I have followed your posts on interesting sailboats for some time now and must say that you have taught me a great deal!
I live in Cape Town which is quite limited in terms of it's cruising potential - no islands, interesting coastlines and cold water - and so I intend buying a yacht and leaving it in the Mediterranean where my partner and I can go cruising initially for 3 months of the year and then in a few years for 6 months of the year. There are obviously many aspects to consider in terms of where to leave the yacht including VAT, mooring costs, hard fees, maintenance etc etc and whether to let a school or charter company use the yacht when we are not using it. I am currently inclined to leave the yacht in Croatia as it is very beautiful and geographically well positioned, to visit Greece, Italy and Turkey. Your thoughts on this as regards mooring, leaving the boat on the hard, VAT etc would be most useful.
As regards which yacht, my partner and I are not racers but would like to have a yacht which performs well; we participate in twilight racing in Cape Town and know for sure that we want a yacht which is exhilirating to sail. We are therefore interested in performance coastal cruisers as a category as opposed to bluewater cruisers. I started out looking at the large production boats - Beneteau Oceanis 37, Jeanneau 36i Performance and the Bavaria Cruiser 36 - and have since being looking at other brands including Hanse, Elan and Salona. We are keen on a yacht which is around 37 foot and which we can buy second hand for around Euro100,000.
Our shortlist of yachts, after comparing key stats for these to the X38c which I know is one of your favourites and which we have used as a kind of benchmark, includes the following which fall into our budget:
* Hanse 375 - D/L - 187, B/D - 31.8%, SA/D - 24.8, L/B - 3.03, motion comfort - 22.3
Very easy to sail, interiors don't suite everyone although I like them, a racer cruiser that is quite contemporary, loads of options
* Salona 37 - D/L - 167, B/D - 37.3%, SA/D - 26.7, L/B - 3.14, motion comfort - 20.6
Definitely a racer cruiser, I like the way they do their hull with the ss skeleton but I think the boat looks quite dated with its small ports and is too light - the later models are heavier, look better but are over our budget.
* Elan Impression 384 - D/L - 211; B/D - 32.6%; SA/D - 20; L/B - 2.95; motion comfort - 23.5
More of a cruiser/racer than the other 2 so not directly comparable but a very good compromise in terms of seaworthiness, performance and comfort and quite underrated from what I can see. Probably closer in nature to the X38c
I love the Elan 380 but it is out of our budget and the elan 350 is probably too small and also too expensive after you have added all the options.
I know that you are very keen on the Salona in particular (Salona 41) and also like the Elan's. I was wandering if you had any specific views on the yachts listed above - pluses and minuses - and if you feel I have missed out any other obvious candidate? the dehler, grand soleil and arcona yachts are awesome but obove our budget I am afraid.
I hope you don't mind me asking you all of these questions but you are clearly very experienced and I you don't seem to mind sharing all of your knowledge.
All the best
Thanks David for your nice words. Welcome to this thread and welcome to sailnet.
About Croatia I have charted a boat 15 days last summer and I have loved it. I know well West Med (Coast of Spain, Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Elba, Corsica and part of Italy) and can tell you that Croatia is an incredible cruising ground, not only by the variety of sheltered places but because it offer almost always sheltered waters, no matter the wind direction, behind the Islands (+ 2000) even if the wind can be in the spring quite strong.
Regarding Croatia and places to have the boat I am picking and when I finish I will tell you, if you want ( by private message) my findings. Before that I would not post it on the net
Take a look at this thread:
Croatia is The Place
and take a look at the marinas. There are more but these give you an idea about the price. It is quite hard to get an annual place there, most of the marinas are full:
Adriatic Croatia International Club // aci-club.hr
You can see prices and download a brochure and it will give you an idea about the place (beautiful).
Regarding the boat the Hanse choice seems well to me but the Hanse are tricky boats to buy. Their standard boat is quite naked and you can buy a huge quantity of extras that can make it a very good sailing boat...and also an an expensive boat. You have to look well at what you are buying. They can be very different, starting by the hull (epoxy or not).
The Elan 385 is a different boat, as to do more with the Oceanis line. I find it better built but it is not a boat that you can enjoy sailing as you do with an Elan, First or Salona. I would not look at that motion comfort ratio. In my opinion it is quite meaningless (you don't know if a boat has fine entries, the bow shape and so on).
Used boats are much dependent of what you can find but if you are staying in Croatia you can buy a boat with the VAT not paid. It will be less expensive and you still can sail to Greece or any other place for a 3 months period. But probably the best idea would be to buy a boat with the leasing going on. That means that the boat would cost you less, you will pay a rent each month and in the end the boat stays in your name (there are so many boats in leasing because that way you pay only 50% VAT and if you look on the adds it says on many that the boat can be sold with leasing).
Regarding boats that offer good interior space and that are on your price range I would add the Salona 40 and The Elan 40 and my preferred would be the Dufour 40 performance even if this one goes slightly out of your budget, but with a leasing going on....
I know that you have talked about 36ft/37ft but I am afraid that if you go for a boat that size you would have to be more concerned with interior storage, size of water tanks and so on. What I want to say is that if you go for a 37ft you would have to go for a more pure cruising type of boat, like the Oceanis 36 or a Bavaria 38. This kind of boats have the same cruising capacities (tankage, storage) as the more fast and enjoyable to sail Elan 40 or Dufour 40, but with less speed, less sailing fun and less seaworthiness, if you ever consider to cross the Atlantic or bring it to South Africa.
I know, I have sailed many years in a Bavaria 36 and when I went to boat shows with my wife I was always hearing her complaing about the lack of storage and tankage of much bigger boats compared with the 36ft we had
If you really want a 37ft I believe the Hanse 375 is the one that offers the best compromise between storage, speed and sailing pleasure...but as I have said on the used market you really have to look at each boat before buying, they are all different even the ones that are supposedly equal