I do not know if you are the person that emailed me from Cruisers Forum? If so, welcome aboard.
Regarding the boats, I think your boat selection may be too big unless you are planning on coming up with more money. Two different boats: this hemisphere and the next. WHat I mean is that I would prefer one boat for coastal and room, a different boat to cross either pond.
Many of the production boats are capable of crossing a pond and have done it. However, you typically have to get into a larger vessel for that which will break your price bracket. That being said, production boats (Catalina, Hunter, Bene, Jeauneau, Dufour, etc) would be my last choice of boats to cross oceans. They would be my first choice for this hemisphere. Each boat has a design point and a purpose, in my opinion.
If you have not done a lot of offshore work, my strong suggestion is to try and get a little under your boat before dropping 100k+ in a bullet-proof shoe box. I know that is not what most beginners want to hear. THat is just reality. You don't even know if you will like it or be able to deal with it. You may prefer just hanging in the islands or S America, which may really change your boat selection. You can also ALWAYS buy a production boat for the room, and if you have the desire, ship it via Dockwise to NZ or the MED and "coastal" from there.
If you really are focused and determined to cross either pond - go for it. You can do it. I don't want to dissuade you from it... just giving what I hope is good boat selection advice. If you are coastal (which I might define as no longer than 5 days at sea or so on very select weather windows... which is not a big deal), then choose accodingly.
Here is my preference:
Coastal: Catalina 36, Catalina 380. You may need to get a older 380, but it is a fairly heavy tub for its size, built on the old Morgan Hull. THe 36 will be less expensive, but is a very nice sailing boat. Both have been and are all over this hemisphere. THey have also crossed both oceans, but I think there may be better boats for that. I also like some of the older Benes.
Ocean-crosser: Most Bob Perry designs. Older valiants and Tayana are probably my preference. I love the woodwork. You might look into a Tayana 37. I really like that boat. One comment: Although I have been on these boats many times, my experience with Tayanas and Valiants is more from hear-say and dock talk. I have never crossed oceans with either. I am currently at the facility where the V's are made, and have been on several T's. I am trying to give you the best first-hand that I can.
THese are just my opinions. Others may suggest Albers and others... but I have no first hand knowledge of those boats. All the best. Feel free to ask questions.
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