My wife and I decided to buy a new (or 2012) Beneteau Oceanis 45 to use:
(*)During a 2 year sail trip around the world
(*)With wife, 2 kids (3&10) and me
(*)We look for a comfortable and safe boat that is relatively fast
I ask your help to select the right specification bearing in mind I have to be able to sail single-handed. Please comment on:
1) Which sails should we choose? I was thinking: (a) standard 50m2 furing main sail, (b) 50m2 furling genoa (c) kotterfog for heavy winds (d) Beneteau's code 0 and (e) a Parasailor for downwind (suggestions on brand/type are welcome?)
Good mix but deployment/recovery of the Code 0 and para sailor will require two people that know what they are doing. Never heard of “kotterfog”.
2) Standard saildrive or POD 90 for easy docking; I am not very experienced and thought the POD 90 was interesting for docking and shallow bays with reefs...
Keep it simple. Standard saildrive with bow thruster.
3) 2 or 3 cabin options; we lean towards 2 cabins as we could use the versatile storage; including for a dishwasher and/or washing machine
Like the two-cabin version for the added storage. Keep in mind that the Code O and Parasailor take up quite a bit of space along with fenders, dock lines along with the long lines you will need when going through various canal locks. Washing machine? Dish washer? Really??
4) Colour of the hull; we really like a break from white and thought the grey/blue is refreshing; would this be an issue thought whenever repairing any damage?
Darker hull colors are reported to absorb the heat more and tend to show scratches easier.
5) Having read many books on ocean crossings all get damaged in Panama canal, busy Malaysian ports etc. anyone who fitted a thick (10cm) rubber barrier all around the boat? (Maybe crazy suggestion and yes would not win in beauty contest)
This is the craziest idea I have ever read.
6) Electronics; I specced the full Elegance, Electronic and Docking packs. Missing anything?
Load up all the electronics you want. What will you do when they break? Have a manual backup and know how to use it.
7) Navigation; Elegance and Electronic pack incl autopilot and bowthrusters. What does the optional Simrad NSS7 chart table screen add?
Seems like a fancy fish finder to me.
8)Shallow (1,75m) or normal (2,15) cast iron keel?
Shallow draft for the areas where you plan to go.
9) Beneteau's Easy Sail worth the money?
I can’t find any reference to an “Easy Sail” option?
10) We thought NOT to spec the generator as this would only use more of the 200 litres diesel; instead we noted that sailors often have to use the main engine when there is no wind to speak of and we look for advice on fitting solar panels...
A generator consumes considerably less diesel than the motor while generating the equivalent electrical power. I’m not telling you to get the Beneteau installed generator; I’m telling you that you will need some sort of generator. My view is to have a portable unit because it can be taken off the boat for repairs or easily replaced while the built-in unit will limit your options.
11) Water; 570litres including optional extra 200litres tank doesn't seem a lot for possibly 20 days continued sailing. Any suggestions if enough? Possible to get another 200litres or so instead of the generator?
Washing machine, dish washer, Code 0, Parasailor, lines, fenders and you want to give up additional space to carry another 200 liters of water? I have two 200 liter tanks on my Beneteau and they are not small. I suspect you have no idea what your family will likely use on a daily basis. Try doing it at home, now, before you start adding extra tanks to the boat.
12) We thought not to include a watermaker as it is costly and would use a lot of energy?
I think a water maker is a better use of onboard space and will allow you to be more self-sufficient.
13) Prop; we understand that an autoprop is better that a folding prop. Agree? If so maybe spec the normal SailDrive and keep the prop as a spare?
I tend to like the standard drive with feathering prop (vs folding) and keeping the stock prop as a spair. (another thing to store)
14) Noted in books that rudders sometimes break in have seas; any thoughts on spares to take or ways to strengthen rudder?
At some point in time, everything will break. You can’t carry an entire spare boat with you. One thing that everybody seems to experience, more often than other problems, is dirty fuel. Having spare fuel filters and a good primary fuel filter system is mandatory. Otherwise, I would suggest a complete set of engine belts and several water pump impellers.
15) Only one electric flush toilet in case we have no electricity, we can still pump flush #2?
16) Radar: Simrad 4G as offered any good? Will it warn us at night loud enough about a ship closeby?
Collision alarms are not just a function of a radar system. Radar is great in low visibility but it must be paired with an AIS system to provide the early warning you really want. I believe vessels greater than 16 meters (varies by global location) is required to have AIS transmitter. I happen to have a VHF radio that has an AIS receiver networked to my chartplotter and the alarms are loud enough to wake the dead. Radar is a good way to see vessels not required to have AIS in low visibility (fog, dark). Radar can use quite a bit of power and most people leave it off more time than it is on.
17)Are the electronic navigation maps expensive to obtain? Any thoughts on second hand/older maps to buy?
Yes, electronic navigation maps can be expensive. You must have paper charts that cover your proposed sailing route. Old paper charts are OK as long as you understand that the information on them may be out-ofdate. (they are better than nothing.)
18) Where do we best buy our paper back-up maps?
Where are you located? Your paper map should be your primary. Use the electronic to “know” your position but transfer that information to the paper charts in case the electronics fail.
19) TV 26" with antenna is a EUR 3000 option; seems a lot and do you get any reception anyway? Anyone fitted their own Samsung LED?
I don’t know why anybody would buy an installed TV from a boat builder. If you must, get a small unit and install it yourself. A unit with built-in DVD player is a good option.
Sorry for all the questions, it would help me a lot if even you could answer 1-2. Have been reading LOTS and like to get the spec right straight away
Have already got a Suzumar DS320 with 6bhp Suzuki outboard
Still need to buy sailing outfits, maybe an emergency raft? Any other thoughts are welcome!
Not sure where to begin. I’m sure you will get responses that question the wisdom of what you are planning to do. If I read this correctly: You are not very experienced, The boat must be equipped to allow single handed sailing and your first extended cruise will be around the world. Is that correct? Does your wife have any boating experience? Does your with have any sailing experience? Do you know how to navigate using paper charts (no electronics working )?
See individual answers in bold
Consider a davit system to carry the Suzumar and get a system that allows you to mount solar panels. Yes, you will want a life raft.
Spend at least one season doing local cruises, one or two weeks in length, so you and your family can get a feel for water/power/fuel use before taking on the world.
Consider asking this list of questions (if you haven't already) at: Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Don't cut corners on safety/survival gear.
Good Luck . . .