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chall03 07-01-2010 11:37 PM

Our Sabbatical Cruise
 
Anyone who has seen or followed some of my sporadic posts on here would know that my wife and I have been toying now for some 5 years with the dream of stopping our lifes and careers for a year or two and going cruising...It has been a dream we have always talked about however I guess we have been reluctant to actually commit to it.

Reality is there has always been reasons not too.... I truly wanted to cruise the world at 22 but really didn't know how to unfold a chart. We got married in our mid 20's and a month later I did buy a small sailboat so I could convince my sea sick prone new bride how good this sailing thing actually was..... Then well there were just good opportunities at work for both off us.....we bought our first house.....then there was another promotion, debt that couldn't be dismissed etc etc.

Well we have both now juts hit our 30s. My 'new bride' 6 years on now races twice a week and I have to book in with her to get her to crew on our yacht! Oh she is now also qualified to RYA Dayskipper standard and a few weekends ago when we were on a friends first 47.7, I looked on in amazement as she confidentally and happily climbed up the mast and pulled down the mainsail in 25 knots offshore. Our careers are both now stable....our finances are a constant balancing act sure but seem to be balancing better than ever before.

So why not now? Is the question we have been asking ourselves.....or more poignantly if not now than will we do it before our 50s or 60s???

And so on that basis we have firmly set next April down as THE date....ladies and gentlemen we are off! One year to see how it goes then extendable depending upon how we like it/money etc etc. We are in Sydney Australia, so the plan is up the east coast, and then either on to Asia through Indonesia, or turn right and do a leisurely loop of the South Pacific.

We do still need the right boat.....thus why we are aiming for next April. Our current boat is a 27ft IOR Cruiser/racer type and is not the right boat. We have been actively looking for the right boat and over the past couple of weeks have it now down to a choice between two boats on the market.

Boat one : An Arends 33. A full keeled Australian, Swanson designed cruiser, that has been there and done that. Amazing internal volume and storage for a 33 footer.

Boat two : A Mottle 33. A centre cockpit, Adams design that has a slightly more modern hull than the Arends and will point higher and arguably sail faster.

Any other suggestions/thoughts on boats/itinerary/destinations/cruising philosophies very welcomed.

sailingdog 07-01-2010 11:56 PM

You also might look at some of the Van De Stadt designs. His boats are generally well thought of and several have been used as long-distance cruisers.

wind_magic 07-02-2010 12:02 AM

Congratulations to you two, seriously. I know at your age it isn't the easiest decision, I think it shows a lot of spirit and courage to make the choice that you are making. You are not going to get any younger, and some day all you are going to have are the memories, it is important to make sure you have many good ones. Even at the young age of 30, there's already a lot of water under the bridge, live life while you can.

tdw 07-02-2010 12:21 AM

Chall,
I'd be thinking the Arends myself. Much as I like Adams designs, for a medium long term cruiser the M33 has for me limitations in regard to tankage and overall stowage space that I'd find unacceptable. The M33 was a contender at the time we bought our Van de Stadt 34 but the above convinced us otherwise and I also find the aft cabin (particularly in the low cabin M33) somewhat claustrophobic. Personally I reckon 33' feet is too small for a centre cockpit. That said I am 6' tall, that is a consideration.

Cheers to you both and the best of luck to you. Good on you for giving it a shot.

ps - VDS34 is a great boat but most of them are steel and as I have said in any number of posts, 34' is too small for steel if performance is a criterion.

chall03 07-02-2010 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 618853)
You also might look at some of the Van De Stadt designs. His boats are generally well thought of and several have been used as long-distance cruisers.

There doesn't seem to be a huge volume of them on the market down here usually, but actually it looks like there are a couple at the moment. I must admit I haven't looked into Van De Stadt's as closely as some other designs.

chall03 07-02-2010 12:39 AM

Windy- Thanks.
It hasn't been an easy decision at all, we have been lucky in some ways that for us at this age while not being easy at all it is at least possible......the reality is that if we wait then there will be the next house with a bigger mortgage and so forth and I believe our next opportunity will be in retirement.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdw (Post 618857)
Chall,
I'd be thinking the Arends myself. Much as I like Adams designs, for a medium long term cruiser the M33 has for me limitations in regard to tankage and overall stowage space that I'd find unacceptable. The M33 was a contender at the time we bought our Van de Stadt 34 but the above convinced us otherwise and I also find the aft cabin (particularly in the low cabin M33) somewhat claustrophobic. Personally I reckon 33' feet is too small for a centre cockpit. That said I am 6' tall, that is a consideration.

Cheers to you both and the best of luck to you. Good on you for giving it a shot.

ps - VDS34 is a great boat but most of them are steel and as I have said in any number of posts, 34' is too small for steel if performance is a criterion.

For some reason I have had a thing for the Mottles for a while believing that the aft cabin was the great answer to onboard accommodation woes. You are however I think very right....

The reality of the low sided Mottles is that they are very cramped....I actually don't mind the aft cabin, but the crawl one has to do to get to it is less than ideal. Also the Head is umm beyond tight. The high sided versions I found though are a real improvement in both areas...

The Arend however showed up the Mottle completely in terms of space and room. Coming from a 27ft cruiser/racer I just couldn't believe how many lockers there actually were in this boat! The sense of space and real livability also made it a hands down winner.....however I worry about a full keeler...I have never been an 'old shoe' kind of guy but I must admit to really liking the Arends. It also just feels to me, and this may be partly subjective like a go anywhere solid sea kindly boat.

The kind of boat that will look after you when the cards are down.

sailingdog 07-02-2010 12:59 AM

That's a big fuzzy rodent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdw (Post 618857)
Chall,
I'd be thinking the Arends myself. Much as I like Adams designs, for a medium long term cruiser the M33 has for me limitations in regard to tankage and overall stowage space that I'd find unacceptable. The M33 was a contender at the time we bought our Van de Stadt 34 but the above convinced us otherwise and I also find the aft cabin (particularly in the low cabin M33) somewhat claustrophobic. Personally I reckon 33' feet is too small for a centre cockpit. That said I am 6' tall, that is a consideration.

Cheers to you both and the best of luck to you. Good on you for giving it a shot.

ps - VDS34 is a great boat but most of them are steel and as I have said in any number of posts, 34' is too small for steel if performance is a criterion.


catamariner 07-02-2010 02:01 AM

More space is good (so sayeth the Sea Wife). A 33' and more space didn't compute to me, but you have a much newer design than the one we sailed. I like the Arends for liveability, and the galley layout is superb. Two things: 1) PLEASE get an extended bimini - all the way to the helm - for the cockpit, sitting in the sun all day for long watches (or whatever) gets old even faster than your skin will. 2) You will want a little comfy folding stadium chair with good back support to pop onto the top of that transom seat you are expected to sit when you helm! Not having decent back (and butt) support for long hours at a time also gets old.

Doing your trip in your early 30s is a GREAT idea. We did the same in an old (1978) 36' Allied Princess in our early 30s, and then came ashore, sold the Allied, took up the careers again and had a child; now he is 11 and we are heading out again as a family! Don't worry, you do this now, and you will probably do it again, and pass it on to your kids (and grandkids?). You are starting in a beautiful place, and the safety factor is good: technology only improves -- you can afford redundant GPSs and a good SSB and EPIRB -- all are cheaper than they were when we did it, and often better, as well. Check the cockpit drains but with an open transom it should not be a big problem, getting pooped. Stay out there long enough and you will get into some seas that you're looking up at, and some will eventually try to come aboard for a visit, but you have a nice small companionway with boards (or lexan) you can leave in on passage and the cockpit looks like it would drain well... you are about to have some serious fun!

BTW, look at the prices other 33s of similar age are fetching before you make an offer -- if the asking price on the one you want seems unreasonably high, try offering 60% of the asking and see if they will negotiate a bit -- maybe wind up at 75%. Depends on how long the boat's been on the market, too, of course. I mention this because the asking prices for used versions of this boat seem to vary wildly -- from 29,000 to 110,000 (?!) on one site I visited. Of course, there could be mechanical reasons for the variation, see SeaDog's Tips & Tricks thread for stuff to look at carefully before paying for a survey. Fair Winds!

sailingdog 07-02-2010 06:35 AM

That would be the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, which is a sticky in the boat buying forum.

chall03 07-02-2010 06:51 AM

We are off to look at another Arends this weekend and I will definitely put your tips to good use SD.

Catamariner- Thanks for the advice and comments. You are right the helming position on the Arends is a little exposed... Now the boat we are looking at on the weekend has already done a good deal of cruising around the Pacific and looks to be both well equipped and well loved. It already has a SSB, Radar and good Nav equipment. The tankage is original which means only 300 litres of water, I think we would add a second tank, in terms of gadgetry I am also pretty keen on an AIS receiver.

The owners have moved on to a larger yacht and are keen for a sale, we are in no immediate rush to buy but will see how we go.


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