to real life. We knew we had to build a personal rapport with a ex-charter broker and still not make decisions sight unseen. USA brokers require the 10% deposit to be given to the broker at the time of the offer. Most Australians will find this ridiculous and anyway couldn't comply easily. Although most brokers started by insisting on it I just made the offers without deposits. Their offer forms were long and complicated and are used to try and stop purchasers making too many offers on too many boats thus driving a wedge into the price structure. On March 4th we flew into Charleston, South Carolina, USA to see two 361's at the same price. One was absolutely shocking and one beautifully kept by a seaman with just 300 hours on the engine. The price for each was the same. We weren't interested in the crook one and the nice one wouldn't negotiate. Another in Annapolis wouldn't negotiate so it was off to Florida to the boat haven of Fort Lauderdale. During this time in the USA we saw a number of brokers and boats and made offers on 4 yachts. In Ft Lauderdale, broker Peter Wiersema of Moorings Brokerage deals with Sunsail and Moorings ex-charter boats over a vast area including the Caribbean and Pacific. I had been emailing him and on his email list for a year and had made a few calls to him to get to know him. Now I wanted to meet him in Fort Lauderdale to find out if there was a

trust level and see an example ex-charter Beneteau. The trust here was getting vital as boats must be seen personally and while driving around the USA is coslty with accommodation, its nothing compared to flying around the Caribbean seeing multiple yachts. Peter Wiersema of Moorings Brokerage Peter Wiersema's name had popped up on Cruisers Forum positively. That forum also had a member who was a previous client and I was able to exchange some emails. Dealing on an overseas, different culture, purchase is daunting! Finding people who you trust makes it easier. Peter showed us an example boat that was a 'proof of concept'. Moorings Brokerage in the Caribbean works like this: People who want an investment buy a brand new Beneteau that Moorings and Sunsail have the factory slightly modify for charter. The boat is then brought from France and goes into their charter fleets for a few years. The owner can then sail his boat away, sell it, or put it back out to charter with a second tier charter company. The boat sales all happen at the end of the charter year in June and July i.e. during the hurricane season. The boats, however, have been earmarked for sale up to one year before. Our idea was to go sit on the islands and wait for a good ex-charter boat to become available. We were expecting an expensive wait for 3 or 4 months. We started by going to St Maarten to see two boats a 361 and a 393. The 393 was a fine boat. We could afford the 393 if we didnt have to pay accommodation for 3 or 4 months. See all the negotiational permutations? The other side of the world is a weird place. The offer is accepted and the deposit actually made, but you can still pull out of the deal up to a specified date. So our date was going to be after the Marine Surveyor had tickled the ribs of the 393. Marine Surveyors have one brilliant thing when it comes to Beneteaus: Detailed Knowledge and an intimate understanding of each model as well as the build process and design, further, and importantly, a clear knowledge of what a charterer can do to a boat! Stewart Knaggs, Surveyor, would say things like: "If a Beneteau has hit the rocks you will see it here, or here." Suffice to say We couldnt find any major problems. There were, of course, minor items but Peter said they would be fixed prior to closing. John Sinke the Base Manager of Sunsail Saint Maarten and Nick the Technical Manager released the boat to us and we sailed out of Oyster Pond on April 11th. As at 27th April we are still waiting for the Australian Shipping Registration to come through. Also we have noticed a problem with the forward fresh water tank and have reported it to the broker as it was a Survey matter. Peter Wiersema and John Sinke have conferred and we are taking the boat back to Oyster Pond and Sunsail will fix the

leak. Now try and get that sort of 'After Sales Service' on any normal second hand boat purchase! Buying an ex-charter yacht has its benifits, sure it has some extra engine hours, but the engines are designed for a long life and are better used than idle. The yacht when bought is "Charter ready" with all systems functioning and serviced even the linen and shampoos are on board along with a galley full of utensils and a Nav table full of the small gadgets. Remember Charter yachts are made with good systems that are not fragile - charterer prrof. Just the sort of kit you need for a long cruise! The survey will determain if the boat has been on the rocks and also the broker will disclose any insurance claims. We are happy that our boat has not been mistreated. Having said that we are enjoying personalising Sea Life and buffing the boat into As New condition. In conclusion: Yes, we would love to have Beneteau build us a brand new yacht. Sometime in the future that may happen. But until then we feel we have been able to purchase a wonderful yacht that will safely cruise us 'Bluewater' around the world. Hello and thanks for reading my post, I'm planning to buy a yacht in which to do some blue water cruising, including some major ocean crossings. At the moment much of the literature is pointing towards an S&S 34 - they're affordable (~$70k AUD) and are proven. However, i wondered whether there were other boats that I should consider - perhaps even a little bigger? CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND ALTERNATIVE SUITABLE BOATS? I think that we're planning to spend around $70 AUD. Thanks and happy sailing, Nothing wrong with S&S34. Look out also for S&S36 and S&S39 VICSAIL Given your stated price of approx. AUD$70k, you may want to keep your eyes open for some of the follwing: Farr 1104 VICSAIL Farr 37(IOR) eg Boat Sales Tasmania - Farr 37 ( Jutson Upgrades) or Boat Sales Tasmania - Farr 37

Boat Selection Before starting the boat selection process, it is imperative to find out if you really like sailing and are comfortable living aboard. If you arent yet an accomplished sailor, consider a live-aboard cruising instruction course such as Offshore Sailing Schools Fast Track to Cruising. As many coastal sailors do not enjoy oceans passages complete an offshore passage to ensure you do. Time spent offshore will quickly clarify your priorities for boat selection and equipment plus generally satisfies the prerequisite for obtaining offshore insurance for your future boat. Selecting a cruising boat is the most important decision in preparing for an offshore voyage and often is a pivotal point in the changing of dreams from "Let's take off and go cruising some time, into the reality of "Let's get outfitted and go". Obviously there isn't any one perfect boat for everyone. The boat you choose should be safe, comfortable, well built, and ideally capable of fast passages while proving to be a good investment If your plans are only for coastal cruising you can consider a winder range of suitable boats than those who are headed offshore and require a sturdier vessel. The process of selecting and purchasing a boat for extended cruising usually takes a minimum of six to 12 months. Research boat types that suit your budget and cruising plans. Be patient, ask questions and learn everything you can while keeping an open mind. You'll need to locate, examine, survey, test sail, complete the purchase transaction and possibly ship or deliver your new boat to a place convenient for outfitting. If you make a poor choice you may be plagued with structural problems, leaks, slow uncomfortable passages, endless repairs and a low resale price. I mention resale price now, because the money used for purchasing a cruising boat often represents a substantial part of people's life savings. Although sailboats are rarely a "good" investment in monetary terms, you'll want to recoup as much of your original purchase price as possible when it comes time to sell.

Size, Cost and Time Two of the most important points to remember when selecting a boat are size and cost. The size of boat you select directly affects your cruising costs, not only in initial purchase and outfitting, but also in cruising expenses once you're under way. Few people realize that outfitting a stock new boat for long distance cruising can easily take 30% to 50% more than the initial purchase price. On a 40 new or used boat, this can mean an additional $20,000 to $50,000 just for essential equipment including additional sails, ground tackle, liferaft, safety gear and tender. This amount excludes optional equipment such as refrigeration, electronics, outboard motors, scuba gear and

autopilots. On a boat 20 years or older, replacing rigging, tanks, engine and upgrading the electrical system can easily add an additional 50% to 100%. Its easy and normal to overspend on the initial purchase of the boat, spend more money on equipment that isn't essential and then run short of funds once you've completed your initial provisioning and have actually started cruising. A better approach if you're working within a fixed budget is to spend less on the initial purchase by either purchasing a wellbuilt used boat or a smaller new boat. Purchase the priority equipment first; then set aside money for an initial provisioning ($2,000), and funds for cruising (an average of $1000 to $2000 for a couple per month) for the period of time you want to cruise. Then see if there is enough money left for the expensive, nonessential but "sure would be nice to have" equipment. The majority of boats cruising for a year or longer are sailed by couples, and a boat in the 35 to 45 size range generally works out best, particularly if the owners are new to sailing. The cost, time and energy required to maintain a 50 to 60 boat versus a 40 boat once you're "out there" cruising is significantly higher. When I started cruising the South Pacific in 1974 on a Vega 27, there were many cruisers on shoestring budgets, multi-year open-ended cruises on boats under 35. Today we see people cruising faster on larger boats, visiting many countries in a shorter time. Offshore cruising is now rarely an open-ended lifestyle choice, but one that most people experience for one to two years before moving on to the next phase of their life. In general, the median length of cruising boats has been increasing steadily. This may correspond with an increased budget of many cruisers and the development and improvement of sailhandling systems including furling mainsails and electric winches.

Crew People cruising on larger boats may have to depend on finding pickup crew in different ports in order to safely manage their boat on ocean passages and to satisfy insurance requirements. Crew difficulties are one of the most persistent and common problems on cruising boats. It's easy to find friends and family members excited about sailing with you when you first leave your homeport. As you get further away airfares become more expensive, it becomes expensive and time consuming coordinating the logistics of crew arrival and departure. You might also find that you may not be comfortable trusting your boat and life to people whom you don't know well. You must be prepared to singlehand your boat. Seasickness or illness may incapacitate you or your partner, leaving one person to handle everything. Safety dictates a boat with manageable-sized sails, a totally dependable windvane selfsteering system and a powerful autopilot. Fatigue is the number one cause of shorthanded boats being lost on the rocks while making landfall; so it becomes essential that you are able to handle

your boat without help, and that you realize your abilities and limitations. If you are considering a boat over 42 and arent as strong as you used to be, consider adding electric winches, a bowthruster and possibly a furling mainsail. These add cost and complexity, but being able to easily handle your boat is important.

Purchasing Options 1. New Production Boat: Because of a shortage of quality 3-10 year old ocean-cruising boats, and the high cost and amount of time involved in upgrading a solid 10+-year-old boat, purchasing a quality new production boat is more attractive now than ever. Example: if you purchase a 15 year old boat for $80,000, spend $50,000 replacing engine, sails, wiring, tanks, rigging, electronics and epoxy bottom job using 1-2 years of potential cruising time in the process, you end up with a 17 year old boat, probably worth around $90,000. A better choice might be a new boat that costs more initially but returns closer to 100% of your investment. You will be out cruising 1-3 years earlier with fewer mechanical breakdowns. Some people use the justification that since they have rebuilt every system on their boat, they now can fix them in some distant port. I personally would rather spend that time cruising than with my head down in the bilge fixing something that I overhauled a year earlier! If you buy the right boat, keep it in top condition while youre cruising, youll find a lineup of folks wanting to purchase it when youve completed your cruise and you should recoup most (or all) of your initial investment.

2. Custom Built: Having a boat custom or semicustom built always takes considerably more time and money than planned and there are nearly always bugs to work out that would no occur with a production boat. Resale value on a custom boat is frequently not as high as on a wellknown quality production boat. Custom boats just dont make sense!

3. Used Boat: Compromise is important in selecting the right used boat. Chances are you may not find any boat in your price range that exactly meets all of your criteria so be prepared to be flexible and keep an open mind as you learn more about what makes a safe and comfortable offshore boat. You may go into your boat search thinking that you absolutely must have a heavy displacement double-ender with a long bowsprit and a centerline queen berth, for example.

After educating yourself, you may decide that these are not necessarily criteria that add to comfort or safety at sea. Cruising equipment adds very little to the selling price of used boats, you may find a boat that has already been outfitted and cruised, saving you tens of thousands of dollars. The easiest way to find a quality used boat is to locate a professional and knowledgeable broker who has offshore sailing experience and who will work with you to find a suitable boat. Some less knowledgeable or scrupulous brokers will try and sell you whatever boat is easiest. Use Yachtworld.com computer-listing network and various publications to locate appropriate boats on a regional and national basis. Spend time clearly communicating your purchase time frame, budget, and personal priorities with the broker. Be honest and dont waste their time. If you need to first sell your house or wont be able to make a purchase for some time, let them know that in your initial discussion and dont expect their full attention until you are really ready to purchase.

4. Home Built: Home building makes the least sense unless you are an experienced boat builder and are not concerned about time and expenses. Homebuilt boats generally cost more than a wellbuilt used boat, are usually much more difficult to sell when youve completed your cruise. They frequently have a lower resale value than a comparable production boat.

Survey Have the boat carefully and thoroughly surveyed by a marine surveyor experienced in offshore boats. It is best if you research and choose the surveyor, rather than hiring a surveyor recommended by the seller or yacht broker. Ask to see examples of previous surveys. You want to hire a surveyor who has no vested interest in the transaction, other than making sure that the boat you're considering is safe and a good investment for you. If you consider purchasing a boat in a different part of the country and have a surveyor you trust, seriously consider flying the surveyor with you to inspect the boat. Marine insurance companies and banks can recommend surveyors whose opinions they trust. On larger, more expensive boats, many buyers will also pay for individual surveys of engines, electrical systems, sails and occasionally rigging. Most marine surveyors do not thoroughly cover these items in a typical survey.

Market Trends Used boat prices vary geographically and may be lowest in areas of the country experiencing economic downturn and weak real estate markets. If people can't sell their property, they are less likely to be able to afford to purchase and outfit a boat for extended cruising. In recent years have firmed up substantially nationally, and we arent hearing any tales of "stealing" good used cruising boats for 20% to 30% below asking or BUC Used Boat Guide prices. Brokers on both coasts are mentioning a real shortage of good ten-yearold or less cruising boats in the $60,000 to $200,000 price range. This shortage will become more acute.

Points to Remember when Considering Boats from Different Regions: Florida boats tend to be less expensive than boats in other regions, but the higher humidity and salt really take their toll. When boat shopping in Florida, youll find that many of the boats have been unattended and not maintained for some time. Frequently the owners have run out of time, money or interest and have parked the boat with a broker, returning home elsewhere. The salt, humidity and UV really takes its toll on boats unattended in the tropics. New England and the Great Lakes are excellent regions to shop for a cruising boat. A ten-year-old boat that has been dry stored in a low humidity, low salt environment for six months each year will often be in much better condition than a fiveyear-old Florida boat. Annapolis metropolitan area has more quality offshore-capable boats for sale than any other area. Southern California has a very limited inventory of offshore capable cruising boats. The light air and generally moderate sea conditions and temperature mean that less-expensive and more lightly constructed coastal cruisers dominate the market. Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay Area generally has a fairly good inventory of offshore-capable boats. Canadian inventory particularly in the Great Lakes area is worth looking at.

Purchasing a Boat Overseas

The present currency exchange rates have made purchasing a boat overseas less attractive. Prices of identical cruising boats are enough higher in Europe that many Europeans are purchasing boat on the US East Coast. New Zealand and Australia have some quality cruising boats for sale, but as these are small run production boats, few people in North America are familiar with these boats and they may be difficult to resell. However, there are always a considerable number of boats that have cruised there from Europe or NA that are now for sale as owners are ready to return home. If you're interested in cruising specific areas such as Scandinavia, the Med, French canals or New Zealand and aren't interested in the long passages, purchasing a boat on location may be a good choice. If you're considering purchasing a boat overseas and plan to sail it back to the U.S., try and select a wellknown builder who has dealers in the States. You'll find it much easier to sell a wellknown boat for a reasonable price. Any U.S. Embassy will be able to provide you with temporary documentation papers if you're purchasing and cruising a boat in another country.

Shipping and Commissioning When trying to decide whether or not it is logical to purchase a boat out of your area, make sure to factor in all shipping and commissioning costs.

The approximate costs for shipping a 35 and 42, sailboat with a beam of no more than 12 and a trailer height of under 14'. Boats with beam in an excess of 12 will require a pilot car at $1.00 per mile in some states. Add approximately $200 for trucking insurance rider, and $1000 to $2000 for decommissioning and recommissioning, depending how much of the work you do yourself. Florida to New York or Los Angeles to Seattle: Annapolis to Seattle or Seattle to Florida: Wisconsin to Seattle: $2815 $3069 $6800 $7600 $4000 $4600

The cost of deck shipping a 35 boat from Europe or New Zealand to the U.S. is $12,000 to $15,000. Dockwise Yacht Transport, www.yacht-transport.com is an excellent alternative.

Boat Design and Construction

Design If at all possible, contact the designer before purchasing. Relatively few boats were actually designed for ocean passage making. You will need to learn if the boat builder followed the designer's construction criteria. Some Taiwanese-built yachts advertised as being designed by Robert Perry or Doug Peterson may actually be pirated designs where the designer has not been paid a royalty and the builder may have tried to save money by reducing structural integrity. None of the Taiwan yards employing this practice were in business very long.

Builder If the yard is still in business it can be quite helpful for purchasing some parts and assemblies, but is by no means essential. If they are still in business, call and ask them about the boat you're considering. Have the hull number and date of manufacture ready. You may find that boats built by a yard that is still in business retain higher value than boats where the builder has gone out of business. As an example, friends of mine had a Southern Cross 35 built for them by Ryder Yachts in 1985. After a successful Pacific circumnavigation and the arrival of two lovely daughters, they decided to move up to a Morris 46. They related that the Morris 36 that they were considering when they ordered the Southern Cross then cost $20,000 more but is now worth approximately $160,000 compared to a value of $75,000 for the Southern Cross today. Morris is still in business building excellent boats; Southern Cross went under not long after my friends boat was completed. If youre considering purchasing a new boat, check the financial condition of the company. Some builders are just barely staying in business and may use your deposit money to complete another persons boat. This only works as long as the deposits are coming in!

Sailing Performance Youll sure appreciate a design that offers good sailing performance and ease of handling the more miles you sail. Few potential cruisers think of passage-making speed as important criteria in choosing an ocean cruising boat. After considerable years and miles of ocean cruising, it is now high on my personal list of priorities. The shorter the passages, the less exposure you have to heavy weather conditions. A boat with good sailing performance requires less

motoring and fuel, is faster, more responsive and fun to sail in the light to moderate wind conditions so common worldwide. Windward sailing performance is nearly as important as passage-making speed. On the other extreme, a very modern, light displacement boat with a flat entry may tend to pound when sailing to windward and may lack directional stability when sailing downwind with large following seas. The ability to sail off a lee shore in an emergency is dependent on windward performance. Negative Design Aspects to be Avoided Bowsprits longer than 24 often prove to be a liability when anchoring, changing headsails or maneuvering in close quarters. Low freeboard may indicate a design that will ship a lot of spray and water on ocean passages. Excessive freeboard may cause poor windward performance and a tendency to "sail" back and forth at anchor. A small amount of weather helm as the wind increases is desirable, but an excessive amount that cannot be decreased by sail trim or rig tuning may mean that a boat will be difficult to steer by hand, windvane or autopilot. If the design is excessively tender, you'll have to get used to living, cooking, navigating and sleeping at 25 to 30 degrees angle of heel every time you are sailing to windward, something you may find fatiguing. A comfortable motion at sea is very important. A vessel with a short waterline and long, graceful overhangs often tends to hobbyhorse or pitch when to sailing to windward making upwind passages uncomfortable and difficult to impossible. Another drawback is frequently a lack directional stability when sailing downwind in a large following sea.

A Comfortable Home This is just as important as each of the above points, because a boat may have the best sailing characteristics in the world, but if your partner views it as a deep, dark, damp, unattractive place to live, you'll either be singlehanding or giving up your cruising dreams. Remember most cruisers are at sea less than a quarter of the time, so comfort at anchor is also very important.

Storage Capacity

Space for the additional sails, tankage, food, lines, spare parts, medical and safety supplies required for extensive cruising is important. On some boats valuable storage space under the settees and berths is filled with tankage that could have been designed under the cabin sole.

Weight Carrying Capacity A purpose-designed cruising boat will be able to carry the additional weight of three anchors, a windlass and several hundred pounds of chain, as well as additional water (8 lbs. per gallon) and fuel (6 lbs. per gallon), a liferaft, dinghy and outboard. You'll be adding several thousand pounds of equipment, so if the boat you're considering is already on her waterline before you start loading cruising gear you may end up several inches below the designed waterline. On some designs this may be a dangerous problem. Boats that handle the weight the best are not real narrow at the waterline beam and have transom sterns without excessive overhangs.

Mulithull vs Monohull Multihulls advantages include very little heeling or rolling and tremendous interior volume and deck space, making them very attractive for sailing, living aboard and chartering in tropical climes. Another distinct advantage is that multihulls don't sink if holed, unlike ballasted monohulls. Their disadvantages for offshore cruising are that they are more weight-sensitive to overloading; they may be uncomfortable going upwind into a head sea and under extremely rare instances they can capsize. As few marinas worldwide were designed for the width of multis, moorage in some places may be difficult to find. Having said this, multi-hulls are ever increasing in popularity and make the most sense for warm-water cruising areas.

Underbody Design In the past, cruisers assumed a full-keel design with attached rudder was optimum for ocean voyaging. I have cruised on four different modern full-keel boats, plus on a boat with a longish keel and separate full-skeg and rudder. Our present boat has a partial skeg and for me the trade off of less protection is worth the ease of steering and added maneuverability.

Types of Underbodies 1. Skeg Protected Rudder, detached from the keel is well suited for long distance cruising. The skeg protects the rudder to some degree, and may increase directional stability. Examples of this type of design: Valiants, Pacific Seacraft 34, 37, 40, 44. There

are many suitable, well-built boats of this design type and they are a popular choice for long distance ocean cruising.

Valiant 42

Hallberg-Rassy 43 2. Partial-Skeg Rudders can be semi-balanced which is like having power steering. This type of rudder generally has three bearings, making it sturdier than a free-standing rudder which often has only two bearings. Examples include Morris 44, 46 and the Frers designed Hallberg-Rassys providing some protection from logs and debris and a third rudder bearing and more strength than a spade rudder. Having the skeg extend only partway down the rudder means that the rudder is semi-balanced. This greatly reduces the amount of effort required to steer the boat. It is almost like power steering and means that not only hand steering, but also steering under autopilot or windvane is much easier and that there is much less loading on the steering system. The downside is that the top of the rudder balance area is prone to catching lines and weed.

3. Modern Cutaway Full Keel, with attached rudder and moderate displacement is another good choice for cruising in isolated areas where groundings or scrapes are common and the nearest shipyard may be thousands of miles away. The cutaway forefoot is a faster, more maneuverable design that will have fewer tendencies to trip or broach when running under storm conditions than a traditional Tahiti ketch type of full keel boat. Having the rudder mounted slightly above and protected by the full length of the keel and the propeller enclosed in an aperture offer the best protection against damage from collision with submerged or floating objects. Careening or hauling out in primitive boatyards is easy with this type of design. Examples include: Island Packet, Mason, Cape Dory, Freya 39, Nicholson 31, Endurance 35.

Island Packet 350

4. Fin Keel/Spade Rudder is the fastest and most maneuverable design for racing and is the easiest and least expensive underbody to build. Some designs featuring a deep, high aspect keel may exhibit a lack of steering directional stability when ocean swells are present. The unprotected spade rudder is vulnerable to being damaged by groundings or hard impact with objects. There are several very successful cruising designs that have a longer, substantially supported keel (not a thin, high-aspect keel) and strong rudderstocks. Some examples of this type of design appropriate for offshore voyaging are Sabre, Sundeer, Deerfoots, Niagara 31, 35, 42 and Cal 40. If your cruise plans involve high latitude sailing or gunkholing in remote areas, you will need to be more cautious with this type of design. 5. Heavy Displacement Full-Keeled Double-Enders based on Tahiti ketch or Norwegian lifeboat lines used to be a nearly automatic choice for long distance voyaging. However, yacht design has made some great advances in the past 40 years, and you may choose to take advantage of these improvements which make for faster, more comfortable passages, and smaller, more easily handled sail plans without resorting to bowsprits and boomkins. Sabre 38 Having said that, there are plenty of folks happily cruising on their Westsail 32s and Hans Christians content that they have the best design for their cruising lifestyle. Remember that there is not one design or style of cruising that suits everyone.

Hull Construction Material 1. Fiberglass is the least maintenance-intensive material for cruising boats, but construction quality varies greatly from one builder to the next. The majority of fiberglass boats were never designed or built for extended ocean sailing and may eventually start falling apart if pressed into this type of service. The other extreme are designs that are so heavily built and overweight and do not have the sailing performance that makes for fast and comfortable passages. Pearson Vanguards, Tritons and Alberg 35's are examples of very well built, reasonably priced earliest production fiberglass boats. After 40 years these earliest production fiberglass boats are still going strong. Hull thickness doesnt necessarily translate into strength. A thick hull with a high resin to glass ratio may actually be more brittle than a thinner hull where the resin has been carefully squeegeed out. Some builders have a history of serious osmotic blister problems. In some cases blistering may be serious enough to require removal and replacement of part of the hull laminate, which can be very expensive. A knowledgeable surveyor will be an excellent

resource and may recommend looking for a different boat if the blisters are deep and extensive. Westsail 32 If the hull is balsa-cored and the core material becomes saturated because of improperly installed thru-hulls, or if the boat has "gone on the beach" you may want to look at a different boat because of the cost of repairs and potential for future problems. Foam-coring provides excellent insulation above the waterline but there can be problems with water absorption if coring is used below the waterline. Read Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats by Henry C. Mustin, International Marine, 1994 for a clear and concise view of hull and deck design, structure, and condition

2. Steel is an excellent boatbuilding material, and is frequently the choice of sailors who have done extensive offshore cruising. The impact resistance and total watertightness of the hull, deck and fittings is an advantage over other materials. With sandblasting and the new epoxy coatings, steel takes less time to maintain than it used to, although it still requires more time and cost to maintain than a fiberglass boat. Many of the steel boats on the North American market are owner-built hard-chine designs. Although strong and stiff, they are not particularly fast or attractive to many peoples tastes. A poorly-built steel boat will have places on the inside of the hull that will trap water and rust through from the inside out. Access to every part of the interior of the hull makes checking for corrosion and painting much easier. Some attractive, modern steel cruising boats are the Waterline Yachts built in Sidney, BC (an excellent yard), Kanter Yachts, Brewer-designed Goderich 35, 37 and 41 built in Ontario; and the Amazon 37 and 44 which were built in Vancouver, BC.

3. Aluminum boats are generally lighter and faster than steel boats, have less impact resistance and may be slightly more difficult to have repaired in remote shipyards. Painted aluminum boats often tend to develop paint blisters after four to five years of serious cruising, requiring an expensive repainting job if you want a perfectly fair and shiny hull. There are hundreds of unpainted French aluminum boats cruising the world, and although you may not find their concrete-colored oxidized aluminum hulls attractive, they are strong and practical. Aluminum suffers from electrolysis more severely than steel; if you're cruising on an aluminum boat you'll need to be very careful when moored in electrically "hot" marinas. Quality aluminum builders include Ovni and Garcia in France and Kanter in Ontario.

4. Wood boats often offer a lower purchase price, although the cost and time involved in keeping them in good shape is more than with other materials. If you have a limited budget, and don't mind the additional work, a well-built wooden boat could be a reasonable choice. It may be difficult to find long-distance offshore insurance for traditionally built wooden cruising boats. Perhaps because there are so many potential sources of problems on wooden boats in the tropics we see fewer of them long distance cruising each year. There is the special warmth and appeal of wood that some people find irresistible, whether or not it takes more care and maintenance. Modern wood epoxy saturation (WEST System) technique produces boats that are lighter, stronger and often faster than traditionally built boats and have a better chance of being insurable for ocean cruising. The best areas to find modern cold-molded boats are in the Northwest, New England and New Zealand.

5. Ferrocement is the only material that has no advantages other than inexpensive construction materials. It is the most labor-intensive material to build with, is difficult to finance, insure or repair, and has the lowest impact resistance of any material. Having said this, I have met two cement cruising boats that have completed two and three circumnavigations respectively.

Keels Most cruising boats run aground at one time or another, and sometimes at speed. Some keel designs are better suited to withstanding a hard grounding without damage. A longer keel with external lead ballast attached to a substantial stub that is an integral part of the hull absorbs groundings well. When external ballast is used, keel bolts attaching the keel to the hull must be accessible, and keel loading must be spread out through the floor system. Another option is internal lead ballast that is lowered into the keel cavity and then heavily fiberglassed over. Internal lead ballast eliminates some potential problems with keel attachment, but check closely during survey for any voids or water penetration in the keel area between the ballast and fiberglass. Read Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats for more details.

Cast iron or mixtures of iron and cement are less desirable ballast materials, resulting in a boat that heels more quickly and has less room for tankage in the keel.

Centerboards and lifting keels are an option if your plans include more coastal cruising than ocean voyaging, but the increased complexity and lowered stability are drawbacks. High aspect deep and short fin keels (in a fore and aft measurement) are best suited for racing boats. Running hard agro can result in damage to the area where the trailing edge of the keel meets the hull and can cause leaks around the keel bolts. Wing keels have a shape similar to a Bruce anchor and can be very difficult to refloat when run aground. The loading on the keel when attempting to kedge or be towed off is enormous because of the extra surface area of the wing.

Deck Construction The deck surface must provide adequate non-skid without being overly abrasive on bare knees. If you plan on living aboard or cruising in non-tropical areas, insulated decks will reduce condensation and moisture. Teak decks look great at the boat show, but on older boats improperly laid decks will present additional leak potential and maintenance. If teak decking was laid over plywood there can be serious problems once the boat is over approximately 8-12 years old. If the plywood core material is not marine grade or if insufficient bedding compound used, you may end up with the core material becoming saturated and many small deck leaks where the screws are. Many of the less-expensive Taiwan builders of the 70s and 80s used random bits of plywood as deck coring material, with filler between the wood scraps. When water penetrates this core material, repairs are often expensive and very time consuming. Check with any marine surveyor to verify this and avoid these boats. I would recommend having a surveyor look very carefully at any boat older than eight years with balsa-cored decks. Unless the core has been eliminated in favor of a solid laminate where stanchion bases, genoa tracks, cleats and other deck fittings are placed, water will penetrate the balsa sooner or later, and repairs may be extensive and expensive. If the boat has foam-cored decks, the marine surveyor will check all horizontal surfaces carefully for voids or delaminating by tapping with a small hammer.

Rigs The majority of long distance cruisers are choosing sloop or cutter rigs. Dependable furling headsails and mainsails have meant that cruising couples are able to easily

handle cutter or sloop-rigged boats in the 40 to 50 range. Many cruisers are adding a removable inner forestay on a sloop on which they can set a storm staysail once they have furled or dropped their working headsail. I don't have any hard and fast rules that apply to my choice of rig. I used to think that I would not like a ketch rig, but after seven years and 70,000 miles on my previous boat that was ketch-rigged, I changed my mind. I appreciated the flexibility of the rig and the ability to drop half the total sail area (the mainsail) in less than a minute without having to resort to a furling mainsail. Amel of France is one of the few yards presently building ketches. Hull to Deck Joint There are several methods of attaching the hull and deck of fiberglass boats. The most common method utilizes bolts or screws protruding through on the inside of the hull to the deck joint. This a mechanical clamp joint is relying on the bond of a sealant adhesive (3M 5200 is often used) to stop leaks. After eight to 12 years and several thousand miles of ocean sailing the sealant/adhesive loses some of its elasticity. Due to the working of the boat and the different climatic conditions the toerail and hull expand, contract and flex at different rates eventually weakening the bond, allowing water to follow the bolt or screw threads down, and drip on the inside of your lockers.

Two Methods of Solving Caprail Leaks Remove the teak cap rail or aluminum extruded toerail and clean and re-bed each bolt. Radius the inside of the joint with epoxy and microballoons and then lay several layers of fiberglass tape over the inside of the joint, totally sealing it and strengthening the area at the same time.

A more trouble-free hull to deck joint utilizes substantial fiberglass bonding on the interior of the joint, eliminating mechanical fasteners and leaks.

Bulkhead Attachment Bulkheads must be securely attached to the hull. On a fiberglass boat they need to be substantially glassed to the hull on both sides and to the deck with multiple layers of tape. High production builders skimp on this, gluing bulkheads in instead, but once their boats have made several ocean passages, bulkheads and interior wooden cabinetry

frequently come unbonded from the hull, allowing the hull to flex more than it should. The repair is complicated, messy and expensive, involving grinding and fiberglassing in some difficult to reach areas. Internal stiffening systems (grid floor systems, and/or full-length and transverse glass over foam (not wooden) stringers) contribute greatly to the stiffness and rigidity of a boat. If the interior woodwork is just glued or lightly attached to a hull liner pan or to the hull, its not uncommon to discover it breaking loose after a few thousand miles of ocean sailing. Access to hull and deck areas is generally restricted when fiberglass liners and pans are used in construction, making equipment installation and leak stopping difficult. From a manufacturing standpoint, hull liners are substantially less expensive than stickbuilt interiors, but you wont find them on top-end ocean cruising designs. This is one of the reasons for the large price difference between high-volume mass-produced French and German yards and higher quality, lower production builders.

Chainplate Load Transmission The loading from chain plates must be evenly transmitted to bulkheads and structural members below deck to avoid lifting or distorting the deck. Separate chainplates for forward, upper and aft shrouds provides more stability for the mast and reduces the chance of deck loading distortion. Swept-back spreaders mean a less expensive installation for the builder and a tighter sheeting angle for the headsail, but this presents a huge disadvantage when easing the main out for downwind sailing. Swept-back spreaders are not really appropriate on an ocean cruising boat. External chainplates (fastened to the outside of the hull) look salty but have a much higher leak potential and restrict jib sheeting angles. Chainplates must be easily removable as crevice corrosion, particularly in warm climates can be a serious problem.

Mast Support System Deck stepped masts work well, but only if proper structural members transmit the load to the keel. Otherwise deflection and possibly delaminating under the mast occur. With keel stepped masts, inspect for corrosion at the base of the mast. Check the mast for trueness.

Steering System and Position Some sailors prefer tillers on boats under 35 as there is less to go wrong and installing most windvane steering systems is less complicated than with wheel steering.

If the boat youre considering has wheel steering, hopefully the system was built by a reputable company like Edson or Lewmar/Whitlock where youre assured of quality components and that youll always be able to spare parts if needed. Many Taiwanesebuilt steering systems suffer from poor initial design, inferior bronze castings and rudders that aren't able to hold up to the stresses of ocean sailing. This is less of a problem on higher quality Taiwan boats like Norseman, Taswell, Mason and Little Harbor. The location of the steering position is also important. If the wheel is mounted at the far aft end of the cockpit, it may be very hard to design a dodger that will provide protection to the helmsperson without resorting to a long, potentially unseaworthy design.

Aft vs. Center Cockpit Nigel Calder makes a clear argument as to why he prefers aft cockpit design. I can make a reasonable argument for either design, but personally prefer a center cockpit in boats over 40-42 as long as the cockpit isnt unduly high off the water. Some designers try to maximize engine room and interior volume, resulting in this problem. Some of the advantages I see to a center cockpit include more privacy, better engine access and less danger of the cockpit being filled from following breaking seas. Transoms The ideal stern for a cruising boat includes a built-in swim step on a slightly reversed transom stern. This not only makes getting in and out of the water and dinghy easy, but allows easy access when moored stern-to a dock or wall, a common situation in less developed cruising areas. Double enders may look salty, but the loss of valuable, hardto-replace lazarette storage area and buoyancy aft must be taken into consideration. Most double enders have a tendency to "squat" in the stern and hobbyhorse sailing to windward when loaded with cruising gear.

Engine Being able to maintain at least six knots under power will get you in most passes and channels at the time of least current. A rule of thumb is two horsepower per thousand pounds of displacement for a sufficiently powered cruising sailboat. Purists may say that this is excessive, but in my experience it has been an advantage to have sufficient power to deal with currents and the ability to motorsail to windward for short distances into steep chop when necessary. Points to Consider in an Engine: How good is everyday access? Can the water pump be removed without dismantling the engine?

Can the engine be removed if necessary for rebuilding without having to destroy the cockpit or companionway? Is there an engine hour meter and logbook showing maintenance history?

What is the fuel consumption and range under power? 600-800 miles minimum under power for long distance cruising where fuel may not be available for months at a time is only a minimum, from my experience.

Ideally the boat you are considering will have a common make of engine that will be easy to find parts and service for in less-developed cruising areas. Examples of engines which may be difficult to obtain parts for are BMW, Isuzu, Mercedes, Pisces, Pathfinder, Bukh and to a lesser extent, Yanmar. Best manufactures for worldwide parts availability are Volvo, Perkins, Caterpillar, and Cummins. When I bought my Hallberg-Rassy 31, I thought the 25 hp diesel engine was excessive for a displacement of only 9,500 lbs, but the top speed of 7.2 knots, cruising speed of 6.5 knots and maximum range under power at 5 knots of 1,200 to 1,500 miles proved useful. My 42' ketch displaced 25,000 pounds and was powered with a 62 hp engine which proved very adequate in areas like Patagonia, Antarctica and Alaska where conditions dictated powering for weeks at a time, encountering strong currents and tidal rips and fierce catabatic winds daily. My present 48, 38,000 lb boat has a 95 hp. motor which provides an 8.3 knot top speed, and a 1,500 mile range at more economical 6 knots. I have supplemented standard fuel tankage with jerry jugs stowed in cockpit lockers with each of these boats.

Key Points to Remember Make sure you really enjoy and know how to sail. Complete an offshore passage. Realistically assess your needs in terms of size of boat and amount of equipment. If you're outfitting and cruising on a budget, remember the KISS formula. More complicated systems mean more money and maintenance, repairs and spare parts to track down. Think moderate in terms of displacement and sail area. Youll want to hire a surveyor who has no vested interest in the transaction, other than making sure that the boat youre considering is safe and a good investment for you. Marine Insurance companies and banks are often able to recommend surveyors whose opinions they trust.

Sail on as many different designs as possible and take notes on the features you like and dislike, noting pluses and minuses of each. Joining a sailing club or chartering different can be helpful. If you are quite convinced that you want a specific boat, a oneweek charter on a sistership will be a sound investment. Don't overspend on initial purchase price; save at least 40% to 50% of your total budget for outfitting, provisioning and cruising funds. DO NOT FORGET THIS!!!

Suggested Reading The Best Used Boat Notebook, by John Kretschmer, Sheridan House, 2007. Twenty Affordable Sailboats To Take You Anywhere, Nestor, Paradise Cay, 2007. (cross out C&C Landfill, Cheoy Lee, Endeavour, Islander, S2, shouldnt be on the list!) The Voyagers Handbook, 2nd edition, Beth Leonard, International Marine 2006. Inspecting the Aging Sailboat, Casey, International Marine, 2004. Practical Sailor's Practical Boat Buying, Volumes 1 & 2 from Belvoir Publications, P.O. Box 2626, Greenwich, CT 06836-2626 for $39.95 each or $59.95 for both. Also available from Armchair Sailor. Practical Sailor December 1993 issue has an excellent list of cruising boat prices between $5,000 and $200,000 which is still surprisingly accurate. Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats - Henry C. Mustin, International Marine, 1994. Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts - John Rousmaniere.

Boats to Consider for Offshore Cruising Updated January 2008

Through our Weekend Offshore Cruising Seminars and personal consultation I have helped thousands of sailors locate the best ocean cruising boats for their planned voyages and budget. If you need knowledgeable, experienced (257,000+ ocean miles) and unbiased advise from someone who has no financial interest in the boat you select perhaps I can help. Details on www.mahina.com/consult.html or by contacting John Neal at Mahina Expeditions, sailing@mahina.com, tel 360.378.6131.

HR46 Review Article

Christoph Rassy started building production sailboats on Sweden's West Coast in 1966 with the Rasmus 35, a center-cockpit, aft cabin cruising boat designed by Olle Enderlein. Dozens of these boats are still out cruising the world, and the designs that followed have consistently been comfortable, attractive and reasonably fast; very reliable cruising boats without any concession to racing design or passing tends. Large tankage and engines and fixed windshields with optional hardtops are common features and consistently high construction quality has resulted in steadily increasing value of these boats over the years. In 1988 Germn Frers was hired to design a new series of yachts. The Frers designs brought improved performance with longer waterlines and other features such as external lead ballast, semi-balanced rudders and a sloop rigs. Having sailed 114,000 miles on Rassy-Enderlein designed HR 31 and 42, I was eager to test the sailing performance the new Frers-designed 39, 42, 46 and 53, and the difference in both light and heavy air performance was surprising. The larger water plane area aft means these boats can sail to windward in strong winds and seas with very little pitching motion. Before selecting a Hallberg-Rassy 46 to replace the older-style Rassy-Enderlein designed HR 42 which we sailed 70,000 miles over seven years of sail-training, Amanda and I traveled around the world inspecting boat yards and speaking with designers. On a visit to the Hallberg-Rassy yard in Ells, Sweden we met Christoph Rassy the owner of Hallberg-Rassy. He is an avid sailor commissioning a personal boat every few years to cross the Atlantic, trading off with his employees for time aboard. Many of the 260 employees have been with the yard for over 30 years, and boatbuilding is a family tradition carried out on the island of Orust for over 10,000 years, according to archaeologists. The entire yard closes for four weeks each summer allowing employees to go cruising on their own boats. We gave very little consideration to a custom design, having watched dozens of our ex-students go through the time and cost overruns and seemingly unending teething problems of custom boats. Purchasing a used boat and going through a major refit was something I had done three times previously. After careful evaluation, we took the major step (for us) of ordering a new HR 46, exactly the way we wanted it. I was particularly pleased to be purchasing hull #92 of the design, and to know that the yard had completed 8,000 boats to date. Between the time we ordered the boat and it was built, the yard incorporated several standard upgrades which they did not charge extra for. Construction There are many construction details that I've found to be excellent, and in some cases unique to Hallberg-Rassy. This list highlights some of the most noteworthy features: Optional rigid dodgers with opening center windows on the 42 to 62. Once you've made a rough ocean passage with a rigid dodger, you'll never want to go back to a canvas dodger that can be

easily carried away. Permanent sun protection is also a consideration in these days of ozone depletion and high rates of skin cancer. An excellent anchoring system with a watertight bulkhead and deck anchor locker for 250' of 3/8" chain and three fenders which drains overboard, not into the bilge. Two bow rollers are standard, and the boat handles the weight of a 75 lb. CQR and 44 lb. Delta permanently stored on the bow. The powerful 1300 watt, 24 volt Lofrans vertical windlass has worked flawlessly, even in 90' depths. Oversize thru-bolted mooring cleats including midship spring-line cleats mounted on top of the solid teak toerail in such away that chafe is minimalized. Hull-to-deck joint that does not rely on bolts, screws, rivets or adhesive for strength or watertightness. The joint is heavily glassed on the inside the entire way around the boat and solid stainless steel rods for mounting stanchions are recessed into the bulwark thus eliminating potential leaks so common when stanchion bases are thru-bolted. A strong hull utilizing isophtalic resin and Divinycell closed-cell PVC insulation above the waterline. I believe this an excellent construction technique for a cruising boat, providing a hull with excellent torisional stability and no chance of water absorption. I really like the fact that the yard takes the time to grind the inside of the hull and bilge smooth, and paint it with a gray topcoat. This means no sliced or scraped fingers from errant fiberglass strands when installing equipment or cleaning. All interior lockers are lined with satin-varnished mahogany battens. This eliminates moisture and condensation problems, even when we are sailing in Antarctic or Arctic waters. Very careful osmotic blister protection. I have spent much of the past 22 years in tropical waters aboard my HR boats without blister problems. This may be due in part to the fact that the hulls are built under strictly controlled temperature and humidity conditions. A deck that will not leak! The deck also utilizes Divinycell coring which does not have the water absorption problems I've seen on many boats with balsa-cored decks. A substantial structural grid fiberglassed to the hull made of hand-laid fibreglass that ties the bulkheads, mast support and engine beds together and divides up the large storage areas below the cabin sole. A Seldn deck-stepped mast with solid wood support that transmits loading to the interior grid system. I have come to prefer this deck-stepped mast design as it eliminates leaks where the mast comes through the deck, corrosion at the mast base and deck collar, and the inevitable water in the bilge from rain entering around masthead sheaves. After 156,000 miles on my HR 31, 42 & 46 I have never experienced any deflection or problem with the deck-stepped masts. A simple and efficient sloop rig minimizing foredeck clutter. Utilizing a reefable 130% headsail with foam luff we are able to sail to windward in up to 40 knots. Over 40 knots upwind we easily rig the removable inner stay on which we set a bullet-proof hank-on storm staysail. Running backstays provide additional mast stability. In winds over 50-55 knots, we drop the triple-reefed main and hoist a storm trysail. We have only had to hoist the trysail twice while in the Roaring Forties, during our 42,000 miles to date on our 46. Substantial stainless tanks with 275 gallons fuel (including an optional 100 gallon tank) and 245 gallons water are mounted above the keel, and below the cabin sole, creating roomy storage space below the main cabin settees. The tanks are installed after the deck is constructed and are easily removed without having to destroy interior joinery work.

A powerful yet economical 95 hp engine with excellent access from all sides and plenty of room for additional systems. Massive amounts of storage area are available below the cabin sole and on the 46 it runs to nearly 3' deep at the main bulkhead. We have five large Rubbermaid bins screwed to the grid system and filled with spares and food. A boat with a flatter underbody would surf better downwind but have reduced storage space and prove less comfortable going to windward in heavy weather. A semi-balanced rudder suspended on three sets of roller bearings and utilizing Whitlock torque-tube and bevel gear Mamba steering system gives fingertip control, even in heavy seas. I was initially concerned that the design didn't have a full-length skeg, but after 42,000 miles, the "power-steering" effect of being semi-balanced is addictive, requiring far less rudder input and effort. The rudder post is solid stainless steel, tapered at the bottom and the substantial welded flanges are also tapered stainless steel. A substantially deep bilge and sump with external lead ballast with stainless keel bolts. A convenient swim step built into the reverse transom. We find this type of transom unbeatable for active cruising. Not only does this make getting out of the water after snorkeling and swimming easier, it is also makes practicing the Lifesling Overboard Retrieval system easier. Mooring stern-to floating docks or boarding from a dinghy with this type of transom is a breeze! Layout Although few changes are allowed to the standard layouts, the yard has several optional layouts for each cabin. We cut and pasted layouts from the brochure until we had the combination we thought would work best for eight people on ocean passages in all conditions. We opted for a four-cabin layout with upper and lower bunks in the cabin directly forward of the main bulkhead, a traditional v-berth forward, standard L-shaped settees in the main cabin instead of easy chairs. In the aft cabin we chose a double to starboard and single berth to port in the aft cabin, instead of a centerline double. Options We chose far fewer options than most 46 owners: no generator, air conditioning furling main, electric winches, hydraulic furling systems or bow thruster. In retrospect, the bow thruster is a good idea on a boat of this size and displacement, and we will probably install one when we sail back to New Zealand in 2002. Instead of the optional generator, we installed a total of four 8-D gel batteries for the 24 volt system and three Group 27 (one starting, two house) gel batteries for the 12 volt systems. A 3500 watt Trace inverter provides 110 volt power. We replaced the standard alternator with a Balmar 135 amp, 24 volt unit and retained the stock 50 amp, 12 volt alternator. We chose not to utilize solar panels, and have found that one hour per day of engine running in the tropics is sufficient for battery charging. Instead of air conditioning, we had the yard install ten Hella Turbo fans, one for each bunk, plus additional fans in the heads, galley and nav station. I had originally planned to install an expensive holding-plate refrigeration-freezer system that would have run $10,000 installed. A friend who had just completed a three-year South Pacific cruise aboard his HR 42 with the factory-installed Frigoboat evaporator system convinced me to try it, saying that with over 3,000 of the units installed, the yard really knew what they were

doing. A bonus was that the cost was a fraction of the holding plate system. We have been delighted with how well this very simple system has worked, holding the freezer at 10 degrees F. in 82 degree water with a maximum of one hour of engine running per day. I had the factory install Autohelm ST-50 series instrumentation that has worked well. I chose to install the Max prop and insulated backstay upon commissioning in Seattle, thinking it would be less expensive. In retrospect, I now really believe that the factory only charges cost their cost for options and recommend that anyone purchasing an HR have the factory install as much of the optional gear as possible. In only 28 days of work from the time our Hallberg-Rassy 46 was unloaded from the freighter in Seattle, Amanda, a friend and I commissioned the boat and were ready for our 10,000 mile shakedown series of sail-training voyages to New Zealand. We installed the mast, hardtop, SSB, VHF, weatherfax, INMARSAT-C, radar, watermaker, additional batteries, inverter and highoutput alternator. This was the first huge difference in time spent outfitting between purchasing a used boat and a new boat specifically designed and built for ocean voyaging. The second major difference has been how little time we have spent making repairs over the past 42,000 miles and four years of hard sailing. In six months this summer we sailed 11,000 miles in eight legs from Victoria, Canada, through the Panama Canal, to the Caribbean, across to the Azores, Ireland, up the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, across the North Sea to Norway. We ended our cruise on Sweden's West Coast at the Hallberg-Rassy yard. Many people asked if the boat would be ready for a major refit after so many miles, but our list was short: replace a couple of hatch seals, re-bed the windlass and service the forced air furnace. We had hoped to have a bow thruster installed, but with a twoyear backlog of orders on most models, this wasn't possible. The sailing performance has been very good, we are able to comfortably sail 160-180 miles per day, even in very modest winds. Our best 24-hour run to date is 200 miles, close-reaching in 3545 knot winds from Rangiroa in the Tuamotus to Papeete, Tahiti. More impressively, we have found that this design can sail to windward into 30-40 knot tradewinds at over seven knots without pounding. We have twice experienced winds over 65 knots and seas over 30' in the edge of the Roaring Forties between Auckland and the Austral Islands and have found that the HR 46 will heave-to in these conditions, although we prefer to run or close-reach. In retrospect, I know we made the right decision. The HR 46 has met our requirements and has proven a comfortable home. It has been a delight to spend our time teaching, hiking, snorkeling, and meeting people ashore, instead of making repairs. Having a boat that is fun and fast to sail has meant that we have enjoyed going for daysails, tacking through narrow passes and into anchorages instead of motoring. Will, as you may know your particular plan is the hardest one to execute on a small, finite budget: buying a boat that offers both comfortable, relatively spacious liveaboard features AND is suitably designed & built for long periods of offshore sailing. There can be no compromises on each of the basic systems as well as the structure of the boat, and sometimes it''s surprising how much it can cost just to have a sound but basic boat

(before the first piece of gedunk hardware goes aboard). Just to give a few examples, by the time you leave, the boat will probably require a new standing rig (and perhaps lots of new running rigging), the steering cables, bushings and perhaps chain will need replacing, you may have a structural issue to address (how old is that rudder? does it work on its post?), and it''s unlikely you will find the boat with an adequate, suitable suit of sails for such a trip. Since you will need to tackle these projects yourself ($$$), your time window isn''t as long as it might feel, given that you also have to find the boat and then sail her sufficiently thoroughly to come to know her before shoving off. None of this is meant to disuade you from The Plan, but rather to suggest a context in which you take the next steps. Here are a few things I would do initially, were I in your shoes: 1. Buy Voyager''s Handbook by Beth Leonard and carefully review the chapters on boat selection as it relates to the cost of cruising, as well as the overall financial planning plan she offers. No one does this topic better than Beth and it is crucial to a successful fit-out, adequate cruising kitty AND financing the subsequent re-entry. While you have cruising experience, these issues may all be new territory for you. 2. Accept that ''smaller and simplier'' is going to be your primary theme and shape your shopping accordingly. By ''smaller'' I don''t mean "small" and I''d encourage you to think displacement before length, since that not only influences cost and ease of handling for a short-handed crew but also *may* define how ''big'' a boat truly is in the ways that are meaningful to you (volume, load carrying and such). 3. Consider a bias for boats that were prepped for cruising but where the cruising never ''took'' for at least one of the crew. Often these boats are initially selected thoughtfully, and so the design and build may be suitable. Second, the basics might have been already tackled. Third, they tend to congregate in returning yachtie locales and so targeted shopping can be efficient. Since you are apparently in the U.S., I''m thinking of places like S Florida, Annapolis, SF Bay and the Long Beach/San Diego megalopolis. 4. Use a broker (or several, if working different coasts) along with doing your own web work. Solicit broker recommendations from others and make your choices using length of tenure as a broker, preference for your kind of project (namely, older/cheaper/midsize cruising boats; most brokers will want to sell bigger boats, or multihulls, or power, or...), and by chatting to them on the phone. E.g. I would recommend Al Gundry at Interyacht in Annapolis if you are shopping in the Mid-Atlantic/NE region; excellent knowledge of the marketplace and of sailboats, and 20+ years experience with Interyacht. I know this doesn''t take you to a specific recommended list of brands & models, which is what you are asking for...but I think that''s starting at the wrong end of the logic train. Just as the previous poster illustrated, there may well be choices out there that are

suitable to your needs but which you wouldn''t consider if starting out with the typical ''Island Packet/Tayana 37'' type list. Moreover, lesser well known boats might also have lower prices. However, I would recommend you review John Neal''s list of recommended design and build preferences for Pacific-type cruising, which does include a (now dated, biased to the larger vs. smaller) list of cruising boats. See http://www.mahina.com/cruise.html - very useful info IMO and of course John''s been cruising in the South Pacific for 3 decades now. Good luck on the Big Search; it can actually be a lot of fun! Jack As has been noted Van de Stadt is a highly regarded designer. The Caribbean 40 appears to be a nice boat although slightly dated in terms of being derived from a more IOR era design approach to buoyancy distribution and foils and so less likely to offer as comfortable a motion or as high a performance as a more advanced design. The fractional rig is a great choice, offering easier handling, a smaller sail inventory, lower stresses on the boat and crew, and a wider range of flexibility in changable conditions. I personally like aluminum construction given the newer and better choices in alloys out there, but probably would build using the cold molded wooden option because cold molding is generally cheaper, and offers some combination of being stronger, and lighter than aluminum or steel. I think that building this boat in steel would be a major mistake in terms of lost seaworthiness, motion comfort, carrying capacity, higher maintenance costs, and performance. Respectfully, Freedom has many different faces. I was born in a country in which freedom forms the cornerstone of our democracy. We have a Bill of Rights that guarantees basic freedoms unknown in many parts of the world. The truth is, everywhere on planet earth, people are free, but the consequences of exercising that freedom may be catastrophic. I have been in countries in which the secret police are more than happy to watch you exercise your personal freedom, because it makes their job easier. They know who they need to keep under surveillance. Any country without a Bill of Rights is a scary place to live, and for that matter, any country eroding their Bill of Rights is turning its back on greatness. To the degree they amend their fundamental freedoms, to that degree they have fallen from grace and trivialized the sacrifices made by all who have gone before that gave their lives to guarantee their freedom. Many people don't understand the meaning of freedom. They talk about freedom, but worship at the altar of irresponsibility. They actually believe the world owes them the

right to do whatever they want, irrespective of the impact it has on themselves or other people. That's not freedom; it's anarchy and chaos. If you can take the Bill of Rights seriously without sliding down the slippery slope of irresponsibility, you are headed in the right direction. That doesn't mean you are free, but at least you have a firm foundation on which you can build a life. The Bill of Rights protects your freedom from being compromised by forces outside yourself. But there is nothing in that document that makes you free, because true freedom comes from within. Your culture has many powerful forces at work that would curtail your personal freedom, but they never march in the front door and put shackles on your arms and legs, They come in the back door with their ball and chain, place them on the table, and let you put them on all by yourself. They don't need to strong arm you or even intimidate you, because you will make choices that will shackle you more securely than a regiment of secret police ever could. When you sign on the dotted line for a thirty year mortgage on an expensive house and a five year loan on a fancy car, you just put the shackles on, and it's going to be a long time before you have enough freedom chips to once again be free. You know exactly what you are going to be doing in the foreseeable future, maybe even for the next thirty years. Without realizing it, young people often make choices that last a lifetime. Those who exercise their freedom to engage in promiscuous behavior and inject drugs often find themselves shackled to hepatitis B and AIDS, their new and unwanted life long companions who will not and cannot go away. It's unfortunate that God didn't install a freedom meter in the middle of their forehead, so they could take a look in the mirror to check out the long term consequences of the choices they make. During most of my adult life, I have placed a high value upon maintaining my personal freedom to the greatest extent possible. Nevertheless, most of the time, the choices I have made have limited my freedom to a significant degree. There's not a lot of freedom when you spend four years in college, four years in medical school, five years in internship, residency, and fellowship training that made me into a board certified ophthalmologist, and retina and vitreous surgeon. That's thirteen years shackled to the study carrel in the library, the emergency room, the operating theatre, and all that has to happen before I could put up my shingle and practice medicine independently in the real world. Add to that the responsibility of raising a family and paying for their education all the way through university. That's why I didn't dispose of my scalpel or take down my shingle until I was forty-seven years old. So what did I do to keep from going crazy in my world of limited freedom? First, I chose to work overseas in international medicine. This single choice opened the floodgates of freedom, the likes of which haven't been seen in the United States for fifty years. Overseas, doctors are still held in high esteem, and I was able to practice my

craft unencumbered by the dead weight of Medicare, insurance companies, and a legal system running amok. When I worked overseas, my job was to help people. Period. Not to fill out Medicare forms. Not to argue with insurance companies for reimbursement. Not to practice defensive medicine because I needed to cover my buns. My patients knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was their advocate, and I would move heaven and earth to do everything humanly possible to fix their detached retina, to restore lost vision. They trusted in God, and they trusted in me, and rightly so. If you can't trust your doctor and hand him your burdens, then you need to visit another physician. Practicing medicine in the third world was an extremely demanding but very liberating experience, and if I had to do it over again, I would do the same thing. Freedom to practice your craft in an unencumbered manner is worth its weight in gold. Second, even though I lived and worked for sixteen years in Saudi Arabia, I had more personal freedom in Arabia than in any place I have lived in the world. The reason is simple. In Arabia, I lived in a parallel universe in which none of the rules affecting the Saudis applied to me. At the same time, the long arm of my own culture didn't reach across the sea and control my daily life. I had the freedom to be myself and live my life how I pleased as long as I showed up for work on time and practiced my profession with integrity. Everyone who has been an expatriate in Arabia knows what I am talking about, and that's why so many of them worked there for such a long time. The parallel universe can be a wonderful place to invest your life. Third, the Arabian desert was one of the last places on planet earth where you could do expeditionary travel without fear of running over landmines or getting caught in a crossfire in a civil war. Arabia was peaceful, and you could get in your Land Rover Defender and drive off-road for 500 kilometers in any direction once you were outside Riyadh, and no one cared where you went. They didn't even stop you at checkpoints. They simply motioned you and your Land Rovers through the checkpoints, because the authorities knew you were not a threat; you were just going into the desert to have the adventure of a lifetime. There is no place on planet earth that was safer or more accessible to people who wanted to drive off-road. The Empty Quarter is the biggest sandbox in the world with sand dunes hundreds of feet high, and we spent weeks each year exploring this sandy playground. Fourth, I saved freedom chips. Each year that I lived in the magic kingdom, I saved up more freedom chips, so that one day I could buy a freedom machine, a catamaran, that I would sail around the world. Fifth, I chose to live the unencumbered life. That means I kept my infrastructure to a minimum whenever possible. I have never owned a house, but I have owned five Land Rover Defenders. Finally, freedom is just a thought away. You can't be free until you learn to think thoughts that result in freedom. You must think and act freedom into your life.

When I sit behind the wheel of my Land Rover Defenders, I can feel the freedom start to bubble up in my mind. And when I look at Exit Only anchored in paradise, I thank God that I live in a place and time in which I have the freedom to sail on the ocean of my dreams.
Thanks for the posting. Digging around in the www I have found lots of the options/stories on the boat. This why I asked you to start with. So far I have managed to track down only 2 people who have acturally had a 45' HIRSCH and both have given it great reviews. I give more weight to 1 post by an owner/past owner than 20 of the others. Near as I can tell these look to be great boats that under rated and valued. I Found 2 of these boats in Oriental north Carolina very impressed any one know ware I can find the specs on the 45' Gulf Stair Hirsch I have all the papers from when the boat was new including the color sales brochure. I have things such as the line drawings and original sales price list as well. When I get a chance, (the boat is in the yard now) I will be able to fill in some details for you. I believe there are some changes in the Hirsch version. My neighbor likes mine so well that he is traveling to the east coast of Fl to buy one for himself. I was lucky to purchase mine from the original owner and he kept all the papers. He owned it for 20 years as it seems most owners keep them a long time. For the money it is alot of boat. Small world!~ One of my workers had been looking for a sailboat for over a year and when he and his wife saw ours they bought one just like it in under 2 weeks. They are really happy on theirs also. Their hull number is #7 1985. They bought it in Ft Lauderdale. The boat is selling for more now than when it was new. Talk about resale value it can cost $60,000.- to $100,000 per year to pay for assisted living. my point is, from personal experience, you can spend your entire life saving for old age, and find out all that cash can be spent in just a few years, and the "system" required you to be destitute before you qualify for assistance. almost none of us can save or make enough money to guarantee security. scarry truth. obviously there is a balance in there. you do what you can do and deal with the rest. personal choices have a lot to do with good health. some who know us have described me as the wind that drives the boat, and my wife as the keel that keeps us stable, but my wife would be the first to tell you the adventures she has experienced are the best part of her life (except her kids). when she has her old butt parked in some chair, those experiences will be what she looks back on. i feel bad for people who end up in that chair without those experiences. we will all be dead for a long time. i plan to live, learn and work until i can't. capt. Lar I can cruise on 500-1000 per month. I want to earn 500-1000 per month while cruising, without alienating any local officials, or having my boat confiscated, and if possible, without working on other boats. Our goal is not to leave anyone with a nest egg. We have worked our budgets to allow us to write a check on the day we die, somewhere around 90 years old, and have it bounce! We are living our life, not helping someone else live thiers. As I move towards building my new boat I would love to have people to help me. However this is not an easy thing to do in Australia. There seems to be a shortage of all kinds of skilled workers at the moment. Wages are high and the additional costs, such as workers compensation insurance, and taxation make employing someone a problematic exercise. Most foreigners require visas. Those who I have talked to about this have asked large amounts of money, and explained that their availability is limited. Given all that the following skills must be in demand world wide among the cruising fraternity:1. Cut, glue and paint wood well. 2. Set out boat components(frames, bulkheads, cupboards). 3. Install and maintain engines, fuel and exhaust systems. 4. Make and install steering systems.

5. Cut, fit and weld steel, stainless steel and aluminium. 6. Rigging and mast installation. 7. Sailmaking and making covers, awnings etc. 8. Installing DC wiring. 9. Set up and maintain watermakers, generators etc. Even in the third world skilled workers are in demand and difficult to find quicky. My suggestion is to build your own boat full time. This would develop the above skills. Make the boat big enough so that you have an onboard workshop and store of durable basic materials(wood, epoxy, stainless steel etc). Get used to working quickly and moving on if storm clouds appear. Charge like a wounded bull. You might make money faster than you can spend it. From what I have heard from other cruisers (not personal experience), although those skills are in demand (especially below local rates), the minute you step off your deck in a foreign port to make money, you have problems. Tech writing is a very viable source of income that can be done entirely on board. I tend to carry sufficient tools to rebuild my boat from the ground up, and have skills to match, hoping only to locate materials. (10000# of wood fasteners, and fiberglass would be hard to provision) Specific to Australia, I would say the government's antagonistic view towards outsiders, especially those who would like to reside or god forbid earn a living in that country, is probably the reason that such services are at such a premium. Not that I think that does not have a positive side, as it certainly can boost an economy, but it certainly does not encourage outside labor. I run a small web based business that sells 12v and 24v computers we also are doing very well providing wifi and voice over IP products but whatever you do you must remember that it takes a very long time and an awful lot of commitment to make money while afloat I think the key is to have two or three different things on the go and any one time this way you are always able to keep a constant stream of work have a look at my site by all means www .NeptuneNet .net all the best PAUL Basic Ownership Costs NE 36' sloop Long Island Sound Summer mooring $1,600 In water storage $1,500 Haul, wash, block, relaunch for bottom paint $400 Add cost of insurance + annual running costs which depend on sail or power, how many days used, numbers on board to be fed and watered etc. etc. I know a couple who are both RNs. They work for six months in the States, where hospitals are very happy to have them, and then they cruise in the Caribbean for six months. Works very well for them. While working in the States, they live on their boat in a marina in the city they're working in. __________________ In the summer we have done prep and paint Awl-Grip, gone aloft, recharged refrigeration, repaired canvas and made cockpit line bags for people, cleaned interior & exterior of other's boats, and many other things. There is no lack of work and marine work pays well. We've also worked carnivals, wine and bbq festivals, museum festivals, and we're looking at the boat show this year, too. I can say I've been a carnie. The kitty gets fat quick on the hook 330+ days/year. We've met public school teachers who cruise the Bahamas in the summer. Also, tenured professors who pretty much cruse whenever they want. However, nothing beats the RN gig - it's a growth industry and jobs are begging. My sister and my sister-in-law are both RNs; they don't need the money; and they make something like $40/hr working for temp agencies whenever they care to. Of course, they both think that sailboats are silly, but they had a good time visiting us in the Bahamas and St. Maarten. We've been cruising the Med for the past 6 years and stopping up for winter in great locations like Rome, Sevilla & Venice to beat the winter storms. Living onboard in the winter here usually means good internet connections and lots of opportunities. I actually work all year around but do the main part in the winter including networking, marketing my business, and meeting clients IRL. I work as a writers coach and editor and get manuscripts by email from publishers

and writers. I also run an email based writing course. During the winters, when I've gotten to know a place, I arrange writing workshops and IRL coaching on location for people from my own country. They love to travel and can afford it! I had 40 people come to Venice for 6 different classes (I also flew in established writes as teachers). This is the highlight of my year - I love cruising but sometimes miss talking to people with the same interests and during a couple of weeks with the classes I get my full share. Sure, it's a bit of work arranging the workshops, the registration, accomodation (I usually rent large apartments where the diningroom will serve as a classroom), the day-offexcursions and so on, but it pays well and is a great experience every time. My business is registered in my country where my customers pay and I declare taxes. I don't compete or interfere locally, but do contribute with "creative tourism" which usually gets attention by the tourist offices. (In Istanbul the tourist office staff was so thrilled they came to take pictures in class :-) Hopefully this will give some of you some ideas. Could you arrange workshops in your own field of interest? In the summer, I can easily run my mailbased business (editing, coaching and classes) by visiting an internet caf once a week for up- & downloads and work offline with preparations. Would that work for you? Oh, and I "invented" this job one year into cruising as I was getting all these ideas and wanted more intellectual stimulation. I used to be an IT consultant/manager - anyone can change :-) I turned my hobby into a job... PS. English is not my native language. should you think I write funny for a writing coach :-) Like Holding Pattern I do what ever it takes. Been out 5 years. This year been working in a Loft/ chandlery in order to get some new sails. Once you are out and want to stay out you WILL find a way, there is a lot of work out here. Some times you will need to stay somewhere a long time in order to get what you need ( aside from the sails I needed an engine rebuild this year, so have been here for a while), and sometimes you will not have to work at all or maybe only for a week or two..... just the way it is. As my partner and I get slowly closer to live-aboard life, this same conundrum faces us; not yet financially comfortable enough to retire, but not wanting to wait to go any longer than necessary. My partner is a qualified occupational therapist, and is quite happy at the prospect of working for 2 or 3 or 4 months at a time wherever we happen to decide to drop anchor for a while. Her profession is much in demand, so finding work shouldn't be too difficult. I am design engineer, and undoubtedly could get work as an engineer, or even as a CAD draftsman (easy work), but frankly I find myself jaded by the design office environment and am hopeful of finding other work, preferably boat orientated. This past winter while cruising we met: ~ two golf pros who worked in NY for 6 months, then the country club closed for 6 months. ~ an anesthetist and an RN couple who worked 4 month contracts, then sailed until the $$$$ ran out ~ a pastry chef who worked on the Catskill mountains for 6 months (apparantly a lot of resorts close during the winter up there) ~ a long-haul trucker who sailed till the $$$ was gone, then worked for 5-6 months

My girlfriend is a radiographer. 2 year program and easy to find a job just about anywhere. When I lived in a motorhome, many of my neighbors were traveling nurses and CT techs working 3-4 month contracts for and average of $40-$50/hr. I am Family Nurse Practitioner. Currently working on getting debt free and going to build my own catamaran. I will then work for 3-6 months and sail for 9. There is now a Nursing Compact. This allows you to work on your own states license in another member state without becoming licensed in that state. An RN license will also open foreign countries to you for longer stays that just a tourist visa. YOu can even be employed in many countries that you would not otherwise open to you. There are programs on the internet where you do your classes online and then fly to a location to all your clinicals for that semester in a 1 month time frame. You will always have a job. When people have money, they go the dr, when they don't have money, they get sick and go to the dr. You will always be busy. As you can tell by the posts, there are many ways to approach this equation, and it mostly depends on where your expertise and desires lie. If you have even an A.B. seaman's card you can work about anywhere on the coast of the US, and ship to about anywhere in the world. The Blue water shipping hitches usually run for 4 months at a go. If you

have a Captain's license you can usually get seasonal work about anywhere, if you combine it with a dive master's certificate, you can work about any resort in the world. You can also start catching gigs doing yacht deliveries My wife and I have both been amateur photographers for many years. (Hasnt everybody?) But we've put a few bucks into the hobby. Have a number of cameras, including underwater housing etc. Last year I put together a system with a radio controlled pan and tilt, video downlink, zoom, shutter etc. The whole package fits under a helium balloon. Since the system would easily fit on a boat, I was thinking of taking it cruising and I was wondering if other boaters would be interested in aerial photos of their boats when they pull into scenic locations? I already know local waterside businesses are interested, because thats why I got the blimp setup in the first place. What do you think? Would anyone want boat photos from the air if it was immediate? Could hand you a print and photos on CD within an hour. Can photoshop the colors, boat name, erase that bikini bimbo who bummed a ride...clean up clutter, erase love handles and bald spots etc. LOL these pics were just me messing around from the beach one day here where I live. Are there a lot of people doing this to pick up pocket change and beer money? I could put the system on my dink and photo every boat in an anchorage in an hour or so..sunrise, sunset, whatever. Photos looking straight down on a reef in clear water are pretty neat, too. I considered RC helicopters, but started with the blimp approach because i dont like the idea of having 10K worth of stuff hovering over salt water. Logistics on the RC helicopters is tough. The helium approach is limited by wind velocity. but when its good, its really good. Interesting idea. I've got to wonder and play devil's advocate though: Rich folk will say, you're papparazzi intruding on them and try to shoot you down, then sue you. (Easier to sell the rig to real papparazzi.<G>) Plain boaters won't pay you enough to pay for the continual need for helium. And local harbar patrols and small Caribbean countries will try to throw you in jail for espionage in this crazy jihadi world. (Apparently there's even one island nation down there where it is illegal for anyone--including children--to wear camo clothing, which is a fad elsewhere these days. Go figure!) Nice toy though, I'd be tickled pink to see if you COULD make a buck on it. Or rather, a buck more than helium refills cost. Got any pictures of the blimp itself to share? I don't know if your aware of a company that is in the business of taking photos by helocopter called "boatpix". They have been making a living by taking pix on major events (like sail rallies and photos of yachts underway) So there is a market for that too. Good luck. Polaroid Filter. A polaroid filter on your camera will improve the quality of your photo's like you won't believe in this situation. They can remove all of the glare in the water, so you can see right through it and will improve the colours and clarity too. Canibul, I was racing in a regatta that had a guy that took photos from a ultralite. He had a brochure in with the racing packet where you could leave your name and address. He sent me a couple of proofs which I bought one large photo and a couple smaller photos of me in action on the race course. I believe I spent over $100. There were over 400 boats at the regatta and I know several others that bought photos too. I've raced at a lot of events in the last 15 years but this was the one and only time I had photo's taken. Wish there were more people that offered this service. Xray Ted Give a man a picture of his boat and you've made his day. Teach a man to take the picture and you've ruined a wonderful marketing oportunity! Keep your voice down and just do it!!!!! A guy from S.F. Ca. hung a video camera from a kite, and then added Enya's music. It was a nice shot. I would think may owners would appreciate a nice still like these.

Canibul - Yup - definitely a market. There is a Brit ex-pat who started taking pix of boats entering Elizabethtown harbor on Bequia is St. Vincent & Grenadines. He bounced along in an inflatable with a camera in hand shooting away, then came along side later in the afternoon with proofs to show. If you ordered he'd drop off prints the next morning. Did well enough that he trained a local to help him. I often have guests who want a pic of the boat they chartered on, and I have a couple myself. Adding the overhead perspective is cool! You would, however, have to get clearance from local authorities to run your business in their country, and not all would welcome you I'm afrade. Hi a magazine:KAP Background - The Aerial Eye .Famous photographer George Lawrence photgraphed the 1906 San Fran earthquake from kites. Well, I've already given away WAAAAY too many secrets, and I'm gonna shut my trap! BTW, dont get too attached to any R/C plane or helicopter you fly FROM a boat. It's only a matter of time... I knew a guy who paid for his commercial pilots licence by taking pictures of the large planes landing (747's and the such), then approaching the pilots and stewardess's with a proof offering to sell. He found that his sales were in the 90% range, as very few pilots had a picture of themselves in the planes they actually flew. I cannot see why this would not work with boaters, however the sales rate may not reach 90% though. Anyways everybody knows someone who could sell ice to an eskimo, so in the end it's all about price and how well you sell yourself and the product. At $16,000 for a draganflyer, I would make sure there is a market for it! Are you kidding me? You need to ask if it's a good idea? It's genius! Especially in areas where there are a lot of charters. In Vancouver, there's a company taking photos from a high-tower on their boat. They charge a fair bit & are busy all summer, last I heard. If you were in the Philippines, I'd hire you to do all of our beach properties. As well, I'd suggest you market it to various government tourist bureaus. Much cheaper than hiring a plane. Bankaboat is right. Also, the press departments (Public Affairs) of the shipping companies buy a lot of pictures of their ships (especially cruise ship and ferry operators). Quite often, they charter aircraft to do press packs on vessels. Then, there's magazines, press libraries such as Popperfoto and others. Sounds like a cracking business idea to me. The herring fleet is just starting to get geared up here on Vancouver Island. Now I know that if I head out in my dingy (or Boat) and took pictures of the boats at work with their boat name nicely framed in the picture, and then approached the captain with said photo, betcha I get a 75% sale rate (guess it kinda depends on the price, I don't know, say about $50). I would think that I could do the same for all the tankers that ply the waters here, problem there is finding the Captains of said tankers. As far as trying to sell a photo to a cruiser, good luck, I think they would head out in the dingy and snap a few photo's themselves, I know I have. Anyway, think I will see if I am just blowing smoke outta my butt or not, head out today or tomorrow and see about selling a few photo's and let you all know how I made out, let see if I do get that 75% success rate or not? Only a $1,000 a month or so! You know, in places like the Bahamas there are boat hands working three dives a day, six days a week whose wildest dreams are that if they stay in the business long enough they might some day be able to clear $1,000 a month in the height of the tourist season. Here's why you won't stay "under the radar" for long: on any given island there are precious few reefs that are good for snorkeling. The pros dive those reefs day in and day out, and are very protective of them because of how fragile they are. They will be aware of increased pressure on those reefs the moment it happens, and when it's some yachtie in a Pearson 26 trying to eke out extra cash at the expense of their natural resources, not to mention their source of revenue, don't expect them to take a patient approach in dealing with you. I worked as a divemaster/scuba instructor in a resort area for fifteen years. I'd have to work ten dives a week to clear $1,000 a month. That's a fairly high-profile work load, and I guarantee you every park ranger, coast guardsman, dive boat operator, air fill operator, harbor patrol officer, harbormaster, fish and game officer, et cetera within a hundred miles knew me. And I knew all my competitors. And when someone new came into the area, it didn't take long to figure out whether he was legit. __________________ Not sure what the writing jobs on the net pay but we have been writing for boating publications for almost ten years. We would need to do a WHOLE BUNCH of writing to pay for cruising. It buys some beer and a few dinners out and that is about it. The problem with earning a decent living that will support your cruising lifestyle is that it will demand as much time as a full time job. The only plus side is you will have some great scenery while working on your computer.

I don't have an internet buisiness, but I do have ten websites that cost a couple of thousand dollars a year to operate. If I was trying to make money and support myself, I would have gone bankrupt years ago. I don't put any advertisements on my websites because I find that advertisments are irritating, and the amount of income they would generate would be negligible. We get up to 25,000 pages downloaded per week, and I'm not planning to do anything commercial with my sites until I have at least 100,000 pages a week downloaded. I have written four books, and when I hit my download goal, then I will print up one book and sell it on my sites. My son does sell his cruising DVD on our sites, but I don't get anything out of that except the joy of seeing my son's talent and hard work paying off. If you figure out a way to make money on the internet, let me know. I have thirty two web domains that I own, and I am on track to becoming a bazillionaire if you can reveal to me the financial secrets of the internet. Until then, it's a lot of fun helping people get their lives together and inspiring them to live their cruising dreams. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good reward. Not all rewards are financial. __________________ Dave Exit Only Lots of marine based businessess are willing to hire cruisers as long as they will commit to a season. Once you have done a couple of seasons you will find that the connections grow. In the US, West Marine is actually not a bad choice for cruisers. I have a number of friends who work for them in season, In the Carib, Budget marine is always hiring, even if the jobs are not posted on their website. Marinas and boatyards hire people with good skills sets, Do not depend on getting work from other cruisers. or by doing deliveries, if you do its a bonus not a steady income, unless you have a very specific skill such as sail/ canvas/ mechanic/ refrigeration. A friend of mine has a mobile welding shop on his 40 footer. People who have not been out are always worried about finding work, but its amazing how much hunger and the need to purchase an expensive part can drive you to a source of readies. It sounds like you are being realistic in how much you expect to earn, so you are half way there already. I have been out about 5 years now, and always managed to find work. I find that I need to work about 4 months a year, thats an average, this year has been more as I needed to repower. There is a lot of work out there at the levels you are talking about. It is much better to base yerself somewhere for that time than try an make a living and voyage. Lots of marine based businessess are willing to hire cruisers as long as they will commit to a season. Once you have done a couple of seasons you will find that the connections grow. In the US, West Marine is actually not a bad choice for cruisers. I have a number of friends who work for them in season, In the Carib, Budget marine is always hiring, even if the jobs are not posted on their website. Marinas and boatyards hire people with good skills sets, Do not depend on getting work from other cruisers. or by doing deliveries, if you do its a bonus not a steady income, unless you have a very specific skill such as sail/ canvas/ mechanic/ refrigeration. A friend of mine has a mobile welding shop on his 40 footer. People who have not been out are always worried about finding work, but its amazing how much hunger and the need to purchase an expensive part can drive you to a source of readies. It sounds like you are being realistic in how much you expect to earn, so you are half way there already. And just FWIW I find that on a 38 foot boat I need to earn about 7K USD a year Hope this helps and fair winds Elkman, I am afraid there is no easy answer. You may indeed find some who have successfully done what it is you wish to you, but they are few and fair between and they rarely make much more than poverty level living. I understand the "dream", have been out here living it for 3 yrs and love life, but that dream is skewing your logic. You propose to sell the real assets and property you have and depart whatever enterprise makes for a good life for you and your family. You will then tie up what looks to be half your liquid assets in a platform that will then continue to incur a tremendous amount of daily and monthly expenses for you that will further erode your remaining cash. And you will do this in a recession during which time credit is tight, cash is tight, you will be underwater in selling your largest existing asset right now. An economic downturn that would mean that customers might be tight for any future business and should you need to bail on this whole deal, due to lack of money, there will be fewer people lined up to buy the one asset you will have (boat) and they will pay far far less for it than you did. I apologize if the above seems harsh, it is not mean to be. I get paid very well for making these kinds of analysis and you are getting this for free.

Making money doing charters? Sure, you and every other person that has a boat in the carib. In addition to the huge, high end and low end charter biz's that put ads in the glossy mags. Make money captaining boats. Sure. It can be fun and it gets you out on the water. Out on the water for long long hours, herding tourists who could care less about safety, long hours fixing engines and then when you return, maintaining those engines. Hope you like oil changes, you will do a lot of them. Make money teaching sailing. Sure. If you have years of experience, a captain's license and instructor level certification from ASA or USS at a cost of hundreds), there are a tiny number of sailing schools in FL that may hire you for $31k/yr. No benefits. You will work 6-7 days a week and many do liveaboard instruction, thus you will be gone from your family for 6-7 days straight, back for one day and then out again. You will work every weekend and every holiday. No vacations. But hey, you love it, right? Make money diving. Sure. You can get $1.5-2/ft scraping barnacles off hulls. Why on earth would you trade the nice life you have to compete with all the billions of other guys doing this? All the above said, your idea of a fat farm biz aboard a luxury cat is a good one. It is different enough so as to be able to distinguish itself from the billions of other starving charter operators out there. Maybe that will work...but....have you done the market research, business plan and cash flow analysis to take this kind of risk? Charter insurance could be 5% of the value of the boat a year, so there is $9k for you right there. A slip in a place that your customers will come to, $1000 a month. What about health insurance for your family? $350-600/mo. Cell phones, internet access, web page for your business etc etc. I am not sure that your $1000/mo income require above would cover all that. How experienced a captain are you? What level license do you have? How are you gonig to cover your liability as a captain and owner of this enterprise? Unfortunately today, liability and costs mean that to begin a charter business, you are investing hundreds of thousands up front to make hundreds in profit all while incuring millions of dollars in liability. Again, I apologize if the above seems harsh, but from where you are, it would be difficult to know of these realities. And again, it can be done, however the chance of success is probably lower than any other new business and the risks are quite high. If you have nothing to lose, not a problem. You have a lot to lose. Another idea: find a business that you can gain a little income from while not having to be there all the time. Buy a much less expensive boat, liquidate your assets and invest wisely in securities, commodities and some bonds (whould be about $300k, which even at 5% would give you $15k income, more than half of what you will need). Make a very strict budget that allows you to live on a variable income. Use cash for the first year of cruising and then income for the remaining. If you like, try having a couple of people come for your fat farm biz aboard your boat (after you get a capt lic and liability insurance) and see how that works. You can always ratchet up from there. If all this does not work out, you have much less of your money tied up in a boat that may take 1-2 yrs to sell. Simple and lower risk. And again, this is not to be harsh, it is to help. The above is more than $250 worth of advice. Best John __________________ USCG 100T Master's License I have worked in many coutries that in theory require a work permit. If somebody wants to hire you, for whatever reason, they will find a way to employ you. I have worked in Turkey, Greece, ( before they were part of the EU) middle east, and otrher places. You do have to get used to working for local rates, but even in third world countries skilled labour runs about GBP 5 an hour ( about 8 USD), living on the hook thats defin. worthwhile for a cruiser. One last thing; always leave yourself a nice reserve for arrival, the best jobs come to you when you have time to check things out at your own pace, I find having a 1500 reserve means I can pick and choose, in effect this means allowing 6 months in any one place. As for times being tough, thats just the way it is, there is Always work, and yes it is at " poverty level" in the west. Check out Living On a Small Income, by Pete and Annie Hill. I know Pete quite well, and he is still out there living on about 5k a year, loving life Don't buy a $180k boat. Buy a $50k monohull at the most. Go buy a copy of "A cruising Life", read it twice, and then re-evaluate your plan. I think you are headed in the right direction, but you need to shed the ways of land if you want to succeed on the water.

Chris Wow: Thanks for the advice...from all of you. Ill re read these several times. On one note I did not make clear, my business here is losing money every month. And has been for sometime. Its high time to unload. One of my real estate investments here, 1.4 mil is perhaps realistically worth 500k. Ill be happy to take 300K just so I get something this land based crumbling empire I built. I spent a few months in Thailand (twice) last years /two in a one bedroom bungalow..200 sq feet tops, no TV, nothing but a toilet and a bed. I had nothing material, wore the same clothes daily. Loved every moment of it. I have had a couple people tell me the 50 K boat is the way to go. John Drake made some very on the mark comments. I've gotta do this right the first and only time so I'm not saying oh fuck later. Thank you for your clear and direct well thought out advice. Personally I am in favour of the lighter production boats over the old heavy displacement cruisers. Beneteau, Jenneau, Hanse, Bavaria, Catalina. The Beneteau First series is a very highly regarded cruising boat even though its primarily a racing design ( at least in the EU) and there appear to be quite a number of Bene 393's out in the blue stuff. You should be able to pick up a vintage (early to mid 80's) one well within your budget. I might add that there are a couple of Gin Fizz sloops in the US for sale at very good prices- in the high 40's. The ketches fetch quite a bit more, but you might find one for around 65-70. Disclaimer- i am owned by one ( not for sale There is a lucrative market that most of you never thought of - and I never did until a friend of mine did it - and that is to equip a house boat solely for disabled folks. My friend set one up in the Okanagon and he was swamped with business. He could charge high as usually it was wealthy folks on it, or a society or business paid for it. For example, Christopher Reeves was one of his clients. His boat was really tricked out, special gear for wheel chairs should the boat sink - like a life jacket for wheel chairsspecial bathing area and lift to get the person it.... etc. He was so successful, he outfitted another boat about two years ago. This market is untapped so some one out there might want to take advantage of these folks putting together quality cruises, especially equipped for the handicapped. There are few jobs where you are completely independent of other people for long periods of time. I had a friend in Tokyo that corrected copy for several English magazines. The work was already translated but the spelling and grammar were poor. She got paid about $20USD per page of copy and was making about $500 per week. It was a great gig. actually you can, you can just spread the word whenever you come into port and someone is bound to come and ask you to find something, and if you got instructor certified and get a captain's license you can make good money in the charter buisness because they are always looking for people that a certified divers to take people out on trips and you could get a hefty profit, last I looked it was somewhere between $18,000 and $25,000 for a weeklong charter of a 46' cat that can hold 8 people and that was without diving. Here is how I did it: I worked a traditional retail job for 6 years. Each month putting as much aside as possible. I drove a piece of shit car, with no payments, and cut back on everything I could. After 5 years, I had enough to pay cash for the boat I wanted. That left me with about 12 thousand to do updates on the electronics, get a dinghy and outboard, outfit with some solar, etc. Since my boat is paid for, there is little expense to the cruise. I have met people that do it with thousands a month to spend on alcohol, food, etc. and I have met people that do it for a few hundred a month. I currently find work on the internet, and make enough each month to keep me in food and slip fees...but the slip fees will end once I hit the road. My advice, buy a boat you can afford, without payments. You will be happier, and probably use it a lot more. Our marina is full of people with boats with payments. I rarely see them as they are all working. I am on my boat everyday, happy as a clam.

I worked in Saudi Arabia for eleven years before taking off on our circumnavigation. We saved up Freedom Chips and paid cash for Exit Only, and then we set sail. I worked as an Airline and Corporate Pilot for US an foreign carriers for 17 years and I am using all my savings plus inheritance. I am not planing to go back to work if at all possible. I am now 36 years old and I will be living aboard soon at the BVI. whilst i dont regret anything about my life i often wonder where it might be now had i realized my dream to own a yacht when i was in my twenties and not my 50's. paying cash for a boat that needs a bit of work on it is much more sensible if you are a handy-person and it gets you on a boat, which can be sold when a buyer comes along. these days i fund live-aboard cruising by doing odd jobs for other yachties, for barter and cold-hard-cash for landlubbers. the idea of living in marina doesnt appeal to me at all and as a rule i'll only use one when there is no alternative, the last time was for a few days about four years ago.

live the moment & good luck Saved up money as an employee for years, leveraged savings into building up a firearms company and sold the business with enough left over to be able to buy the boat and cruise around. Sounds easier than it was, but the fruits of labour are certainly nice! Prior to 1977 or so the build quality was suspect--kind of good boat, bad boat and it was just the luck of the draw. Designs were uninspired, too. Around 1978 Lazzara got his design act together and the yard seemed to really tighten up, too. The boats from 1978-on seem to be from a whole other builder. They're well-laid up, well designed and well built. The joinery on my 1982 44' mkII sloop is as tight as the Hylas' I looked at in the Miami boat show. I'd give it high marks for liveability and comfort. Criticisms? Pushpit is a joke & lifelines are too low. General access to backing plates, chainplates, etc is very problematic with the same true for wiring and plumbing. I've seen 50's and 44's all over the place, so they definitely are blue water capable. If this one sank tomorrow, I'd buy another one. Here's a website that might be of use: http://www.gulfstarownersclub.com/ I would like to do a schedule of working for six months and playing for six months. That way I would have the best of both worlds. Many professions require that a person stay current in their area of expertise or they lose their professional credentials. I imagine that a pilot has to fly a minimum number of hours to maintain their rating and flight proficiency. If I was a 36 year old pilot, I would plan a mixture of cruising and flying where I had the best of both worlds. In addition, if hard times ever came, I would have the credentials to instantly return to work. I am in medicine, and if you don't work for a couple of years, it's very hard to get a job. Hospitals and insurance companies don't want to credential you because you have been out of the loop and are not current in their opinion. They take this attitude because they are suspicious that you have a drug problem and have been in rehab. After all, why would you not be working unless you had some type of serious problem? They can't conceive that you might have another life as a cruising sailor. Not having to work is nice. No doubt about it. But keeping your options open and maintaining your credentials is a smart thing to do. Six months of work generates a lot of disposable income, and when you finally do your six months of sailing, you enjoy it that much more because it is a welcome break from your work.

The six month cruising/working routine also fits nicely into global weather patterns. When hurricane season comes, you can haul your boat out and return to work. When hurricane season is over, you go sailing for six months. I was an eye surgeon in Saudi Arabia. During most of the sixteen years that I worked in Arabia, things were very safe. We had total freedom of movement from coast to coast. I had a letter from my employer that gave me permission to drive anywhere I wanted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We drove from the Iraqi border to the Yemeni border and from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea without ever having a problem. At roadside checkpoints the police motioned us through because they weren't interested in western expatriates driving Landrover Defenders. We camped in the desert between 60 to 90 nights a year, and drove tens of thousands of miles offroad in the desert. Life was very good. Check out this link to see pictures of our Arabian adventures in the Empty Quarter. http://www.positivegraphics.com/Positivegraphic55.htm My last two years in Arabia were not so safe. Bombs started exploding around Riyadh and in other places around the Kingdom. Al Quaeda had come back to Arabia, and the Saudi government released 600 of them back into the general population - a very bad idea. About a month ago, they rounded them all up because they were causing a lot of trouble. Bombs and other homicidal events against foreigners were becoming a real problem. Coming up the Red Sea, there was no need for weapons. The Gulf of Aden is a high risk area, and if you are going to be "packing", that's probably the area to do it. Now that I am back in the USA earning Freedom Chips in Phoenix, I find myself in an armed encampment. I've never seen so many gun shops, and lots of people are "packing." I wish they would post signs that told me whether I was in a 38 caliber or 45 caliber zone as I was driving through town. I don't feel nearly as safe as when I was out cruising on Exit Only. __________________ Dave Exit Only I used to spend a lot of time abroad and not working (albeit no boat) and after 6 months I actually found it felt good to be back "Home" working again and using my noodle (albeit never too much ). and for me saving hard for 6 months is so much easier than trying to do the same over a much longer period. The one big drawback to even the 6 months on / off (albeit it never seemed to work exactly like that) is that can still be easy to drift away from freinds and "home life" - interests change for both sides........

We actually set sail full-time, funded by savings and planning to go until the money ran out; our expectation was 2-3 years. At the end of the first season we were unexpectedly in London, where I found that the one aspect of the lifestyle I'm not cut out for is sitting around in a marina for the winter. I took on a two-week freelance contract primarily to help out a friend and help stave off the boredom; but like Topsy it grew and grew, as a result I worked Nov - March, had great fun and discovered that almost by accident, I'd more than covered all our expenditure for the year. In four subsequent years we've laid up ashore (Spain, Italy, Greece x2) flown back to the UK, rented a flat and worked for twenty weeks; we've never failed to at least 'break even' for a year, so still have the funds for that three-year break. To be honest, I see it as being feasible to carry on this way even if/when we cross to the Carribean and US, I'll just need to work for an extra couple of weeks to cover the more expensive air fares and boat storage costs. I started with.... no plan. Blundered into a job that paid well enough, But I had to travel and I hated it. Bought a condo, got married, sold the condo and came away with enough cash to start a business and quit traveling. Wrong wife, hated me being my own boss. 4 kids/8 years later, got divorced and went back on the road, very very broke. Got married ... for some reason. I fell in lust I think. 1 more kid and 8 years later got divorced. Very very broke. Decided to quit hating the travel work and started long term overseas work, same industry. Came back from Asian job with enough cash to buy a fixer upper boat, a car and still had cash leftover. Went back to Asia and married a little brown sweetie (9 years ago) who could travel with me. We were in Malaysia when 911 happened. Things changed. Thanx Homeland Security. Now I'm on the boat in the cruising community of Mexico, and trying to figure out how to bring my Indonesian wife here.

But aside from that little mud puddle in my life, if it were not for a pair of divorces, I would not be here. I would be living hand to mouth and hating life. Yes, I have lost the nest egg, more than once. But life is good. I will say that I see boats here that are rough. And I see cruisers here that don't have much. Most seem to be financially secure. Some are not. EVERY boat seems to be some kind of "work in progress". It's OK, or normal I think to be afraid of outliving your money. It's a good idea to have a healthy respect for the sea too. So now (finally) I have a "plan". I leave the boat and accept an assignment to some foreign country, take my wife with me and we spend months making good money. And when that job is finished we come back to where the boat is. The only part that doesn't seem to work is getting my wifes visas in order. Can't keep up with the rules Do you wise people think that there is any money to be made in splicing? I am getting pretty damn good (though I do say so myself) in splicing: Double braid, single braid, 3-strand etc. Around here, chandleries charge like wounded bulls for double braid eye-splices; I'm talking like $75 for a 14mm double braid eye-splice. I'm wondering if there is potential to make a bit of money, while live aboard cruising, offering spicing services at marinas, for dock lines etc, or to owners for halyards, sheets etc. Perhaps most cruisers can splice anyway? Maybe marinas have someone who does all tehir splicing? I don't know. What I do know is that I could charge less than half of what the chandleries around here charge and still be making money for old rope, so to speak. What do y'all rackon? I'm thinking of ofering mooring lines as a complete service. Basically, 14mm double braid, black, at the customer's required lengths, with appropriate sized eyesplices. This allows more money to be made, because the chandlery charges about $6 per metre for 14mm rope, but of you deal with the rope manufacturer direct, you can buy a whole reel (typically 200m, but sometimes 100m) at $2 per metre.. Lookimg at it realistically, for a standard set of mooring lines: 2 bow lines at, say 4m finished 2 stern lines at, say 4m finished 2 springers at, say 8m finished With a small eyesplice at the marina end of each line and a large eyesplice at the boat end of the line, and assuming 0.5m per splice, you would need 38m of rope and 12 splices. From a chandlery, that would be $228 for the rope (at $6 per metre) and $900 for the splicing. Eeek! $1128 for a set of mooring lines. Now, if I buy the rope and charge $3 per metre, and charge, say $32.5 per splice, which is half the price of the chandlery, my sell price would be $564, with my expenses being $38 for the rope and about 8 hours of my time for a $500 or so profit... I'd even use black thread for the whipping, heh Obviously that is a rather oversimplified calculation and doesn't take into account freight costs for the reel of rope, and also assumes this would be a "cash" job, so no cut to the taxman... even so, there still looks to be some margin there, no? As for wire to rope splicing; Bernard Motissier said "life is too short to do your own rope to wire splicing". Actually, I'm being rather tongue in cheek. Bottom line is, with the improvement in rope technology these days, I just don't see the call for wire to rope any more, just use Vectran or Amsteel or PBO etc and have the strength of steel, with similar stretch characteristics and a fraction of the weight... Wow, $75 a splice, I thought $50 (the price around here) was a bit high - and we are the boom state . As for wire to rope, I think you are right in that it is not used so much today however once you know how to do it, it becomes quite easy. Like most things really Thanks for the link Paul. Those prices look extremely competetive (I'm guessing they are doing the splicing at pretty much cost, and are getting their profit out of selling the rope).

But the point is that I am not in the USA, I'm in a very remote corner of the world, and $75 is what the biggest (and most expensive) chandlery hereabouts charges for a splice in 14mm (9/16") double braid. I am not trying to compete against the cheapest splicers in the world. I'm competeing against the cheapest splicers in my area. Actually, being realistic, there probably are people splicing cheaper than chandlers, but where do you find 'em? In fact, having shopped around a couple of the other chandlerys, I have managed to get a quoted price down to $54 per splice, and $5.40 per metre for the rope. That, in my above example, would equate to about $850. I could charge as little as $25 per splice and be making good money, but if I can, for the sake of argument, charge half of what the local guys will charge, why go cheaper? I like to splice my own stuff. But I sure can't do it time-wise for anything like what these online outfits charge. It just takes me too long. I think you said you wanted to do this to make money while cruising. In this case, the customers won't have access to online vendors, or most likely they won't have access to a rigger or marine store either. Most won't want dock lines. But may want halyards, etc. Its a good skill to have. Casey When we planed our cruising, the idea of working while we cruise was a number 1 thought. we planned this by adding many different skills to chose from, which has worked well for us.. One of these skills, and I bring it up as you're in the same field, is the construction industry. I was a certified welder and an Iron Worker by trade, but made the change to Construction Inspection. I now hold a hand-full of qualifications as an ICC - Special Inspector in Concrete and Steel. I've been working in the position for a few years now and have had offers from around the world.. And the best thing about it is, your sought after, and paid well, so moving around from job to job or country to country is a reality.. My advice to you would be to add to your list of qualifications as you work. Being in construction can take you around the world, and your mode of transportation, your sail boat... Its worked for me........ If you had to do it over and could spend time learning a trade before you sailed, what would it be? Is there something that would be valued and usable worldwide? My opinion is: 1) electrical. 2) diesel, 3) refrigiration. Reasons. 1) Electrical problems are the most common on a boat and people are afraid of it so you can charge the most. 2) diesel is very important to people and takes an expertise beyond the level of many people once you get past the basics, and 3) Refigirations. If the Admiral is happy the crew is happy. Enough said. diesel mechanic, refrigeration guru, 12 volt genius. These are the important things. I too would say electrics. I've spent the past 9 years in the marine electronic business as a service technitian, starting out on submarines in the navy for a couple of years, then 2 years travelling around Europe, servicing and installing electronics on tankers, ferries, leasure boats etc. And now finally on pilot boats. My experience is never to tell anyone around the harbour what I'm doing, or I'll be flooded with work. So, for my planned cruise, I hope I'll be able to make a few extra bucks. The more training you have the better and more valuable you can be. An RN is almost gold, but therapists also can do well too. LPN's and other specialties also are in great demand. Since I don't work in the medical field myself it's hard for me to say what the lowest level might be that would work. I do know an Anesthesiologist that can work within 24 hours of hopping off the boat if there is a hospital near by. They cruise full time and work very little. Thinking in terms of what locals need is more advantageous than trying to compete for local jobs that don't pay well - you might get one! As for boat handy man, there are guys who make a lot of bucks at it. There is also a lot of competition. Fortunately much of that competition is not committed to putting in a hard day at the office. I never tried to work from the boat so I can't comment on legalities... We extended our cruising budget from 3 1/2 years to 14 years by doing odd jobs (mostly refridige and diesel mechanics) and we also had a canvas business on board. Sewing isn't that hard if you have a good machine and a decent size salon on your boat. We always had more canvas customers than we could handle. We built everything from winch covers to full cockpit enclosures. We even got into manufacturing parachute sea

anchors. There are lots of things that you can do out there and a lot of cruisers are (unfortunately) mechanically inept. Most cruisers would also rather pay another cruiser (with good referrences, keep a portfolio) then to pay some boat yard in a 3rd world country that just hired some farmer as a diesel machanic a week ago. I had a dive compressor on-board for several years. I rarely used it (mostly free-dive) and I most certainly wouldn't concider giving dive lessons in a foreign country. A good way to end up in jail IMHO.....too many things to go wrong and the liability and legalities would be very risky. Professional outsourcing of parts often requires that you have a commercial account with wholesale suppliers. If the USA is to be your source, then it would be useful to have established relationships with: - The Lewis Marine Group: Lewis Marine Group - Land N Sea Distributing, Inc: Land 'N' Sea Distributing, Inc. - Jerry's Marine Service: Jerry's Marine Services - Kellogg Marine Supply: Kellogg Marine Supply Home - Port Supply (West Marine): https://www.portsupply.com - Boat Owners Warehouse: Welcome To BoatOwnersWarehouse.com etc ... Sourcing parts from a remote location can be difficult. One of the problems is to accurately describe what you want. This is why I recommend that all cruisers carry as many Shop & Parts manuals as they can - regardless of their own competence or inclination to perform technical work themselves. Someone will find the information useful, perhaps to your benefit. Hi this is my first post. plan: 55 ft catamaran, cruiser ( will be build) wood/epoxy pacific asia waters: Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines best design for this region? yes it is big, but i am going to build only one boat in my life. and I like this size. as I said, I have everything under control (money). What I am looking for it is information , if i need something specific for this water, or just regular design should be ok? I am in a good position, because I have many friends. So carbon mast, sails, etc. I will have for the fraction of the cost. so the cost is not the problem, problem is design, which one? You have picked a very nice boat. The co-designer of the Dix 550 built the first Gunboats. I hope you build it. I intend building in wood/ply+ epoxy as well and have also emailed DixDesigns, so we have a lot in common (your English is perfect). The designers using wood/ply+ epoxy to build multihulls are from the 70's and 80's. They are as follows: Kurt Hughes, Norman Cross, John Marples (searunner), Ed Horstman, all have designs for around the 55' mark. Be your worth while having a look at this builder for possible information... Boatshop Philippines, Inc. He has built multihulls for all/most of the above list I have given here. Personally I'm going to build a 38-42' Horstman Trimaran.

sounds like a pretty sound plan to me!! I can't say much about the boats as we are catamaran people, but the overall plan is solid. I think you may have over budgeted though. It costs us about +or- 1k per month to cruise the Bahamas for six months per year. And like you plan, we do not visit marinas and eat on board for the most part. As far as other people's opinion, they all thought we were/are crazy!!!!!!!! But there are also a lot of people who admire us for living the dream. And in your case, my quote applies very well " You can always make more money, But you can't make more time"

a boat would be much cheaper, figure 10 grand for a decent ( not great but decent ) early 80's 27 to 30 foot boat. then slip fees from 2 to 4 grand a year plus the electric is

nothing compared to a house. other fees like pulling it out for paint, winter and other stuff might be 500 a year ( dry storage figured in the slip fee ). then figure 2 to 4 grand a year in paint and other maintenance, which will be more than a house needs. so yearly cost not including the boat will be 4 to 6 grand, so high end it will average 500 to 600 a month, or equivalent to a 80,000 mortgage. the nice thing with a boat it you can move it when you want a different view. now you could get away cheaper some years, some it might be more For 20 grand there are virtually hundreds boats in 30 ft range, perfectly suitable for live aboard. However, going back to your requirements Bristol 27 with outboard motor well and dinette interior can be found for $6000 at most. Look at old Bayliner Buccaneers they come in a variety of lengths 24'-30' in the trailerable catagory. mostly 6' headroom enormous interiors for the size. Also they can be purchased for extremely little money. Can be found w/ inboard or outboard engines. Deck stepped masts and fixed shoal keels. Very live-aboard friendly, the low aquisition cost allows you to invest in more creature comforts (ice maker,generator,solar,refrig. etc.) I've had a few of them through the years and have no complaints. Sailed a 32' Bucc from St. Pete Fl. to the Finger Lakes NY (and back) in 2007 no issues, great time. I laugh uncontrolably at other sailers w/ very expensive boats and no heat,no refrig,no freezer,no oven, no tv,no shower. I sail to enjoy myself and travel inexpensively,not to see how much of a minimalist I can be, but each to his own , I guess. If your not planning on crossing the pacific, why pay more? I think your best bet for a trailer sailor to live on is the C&C Mega. 30 foot and trailerable. Grampian 26 is roomy. We just bought a Watkins 25. We really like her. We just brought her down from Jacksonville through some nasty weather on the ICW and she handled it well. I would take her to the Bahamas in a heartbeat. Most are listed under $20,000. The each were individually build to the owners specs, so each is a little different. Lots of room for a small boat. She has 5'11' headroom, sleeps 5, 2 burner alcohol stove (we are replacing with a safer, newer one), large icebox, sink, enclosed head,(some have marine heads) ours has a porta-potti, sink and shower head. Here are a few pictures of her. http://www.sailnet.com/photogallery Clipper Marine 32. Trailerable without permits (8' beam), roomy, aft cabin, oputboard powered, and cheap. not the world's greatest sailer, definitely not a bluewater boat, but good bang for your buck. Good ones can be had for well under 15k, trailer included.

Depends on the 30 footer. Also depends on the personality of the person too. I would have no problem living on a nice Kirie 30 for example, but would find a 30 foot cape dory a bit small and cramped. I live on a 32' and have no wants. Anything more would simply be extra for me. I think that even a 40 footer is "too small" lol... I am going to be moving on to my 31 Pearson for the summer to give it a try. I think it will be ok for just me, but I will let you know =) No, 30' is not too small, with the right kind of boat. If you are looking for a large aft double birth and two heads, forget it. If you are looking for comfortable accommodations, with small but appropriate amenities, there are several boats out there that will work. When I look at the people living on 30' or smaller boats, they are usually very happy, but have done what most of us will not do, which is to get rid of the extras that make life easier (and usually more complicated). This is getting way to philosophical, and I've not had enough beer for that.... I would be very happy on a 30' boat, unfortunately my wife is unlikely to be very happy on anything less than 40' (particularly after she saw the Hanse and Tartans at Strictly Sail in Chicago - really stupid mistake letting her on those boats). Be patient, find the "right" boat, and get rid of everything you don't need. I don't think 30 feet is too small either. I currently have two boats, a Westerly Pageant; a 23 foot english pocket crusier. I've lived in it for going on two years. It is small, but it's plenty of room for me. I can cruise for a week with my girlfriend and daughter. There are some pictures in here: Flickr: endeavor_64's Photostream I just bought a 30 footer a few weeks ago, a yankee 30. I was looking for something a little bigger, the enclosed head is nice. But the main feature was speed. The Westerly is a little sluggish. You can see the interior of the Yankee here: Winterhawk Restoration I think there is a lot to the go small, go now. And the best part is small boats can be had for cheap, and systems/maintenence tend to cost less. Like a lot of people have said, it depends almost entirely on a combination of your personality, where you are in life, and your ability to draw a distinction between the stuff you need and the stuff you want. If you're able to part with the things most people insist on surrounded themselves with, you'll be golden (and, I suspect, life will be simpler). I know a married couple who spent their honeymoon on a 24' (I believe it was a Bristol, I could be wrong), and liked it so much, they bought one and lived on it together for two years. They moved ashore after their second kid, but it was exactly right for them during that time in their life.

Is a 30 footer too small? For what? for how many? What is your expectations ? what are you willing to give up? what do you hope to gain? Not a simple question. As far as I am concerned a 30 footer is not too small .I lived on a 27 footer for 2 years with my husband and a small dog spending that time in the Keys and the Bahamas and mainly at anchor and with no shower and no refridgeration and very little money.We have no horror stories to tell and had a great deal of fun. What do you want? I think 30 is big enough. I have a 34 and its to big for me, difficult to sail by my self (most of my passangers do not know how to sail). My Yankee 30 and a Catalina 30 (for example), are two very different boats. While a foot more beam in the Catalina doesn't seem like much on paper, the actual difference down below is startling. On the other hand, the difference in performance is equally noticeable. I know of a couple that live quite happily on a Yankee, though two people seems tight for me. Also "living aboard" while cruising is very different than doing it while working in the "real world". As already mentioned, a mild climate makes things a lot easier. L124C has a great point- here in Hawaii it's much easier to live aboard a small boat as the weather usually gives you all that additional deck space to be on- my neighbors across the dock have 3 kids under the age of 6 and live aboard a 30 ft custom gaff rigged wooden sail boat-They're experienced sailors and feel they have plenty of room now (of course when those boys get to be teenagers all bets are off lol!) When my husband and I were looking for our boat I was overly concerned with length and over the years came to realize that it has nothing really to do with whether the boat is a great liveaboard or not. (I used to be like the guy in "Jaws"... "We need a bigger boat...") Look in a range and don't rule out those 27 footers... It depends on the couple and the number of children! My wife and I moved aboard a 30' sloop than we bought in 1971. By 1973 we moved to a 33' boat, but when our two chidren were 7 and 9 years old we went ot a 41' boat. We could go back to the 30' and do well, but we're spoiled by the 41'. Our kids have long since moved away and the aft cabin is largely empty. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew We could live on our Catalina 30. It has everything we have at home, except the yardwork I live on my Lancer 30' just fine!! I've not lived on a boat before, but it is in the plans. I will be retiring in the next few years and am looking forward to cruising. My dream yacht is an Alberg 30, however I am not sure that I will be able to fit everything my wife and I psychologically believe we need on board. We were aboard a friends Bayfield 32C and found that it was far too large for us.

We felt like we were in an auditorium. I guess there has to be some middle ground. Perhaps I am too simple, but I can't see how a couple could possibly live in a 40 footer, they're positively huge. Along the same lines, how does a couple justify a 3000 sq ft house? If I can squeeze a shower and stove with oven into an Alberg 30, thats where we'll be. Cozy beside our little wood burning stove. Too much? I raced a Heritage One Ton (38 ft)for many years with a mixed crew of 6 to 8. It was a croud. We often talked about cruising that boat but with the IOR nipped in stern and long narrow bow it would have been like camping. there was a 41 footer near us with a hard chine and about 6" of cabin height. The hard chine stretched the flat part of the cabin floor a lot. the transom was broad and the inside of the boat was a palace. I am really impressed with the volume and comfortable space in the modern smaller boats with the wide transoms and beamy interiors. Some of the recent 30's hold way more space than a lot of the older 40's. There are many people cruising boats smaller than 30. There are many options here and what you intend to do with the boat makes a great difference. Will you day-sail? coast-wise cruise? island hop? circumnavigate? How much fuel and water will you need to carry? How much pantry and refrigerated space is enough? We intend to cruise extensively off shore so we went for space and mass. Our Camper is 58 feet and displaces 55,000. It has a full keel with swing centerboard and skeg mounted rudder. It is packed with amenities but it was fitted out to be crewed by one or two. We plan to have our kids and grandchildren join us part of the time. When we decided to retire it was either a large place in Naples or this reltively tiny little boat. I have no idea if 30' is big enough buy that isn't stopping me from buying a 31' sloop and moving aboard. I have already sold my harley and the volvo is next, then goes the piano and the guitars minus my fav. I fig I spent two of the last 3 years in iraq so no matter how small a sailboat it will be an improvement over sand!!!! The sloop has an icebox, propane stovetop, porti potty toilet, and no shower so it will be roughing it so to speak but def worth it for the traveling. Once I get used to living on it I'll come back and let you know if its too small for me!!! I managed well on my 30ft. boat. Did some cruising on it too. Lived on the boat for years alone. It was more like camping with no Fridge, or freezer, but it wasn't hardship. That was at 40 yrs of age. The only way I could do that again at 58 is if I lost everything, and had to massively downsize. If needed I would do that in a heartbeat. It would be a whole lot better than living on dirt......i2f
I just bought a 30 foot islander a couple of months ago and have been living on it for about a month. Its more of a weekender rather than a liveaboard but I don't have much stuff so it works out ok. The one thing I am noticing is there is a distinct lack of storage space for things like clothes and stuff that you just don't want laying around. I am compensating by putting things in plastic bins and they work as an ok substitute for drawers. I have found several leaks in the rain and my stuff is at least dry that way.

I am finding I do a lot of shifting things from berths to settees and then back while I am trying to do things. But if you keep things organized and tidy it goes pretty quick. If you have anyone come to stay ask them to bring a smaller soft sided suitcase. In 30 feet a big hardsided suitcase takes up pretty much an entire settee. I am trying to plan out how to attack the leaks, add some more storage space and clean up cosmetic issues so I don't have to do things twice. I was kind of worried that the alcohol stove would not work very well but I am finding it works just fine and I have no problems with the heat output of it. It boils water quick enough and I have had no real problems with it. I thought for sure I would be replacing it but I am finding it quite functional. The oven does not work so I can't comment on it until I get the tubes cleaned out but it I am using it to store my dishes anyway so am not in a big hurry to get it working.

After living on a too-big 44' houseboat for a few years I figured out I didn't need most of that space and I'd rather have the freedom to go more places. 99% of my belowdecks time is spent at a desk, in a comfortable reading chair, in the galley or in bed. On a 20footer those happen to all be the same place, but move a few cushions around and it works just as well. I could wish the head & shower were a little more convenient, but if they were I'd probably be wishing I could still float in a foot of water or pull it to a new cruising ground behind a car. If I was going to have someone else aboard for more than the usual week or two at a time I'd probably look for a different (though not necessarily larger) arrangement that would let us get a bulkhead between us when needed. Happened to notice this thread when I was coming onto the forum to ask for a bit of assistance. (See general questions regarding hyfield levers) Just had to put in a few cents worth. As some one mentioned here, Larry and I spent eleven years circumnavigating on board a 24'4"cutter (Seraffyn). We then spent much of the past 25 years voyaging extensively on board 29'6" Taleisin. Both boats were purpose built, very beamy engineless cutters. Some folks say Taleisin, has the living space of the average 33 footer. Were they big enough? - wouldn't have traded either for any boat we saw out there. But maybe the real question was, were they small enough. Small enough so I could sail either myself, small enough to maintain in top condition at an affordable price, small enough to easily fit into corners of marinas in crowded areas. Just this year as we sailed through the Pacific we stopped in only two ports were there were other voyagers. During our short stays we met five couples on boats 32 feet and smaller. One couple who had just come in to a large sum of money and also were both close to six feet tall, wanted to trade up to something about 40 feet. The other couples were delighted with their boats, and extolled the advantages of the smaller size. All were out there crossing oceans, enjoying freedom sooner and at a fraction of the cost(both in cash and maintenance time) of the folks who waited until they could afford that 40 or 45 footer. I am shopping for a boat and really like the cape dorys and southern cross 31 and plan to liveaboard as well. I have seen and talked to so many who had bigger boats like 40ft and was tired of working all the time paying just to keep it tied to the dock and there very happy on there 31ft boats. I to wanted a 35 at first but then realized I don't need

that, I would be just find on like a 31ft so that is what I'm shopping for. All you can do is go walk aboard these boats and decide for yourself. I asked the same questions when I first considerd this but the more and more I read I would rather something smaller and it's all I can afford anyway. I hope to after I buy my boat to save up and take off for a few years so around a 30ft is more of something I could afford. Probably 30 feet is a good choice for a lot of people. Reasonable cost for reasonable room and can probably be rigged for coastal cruising. Currently living aboard a 44 foot cutter in DC area. Wife and two teenage kids. Everybody loves it. Plan to cruise in a few years. Previously lived aboard and cruised a 30 foot sloop with kids, then 6 and 9. Cruised full time for 3 years and 10,000 miles. We all thought the boat was fine for us. It had a v-berth and 2 quarter berths, so everyone had their own space - very important. New boat has a seperate cabin for 17 yo daughter and private quarter berth for 14 yo son. Works well. A couple of points. Stuff expands to fill available space - there is never enough room, so bigger is not always better. Everybody needs their own space - if it''s a couple, there needs to be space to get away, even if it''s the cockpit. If you''re going to cruise, get a boat big enough to carry enough water and food, especially with kids. But don''t think that you need a big boat. Cruising and caring for a 30 foot boat is much easier than a 45 foot boat. Our 30 foot boat was great for cruising, but not designed for dock living long term, especially with 4 people. Our 44 footer is a great liveaboard and will be a great cruiser as well. Layout and systems are important. The less systems aboard (pressure water, refrigeration, generator) the easier cruising life will be. The projected use of your boat will determine the suitability for cruising or living at the dock. If you just want to liveaboard and occaisionally cruise, get a bigger comfortable liveaboard. If full time cruising is what you want, get a smaller cruiser and adapt yourself to it. My .02 I currently am moving on to a new 2 cabin Beneteau 473. I have been a liveaboard for many years on my 1981 Endeavour 37 MK-II. I live alone and always felt that you needed at least 35'' of sailboat to liveaboard. My new boat is 47'' with a 14.2'' beam. It''s the largest boat that I can sail singlehanded. However, when buying a boat to liveaboard remember you live on it all the time and only sail it part of the time so the liveability of the boat is more important than how easily or how fast it sails. Simple almost always is superior. Keep the boat small and you''ll find you adapt to your living space. I''ve had a 45 footer, 37 footer, 41 footer. Our current boat (30 feet on deck) is a little tight. But it is very affordable and manageable. My wife can handle it

without a struggle. All the hardware is smaller and, thus, more affordable. You never ever can have enough room (look at the people who live in 40,000 square foot houses!) So getting rid of the STUFF is vital to a simple and quality life. I am still working full time so I had to keep my truck but total cost for living at the marina were less than $500 a month. My slips fees were $180 of that the rest was food, fuel, personal needs, insurance and incidentals. You can''t have any debt but living aboard take far less than a land ancored life...
` I have a Morgan 323 and love it. It is great for 2, big enough for 4 for a short period (week or so) and simple to handle. I have added to the ''systems'' to make life aboard comfortable (TV that I rarely use, AM/FM/CD that I rarely use.) All liight are florescent or halogen. Alder barbour, extra 37.5 gallons of water, dodger and the usual stuff. Up and down the East Coast and out to the Islands (Virgin) next year. Reply With Quote I''ve lived aboard my 32 ft. 1971 Islander, Renaissance, for almost one year now. The first night on board was the most magical night of my adult life. Laying in the v-berth - listening to the waves crashing on the breakwater nearby...the gentle motion of the boat in the slip. Before moving aboard I was a little bit concerned about the hassle of walking to the club house to take a shower every day - but it hasn''t registered as a problem in the actual experience of it. [unless you get too wound up about the periodic mysterious disappearance of the odd towel or bottle of shampoo] I enjoy my "home" - I moved all my worldy posssessions into a storage facility - and with the exception of finding enough room onboard for a small subset of the 500+ books I have in storage...32 ft. is a comfortable size for me now. Of course, I always wish there was "more" room. In the last few months I''ve made two modifications which have greatly improved the "livability" of my boat: a solar powered exhaust fan for the head, and a hanging rod in the head to serve as a make-shift closet. This has allowed me to move most of my clothes out of the main salon where they were hanging. I have a large trunk that I purchased at Target for about $20 that is on the floor in the salon - it serves as additional clothing storage. I installed a shelf for a small TV/VCR combo on the port bulkhead in the main salon - and that eliminated the hassle of moving the tv from the small settee when guests need a place to sit. The list of future improvement projects is long - and I am really enjoying the learning curve as I tackle each new challenge. Reply With Quote

Who''''s living on what?? I can''t resist adding my name to the roll! Skip and I live and cruise aboard a beautiful Baba 30, a Robert Perry design that is a snug but comfortable home. I previously cruised first on a Contessa 35 (more of a racer, didn''t have enough stowage for serious cruising) then a Hans Christian 36 (another Bob Perry design). The Baba performs better than the HC as a sailor, but of course the HC had more living space. I am writing a booklet about choosing a cruising boat, and I just finished drafting "Trish''s dream list for a boat". I will share the SHORT version of the list here (without the explaing notes...you will definitely notice that some of the things are mutually exclusive! Plus, after 20 years of

cruising, I notice that many things lean more toward cruising than simply living aboard): -- A double ended cutter. No good reason for this. Its just what I like! -- Wheel steering. -- Some teak trim. I like the look but hate the maintenance! -- A nonskid deck. -- A boomkin. -- A cutaway full keel with prop in an aperture. -- A fixed keel of no more than 6-foot draft with the boat loaded. -- Furling headsail and hank-on staysail. Again, this increases the choices for sail and rig. -- Halyards led aft. -- Mast pulpits. -- A boom gallows. -- A cockpit with a fairly small well and seats long enough to sleep on. -- A hard dodger. -- Aluminum toe rail. -- A compact galley. -- Lots of counter space in the galley. (OK, so having a compact galley pretty much kills this one. But its a DREAM boat!) -- A shower stall separate from the toilet area. -- A reefer that can be accessed by side door as well as from the top. -- Lots of handholds throughout the cabin. -- A Yanmar engine. -- Easy access to the engine. -- Easy access to tankage and batteries. -- An anchoring system that is easy to deploy and haul up. -- An aft master cabin with a pullman type queen-size berth. -- Finally, a boat that I am confident that I can handle by myself in any sea condition. Like I said, this is a draft list, and there''s more--I''ve left off my "dream equipment list" because that''s the subject of the NEXT booklet!!! Trish Lambert S/V Nehalennia www.takehersailing.com trish@takehersailing.com My wife, Shelly, and I live on a 39'' Allied Mistress. We are still working and paying the boat off but we love it. We have been living onboard for only a month now and we are learning as we go. Before this boat we owned a 25'' Hunter. I lived on a Hunter 30 for a year before my wife meet me. After a few months the 30 got small. Now we are restoring a Cheoy Lee 38 with hopes of cruising after the kid''s are gone.

Live on a Nantucket Island 38 flush deck sloop. We are about 20 south of Nagasaki, Japan. Love every minute of it!
Well we got real and are now living on a Catalina 38 ease of maintanance and the abuility to sail her away with out a crew made our best bet. We are taking the last of the stuff to the storage today and tomorrow they turn off all the utilities. (: Two happy people. Maybe we will be cruising in two months Mexico and south Florida for the summer.

We liveaboard a 51'' Formosa in Seattle, WA. We have been living aboard for about 5 years, but moved off for a year to do some work on her. Getting ready to move back on in a month. Can''t wait to be back aboard. We have two kids ages 3 and 1 1/2. We love cruising the San Juan Islands and can''t wait to take off cruising down south in 8-10 years. I grew up not knowing anything about sailing. Then I met my husband and he was living aboard a 27'' Sun. I fell in love with him and sailing and here we are. When we started looking for a house 5 years ago, I was the one who thought a boat might work better. I found "Ghost" online and haven''t found a boat I like better. I do wish she was a little smaller, so I could handle her better, but I will just have to get some more experience. If there is anyone else out there who lives aboard with kids and you want to talk, please email me. Live aboard an S211.0 center cockpit in Honolulu. Great boat for living aboard, but this state (government) is pretty boater-unfriendly! 52' Irwin Ketch (1977), 55' L.O.A. 15' 1/2 beam 7' draft Is the boat too big? Absolutely. Comfortable as hell though. Expensive? Heck yeah! Good thing I do my own maintenance. Too much boat to handle? Keep a good weather eye out, shorten sail early when short handed. Usually it's just been me and my gal and we do O.K. yeah it can get a bit sketchy sometimes around the dock, but I go real slow and it has been fine. What else to say? We love this life we have been pursuing, we have met the greatest people, and we have not cared the least in the nay sayers that thought we were crazy for trying to pull this off. We haven't completely pulled it off yet as we are still trying to get live aboard status. But we will work it out just like everything else. It has been a wild ride so far. At the end of the day life seems so much more cool when you get off the couch and find something different to do. Poog: You are the man. I just bought a Seawolf 41 which I intend to renovate. I plan on cruising for a year or two when she is done. I have lived aboard in the past and really enjoyed it. I am with you in that I enjoy the room that a larger boat provides. I started out living on a 36' trojan tri-cabin with plenty of room for a single person, Two bathrooms, two single size sleeping areas in the aft over the engines, two in the bow, a

full galley and salon with folding dining room table, flat screen tv. Over the years I have added a full pilothouse above so I do not get wet when I go out fishing on the weekend. This year I salvaged a 45' Sundance barge that sunk on the rocks in a river, and now I'm redoing the whole bottom electrical, plumbing, sheetrock walls. I plan to sell one or the other. As for living simple, I got rid of a lot of extra baggage when I moved aboard and I found out I really did not need it. I still watch tv but I do not have cable or sattelite just what ever I get for free, I have a cell phone as my home phone. How much does it cost? slip fee is $5000 for the year and includes electric and water, Food maybe $80 a week or around $4000 a year. No taxes insurance $1000 a year Parking is free. and if I don't want to cook I can go to the marina restaurant. Trish and I have been living aboard since December 05. I purchased an Island Packet 40 for a 2-3 year cruise of the Caribbean. We lived aboard dockside for a month and a half in Marco Island, FL before heading across the horizon to start our trip. I chose a boat that was fully outfitted and in very good condition. With the addition of some charging (wind and solar), she was ready to go. I have had no regrets and no major problems on this boat. Fuel and water tankage are more than adequate. Storage is more than adequate. With extensive systems, she is a chore to maintain. However, I have the skills and knowledge to do so and generally enjoy it. There have been a few instances of frustration, but I wouldn't do it differently. I'm 34 and Trish is 33. I worked 80 hours a week, always with the dream in mind, paid cash for the boat, and never looked back. Cheers, Dan Forter S/V Eventyr www.ipphotos.com/eventyr
I live on my 33 morgan OI with my girlfriend, and the cat. Life is good very few people live aboard in the marina its very quit, and there are many fish to catch and eat Reply With Quote

I am living on my Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37, by myself, in a marina, in Auckland, New Zealand. The boat is pretty good for 1 person to live in, could be ok for two, but three is too many. I lived aboard a Catalina 30 for several years, then 4 years ago moved into an '81 Hardin 45 ketch. As I usually spend 100 or so days away from harbors, I wanted room for my office, computers, printers, fax, etc., easy to handle single handed, and heavy, that wouldn't rock with every wavelet that comes along. Shallow draft was another thing,

and at 5.5 ft this model fitted my specs. I love the aft cabin, japanese tub and shower, large (14 cf) freezer and refrig. For me, it's plenty of room for myself and an occasional guest or crew. It's slow under light winds, but so am I. The advisement on cost is absolutely correct, cost of marinas, maintenance, gear, etc., all goes up proportionately with length. Living aboard isn't as inexpensive as it once was. With the mortgage on the boat and slip fee and maintenance costs that I can't do myself, I could be paying off a 5 acre 4 bedroom house in North Carolina. BUT, as a home that can take me anywhere, it's priceless. recently bought a 58 ft. Roberts Custom Ketch built in '81. It has a 15'6" beam, draws 7.5 ',has three staterooms, a separate galley, huge salon and a work shop with a washer/dryer and freezer, a center cockpit which is closed(pilothouse). It is larger then we were originally looking for but can't imagine living on anything smaller. Maint. seems managable as we both still work full time and I do spend some time working at the boat. We are planning on taking off in 2 years and it looks like it will take that long to get the boat ready....mostly making it completely watertight and modenizing some of the running gear. We have an area for each of us as we believe it s necessary for "sanity" and as I am also an avid long distance cyclist I have a place for my bikes and cycling gear. We live in the SF bay area so the weather is good although the cool nights can be a challenge. An electric banket is a great addition but don't forget the warm slippers.
i liveaboard and cruise on a 24 foot trimaran...i do drool over the pics of the fifty, sixty, seventy footers but there are so many things i love about the scale i am on....it's nothing to pull up the anchor and go sailing, it's fast, maintanence is minimal, there is more comfortable sitting and lounging space than the 30 foot sparkman and stephens i use to live on, the deck space is huge, there is nothing better than lying in the nets with a good book and a corona, with a 30 inch draft i can slip over sandbars that others have to go around, and i can anchor close enough to wade ashore...the cockpit is big enough for a comfortable double bed and my next project is to add a cockpit enclosure. overall, i love the simplicity of minimal electronics, no inboard with all there inherent problems and maintenance issues, few systems to fix, and the lack of rolling at anchor and flat sailing characteristics make for a very stable home....i hear so many owners of large boats looking forward to when they can go sailing after all the work is done and the upkeep money is made and the systems are fixed...ahhhhh....simplicity...but it's not for everyone...fortunately, i am a very organized person and i love small spaces Reply With Quote

Not sure what happened there, didn't mean to post unfinished. Anyway, I'm in Marina Del Rey CA and still working on the boat, but it's very comfortable for me. Someone previously said the life is not for everyone, I second that and am glad of it. I don't want or need another boat, and I love the peace that comes with living in the marina. I'm getting older and dreams of Tahiti are fading, but trips to Catalina and a shorter working week are becoming more realistic, so life is good. Legal livaboard status is not easy to get and I consider myself lucky to have it, after being a "sneakaboard" for 2 years. Rent went up, but where else can you live in beautiful surroundings for less than $600 a month? Good luck to all of you in similar situations, and to those that want to be. Craig & I share a 47' Vagabond and we love it! The space! Looking to embark on our sailing dream in 2009. Fair winds and have a great weekend!

We've been out for two weeks now and it really depends on what you do... if you anchor out and eat on your boat the expenses are none... going to a marina will run you anywhere from .70 cents to three dollars a foot, plus electricity, eating at restaurants normal spending at stores, etc.... you can fit a cruise to any budget... but a budget is a MUST... no what you have and what you can spend, then adjust.... alway have a "kitty" for the unexpected.. We just had to do some minor repairs and thankfully met some fellow sailors who helped us... Otherwise it could have been quite expensive... Good luck!!!! We moved aboard Dec. 2006. Great life! Jeanneau 42.1 (40'). Our blog. http://travels-of-sv-far-niente.blogspot.com/ We live on a Taswell 58 - 6 months on the Chesapeake, 6 months in the Caribbean. It's tough but someone has to do it. My wife and I live aboard and cruise the East Coast and Caribbean. Our boat is a Valiant 40, and she's been completely comfortable and safe for the eight years we've lived on her.

I have been living on my 32' O'day 322 for six months now and love it. When getting into this, I thought I would have to buy at least a 36 footer. The 32' O'day works just fine. It has a nice big queen berth in the aft behind the galley that is enclosed with door, hanging lockers and drawers. The head is large and the shower area is plenty big enough making showers effortless. Ike destroyed our facilaties and I have been forced to use my boat for all things and I am so lucky to have bought this model. I ran away screaming last October, bought a 76 year old 39' cutter, & have been living aboard since. The boat is dirt simple. DC electricity...no refrigeration...hand pump water. I sailed her from Onset Mass. down to Cobb Island & now living aboard in a marina til spring. Love the peace& tranquilliy, the chores, & the projects. I'm not going back. We live on a 43 young sun. We are a family of 5 and seem to have plenty of room. The center cockpit gives us a nice aft cabin and seperation of space. Only thing I dislike is the narrow sidedecks. I have lived on my Challenger 32 sloop for 4 years, very spacious for a sailboat, also lived on a Challenger 35 ketch for 8 years before that, no difference in interior space, the boat has everything I could wish for regarding comfort and sailing ability. The boat willl be ready to sail this spring, only a roller furling left to buy, after replacing and refurbishing everything from the water system to the mast. Spent a few k but only paid 11k for the boat so she's worth around what a decent one goes for now, but her monetary value is secondary to the utility she gives me. The livaboard way of life is the closest I'll ever get to true independence, and the beauty of the West coast as my backdrop makes me really appreciate what I have, specially at this time of year. Only

advice I have is don't skimp on the boat's needs, it is your foundation for everything else and worth the investment to support a lifestyle that, thank God, is not for everyone. If you live frugally, like me, and have no sea anchors... wife &/or children, then a 30' er is a good choice. If you're new to sailing, have no money, or don't care about how popular your boat ranks, then get a cheap, diesel auxillary, sailboat. I sail/liveaboard a Lancer 30, they're a dime-a-dozen and easy to sail single-handers. I believe that you will find a marina to be the most liveable option -showers, bathrooms, electricity, fresh water, internet access, easy access to supplies, sociability with other sailors, for reasonable yearly rates. Transient daily rates are outrageous though. Cruising is a parttime affair for most liveaboards in my experience. I lived aboard a Pearson 367 Cutter rig in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands for 2 years and now that I am back in the states I am looking at a potential 92' Hunter 30 to live on. We live aboard a 1978 S2 9.2c (30') sloop. Two adults and a cat. I've been living aboard her since 2003. No complaints. We love her.
I am in the process of restoring/moving aboard my new to me 36 pearson pilothouse! At 27 and not wanting to settle in one place I found the next best thing to a house... a PILOTHOUSE! Lots of storage and living space. Reply With Quote

Marjorie and I (and two cats)have been living aboard our Endeavour 32 for a couple years at a marina. We have never felt like we needed more boat, even with the only quarter berth dedicated to kitty litter. (With a full length curtain and vigilance over the box, there are no smell problems.) There is something interesting about how a boat can seem smaller in a marina than at anchor, as well. If the boat starts to seem small, we take it out to anchor and the problem is solved. I had a friend living aboard a Catalina 22 for a while(he was over six feet tall) with a bulldog without any worries about size. It all depends on your perspective and how you live your life. I find our 32 is perfect for us. We have plenty of space and Marjorie can still handle the (oversized) ground tackle by hand. The only thing I miss is a dedicated shower compartmentwhich doesnt matter all that much since we have dockside facilities. I dont miss it nearly enough to even consider another boat though. My wife and I are new live aboards. We moved to Hawaii in late Nov bought a 42 sloop. We learn something new every day. What a great adventure I am living on a 24' Islander Bahama sloop. It's great. I am replacing the rig with galvanized, revamping the sail wardrobe, and going cruising! I live on a NorSea 27 and I LOVE the boat!!! She is fantastic! I'm not cruising much now. Just finished a winter in the NE. But I don't live in a marina either. A mooring for this month. Next month..anchor. I wouldn't change a thing, except to do it sooner. I would buy the same boat.

Hey, when will you post the results to your survey? Teresa i have been living aboard ever since 1990--long story--i own 2 sailboats at present-an ericson 35mII on which i lived for 4 yrs until i got this formosa 41 i live on board and refit now in preparation for cruising--i moved out of the ericson because i was always stepping on the kat as he ate his foods---i no longer step on him and he loves his bigger home......repowering this week!!!!!will be out cruising asap--have sailed other peoples boats --much coastal cruising inn kalifornikation--some cruising in caribean----will be taking my formosa to caribean and louseyanna....some east coast..... We've lived at anchor for weeks at a time - while working, not cruising. Lots of drawbacks, like no air conditioning - but the boat points into the wind (unless the current is strong) so you usually have a fresh breeze. You have to pick your spot to avoid the gassholes with the big wakes. Most of the time the seclusion is very nice. We love each other and even more, we enjoy each others company. I wouldn't want to do it by myself. There are a couple of guys in our marina (each on his own boat) who prefer living at a mooring. In the winter, they have to come in to the docks. One always gets a T out on the end so he still has his view of the water. Both actually prefer their moorings. A lot of this depends on the mooring contract. IF the marina owns the mooring, and you pay the marina the mooring fees, then you probably have some rights to use their dinghy dock, showers, and parking lot... but it will be spelled out in the contract more likely than not. If the mooring isn't owned by the marina, chances are pretty good that you don't have any rights to use any of their facilities. Most moorings are rented seasonally, at least in New England. Getting a mooring from the city might save you some money on the front end, but it would cost you more in the long run, in terms of convenience. A seasonal mooring is probably $800 or so from a marina, but generally would have amenities like a launch service or use of a dinghy dock, water, showers, laundry and such.
all! I'm an amateur filmmaker, and this thread is really funny to me. Ya see, I built an R/C camera pod that hangs from a kite and downlinks video to the ground for control purposes last year. Flys off a medium size para-kite. I'm upgrading the Pod to HD video this year, and I'm taking it with me cruising next. My boat is beginning to resemble a "mini" Calypso. Anyone here familiar with Yves Glinas, and his wonderful movie "With Jean-du-Sud Around the world"? He flew a 16mm camera on a kite back in the 70s, and brought home some awesome footage...UNDER SAIL!!! There is a whole following in kite and balloon photography, and there was even

i am 6'1" and sail a Jeanneau DS40 single handed and the head room is great - have had folks in excess of 6'5' in her good luck but look at deck saloon boats chuck and soulmates

i bought a jeanneau ds40 new and simply love her - have the 2 cabin version as i wanted the extra storage space when i started cruising - she is shoal draft and thus a bit heavier as i plan to spend time in the bahamas - under sail she is quick and as i sometime single hand her with all lines leading aft a breeze to hand - did put a lot of extras on her for cruising now as a full time cruiser i really appreciate her more - solid and rigid and very roomy with a lot of storage space - clean lines and easy handling there were some 50' jeanneaus in this years cross atlantic rally the more i sail her the more i like her - did look at a bavaria and bennie before i bought the jeanneau the bavaria was a nice boat but did not seem to have the quailty of the jeanneau nor the strength the bennies are becoming cheaper as it seems they are trying to hold the prices level while cost continue to rise - it just did not seem like a well put together boat and while sailing on one did not seem as tight and rigid as a jeanneau i just hope bennie keeps their hands off jeanneau and let them do what they do best make great reasonably priced sailboats that can take you anywhere just my thougths The Wauquiez Pretorian 35 and Wauquiez Hood 38 both have 6'4" headroom throughout the entire boat. Vee berths on both boats are very large and spacious. I have been cruising and living aboard my Hood 38 for some time now and find her more comfortable everyday. I measured my Jeannueau DS40 -- she is 80" - those math challenged that is 6' 8" for those less there is lots of upper head room One of the nice things about the Jeanneau was that Beneauteu kept their hands off until this year. The folks at Jeanneua know how to build a great blue water boat that is solid and well designed. It does appear, from what i read on the Jeanneau board on another site, that Beneauteu (or how ever you spell it) has decided that they want to cut the quality and the price and sell more boats - the classic American business model of high sales at lower prices with cheaper parts and higher total profit - ie market share and disposable products but the older Jeanneaus are truely great boats. Most of the motor sailers that I see do a lot of motoring. Some have the mast cut down or removed so they can be used more like a trawler. I would think that the reason for this is because they don't sail all that well. If that is the case you may want to keep your present boat. But is you have your heart set on a new motor sailor check out the Lancer 45' it looks like a nice boat for the money, you can even get a flybridge model motorsailor. I just looked on Yacht world at the Lancers. They are more money than I thought but they are a nice boat. I friend has a Lancer and he bought it for about $75000. a few years ago and it looks like a very nice boat for that money.

I am a catamaran sailor so I am biased and almost always recommend sailing over motorcruisers. One of the things I have learned that there are alot of big, 40-50ft trawlers that only burn 2-5gph while making 7-9 knots. Defever, Hatteras, etc. Depending on where you are going and for how long, the fuel usage at these rates may be more acceptable. Since we have been in the caribe we learned that most cruisers spend a lot of time motoring, this narrows that fuel expense gap. Having said that we try to sail as much as possible but we still end up motoring a fair amount. We like sailing while cruising so we sail, we have many friends who motor and they still have fun and enjoy the lifestyle. If you like sailboats look at them otherwise look a trawlers. Just remember that the cost of the fuel in a sailboat is all up front in the sails.....we could motor for a lot of years for the price of a set of sails on our boat! It is my personal bias but I simply cannot stand the noise of engines droning on and on. The greater the displacement or the more the desire for speed, the more noise. Yes, a trawler does not get up to the sound level of a planing powerboat, but still...noise is noise and it is relentless if you need to go long distance. I quite frankly hate it. Motorsailors, as often pointed out, niether motor well nor sail well. Since they are displacement hulls, their speed is the same as any true sailboat of the same weight and dimensions. Most sailboats these days have engines matched to push them beyond their top hull speed. My 47hp Perkins 4-108 will push my 22,000 lbs 38 footer at 8 knots anytime I want it too, for as long as I want it to. Having a well balanced 3 blade prop will allow you to motor smoothly for as long as you need or wish. And these low hp engines are quite fuel efficient. I believe mine is about 1gal/hr at 6-7knots. So, I would think you would want to look more towards true sailors. A true sailor (vs a motorsailor) will give you more drive up wind and off the wind so that you can reach max hull speed using the sails and be able to sail to most of the points on a compass. Thus you require less fuel and .....less noise to have to tolerate for less time. She will also give you much more comfort in a sea way (if designed peoperly) with a nicer motion you will come to be spoiled by. Just one point of view, I hope this helps. While English is the Official language in BVI, you will often have difficulty in talking with Customs and Immigrations Officers who can often be difficult to understand. If you have a 30 day entrance and leave prior to the full 30 days AND return prior to the end of that 30 days... you will only have the remaining days allowed. The KEY is to leave but NOT return prior to the end of the previously approved end date.

Almost all cruisers stay about 30 days then go to another island such as USVI or St. Martin for a while then return to the BVI for another 30 days and repeat as often as you wish but I do think a total of 180 days may be the max in one year without a formal visa or residency approval. I know literally hundreds of Ex-Pats/ cruisers who spend most of their time in BVI and they either have the residency approval or make the monthly trips to other locations with an eye on the last date approved for being in BVI and not returning prior to that date or have plans to re-exit and return after it has passed. While this may seem like a problem, is really isn't for most of us. St. John has many places to keep you occupied for a few days/ weeks or longer. St. James has a nice anchorage and St. Thomas has interesting places to go on land but not one of my fav boating locations for several reasons. The Spanish Virgin Islands are also a day sail away from St. Thomas and the two near by islands are full of interesting places you can spend weeks visiting. I know you can get two 30 day extensions if you go to Road Town and apply, but you have to have a good reason for the 2nd one. It appears to be approved if your having boat repairs and parts are due in or if a medical reason prevents you from leaving. What they are doing is attempting to prevent "dead beats" from becoming island bums and causing a drain on local services. They want you to spend money but they don't want to have to support you. Just don't be shocked when you arrive to find you have a 30 day limit unless you have made some prior arrangements for a longer stay and have documentations with you on arrival. You will probably still get the 30 approval at entrance then have to go to Road Town to get any changes. I cannot find anything in "Reality Check" that says that St. Thomas is not a great place for boating? I have been and spent a lot of time in all the Virgins and really like St. Thomas. One, you are in the "USA" for getting work and shopping purposes (Home Depot, PriceSmart warehouse foods, etc.). It does take some time to get to know "where" to shop and eat to avoid the prices and hassles of the "tourist" areas. Add in that you have normal "US Post Office" for mail and packages and there are lots of pluses. For actual sailing, the island of St. Thomas is just as good as any BVI and you will find fewer crowded anchorages and better snorkel/diving sites - again because there are fewer charterers. And many more free anchorages - no moorings. The whole grouping of the Virgins are so close together that you can sail from island to island, anchorage to anchorage (mooring to mooring) in hours or less. Because the numbers of charterers in the BVI's is significantly higher than the USVI's there are comparatively very few charter operations/sailing schools in the USVI. That is a drawback. But for a live-aboard cruiser it is a positive. ** The key to being successful in a sailing school is - don't hesitate to change instructors or even schools if you feel incompatible and are not enjoying/learning to the maximum. There are good instructors and bad instructors and most any of the schools will have

both. You are paying good money to learn and if you are not learning, demand a different instructor or change schools. Each ASA level is separate from the next level and completion of any level is transferable to another different ASA school.

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Thread Tools Old 05-07-2009, 05:11 Delecto Registered User Join Date: Jun 2009 Posts: 11

Thanks for the all the advice guys. Looks like Ill just be doing a temporary stay at the BVI ( Sebastian hotel on the west end) or camping at Saint Johns untill I finish the ASA courses (101,103,104 with the likelihood of doing others). After that I'm not sure what to do.

Reality Check says that Saint Thomas is not a great place for boating, why is that? Do they have places that rent out boats for licensed individuals? Like if I join the Yacht club, would I have access to member boats? Is there anything of that sort on Saint Thomas? If that's not the case then I'll be forced to go back to the states, which is fine because that's where I intend on buying my boat anyways. So basically spending a month or so in Tortola taking all the courses I can, then shopping around for a boat to buy (preferably on the west coast, I will be paying cash so I dont want to be doing any flying or a lot of driving). Do I have other options, any suggestions out there? Thanks Delecto is offline Reply With Quote Delecto View Public Profile Find More Posts by Delecto Old 05-07-2009, 06:59 #17 osirissail Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: onboard in the Caribbean - mostly in Grenada Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris Posts: 80 I cannot find anything in "Reality Check" that says that St. Thomas is not a great place for boating? I have been and spent a lot of time in all the Virgins and really like St. Thomas. One, you are in the "USA" for getting work and shopping purposes (Home Depot, PriceSmart warehouse foods, etc.). It does take some time to get to know "where" to shop and eat to avoid the prices and hassles of the "tourist" areas. Add in that you have normal "US Post Office" for mail and packages and there are lots of pluses. For actual sailing, the island of St. Thomas is just as good as any BVI and you will find fewer crowded anchorages and better snorkel/diving sites - again because there are fewer charterers. And many more free anchorages - no moorings. The whole grouping of the Virgins are so close together that you can sail from island to island, anchorage to anchorage (mooring to mooring) in hours or less. Because the numbers of charterers in the BVI's is significantly higher than the USVI's there are comparatively very few charter operations/sailing schools in the USVI. That is a drawback. But for a live-aboard cruiser it is a positive. ** The key to being successful in a sailing school is - don't hesitate to change instructors or even schools if you feel incompatible and are not enjoying/learning to the maximum. There are good instructors and bad instructors and most any of the schools will have both. You are paying good money to learn and if you are not learning, demand a different instructor or change schools. Each ASA level is separate from the next level and completion of any level is transferable to another different ASA school.

osirissail is offline Reply With Quote osirissail View Public Profile Find More Posts by osirissail Old 05-07-2009, 07:40 #18 Delecto Registered User Join Date: Jun 2009 Posts: 11 Quote: Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post St. Thomas has interesting places to go on land but not one of my fav boating locations for several reasons. ...just to clarify that I wasn't making it up. Anyways you make a lot of great points about Saint Thomas that I haven't considered. What still eludes me is whether any of the marina/clubs have memberships where boats are loaned out to its members. I just got in yesterday and didnt have much time to poke around the island so today I plan on calling and/or stopping by the Crown Bay Marina, Red Hook Marina, St. Thomas Yacht Club, etc. Delecto is offline Reply With Quote Delecto View Public Profile Find More Posts by Delecto Old 05-07-2009, 20:09 #19 osirissail Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: onboard in the Caribbean - mostly in Grenada Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris Posts: 80 I stand corrected (well more like sitting at my lapbook) - but many years ago I held the same opinion of St Thomas - not very nice and the BVI's were so much more exciting to a new charterer. Since then I have had occasion to spend considerable time - a month and more at a time on my own boat. My primary reason for returning up island to St Thomas was to take advantage of the no-hassle Postal System without having to deal with customs agents and fees when in a foreign country. Having to wait many weeks for all the packages to arrive, I had time to explore and get to know the island culture behind the obvious tourist front. In addition, I had several cruising friends working there for the season to refill their cruising kitty. When you learn of the "other side" of a place you get a deeper impression of the place. I only know of commercial "bareboat" charter companies in St Thomas. There are about 4 or 5 for sailboats and the rates vary from US$400/day to US$2000/week. And you

must be already "bareboat certified" by a reputable school - and - have a sailing resume. That is the "kicker" - getting a sailing resume which is a listing of places, boats, and companies that you already chartered from. Where do you start? After I got a "bareboat certification" from ASA in Miami, Florida I rented boats from the school where I got my bareboat certification. After that I branched out to 3rd level charter operations who had the older, run down boats and weren't too particular about to whom they rented. One level lead to the other and in a few years I could rent from 1st level operations especially in the "off seasons." Your plan to check out the various operations around the island is probably the best choice. On St Thomas there are "jitney" buses that circle the island. They are obvious with their canvas top and bench seats on top of a flat bed truck frame. Costs were about US$2 per half island; $3 from Red Hook to Charlotte Amalie last time I was there. From Red Hook the buses go by Benner Bay with some marinas and charter outfits; then to Charlotte Amalie and French Town with CYOA. Google St Thomas bareboat charters and you will find the locations of the other places. I do not think that there are any local co-op type clubs in the islands only commercial outfits in the normal bareboat business. But who knows. Normally, the rates for chartering out of USVI are cheaper than the BVI's but that may have changed as the number of outfits has decreased over the years. Bareboat chartering is not cheap, but if you get 2 or 3 couples (4 to 6 friends) together and split the costs it becomes a very economical and fun way to see the islands compared to staying in a hotel/resort. I think for your intended use fiberglass is by far the best option. One of the advantages of steel seems to be hull strength, but that is not a primary consideration as you won't be going offshore any time soon. However, if you can find a steel vessel that is in good shape (yes, get a specialist type surveyor to go over the boat thoroughly and the hull thickness can be measured accurately) AND priced right, meaning substantially less than a comparable fiberglass vessel.... it might be a viable option for you. Ferro-cement is another option worth considering, but again, you need to find a surveyor who is a specialist with those kind of boats. But it's probably safe to say that a fiberglass boat, with a solid (not cored) hull is your lowest maintenance option.
I will give you my advice. That is all it is, advice. Living Aboard, FL Contrary to the many negative comments you will hear me (and others) say about living aboard in Fl, the state does promote boating and cruising. It is a nice place to live aboard. THere are a lot of state parks and lots of places that have not and will not be developed. The wildlife is great and you are at the gateway to most of the world (including the Bahamas, which is an easy run). One of these days Castro will kick over, and I would

imagine our govt's policy towards them will change (if his brother is not worse, which he could be). Regardless, it is a nice place to boat... honestly. Now, there are many hurdles. Finding a place to put your boat is the biggest. The regulations and difficulty of developing more land for boat use (in addition to the large number of boaters) as really made slips difficult to find and expensive. In addition, many parts are inaccessible to large boats and the water is very shallow. Insurance is the most expensive of anywhere in the country (to the best of my knowledge). The area is hurricane prone and there are storms every day it seems in the summer. The Boat: I like catamarans a lot (don't let SD hear me say that). THey are roomy and I think they are safe. They have a shallow draft which opens up many areas that are not open to others. However, I do not think they are a good choice if you are primaarily going to be around Fl. As I said before, finding a place to put any boat is tough (esp liveaboard), now restrict it further with that floating condo, and you will really be limited. Fl is not the best place for Cats. It is not the boat, it is the area. Since you are primarily cruising the US coast and islands, you should look into a production type of boat, like a Catalina 350 and up... that is what they were built for. It will serve you well anywhere in this hemisphere from Canada to Brazil. They are comfortable and will allow many amenities. As far as where to put it, if you are not F/T Fl, why not park it in NC or Texas where the slippage is vastly less expensive? Also realize that many insurance companies will not allow you to keep the boat in FL during hurricane season unnattended. If you have some more questions, let me know... I will answer them as best as I can. Our dream is also to retire "on the water". We were just in Luperon D.R. There is a protected bay where many sailboats and the other kind are mooring. The cost for the month is $15 USD. The cost of living is extremely low there too. There are yachts for sale there also. See Luperon Boat Yacht and Property Sales - Caribbean Yachts - Dominican Republic Check out my pictures at Picasa Web Albums - Jamie Miller - :Luperon 2007 I am not saying this is the best place but it is one of many. When I first retired, I lived aboard in far S.Texas. Lots to like there, primarily very inexpensive to live. Wonderful weather. But damn, it was 30 miles to a decent grocery store, two hours by motor before I could raise a sail. Getting a part for the boat, well, don't even go there. I now live on the east end of lake Ponchatrain, about 25 miles east of New Orleans. This is about as good as it gets. Year round sailing, well almost. Easy access to about anything you would want. Weather is not quite as nice, but much less costly than Fla. I would highly recommend the gulf coast area. Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. Lots of wonderful sailing here, plenty of protected bays. And lots of really nice friendly people. Plenty of sailboats. Of course the gulf coast has hurricanes, but if you just watch and prepare, is mostly an inconvenience. I have survived 4 of them, with almost no boat damage. I did loose my wind generator in Katrina. If you are going to be checking out Fl. in March, may I invite you to a raft up here on the coast. A bunch of us are going to have a big raft up the weekend of March 20. If you would like, drop in and check us out. You will be make welcome, and the first round is on me. Couldn't agree more, Nice N Easy.. except.. SHHHHHH not too loud! Don't want to have to compete with too many folks for the space !! We don't have the "cachet" of some places but it is a fine part of the country. Nice to sail across to New Orleans for some fine dining and

fine sailing.. or out to the barrier islands for longer trips.. four-five days to the Yucatan and about the same to Key West.. Only thing I've noted is that our water seems to be a little thin.. about 6 foot draft is a practical max, it seems like. Seems like the coast from Applachicola to New Orleans is fine for finding a place to live aboard, and still have access to the gulf.. places can be found that are reasonable.. There are spots of the high priced stuff, but many reasonable places.. I don't live aboard, but a few folks in this marina do. Happy today the marina here got a wireless connection working so I don't have to go to the cafe to use the computer! North Carolina might be a good choice... not as subject to hurricane damage as Texas, Louisiana, Florida, etc... not as unbearable in the summer time either I have looked at Mexico and sounds like fun, but I really have to be in the US and fairly close to some sort of airport. I hate putting those limits on things but it is a fact of life. The gulf side of US sounds more like the right place to be. But not seeing a lot of inlet ports easterly of new Orleans area. See the ones around Lake Pontchartrain. Any ideas of points of entry along the coast? I dreamed about living aboard and living the life so to speak but my spouse wanted a "home base". We chose Punta Gorda FL. on Charlotte Harbor. This turned out to be the best of all worlds. 14 couples from our marina in Il. have now moved down here to cruise and race. We have the largest racing community in the area and at least 3 cruising clubs that are all very active. I can be in the Keys in 24 hours or as far north as Tarpon Springs. I have year round protected sailing on the harbor and blue water sailing in the gulf out Boca Grande pass or take the ICW to Ft. Myers or Naples. It has reall been the best idea ever. Read it and weep.... This is from a friend of mine who keeps an H28.5, on a trailer, in San Carlos, Mexico: "See there....the bug has bitten you. San Carlos is sort of an unbelievable place. Some compare it to what you would see and experience in Europe and the Mediterranean, the Greek Isles. Perhaps better, in some ways. I heard someone say sailing here is much like Lake Erie, as an inland sea with the conditions, both good and bad, about equal. Yes it is an expat community, however it caters to people from all over the world. I think the key is the Marina San Carlos: I attach pics of the launch of the Caliente and another 40' sailboat. The Grossmans had that hydraulic lift specifically design for launching boats to 75' in length from a shallow ramp. We have multimillion dollar sailing and motor yachts here from all over the world. Marina San Carlos is a world class Marina. The season is all parts of the year except the months of June - September, when it is much too hot and humid, almost unbearable, however some of us diehards go anyway and tough it out. This is the time you spend in the water, snorkeling, diving and sleeping under the A/C. Not much wind, except the land/sea cycles. Late Summer is T-Storm season, especially afternoons, so you want to take care at that time of year. My boat was trailered from CO by the former owner. He put it up for sale in San Carlos and I found it on Craig's list after about a year o f searching the net. At the time I could tell you where every h28.5 was in the country for sale. The 270's too. I even tried to buy one in VA and have a trailer made for it, but this was getting too expensive. Right next to me in the dry storage is a brand new, Beneteau 31 on a custom made triple axle aluminum trailer. I have heard that some doctor owns it. I think it is out on the 'Sea" cruising now, because all I see lately is the empty trailer. You would not believe how many boats are on trailers here.

So the name of the game is to get a boat on a trailer, so you don't have to deal with slip fees and bottom jobs. If the boat is big, it goes on the hard on jackstands. Bottom jobs are brutal, because warms waters breed 4 X that nasty growth. My dry storage fees are: $62.50 per month, with a month free for advance payment for one year. It is a secure area. There are probably 400 - 600 boats in the storage at different times, another 300 - 400 on the water at moorings or slips. There are 2 marinas. The best free place to learn about San Carlos is the following website:http://www.sancarlosmexico.com/ There are many links to other really good sites. The forums, expecially the sailor's forum are expecially interesting. You can read accounts of cruises throughout the Sea, the west coast of Mexico, both sides of Baja, South America and other points of interest. If you want further difinitive info, get Gerry Cunniham's Cruising Guides to the Sea of Cortez. They are unbelievably detailed accounts of a lifetime of cruising and documenting life at sea on the Sea of Cortez. No sailor would leave the shore, here, without them. ( Also Charlie's Charts, tho not as good.) Currently, the exchange rate for Pesos is as high as 14.50 to one Dollar. Some things in Mexico are bargains: especially labor, rent and food. Owning a boat in Mexico is about half of that in the USA. Because of the real estate depression, real estate now is at an all time low. A 1.5 Mil condo on the waterfornt in San Diego costs $400K and is probably newer and better. The one thing you do not ever forget is that Mexico is a 3rd. world country with archaic methods and laws. It can sometimes drive you crazy!! There is a very active Yacht Brokerage, Sea of Cortez Yachts. Go on their website. All of his boats are listed on Yachworld. The other day I met a guy from Switzerland who bought his 65' trawler here. " Hi Roberto! Well, the best live aboard..well can't say I have personal hands on experience, but just from looking at different boats in the market you can't go wrong with a Hunter 45 or 55 center cockpit( i cannot remember which one it is.) They even mention in many news articles on that boat that it could be a very comfortable live aboard, as the state room is quite large. There are some nice Catamarans out there that look like amazing live-aboards, but usually they look more comfy the larger you go. If you are looking for something classy, check out wally sail and power boats at www.wally.com. Azimut has some great power boats that look like extravagant European mansions on water, not to mention some awesome power behind them. Check out the Azimut 62S at www.azimutyachts.com. Hey guys! I recently met a couple with a Hunter 55 and they gave me a tour... roomy AND gorgeous is all I can say! They weren't liveaboards, but I know they spend weeks at a time on her. They had no complaints so far. I live on a motoryacht and love it... of course anything that uses the aft space of the vessel is better than sedan bridge for living aboard! For me I currently live on a 42' Chris Craft Conqueror, I have lived on both sail and power, and for convenience and comfort (check out my pics) I really like my stink pot boat. On a side note of personal taste, I just really love wood boats, nothing classier in my humble opinion. Wes, I don't think you will go wrong down here, there are a bunch of great people down this way who won't steer ya wrong! Best of luck to you! I had a dream once and I was thinking of a 32-40' sloop, I think you are on the right track. Key West is the only place to Harbor in South Florida. See if you can find anything on moorings around Christmas Tree Island in Key West. We have hundreds of people living on sailboats down here, and you get Key West as icing on the cake! Wes, I made the trip from Toronto to The Bahamas. No you don't need any certifiction. If you travel with an animal however, you do need a permit. Ken is right about boats being cheaper in The Keys. I still kick myself for not buying a 34' Hunter for $3,000 when I

had the chance. Poor dude had the Keys Disease (AKA wet brain) real bad and just wanted out! There are even better deals in the BVI or USVI (People either lose their nerve or run out of money and abandon ship)! Before going to The Bahamas I lived in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon for a while. You can still anchor out there but space is getting tight because the City is putting mooring balls everywhere for which you have to pay $150/mth. Here's the web address for info on all marinas in that area. FYI, I wouldn't give much credence to the naysayers (you'll see what I mean when you visit the site), there are a lot of pissed off locals down there who resent The City of Marathon for regulating the harbor. For my money Boot Key Harbor is the safest place in The Keys to hole up for a while. It's also a good place to stage off for The Bahamas, and it's cheaper than Key West - not as colorul though! Another suggestion for South Florida is Key West. I lived on the city operated Mooring field for quite some time 3 years ago. The moorings are cheap ($120/mo. in 2003), the pump out boat comes once a week, they have a beautiful dingy dock, water for your tanks, garbage removal, shower facilities if you need them ...even parking for your car..yes...even parking. Get their before winter sets in as they always fill up when the wind pipes up. Or you can cheaply hire a local to drop in a mooring and fight out the parking and dingy space at the local docks. Waste removal will be your issue in that case. It's a beautiful, small town place with wonderful, laid back people who really know their boats. There really is no place quite like it. As for the boat...it really doesn't matter what you have... the boat has very little to do with the lifestyle you choose. More important to get a boat that will not break the budget and that you feel a connection to, because all boats are comprimises of one sort or another. Good Luck! I know of a Marina on Tampa Bay that is perfect for living aboard and it is not outragousley priced. Regatta Pointe Marina. It is located in Palmetto Fl. I have traveled all over Florida looking for a live aboard marina and this is the best. They are currently renovating the fitness center and laundry facilitlies. They also have a wonderful boaters lounge. Bringing you all the comforts of home at a marina. For the hard core sailor this might be too many amennties but for someone just looking for a diffrent life style it is great. Unlike a lot of live aboard marinas in florida this one is well maintained with friendly staff always around to help and attened to immediate issues. I believe the rates vary between $10 a foot to $14 depending on which dock you choose. Take a look at their website. Key West has mooring available from the city.I dont know how much or who to call but if anyone is interested I can find out. Old Island Marina on Stock Island,one key up from Key West,within bike distance,$12 a ft & metered electric,parking,bathrooms,water,trash dumpsters, security,and good neighbors. Cal Dan @305-896-7799 There are afew other marinas down here that allow L/As and the prices vary there are even still some places you can pull your boat and do your bottom.I love it here.Where I am was Mayberry Marina until June when Andy Griffith sold it to Old Island. Theyre really cleaning it up and making changes.Deep water slips and access right out to the Atlantic. I've been on my 27' Hunter for 6yrs and stayed thru every storm that came by, its a pretty safe place to be. My 2 Cents: Tampa Rocks! Tampa hasn't scored a direct hurricane hit in 50+years; check the NOAA hurricane history. There are a dozen or so liveaboard marinas in the Tampa bay area... Tierra Verde, Blind Pass, St. Pete Municipal to name a few. Dockage rates run $13-$15 per foot per month.

Check out (marinapal.com) for listings. Another good source of info is Southwinds magazine (southwindssailing.com) which is totally free to download. ...and then there are the Guavaweeen and Gasparilla festivals... ARRGH Matey!
A sickness exists in the Keys called Keys Disease where the notable laissez-faire attitude of the Keys allows a lazy person to become a sloppy, useless, unproductive member of the community. It's almost acceptable to drink and do not much else. I don't know if risking your life to escape social oppression makes one immune to such a sickness, but today, only thirteen years removed, Yordy is living the American Dream better than a lot of Americans I know. He and his gorgeous Costa Rican wife and their two lively young children have just moved into their brand new threebedroom house that Yordy is finishing himself on Big Coppitt Key. He owns a boat and runs a small business, commercial fishing for lobster and stone crab from August through May. He takes time off in the summer to spend with his family and work on his boat and his gear. He operates entirely under one general premise: keep things simple and work like a mofo. On this day we leave to the dock before 7AM. It takes less than twenty minutes to reach the first line of traps. With the sun still crawling over the horizon, crawfish fill the crate. Yordy and two other men crew the boat. The shallow water allows them to haul and set a trawl at the same time. As one trap reaches the rail, the previous trap is pushed off the stern. Enough line is tied between the traps to allow it to be emptied, cleaned, and re-baited before the line comes taut and pulls the next trap back over the stern into the ocean. Meanwhile, the next trap has been pulled to the rail and awaits tending. All of this means that the crew can pull over 500 pots in about six hours. On this day we're heading to the dock around 1:30 PM with 600 pounds of crawfish on board. The price is just over $7 a pound right now. Of course it isn't always like this. But this is where Yordy's philosophy prevails. When the industry was really booming several years back, he denied greed and refused to over-leverage himself the way a lot of guys did. He made less money in the short run, but he kept the pressure off and was able to survive when the fishing dropped off a few seasons later. He's one of the few operations left with a firm foothold in the industry. Even the encroaching condominiums and resorts that presumable threaten his existence don't faze the kid. In fact, a sly little smile crosses his face when I mention it. "All ah den rich people, they likey eatey the longosta." Yes. Yes, they do. We get back to the dock just after 2PM. Yordy gives me twelve lobster tails out of sheer kindness and generosity. I want to talk with Yordy a bit longer, to absorb some more of his vibrant spirit, but he has other plans. "Brah, I needey go ang workey on my house." Of course. And off he goes to bust his ass and be a hero, just living the American Dream.

There is nothing like boat life. Living aboard is good stuff. Size doesn't matter a whole lot. Your life style does. If dad needs a private office and mom needs her sewing room, unless you are very rich, you might as well forget boat life. Generallly speaking, I would say the bigger the better, and, please, don't neglect the safety of your son. He could slip overboard in the blink of an eye. I fished my one year old daughter out of the drink once after being distracted for only a moment. Her swimming lessons started at the age of three weeks. She was fine. Good luck. Living on a house boat is a dream come true , its better than having beachfront property no grass to mow and NO Property Taxes , wahoo you would only need a 2 or 3 bedroom and watch that little one on the water ... Trust me on this one.... (disregard if you mean a permanent - non moving type houseboat with sewer & electric)... Go rent a house boat for 10 days to 2 weeks on Lake Powell, Lake Mead, or Lake Havasu or your favorite wet spot AND then post us back. Everyone I know who has done this all say they had a fantastic time except for??? And they are really glad to get home sweet home (on land). It is a chore to get ice and food supplies on almost a daily basis.

You will need a second boat for these escapades. Oh - you say "but I have a generator" - ha ha gas will kill you $$$$ Don't get me wrong - there are fun times and Kodak moments galore - to last you a lifetime.... It just intails a lot of responsibillty on your hubbie. Like getting to that certain canyon or harbor before dark. Finding a gas dock that is on the way. I like the 4 Bouy House Boats 40 - 75 feet

Living on a boat isn't the conventional way to live but it can be interesting and fun. Many people live on a boat for many different reasons. Some people live on their boats to save money, some travel a few months a year, and then there are some that just love the water. Some people live on a boat because they love the view when they get up on the morning. Looking over the river, lake or ocean is a great way to start your day. If you can not afford ocean front property living on a boat can give you the same view for a lot less money. Sleeping on a boat will be some of the best sleep that you ever had. The rocking of the boat will gently rock you to sleep and you will sleep better breathing the fresh air that surrounds the water that you are sleeping on. Marina fees are usually not that expensive compared to living in an apartment or a house, they will usually include the electric and the water sometimes even cable and Internet. You can save money living on a boat. This will allow you to work less hours, yet still have plenty of money. Of course there are some drawbacks with living on a boat. There isn't as much space as your accustomed to in a house. You will have to carefully choose what items you want to bring with you to live on a boat. But then cleaning out the excess also clears your soul. With less things to worry about you don't have to feel clutter, you can't buy much stuff because you don't have space leaving you to concentrate on other things that are important to you. Instead of shopping you may find yourself visiting with people that live beside you, or attending a cookout thrown together by your neighbors at the last minute. After living on a boat for awhile you will learn to enjoy free things you take pleasure in watching the sunset instead of watching television. In the mornings you are not rushed as you get up with the birds and have your morning coffee outside with nature as companion. Living on a boat can be great to save money, get back to nature and enjoy your life. You really can't be stressed out for long while living on a boat, it has its own way of calming and soothing you.

I singlehanded my stilletto 27 for 5 years for a total of about 5 months in the icw and offshore of fl and the Bahamas. It was a real challenge attimes offshore but by and large pretty easy. It had no autohelm or rollerfurling or lazyjacks. The main was full battened and weighted 60 lbs. I would often have to roll it up then pull out the storm main. I frequently sailed in 30 plus mph winds with it and the storm jib. The boat weighted only 1000 lbs and could flip so it required alot of attention. I often sailed it with one reef in or no main at all and just used my head sails. The spinaker with the sock was very easy to use compared to the main. Using mostly headsails on furlers or socks is easy. I usually kept the speed to less

than 12 mph. Now I have a st Francis. 44 which I have added a code zero on facnor furler, a asymetric in a sock and it has a 120 jib on a furler and a Hank on storm jib. The main is 600 sqft and is in a macpac. I have a rocna 73 lb on a new windlass. I plan to sail this like a big stilletto and use more headsails and keep my main usually at the first reef point. This gives me a larger margin of safety. On a bigger cat that is Icw friendly , you can sail it like a smaller cat. The only concern is docking n strong winds but I will not go to a dock in those conditions but take the dingy and use jugs. Having a solid anchoring system is paramount for a singlehandler. On smaller cats , less than 35 ft ,the diesel tanks are often small so limited motoring range and more need to go to marinas. I learned some tricks from 2 70 yr olds on their warram 47 which they are still actively cruising which is a very large boat. My only concern is the 15 hp yamaha engine for the dingy. It came with the boat and I will get a smaller one as I age. I am 47 6' 2" a d 190lbs. My approach will be to always sail her under canvased and use more headsails when possible and toss out the drogue when it gets too much. Thanks chris v As far as Chris Whites designs go, not all of them have forward cockpits. Go to chriswhitedesigns web site, click on custom designs/Voyager 45/photos.

Atlantic Catamaran FAQ

What is an Atlantic Catamaran?
An Atlantic Catamaran is distinguished by the center sailing cockpit, aft pilothouse arrangement. In the early 1980's all of the available cruising catamaran designs required the helmsman to be perched on the aft deck behind the deckhouse. From this point visibility forward and to the sides was impaired and access to the mast to raise and lower sails was difficult. Chris White sought to improve the safety and utility of the cruising cat by reversing the normal configuration. When the cockpit was placed forward of the deckhouse complete forward visibility was restored as well as easy and safe access to all sailing controls. Another benefit which became immediately clear was that the deckhouse could be transformed from the normal catamaran living room into an effective pilothouse where the boat could be safely navigated and steered.

How long have they been around?

Chris White designed the first Atlantic Catamaran(TM) in 1983. At the time, the concept of placing the cockpit forward of the deckhouse was unknown and untried. The original Atlantic 50, Arabella, is still sailing having logged over 75,000 thousand miles in both cruising and day charter. Later Atlantic cat designs were built upon the concepts pioneered in the Atlantic 50, gradually refining the design, materials and methods into the line of Atlantic Catamarans that exist today. For those interested, the design sequence was: A50

A46 A40 A46LR A42 A46mk2 A55 A48 A57 A42mk2

Is the Atlantic Catamaran concept patented?

No. One requirement for patent protection is that the invention must not be obvious. At the time it seemed that anyone who spent more than an 20 minutes considering the design of a cruising catamaran would come up with this obvious solution and therefore it would have also been obvious to the Patent and Trademark Office. In any case, if a patent had been applied for and awarded it would now be expired as protection is good for only 17 years. It took a long time but the imitators have arrived and there are now several cats being sold with Atlantic Cat inspired forward cockpits. Even Lagoon jumped into the act with a vestigial cockpit near the mast in one of their designs. As the saying goes however, copies are seldom improvements. I have yet to see any other design that offers the safety and versatility of the Atlantic Cat configuration. Atlantic Catamaran is a trademark of Christopher R. White and is used to identify the catamarans in this design series.

How much do they cost?

Because my livelihood depends on having designs built at competitive prices I scour the world looking for the best quality builders at the lowest cost. But there are limits to what a boat builder can do. The materials costs are basically the same the world over and that alone is a large fraction of the total cost. In the case of a low labor cost environment the bill of materials can be over 60% of the total cost to construct and there is very little that can be done to reduce the material cost without compromising the safety and durability of the boat. The major cost variable is the labor. But the labor rate in a given location has to be viewed in the context of the labor efficiency. One man/hour in a good shop in the USA or New Zealand is often the equivalent to two or even three man hours in other countries. And it takes a HUGE number of man hours to build a good cruising catamaran. The hourly total for a large cat is measured in

units of tens of thousands of hours. If the efficiency adjusted labor cost is $10/hr lower and it takes 20000 man hours to complete the project that is a $200,000 savings. Ample reason to investigate the alternatives wherever they may be. But don't confuse costs and quality. There are many very expensive boats built to very low quality standards. And there are a few excellent high quality boats built at low cost. It is all in the details and that takes good design and careful management in the boat shop. All that said; in general a custom or semi-custom built Atlantic Cat of a given size will often cost about the same as the offerings from the mainstream catamaran boat builders such as Jenneau, Catana, etc. In some cases the Atlantic Cat has actually been less expensive even though it uses far superior materials in construction such as epoxy resin, SAN foam, carbon fiber, and much closer attention to weight control. What is really important to the boat buyer is not so much the initial cost but what the boat is worth in five, ten or twenty years down the road when it comes time to sell it. The sales history of used Atlantic Cats is in my opinion spectacular. And I have data to back up the claim. While there are variations due to the age, condition and location of the boat; for the most part resale prices remain remarkably stable over time and trend higher with inflation. This only works when the boats hold up well and the Atlantic Cats do. I was recently involved in the sale of an A46 built in 1995. The boat had been sailed a great deal; across the Pacific, twice across the Atlantic, and cruised all over the place. She had been well maintained and had recently been painted and the sails were new. Except for some of the older electronics it was not at all apparent that it wasn't a new or nearly new boat. Her last selling price was 20% more than she cost brand new in 1995. Not bad! Okay, so if you had bought T-bills in 1995 instead of a boat you'd have more money now but have you tried to sail a pile of paper?

Why don't you build hulls out of wood?

Wood/epoxy is an excellent boat building material if handled properly. Many of the first Atlantic cats were built of wood/epoxy and these boats have held up well over the years. But as the demand for Atlantic cats has grown it made sense to use moulds where possible to eliminate the need to build and fair the same hull over and over again. Like it or not there is no faster way to construct a lightweight and strong hull than out of a female mould. It translates into cost savings for the boat owner as well a better resale value over time.

Why don't you build hulls out of carbon fiber?

Carbon fiber, like all materials, has unique properties. In yacht construction we are often trying to obtain structural stiffness at low weight. Carbon fiber is excellent at this and we use lots of it in

certain places. However, the flip side to low stretch under load is often some brittleness under impact. Carbon laminates can be quite thin and still be strong enough for sailing loads but not strong enough for localized impact loads. And a hull is the most likely part of the boat to see impacts. The other issue is hull noise. Carbon laminates resonate more strongly than glass fiber when thumped by waves or banging hardware. That translates into much greater noise levels below deck which are at best distracting and at worst terrifying. Maybe this reason sounds silly to the racing sailor but in my opinion the attainable speed of a performance cruising cat is limited more by crew comfort than anything else.

Can I get an Atlantic Cat in Aluminum?

Metal has it's advantages and I have looked at this in detail. The major drawback to aluminum use in a cat is weight. Metal, anyway you slice it, adds considerable additional weight compared to epoxy composite. The typical 3mm aluminum hull plating with frames and stringers on the required interval weighs about 50% more per unit area than foam/glass/epoxy. THEN if you want a true equivalent you need to insulate the aluminum hull and deck for thermal and sound and then cover the insulation for looks which adds another big chunk of weight. If it is to be painted outside aluminum normally requires lots of fairing putty- still more weight. At the end of it all you have a boat that sinks unless you add special provisions- even more weight. Of course, if you leave out most of the interior and equipment you can have a metal cat at reasonable weight.

Can I get one in steel?

No. It is far too heavy for a performance catamaran.

Can they be singlehanded?

Absolutely. That is the whole idea. These are long distance cruising sailboats and by definition they will be sailed shorthanded. In many cases that means double handing, which in effect is not much different than single handing because most of the time there is only one person on watch and he/she has to be able to perform all the sailing functions.

What design traits make a boat safe to sail shorthanded handed?

1. Visibility. Collision is a major risk. One person on watch needs to be able to easily see all around the boat- especially forward. It is also essential to be able to see well to safely maneuver in crowded harbors, get into docks, etc.. 2. Easy sail handling and reefing. Leading all sail controls to a secure cockpit in the middle of the boat makes all sail handling safe and simple. You do not ever need to leave the

cockpit to tack, gybe or reef. The sides of the cockpit are 10' inboard of the lifelines. It is not possible to fall out of the cockpit. 3. A protected watch keeping station. Fatigue is the mother of nearly all sailing accidents. Having a watch station where you remain warm, dry and protected means the difference between being alert and safe or exhausted and dangerous.

Why don't you carry the anchor under the net like the charter cats?
Here is a good question. At the outset this seems like a reasonable idea; the anchor is located off the bows and all components are stowed neatly in one place. On closer inspection I have several problems with this arrangement. 1. The anchor rode is attached to the boat near the mid point fore and aft. Any boat is wildly unstable at anchor with the rode cleated in this position, yawing violently from side to side. So it requires using a bridle every time you anchor. That in itself is a nuisance because an A-cat will ride happily to a single anchor rode most of the time so making up a bridle and taking it off is additional hassle that is not needed. 2. When you need a bridle it is typically because it is quite windy and what you'd like to be able to do also is put out more scope. The way most underwing anchor cats are rigged in order to increase the scope you first have to pull in a bunch of scope to first disconnect the bridle. In an area with poor holding shortening scope is the last thing you want to be doing when the wind pipes up. 3. Yet another important issue is what happens when you put out two anchors. When hanging on two anchors for any length of time, invariably the two rodes twist around each other. Before making any adjustments or retrieving either anchor the twists must first be undone. The easy and safe way to do this is, while standing on deck, taking the bitter end of one rode off, coiling it up and unwrapping it around the other rode. If you must get under the boat in the dinghy to do this you will be limited to near calm conditions and that could cause a big problem. Just yesterday I watched a neighboring boat hoisting their anchor. Along with it came a 10' long chunk of tree that the anchor chain had wrapped itself around. By pulling the chain up close to the wrap it was possible to reach down and undo the mess. It would not have been possible had it all been inaccessible under the bow net. 4. Another factor when using two or more anchors is that the bridle effect comes not from one anchor but two. Each anchor being lead off to one side of the boat so that the load is shared between the anchors. A separate bridle on one anchor will interfere with this and will need to be removed.

Can an Atlantic Cat sink?

No. All the Atlantic Cats are inherently buoyant and cannot sink. There are, however differences between them in the amount of positive buoyancy. The foam cored boats would typically float higher if flooded than the older wood/epoxy designs.

Can an Atlantic cat be capsized?

Yes. Any catamaran can be capsized. There are two causes for capsize one is wind capsize the other is wave capsize. My book, The Cruising Multihull goes into this subject in considerable detail. The short answer is that wind capsize is almost always due to operator error and is most easily avoided. Wave capsize due to horrible conditions is something that the operator can do less to avoid but there are techniques that can be used to help keep the boat upright.

Have any Atlantic Cats been capsized?

As of May 2009 there has only been one capsize of an Atlantic Cat (an A42). It was solely wind induced and happened on Lake Michigan. There were no injuries and the boat was recovered with minimal damage and is sailing today. This capsize was very easily avoided if the captain had been paying attention to the boat rather than his computer hard drive!

Should a liferaft be carried?

This is a decision that every sailor needs to make based on the locations sailed, the type and size of boat, the experience of the crew and the time of year and conditions expected. Historically speaking, abandoning an unsinkable vessel to a liferaft has often diminished the chances of the crew surviving. A flooded or capsized multihull can (but not always) offer a much better survival platform than a small inflatable raft. However, some multihull designs may not float high enough if flooded to offer enough protection to the crew. There is a saying that the only time you want to get into a raft is when you are climbing UP into it.

Do you carry a life raft?

On my last two cruising boats (one trimaran, one catamaran) I have not carried a raft because in my judgment these boats would offer better protection than a raft if capsized.

What about fire?

Not many yachts have had to be evacuated at sea due to fire, although I suppose it could happen. If this were to happen on my own cat I think I would still prefer to get into the 11' inflatable dinghy with an outboard motor than a raft.

Why don't you offer electric drives?

As of May 2009, I have yet to see an electric drive system that offers any net improvements or advantages over a conventional diesel engine coupled to a propeller. Yes, I have heard the hype

and claims, I have just not seen examples demonstrating the performance promised. In fact the examples have been SO FAR AWAY from the promised performance that I have little expectation that anyone will deliver the goods soon. The subject can get complex as there are several ways you can go about using electric propulsion. But the long and short of it is that for use in a long distance cruising boat you need several things from the axillary engine; 1. Performance. It is a great thing to be able to motor at reasonable speed. And it is essential that you have enough power to be able to motor against strong winds in a harbor or other confined area. 2. Range. Yeah, you can sit and wait for the wind (been there done that, I have cruised two engine less boats over 10,000 miles) or you can keep moving. People sometimes go overboard on their requirement for range so I hesitate to say what is right or enough range under power. And that will of course vary depending on the region and time of year you are sailing. From my experience I would say being able to motor a couple hundred miles is extremely handy. If you are going to carry an engine in the boat at all it makes sense to be able to motor at least that far. Many cruisers would triple that number or more as their baseline requirement. 3. Reasonable weight. We are talking multihulls here and weight control is important if you are going to realize the benefits of sailing a catamaran. The reason the world runs on diesel engines is that diesel fuel has such incredible energy density. As a consequence diesel is available all over and is still very cheap compared to the alternatives. 4. Reliability. Bleeding edge equipment has little application to cruising boats that frequent remote places. The basic diesel engine and drive system that most people use can be serviced in some form in most parts of the world. 5. Cost. This is always important regardless of what an enthusiastic supporter of alternative propulsion might say. So what is the current state of electric propulsion? I am no expert, I just repeat what I have been told by various owners and boat builders who have used or installed some of these systems. The bottom line is that I have yet to hear a single complimentary review of the whole system. They have been expensive, heavy, prone to problems, difficult to install and worst of all the performance has been way below expectations. Performance: Javelin, my conventional diesel powered Atlantic 55 can power along for hours at 10 knots at full throttle. I have not heard of any electric drive examples that do much better than 7 knots and most are way below that. Range: A pure electric drive system in a catamaran run off a one ton battery bank will typically provide a range of less than 10 miles! Okay add two more tons of batteries and you might have 30 mile range. But what did you just do to the sailing ability of the boat by adding all that extra weight? Answer; ruin it.

Weight: Currently, there is no way to store enough electrical power to propel a boat any distance at anything close to an acceptable weight. This is going to be the primary limitation until there are huge advances in battery technology (which may come, but who knows when). Cost: Last week I was meeting with a boatbuider who had recently completed a 55' catamaran with electric drives. We spoke in detail about the installation problems and costs. He was still assembling the post construction cost numbers but was certain the drive system cost in excess of $100,000. This boat could run less than one hour from it's battery bank. For cost comparison: in the Atlantic 57 we use 55 hp diesel saildrives. The engines and saildrives cost about $12,000 each (wholesale). The props, exhaust system, throttle and shift controls add roughly another $10,000 in parts. Add labor and you are still less than half the cost of the electric drive system.

Can the boat be beached?

Yes. Of course most cruisers try to avoid any sort of grounding because it wears the precious antifouling paint off the bottom of the boat. But on occasion it is very handy to be able to put the boat on a protected beach near the top of the tide in order to do minor bottom maintenance. A prop can be changed, a bit of antifouling paint touched up or other chores which would normally require a haulout.

Are there daggerboards or centerboards to aid upwind performance?

Always. If a cat is going to sail upwind really well it needs deeper fins than the shallow draft fixed fin typical of most cats. The majority of Atlantic Cats have used vertically retracting dagger boards but some A55's were built with swing up centerboards. There are pros and cons to each type naturally. The important thing is that there is a well shaped hydrofoil under the boat to allow it to claw to windward.

Why are there fixed fins on the hulls of the Atlantic Cats?
The reasons for having a fin on a cruising boat are many so here is a background of the thinking: Because we are designing cruising boats it is essential that they be able to take occasional hard groundings without sustaining major damage. Some of the high performance cruising cats promoted today will, upon contact with the bottom, break off their rudders, bend the props into useless shapes and risk large areas of damage to the hull bottoms. In contrast the Atlantic Cats are designed to survive contact with the bottom with little risk of significant damage.

As one of the few certainties in life, you know that the hull fin being the deepest part will be the bumper that will take the vast majority of grounding impact. For that reason we make the fins VERY strong. The base of the fin is a thick single skin epoxy/glass laminate that is sledge hammer proof. The fin side laminate is doubled up as well resulting in an extremely stout structure. The fin is not that long fore and aft but it is plenty long enough for the boat to sit on or in the case of grounding, bounce up and down on for hours. One of my designs without a fin, a Hammerhead 54 trimaran, accidentally went on the reef in the Bahamas two years ago. The surf conditions were quite benign but the tide was falling and they got stuck. Without a fin to support the boat the hull settled onto the coral, bouncing against it on every wave. Within hours two thirds of the main hull bottom had been torn away by the reef. So much of the bottom was missing that the engine fell out! Fortunately, the shallower floats of the tri held the boat up as the main hull was ground away and allowed the boat to be towed off the reef and eventually repaired. If it had been a cat without fins and two torn out bottoms it would still be on the reef as nothing would have been able to tow it off. Contrast this to an Atlantic 48 Cat while unattended broke its mooring in Grenada and fetched up on the reef . Again conditions were moderate but she spent some time there bouncing on the coral. She had only scratches and minor gouges on the fins, without any damage to hull, props or rudders. Trying to beat some bad weather, Kate and I sailed Javelin into a very dark and unmarked anchorage in Belize. Charts were sketchy, it showed a shoal in the middle of the bay but it was so dark it was hard to judge where that might be. Motoring slow with a following breeze the bottom rose up so fast we came to a sudden grinding stop before there was a chance to react. All I know about the bottom is that it wasnt soft! It sounded like small rocks. Hoping we were not stuck I went to full reverse with both engines and after an anxious few seconds was able to back out of the two trenches the fins left in the bottom. Now what would have happened in a high performance cat with midship props, deep vertically retracting rudders and no fins? The first area of contact probably would have been the very deep vertically retracting rudders. These are not kick up rudders but break off on impact rudders. And they would most likely have snapped off on impact. The next area of contact would probably have been the tips of the folding props, which extend deeper than the hull body. If this happens the props are usually damaged beyond repair.

Next to hit bottom, the hull grounds out for maybe 15 to 20 of hull length and a couple feet of width, depending on the firmness of the seabed. In the best conditions only bottom paint is going to be lost. If there is wave action the hull skin can easily be damaged as it just isnt designed for point loading because that would add way too much extra weight. And an extra 1/100 th of an inch of Kevlar isnt going to be much of a barrier. If it is a hard edged bottom and there is any swell you are likely to have very major hull damage. Motoring off with so much hull bottom in contact with the ground and possibly your props compromised because they are bent, whacking the bottom or sucking up rocks is not going to be easy. Yeah, yeah I know No one should ever go aground. And I am sure that all owners are skillful enough that such events never happen. But I am not afraid to admit that I go aground now and then. It really isnt very often, but there have been a couple of hard ones. In every case my boat has escaped damage other than scratches. Thats how a cruising cat should be. Another reason that a fin is worthwhile it the help it provides maneuvering in close quarters. Twin screw cats are typically very maneuverable, except when the props are so far from the rudders that the prop wash cannot be used by the rudder- but that is another topic. Where a cat can be a real handful is in cross winds. With lots of freeboard and little hull in the water they want to blow sideways. The more hull freeboard and cabin and shallower the hull form the faster they go sideways. I never realized what a difference the fins made until I tried to dock an Atlantic 55 built without fins at the owners insistence. Yikes, what do I do now! was my basic response to being blown sideways at a much higher than expected rate.

What about rudder protection?

As result of the hull fins all of the Atlantic Cats have well protected rudders. The fin is deeper than the rudder so whatever impacts the rudder might see on grounding are vastly reduced. Also the likelihood of flotsam impacting the rudder with enough force to damage it is diminished. As such, I elected not to use a retracting or kick up rudder in the Atlantic Cat series. Building any retracting rudder in a way that works properly gets expensive, increases the potential for steering failure and requires increased maintenance. If you dont need it why do it? Instead we build fixed rudders and the construct the blades, rudder stocks and supporting structure very ruggedly. In half a million sailing miles by Atlantic Cats over a 23 year period there have been exactly ZERO structural failures of the rudder. A couple have had gouges or chunks taken out by rocks but never has one failed to do what it was supposed to do.

Why don't you use a wing mast?

Some of the early Atlantic cats had wing masts as did my trimaran Juniper. I know these rigs fairly well and have built several wing masts myself. On balance, for a cruising cats like these, I see little to be gained for the additional expense and significant additional complication of a rotating wing mast. It is difficult to find a company to do a good job building a wing mast and when you do the costs are often quite high. The weight is also greater than a non-rotating mast. Then you run into problems mounting nav lights, instruments, radar and other things on a mast that turns 50 degrees side to side. In addition halyard leads become more complex and prone to chafe. If someone is dead set on it, a wingmast can be designed for many of the Atlantic Cats, but in general I think there are better alternatives.

Can I use a carbon mast?

Yes. The first A46 launched in 1986 had a wood/carbon composite wing mast so we have a long history with it. More recently, all of the new A57's have had carbon masts. There are some advantages, mostly in weight saving, and you pay a substantial premium for that. Typically a carbon mast costs two to three times what an alumium mast costs. The weight savings, actualnot advertised, runs into a couple hundred pounds. Some owners find this attractive, others do not. Theoretically a carbon mast should last longer as carbon fiber is very good in fatigue resistance. There are some potential electrolytic corrosion issues with carbon but it holds paint better than aluminum so it should look good for a long time too.

Can I use synthetic standing rigging?

In recent years there have been many interesting super strong fibers brought to market. Some of these fibers can be made into standing rigging. Kevlar, Spectra, PBO and carbon fibers are now all used in various forms for stays and shrouds. There is no doubt that substantial weight can be saved over SS wire so the top racing boats use synthetic rigging exclusively. But the question remains, is this stuff suitable for cruising boats? At more than 5 times the cost of wire, certainly the cost is high, but in relation to the weight saved it is not too bad. Where I start to have reservations is when reading the fine print from the makers of synthetic shrouds. Cautions abound. Don't let the sunlight get to the fiber! Don't allow the protective sheathing to be broken by batten chafe! Replace all rigging in 3 years! And in the case of PBO, don't EVER let it get wet! Get wet? On a boat surrounded by ocean and it can't get wet? Whether the rigging providers are playing CYA or being realistic is a difficult question to answer. What I do know is this: Every fiber has it's own characteristics of stretch, fatigue life, creep, UV and chemical resistance.

Looking at the total picture I have yet to see products that can be put up and ignored for 5 and 10 years the way we are able to do with type 316 SS wire. However, there is a new carbon rigging product that might come close. Recent testing that I heard results of on rigging that had completed a round the world race showed little or no degradation of strength. That is very significant and worth closer investigation. Eventually SS wire will be replaced with something lighter and hopefully equally or more durable. I just don't think we are there yet.

Is there enough ventilation?

One of the key requirements for cruising in warm places is having excellent ventilation. As a breed the Atlantic cats have superior ventilation. There are opening deck hatches about every 8 feet throughout the accommodation plan. Opening ports in the hull sides and more importantly opening ports that are positioned in places sheltered from spray so that they can be left open under way. However the main contributor to great ventilation is the forward facing door into the cockpit. As I sit here now typing the full tradewind breeze keeps me cool inside the pilothouse as it flows through the open doorway. We have hatches and an aft facing door in the pilothouse too- like most other cats- but these are just too small to combat the heat generated within the large pilothouse. Coming aboard late in the afternoon after the boat has been closed up for hours it is impressively hot inside, maybe 120 degrees F. Open the forward door and all the hatches and in minutes the heat is gone replaced by a lovely breeze. Some of the production designs such as Catana, have eliminated nearly all of the deck hatches. I have no idea how they can ventilate well enough to stay comfortable but recently I was anchored next to one and the gen-set ran constantly so the best guess is they rely on air conditioning instead of ventilation.

Can I have the galley up arrangement?

This question comes up often. In the smaller Atlantic Cats moving the galley into the pilothouse would use up so much of the available space that there would be room for little else. In contrast the galley in the hull is superb, even in the Atlantic 42. There is lots of storage space, tons of counter space, plenty of room for refrigeration, microwave and the elbows of more than one cook. The primary objection most people have to locating the galley in the hull is that they would feel cut off from conversation in the pilothouse and confined in a tight space. The Atlantic Cats

combat this feeling with an extra wide access to the galley that allows communication between people in the pilothouse and galley. After seeing how well the galley works in real life, most Atlantic Cat owners agree whole heartedly that it is in the right place and would not wish to move it. The benefits to the existing galley plan are: 1) larger, more functional galley area; 2) easier and safer cooking in rough weather because there are more places for the cook to brace againstfreeing both hands.; 3) keeps the galley mess out of the dining and lounging area; 4) Less disturbance to the watch when cooking at night. A good friend of mine is looking for a 35 to 38ft Cat for a 2 year sabatical with the aim of a round the world trip. My advise to him was that he should really be looking at 40ft plus but he is set on a sub 38ft boat as there will be only the two of them. All of my research before we bought was for much larger cats so my experience in this area is limited. He has said he would prefer a more performance orientated cat but with decent accomodations which is normally a problem to get both. His budget won't stretch to a new boat so he is looking at maybe 5 plus years old (say 130,000 UKP). I have started to make a list for him but I could do with extending the list and anyone's comments on these boats would be helpful: Jaguar 36 Lagoon 380 Wildcat 350 Privilege 37 Mahe 36 (probably outside his budget) Leopard 38 (Old style) Maxim 38 I would go for an FP Athena 38, last ones made about 2005, good room, higher than average bridgedeck, faster I would say than any of those listed, and you could pick up a good one for about 120K. If he looks in the FP section of the forum, JKD did a great report on the Athena with some very good replies. Go for the late model Athena with the taller rig. I would be very careful with the Jaguar and wildcat, some were OK, some not. An Outremer 40/42 which is a stretched 38, but space is tight. TRT 1200 C Voyage 380 Helios 38 PDQ/Capella 36 Seawind

Tobago 35 Alan My wife and I looked at an Athena 38 as a prospective liveaboard/long distance voyager and threw it out because it would take a lot of modifications to get it into that condition. Just to clarify, I do not mean seaworthiness issues but housekeeping ones. The storage spaces on the boat are just not that well thought out so there will be major reworks necessary. I would have a look at the Leopard 38. They seem to be the best built and best laid out x-charter cats. They are cheaper and probably sail better than a Lagoon 380. I saw a Maxim 380 in an anchorage the other day. It was nice on the outside but I was unable to procure a tour. I have only sailed on the Athena, and my Tobago of course. Generally positive on the sailing, but no way are they performance boats, especially when loaded down. Expect around 50% TWS Go with the 3 cabin versions. Storage space is not abundant except under the bunks. If they pulled out the bunks in a forward cabin and set that up for storage, it would work fine. There is space for a watermaker in the engine rooms. Water and diesel capacity is a bit limited on the Tobago (120 l fuel, 220 water) but easy to increase under the mast. Steering is normally Morse, so would upgrade to hydraulic and add decent autopilot. Keep the old wheel pilot as a spare. These boats are actually quite well built and pretty solid, so I wouldn't be worried. Under rigged so nearly impossible to flip. I would add a prodder and some lightweight sails for downwind work, or a double jib. Upgrade the charging capacity, and the house bank. Add solar panels over the davits. (these need reinforcing IMO, easy to do - I have pics) Standing rigging would probably need to be replaced, use Dynex Dux and deadeyes (I have). Wish them luck in their search. So the choice is really sit and wait for a suitably kitted boat or decide on a model and buy an ex-charter? At the price point your friend is at, (205k usd) I think the answer is yes. You will see later year model charter cats for that price or the rare older "owners version". The issue is that builders did not really start heavily building the owners style until after 2002 or so and the ones that hit the market are asking some pretty stiff premiums. There were just more of the charter boats built as well so the sellers are more competitive on price.

Either wait and pay the money for the low time one that pops up or hold back a chunk of money and put it into a lower priced charter cat. Either way he needs to plan on having to invest some cash to bring the boat up to date for rigging, sails or something on any boat. Not too many used boats that you can walk onto and sail the first 2k miles of the journey.

Voyager 45 Catamaran

The Voyager 45 design offers an exceptional blend of sailing performance with a comfortable cruising interior. The overriding design concept was to utilize the conventional aft cockpit layout in conjunction with a central deck house that contains a large "living room". A completely unique, low profile deck house design was developed in order to: 1) allow good forward visibility from the cockpit, 2) improve windward performance by reducing windage, and 3) create a truly monocoque structure that yields incredible strength and stiffness which in turn allows a reduction in structural weight. To achieve the "exceptional blend" it was essential to use modern materials and construction technology throughout the design in order to maximize strength and minimize weight. Cored epoxy/composite construction is used throughout. High performance uni-direction carbon fiber laminate carries the primary structural loads. Weight of interior furnishings is minimized by extensive use of lightweight aircraft grade honeycomb panels that are surfaced with thin hardwood veneer to provide a rich traditional look. For a cruising cat to really perform it must have some type of retractable keel or fin. The V-45 utilizes a single large daggerboard in the starboard hull. Board down draft of 7'9" allows fast, sure tacking and

pointing similar to a good monohull. When gunkholing the board is fully retracted and a very shoal draft results- the best of both worlds. The V-45 was originally designed for Jim Hunt. I have particularly enjoyed working with the Jim on this design. He has sailed all of his 60 years, raced very competitively (won an Olympic Gold Medal) and ran a large production boatbuilding company. From the beginning, the sailing nature of this design was preeminent. But rather than build a stripped-out machine that could sail fast but do nothing else we took the hard road and worked to combine all of the wonderful features the cat has to offer without sacrificing any of them. I feel very satisfied that we achieved our aims. The V-45 sails very well; she tacks crisply, power reaches into the high teens without effort and surfs large ocean waves with complete control. She will easily accommodate 6 and sleep 8 or 9 if needed by conversion of the settee into a double berth and use of the amidships child's berth on the port side. Personally, I find all of the interior spaces to be very pleasing and functional and I especially like the large aft double cabins.

LOA LWL BOA Displacement

44' 7" 43' 0" 23' 4" 16,500 lbs

Draft Draft Masthead from DWL Sail Area:

3' 9" fixed fin version 3' to 7'9" with daggerboard 60' Main: 617 sq ft / Jib: 340 sq ft

Voyager 45: An intelligent long-distance cruising cat from Chris White

by Quentin Warren Chris White of South Dartmouth, Mass. has done a lot of sailing, cruising, passage-making and even racing, particularly aboard his own unique generation of craft. He is a genuine, if not devout, multihuller, whose dry wit and circumspect outlook belie his enthusiasm for the art and science of design. His career spans more than two decades of designing and living aboard boats. Adept at two and three hulls, the latest feather in his cap is acclaim for Best Cruising Multihull in a 1998 Boat Of The Year competition for his recent Atlantic 42 catamaran. Of particular interest to this forum is Chris's 1995 undertaking, the Voyager 45 offshore cruising catamaran. It embraces the designer's conviction that sailing performance is a franchise not to be denied, and that sensible, sophisticated accommodations fall well within that envelope. The client for whom the boat was developed, Jim Hunt, is a lifelong sailor with an Olympic gold medal amid his accomplishments. Jim is also a past vice president in charge of operations at Corsair Marine (read, F-27, F-24) and, more recently, a dedicated blue water cruiser whose exploits with his wife Nina aboard the Voyager 45 Whale & The Bird have taken him all over the Pacific Northwest, down the West Coast to Panama, through the

canal, into the western Caribbean, across the Gulf, and on up the East Coast to New England. In his own words, "With 12,000 miles of catamaran sailing behind us without any incident or injury we are confirmed cat-addicts." The vessel that cast this spell over the Hunts is a powerful cat with looks as graceful and as striking as its behavior at sea. The main elements of its design include a tall, 63-foot swept-back fractional rig flying a modern roachy full-batten main; narrow, low-slung hulls with a subtle, satisfying sheer; sufficient overall beam at 23 feet to ensure stability and accommodate a roomy bridge-deck; rounded, low-profile deckhouse sections for reduced windage and good visibility forward from the aft cockpit; and a rigid construction agenda that designates modern materials and advanced building methodology to achieve the strength, stiffness and reduction in structural weight that make the realization of the boat possible. Design considerations The Voyager 45 hulls are relatively narrow in section for minimal wetted surface, with fine, crisp entries forward to part seas, then rounded configurations as you move aft for stability and buoyancy. The ratio of length to beam at the water line is greater than 11:1, which indicates good potential for speed and acceleration (most garden-variety production cats tip in at about 8:1). Both hulls sport shallow, nine-footlong, low-aspect foils to enhance tracking. In the interest of upwind performance, Chris felt it necessary to provide some sort of retractable keel or fin so, cleverly, he has included a single large daggerboard in the starboard hull. Down, it draws almost eight feet and does wonders for the boat's pointing ability; raised and retracted, draft reduces to three feet. And technically it is a model of simplicity: The high-aspect composite foil lives in a daggerwell that runs up and through a small portion of the starboard hull right to the deck. Of the catamaran's 45 feet, the bridgedeck element extends fore-and-aft almost 25. Bridgedeck clearance is two feet. A good-sized trampoline forward keeps weight and solid deck away from the bows. Aft of that is a section of rigid foredeck, and then wide, stable side decks lead you back to the aft cockpit. The deckhouse itself is a graceful rounded podlike structure that blends flush into the decks port and starboard. A particularly significant advantage of this detail, aside from the aesthetic reward and the reduction in windage, is the ability to build the boat with complete, uncompromised monococque structural integrity. This allows the vessel as a whole to be stiffer and stronger than it would were there a raised cabin-top separated from the deck by a traditional coachroof. Build it light One of the reasons that more than a few designers and builders generate excessively corpulent catamaran hulls has to do with the need for buoyancy. Set up for cruising, manufactured with conventional fiberglass and layup technology, the boats themselves are simply too heavy to sit the way

multihulls in a perfect world are supposed to - "like a leaf upon the water." They displace too much, which puts more mass below the waterline, and increases the bane of any performance vessel: wetted surface. The Voyager 45 achieves significant weight savings by means of modern cored epoxy/composite construction throughout. Hull specs indicate cedar-strip core, the deck rigid foam. Cross beams and other areas of major structural loading employ high-performance unidirectional carbon fiber laminate and epoxy. As noted, the ability to build the boat with monococque integrity reduces the need for heavy conventional structural reinforcement at the bridge-deck, cabin-house and hull interfaces. And inside, furnishings and architecture rely extensively on light-weight aircraft-grade honey-comb panels surfaced with Formica and/or hardwood veneer. Simply, functional below The cockpit features wrap-around U-shaped seating aft at the stern, with wheel-steering mounted on the cabin bulkhead to port. It is a very businesslike part of the boat. There are dinghy davits aft, a doubleended mainsheet system led to winches port and starboard, stoppers and tackle to control daggerboard deployment on the starboard deck, and jib primaries on the cabin-top along with halyards and reefing paraphenalia. There is enough on-deck real estate port and starboard to make leaving the cockpit and moving forward easy; however the slope of the cabin structure as it blends into the deck requires a little getting used to. Once inside, the main living space occurs in the bridge-deck area. The accommodation plan calls for a navstation to port, a small desk and handy wet locker to starboard, and then forward, in the center nacelle beneath an eyebrow window that follows the contour of the cabin-top, a dinette flanked by settees. The space is open and cheery. The navigation area is especially well established - hardly the tabletop add-on found aboard allegedly more lavish vessels in which the entertainment center takes precedence. The port hull features a large double-berth, dressing seat and bureau in the aft stateroom, a full working galley stretched fore-and-aft beyond the step-down from the bridge-deck, then a private head and shower, and finally a single berth in the bow. The starboard hull features the same stateroom deal aft, plus the same head, shower and single berth forward. In lieu of a galley amidships, that area is devoted to the daggerboard trunk, a workbench, lockers, cabinets and counterspace. In general, well appointed storage exists throughout the boat for everything from clothing, to provisions, to tools, to gear and sails. The interior will accommodate six with ease, and it will sleep eight or nine if needed by converting the main settee into another double and energizing an amidships child's berth located on the port side. Blue Water thoughts

In the case of so many cruising catamarans, sheer square-footage tempts you to bring aboard not only everyone you know, but also everything you own short of the Buick in the driveway. The Voyager 45 certainly has room for a lot, but it is apt to shine most brightly offshore if kept within the payload parameters suggested by the lightweight construction ideal pursued by the designer. In his travels aboard Shale & The Bird, Jim Hunt has not skimped on provisioning by any means; he believes in the redundancy of systems and tools, in the comfort of full stores and prescribed personal amenity. However, he has voyaged as a couple with occasional guests, and his appreciation of seagoing performance is of overriding significance. In fact, his reflections on time spent aboard paint a telling picture of what Chris White's design can accomplish in the proper hands. Sailing in the Pacific Northwest, he realized "all that a performance cruising has to offer: stability (the stove isn't gimbaled and the refrigerator front opening), room to be comfortable inside, speed, maneuverability, and a safe workable platform under arduous conditions...Off the coast of Oregon, 40-knot winds and 15-foot seas gave us 20+ knots of surfing joy...Offshore, we frequently did better than 200 miles a day. And our best day's run (loaded for cruising, mind you) was 245 miles between Belize and the Yucatan..." Performance and comfort are always at odds in the context of serious ocean voyaging. Chris White's approach to the conflict combines a philosophy of temperance and reserve when it comes to what one should expect in the way of amenity, and dogged enthusiasm when it comes to what one should demand from the materials, technology and design logic available today in the semi-custom marketplace. The Voyager 45 is a marvelous extension of that thinking. The "sailing barge" phenomenon is one of the things that keeps me from seriously entertaining a multi. If I went to a multi, I would want something that performs well on all points of sail (or at least reasonably well upwind) with a cruising load and had attractive lines. Admittedly, the latter is subjective, but I haven't seen this boat yet. The closest I've seen are some of the Wharram designs. What a very interesting discussion! We've just had a catamaran built (St Francis 50) after living aboard our 47' Vagabond monohull for 7 years cruising the Caribbean . As I see trends toward not only more catamarans being built and used as livaboards, but also much more customization. I think as the economy adjusts and settles, the market for personalization of your own living space I think will only increase, possibly lowering the cost of basic cats, but increasing the cost of customized cats. With so many of the catamarans now being built in South Africa, where labor costs are so cheap, I would like to see the standards used in 1st world economy's, ie warranties, and builder responsibilities brought up to those standards if they intend to compete in a world market. I do believe there is a huge market still available for catamaran builders in customizing to owners spec's...within specific restrictions of the boats original safety and structural designs. I've met many mono's who would love to own a cat, but not any cat owners who go back to a mono. Unless they go back to land life, and have a monohull for day sails. Very interesting conversation! Roxanne s/v Bamboo

The bigger CAT's seem to dominate this discussion but the Sales of the Mahe 36 are good. Adequate in most respects, reasonable quality because they make bigger boats where reputation matters, and a reasonable price for a pretty, pretty fast and quite roomy boat. I like mine better, if only it had a steam engine! But offer me a straight swap. I don't want bigger, I don't want to be wet all day. I do want to sail in early spring and late autumn when temperatures require warm clothing. Without being wet. Cats are great for being there too, where ever you end up, you sleep sound, eat well and have room to stretch out comfortably in a warm saloon, or snooze in a private bunk. I returned to a mono after having sailed a cat (prout 37) for 2 glorious years. The mono was okay but not where the heart was. Size of accomodations and price were the only reason to go back. After years of being away from boating in S. Texas we returned to a cat. Happy days are here again! So here I am thinking about building my own catamaran. I ruled out the second hand market for me. Catamaran of my size are few and I found those I looked at old and worn out. You end up fixing / replacing other people's problems. At the end you spend hundreds of hours, lots of money and still own an old boat. Real bargains are rare as everywhere. Use: Some local cruising in the North / Baltic sea. Then take off for "extended holidays" of 1 or maybe 2 years in the Carribean with wife and two small kids (5 & 6 years on departure). No intention to go much further. I'd like to keep the boat after the trip for holiday cruising and if time / money allows another trip (??). Requirements One double, plus a double or two singles for the kids, a bridgedeck saloon (not for the tropics but here!), a separate heads compartment, acceptable galley. Additional berths would only be used for storage, no intention to take guests for more than one or two days. No need for luxuries, we can hapily live an "ehanced camping lifestyle". The cat needs to be large enough to do the job, carrying the provisions for 2+2 for 4 weeks. Acceptable performance to windward. Shoal draft. Be single handed easily. Simple construction with simple materials. Flat panels where it fits for speedy build, curves where windage or good looks require them. Two small outboards for tight quarters. Small enough to be and remain affordable - both in terms of money and maintenance time. I prefer sailing to maintenance or wage slavery work. So smaller and simpler is better. My inteded size is 28-30 ft, or 8.5-9 meters. Basically I came to two designs: Woods Sagitta http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/sagitta.htm and Kohler KD860 http://www.ikarus342000.com/P86page.htm But now I am stuck... Which one would you prefer? I really have no favourite- that's why I'm asking for other opinions. Both have their strong and weak points. Sagitta +number of boats in the water

+only nice comments +available as a production cat +wider hull due to the flare +access to mast from cockpit -weak load carrier -longer build time due to flares and curves -more draft KD860 +much better load carrier +lower draft +provides more privacy +larger saloon +overall a lower profile +simpler to construct -Only one has hit the water (it's a new design from 2006, several are under way) -no widely available experience with anti vortex panels -possibly lower resale value (woods do sell for good prices) Both have reputable designers, although you need to go back some time for references to Bernd Kohler due to his ten years sailing holiday (see the circumnavigation of the "Zeeman" in the early 90s). I assume you have now looked at all the Sagitta you tube videos. So you will have seen it sailing at 9 knots to windward, bashing to windward, relaxing in the comfortable cockpit, steering with one finger, overtaking other (larger) catamarans, the big galley and big saloon (incidentally there is more, much more on my real videos). To get an impartial opinion you can look at postings about Sagitta on other multihull forums. The censors on this site ban mentioning their names, so you will need to email me to get the links if you cannot find them yourself. For example the Sagitta Mandu recently sailed the Atlantic and you can find full reports of that trip online. I assume you will get at least as much information about the KD860 before deciding which boat is for you. After all, you wouldnt buy a car just from the sales brochure. You cannot really tell how fast a car is, or how well it handles, just from its hp and kerbside weight. I am not going to start comparing one of my designs to another, at least not in public. However I will answer some questions in a general way. Clearly a smaller boat (like the KD860) should be lighter than Sagitta. It will probably also have less room, load carrying and be slower. In my previous posting I mentioned the longer/higher cabin option. This turns the Sagitta into a shorter Eclipse, but at the expense of cockpit space and deck lockers. All of Sagittas accommodation is aft. That keeps the bows light and leaves room forsail lockers and other stowage. When we designed Sagitta we reckoned a 30ft cat with an accommodation of 20ft wide x 12ft long would be at least as good as a 30ft monohull with an accommodation box of 20ft long and 12ft wide. So it is not a small space, it is certainly bigger than an Iroquois, for example, which although the same length is 7ft narrower. You queried the comments on the bunk position. I think most experienced catamaran sailors will agree with me when I say that the forward bunks are bouncy and the aft bunks are

much more comfortable. Many people prefer sleeping fore and aft rather than athwartships. It is awkward getting into a transverse bunk, while bunks on the bridgedeck are high off the floor, which also makes access difficult. I always design bunks with good sitting headroom. I like reading in bed and having a coffee bought for me in the morning (fat chance) so a big comfortable bunk with useful shelving (coffee cup, glasses, books etc) is essential in my book. I hope this helps you decide on the best boat for you. Richard Woods of Woods Designs Woods Designs Sailing Catamarans

By their sheer numbers -- there have been more than 6,500 built in a production run since 1971 -- and their versatility alone, we could not pass on the Catalina 27 as a "Best Bay Boat". In addition, they are cheap, fast and roomy. In short, C27s are the perfect boat for racing or cruising on the Chessie. John Kretschmerdescribes them as "simple but successful ... styl ish but definitely affordable boats with semi-modern hull shapes and high-volume interiors."

David, Your post says much more about you than Glenn. We lived with Glenn on board for 2 weeks and were very comfortable. At that point he had been living aboard for a year and was far from suffering. He cruised full time for 10 years across the Pacific and into Asia on a smaller Wharram. All that time he never had a motor and never used a mooring or a slip. He built this boat because he enjoyed the life style and wanted it back. He is not interested in proving anything to anyone. Far from surviving he is truly living!

Beautiful catamaran. This sailor/builder must have Polynesian blood flowing in his veins. Many modern yachts are a fashion statement, an extension of an image oriented lifestyle. They are not built for adventure . This looks like a yacht built for adventure. It's meant to go to sea on long voyages for long periods of time on small amounts of money. No fashion statement here. The man who built this yacht knows what he wants, knows what he is doing, and knows where he is going. I congratulate him. __________________ Dave Exit Only Glenn has a semi blog on wharrams site. amazing trip and its not self induced torture some people strive in those conditions and I would feel safer on his boat than alot of Condomarans I have been on. I however and not single and have a wife so, I went with the 42 ft pahi captain cook model wharram and its alot more comfy and incredibly safe. I have had 9 guests at one time. I was on the Lagoon 400 yesterday. Without a doubt, this was the worst catamaran I have ever been on. I dislike writing that, but I was shocked at what I found and can't believe a manufacturer is trying to put something like that boat out for sale. This boat was designed only for sitting on a dock, and it isn't even a good boat for that. I have become used to condomarans and charter boats, and give them credit for filling their design goals and market niche. I can give no credit to the Lagoon 400. Where to start? The galley has zero (none, not even a teeny tiny bit) of storage space. I thought maybe one could put a couple of dishes in the lone small ~18"x10" cupboard, but when I opened it, a tiny microwave was stuffed into it. The rest of the galley cabinetry was filled with a fridge, freezer and a small trash bin. Maybe future Lagoon 400 owners only eat frozen burritos and have no need for dishes, pots, pans and silverware? The stbd owners hull is immense and open with no bulkheads dividing up the space (I am not listing this as a bad point - until later). However, the floorboards in the hulls creak, moan, move and spring as you walk on them. Really, really badly. None of them are secure, or can be secured, and I was concerned about falling through them they are so unsupported and cheap. Did I mention cheap? The rest of the inside has similar cheap fit and finish throughout. The engine compartments are very deep and poorly sealed. The boat at the show was delivered by ship from France to Baltimore and motored the short trip down to Annapolis, where the mast was stepped and rigged. Both engine compartments had leaked enough during the brief life of this boat that the exhaust manifolds were rusted and the exhaust elbows were severely rusted. There were no steps or easy access into or out of the ~6' deep engine compartments. Walking up the starboard side deck, I was surprised to find the deck flexing and bouncing 1/8" like a trampoline! I weigh 160lbs wet and could deflect the deck 1/4" by gently bouncing up and down on it. Here is where having no bulkheads interfering with the interior

volume manifests itself. Both anchor rollers were pathetically undersized and installed on the cross beam with 1/4" aluminum pop rivets. One of the rollers was already pulling out the rivets. The rollers are simply unusable - even for just displaying a small stainless anchor at the dock. The fiberglass catwalk connecting the bridgedeck to the cross beam and guiding the anchor chain to the roller flexed alarmingly when stood on - probably 1" or more (again, I weigh 160lbs wet). The catwalk is designed mostly only for use as a chain guide, but it is going to be walked on because it is very wide and much more comfortable than the elastic fishnet Lagoon uses for the trampolines. There is a single large storage locker in the bow with a very heavy lid. The lid has no handle or finger indent for using it. One opens it by getting your fingertips underneath the 1/8" gap between the lid and deck and pulling strongly with your fingernails. Once opened a bit, the gas struts take over and the lid comes up easily. Putting it back down is dangerous. When the lid gets 3/4 of the way down, the struts give up and the lid slams down hard. Right on your fingers because there is no handle or relief set into the lid. I almost lost a finger, but pulled my hand away just in time. The lid/locker interface is of a guillotine design and someone will get hurt. The bow seats built into the pulpits were simply a piece of plywood cut to shape with the endgrains fully exposed. It was not sealed or coated in any way. I am giving Lagoon the benefit of the doubt here and thinking that they forgot to install the seats at the factory and the plywood cutouts were done at the last minute at the show. Although forgetting to install a piece of the boat at the factory brings other doubts to mind. The helm design sweeping the catamaran market is one of the helmsman being completely exposed to the elements so that the coachroof can be seamlessly extended back across the whole cockpit. The Lagoon 4000 follows this trend. There is a cutout in the solid coachroof extension so that the poor skipper can burn himself, freeze himself or soak himself (or herself, but most women have more sense than to get on the helm in these designs). The coach roof is so high that even standing up on the raised helm a 5'11" person (me) can't see the opposite corner or side of the boat. The helmseat is the ubiquitous bench seat with a small round cushioned bar hitting you in the back in just the right place to cause incredible pain. I have never understood these types of backrests, but they are on many boats. The bench seat provides no lateral support and, coupled with its height above water, will be very uncomfortable and tiring in rough seas. But again, most of the charter market boats have this type of seat, so maybe I'm missing their charms. Of course, there was no way to evaluate the sailing performance, but I was standing next to a woman who asked the Lagoon rep how the boat handled storms. His response was "you won't need to worry about bad weather because this boat can out-sail any storm". So I guess the sailing performance is superb and on par with the likes of Playstation. The market competition for the Lagoon 400 is the FP Lipari. The Lipari also has a lot of flawed compromises, but it is a far, far superior boat than the Lagoon 400. On the other hand, the Lagoon 400 was chock full of people drooling over it saying it is the best catamaran ever produced. So what do I know... Just my observations and opinions, Mark

Well, no doubt there are some well heeled folks here, but there's a lot of Average Joes (or John Does?) here as well who don't have the big bucks and make sacrifices to support their sailing passion. We are in the latter group, we pass on a lot of other things people take for granted so we can afford to keep a boat and use it. We sail as long as the wind will move us, get a marina dock only when we absolutely have to, don't eat out much (that's easy when your wife is as good in the kitchen as mine is!). Make most of our own hootch. Do our own repairs and maintenance as much as possible. The list goes on, it's just common sense. If you're not independently wealthy, something has to give. It was always a dream to have what we have now. Yes, you are right, money should not be the deciding factor in whether a dreamer chases their dream or not. There's as many ways to go sailing as there are people doing it, everyone finds their own level of comfort (and expense). If often seems to me that those who are really wealthy never seem to have enough money, they constantly chase more. That's sad. I'm one here on the cheap. The blackberry I'm typing on is my one automatic monthly bill. After pulling hair out from stress of running a commercial construction company for 10 yrs, all I wanted was out of ratrace. Mostly work as boat requires the funds. The thing I hear all the time is "I've always dreamed of doing that". Have no desire to change lifestyle. - - The old buccaneer days and days of Eric Hiscock are gone. Just like the days of roaming the "wild west" of the USA and "staking a claim" on half of Oklahoma and the unknown oil underneath, are also gone. The civilized world is full up with people and politicians. That translates to you are going to have to pay for the privilege of visiting the "paradises" you want to sail to. Plain and simple. -- How much? Well that is variable by an order of magnitude depending upon the boat and lifestyle you want to maintain. There is however a "floor" amount of money. Maintenance on the boat and the US$200/gallon bottom paint; Cost of gasoline or diesel; insurance if inside a country that requires it; Entry/exit fees at the countries you want to visit; Bonds that must be secured if you want to stop in some PacificIslands ; a certain level of food needed to stay alive and healthy (most countries import all their food except for household gardens); are all in the "floor amount" - oh! forgot you must have credit or sufficient funds to get your butt back to your home country should you get in trouble and they politely ask you to leave. If you don't, you will be deported and that will pretty much end any future travel outside your home country. As others stated it is about US$1k/month. That would, IMHO, constitute the "floor amount". - - Above that "floor" cruisers will spend - as others have aptly stated - as much as you have available to spend. Increased boat size, added safety features, better food, medical insurance, and a million other "little nickel/dime" things soon add up to big money or more accurately put - all the money you have available to spend. - - The old tales and feats of high adventure on the high seas are now Hollywood stuff - real life can really be a bummer when it comes to money. But there are hundreds of cruisers, if not thousands, doing the 6 months on the boat/6 months back working routine. And living the "dream" piece by piece. - - The rest of us "planned ahead" (except for those that won the lottery) and saved and invested and now can live the dream full time (or at least a significant period of time). - - You can enjoy a "piece of the pie of paradise" by starting local within your home country for far less than striking out around the world. Then over time you build your future cruising adventure by saving and investing until you exceed the "floor/threshold". Most likely you will build a little higher so that your adventure will not become an ordeal but rather an enjoyable adventure.

- - When looking at the cost on living on land we are mostly in the low income range (heck the USA poverty level in 2008 was about $14K a year) - but when we arrive at places like Trinidad we can throw around TT$100 bills with abandon as they are only worth US$16. In other countries, our US$100 makes us almost a millionaire in their local currency. So to the natives, we are "wealthy gringos". So the term "wealthy" is highly variable depending upon what you are comparing it to. Living what I consider pretty well on land (rent a small house, eat good steaks) I only spend about $1,500/month. When I was still in college/grad school it ranged from $700/month to $1,300/month (studied a year in southern california and it's damned expensive). How does $1,000/month become a floor when you already own the boat? Maybe if you're buying a lot of visas and all that stuff, but if you're cruising relatively locally or just in a few countries it doesn't seem like it should be that high. I could spend a long time exploring the US, Canada, and Mexico. So doing the math, I pay about $800 in rent and utilities, $220 on moorage...so I'd expect to spend about $500/month for what I consider the essentials (I'd eat out a lot less cruising and spend a lot less on gas and car maintenance, but would spend a bit on transient moorage and probably have some higher expenses in some ways). Assuming I stick to countries I don't have to pay expensive visa fees for that leaves about $500/month of a $1,000/month budget for maintenance. That's $6,000/year. You could buy an inexpensive 27' sailboat every year basically. I think you've got to go before you get used to the good stuff though. 5 years ago I would have planned on buying big bags of frozen chicken, steel reserve, and 2 lbs loafs of cheddar cheese. Now I would plan on mostly ribeyes, micro-brews and specialty cheeses. We start earning more, we spend more, we develop more and more tastes we don't want to live without, and the dream gets further and further away. Well, I'm way too young to be thinking about retirement and am definitely in the wrong occupation for taking long cruises. But $1,000/month doesn't seem all that unrealistic. Hi Mischief, for the money you have to spend on a boat I would recommend a Hughes 38. Many of witch sailed around the world. Check yachtworld or Google for 38 foot hughes for sale. You should find priced between $20000.00 to $25000.00 year between 1967-1972. Good solid boat for bluewater sailing. I know the the 38' hughes is a good boat for I own one. See my Web site for pictures. Mischief, I paid $20000 for my Hughes and it is at present getting a total refit. Price @ $12000 for parts and gear. The labor is free for I will do it my self. When I bought the Hughes it was sailed across the Gulf of Mexico with no problem and that is before I started my refit. But that is just my boat. what you need to do is find the boat and get it survuyed. That should give you a ideal what you are up agents. The Hughes is one of the only 38' blue water cruiesing sailboats I seen for this price. The entire line of Hughes sailboats represents some great bargains that tend to sell noticeably less than almost anything else in their size range. The downside is that all of Hughes 38s (there were several different designs) are getting little old (ended production very early 1970s), often come with a gasoline engine, and are a somewhat dated IOR design. Build quality was, at best, average, but some systems details were below average. Of course, they were and are budget boats.

Also I prefer a single mast sail plan. You have to try one with two sticks- incredible. I'd never go back to a single stick rig. If you really want to subject a 2 year old and a baby to the riggors of the ocean on $40k you're nuts. (said in the nicest possable way with a view to: "temper my thoughts") Let me tell you that we know what the costs are and as hard as it is for you, it will be a hell of a lot harder for you if you put to sea thinking you can do it on a wish and a prayer. Just an EPIRB with integrated GPS is reasonable percentage of the value of your boat. And yo expect to be given if for free in some super deal? Also the shitlocker thats worth $40k will be a pain in the neck to sell. Maybe 2 years till you can flog it... but you want to buy another in 2 years? So you will buy one and put it on the market? There ain't no market! Look at Boatpoint and you will see the same boats as last year. A 1970's $40k boat does not require a sailor... it requires a ship buider! A new baby requires clean water, hot water, refrigeration, electricty all the things that a worksite of a boat will not supply. A 2 year old "terrible two's" requires clean water, bath times with hot water, a clear area to safely crash around in. Now can I mention to you what a contingency fund is? Can I mention how much it needs to be. How it will never have enough in it. How you will make one little mistake and it will screw the fund up so bad you will be miserable to the max. The people who we have met whilst crusing ALL have threats to their lifestyle. Its NOT storms, or pirates. The threats are: Boats that don't go; partners that don't want to be there; money. Mix 2 together and we see people with a look in their eyes that you see on bridge ledges. Now, there's the crux. If an old boat needs work where can you do that work. At a marina. And that costs money in Australia like you wouldnt believe. $2,000 per month in Sydney, no cheaper up the coast. To work on the boat at anchor is very difficult. No power tools, a pain to run back and forth to the shops etc. A pain to get to work. Have a second think about it all. If you can live simply as you say then why not work till you can afford a boat and the lifestyle? Plus think about what you are really after: do you want to travel the world? Or are you looking for a substitute home for the one the banks wont let you buy? Hang in there, for I am sure you will find the boat best suited for your budget and demands. Don't let anyone talk you out of your dreams. There requirements might not be the same as yours. Check out on the net the voyages of S/V Atom and see what he had when he started his trip.

Seven years ago I bought a 1964 Alberg 30 for $12000 and put in another $5000.00 for refit and $5000.00 cruising kitty. So my total was $22000.00 for 18 months in both Eastern and Western Caribbean. Not to bad for the playground I was at. Dont dream your dream live your dream before it is too late.
A good Wharram very difficult to find. Once you find one - it turns out to be sort of like expensive. But I would love a professionally built Wharram as a cruising platform. The lifestyle may suck to some while it will appeal to others - Wharrams are very much 'outdoor' boats - not fun when the weather turns nasty. But their stability & unsinkability (if made of wood or sandwich) is a very serious benefit. Hey guys Its nice to offer up links to boats in the price range, but didn't the OP asks for a boat in Australia? How is a USA boat going to help? They are 2 totally differnt price point markets. What you can get for $30k in the USA just doesnt exist 20,000 kms away in Australia The cost to transport the boat to Australia would be far in excess of its value.

I'm building a 38 foot Wharram Tiki in red cedar composite at RB Power And Sailing: you can see the progress of the work at my blog. The build is nearing the end and the project has remained, despite the collapsing dollar, on budget and only a few weeks over time. This is the fourth boat I've built for myself two were built in the UK, one in France and the overall quality from this Thai yard, which is Thailand's biggest, is very good. Yes, details need watching over, so do materials, but the workmanship and the oversight (and enthusiasm) of Raoul Bianchetti's management team can't be faulted. Of course, there is a BIG difference between the requirements (and philosophy) of the Wharram and the relatively heavy displacement motor sailers of the RB catamaran range but even RB's production lines (as opposed to their custom boats) are competitive with most of the USA's best. Building in Thailand doesnot represent the risk of, say, building in the Phillipines or Indonesia . James Wharram has never seen any of our boats nor has visited our boatyard ; nobody of his staff either .He basically got no idea of what we are building here . Yes , we don't pay a commission to the designer , and this is why we are not recommended by James Wharram . I deeply modified his poorly designed and not engineered Tiki 38 , and it is now a decent boat . Original Tiki design is totally lacking of any logic , sailing bad and hard to tack and it is surely not a boat that i would be proud to have it designed . This is my personal opinion ; there are Tiki 38 lovers, of classic steam launches , of Riva Bahamas and of RB boats as well . So everybody is happy . Give a bad recommendation to somebody that is totally unknown is not a sign of much intelligence . Or not ?

You have picked a very nice boat. The co-designer of the Dix 550 built the first Gunboats. I hope you build it. Hi there- I am relatively new to the cat seen but recently saw and toured a Schionning in Northern California . They are designed in Australia and can eitehr be built from scratch or you can buy kits. Schionning Designs The one I saw, Sea Level, was built by the owner and was stunning.(I think she was a Wilderness 48) Apparently she is quite a sailing performer as well. If I had the funds and time- this would probably the route I would go. The owner/builder also had/has a web site of 900+ pictures of his building process. I'm not sure if you can take a design that was spec'ed for foam core and build in plywood, but two of my favorite designs in that range are the Chis White Atlantic 55Chris White Designs and the Kelsall 54 (love the twin free standing wing masts, but I think you can use a traditional rig).Kelsall Catamarans - Sail Cat. Then there is always the Tektron 50, Tektron 50 yacht design you could do a hard or soft house on the bridgedeck (or hybrid similar to the Maine Cat 41). I'm not sure what your goals are, but these are all more performance oriented cats as opposed to a Taj Mahal condo-maran. Since you don't need huge amounts of space, I'd suggest keeping the boat very light, and hulls very thin, that will require a smaller rig and make it easier to handle shorthanded. The Dix designs are very nice and would certainly be suitable for your purposes. The only thing that gives me pause with his method is that it looks like you may have to do a lot of fairing of the finished hull. Another good designer in wood is Roger Simpson. http://www.boatcraft.com.au/simpson.html Check out Imagine2Frolic's boat for a beautifull example. Any catamaran designed for cruising will be OK for SoutheastAsia . If you go with ply, be very confident in your supplier and do a boil test on some samples prior to commiting. Where in Thailand are you planning to build? Mike about design: i like 55' boat , in my opinion this is optimum size. can be sail by 1 person, good size if you have visitors, good performance Dix design is the one i like. looks good and i think it will be good performer. material: i make decision, and it will be plywood. my choice is a russian birch plywood, i have better price and i don't see any advantage of marine plywood. i think epoxy/ply method give me a very good boat, most of problems are lazy building practices, not the plywood itself. good workmanship should produce strong boat. we are building now diy cnc router which give me quality, speed and repetition of shape of the parts, with a laser i should have a good control of building process. fairing : with cnc i can shape plywood a little so my hull should be smoother ( reduction of kgs of fairing material) If you are like me and hadn't heard of Russian Birch ply before.... From: Russian Birch Plywood - Articles

Apparently it is also bonded with a waterproof phenolic adhesive.

Russian Birch Plywood

Russian Birch plywood is not very well known here in the USA yet, however it is rapidly making a very good name for itself. It is becoming desirable because it has multiple plies of birch veneer that gives superior strength and a very low void count. Because the product is so tight, you can actually expose the edges and for certain shop items it is an appealing look. One of the beauties of the Russian birch lines is that all the layers are actually birch, whereas typical plywood can have layers of pine or other woods mixed in. Because of this, the material has some excellent machiningproperties and does particularly well on CNC machines. Originally the wood was only available in 5 x 5 sheets which was an odd dimension. Now the plywood can be had in the standard 4 x 8 sheet stock as well as other sizes. Dont think you can walk into Lowes or Home Depot to buy the product, only specialty wood sources will have it for now. Cabinet makers are flocking to the imported plywood because of its excellent properties and soon it will be a common place material. Try a Wharram design - either a Tiki 46 or a professionally build Islander or Pahi. Lot of boat for the buck! All of the above are very true.... Unfortunately, it sounds like if you are not an artist willing to starve your way around the world, or a software professional, the prospects are limited. Making a living as a delivery skipper is impractical at best. Speaking from experience. As a mechanic, not my first choice, but I am qualified, but I see a potential for conflict in foreign locals. I ran an insurance appraisal business from my boat for over a year, until I was bought out, but it did not allow me to travel. I was leashed to the dock, and my car, as well as a local clientel. I know Reefurl was started, and run as a successful boat based business by a cruising couple. This sort of thing has potential, but does rely on shore based manufacturing, and satellite phones. What I am searching out, is a business that can be operated from a boat, while changing locations internationaly, using the communications available from a boat in varying locations, with no particular talent as opposed to skills, and not requiring arrival schedules (communication schedules are OK). I know it exists, I have just yet to think of it. There have got to be some ideas out there with the diversity of the cruising community. As for commitment, cruisers commit better than most of society, just not to a location. Based on false descriptions I drove 12 hours round trip to see a 10-year-old 33-foot Seawind 1000 listed at $175k that based on my one-hour inspection would need at least $75k+ worth of refit to be offshore-ready seaworthy. The seller thought he had a goldplater -- after all he just finished 5 years cruising the islands and everything "works", and he talked it up as "pristine". But it was subsequently sitting on the hard for two years (with sails left bent on the boom and tied but uncovered) and time everything needed maintenance. (Needed new standing and running rigging, new sails, new anchor chain and lines, new canvas, acres of cushions needing recovering, re-bedding of all hatches and deck fittings (many leaking), drying-out of wet cored hulls, new lifelines, engine replacement needed on one engine and the other a "suspect" with over 1000 hours on both Yamaha outboards, etc.) Those are not things to ignore if going offshore.... and that's just the obvious stuff. It was a "pristine" project boat

Don't rule out a mono. It is not outdated tech at all. For the price and what the yacht will be used for, it would be hard to beat a nicely taken cared for Catalina 36'. Heck, you can get a nice 1980s O'day 39' to 40' for the price range you are looking for. My family is looking for a multihull to cruise Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Mom & Dad, 1 kid (12) and a dog. We'll have about $50-$75K to work with. We have a list of must-haves. It must be able to tolerate getting stuck out in some bad weather. It must have 2 separate sleeping areas, one a double or a queen and a door, the other can be small. My son is a dwarf, he doesn't need a large bed. It must have a sit down nav station. It must have a galley that has room to work in, we like to cook. It must have adequate tankage. It must have a diesel engine. It must have a shallow draft and should be beachable. I had a Cross 37 10 years ago, I had to sell it due to health problems, now resolved. We looked at that boat again a couple of months ago, it's smaller than I remembered, I'd like to go 40' if possible. Some work needed is fine, I build racecars and my wife was a Mechanic in the Coast Guard, but we don't want a multi-year project. Have you looked at the Wharram cats? The Pahi 42, Narai or Oro would fit most of your criteria and can be found in your price range. I've had two of those boats, the PDQ 36 and now have the St Francis 44 and been aboard all of them. If you want to do long ocean passages of more than a week or so I'd rule out the PDQ 36, only because it has slender hulls 11 or 12 to 1 without much load carry capacity. I have a 350 lb friend and when he stepped onto my PDQ 36 the back transom sank at least an inch. Odd, when he stepped aboard all of the old salts onboard did the exact same thing and quickly glanced down at the waterline! For doing a circumnavigation of the Caribbean it would be absolutely fine. Its a great boat, extremely simply to operate, but it simply wasn't designed for transpacific passages. If I were doing a circumnavigation of the caribbean though I would first choose the PDQ 36 as it's so easy to keep. By contrast the St Francis is a boat that's used routinely for circumnavigations, especially considering their initial delivery on the maiden voyage is usually 20+ days at sea from South Africa to the Caribbean or Med crossing the atlantic the long way. It's a workman like boat with simpler water based enamel finishes and coatings. Extremely structurally strong. Engines are yanmar, arguable the best out there. Of the boats you've listed it would be one of the best sailors also with hull length/hull beam ratios of 11 to 1 (unlike the PDQ though it has the length to carry the weight you would need for a transpacific). Call it a good 12 knot boat in trade winds of 18-20 knots. It would also have the most accomodations with a 10 by 14 ft saloon area and very nice forward cabins. For the older models (Mk I) the clearance underneath is probably around 24 inches which isn't fantastic by modern standards but travelling with the trades it won't be an issue. Head clearance aft in the hulls is around 6 ft midships, 5' 10 aft and 6' 2" in the forward cabins. In the settee area it's around 6'3 or 6'4". I'm six ft in dress shoes and find it fine everywhere. Of the boats you've listed (or any catamaran really) it also has one of the bigger galleys with 8 ft of counter space. It's also one of the very few boats that has two sitz baths up forward. Very nice for kids and honestly you can fit into it if you don't mind tucking your feet up a bit. It also has one of the highest sail area/displacement of any catamaran. Last it's one of the few boats with engines amidships. Great for balance and sailing ability. The privilege 39 and 43 are also routinely used boats for circumnavigation. More luxurious finish throughout. It's a heavier boat, very solidly built, some consider it more of a 8-9 knot

boat in trade winds. Lot's of carrying capacity with wider hulls. Of the boats you've listed it's probably one of unquestioned build quality and strength with probably the nicest interior. Older models tend to have the saloon windows where it's difficult to see out and contribute to a lot of solar gain (heat). The older lagoon 42 (american designed and built) was a very nice boat. Seemed like it would be a good performer. Not much room however for a 42 ft boat in modern standards. I would think any of the boats you listed under 40 ft except for the privilege would be a little hard pressed to do a transpacific passage. There's a huge difference between a transpacific and transatlantic by the way. Roger, Outremers are amazing boats which certainly put the emphasis on performance and offshore capability. Not coincidentally, they are also very solidly built, have well-engineered daggerboards, excellent bridgedeck clearance and keep the weight out of the ends. My only question is whether you would be able to acquire one in the proposed price range. I also question the layout of the early boats which had no access from the bridgedeck accomodation to the hulls. Eric Lerouge certainly designed some fine catamarans - in fact, the Solaris Sunstar 36 is one of his designs that is generally available for significantly less than 200 g's. They were solidly constructed - perhaps too solidly, as Lerouge is purported to have complained about the increase in weight (as compared to his original design specs )that resulted when Solaris built them to the Lloyd's offshore standards of the time. They did, however, lengthen the boat from (I believe) 33 to 36 feet to compensate. Anyway, offshore capable, solid construction, good bridgedeck clearance, good bridgedeck shape (virtually all curves). The layout, as I recall, was decidedly not intended for charter for example, only one head compartment. However, the performance is also not up to the standard of Outremers - think more in terms of the Leopard 38 but with much less susceptibility to bridgedeck pounding. As to there being inadequate space in a cat under 40 for a trans-pac, I guess it depends on how you want to equip your boat. A watermaker (plus some reliable method of catching rainwater off the bimini as a back-up) reduces dramatically the required tankage/weight required for storage of your major essential. And you should certainly be able to store and carry the weight of clothes and food for two for the same distance and time. No, you can't/shouldn't overload the boat with microwaves, televisions, dvd's, air-conditioning, folding bikes, etc., etc. - but it sounds as if that is not your intention if you are considering an Outremer. I guess my point is that, as if oftimes said about catamarans, you can have (and canonly have) two of the following three attributes: space, performance, reasonable price. Brad I looked at Outremer for my family as well. Extremely fast boats. No storage lockers in the hulls or cabins (storage is extremely important), 25 gallon capacity for the water tanks for a 43 ft boat....it would seem taking one of these out for a transpacific would be a bit like taking a ferrari camping. Yes, you can suppliment with water maker (but do you really only want 25 gallons of water if it fails?), and carry a bunch of jerry jugs and I guess you could get lots of plastic storage bins to keep food, clothes, books, you know, camp. As to speed,

ok, an outremer will go faster than a st francis, but the St Francis can easily sail in the upper teens, so is it really worth that much of a trade off for comfort vs speed? Why not get a cold molded built catamaran? They are fast and light. Which allows more storage capasity. Waarship does a great job. and they have a massive interior. There are several american designers that use this construction technic. Can anyone name some other cold molded cat builders. Does anyone have cold molded cat for sale? I am shopping in this direction. In the high teens is the extreme that many owners have seen on tranoceanic passages. So yes they would be laden and either way far faster than I personally would want to go. A friend who is a yacht designer was seeing that their speeds during a Cape to Rio race were about the same as a farr 40. I personally think though that the extremely high speeds are not as critical as good speeds in low winds, which is the majority of passages. I do know that I can do around 6 knots in 8 knots of wind, which to me is excellent. If the boat has narrow hulls, and the st francis is 11 or 12 to 1, and has a lot of sail area to displacement, which in the st francis is 1200 sq ft of sail pushing a 15,280 lb boat (optimal light ship displacement), it means you will be moving very well. And yes, there are catamarans today which are literally twice the weight of our boat and less sail area. Because our hulls are so narrow though, we definitely have to be very careful in weight, we don't carry a generator (we are entirely solar powered), we carry a light RIB, we always watch our waterline. this is a quote from another st francis just completing her circumnavigation "As we are completing the final leg of our circumnavigation, I'd like to add to this discussion. The St. Francis boats have been exemplary in performance: Our cruising speed is more than 75% of the wind speed; we've never suffered system failure or breakage, other than acts of nature (like lightening strikes); and she handles beautifully at sea. " They state their reason for their success is simple, not overloading her. Here's the nicest one I've seen for a while... http://flica.blogspot.com/ Around US$150k in the Caribbean, ready to go anywhere __________________ We looked at a Pahi 42 in Panama City Florida, and it was more Spartan than we wanted for a full time liveaboard for the next 10 years or more (we're sort of old fat lazy and pampered). Wharrams are fast and smart boats - just not what we're looking for. Same is true of Wildcats. Wildcats are great boats, and your pics indicate a well maintained, pretty boat. These boats have a low bridge deck clearance. For longocean passages, we're hanging in there for a higher bridge deck clearance. Wildcats are probably used on long passages quite successfully, we're just picker'n'heck (actually we're getting sick of ourselves because of this).
I have found my cat

Having test sailed three boats of late I am in an airport in the USA returning from my trip and I have now ordered my new cat.

The last two cats I tested were both very good and performed very well in light winds - they were the Leopard 46 and the St Francis 50 - i have ordered the St Francis 50 and will be posting a video report of both the Leopard and The St Francis within a week. The St Francis was the fastest of all the boats i have sailed in to date but the Leopard was not far behind. We were able to point 30 degrees apparent wind (on video) and we were sailing at about 0.5 knot under the true wind speed on broad reaches - also on video. The St Francis costs about 50% more than the Leopard and we have only praise for the the Leopard and the way the test sail was handled - it seems to represent great value for money. We will be posting a video of both test sails. Cheers for now! Your St Francis is the 48 and there are substantial differences between it and the St Francis 50.Never the less from my research the 48 is a well thought of boat and at the right price should easily sell. You are right my 48 is faster and lighter than the 50 , the only differences between the 48 and the 50 are a longer sugar scoop and the rear underwater line was changed slightly due to a mistake in the mould. i was at the factory when that happended There is no faster st francis than my 48 around and that all has to do with weight 11.5 tons versus 16 tons is a big difference but not so important to you. I have seen the 2 boats on the dry and really they might call it a different boat but in fact it has a expended sugar scoop . The Pahi should do OK in light winds. These are good tradewind boats. You want to go downwind in 15-25 knts with it. At times it will have better performance than many new cruising cats. And sometimes not so good. Not all cruising cat speeds are the same. For example, My 33' CSK will regularly do about 1.5x the speed of the Lagoon 380 in my harbor. Sometimes 2x. (Motoring excluded) Don't be fooled by sleek lines and space age looking cabins they don't make the catamarans any faster. A Wharram downwind in Heavy winds should make some good top speeds (for what it is). The '88 40' Catana that you posted will perform much better. It will also cost a good deal more. The Wharram should be able to carry a decent Payload. Remember, you need to be cautious with weight on ANY catamaran if you want to sail best. Wharrams are good boats for the money and can take you far. You will have a lot more $ left over to cruise with... Wharram's are not noted for their "to weather " ability. If you are planning your passages try to have the prevailing winds on or aft your beam unless you plan to motor a lot. Most these boats were assembled by amateur builders so certainly check out the construction quality before buying. Kind Regard So here's my story. Last fall I bought my very first boat - a 30+ year old Ericson 32. It was in reasonably good condition but I had no illusions. I knew that there was going to be a whole lot of fixing going

onboard. But I knew that was part of the deal. I knew that if I was ever going to understand owning and maintaining a boat that sooner or later I would have to get my nose bloodied while fighting the good boating fight. Well, eight months later I can report that it was every bit as bad as I thought it would be. I reckon my ratio of maintenance time to sail time is at least 20 to 1. This is simply unacceptable. So here is my question: How does one minimize the amount of fixing that has to be done on a boat? I'm not talking about preventive maintenance. I don't have a problem with that. What irritates me is the surprises - the things that break and usually at the worst possible times. In the middle of a storm, for instance. Or when you've loaded up the boat with friends and are about to leave the dock. What I want to know is what is the best strategy to pursue to reduce these surprises to a rate that preserves my sanity. The ideas I have had so far. 1. Buy a factory new boat. Pay interest instead of for parts and labor. 2. Buy an old boat with a solid hull and do a COMPLETE refit. By complete I mean rip out EVERYTHING that isn't hull and replace it with new. 3. Get the hell out of sailing because what I'm asking for - an acceptably low rate of equipment failure - simply is not possible. Now, at the risk of sounding nasty let me say this. If you're going to chuckle that smug and sadistic chuckle and offer some tired salty-dawg comment about how owning a sailboat is a labor of love and you've got to pay your dues and put in the blood, sweat and tears....blah, blah, blah....then just move on to the next post. I've already received these responses and I've noticed they come from two types - those who sail dilapidated rust-buckets and those who sold their boats long ago. That is, those who want company for their misery and those who gave up. What I would like is some sound, specific advice. How does one own a boat and spend more time sailing than fixing? Thanks in advance! Take my advice with a grain of salt, as I still havn't made the jump into actually owning a sailboat yet, but here is what makes sense to me. One partial solution would be to go with less or simpler systems. No engine, no engine problems, or if you insist on an engine, an outboard would be a heck of a lot easier to fix in most cases than a diesel inside a cramped little compartment. For a boat your size you may be able to get by with just a simple sculling oar. Instead of a furler with mechanical parts which could, and most likely will break, go back to the old fashioned hank-on jib. Go with less electronics. I don't know where you will be sailing, but if it's just around the

bay, there's no reason to have satnav/gps/chartplotters and all that other fancy stuff people say they can't do without. If you're going anywhere far away or unfamiliar, just buy a decent set of paper charts, a cheap-to-decent sextant(and learn how to use it), and MAYBE a handheld gps just for piece of mind. Simplify your living systems. Do you really NEED that head, holding tank and all the associated plumbing? Wouldn't a bucket do an adequate job? There are liners made for buckets with odor and moisture absorbing things in them(basically cat litter) which are made to be able to be thrown in the trash if you're in an area where you can't chuck it, if you're more than I think it's 3 miles but it may be a bit more out, you can just bucket and chuck it. Do you need that refridgeration/freezer system? Would a simple change in your diet, methods of food storage and a decent ice box make up for them? You did not say what you had on your boat specifically that was causing you problems, I just simply listed some of the most common things I read about people having problems with on their boats. There might be more you can simplify and some or all of these suggestions may not apply to you, but they're just suggestions and ideas for you to do what you want with them. Had a bad boat day, week, year? Been there doing that as we speak. Just a month ago bought a 44 gulfstar sloop that needs tons of work. I spend more time at the boat yard where it is on the hard than I do at home. Real job to the boat yard home to bed. That is my day. Luckily I am off for the rest of the summer after this week. I stay sunburned, sweaty and I hate teak. But I know, because I have done this before, that it is worth it. Two summers ago on our last boat we found a perfect anchorage off of a motu in Bora Bora and stayed put for an entire month. Weather was perfect. Our view was....can't think of a way to describe it. We got up at dawn and had coffee and scotchfingers with nutella. Went for a dive. To the local dive shop to fill back up our tanks. A little spear fishing for dinner. Back to the boat for a nap and then reading during the hottest part of the day in the cockpit under the shade tree awning. That month makes all of this worth it. With out a sailboat I would never have seen Cuba, the Panama Canal, Galapogos, Marquesas, French Polynesia,Cook Islands , the Kingdom of Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledona or Australia on a teacher's paycheck. On a sailboat is the best way to take your time and explore the culture. That said. For the 5 months after we sold Rover and until we bought Morning Sun we had friends with boats and didn't have to do one ounce of maintenance. Friends with boats are the way to go if you don't want to work more than play. Everyone who owns a boat hates their boat and is going to give up sailing sometimes. Many do give up. Gulfstar 44 Sloop Simplify: Buy the smallest boat you need to do the job or the size you can afford the time and money to maintain. As others have suggested, calm down with the toys and focus on what is needed for your lifestyle. Don't buy a big boat for fun at the dock, but don't throw out the refrigerator if you can't live without it. Regiment:

In March/April Multihulls, Darrel Smith provided his maintenance plan for living aboard a Privelege 37. He and his wife went through all the maintenance manuals for all the equipment and installed the checklists, work, inspections and cleaning into an annual calendar. They end up with a regimented maintenance plan that results in overall less work, a skipper and crew who know pretty much the state of the ship, proper separation of duties, and much better peace of mind. Philosophy: Although I paraphrase, Jimmy Buffet, in "A Pirate Looks at 50", said that if you truly like surfing , you'd better enjoy paddling too, 'cause surfing includes a hell of a lot of paddling. If you truly like boating, you'd better change how you look at all aspects of it. Maybe you can enjoy maintaining a boat. Ratty said, that there is nothing, simply nothing, more worth doing than messing about in boats. I suggest we change the "in" to "with"; or assume Ratty meant keeping her painted too, and keep smiling. I can't wait to change out the old hoses on the head. Out of all the jobs, it's the most "interesting". A new boat will not eliminate the work, by any means. I was in a marina with my 1976 Pearson and had the pedestal torn apart and was trying to fish out some things I had dropped inside that I really needed (picture lots of sailorly lanuguage), when a guy with a shiny, new Hunter 46 (or so) docked in the slip beside me. He had just finished his shakedown cruise, and his list of problems--some serious--was much larger than mine on a brand new boat he had just paid over $300,000 US to buy. There is a structural level of broken stuff that is acceptable, and a cruiser lives with that or doesn't go cruising. When the level of broken stuff reaches a certain point, you haul out and spend lots of time earning your priviledge of going cruising again. The maintenance is part and parcel. Even if you buy a brand-new trawler. I would recommend option #2, taking your time to get the boat like you want it, and simplifying systems as much as possible. No electric heads and that sort of thing. Then go cruising on a boat that you know thoroughly. There is no substitute for knowing your boat. Okay, now let's open it up to some wild speculation and shameless opinion mongering. I'll give you my specific project. First, forementioned 30 year old boat is going to someone with a bit more maintenance know-how and at least 1,259% more patience. I'm in Southeast Asia where labor costs are low. I've located a rather tired 20 year old 43footer. They want $55,000. I've budgeted another $50,000 for a complete re-fit. Rebuilt engine, new rigging, new deck hardware, new electronics, new plumbing, ....well, new EVERYTHING. Will that $50,000 give me a reliable boat? Go. "I've located a rather tired 20 year old 43-footer. They want $55,000. I've budgeted another $50,000 for a complete re-fit."

Is it a $105,000 dollar boat when you are done? Or is it an $80k boat? If a 32 foot Ericson is giving you maintenance nightmares than I would suggest a tired 43 footer is probably 2X or 3X the headache. If they are estimating $50k I would add 50% to that number. Yes labor is cheap in Asia but parts don't come from Asia. We pay a premium to get them here. Let's say that you do spend $105,000 for a 43 foot boat. That's the cost of the boat. What you really have to ask yourself is after paying $105,000 for a "decent" boat are willing to pay $600-$1000 a month all in with insurance, mooring, bottom cleaning and maintenance for the priviliege of owning and operating a boat. We are budgeting $500 a month for our little 26 footer. Others will probably chime in and say that it can be done for less. Probably but budget more and be pleasantly surprised rather than budget less and cry every time something breaks. Since you sound like a person who wants to put it all in the hands of a boat yard crew you should be realistically prepared to pay what it takes. BTW - There is a lot to be said for what you are suggesting - i.e. buy a tired boat and pay up front to have it refit. The key is a very good independent survey. Do not take a survey from the boat yard that is going to do the work. Do not take a survey from the marina where it is currently based. Do not take a survey from any one connected with the owner or has anything to gain from you having the boat. Caveat sailor. BTW - Set up a search on boats.com for anything in the region. There are a lot of $100,000 boats for sale in Asia. Some are in sail away condition. OK - SOmeone mentioned airplanes so I have to comment. There are a ton of similarities. A large supply of old airplanes with various levels of maintenance. A new motor for a private passenger airplane is usually worth 50-100% of the total airplane. You can't swap out powerplants and everything has to be FAA certified. There are folks who buy "great" $50k airplanes and then spend 80-100k on fixing them. Regarding reliable Toyotas. Interesting analogy and one used by airplane guys a lot. The question is - How many 1977 Toyotas have been operated in as severe as an environment as ours (high altitude or the ocean ) and are still purring along like new. Cars are a horrible analogy to planes and boats. __________________ Our first boat was a 5-year old Beneteau 30' which was very lightly sailed. We sold it after 8 years for nearly the price we paid. What I learned in respect of keeping costs reasonable (and maximizing sailing time) was this: 1. Buy the smallest, simplest boat which meets your needs. We wanted something for coastal sailing and weekends away. The electronics included a handheld VHF and an AM/FM radio. I suppose splurging on a hand-held GPS would have been fun but it sure wasn't necessary. 2. Buy used but reasonably new. We paid about 50% ($40K less) of what the previous Owner paid. After 8 years we sold it for $1000 less than what we paid. We averaged about 7 1/2% yearly in annual maintenance and repairs (less to start, more when she hit 10 years

old). 3. Preventative maintenance. Fix things before they're totally clapped out and break. I replaced the mainsheet blocks (and upgraded to nice Shaeffers) before they needed replacing. I upgraded a few key systems in this fashion. Breaks in critical systems can end up damaging perfectly good equipment at the same time. 4. Be strategic if you refit. I had an acquaintance who spent $150K refitting a 15-year old $125K boat for a total investment of $275K. He sold it a year after the refit for $125K. The boat looked great but basically $275K would get you a 1 or 2 year old boat. He could have 'freshened up' the boat nicely for $30K. Each of the features youve cited will, certainly, have their proponents - but will also have their detractors. It seems to me, you might be looking at four questions: What are the pros and cons of ... 1. Double-Ended (canoe stern) Hulls ? 2. Cutter Rig ? 3. Ketch Rig ? 4. The combination of Cutter-Ketch on a Canoe body ? Personally, Im not particularly fond of any of these layouts. I have neither the time, nor expertise to offer a detailed analysis of the questions - but will start the ball rolling with a couple of basic observations: Each of these will add cost to a comparable Bermuda-Rigged Sloop, with a modern underbody. 1. CANOE BODY - DOUBLE-ENDERS: - more difficult to utilize the stern & lazarette for such things as boarding ladders, windvanes, and etc. - wave-splitting ability countered by reduced reserve buoyancy, and volume (storage). 2. CUTTER RIG: - more flexible sail combinations offset by more complicated sail-handling and larger sail inventory requirement. 3. KETCH RIG: - as with Cutter, more flexible but also more complicated. I look forward to some excellent detailed replies (we have some true experts aboard), and a spirited debate. __________________ This is the kind of discussion that could fill a book. As Gordon so aptly said, you are asking about three separate things; double enders and Cutter or Ketch rigs (a boat can be a cutter or a ketch but not both at the same time). To answer your simple question the answer is 'Yes', there are boats that are cutter or ketch rigged double-enders. In the big picture, being a double ender (at least as they are typically designed for cruising boats) does absolutely nothing good for a boat. They are an affectation, a style thing that does not help a boat in any conditions but which robs performance, seaworthiness, storage and comfort. I cannot imagine what good things that a sailor knowlegeable about yacht

design would say about a double end. That said there are some good double ended cruisers out there dispite their double ends. Although the opinion of those how have truly spent time studying alternative rigs for offshore and coastal use has shifted from the cutter rig to fractional sloop rigs, cutters still have their ardent fans for offshore use. Since you seem unclear about the definition of the various capabilities I am including the following which was exerpted from something that I wrote for another purpose. Sloops and cutters are the most common rigs being produced today. In current usage these terms are applied quite loosely as compared to their more traditional definitions. Traditionally the sloop rig was a rig with a single mast located forward of 50% of the length of the sailplan. In this traditional definition a sloop could have multiple jibs. Cutters had a rig with a single mast located 50% of the length of the sailplan or further aft, multiple headsails and in older definitions, a reefing bowsprit (a bowsprit that could be withdrawn in heavy going). Somewhere in the 1950's or 1960's there was a shift in these definitions such that a sloop only flew one headsail and a cutter had multiple headsails and mast position became irrelevant. For the sake of this discussion, I assume we are discussing the modern definition of a sloop and a cutter. Historically, when sail handling hardware was primitive and sails were far more stretchy than they are today, the smaller headsails and mainsail of a traditional cutter were easier to handle and with less sail stretch, allowed earlier cutters to be more weatherly (sail closer to the wind) than the sloops of the day. With the invention of lower stretch sailcloth and geared winches, cutters quickly lost their earlier advantage. Today sloops are generally closer winded and easier to handle. Their smaller jibs and larger mainsail sailplan are easier to power up and down. Without a jibstay to drag the Genoa across, sloops are generally easier to tack. With less hardware sloops are less expensive to build. Sloops come in a couple varieties, masthead and fractional. In a masthead rig the forestay and jib originates at the masthead. In a fractional rig, the forestay originated some fraction of the mast height down from the masthead. Historically, sloops were traditionally fractionally rigged. Fractional rigs tend to give the most drive per square foot of sail area. Their smaller jibs are easier to tack and they reef down to a snug masthead rig. Today they are often proportioned so that they do not need overlapping headsails, making them even easier to sail. One of the major advantages of a fractional rigs is the ability when combined with a flexible mast, is the ability to use the backstay to control mast bend. Increasing backstay tension does a lot of things on a fractional rig: it tensions the forestay flattening the jib, and induces mast bend, which flattens the mainsail and opens the leech of the sail. This allows quick depowering as the wind increases and allows a fractional rig to sail in a wider wind speed range than masthead rig without reefing, although arguably requiring a bit more sail trimming skills. While fractional rigs used to require running backstays, better materials and design approaches have pretty much eliminated the need for running backstays. That said, fractional rigs intended for offshore use, will often have running backstays that are only rigged in heavy weather once the mainsail has been reefed. The geometry of these running backstays typically allows the boat to be tacked without tacking the running backstays.

Masthead rigs came into popularity in the 1950's primarily in response to racing rating rules that under-penalized jibs and spinnakers and so promoted bigger headsails. Masthead sloops tend to be simpler rigs to build and adjust. They tend to be more dependent on large headsails and so are harder to tack and also require a larger headsail inventory if performance is important. Mast bend is harder to control and so bigger masthead rigs will often have a babystay that can be tensioned to induce mast bend in the same way as a fractional rig does. Dragging a Genoa over the babystay makes tacking a bit more difficult and slower. While roller furling allows a wider wind range for a given Genoa, there is a real limit (typically cited 10% to 15%) to how much a Genoa can be roller furled and still maintain a safely flat shape. Cutters, which had pretty much dropped out of popularity during a period from the end of WWII until the early 1970's, came back into popularity with a vengeance in the early 1970's as an offshore cruising rig. In theory, the presence of multiple jibs allows the forestaysail to be dropped or completely furled, and when combined with a reefed mainsail, and the full staysail, results in a very compact heavy weather rig (similar to the proportions of a fractional rigged sloop with a reef in the mainsail). As a result the cutter rig is often cited as the ideal offshore rig. While that is the theory, it rarely works out that the staysail is properly proportioned, (either too small for normal sailing needs and for the lower end of the high wind range (say 20-30 knots) or too large for higher windspeeds) and of a sail cloth that makes sense as a heavy weather sail or which is too heavy for day to day sailing in more moderate conditions. Also when these sails are proportioned small enough to be used as heavy weather sails, these rigs will often develop a lot of weather helm when being sailed in winds that are too slow to use a double reefed mainsail. Like fractional rigs, cutter rigs intended for offshore use, will often have running backstays that are only rigged in heavy weather once the mainsail has been reefed. Unlike the fractional rig, the geometry of these running backstays typically requires that the running backstays be tacked whenever the boat is tacked. Cutters make a less successful rig for coastal sailing. Generally cutters tend to have snug rigs that depend on larger Genoas for light air performance. Tacking these large Genoas through the narrow slot between the jibstay and forestay is a much harder operation than tacking a sloop. As a result many of today's cutters have a removable jibstay that can be rigged in heavier winds. This somewhat reduces the advantage of a cutter rig (i.e. having a permanently rigged and ready to fly small, heavy weather jib). Cutters these days generally do not point as close to the wind as similar sized sloops. Because of the need to keep the slots of both headsails open enough to permit good airflow, the headsails on a cutter cannot be sheeted as tightly as the jib on a sloop without choking off the airflow in the slot. Since cutters are generally associated with the less efficient underbodies that are typical of offshore boats this is less of a problem that it might sound. Cutters also give away some performance on deep broad reaches and when heading downwind because the Genoa acts in the bad air of the staysail. Yawls and Ketches: As I said at the start of this discussion, boats are systems and when it comes to one size fits all answers, there is no single right answer when it comes to yawls and ketches either. A Yawl is a rig with two masts and the after mast (the mast that is further aft or further back in the boat) is aft of the rudder. A ketch is a rig with two masts, the after mast is forward of the rudder. Either rig can have either a single jib or multiple jibs. When a Yawl or a Ketch has multiple jibs it is referred to a Yawl or a Ketch with multiple headsails. It is considered lubberly to refer to that rig as a 'cutter ketch' or 'cutter Yawl'.

I lump yawls and ketches together here because the share many similar characteristics. Ketches, in one form or another, have been around for a very long time. In the days before winches, light weight- low stretch sail cloth, high strength- low stretch line, and low friction blocks, breaking a rig into a lot of smaller sails made sense. It made it easier to manhandle the sails and make adjustments. Stretch was minimized so the sails powered up less in a gust and although multiple small sails are less efficient, the hulls were so inefficient that the loss of sail efficiency did not hurt much. Multiple masts, along with bowsprits and boomkins, allowed boats to have more sail area that would be spread out closer to the water. In a time of stone internal ballasting, and high drag in relatinship to stability, this was important as it maximized the amount of drive while minimizing heeling. In theory, multiple masts meant more luff length and more luff length meant more drive forces to windward. But multiple masts also meant more weight and much more drag. There are also issues of down draft interference, meaning that one sail is operating in the disturbed and turbulent air of the sails in front of it, which also greatly reduces the efficiency of multi mast rigs. Yawls really came into being as race rule beaters. They are first seen in the 1920's as a rule beater under the Universal and International rules. They continued to be popular under the CCA rule as well. Under these rules, the sail area of jibs and mizzens were pretty much ignored in the rating. This popularized the masthead rig and the yawl. There was a basis for not measuring the sail area of a yawl under these rules. On a yawl going to windward, the mizzenmast and sail generally actually produce more drag than they do drive. This is because the mizzen is sailing in really turbulent air and has to be over trimmed to keep from luffing which can effectively act as an airbrake. This is slightly less of the case on a ketch where the size of the mizzen is large enough to provide a larger percentage of the drive. Downwind mizzens also are a problem. In this case the mizzen is forcing the main or foresail to operate in their bad air and so again the mizzen is not adding as much to the speed of the boat as they are taking away. BUT in the predominantly reaching races that were typical of offshore races of that era they offered a number of advantages. First of all on a reach the sails are not acting in the slipstream of each other and so each contributes a fair amount of drive for the drag produced. Also with the advent of lightweight low stretch sailcloths, mizzen staysails, which are great reaching sails, came into widespread usage in racing. Here again a ketch has the advantage of having a taller mizzen and so can fly a bigger mizzen staysail. It might be helpful to compare yawl and ketch rigs to sloops. The broad generalities are that for a given sail area a sloop rig will generate a greater drive for the amount of drag generated pretty much on all points of sail. That means that a sloop will be faster or will require less sail area to go the same speed. Sloops are particularly better than Multi spar rigs such as Yawls and Ketches on a beat or on a run. A sloop rig would tend to be taller for a given sail area. This means it would be better in lighter air but it potentially might heel more, or need to be depowered or reefed sooner as the breeze picks up. Sloops work best on boats with reasonably modern underbodies. Both are more efficient and so can point higher and make less leeway. Ketch and Yawl rigs work best with heavier boats with less efficient underbodies such as full keels and deeply Vee'd hull forms. These hull forms often need a lot more drive and the hull is the limiting factor in how fast or how close-winded the boat will be. The yawl or ketch rig's lack of windward ability is less of a liability when placed on a hull that similarly lacks

windward ability. Also, the ability of a ketch or yawl to carry more sail with less heeling moment also makes it a natural for a heavier hull form which often has comparatively little stability when compared to the amount of drive required to make a heavy boat move. Much is made of the ketch or yawl's ability to be balanced to help with self-steering, to hove to, or the ability to simply sail under Jib and mizzen in a blow. This is one aspect that a traditional ketch or yawl has over a traditional sloop. It is not so true of modern sloops. Modern (especially fractional) sloops can be easily depowered and that reduces the need to reef. With modern slab reefing gear, reefing is far more easily accomplished than dropping the mainsail to the deck on a yawl or ketch. In a properly designed sloop balance is just not all that hard to achieve. The performance of all three rigs, both on broad reaches and in lighter air, can be improved by the ability to carry kites of different types. In terms of comfort at sea, ketch and yawl rigs push the weight of the spars closer to the ends of the boat which can increase pitch angles, albeit, while perhaps slowing pitching rates. The taller rigs of a sloop tend to increase roll angles while slowing roll rates. Then there are structural issues. It is often difficult to properly stay a ketch or yawl rig as the mainmast backstay often need to be routed around the mizzen and the forward load component of the mizzen if often taken by the top of the mainmast. It is also often difficult to get proper aft staying on the mizzen of a ketch or yawl as well. These structural issues are particularly pronounced on Yawls where the mast is so far aft in the boat that on a traditional boat it is hard to get adequate staying base widths. Many of the early fiberglass yawls were very poorly engineered. I heard the story of how the Bristol 40 became a yawl. It seems that Clint Pearson (who owned Bristol) had started to build a Bristol 40 sloop on order for a particular customer. As the boat was nearing completion the prospective owner bailed out leaving Mr. Pearson with bit of a problem. Almost at the same time came an enquiry about the availability of a Bristol 40 yawl for prompt delivery for a different person. Without hesitation the potential buyer was told that they happened to have a yawl that was almost finished and would be available in a few weeks. Bristol was building a 24 foot Corsair and they took a mast and rigging from a Corsair and used that for the mizzen. A block of wood was glassed onto the hull for a mast step and a hole cut in the deck for the mast to go through and Voila- the Bristol 40 yawl. Several more were built like that and they quickly proved problematic. Eventually the design was engineered to solve the problems that occurred on the first few yawls. You often hear people say that yawls and ketches are simpler rigs to handle. I am not clear why that is assumed to be so as there are more sails to trim and more interaction between the individual sails. As on a sloop, you start trimming from the forward most sail moving aft. Also as on a sloop, fine tuning, small adjustments are made moving forward again to reduce downdraft interference between the sails. Sailed with the same degree of precision, a ketches and yawls require more fine tunning than a sloop but on the whole about the same amount of fine tuning as a cutter. Anyway, in conclusion, if you are interested in sailing performance or ease of handling, a sloop rig makes more sense. To me the only justification for the yawl rig today is solely romantic charm, or a sense of history. I do not mean this to be a put down to those who love historic rigs, but for sheer sailing ability a yawl or ketch is a relic of another time, or an obsolete racing rule. Still, if you live in an area that is typically windier and you like traditional boats, then a ketch or yawl is an interesting albeit complicated rig.

Respectfully, Jeff

There are a couple of things you can do to minimize the tax impact of buying a yacht. I purchased my first Caribbean sailboat in St. Thomas and registered it in St. Thomas at a friend's address. I paid a few dollars each year to update the registration for the three years that I had it in the Caribbean. Years later, I did the deal on my catamaran in the Bahamas which meant that there were no taxes, but I had to create and maintain an offshore corporation that owns the yacht. Over time the costs of maintaining an offshore corporation mount up. Since I had not lived in the USA for twenty years, and since I was going sailing around the world, it didn't make sense to purchase a boat in the USA and pay taxes in the USA on a boat that wasn't going to be in the USA anyway. If you are headed offshore long-term, then it may make sense to do the deal offshore and register/document the vessel offshore as well. If you are going to be cruising for only a couple of years, then it probably doesn't matter that much what you do. Living offshore longterm is looking better by the week. I lived on Exit Only for $500 to $1000 per month on my basic expenses. My Freedom Chips go a lot farther when my anchor is down in paradise. __________________ Dave Exit Only http://maxingout.com
North Carolina, I keep hearing, does not. Also, Rhode Island. Please correct me if I am wrong. you could get an address one of those two places for a month if you are purchasing Be careful here, there be dragons....... Some states have no sales tax, but they have residency requirements. You have to have been there for a year, or you have to have been there on January 1st, or .......... The real question is where are you planning to go and what your registry buys you. It is easy and relatively cheap for US boats to go places. Often other US flagged vessels have been there and the local customs officials won't necessarily be making it up as they go along.

If you are interested in a Leopard, the places to go are around the Moorings bases. Belize, Tortola, Abacos, St. Marteen, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. Tortola has the most boats.

NC does have a sales tax 3% on boats I believe, but if you bring a documented boat in from out of state they don't seem to pursue you for sales taxes. They do have a personal property tax on boats but if the boat is out of state on Jan 1 you don't have to pay. They may ask to see that you have paid taxes somewhere else. I figure my Bahamas cruising permit is the tax I pay. Within the US, there are more used cats in Florida, primarily the Ft. Lauderdale area. There are often yachts coming out of charter in BVI and other popular charter bases if you want an ex-charter boat. There are pros and cons and you can read some pretty strong opinions in this forum against charter boats, but I know several people who have them and they are OK. I disagree about buying charter boats. I think they can be a real value. For the most part, modern charter boats are designed for low maintenance, and they can be fairly easily restored. Don't take my word for it though, go talk to the folks on the Yahoo groups site, Leopard Owners Group. When I was shopping for a cat three plus years ago I flew down to the BVI's and checked out several ex-charter boats. After listening to the brokers talk about how they professionally maintain these ex-charter boats to a tee I noticed it started raining. I also noticed the vast majority of these used charter cats that were 4 sale were left open. Here it was raining buckets and the hatches on many of these boats were wide open. And the broker was peering out the window commenting how hard it was raining. No comments like, Hey, let's close those boats up. Hmmm.., It definitely answered my question as to why many of these cats smelled funky with mold as well as signs of worn upholstrey from the extended use, etc.. And the boat I was interested in ended up having the starboard side transmission removed not for the past week like the broker stated but for months. I'm sure you could find a good ex-charter but I'd be more apt in finding one through a private owner who had properly maintained the vessel on a regular basis. And it'll usually will have a lot less wear and tear both cosmetically and mechanically. Just my 2 cents from experience. The fact is you have three options with Cats: 1.) Build one, the main issues are cost and time. The positive, you may get the boat of your dreams with everything optimized (trade-offs) specifically for you. 2.) Buy one from a little old lady! Everyone loves this one, but the number of people actually able to find a gently used CAT is very small. Finding an awesome Cat like a newer Leopard almost impossible. The truth is that boats who sit and are not used often have more problems than ones that are used regularly. 3.) Buy a charter boat and refit her. Could be some significant cost here, but versus building, probably your best bet. The thing to do IMHO if you want a Leopard is to buy it from The Moorings. The trick is to buy a boat STILL in charter and then walk it through Moorings "phase out" with your own surveyor (You bet Moorings will do this!). Another possibility is buying a charter boat that is being "phased out" for other reasons. There was a boat in St. Lucia recently that phased out after less than a year in service. Remember, these boats are owned by people, not the Moorings. Owners can take the boat and sell it at anytime depending on their personal issues........ They probably get the best deal selling it through the Moorings broker, particularly if they are trading up to a larger boat.

read through the files at LeopardCat : Leopard Catamaran Owners Group I believe it would be more accurate to align a boat that was designed for the charter market, as "an old taxi". The concentration on bunks versus stowage is a major problem that would need to be amended for a cruising boat.

NC has a sales tax of 3% maximum of $1500 for boats purchased at retail. It has no sales tax on used boats purchased from private individuals. I'm not sure about residency requirements. I think that would be an issue only if you moved it from the state. Many other states want a "use" tax if you move it to that state and have not owned it for 6 months or more and did not pay the equivalent of their tax in NC. For instance if you moved the boat to Florida they would want 6% "Use" tax. If you had bought the boat from a dealer in NC then they would be happy to deduct what ever you paid in NC from the "Use" tax bill. In NC you will get nailed for personal property taxes if you keep the boat in the state over a January 1. This is still lower than 6% "use" or Sales tax on 300K. My taxes run about $1300 on a boat I paid 260K for 3 years ago. Be careful to put it in a Marina that is not in a city limits or you can get stuck for city taxes as well as county. The City of New Bern annexed our marina without notifying the boat owners (we didn't own the land so they had no obligation to notify us). That was an extra thousand dollar surprise. I surprised them the next year. I found a marina in another county and not in a city. Not no taxes but sure less taxes.