I've been cruising all my life, and racing (crew) on smaller T-birds for the past few years, but haven't done much blue-water sailing. I've always wanted to venture further afield, but I guess I've never persued it hard enough to make that happen. Now is the time.
I can afford to buy a boat (not anything fancy - budget is about 40-50k), but I'm going to leave the USA in about a year. So, I want one that I can sail to Australia. I figure if I study hard (courses in offshore sailing, navigation, diesel mechanics etc) and get as much experience in as possible on some longer races here, I could do the Trans-pac next year with the help of some experienced hands/skipper. From there I could sail the boat back to Australia with my girlfriend (wiser for the first leg
I need to buy a boat that is capable of doing this kind of haul without fearing it may not make it. Ideally I want to cruise around Australia afterward with my parents, whilst they're still young enough to do it. After talking with some folks here in the Pacific NW, the Cal 40 seems to be great value for the money and its versatile enough to race and cruise.
Initial research says that there's some issues with bulkhead tabbing and integrity. Also deck-hull joints are worth looking at. Can anyone help me find out what kind of things I should be looking for/wary of in a Cal 40?
Naturally, with a boat made in 1966 there are bound to be some issues. But is it really just a bad idea to buy a boat this old?
What preparations would you recommend for the journey?