Join Date: Jul 2002
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What boat to buy for long voyage
As you probably know, there are several hundred models/brands of boat that fit your goals and many thousands of opinions about them.
I''d suggest you ask a separate, parallel question: What will the boat have and look like to satisfy you as it leaves the dock for the South Pacific? By this, I mean what rig mods will be necessary, how much ground tackle will she be carrying, how heavily equipped for short-handed/single-handed sailing will she possess (vane? # of a/p''s?), which sails will she carry, how heavily equipped with electronics and special systems (SSB? watermaker? beefed up DC electrical system/solar panels/wind generator/etc.?) How many charts & pubs will you have aboard (electronic charts, too?) And much more.
My point is twofold in suggesting you work your way back from this question. First, to appreciate the financial side of your goal as it relates to the prep''d boat. There''s no way you can initially select the boat with the financial assurance you can achieve your end goal financially - despite how well designed/built the boat might be - unless you have a clear view of what the end product needs to be in order to suit you. And second, it will help you filter out the boats you do look at. Perhaps electrical bells & whistles are on your ''nice to have'' list but a fresh set of shrouds & stays and a full sail compliment are ''musts'' - knowing this will allow you to weigh the assets of each prospective boat more clearly WRT what you actually need and can afford.
Offhand, I''d say that $60-70K is not a lot of money to adequately prep for a SoPac voyage unless you plan to go in a smaller (<32'') boat with few systems. The safety gear alone, which is hard to ignore in those waters, can put a huge dent in your budget (406, raft, Survivor, ditch kit, decent HF-based wx f''cast capability, etc.). And of course, it''s tougher to find solid blue-water capable boats in the smaller sizes - they tend to be more costly than buyers find acceptable. You could most likely end up looking for a boat prep''d by someone else with the same basic goals, in which case their choices must be adopted by you and/or changes to those choices be affordable.
It''s an interesting, complicated, challenging task...but it sounds like fun and achieveable if approached thoughtfully. Good luck!