Best Looking MALE Mod
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
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You asked for blunt. A lot of people disagree with me, but here goes:
1) Most of the boats sold for going around the world never get much further than the first buoy. Are you REALLY going to circumnavigate? Better go get in a really crappy storm offshore where you think you are going to die before you get serious about talking about going around the world where there is no turning around, no VHF, no coast guard to one to come to the rescue... just you and your life raft, and HUGE seas. Truth is, any boat can circumnavigate. Wait till you see the crap people sail on out there!! Some are just built heavier, with more storage (fuel, sail, water, etc), and are stiffer. The trade off is space and comfort down below... and they are also typically more expnsive to build. As Americans, we tend to overcompensate for our sailing ability (or lack of) with lots of instruments, and systems, and boats that are "made to go around the world". That being said, many of those boats really are built better. Valiant is a great one. I like the old Bristols. Pacific Seacraft makes a reasonable one too. There are many others. But they are SMALL down below. SMALL!!!! You will spend 95% of your time on the hook and 5% of your time on the go. Buy a boat for the 95% versus the 5%... unless you are heading off across the Pacific right now.
2) It takes a very skilled sailor to siglehand... especially if you are thinking about heading across the big pond. If you are willing to part with that kind of money, buy a smaller boat (Catalina, Beneteau, Jeaunea), and after you have done all the N AMerican and S AMerican and Bahamas and Carrib, etc sailing you can, pay a moving service like DockWise to ship your boat across to Aulstralia. You will save the heartache of the seas (and live to tell about it), and you have a great boat that is comfortable down below to see the sights. There are aspect to being offshore that are deeply rewarding on a spiritual level... but that is about it. It is not "fun"... at least to me... but I have a family I have to watch out for and don't care for staring at 20 foot seas breaking five feet behind me. I have done it because I had to do it. I don't "hate it"... but it is more of a means to an end.
3) You don't need an X, or a Swan, or similair. Awesome boat, but it is a racer. You are not racing, and unless you are a pretty good sailor, you probably would not tell the difference anyway for a while.
4) In the areas you have discussed sailing, I would push you toward a Catalina. Solid boat. Inexpensive. Good coastal cruiser with occasional punch offshore. They are made in California and Florida so parts are easily accessible. They hold their value very well. And NO, I am not a Catalina dealer, but as you can tell, they have a very faithful following and are widely regarded in the sailing community as a well built production boat. Beneteau and Jeaneau are good production boats too, but think about parts accessibility, storage, and system access.
5) Better see what you can get approved for. General rule of thumb: 20% down, minimum. More if you have any shady credit. You need about 12-24 months living expenses with the boat in the bank after that. You total outgo (all your debt, plus boat payment, plus insurance, plus slip) cannot exceed 37%... 40ish with some brokers. If you have anything of a shady past with credit, better look at this being a lot stricter. Call 1st commercial credit in Florida. They are a yacht mortgage broker. I have had good experiences with them. Essex is good too. If you cannot find the numbers, PM me and I will help. I know them both very well.
Hope this helps. Don't get scared, in the end it is all worth it... a million times over. I cannot imagine a life without a boat.