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  #1  
Old 05-21-2013
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Size matters

Hi there and sorry for yet another dumb (and predictable) question.

I'm having a really hard time deciding on the size of my first boat. I know it's only natural and a zillion people had this same question before but I can't seem to make a decision, regardless of all the reviews and posts I've been reading. I've been racing (crew member) for a while now in a 40 feet, I like the space and I have a large family. Wife, 2 older boys and a baby girl.
My wife is not really into sailing (a bit scared of the ocean) as well as my younger boy. My oldest races Optimists.
I "think" I want a boat for day and weekend cruises with the family, mostly and some week short cruises, although I'm almost sure I'll spend a lot of time coastal cruising just with my oldest.
I'm living in the african west coast where the sea is pretty calm and there's hardly any wind but I'll be returning to the european western coast in a few years, where it´s a little rougher as you know.
I'm buying the boat in Europe and I'll either sail it down or I'll just ship it down.
The thing is, as I'm on a tight budget, I can't decide between a 2005-2007 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 32i, well equipped and nice and shiny or an older 39-40 feet, although I could really, really try harder and bargain for a 36...
Will I really need the space and/or size? Also, I'm not an expert sailor. Will size get in the way?
Besides room space, I've been wanting to do the ARC for a while so I'm afraid I buy a small boat that won't allow me to cross the Atlantic, although I'm quite sure it will probably be a one time experience...
Well, I would sure appreciate some of your knowledge and experience to help me sort this out.
Thank you.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Size matters

Hi,

It seems that you have just to put your options and needs in order:

To ship a boat from Europe to Africa: It seems expensive. How much that will cost?

An inexperienced sailor sailing a 32ft jeanneau from South of Europe to Angola?: quite an adventure!

Crossing the Atlantic on the ARC on a 32ft Jeanneau, it is possible but that implies a small crew and a very experienced sailor. It would not be the more appropriated boat to do that.

A 32ft jeanneau to do weekend cruising or short crews with a big family: The chances is that they are not going to like it. That's very crowded.

Suggestion: buy a slightly bigger boat (between 35 and 40ft) on the Canary Islands where there is a reasonable market of EU boats. It is much more easy to go from there to Angola.

If you look you can find good deals:

http://en.cosasdebarcos.com/boats-oc...an-canaria-18/

http://www.canaryislandsmarine.com/usedsailboats

http://www.apolloduck.es/regions.phtml?rid=446
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Size matters

The min size for the ARC is 8.23m (27’) length overall (LOA) with at least two people on board.

So all your options will be OK for the ARC.

Where do you plan to keep the boat, sometimes there is a substantial difference above a particular length in a marina.

If you foresee spending two or three nights on a boat with 5 people I would say that 36 to 38 ft would be better.

Look for a well maintained older boat. Newer ones do not stay shiny for long!
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Size matters

Thank you both for sharing your knowledge. That's the feedback I was waiting for.

Please allow me to clarify any questions regarding my previous post.

No, I do not have a death wish and I'm fully aware of the risks involved in undertaking both enterprises (Angola and ARC).

Prior to all this, I intend on having lots of training. I'm the kind of guy that doesn't rely on luck. I train very hard for anything I set out to do. My plans are to sail from Cascais to the Algarve and back, Azores and Canary Isles, always with an experienced crew. When time comes, I will find a crew to sail the boat down to S. Tomé, where myself and a couple of very experienced friends, will retrieve the boat for the last leg to Luanda.

The ARC is something that I intend to do, one day. I will definitely not do it alone (it's not allowed and I'm not such sailor) and I don't know when I will be able and feel ready to do so. I just know, you know?

So, you think we will feel cramped in a 32 ft? I guess so. My boys are getting to big.

The boat will be mostly used on weekend short coastal cruises with one or two nights spent aboard, almost every weekend for about 10 months a year. Due to the good weather and calm seas, we sail all year round down here.

For the next couple of years it will basically be a 4h sail to Mussulo Island on Saturday morning, anchor the boat close to the shore, sun and fun, sleepover and meals aboard and a short sail back on Sunday afternoon.

You think a 36ft would be more appropriate for this?

I guess I could work on my my savings for a little while and buy a pretty decent Jen SO 36i I've been checking out for some time now...

But don't you think a 36ft will be harder for myself and my boy to sail as opposed to the 32ft?

Thank you for your comments.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Size matters

Regarding the cost of sailing the boat from PT to AO, that is what most sailors here have done.

The two main options are finding a professional crew to sail the boat to S. Tomé and then, mainly due to visa restrictions, the owners and a couple of friends fly there and sail the rest back to Luanda, or shipping the boat dismasted to Walvis Bay (Namibia) and then sailing up to Luanda.

Shipping seems to be cheaper but there are concerns regarding the handling of the boat and the masting in Walvis Bay.

I have never checked the options in the Canary Islands but I will definitely do so. Thank you!
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Size matters

I was just checking the Jen SO 39i and 39 DS. They look almost perfect for me. Except for the price, that is...

Enough space for the whole family, airy and light interiors, furling mainsail and genoa (which will allow my wife and sons to help out more, as opposed to muscling it up...).

It's almost 38% more expensive than a 35/36. Is it really worth it (considering a family of five and eventually a fat labrador)?

Any considerations regarding my objectives?

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Size matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMCunha View Post
I was just checking the Jen SO 39i and 39 DS. They look almost perfect for me. Except for the price, that is...

Enough space for the whole family, airy and light interiors, furling mainsail and genoa (which will allow my wife and sons to help out more, as opposed to muscling it up...).

It's almost 38% more expensive than a 35/36. Is it really worth it (considering a family of five and eventually a fat labrador)?

Any considerations regarding my objectives?

Thanks
A modern and light 36ft is a very easy boat to sail. If you have some experience a modern 40ft should not be a problem too. The most difficult thing about it should be putting in an out of the marina and you will know if that is a problem or not.

Have a boat that you can sail from the cockpit without the need to go forward for reefing.

A 36ft is nice for coastal cruising and weekend cruising. If you start doing long range cruising with more than two the chances are that you are going to want a bigger boat.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: Size matters

Tough to give a definative answer because there are so many variables from boat to boat, regardless of size, but...

We are also a family of five (2 adults, 10 y.o. girl, 8 y.o. girl, 1 y.o. girl) and currently cruise weekends and a up to a month at a time aboard our 28 footer, but it's entirely too small now with the third child. She's for sale (the boat, not the 1 year old!) and we're looking to upgrade. We've narrowed in on the 35-38' range as the sweet spot between cost/room/ease of sailing with a small crew.
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: Size matters

Take into account ongoing costs compared to boat size. Depending on the age of the boat that seems likely to be a larger influence on price than the initial purchase price.

While I'd love to own a 35' cruising boat I have a 29' one because it's a lot cheaper for moorage and maintenance. I just do coastal cruising and don't have children, so my boat requirements and capabilities are different than yours.
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Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Size matters

Thank you all for sharing your experience. Please, do keep on sharing it.
I've raced multiple days regattas for a while now on a 40ft with 5/6 crew and I now appreciate a bit more room and storage capacity.
2 young boys (11 and 9), baby girl with all the baby stuff, wife and our dog will probably demand more room than a 36 will be able to offer.
I'm also a bit over-enthusiastic about having all the gear (and more) you need (should something happen) and I tend to be a bit of a hoarder, carrying more stuff than I'll probably need or will eve use.
I have my heart set on a Jen SO 39i, although I'd probably be alright with a 36. Money does matter in this case.
Is it really that hard to moor a 39 as opposed to a 36?


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