I'm getting ready to retire and when I was young and had money, I did some extensive cruising (over 22K miles Hong Kong to Caribbean via the Med) on my 48' Cheoy Lee that was fully equipped so I know what it's like to cruise on 1st class terms. This also means I've learned how to repair alomost everything on a yacht that can be broken. The good Lord decided to end that with hurricane Luis in '95 and I had to go back to work.
Now I have to look at trying to find a decent coastal crusing yacht as cheaply as possible. I'll be sailing single handed. (My health is quite good.) I don't plan on crossing oceans any more, but can see myself cruising from Nova Scotia thru the Caribbean and up the West Coast to Alaska over a several year period.
Based upon my experience, I want a yacht with a pilot house so I can stay dry and warm. I want a strong enough engine and big enough fuel supply so that I can motor for long periods of time if I get tired and the weather is giving me trouble. Safety is a major concern.
My Cheoy Lee was fiberglass, but what are the downsides of a cold-molded wooden vacht; because I want to keep the initial costs down I'm seeing some older wooden yachts at the lower costs. What do you think?
I think that in order to have the kidn of live-aboard comfort and convenience that a retiree needs (and deserves), I need to look at something at least 38' long.
I'd like some kind of furnace for the colder climates, but want something that's safe and reliable. How do diesel furnaces work ... any other suggestions?
I'd appreciate all the input I can get on my search.
I have the perfect boat for you and will let you have her for $250,000 as is (that is fully outfutted).
My wife and I have been retired since 2002 and running from Maine to the Bahamas. We're "cockpit potatos", choosing the best of weather and without commitment. We've lived and cruised comfortably aboard our Morgan Out Islands since 1973. Charlie Morgan once told me, "We wanted to design a boat that would motor well for the charter trade." We recently met a couple that brought their Morgan OI (Catalina built "Morgan Classic") comfortably down from the PNW through the canal to Florida. Our 4'3" draft compromises some windward performance, but it gives us a lot of access too! Our boat is a "truck" with the fiberglass one inch thick as high as the portlights. I can see the alure of the lower cost of a wood boat, but if I were looking again; then, I'd be in the market for a 70's or 80's Morgan or comparable workhorse and save the extra 100K for the cruising kitty! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
The older, cheper wooden boats are not likely to be cold-moluded. If it is done properly it is at least as expensive (if not more so) to build a cold-moulded boat than it is to build a fibreglass boat.
Maintaining a cold-moulded boat is a bit more labour intensive than maintining a fibreglass boat. Maintaing a strip-planked, clinker, carvel or other type of traditional wooden boat is extremely time consuming and can be expensive if you don't have well-developed carpentry skills.
If you have never done it before, your golden years are probably not the best time of life to learn how.
Good Luck ! :)
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