SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Boat Review and Purchase Forum (
-   -   need boat advise (

metolius-to 11-03-2002 08:12 AM

need boat advise
Hey all,
I am living in Wyoming right now and am not planing on staying here long. I am a senior in High School and when I get out of jail, am planing on moving to New Zealand and living on a boat, learning to sail, and trying to make a go as a photographer and Musician. I know, good luck. The real question is.
What boat or boats do you think I should look into. I want somthing that sails nice and can handel some big water, aka coming back to the US to visit some time. I was thinking somthing like a 30 footer but I dont know much. How big of boat can someone who knows what they are doing handel alone? I dont really know what I want, but it is a dream, and I dont want to give up on it. Any advise please post or send some. Thanks very much. Dave
P.S. money is always an issue, but I dont want to go cheap, probably up to 30 or 35,000 I guess. I would have to make payments anyway. NO making fun of me now.

Jeff_H 11-04-2002 03:51 AM

need boat advise
The traditional rule of thumb for sizing a ditance cruiser is that you need and want between 2 1/2 to 5 tons of displacement (overall boat weight loaded) per person for a distance cruiser. Any lighter than 2 1/2 tons it will be difficult to carry enough supplies to voyage very far and any heavier than 5 tons the boat becomes more difficult to handle single handed. (BTW those were long tons so we''re talking about a displacement in the roughly 6000 to 12000 lb range.) While there have been notable exceptions at both ends of the scale, and with money you can extend the upper end, this tried and true range should work for you.

For many reasons boats are really cheap to buy in New Zealand vs the US so unless you really want to sail across the Pacific, then financially you might be better catching a plane and buying a boat over there.

There are a number of way to go here. Your best bet is to find an older 28 to 32 foot boat that someone has set up for distance cruising. Outfitting a boat for going offshore can be quite costly but adds relatively little to the resale value of the boat. I would try to find a comparatively simple boat so that you are not trying to maintain a complex boat out in the middle of nowhere. I would try to find a boat that was relatively good quality when it was new and which appears to have been maintained over the years rather than a fix-er-upper.

A couple quick suggestions:

American Boatbuilding''s Galaxy 32: Venerable Tripp design. Sort of a protoype for the Medalist. Not as well constructed as the Medalist but a better sailing design. Put this in the same category as the Cal 33/34 and Pearson 10M- big, cheap and comparatively fast but not the most robust.

Avance 33 (mid 1980''s) A poor man''s swan.

Allied Seawind (30): Another interpretation of the H-28. Good boats for what you are contemplating. They were the first fiberglass boat to do a circumnavigation

Cal 33 and Cal 34: these are very common boats and although not the best built boats they have done a lot of distance cruising.

Cape Dory 30: If you can find one in decent shape in your price range this would be a pretty good boat for what you are considering. It would be low on my list but to many sailors with a different point of view this would be about as good as it gets.

CE Ryder Eastward Ho (31 or so ft) These were a modern FG interpretation of a 1930''s era design. While these are not my kind of boat they were designed to do just what you are planning.

Cheoy Lee Bemuda 30 and Offshore 33. I would try to find a glass deck version (rather than teak decked version). These are venerable interpretions of the H-28 and offer a good (though slow) way to go. One word of caution, the wood masts should be suspect, especially if painted.

Cheoy Lee Clipper 33: Very pertty boats, eveything above applies except for being H-28 derived.

Ericson Independence: This would probably be one of my first choices on this list. Reasonably well built and a neat design in almost all ways. You may need to adapt the interior layout for offshore useage and add storage lockers but that''s not too hard.

Folkboat or Folkboat derivative: The quintessential micro cruiser. Really small in all ways but these little boats have been everywhere.

LeCompte Medalist (33'', mid 1960''s)A well built Tripp design. One version lacks ventilation for the tropics.

Pearson Coaster (30) Think of this as a ''Plan B'' boat. They are not bad boats but should not be all that high on the list.

Pearson 323: Probably the most suitable Pearson for what you want to do. Built during the period that Pearson quality was at its highest.

Pearson 303: A smaller version of the 323

Pearson Vanguard: My family owned one of these back in the 1960''s. They are reasonably well constructed and sail reasonably well in a moderate breeze. They will need additional ballast (per Phillip Rhodes the design of the boat) and better reefing gear to go offshore.

Pearson 10M (33 foot): These like the Cals are not the most sturdily constructed on this list but the should be a good platform for what you want to do.

Tartan 30: Probably not the best choice on this list but one that could work well with some modifications.

Wittholz 32; Charlie designed a nice steel cutter (based on an earlier plywood boat) around the time that I worked for him. (I think just before the time that I got there.) These were neat little boats (for a steel boat) and quite a few were built in the Pacific Northeast.

Hopefully this should give you some food for thought. I need to go to work. Good luck


WHOOSH 11-04-2002 12:51 PM

need boat advise
Dave, a couple of thoughts...

First, you''re lucky someone with Jeff H''s knowledge chose to reply to your email. People write entire books to answer a question like yours and you need to do some serious homework of your own. (This is not scolding; just saying it like it is...). Dig into some basic references and begin to form your own impressions of hull form, systems necessary (few, in your case) and unneeded, which hull material you want to live with (I think you''re best choice is fiberglass given the upkeep of cheaper metal boats), etc. Also, I''d aruge against Jeff''s displacement guideline of 2.5 tons if single-handing; I think it''s too light and too misleading given how differently one boat can be built from the next. Stick with 5-6 tons as a target. (If it surprises you that we''re talking displacement more and length less, that''s a good indication of why you need to start digging into some serious research).

I think Jeff was running late when composing his list (e.g. the Pearson 303 is hardly a smaller 323, despite the #ing similarity) but his first observation - boats are more affordable in NZ - is right on target, so most of his list won''t fit with a NZ ''for sale'' inventory. (To get a sense for the regional variety of boats, visit Moreover, outfitting a boat for offshore cruising AND going offshore that distance are EACH huge challenges. Challenges aren''t bad but let''s start with what''s more reasonably achieveable, which is to find a few boats in NZ that fit your needs, fly down on standby to check them out, select a surveyor to help you assess their material condition, and end up a boat owner.

But I digress...lists of boat manufacturers and boat brokers isn''t where you need to be spending your initial time; it''s with basic design & construction choices. Here are a few suggestions:

1. The Cruising Handbook by Nigel Calder. The book talks about a LOT of boat systems but also covers the basics (design, materials, etc.) and would be very educational. Nigel has written THE reference book on boat systems (The Boat Owners Mechanical & Electrical Guide) and it should be perhaps the 2nd reference you buy for the boat, right after a good navigation text.
2. The Voyagers'' Handbook by Beth Leonard. You say you want to ''take off''; she & her partner did, knowing very little. Pay attention to all the fundamental topics, including how you''ll finance this gig.
3. The Cruising Life by Ross Norgrove. Probably out of print, so dig for it - it will enthuse you, cover the same basics (every author gives a somewhat different slant on these same basics, so don''t discount reading 2 or 3 different primers) and clue you in on what a joy this adventure can be, provided you adjust your head and are prepared to work hard for success. This was written when systems were much less a part of boating which, in your case, fits nicely.

Finally, network with active cruisers at your intended ''launch pad'' (aka: New Zealand) to find out where the boats are, and with whom to take next steps. I''ll give you one lead: ''speak'' (email, of course) with Ken & Cath on FELICITY (Ken:; Cathy: who have stopped for a year to work in and enjoy watching the America''s Cup races in NZ. Good folks, they''ll perhaps be able to give you some pointers on who to being linking up with down there.

Oh, and you won''t be "going home" very often from the South Pacific on your new boat. Not with a smaller boat, anyway; it''s possible but a tough road to hoe. Take a close look at the Pilot Charts. You''ll use a jet, like most folks. <g>

Good luck!

Aboard WHOOSH, lying St. Pete, FL

metolius-to 11-04-2002 05:56 PM

need boat advise
Wow, Thank you so much for your advise and input. I did not get bad responses at all on my post and am really happy you guys took the time to give me some good info. I am going to start looking for a boat in Newzealand even though I am not planing on going down there till September 03. If you know anything important about getting residancy, please fill me in. I hope my dream comes true. Thanks agian, Dave

mikecook 11-04-2002 05:59 PM

need boat advise
Metolius - as previous poster said, buy a boat in New Zealand! They are much cheaper and arguably better built. If you are looking for the experience of sailing there, check out and see if you can find a crew position.

And enjoy NZ - I lived there for 18 months and still regret coming back.

Jeff_H 11-04-2002 06:01 PM

need boat advise
Nice post Jack. I wanted to comment on the lower end of the range that I quoted. This figure came out of distance cruising texts going back to the 1950''s and 1960''s. When you look at small boats that were used for distance sailing boats like Trekka (3800 lbs) or the Folkboats (4200 lbs), or even boats like Robin Grahams two ''Doves'', this lower limit of 2.5 long tons (5600 lbs) really is not an unreasonable floor. While I would not recommend either extreme of this range, great single handed passages have been made in boats that are beyond both the upper and lower limit being recommended. I do think that 6 tons (13,450 lbs) can be a pretty big boat to single hand when things turn ugly. That said a sailor in good shape can obviously handle much larger boats as evidenced by the Open 6O Class long distance racing boats.

I also completely agree that my list was by no means complete but I thought it might serve as a posible broad stroke introduction to the kinds of choices that are out there.


kms 11-04-2002 06:57 PM

need boat advise
Hello Metolius-to
I lived in New Zealand for eight years and did a lot of sailing there,coastal and off shore. e-mail me,I might have some information you can use about getting there,working and some web sites for boat dealers.

cullenk 12-19-2002 08:41 AM

need boat advise
Is new zeland a really nice place? I''ve just graduated from college, and I have some time and opportunity. If its a beautiful climate and boats are cheap (i''ve been wanting to get a sailboat for awhile) and there is work, it sounds like a wonderful place to go... what do you think it would take to get there and have something to keep me going?


metolius-to 04-01-2008 06:15 PM

I am amazed at the power of the internet. I just stumbled upon a post of mine from eight years ago while searching for the right boat. I didn't even remember my log in name haha. I never made it to New Zealand and bought a boat like planned but suchs is live. Being in Wyoming still, the boat for me at this time in my life was a Hobie 16 (don't laugh) and my friend and I taught ourselfs the hard way to sail on this unforgiving boat. Last winter we took it down to the Sea of Cortez and attemped to sail down the East coast of Baja. Lack of water and the large tidal range caused my first mate to jump ship and I couldn't single hand alone. The best sailing of the trip was in Mission bay, San Diego and we broke our speed record.
The Triton was the boat I almost bought before I got engaged and decided that the Pearson Vanguard is the boat for us and I am shopping now. Thanks so much for your responses. I am pumped that I came to the same conclusions Jeff on my own and I hope one day to be a "real" sailor.

sailingdog 04-01-2008 06:27 PM

Good to hear from you and good luck... :) Keep us posted. :)

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:24 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome