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  #1  
Old 04-21-2012
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West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

I'm going backwards in more than one way...

Basically, I 'm slowly sorting through the variables involved in purchasing a good old boat, for a passage from Hawaii (or possibly the NA West Coast via Hawaii) to Kyushu, Japan, where I live. My budget is up to around $25K for the boat, I was thinking I could find something in the range of 31'-36'.

The used boat market is quite limited here in Japan (especially in my area), with few foreign boats represented -- and these are very pricey. If a Yamaha were suitable, it would be the Y-31C (not exported to NA). Here is a picture of a Yamaha 31C keel (+detached rudder). LWL: 8.7m (28'7"), Beam 3.37m (11'), Displacement: 3,350Kg (7370 lbs), Ballast 1,200Kg (2640 lbs),

Or 1980s Yamaha Y33 (fin with skeg keel).

Though there are some who have taken these boats across oceans, I was thinking these are not the best boats for the task. I am interested in boats into the 1980s which are going to have decent performance. I'm wondering what anyone thinks of these Yamahas, and also if anyone has other recommendations in my budget, for purchase and outfitting on the West Coast of North America? Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

There are a number of Yamaha's in the puget sound region. They were imported to this area for a bit, then they found they could sell their build level to the Asian market, so why bother shipping over here. From what I have seen, they do have a good build quality. If one were to choose the trip timing etc, one should be able to sail it from here to there.

Ericson, islander, jeanneau, Beneteau, Catalina, to name a few other fin keel style boats that would make the trip also. All frankly with similar build quality. Pacific seacraft is another that would do the trip, but built probably a bit heavier, not sure it is that much stronger per say.

I know I am forgetting a few, CS, Tartan, C&C are a few others that popped into my brain.

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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Greetings, and thanks!

Yes, lately I am looking carefully at some of the boats you mention (Ericson, Islander, Jeanneau, Beneteau, Catalina, CS, C&C) -- up to recently I was looking only at older designs (like Ericson 35, Tartan 34, Islander 36). I have plenty of time to consider my options.

I would say, of the sailboats here, perhaps 95% are Yamahas. They have good build quality, though may be spartan, looking at interiors, compared with other boats. Since the main form of sailing here is coastal/bay sailing, I was wondering whether the Yamaha 33 is considered offshore-capable, or is more of a coastal (like Catalina) cruiser. Opinions suggest the Catalina's 30'-36' are not advised for major offshore use?

In Japan, the 1980s-era Y33 has a skeg rudder and lower aspect, larger fin, where the newer versions become higher aspect, smaller, and lose the skeg for the rudder...
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Alice,

The newer Yamaha's sound like newer Jeanneau's as compared to my 85 Jeanneau. You have just described what is going on in sailboat design. Faster, many times stiffer funner sailing boats etc.

Issue being when crossing a pond, when are you going to do it? at the height of Hurricane/cyclone season? mid winter? or plan a crossing when reasonable trade winds if you will are going to get 15-30 knot daily winds......anything can handle this type of sailing in an open ocean etc. I'd do it in my barely not quite 30' Jeanneau. It was also designed as an off shore 2-4 day trip boat. Not sure it truly has the tankage etc to go longer, but those are things one can work with if one is willing to plan a few things etc. IE installing a water maker instead of having 100 gals of water/drinkable fluid on the boat or a week or two.

The main thing to do is figure out if the build is strong enough to handle larger waves etc. How is the door setup? ie can it hold, lock out water if it is rough? not at cockpit floor level, but higher up, usually seat level. Is there an area in the cockpit you could put a life raft as it was designed..........Believe it or not, my 85 Jeanneau is setup that way, as are others in the 30-36' range. Catalina may not be, as are a few tartans.....but others may very well work, have what many would generically call off shore capable design factors built into them.

That is also not saying I would want to cross the pacific in my boat, granted it has the design spec to do so.....I have to admit, I would want something a bit bigger. I would do it with a few minor changes in the boat.

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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Alice

Is your entire budget 25k or is it 25k to purchase and x amount to refit? I think most any boat in the size you are looking for will either have been used weekends and is not ready for offshore or will have been offshore and be in need of a refit.
I mean things like rigging, sails, and through hulls possibly. Then there are the additions like Epirb and liferaft, and self steering. None come cheap.

Like Marty I think many boats can do the trip, although some better than others. By that I mean you should look for things like a bridgedeck so any water in the cockpit doesn't end up below, bulkheads that are glassed in as opposed to screwed into a liner. Both these items would eliminate Catalina. Not that a Catalina couldn't do it, but it would take more work to get one ready, some structural.

As far as keel/rudder design the second Yamaha you linked to would be a better choice than the first more extreme design.

I think most figure about 20% of the purchase price more or less is expected to upgrade an older boat. If you want to head offshore I would think 30 to 50% for additions and refit costs. This assumes you are doing much yourself. If you have to pay a yard prices go up quickly.

It really comes down to what you find in your search, how expensive it is, and its condition.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your excellent advice and support. I think this process may work, if I plan it right. Because it's unlikely to find a well-outfitted boat, ready to go, I have kept my purchase price-range pretty low. Of course, $20K is better than $25K

My plan is to live aboard at a CA marina while working on the boat, depending on when it's purchased, from about September-February (not this year though) -- so, I have time. That said, anywhere on the West Coast is not completely out of the question (though the winter weather up north would be an issue).

I will budget $10K for outfitting, though this could be a lowball figure. I would need a fairly shipshape boat, to start.

Would do shakedown coastal cruises, and when ready head for Hawaii by late Feb. I think a Pacific voyage would have to commence by about May 1, latest, from Hawaii. These dates could be moved earlier by a month -- I'm musing on a latest departure here.

Another option would be to purchase a boat in Hawaii and do inter-island shakedowns. But as has been pointed out, dry-dock facilities are quite costly, and the market is also limited. In any case, I will have about a year free.

Just now, I am contemplating just how crazy or impossible my scheme really is. I would need some luck and good fortune, I believe.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Alice,
Not sure frankly that 10K is enough to outfit the boat. My 20 yr old boat had original sails, blown out for the most part, so there was $4g for a main and jib if you go dacron or equal. Replaced all the running rigging, 1G, altho it could have been done for a bit less with staset vs XLS extra. IF the cushions/covers are shot, that can be another 4-6G for these depending upon how many, style of foam etc. Altho this could be done once home per say too. If you need new standing rigging, figure another 2G or there abouts depending upon if you do it, another does it, pulling the mast etc.

Instruments if you need some can run upwards of another 3-5G depending upon type......

While some use these mythical 20-50% of the boat cost for refit etc, Talk at my marina and others, with older boats like I bought and you did, it is more like $1-3 per boat cost $. I'm into mine about 80K vs the 22K I paid for it. I've also done quite a bit of redoing to it, none was the dirt cheap upgrade either. I could have done it cheaper yes......then, the redo would not have been to how I want a boat to last me the next 10 yrs or so either. why do things twice, or not up to what you want etc.

Not sure on this, but if you can look up in a sticky, maybe in this area of the site, the Mahina list of offshore boats. While I am not going to say this is the ONLY list to work from, it has some thing He feels are good for offshore work. Look for the items that you do not have to fix per say, like the glassed in bulkheads, fixed bridge deck to the interior, how things are made per say. The other upgrades like electronics, sails, running rigging, tankage etc, are EASY in comparison to dealing with the basic boat that is not strong enough.

Marty

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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

While it all depends on your personal risk/reward factor

It costs and easy 35K to have a boat equipped with the required safety stuff for Newport / Bermuda Race and that's only a 600 some odd mile hop

There is no law what you have to bring BUT your gonna need a robust self steering device and enough stuff to self sufficient or be prepared to lose the boat
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

Yes, I will probably need to up by outfitting budget and/or reduce my original purchase price, or both. Like I wrote in my post, I was giving a "lowball" figure, not my maximum. Things always end up over-budget, and I do want to at least contemplate efficient expenditures. But things like electronics and safety gear are simply necessities. Finding a boat with radar installed and operational would be worthwhile, etc. (I could go on, into the details...)

I'm informed by James Baldwin's efforts:

"Boat Improvement Projects" here
Atom Voyages - Articles

other pages throughout, like here:
Atom Voyages - Planning

Also have several books to work from, on offshore outfitting, as well as some of my acquaintances here who have done a bit. Always looking to gather more information though. Much will depend on what I can find at a discount, looking at DIY/creative options. Though spending properly where it needs doing. I could also luck into a boat which isn't needing as so much work to outfit. I've noticed there are boats occasionally listed in Mexico (e.g. Mazatlan), on Yachtworld -- read mixed reports on purchase there -- though the boats though have been outfitted, to get there. Any suggestions are always welcome.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: West to East - Trans-Pacific to Japan

I would think keeping an eye on Hawaii and Mexico would be a good start.. there's always a few cruisers that have second thoughts, divorces, unrealistic expectations that can lead to well equipped boats available for a decent deal, just do your due diligence when transacting in certain areas.

Even San Fran might be a 'quitting spot' for some whose dreams didn't quite match reality.

Gotta say I kind of like the look of that newer Yamaha 31C - looks like they are still producing pretty nice boats - maybe not a ocean crosser, but a nice looking performance cruiser.
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