Join Date: Jun 2011
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Having owned and professionally captained classic (pre-1930s) wooden sailboats and more modern ones, I feel I can speak with some authority about them.
The Turkish and Eastern Med built Gulets (a bastardization of the French word for schooner) were (are?) built for a specific industry in the Eastern Med. They were not designed nor built as ocean crossing vessels, however that said, the weather in the area they primarily operate can be extreme and equally as dangerous as an ocean crossing.
Untold numbers of folks have sailed all kinds of boats across oceans, yes even Beneteaus (though why you would say they were trashed after an ocean crossing is beyond me, as a great many have circumnavigated under the captaining of some pretty inexperienced and unknowledgeable people without problems or being trashed); ask Mark on Sea Life (not to imply he is inexperienced and unknowledgeable, only someone who has circumnavigated on a Beneteau).
What these Gulets will not survive well is the tropics! I know ow a few that have crossed the Atlantic and have ended up for sale in Fla, where they usually die a rather ignoble death from the heat and rain.
If your intention is to purchase one for use in the Med and/or northern Europe, it will probably be, as you said, a comfortable liveaboard, though an extremely high maintenance one. It might behoove you to find someone who knows a great deal about wooden boats to give you a quick run down about things like caulking, structural dry rot, hogging and a few of the other problems unique to wooden boats.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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