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Old 05-15-2008
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Question Help me with the "Perfect" boat

Ok, hi. been sailing 3 times, on boats in general more than that, just wasn't "helping". I loved every second and have always wanted to learn and do it, and decided when i get back from Iraq I'm going to (I figure i owe myself some fun). I'm not really on here for advice on learning, although it wouldn't go amiss, but more on choices for first boats. I'll be taking classes in basic keelboats before I make final purchases, but It'll still be new territory for me

I know from common sense that there's no such thing as a perfect boat, but i'd like some knowledgable advice on choices. i'm east coast at the moment (Georgia through north carolina area) and looking for a live aboard/coastal while i'm in school, but with the capability to go cross ATL if its possible in the same boat, but realistically I have to say it won't happen for at least 2 years or more, so can't really factor into my plans. anyway i figured it'd help to have a list of things I'd need/want so you guys can maybe throw out a few model suggestions...

first-off is what i NEED in a boat, things that can't be comprimised:

Cost: $45,000 max. I have some money in savings and good credit for my age (20). but can't really see being able to afford AND maintain a ship larger/more costly than that

size: 30-45. I expect to be single-handing for most of the time. friends along for trips and whatnot, but as far as actual crew it'll be me and possibly one friend who has an interest. i'd prefer it were able to hold 4 over a month-long trip as a good general idea. i've read that 35-40 is soloable, correct me if i'm wrong,

purpose: liveaboard+costal /w bluewater capability. I don't need one thats blue capable off the bat, but a ship that's able to become capable with a little work on storage space/water container or whatever else i haven't learned about yet, lol.



as far as WANTS, things that are compromisable:

good storage space and room for size. i've read that beam has alot more to do with room than length, so maybe a fat girl is the type for me.

5'-ish draft. now i'm a toddler at all this but i've read that any more than that limits movement in many island areas in the atlantic and gulf, also a bridge clearance thats safe is good... 55'??

1 shower seperate from toilet. its not a must but i'd prefer that for obvious reasons.

reliable electronics. LOL, I know that sounds like a joke but you know what I mean. a ship with a reputation of shitty wiring isnt the best for me. my potantial first mate is one of those people that just looks at something and can fix it, I know my way around a computer and engine, but it's always taken time to get that way. he says he's just puerto rican, whatever, lol.

head room? i'm 5'11" so i'm ok in most areas but my friend that will be along for the ride is 6'5" and i'd like him to be able to have at least partial comfort, not a dealbreaker though.


so, anyone who has an idea on what would work for me, thank you
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Old 05-15-2008
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Welcome to sailnet. I'd highly recommend that you read the post I link to in my signature. Also, please don't post multiple threads on the same topic.

As for boats... given your budget and probably financial means... I'd highly recommend you go closer to the 30-35' end of the size range, since any boat that is over 35' that is in your price range is probably going to be in pretty sad shape. Also, the costs for owning and maintaining a boat basically double with a 10' increase in length. This is because a 40' boat is not 33% larger than a 30' boat but more like 135% larger, since the boat gets longer, wider and taller. Many costs are related to the boat's size, like dockage, haul outs, bottom paint, etc. Also, the winches, halyards, sails, anchors, docklines, and such are also larger with a bigger boat.

I also highly recommend that you reserve about 15-20% of your purchase budget for refitting, upgrading and repairing any boat you buy.

Be aware that a coastal cruiser will make a much better liveaboard boat for most people, since they tend to have much more in the way of living space, being beamier than most true "bluewater" boats. However, most good coastal cruisers are capable of making the hop to the islands, given a good crew, proper planning and a good weather window.

You're not going to get a lot of space and stowage room in most boats. Bluewater boats tend to have more stowage space than coastal cruisers, but give up "living" space to do so...and vice versa.

Most boats less than 35' aren't going to have a separate shower.

Most boats in your price range aren't going to have fully updated electronics, and most will probably be in need of some electrical system updating, if not complete replacement.

Headroom isn't as important as having a berth that he can lie down comfortably in. Both are going to be a bit difficult to find...but not impossible.
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Old 05-15-2008
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thanks alot. sorry about the double post, the internet on my companies base isn'y reliable and i thought it had cut out, hence re-send.

i was looking at some gulfstars in my price range, but i imagine a 41' for 39k is in a bad way.
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Old 05-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionmetzger View Post
thanks alot. sorry about the double post, the internet on my companies base isn'y reliable and i thought it had cut out, hence re-send.

i was looking at some gulfstars in my price range, but i imagine a 41' for 39k is in a bad way.
The only way to find out is survey! And sort through and categorize the advice you're sure to get here as it will contain some advice that reflects alot of experience.
One nice boat that happens to be about the most popular selling production boat on the planet, is very affordable and there are many to look at (all due to numbers) is the Catalina 30. Coastal boat.
Take your time and, yes, be ready to spend ten to twenty percent of the price of the used boat on refit and smoothing out the burrs.

fair winds!

mark
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Old 05-15-2008
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Orion, I would recommend some classes, and then bumming rides as race crew. Everyone who races isn't a "racing boat" per se, you'll get a chance to see how many different things work out.

Everything in boats is a compromise or conflict, unless you really refine your needs and go for something tightly focused. Lots of room? Means a slower boat, or a bigger way more expensive boat. Offshore? Means more safety equipment, replacing things sooner, having redundancy and better sails than the local daysailor might be content to get another couple of seasons out of.

There's nothing like getting on a dozen different boats, in different weather, to see what really works, or turns you on. Or off.

And if you have no interest in racing, you still want to learn to race. When you need to make port in daylight, or get to a dinner reservation, you'll find that racing tweaks are how some cruisers get there faster. It will pay off in other ways, too.

Get some lessons, some boat shoes and foul weather gear, and start bumming rides. Beats all heck out of what any books or forums can do for you, and every marina or YC that has boats, has casual racing 3-4 times a week. Usually 2-3 week nights plus weekends, and someone always needs crew.
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