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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a Bluewater sailboat between 38' and 45' for the use of: living on, sailing long distances, circumnavigation, with as little as one person and at the most four people.

I like a rustic, traditional look with lots of wood being preferable. I do not want luxury, in fact, the more bare bones and rough the better (rustic and cozy not sleek and modern).

My price range would be anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000 with the lower end of that range being preferable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've never sailed in my life. This is a dream. I am collecting all the information I need right now and from what I've learned so far you need something between the dimensions I stated for circumnavigation. As I am not a rich man, I want to buy once. I wouldn't try to sail around the world for years to come but when the time is right I want to already own the boat needed for such a task.
 

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Doesn't sail enough
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Buy yourself a dingy or small keelboat for <$5000, learn to sail on it, and start to learn the things that go with maintaining a sailboat. There are lots of threads on here about which boats are good starters. A small boat will be more responsive and speed up your learning curve. Then sell it for about what you paid for it, and you're no worse off, except that you'll know how to sail, and have a much stronger idea what features you like and don't like in a boat.

Then you can start talking meaningfully about buying "the big boat."

Oh, and wood boats are a lot of work. BTDT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didn't even think about that!!! I just found dozens of boats between 10 and 25' listed for sale all under 5,000 dollars I could freakin buy in six months!!! Thanks a lot for the suggestion.

I still want my first inquiry answered though please. If anyone could throw some maker names and models my way that I could log away for future reference I'd really appreciate it.
 

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The good plastic boats come with nice cozy wooden interiors :) Don't confuse cozy and even rustic with lack of luxury - do you really not want a head, stove, fridge, lights?

The discussion of traditional vs. modern designs for offshore and short-handed sailing has been well covered on this site.

You can go read Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org just to start to get an idea of how many designs there are out there in your general category.

But you will be more qualified to think about the tradeoffs with some miles under your keel.
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Plenty of boats in that category. Where are you based?

I would suggest starting off by reading through John Neal's blue water boat list, his boat advice and suggestions.

Get yourself some basic sailing lessons.

While looking at John's site below also check ou doing a training passage with him. It will give you a great start towards gaining offshore experience and confirming that your dream is a good fit for you.

Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

Best of luck, it is a great dream. Hope to see you out there one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for another post. I live in Arizona, which has no coast, but I'm 3 hours from San Diego and my mother lives in Orlando which is 45 minutes from the gulf so I have options. I'm also going to be in the Coast Guard after my stint in the Marines so sooner or certainly later I'll be living on the coast.

If I had my way I would begin my sea fairing experience on the gulf in Florida but if I wait till I'm in the Coast Guard then it would likely be New England.
 

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I saw your post on another thread-I am a long time dreamer, too. I will never forget the first time I was checking the nets in a little john boat when I saw regatta going down the river, with all of those beautiful spinnakers! I knew someday that would be me, at any cost.
As nice as it would be to jump in feet first and get a big boat and just start sailing, it might be overwhelming. Go small and cheap first.
I like your Coast Guard idea. You can get so much useful experience while learning things that would apply to your circumnavigation- navigation, systems maintenance, etc, all while getting PAID. And you can retire at an early age.
But since we are in the dreaming stage, there are a lot of nice traditional boats on this site:
http://bluewaterboats.org/alberg-37/

I like the Alberg 37, but there are a lot of boats on that site. Also, welcome to Sailnet. This site is awesome.
 

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If your goal is to only buy once (rarely happens, especially if you buy a boat knowing nothing) and you currently don't know how to sail, you are nowhere near ready to make an informed decision about which boat to buy. We can throw all sorts of boat names at you but at this point they mean nothing. There is much more to it than choosing a Chevy over a Ford.

Learn some stuff, first and most importantly how to sail and how to listen to those more experienced than you. As you learn to sail and learn everything that goes along with boat ownership, I can almost guarantee that you'll refine and redefine your future plans. And there's nothing wrong with that. Or with dreaming as you're doing now.

Best of luck.
 

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Don't let being in AZ stop you, there are over a 100 sailboats at Lake Pleasant and a sailing school where you can get ASA 101 and 103 certified and rent Catalina 22's and 25's to your hearts content.....

Marina Boat Vehicle Harbor Dock


Marina Harbor Boat Dock Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, I didn't realize sailing was an option in AZ so I'll check that out.
I'm definitely willing to learn from others that's why I'm here. I'm at the very least six months from buying a small sail boat to learn on and at the most ten years from owning an actual 35 or 45 footer for long trips (financially speaking that is). I like to gather my intel early though so I can make as informed of a dission as possible when the time comes. Thank you all for your advice and help.

As for clarifying rustic: I mean the interior feel of the boat. I like a rough, cozy feel as apposed to a sleek and modern feel. I definitely want a stove, ac, heating source, fridge, etc but I want my boat to look like the inside of a log cabin as opposed to a New York flat.

BTW, speaking of heating source, is a wood burning stove possible/practical on a boat? Just curious. I'm basically asking if having a fire place on a boat is possible lol
 

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Considering that you know zero about sailing, sailboats, or circumnavigating, you really need to stop focusing so much on the "look and feel" of the boat, and focus more on what you want the boat to do for you, and then focus on finding a boat built for that purpose.

There are all kinds of "character boats" that are adorned with wooden decks and hand-crafted joinery in the cabins, that are not fit to leave sheltered estuaries.

Do you want to survive at sea, or are you just trying to die in comfort, and style???
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Definitely die in comfort and style because otherwise what's the point! No I understand that you want a bluewater boat at the very least over 21 feet. I've also learned that you want 15' per person for storage purposes. I know that you basically need a boat between 35 and 45' if you want to comfortably travel long distances with 2 or 3 people aboard while still being manageable for one person. Although I'm learning that most people don't seem to like sailing single handed in a boat over 39' it seems.

There is just such a host of boats out there that I'm hoping to narrow down my search by asking people to throw some names my way that fit the criteria of bluewater as well as a more rustic feel.
 

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Are you married or single? Do you have children? Do you intend to liveaboard with any or all of these people?

Choose your boat based on the number of people who will actually be living on it, not on the number of guests that might sail with you once every couple of years.

Your "guest's" comfort is totally secondary to your own needs, and the ability to handle your boat by yourself, and most importantly- to maintain your boat in a high condition of readiness.

Vessel maintenance costs explode exponentially with length-

Sails increase greatly in area (sq. feet) $$$$$$$
Hull surface increases (sq. feet) expensive anti-fouling paint $$$$$$
Lines increase in diameter and length (cost per foot) $$$$$$

A modest 5 foot increase in length translates out to HUGE increases in maintenance costs.

Buy the damn boat for you (and family if any are accompanying you), not your guests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That makes sense. I would be living aboard this thing pretty much fulltime (I'll be an officer in the Coast Guard). I am not married but I might be at that time (I would like to be anyway). So basically you don't want something much larger than 35' if you will be primarily alone as the size is plenty for one person and the manageability is optimal?
 

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As a new sailor, I'd like to second what Zedboy and others have said...I started to learn to sail in March of this year in a 22ft keelboat you can own for $5K. I took an ASA101 course and have chartered a 33ft Hunter. I helmed the Hunter some and felt comfortable once out in the open but all the docking maneuvers, navigation of Cape Fear and nuanced sail changes (outhaul/cunningham/traveller) would have been overwhelming if I had to do it all on my own, especially if it was my own large (and expensive) vessel.

But I have mostly sailed a Sunfish at my local club and just got checked out in an MC Scow. These progressive dinghy experiences are helping me up the learning curve tremendously as I can focus on 1 or 2 things at a time until they become second nature, without a heavy cost for my mistakes. Not to mention, dinghies are just flat out FUN to sail! This seems like a reasonable approach to me and I hope it pays off by the time I'm ready to buy that 30-40 footer for the coast a few years down the road.

Good luck in your journey!
 

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Sigh...

First of all, let me be brutally honest and tell you that I have ZERO offshore sailing experience (but I will in two weeks). I am not an expert, and my advice is worth exactly what you're paying for it.

Now that the legal disclaimer is out of the way, I'll offer you my opinion:

For a guy like you, on the budget of a government servant, the magic number is somewhere between 27 and 35 feet. You will be able to manhandle the boat, the sails, and afford to keep the boat up to a high level of maintenance.

A bluewater boat needs to be kept to a high level of maintenance in order to be safe on the open ocean. Cutting corners on important items like standing rigging, engine, jacklines, tethers, PFD's, signaling equipment, hull penetrations, etc will KILL you.

Understand that boat length is NOT directly proportional to safety or blue water ability. There are 27 foot sailboats that are structurally different and stronger than some 35 foot sailboats.

YOU are the one setting the conditions here. You keep talking about "blue water" sailing. Coastal cruising, and inshore sailing lowers the bar a little, and that reduces costs and stress.

FWIW, I singlehand my Pearson 30 a lot, and I did live on it for a little under a year. I am a retired submariner, so I'm used to living in small spaces. I kept the boat tidy and she was ready to sail within 30 minutes. The only giveaway that I was living aboard, was the microwave and mini-fridge tucked into the quarterberth. I did entertain guests frequently, and they were comfortable enough for a day or two.

There is a theory among sailors that boat length is inversely proportional to the amount of sailing that you will do. In otherwords, if you buy a battleship, you will rarely sail it because it's too much of a hassle. The boat will die a slow, decaying death at the dock, neglected and alone, because you bit off more than you could chew.

There is a special place in hell for people that do this. Don't be one of those people.
 

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Doesn't sail enough
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I understand that you want a bluewater boat at the very least over 21 feet. I've also learned that you want 15' per person for storage purposes. I know that you basically need a boat between 35 and 45' if you want to comfortably travel long distances with 2 or 3 people aboard while still being manageable for one person. Although I'm learning that most people don't seem to like sailing single handed in a boat over 39' it seems.

There is just such a host of boats out there that I'm hoping to narrow down my search ...
You're getting a lot of information, opinions, rules of thumb, etc etc. That's a little dangerous - you have no filter at this point to differentiate mainstream approaches from crackpot ideas, let alone form your own thoughts.

But more important is what you don't know you don't know. You know you want a "rustic" interior (which to you seems to mean, "lots of nice wood") - great. But there are a bajillion boats from 35 to 45 feet with nice wood below.

On what basis will you decide fin keel vs. long keel, cutter vs. ketch vs. masthead vs. fractional, roller furling vs. hank-on, tiller vs. wheel, autopilot vs. wind vane, solar vs. wind, heavy vs. medium vs. light, aft cockpit vs. center, mono vs. multi, Colin Archer vs. Bob Perry ... (off the top of my head, I'm sure there's a lot I'm leaving out)

When Donna told you to sail more and read more before you ask, she meant that there are a lot of things you haven't even begun to think of, which are critical to finding the right boat. And all of them have been discussed here at length. But you are asking impossibly broad and general questions - the answers you get will be of limited usefulness. Don't worry though, you don't have to know (or learn) everything you're going to need to know right this second.
 

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Assuming you intend to make a career out of the Coast Guard instead of the marines, I would recommend you get a boat with a trailer. That way you can haul it from one duty assignment to the next. After 15+ years of that, when your retire, you will have gained a wealth of sailing knowledge and experience.

As a 2LT, I started with a Catalina 22 which was great for my wife and me. We sailed almost every weekend. When the kids started coming along, we traded in the 22 for a Catalina 25. While in the service, we had sailing adventures in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia. Only overseas assignments interfered with our sailing and Uncle Sam stored my boat indoors while oversees. After I retired I got the blue-water boat, an Allied Princess.
 
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