Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I'd point out that getting a 44' bluewater capable boat for $50,000 is VERY OPTIMISTIC, and likely any boat that is sold in that size/price range is going to be in dire need of a lot of work. I would highly recommend looking at a boat in the 35-40' range instead, since the chance of getting one in close to sail-away/turnkey condition is much higher.
I'd also ask what skills in terms of boat repair, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc. you and your crew have. Cruising on a sailboat can often be defined as repairing a sailboat you're on in remote places with only the skills, tools and parts you have onboard. As an example, on a delivery I did last year, I repaired the A/C raw water pump, the shower sump, the transmission, the autopilot, the dinghy motor, among other things—and that on a what is a fairly new and well-maintained boat.
I'd also point out that the navigation, planning and other skills required for a transoceanic passage are far different from what you need chartering and island hopping/coastal cruising.
While I understand you're not looking for paid crew, what costs would your crew be responsible for? Given that they would be contributing experience and essentially acting as a delivery captain and in many ways instructor at least initially, would you be paying for their travel to/from the boat, room/board onboard the boat, port entry/customs fees?
I'd point out that four people can make for a fairly comfortable crew/watch situation, even on very long passages given the right boat. Given that two of the three of you are relatively inexperienced, four people would be the minimum that you would need to do so.
Finally, you haven't said what skills you, your partner and friend bring to the boat. Do any of you know how to stand a night watch, plan a passage, cook in a marine galley on passage—even in rough weather, know advanced first aid—similar to a wilderness EMT/First responder type level, know anything about provisioning a boat, have any experience with dealing with customs and checking in/out of foreign countries, etc.
Being a cruising sailor on a long bluewater passage requires that you be relatively self-sufficient and capable of dealing with even complicated issues with little in the way of outside resources. If you, your partner and crew can not do this....it's gonna be a problem.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 01-12-2011 at 07:46 PM.