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Old 06-25-2013
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Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Hi Everyone,

First post but have been reading for a while :-)

I want to buy an older, affordable sailboat in the 30-40 ft range.

I'm a Brit living in Baltimore. I want a boat that I can eventually sail home across the atlantic in. I've done a fair amount of reading and have an idea of the boat models well known for this but here's the problem, I live on the Chesapeake Bay and will be doing most of my sailing there and up and down the East Coast.

So anyone know of an Atlantic crossing sailboat with a shallow draft? Isn't that kind of contradictory? I'm assuming a swing keel wouldn't cut it. I'm wide open to suggestions :-)

Cheers, Paul.
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Something to think about. The article at the end is very good if you have access to back issues of Good Old Boat, or are willing to purchase them.

Ontario 32 is an affordable world cruiser
Veleda, our 1978 Ontario 32, is a sturdy, well-built, modified C&C-designed vessel with the cabin space of a 36-foot boat (thanks to an 11.5 foot beam). Every boat is a compromise of what one can afford, can handle, and needs for the type of sailing planned. Yes, it is small for what we are doing. We are the smallest or one of the smallest boats in any rally or marina with bluewater cruisers. However, few boats have done the extensive cruising we have done (26,800 nautical miles through 27 countries since July of 1998).

It would be nice to have a 40-footer with space for bicycles, scuba gear, large fuel and water tanks, washing machine and shower, berths for six people (we have berths for only five), and a longer waterline to give increased speed and comfort. However such would have cost more than double what we paid for Veleda. We have all the confidence in the world in her seaworthiness and would take her anywhere. With our 4-Ĺ foot draft, we can negotiate shallow areas, as in the Bahamas, and go through many canal systems here in Europe which boats with 5-foot or more drafts can not do. Veleda is small enough that either of us can singlehand her, and her shorter length means less cost at marinas that charge by length. We can easily drop her mast (with the assistance of only a mast crane) and carry it onboard for canal trips as we did going through Chicago into the Illinois River and down the Mississippi and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and again up the Seine River to Paris, across the Marne, and down to the south of France into the Med.

Yes, if I had another $100,000 to spend, I might get a larger boat, but we — not the bank — own Veleda, and we are in the fortunate position that, since selling our home in Toronto, we do not owe anything to anybody. We have a nest egg should we return and my pension as a retired teacher is enough for us to continue sailing indefinitely.

I think the most basic advice for bluewater sailing, would be to go for a used boat with the longest waterline you can afford and handle, as most boats 36 feet and longer can handle bluewater cruising. Get the advice of a good marine surveyor for any intended purchase. Part of the fun is the dreaming and planning. However, we are happy with Veleda, our 1978 Ontario 32, as we can afford her and sail her anyplace in the world for the rest of our lives, even though she may be a bit on the small side.
Aubrey Millard
Aubrey wrote an excellent article about preparing Veleda for ocean voyaging in the January 2001 issue of Good Old Boat.
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Welcome aboard Paul!

Have you considered a Southerly? They're harder to find on this side of the pond, but with their British heritage, you'll feel right at home after your crossing:

Here's one in Florida:

1985 Southerly 100 Pilot House Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

For older, affordable and shoal draft, take a look at the Pearson 35 or 365. There are many for sale in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and they are bargains.

The problem with Sailnet is many members either believe their own boat are bluewater capable (not a dig at PBzeer whose opinion I respect) or will make suggestions that are not supported by any rational, objective, third-party, expert opinion (which experts could include delivery captains, marine surveyors, marine mechanics, yacht designers, yacht builders, and maybe even some yacht brokers). Therefore, I suggest you look on Mahina Expeditions for a list of his blue water capable boats: Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-25-2013 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

I would not reject a centreboard boat. Have a look at the Bristol 35.5 and 38.8 and Hood (Wauquiez) 38. All have done a lot of offshore cruisers and the 35.5 draft is something like 3' 9" with board up. Very different boats than Southerlys and cheaper I should think. Southerly would be easier to sell in Europe though.
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpaul View Post
Hi Everyone,

First post but have been reading for a while :-)

I want to buy an older, affordable sailboat in the 30-40 ft range.

I'm a Brit living in Baltimore. I want a boat that I can eventually sail home across the atlantic in. I've done a fair amount of reading and have an idea of the boat models well known for this but here's the problem, I live on the Chesapeake Bay and will be doing most of my sailing there and up and down the East Coast.

So anyone know of an Atlantic crossing sailboat with a shallow draft? Isn't that kind of contradictory? I'm assuming a swing keel wouldn't cut it. I'm wide open to suggestions :-)

Cheers, Paul.
Welcome Paul,

I would suggest you continue to read and read and then read some more. It will soon realize that it is not the blue water boat that is important in crossing the pond. It is the sailor who knows how to sail blue water.

Buy your boat for the intended purpose NOW, not what you may do in the next 10 years. There are so many blue water boats on the Chesapeake bay that have never seen blue water. All the owners in the past had the vision to sail the ocean. Somehow, things have changed, didn't like the boring voyage in the ocean, other interests, or just don't enjoy sailing as much as they thought.

You will get lot of advises in here. All has its merit and is correct. How you are using it is important.

Good luck.
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

I really like this Cal 36 in Annapolis for your purposes, a little deeper draft, but o.k: Cal 36 Sailboat, New Diesel

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-25-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Paul,

In general full keel designs have shallower draft than fin keel designs so that might be a criteria to help you narrow down your search.

Cape Dory produced a large number of full keel boats over many years before going out of business in the late 80's early 90's. They made a 30, 31 32, 33, 36 40 and 45 (not in your criteria range). They were well made and have an active owners association. The Cape Dory 36 is reincarnate in the Robinhood 36 made by a company owned by the founder of Cape Dory.

Carl Alberg was the designer of most of the Cape Dory full keel designs. He also designed some of the early Pearsons and (I believe) some of the Sea Sprites.

I own a Cape Dory but it is the 30' motor sailor which is not a blue water boat and not designed by Carl Alberg. She is well made however and still going stron after 27 years. (Didn't want James to jump on me for being biased)
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

Hi Paul. What's your general budget for this boat? That will dictate a lot of the choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpaul View Post
So anyone know of an Atlantic crossing sailboat with a shallow draft? Isn't that kind of contradictory? I'm assuming a swing keel wouldn't cut it.
Shallow draft and bluewater ability aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, here's a variety of boats for different budgets that are certainly capable of an Atlantic crossing in the proper hands:

Tartan 37 CB - 4'2" draft (board up)
Island Packet 35 (IP31 if you're on a tighter budget) - 4'6" draft
Vancouver 27 - 4'3" draft
Bristol 41.1 - 4'6" draft (board up)
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Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

The problem of with the so-called blue water boats is they don't do well in light wind. Motoring is normal in Chesapeake bay from late June to late Aug.
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