Alright... to answer lots of questions
We were at the show again today so this is the first time I've logged on since...
For those who want to know why we want a larger boat, there are a few reasons. First off, I'm 6'3" and if I'm going to live on a boat for 2+ years I want a few things: headroom throughout the boat with a minimum of stooping down; A bunk in the master stateroom that fits myself and my 5'8" wife well (we're close, but like our room); Room for storage of my wife's triathlon bike; Three cabins (one for the wife and I, one each for our kids); A large chart table that can double as an office area; Lots of tankage, but also multi-zone AC and diesel heat while still having storage left. There are a number of other things we'd like, and all of these things have led us down the path of a 48'+ boat. Actually, after this weekend we've realized that we really need a 52'+ boat to fit everything. I would prefer a smaller boat for handling purposes, but since most of our time will be spent at anchor exploring the areas that we visit, we want lots of comfort.
The next question/comment - we currently own a Passport 40 as mentioned. We bought a Precision 23 at the boat show two years ago. We bought the Passport 40 during the last show. We were hoping to find our "final boat" at this show. This is our 4 year "accelerated" plan for cruising. I grew up racing on the Long Island Sound and thought I knew about sailing, but then we bought our first boat in anticipation of this cruise (and called it "Anticipation") and I realized how little I did know. I could sail, but handling under power, anchoring, heavy weather handling, navigation, etc - these are all things I had no clue about. I've learned a tremendous amount over the past couple of years through practice (we've been out over 70 days this summer alone), book learning, this site, etc. My wife, who had zero sailing experience when we bought the Precision 23 (which was an incredible boat) has now gone through several ASA certifications (by herself) to learn about sailing. Even our 10 year old son has been to sailing camp and will be going again next year. Our 6 year old daughter is along for the ride for the moment
. Do we have a ton of experience? Nope... but I do know how to tie a bowline (bumfuzzle reference there). We plan on learning a lot more as we progress over the next couple of years and then on our trip.
Cam - your boat looked beautiful and it was my wife's favorite until we looked at the HR53. They did a good job of cleaning it up. I tried to see if I could make it work, and fell in love with the exterior and the layout, but I couldn't get past a few odds and ends, like the fact that the stays took up a good portion of the side decks. I'm a sucker for clean decks. I also had a hard time lying down in the cockpit comfortably, and that's a necessity. She is a great boat, and I'm shocked she's not sold yet. With regards to the issues our broker said he has seen with older Tayana's, he said he often sees weird fiberglass issues. He mentioned they tend to leak in weird areas - not around the stays, stanchions, tracks, etc., but around the companionway, the aft lazarette areas, etc. He also said the fiberglass they used is prone to having chunks come off. He was impressed with the quality of your boat.
John - it was nice meeting you at the Sailnet party the other night (we were the ones with the Chinese food), and I appreciate what you are saying about knowing the prior owner and I wish I could make it work.
Now, regarding the Taswell. We went back and checked her out again this morning to compare her against the HR53 we saw after. I would have loved to make her work since I could have saved several hundred thousand dollars. Someone is going to get a great deal on that boat since
they just updated all of the electronics (E120 at the nav station, E80 at the helm, new SSB, new VHF, ST60+'s for the rest) and it's pretty loaded. It has a slightly strange cabin configuration with over/under bunks instead f a V-Berth plus a second set of over/under bunks in the second guest stateroom, but we actually liked that since it would mean less arguing by the kids. What we had an issue with was headroom - I just fit when I walked off the centerline, and I had to stoop in the forward cabin - it was about 2-3" too short. Also, tankage and systems took away from a lot of the storage. It was just *slightly* too small for us. The other Taswell 49 in Annapolis just went under contract so it is off the market for the moment. There's a Taswell 56 in TX we might look at, but at the offered price it doesn't leave much room (or any room) for any refit or maintenance items. We're assuming the remainder of the Taswell 49's will have similar headroom issues and storage issues (for us).
Sailortjk1 - our absolutely wonderful and beautiful Passport 40 will be on the market as soon as we buy our new boat. She was in great shape when we got her and we've done a number of systems and rigging upgrades. If anyone will have an interest in her before we put her on the market, let me know and I'll be sure to reach out to you before I get a broker involved.
Tom - I have enough people I'm responsible for now so I can't adopt you, but we'd gladly welcome you for a visit for a day or week when we start cruising! As we will most any NICE Sailnetter.
With regards to where we're at with boat hunting, I talked with Tayana today about a 58 Deck Saloon (basically their 55 deck saloon with an extended sugar scoop). I'd prefer a smaller boat than a 58, but they are making it VERY attractive (almost making it more to go with a 55) to go with the 58. They must have a few 58 hulls already being laid up. A custom 58 Deck Saloon with everything we want would be more than the HR53, but not out of our price range. They also have a deep draft though - 7'2". Air draft is 63', but that's without masthead instruments, so it would be over 63' when done.
Now back to my original questions - what problems will we have... I spoke with a friend of a friend who regularly delivers yachts all over the world, but mostly focuses on delivering yachts from the Carribean to the east coast. First off, he has delivered an HR53 and he was floored by the boat - the quality, the sailing performance, the comfort, etc. He said we would obviously have issues traversing the ICW, but that we shouldn't have issues in ducking into many larger ports. He also said that he's cruised through the Bahamas with bigger boats, but we should get a dinghy with a big engine since we'd have to anchor pretty far off in many places. So the wife suggested that we change our plans a bit, do some of the east coast, and then maybe hop into the Pacific a bit earlier than we originally anticipated. I'm going to start going through charts when I get home tomorrow. I think the only way I'll be able to decide is to look for myself.
Fred (AjariBonten) - I've been told that there are no issues with depth or air draft going from Lake Ontario to Nova Scotia. Large cargo vessels with much deeper drafts and higher freeboard do it all the time. If you do a search on previous postings of mine, you'll see a thread about the St. Lawrence.
So where are we? No closer to a decision. If we go with a custom Tayana 58DS, I need to sign the paperwork by January to make sure it's complete in time for our trip. We also just learned that our marina won't allow any new boats over 49' in due to a large microburst that occured on Northern Lake Champlain this summer with 90+mph winds that devastated another marina. We'd have to move marinas, and we've made a lot of friends this past year - we're not sure we'd want to give it up. I think we'll keep going down a path of looking deeper at the HR53 and the Tayana 58DS for the moment. We'll keep everyone informed!