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post #1 of 3 Old 07-04-2004 Thread Starter
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A tale of two boats

This probably should have gone into ''buying a boat'' or Gear & maint'' but it appears those two forums are porked (again).

Since the root question has to do with my cruising syle/plans I thought I''d post it here.

Anyway, I''m planning on dowing some singlhanded cruising the SE US/carrib for a year or two and then maybe who knows. Then again, everyone just starting out has the grand idea of circumnavigating, sailing to the South Pacific. Realistically I might just find that FLA/Carribean/SA, etc. is fine and stick around closer to the good ol USA. I plan to anchor out more than use the marina.

I''ve narrowed my search down to two 32'' boats, both made by the same manufacturer and rigged the same way. Both are within a couple thou of each other.

The difference is one is a ''harbor queen'' and the other a tried & true blue water sailor.

By that I mean:

Harbor queen - really set up for coastal cruising and shore power use (although it does have a good vane): Brand new diesel in ''03 (+ shaft, log, stuffing box, prop, etc), heavy duty electrical panel, AC/heat, reefer, stove/oven, 2 batts, ''average'' nav gear (mostly hand held). No roller furling, vang, boom stop. Nice full dodger, and canvas for everything. All working sails will need replacing and maybe standing/running rigging as well. Other than sails/rigging this boat is in ''bristol'' shape.

Blue water boat - has undertaken recent transatlantic voyages, etc. and it shows. It''s more a ''purist'' offshore config. I wouldn''t say it''s in Bristol shape as it looks like it may have been maintained on a budget and may have a couple deck leaks. However, pretty much everything ''important'' is new (''03). New bottom & awlgrip deck paint, running/standing rigging (incl turnbuckles/shackles, etc.), boom, chainplates, New Cape Horn vane, roller furling, 4 golfcart batts, engine has new starter (last rebuild unk), new C.A.R.D, stove is new but basic 2 burner LPG (no oven). Basic canvas dodger (no sail canvas). Included is 90w solar panel and all kinds of tools, charts, etc.

In other words the ''harbor queen'' is not as independent of marinas as the ''blue water'' but is in better condition overall. The blue water boat is fitted out more to the style of crusing I''m planning for (independent of marinas) and as mentioned, all rigging is new.

Off the top of my head I *think* it will cost more overall to repair the bluewater boat, bring it back into a more bristol shape, rebuild engine (for peace of mind reliability), etc. than make the harbor queen more independently ''seaworthy'' boat.

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-04-2004
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A tale of two boats

That is a difficult question to answer without knowing more about what you think you want on board and the type of boat.

To explain, for some manufacturers, several transatlantic crossings can really "use up" the boat. For others an Atlantic crossing is just a very long daysail. Similarly, for some boats, a new set of sails and a new set of standing rigging is relatively inexpensive. (I just had my standing rigging, cascade backstay, and turnbuckles professionally replaced all for $1200. That is half of what a friend was quoted to replace his standing rigging for a smaller heavier displacement cutter if he bought the parts himself wholesale.) Even though I have a slightly larger sail area, he had a quote for all new standing sails that was nearly 50% more than my quote from the same sailmaker due to the complexity of the rig.

Similarly, electronics can be a big influence on which deal is better. A complete set of up to date instruments are very expensive. Due to a lightning strike, I just replaced every bit of electronics on my boat. The Raymarine equipment alone came to somewhere around $10K-12K at BoatUS''s deeply discounted D.R.S. prices and I don''t have radar.

The quality of the furler, the age of the batteries, and engine rebuild or replacement depending on model can also skew the balance. The lack of oven can be a problem depending on your diet and how you like to cook. Offhore being able to place a meal in the oven and let it cook slowly offers some advantages over cooking on the stove top where you usually need to tend to the meal. Ovens aren''t cheap and you may also need to add additional propane capacity to support it.

Then there is the storage issue. When you talk about having 4 golf cart batteries, vs 2 gelcells of equal capacity, or Air conditioning, these items take up a lot of space and add a fair amount of weight that might better be used for needed gear and supplies. This is especially true given the very limited capacities of a 32 footer for the kind of passagemaking that you are contemplating.

So based on the info provided, I would join you in the ''confused'' department.

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post #3 of 3 Old 08-01-2004
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A tale of two boats

If I had money to upgrade the marina queen that is what I would do. Same boat so it can take what the proven yacht can do - yet it has not been pushed and stressed.
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