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LondonSailor 01-27-2012 11:53 AM

Input/feedback on new boat purchase
I recently joined the SailNet community and have to say that this is the best sailing forum by far.

I would like to receive some feedback/thoughts from this forum to help me by my next purchase.

I have 3 children (4-11 years old) so the boat should be able to accomodate 5 people. We live in London but most (if not all) of the sailing will be done of the coasts of France, Portugaul, Spain and Italy. There may be some occasional island hopping but most of the time the boat will be used for coastal cruising. Giving the age of my kids, it's unlikely we will go out in severe bad weather. we may stay overnight on the boat though - the kids love it.

I have sailed mostly 23-30ft boats but will need something bigger now. Given the info above and the fact that I am mostly preoccupied by the build quality, comfort and safety of the boat I'd purchase, could you please give me some advise or thoughts on boats that I should consider? I have subscriptions on several sailing magazines but realise that those journalists can't always be 100% objective.
I have already looked at Jeanneau, Beneteau, Moody, Southerly, Dehler and Bavaria. Please feel fre to suggest any other manufacturer.

Thank you so much in advance, I really appreciate your views and experience.

Faster 01-27-2012 02:24 PM

As ever, some more info will be helpful.. are you planning to buy new or used? What's the budget range?

Something to keep in mind, too, is that your kids will grow quickly so you may as well look for something that can take 5 adults, plus we always found that for the kids things often went better if we brought along a friend, esp if one child is the only boy or girl, or is separated in age by a number of years... so now you need more space still.

When our kids were young we were fortunate to have a boat that would sleep up to 10 (really!!) and so with two couples, 3 kids and a guest it still worked out OK. Later in their teens we let them take a small overnighter and we 'buddy boated'... that was a neat solution too.

Good luck with your quest.. btw in your neck of the woods in the used market I'd think a Rival in the mid to high 30 foot range might be a fit..

LondonSailor 01-27-2012 07:08 PM

Thank you for your response. Indeed a very good point about the children growing up.
I want to buy a new boat. As said earlier, I really am focused on build quality, robustness and safety so I am relatively flexible in terms of budget. All manufacturers I mentioned (Southerly, Moody...) would fall into my price range.

Faster 01-27-2012 07:22 PM

If you've got 10-12 hours to spare be sure to peruse PCP's "Interesting Sailboats" thread on this board. He covers most all the new offerings in Europe, incl many that are not your 'mainstream' brands and he's very concerned and interested in construction issues AND high performance.

It's a real drool-fest and is sure to give you some good ideas.

QuickMick 01-28-2012 01:53 AM

might want to look at these:
Tartan Yachts Model
between them and C&C they consistently earn boat of the year awards....

full disclosure, I am soon to be a dealer for them in the NW region of FL USA.... so take it with a grain of salt, but they are well founded

might also want to consider:
Yachts and boats for sale - Catalina Yachts
and I have a soft spot for Cheoy Lee stuff... I'd take a day and head out to a marina and spend some time walking the docks to see what catches your eye, or take the whole fam out and see what the kids like (or maybe more importantly, the wife... lol) good luck, safe travels.

LondonSailor 01-28-2012 08:03 AM

Thank you QuickMick. I'll have a look at the Spartan yachts. Do they have dealers here in Europe?
If I ask my wife, then I'll end up with a 60ft Swan:)
I guess 44-48ft should be fine for 5 people?

Geoff54 01-28-2012 01:18 PM

Even though all the countries you mention are within the EEC, a quick word of caution as you are heading towards the Med. If you buy a boat and pay VAT on it and then take it outside the EEC, you have a limited period of time to return it to the EEC or you have to pay VAT again. I donít remember if it is two or three years but worth keeping in mind.

As far as the boats are concerned, I wondered how Southerly, a semi custom, lifting keel ended up amongst the mass-produced boats. The 42 and above are much better sailing boats than the, errr, shorter Southerlys but they all hold their value quite well.

Bavaria is usually the low price leader (for comparable length/equipment) and along with Jeanneau/Beneteau and to a less extant Elan and Dufour supplies most of the boats in the charter fleets. Moody and Dehler are both owner by Hanse. Moody uses the Hanse hull with different styling. All are decent coastal cruisers.

If you want something of better quality, IMHO Arcona and Hallberg-Rassy are class acts amongst the European production boats. Arcona is more performance oriented than Hallberg-Rassy, while Hallberg-Rassy is what you might prefer to be in if crossing the Bay of Biscay on a windy day (think Range Rover). If you wanted a seaworthy boat that can also float in a puddle, as well as Southerly, you might consider an Ovni. Also Comfortina? Island-Packet? I would suspect J and X boats to be too race oriented than your focus. And there are others that donít come to mind straight away, especially if you start looking at the small manufacturers.

Once you think you know what you want, try posting here and on other boards for opinions. And try to charter one - you find out much more by sailing for a week than you can on a demo sail. You can charter most boats if you look hard enough and the dealers also usually know where to look.

Gosh, Iíve rambled on.

Boats are usually bought with the heart, not the head. Good luck and have fun looking Ė Iím jealous.

QuickMick 01-28-2012 03:53 PM

You want to consider a cat as well for spaciousness

Antares Yachts: Building the World's Best Liveaboard Catamaran

everyone would get there own cabin, which I can only guess would be good for the little ones to have their own space...

LondonSailor 01-28-2012 05:41 PM

Thanks for your feedback - very helpful, especially the reminder about the VAT. I should also pick my place of delivery carefully in that regard.

I looked at Southerly and a few other non-production boats. Personally I'm not convinced that semi hand build or custom build is better in terms of quality than a production boat. Especially on a Monday morning I tend to have more confidence in a robot than a human hand...

I'll check out the other manufacturers you suggested.

LondonSailor 01-28-2012 05:44 PM

I started looking at catamarans, QuickMick. I started with Discovery and looked up some information on a few others. I'm just anxious about the mooring - not all marinas can accommodate them. In terms of living space they are without competition.

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