Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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You are not alone on being a newcomer who eventually wants to sail around the world. After four years participating on various internet discussion groups, one of the things that really amazes me is the sheer number of people entering the sport of sailing with the goal of sailing around the world. If they all made it, it would be pretty crowded out there. (I am not putting you or your goal down, just making an observation.)
Anyway, there are a lot of ways to go around the world. There are circumnavigators who are trying to just go round and they often pick faster boats with large capacities and make big hops. They typically plan to do their trip in a year or so. For others going around the world is about really seeing the world in detail. One such acquintance of mine has been out there for close to 15 years. Neither way is right or wrong. Its all about what you want to accomplish and see.
Similarly, there is no one right boat for this kind of thing. A circumnaviagtor should be more ruggedly constructed than a typical coastal cruiser. Most coastal cruisers sail less than a 1000 miles a year with a very active coastal cruiser sailing maybe 2,000-3,000 miles a year. Distance cruisers can sail as much 10,000 to 30,000 miles a year, and in harsher conditions.
Distance cruisers today seem to be equipped with all kinds of ''stuff''. They seem to bristle with the latest electronics, and almost of the comforts of home. But that is not the only way to go round the world. In the 1970''s I knew a fellow who had sailed from Australia to South Florida in a hand built plywood boat. By the time he reached Miami the boat had been really beaten up. Where ever the topsides had been damaged, he had nailed pieces of plywood with ring shank nails. These patches were painted with whatever paint he could scavenge and so took on a rather jaunty if not exactly yacht like appearance. By the time he reached Miami his engine was gone and he lacked any form of electrical system. It nver ceases to amaze the vast variety of boats that can and do make it around the world. This fellow clearly made it around the world in spite of his boat. Others go out with the absolute best equipment known to man and still can''t make it around alive and with the boat intact.
There are a lot of boats under $100K that can make the trip but most und $100K will require additional work and money to be really ready to go. The following is intended as a kind of brief list of what I think of as ''default choices'' but there are a lot of boats out there that can do what you want that are not on this list.
Tayana 37: These are certainly venerable distance cruisers. They were really designed for the purpose of going long distances offshore. While not fast boats, they do sail quite well. When you find one under a $100K it will be an older boat and may need quite a bit of work.
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38):
I throw this in to show some of the extremes and this is not a boat that many people would consider an ideal offshore cruiser, yet these boats have routinely sailed long distances in some of the harshest sailing venues world wide. Individual Farr 38''s have crossed the Pacific in both directions and sailed from NZ to South Africa and across and up the Atlantic with very small crews. I have researched these boats pretty extensively and it really amazes me what they have done. They are also quite inexpensive to buy and very fast.
Hughes Northstar 40''s,
These Canadian built cruisers are often overlooked by people looking for inexpensive offshore cruisers. They are listed by a lot of names and model designations which further adds to their obscurity. Still these are well constructed Sparkman and Stevens designed cruisers that have done all kinds of distance voyaging. They came in a variety of rigs and keel types (I prefer the tall cutter rig with cut away forefoot and skeg rudder version).
The Valiant 40 is the boat that if someone said, "I want to sail around the world, What should I buy?" would probably be most people''s first answer. A Valiant 40 in the $100K range would probably be a very early boat in need of a blister job and a lot of work. If you were willing to put in the labor these could be close to an ideal boat.
These are solid and simple boats. They were the prototypical offshore cruiser of the era before the Valiants hit the scene. Again if you find one under a $100K you can expect to put some work into making it ready to go the distance.
Kelly Peterson 44:
These are my favorite of the heavier displacement distance cruisers. These boats seem to have gone everywhere. They are not without their quirks and foibles, but these are solidly purpose built boats for what you want to do. When you do find one under $100K they also generally are early boats that need attention. One of the big issues is the teake decks on the early ones which are often ready for replacement due to water intrusion. This is a big job but you can put back a fiberglass deck reasonably inexpensively if you do your own labor and end up with as close to an ideal boat as there is. They are also known for water tank problems.
This is just another way to go. These boats very pretty widely on interior and details of construction but they can be brought up to standard by a little hard work and represent one way to go distance cruisers. These boats are very fast on a reach which is what you do most of going around.
This is another one of these overlooked boats. These early 1980''s boats are ofetn looked down upon by the more traditional cruising wolrd but these were actually pretty good boats. The prototype was built as a transatlantic single-handed racer. The design was altered a bit to produce a solid offshore cruising cutter. They had really pretty small interiors for a 54 footer and as one owner described it, this is the largest 40 footer you''ve ever seen. One neat feature of this boat was its ''dinghy garage''. This was an area in the stern where a dingy can be brought aboard and stowed behind an operable door in the transom. In some ways this is a pretty ideal set up. These are very fast boats and off an offbeat alternative to some of the more mainsteam types.
I have tried to give you a sense of the range of options rather than to focus on what would normally be considered all of the normal choices. In any group of sailors there boats on this list that some would pan and others would endorse.