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grafare 01-03-2014 08:59 AM

Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Hello there,
I have recently made a decision to leave the cities and the continent behind and start living onboard and single hand circumnavigate the globe in a never-ending voyage. I have some sailing and open sea experience, because I am former navy officer, but not good for my personal standards and especially not enough for such project. So it is my intention to set sail in about 4 years, which will give me time to do whatever necessary, including building my own sailboat. I have been Reading various forums about several different topics, ranging from boat size to project designers, and the pros and cons of buying (a commercial or a used one) or building.
Well, opinions vary as everything in life! Therefore, since I have time, I decided to build my own. It will also allow me to get well-familiarized will the details and places of everything that will form my home to be for the coming years.
Now I need to select the project. Again, there are so many variations and I weighting them all to form my own opinion. As of now, I decided for a mono steel hull, ranging from 28-45 foots, with movable keel, center cockpit and preferable a pilothouse. Lifting keels seems to be a nice to have in some occasions to preserve the boat, but I am not sure yet what could be the cons. To be decided…..
So far, I came across two lists of designers/naval architects and checked the pages of a few. Not all of them sell plans and a significant smaller number sell pre-cut kits. As of now, I have selected 3 names: Bruce Roberts, Van de Stadt and Roberto Barros. For each of them I found good and not so good reviews.
I don’t want to mess things around here, and I know that I am running the risk of start a very long thread on something that has been debated for years, but could you please help me selecting a good project designer/naval architect and a project model?

outbound 01-03-2014 11:40 AM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
4 Attachment(s)
Have you entertained aluminum? The boreal 46 has gotten great write ups and was designed to do exactly what you want to do. H.S. Friend of my wife just got one and is pleased. If you're loaded look at K + M. as well. Dystra,N.A. would be a good designer.
If you're committed to steel speak with Van Meer.
My 2cents

grafare 01-03-2014 11:47 AM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Well, I am not loaded, but is hard to put a price tag to your dream and selected way of life....LOL

Aluminum seems to be tricky to find labour and parts in some remote places of the world, it is not as durable as steel.

I never heard of those designers you mentioned, could you provide more info about them, their websites and etc?

Yes, I am commited to steel.

Skipper Jer 01-03-2014 11:53 AM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
There is Brent Swain of BC Canada who contributes to this forum.

PCP 01-03-2014 12:51 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Not much sense in talking about a boat between 28 to 45ft. That is a huge difference. If you have the money for the bigger boat go to a boat between 43 and 45ft, so money is the determinant factor. One a good boat with a good finish, an one off designed expressly by a Na, the difference in price between an Aluminium boat and steel one should not be more than 10% and I am quite sure that almost any NA will recommend aluminium to you.

A good quality custom boat of that size should cost between USD 500 000 and USD 800 000.

If this is inside your budget we can talk about it, if not you can try one of the voyage boats that exist on the market, like the Boreal that Outbound mentioned or the Allures or the OVNI. That should bring the price to a bit less that the lower number but not much, if we are talking about a boat ready to voyage.

If we are talking about a lot less, like 1/3 of that then probably an option would be going to an heavy steel 36ft, the kind Brent Swain design and build. not very pretty or fast but able to do the job.

So, as you sea, budget for a boat is a fundamental piece of information.

grafare 01-03-2014 05:54 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Thanks. My comments:
1. Size: It is my intention to have the bigger boat possible that I can single hand it. After all, it will be my home and some comfort is never too much. I have indicated from 28 to 45 ft, because I am sure yet of what would be the proper size. Opinions differ, some say that a boat bigger than 40 might be trick to maneuver under bad weather, others that with proper equipment and a good project a 60+ boat can be single handed under the same situation.

2. Steel versus Aluminum: I believe there are pros and cons for each one. So far, steel seem to be better in terms of durability (with epoxy and other treatments it can last forever), maintenance (it is possible to find steel worker in every corner of the world, and if not, fixing is not a big deal) and security. In addition, nowadays it is possible to find steel alloys that are more resistant and lighter than traditional steel, so a thinner steel could be used to reduce the overall weight.

3. Price: Around USD 500k sounds to be a nice round number, however I will work hard to accomplish my goal with less. However, I need to point out that import taxes in Brazil can easily double it, and importing a second hand boat is not possible to my country.


Stumble 01-03-2014 06:49 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
With that high of an import duty, don't import it to Brazil. Just create an overseas holding company as the owner.

Frankly I think you are going about this all wrong. You need to sit down and figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and how many people you want with you, then look to see if there are used boats that meet your needs. A good used boat can be had for a fraction of the price of a new built.

Once you have a few years sailing, then go to a NA and have a custom boat designed if you choose. But frankly at this point I don't think you have a clear enough idea of what you need to really begin this process.

As for steel vs aluminium. It has been beat to death on this forum and others. But there is a reason that there are vanishingly few production steel sailboats being built.

grafare 01-03-2014 06:58 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Sometimes this is the way to go, but creating an offshore company is not a solution. It might even increase the problem and make it more expensive if the tax authorities decide that you are doing this to avoid taxes. Thanks for you remarks. I will consider them with good care. Best,

PCP 01-03-2014 07:29 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
If you are not going to sail in Brazil what is the problem? I meet two years ago on the med a Brazilian family sailing and living on a Amel. They were living in France for the winter. I think you can also have double nationality (Portuguese/Brazilian) and can have fixed residence in Portugal (in the boat). Flying a Portuguese banner you can buy a new boat in Portugal with a tax of 23% or can buy a used boat on all EC without any tax (if the boat has already the tax payed, that is what is more normal).

As you are going to be travelling that should not be a problem, except maybe bringing the boat to Brazil on a permanent bases. But a production aluminium sailboat keep a high resale value and you can always sell it when you decide to return definitively to Brazil.

grafare 01-03-2014 07:31 PM

Re: Help choosing the project and the designer/naval architect.
Unfortunately I don't have a double citzenship nor I can apply to one. Otherwise it could be a good idea to reduce taxes.

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