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Re: Looking at buying a Discovery 47'
I agree with the earlier posts. A 47 foot boat for someone starting out? That is not a boat that can be easily solo-ed on PLUS crew would almost have to be mandatory. The costs of such a huge boat will outweigh the beginner's joy of discovering the ocean and cruising. He may be bogged down by tremendous investments on fixing and maintaining the boat. Even on a much smaller boat, the maintenance requirement is a huge investment as it is, but I cannot imagine on a 47 foot boat. Even a 40 foot boat requires a lot of maintenance. I suggest a 42 or under boat as a beginner boat to go cruising on so there is only you to rely on, and not have to worry about reliable crew. Crew will be a headache later on and another issue as finding crew can be a hassle as I've heard horror stories, but also some great ones.
But take it from me who've lived aboard a sailing vessel for the last 4 years, bigger does not always mean better. Especially when you stop working to go cruising and you have to rely on your savings/kitty. Unless you have a long term plan of raising a family on that particular boat you have in mind, than I would reconsider.
I have lived on a 33.5 Ft Cat and now on a 42 Ft Mono, and both have been enough space for me and my partner. Anything more would have us stuck on land and not cruising the Caribbean.
Hope this helps.