Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
Thanked 127 Times in 58 Posts
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I am usually the discenting opinion on production boats, etc. First of all, there is nothign wrong with a Jeauneau or other production vessels. But like Giu, it would be a cold day in H*** before I paid 500k for anything Jeauneau made (or beneteau or catalina or IP). There really are better boats made. Hylas is one of my personal favorites, including Hallberg-Rassy and some older boats that you could get cheaper, like Mason and Bristol. Valiant is a top notch offshore boat with I would guess more offshore miles under their collective keels than any other boat manufacturer. I know the people that make them, they are good.
Now, all that being said:
How are you REALLY going to use the boat?? You crossing the Pacific, micronesia? The Atlantic multiple times? Everyone always throws up these "BUY THE VALIANT OR PACIFIC SEACRAFT!!" blah, blah ,blah, blah... and most of those boats sit in the marina after three or four uses and never go further than the first marker becuase a 50 Valiant is SMALLER inside than my 40 foot Catalina. THat is why I won't buy one. It is like a shoe box... an armor plated (and gold, depending on your checkbook) shoebox, but still cramped and small compared to what is termed (and should be termed) more of a coastal cruiser.
If you have not done a lot of offshore work, realize this: Everything is island hopping. No one wants to sit out at sea. THat is just a means to an end. If your true destinations are unlimited cruising everywhere in the world with maxiumum safety and you really want to sail it yourself, then a Jeauneau, Catalina, Beneteau (and sorry guys, even IP) is not the right boat for you. Go drop an easy 500k on a Valiant 50 and get ready to be cramped but sail in utter safety. If HOWEVER your true and honest goals are the islands, no more than an occasional 5 days at sea on good weather windows, etc, get a coastal cruiser. You will be more comfortable and might actually enjoy living down below on your boat without having to sit in your wife's lap. You will save a lot of money for outfitting and bars.
If after you have done the islands and everything there is to do on this continent (including s america), and you really want to go to the Med on your boat or Australia... just pay Dockwise yacht transport 20-30k (maybe less) and they will ship it over there on a very nice ship and in 2 weeks you are off sailing - versus getting the crap beat out of you in the Atlantic and taking more of a risk with your life(s). You can sail there to your hearts content, then pay them to ship it to Australia for you and you should be able to hit everything in that hemisphere with any of the production boats too.
Now THAT is enjoying cruising. You just can't sit at the dock and tell everyone that you sailed your boat around the world. But you did see the world on your boat... did it safely... and for a WHOLE lot less money.
Just my thoughts.
PS Before you committ to a Atlantic crossing or Pacific crossing, also suggest taking you and the wife out in 15-20 foot seas for a few days offshore. It AINT fun... I am here to tell you.
PSS The heack with what everyone says, buy the boat YOU AND THE WIFE feel comfortable on.