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KPS'08 05-10-2013 01:54 PM

Could use some info!
My name is Chris and I am an unlimited tonnage marine engineer looking to live on something a little smaller. I am starting my search for a 50-100' sailboat, in the need of some TLC. I want to be able to sail the east coast and beyond with my girlfriend, and one day small family. I have some sailing (far-40s and J-24s) and extensive large boat (60'+) handling experience.

Assuming a $160k buy budget, my question is, what type/manufacturer of sailboat should I be looking at? Pros/cons of single vs twin mast? Steel v fiberglass? Are wood hulls drastically more expensive/work?

Thank you for any information you are willing to share.

paul323 05-10-2013 02:50 PM

Re: Could use some info!
Wow! How long is a piece of string?

Well, assuming you are not a troll.....Okay, the budget is a tight for a bluewater boat that size, so TLC will definitely be needed - and a lot of time. It would be tough to get a working 100' sailboat with that budget, and if you did, you would need to hire a crew. If you are thinking about girlfriend and small family, look in the 40'-50' range.

The bigger the boat, the greater the cost - generally exponentially. A 100' sailboat is generally millionaire class. Where would you dock it? Slip fees? Refuel fees? Imagine what a new sail would cost in a boat that size. Think also of the parts, the cost of refurbishment. Think of ongoing maintenance. Haulout fees. Etc etc.

So many of your questions are very subjective, but there are many experts on this forum. The more specific the questions, the better answers you will get. And my opinions are worth what you paid for them!

Single versus twin mast - in a boat that size, a single mast is very big (in a 100'sailboat - enormous). Big means more difficult to handle, exponentially more expensive. Twin masts are generally less efficient, but easier to manage. Friend of mine has a 54', all electric winches, single mast...almost sailable single-handed. Needed TLC but bought for around $250K. Probably put in another $100-200K sorting it out. And the annual maintenance - oh, my, more than my boat is worth every year.

Hull type - depends largely on your expertise. The owners of each generally love their hull - woodies would never go back! If you are a skilled carpenter, a woody is an option. Otherwise, probably not. And for an older boat needing TLC, I would suggest that wood has the highest hull risk, followed by steel. Plastic tends to cope with neglect better.

Others may chip in with ideas; in the meantime you may want to look at Bumfuzzle - a funky family who sailed for a few years in a catamaran, then toured around in a VW van, finally bought a 43' monohull needing TLC - and live on it with two children.

Tim R. 05-10-2013 03:42 PM

Re: Could use some info!
Why so big? You could do just fine with a 45-55' boat and a lot less in maintenance. It would also get you a much nicer boat with your budget.

You will pay a premium for slip space at 60'+ and forget about gunkholing in some of the smaller nicer spots.

We are a couple with no kids and 40' is perfect for us.

hellosailor 05-10-2013 04:33 PM

Re: Could use some info!
"Are wood hulls drastically more expensive/work? "
It hurts to hear a question like that from an engineer. Positively hurts.

KPS'08 05-10-2013 05:01 PM

Re: Could use some info!
Thinks for the info. Like I said I am just starting my search. I was looking at vessels with that LOA range because after searching those were the ones within the budget. If for 2-3 people a 40-55 LOA is enough thats where I'll focus my search.
Hellosailor- I'm a steel guy. The only wood I deal with in my job is breaking apart a crate.

TQA 05-12-2013 10:23 AM

Re: Could use some info!

Originally Posted by KPS'08 (Post 1028406)
Thinks for the info. Like I said I am just starting my search. I was looking at vessels with that LOA range because after searching those were the ones within the budget. If for 2-3 people a 40-55 LOA is enough thats where I'll focus my search.
Hellosailor- I'm a steel guy. The only wood I deal with in my job is breaking apart a crate.

If you are a steel guy buy a steel boat. That is assuming you can weld. The absolute beauty of steel is that if you have a hul/deckl problem the repair will be as strong as the original and it is possible to DIY and it is relatively cheap to do.

There are quite a few around in your price bracket including a refitted 60 ft junk rigged Colvin down on the Rio Dulce with a motivated seller so negotiations might be fruitful. Pics look real good!

You are not going to win races with that rig BUT it is very easy to handle with a small crew.

A Bermuda rig on the other hand for a 60 footer will need some serious winches, more than I would tackle too up anyway and I have cruising quite a while.

TropicCat 05-12-2013 11:53 AM

Re: Could use some info!
With your budget and requirements, put cruising catamarans on the list of boats to examine. Here's a link to affordable boats.

Catamarans for sale by owner

Remember because catamarans are wide boats, they equate to a monohull approximately 50% larger. So, for instance a 38 foot cruising catamaran would have equivalent living space and stowage as a 57' monohull. Yet be easier to handle and more live aboard friendly. A 40 ft catamaran would have 3-4 cabins, 2 bathrooms, be bright and airy and they don't heel while sailing.

worth a look...

sailor wench 05-12-2013 02:42 PM

Re: Could use some info!
A little friendly advice from someone who is a full time liveaboard and has owned 3 boats and witnessed problems encountered by friends that also live aboard....avoid wood hulls. Also, avoid fiberglass hulls that are cored. A solid fiberglass hull is best. You also want solid fiberglass (not cored) decks, if you can find them. You generally have to go back into the 70s to find them. Earlier model boats (70s) generally have much thicker fiberglass hulls and also decks. However, you will sacrifice speed due to the increased weight, which is not a big problem for me, since I don't really have anywhere i have to be. I've not been overly impressed with the metal boats I've seen, and I've seen alot of them. I would also discourage you from buying the newer "production" boats, such as Hunter and Catalina. They typically have VERY thin fiberglass and I've actually seen their hulls "oil can", meaning the water pressure distorts the shape of the hull when underway. Some of them are cheaply made and tend to fall apart. Some of the better boats are Bristols, Hinkleys, Westsails, and Hylas. C & Cs are almost as good, as are Endeavors. I would avoid "Choy Leaks"(choy lees). Every one I've ever seen leaks, period, and you'll pay thousands more just for the name. (I'm not sure I spelled all of these correctly). I hope this helps some. If you have any specific questions, I'll answer the best I can. I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone by telling you the brands to avoid. That was not my intention. I hope this helps some.
And another thing.....the location where you purchase the boat does matter. If you buy in certain places, you'll pay alot more for the excact same boat. I would avoid Annapolis, MD and parts of southern Florida. I would also avoid any boat that has been a charter boat. Some areas of northern Florida (especially Jacksonville), most of South Carolina (Charleston inparticular), and parts of Georgia offer some really good deals. I wish you all the best!

sailor wench 05-12-2013 02:47 PM

Re: Could use some info!
There is another thread on here where people have responded to this exact same question before, "middle of the road cruiser" you may want to check it out.

msmith10 05-12-2013 05:30 PM

Re: Could use some info!

Originally Posted by paul323 (Post 1028329)
A 100' sailboat is generally millionaire class.

Make that multi-millionaire. Possessing a mere million would not cover it. A million bucks isn't what it was 50 years ago.

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