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  #11  
Old 09-13-2004
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Stede is on a distinguished road
Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Hi Jeff_H,

Thanks for your comments.I always enjoy reading your perspectives on different boat issues.While doing more extensive research on boats suitable for my needs,I''ve been very impressed with the selection you made with the Farr.If I remember correctly,she has a PHRF of 88? You truly did your homework! As I''ve looked at many boats in the 37-38 foot range, it dawned on me that you had selected the "ideal" (with the exception of possibly deeper draft) blue-water capable boat.Fast,roomy,well made,and pleasant to the eye.The Farr 11.6 (38) is diffinately on my final list.Unfortunately, I can''t buy quite yet,but it will be in the near future.

On the coring issue, thanks for the information on the Airex core. I had looked around a little to find some information on it, but wasn''t able to.I agree with you about not ruling out a boat because it''s cored.There are many great boats out there that are cored.

I''m finding that boat selection for me is a lot like sailing with no wind. It requires patience,perseverance, and knowledge of the elements to know when the right time is at hand.

Thanks again for your input my friend.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Stede, let me just add one final thought (well...at least ''final'' for now). If I were shopping for a boat like you say you want, and I had the capacity vs. cost equation you do, I''d look closely at the European market. Fractionals are very, very common, build quality can be excellent and they''ve been doing cored hulls using closed cell foam products for a long time, and the best part is that these boats are used for very short seasons, often stored ashore for the winter (covered or totally inside heated spaces), and fondled with care because it''s the only thing a boater can do for half the year.

The downside is that almost all these boats will have VAT tax paid on them (which raises the equity in the boat), and unless you plan to cruise in Europe, it''s obviously a problem to buy a boat 10,000 miles away! But I mention it in case the purchase is planned shortly before heading this way.

The "U.S. alternative" is to look for similar boats up in the Great Lakes, out in the Pacific NW and of course New England. All these locales have short seasons, the boats seem underutilized and generally in good shape, and the Scandianvian builders are or have been represented in each of these areas.

Did you mention where you plan to be using the boat, and how? I may have missed it but I notice we all are commenting generically on these issues, while your intended use will be specific and steering our comments in that direction would serve you better.

Gotta run; time''s up. Let me know if I can help further and good luck!

Jack
jack_patricia@yahoo.com
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Jack,

Thanks for the additional information.I''ve kicked around many different scenarios as to where,and when I will buy a boat.The european market idea would work very well for me, and I have seen some of the types of boats you''ve mentioned on-line there. The Dehlers are a boat that really interest me.

Unfortunately, the timing isn''t right for me yet.There are just too many unknowns in my life right now.Sometimes I relate the choices that lie before me like the "Indiana Jones movie...In Search of the Holy Grail." There is one scene where the bad guy, and Indy have to choose amongst drinking goblets in order to find the one that Christ had used.The wrong choice meant certain death.The right one, provided eternal life.An old English Knight stood guard of the goblets.The bad guy forced his hand and chose first.He selected a golden goblet encrusted with jewels.When he drank from it,he disintegrated. The old Knight said,"He chose poorly." Indy chose a plain clay goblet.The drinking cup of a carpenter,if you will.Of course it was the correct choice, and he was rewarded accordingly. The old Knight said," He chose wisely."

Well, I''m sure that''s probably far more information than you care to know ;^) I do struggle with the choices I know I will soon face though.Some of them will directly effect my cruising future.

As far as where I will use the boat I choose.I plan to at least do a Trans-Atlantic,and possibly go further.Mostly though, I imagine I''ll be visiting the tropics.

Fair winds!
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Stede:

I''m familiar with the Dehler line and in fact got well acquainted with a young German couple last fall who''d just wrapped up a 3-year run from the Baltic to the Med and back up to London in their Dehler 31. They felt very good about their boat, altho'' it suffered from less tankage and storage than typically needed for multi-year cruising adventures. Dehler models are quite popular in N Europe. I''d put them on out there on the fringe of the ''cruiser-racer'' category, with only the larger (10M+) models really lending themselves more practically to longer-term cruising. (OTOH we cruised at one point, as a family of 3, on a 20 footer for most of a year...so anything''s possible, and even enjoyable!)

We''re well aware of the Knight''s comments in the Holy Grail movie; the ''choose poorly/choose wisely'' motto has been a long-standing family inside joke. I notice that my son, who''s now a Navy pilot, seems to use it a lot <g>.

"I plan to at least do a Trans-Atlantic,and possibly go further. Mostly though, I imagine I''ll be visiting the tropics."

That general plan would fit together nicely with an initial purchase in European waters, altho'' as you say, the timing needs to be right in the overall scope of things for any boat acquisition and/or cruising plans to qualify as ''wise choices''. FWIW I recently revised/updated an article on buying in Europe you''d be welcome to look at. I try to outline those buyers for whom such a choice fits best, the snags and also benefits of such a plan, the EU and VAT, etc. If interested, contact me at jack_patricia@yahoo.com and I''d be glad to pass it on to you. The "cost" to you of receiving it is to offer me some feedback on its usefulness and what gaps in content you''ve noticed relative to your needs.

Jack
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Old 09-21-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Hey Jack,

Thanks for the offer on the European boat article you''ve put together. I believe it might be a very good fit for me,and would be happy to supply you some feed-back.I will be e-mailing you. Thanks again!!
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Hi all,
A loaded topic? No doubt.
The mantra.
Go small.
Go simple.
Go now.
Go small? An 11,000 lb, 24'' sailboat is only small in its usable interior space.
Go simple? If one thinks building from scratch an 11,000 lb, 24'' carvel planked wooden boat results in a simple boat one should attempt to duplicate the process.
Go now? Do you have any idea how long it takes to build such a boat. Or the 30'', 18,000 lb one that followed.

When I was in the SoPac in the early 90''s the average boat size for a couple seemed to be around 40'' ~ 42''. Refrigeration, water makers and RIBbies, were the must haves. GPS was just starting to become resonable in price and well worth the ~$1,000. The owners were successful in life and could now afford these vessels.
However I also met many solos and couples in smaller and larger boats.
Some were happy, some miserable. The boat size had little to do with the atitude of the owners.
So Stede are you a couple? Do you plan to become one? Or are you a dedicated solo? That may go a long way in helping you determine your boat type. Because even if you are or you become a couple you are still in essence a solo.

Another question would be, "How much blue water experience do you have?"
This question is not about your ability to sail, it is about your level of experience. If your amount of blue water experience is very limited or nonexistent then your ideas for your ideal boat will change, sometimes dramatically once you are out for 2 years or so.

You said your budget is $65k. I would suggest that you think about putting $25k away in a safe investment and use the other money to get the least boat that will serve your intended purpose. Today''s used f/g boat market is filled with boats in the 30'' -35'' range that are suitable(usually with some modifications) for getting you out sailing now. Many are available for less than $25k.
Think of it this way. If you put your boat on the rocks or reef and it goes down with everthing you own, how much more upset are you going to be if the boat represents every nickle you have? Vs. knowing you have a sizable nest egg stashed away.

In the early 80''s I was in Hilo repairing a dismasted 45'' slug(not mine). A young man about 23yo came sailing into the harbor one day in a 20'' Flicka. He built in the back yard of his parents house. He sailed the boat from Dana Point, Ca. in 23 days. He was having the time of his life.

Years later when I was in a small atoll in western French Polynesia I met a couple(40ish) aboard a large Mason(53'') designed boat. The owner had made a small fortune in real estate. He cashed out and went sailing.

The thing is I could not tell you whether he was having more or less fun than the 23yo in the Flicka. The big boat guy was certainly more comfortable.

I built a boat(not a thing to do for the inexperienced or faint of heart). Sailed and lived aboard for 5 years including 2 years in the SoPac. 30'', simple and easy to solo, which I did most of the time.
Now I am like you in some ways. Considering another boat. My budget is quite a bit less than yours. However I think I can still manage a 36'' boat. Will probably start in the spring 2005.

Take care and good fortune in your decision,
Fred
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

stede,
Fred makes some good points. The cruisers sailing small inexpensive boats are happy as larks.

You mentioned cores as a concern. After the lastest hurricanes blew through Florida I had a chance to see construction that survives extreme conditions. Cored boat skins fractured easier and the boats took more/larger structural damage than single skin hulls. Single skins flexed/bounced off or had very localized damage compared to cored hulls. Check out the yards in Ft.Pierce
for a look/see verification. Old boats survived better...it isn''t brand specific.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

Its funny I had a chance to talk to an insurance adjuster/surveyor today who said he was buried dealing with the damage from the huricanes. It was his opinion that the newer boats really seemed to have come through better than many of the older boats citing internal framing as being a major factor in preventing total losses. That seems to jibe with an earlier insurance institute study of older boats which suggested that the losses on older boats sustaining similar impacts was much greater and that actual testing of panels out of older boats suggested a great diminision in strength on these older laminates. I am really surprised by your observations, which seem so much at odds with the comments of the surveyor.

Respectfully,
Jeff

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Old 10-08-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

It''s actually funny you listen to insurance adjusters and their surveyors. Maybe you don''t have the experience dealing with them as we Floridians do...hurricanes and such here make it that way. As with all data, it has to be put into perspective. Insurance companies want to repair newer core boats instead of paying out a total. It''s cheaper for them than replacement of newer boats due to high values. It''s near impossible (or cost effective) to get wet core 100% evacuated or removed for major repair and the problem will/can/may return yrs later. The insurance agents aren''t concerned and aren''t going to authorize repair items that "may" be impacted years later.

Older single skin boats carry way lower values than modern boats and repair cost easily exceed insured value. Insurance companies total instead of repair. "Damage" in this respect reflects little on which survives castrophic situations better. It reflects on which is cheaper to pay out.

The above is why I think insurance studies are biased and may embrace distorting of the facts. Please post your source of reference for the "insurance institute study of older boats" so others can read and make their own judgement on it. However, what you say is somewhat true but not so practical in terms of boat survival and rebuilding costs.
Core boat interiors stayed intact while the hull and decks absorbed the damage. The only problem is the exterior skins were easily surface punchured, crushed or sanded away from rubbing on pilings...and cores were so damaged in large sections it didn''t matter how well the internals did. Virtually all the cores I saw were composite. Damage didn''t stay local with cores. Where core skins were intact there was delamination and massive compression of the core. Sure, they survived the deflection test but the hulls/decks were ruined.

Single skin boats were the opposite. Hulls flexed, portlights popped out and the internals were damaged...if rubbed through or punchured by a piling the damage was generally local and easy to repair. Some hulls defected inward between structure and didn''t do any immediate or visible damage. I looked at a dozen or more standard production sailboats blown up on a sandy beach...cores penetrated and damaged while single skins beat up and still floatable.

Another common denominator seen with multiple boats...fin keels that just fell off their stands on the ground had bent keels at the hull joint and/or bent rudders/skegs. A much bigger problem than I thought would be with fins. Full keels/rudders didn''t suffer major. No contest which takes hard grounding better.

It''s very easy to visit the yards and see how both types of construction were impacted under identical circumstances. Side by side...it takes theory and speculation out of the equation.

Have a nice day.
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Old 11-11-2004
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Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat

It would be safe to say that if you own it and you can cruise it your boat is the best and even if it has short comeings it will still be the best because you will tell yourself it is. You will wish for many other boats a Swan or Hinkley whatever but your old Pearson Catalina or what have you will be the best when you drop the hook in a crystal clear ancorage and after a cold beer and lunch after you have snorkeled around the boat and looked at the bottom from a fish eye view you will say she is the best.Love your boat no matter if she is a bit rough and has some bad habbits so do people yet somehow we manage to love some of them.
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