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Discussion Starter #1
Sailnetters,

I've been reading Sailnet often over the past four years and have post every so often. I'm here now to ask the denizens of Sailnet for advice on a boat purchase for extended cruising. I asked this same question in the "New Generation" thread a bit ago but the topic needs its own thread so here it goes!

Background:
I'm 26 and have enjoyed immensely cruising my Pearson 26 around the Chesapeake for the past three years. I've done a few of week-long cruises and many a long weekend/overnight during that time including a DelMarva circumnavigation.

Myself and two of my friends (all mid/late-20s young professionals) have been saving diligently are looking for the right boat for a 2-3 year cruising trip/haitus from the working world starting in Fall 2015 or 2016. We're aiming for a circumnavigation.

I've been looking at this Tayana 37 but it has 90% of the bungs missing from the teak decks (just side decks) - although at a steal (potentially?) at a 35k asking price if we do the work.

If possible we'd like to spend under 40k. We're looking for the smallest, simplest, and of course, sturdiest, vessel we can find. So what say ye Sailnet? What's a good vessel for this trip?

Thanks in advance and apologies for the length!
 

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Senior Member
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Surprisingly there are a lot of candidates in your area. Here's a YW search to $30K leaving you room for upgrades. 104 hits!!

(Sail) Cruiser Boats For Sale
 

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Senior Member
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For Smack....

Be sure to get a production bluewater coastal cruiser meant for rough seas, nothing else is safe!
Troublemaker!! ;)

As to the list posted above, most will not be considered long distance cruisers but there are a couple of gems in that crowd.. I'm once again surprised at how much boat one can get these days for little money...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Faster. I've certainly been looking through Yachworld, craigslist, sailboat listings ect. I suppose the question is, of those within the budget, which are the most suitable? I've mostly been looking at traditional full keel boats (many of which are also double-enders). It was originally just going to be two people so we were looking at Southern Cross 31s, CD 30s, Bayfield 32s, Westsails (when priced right) and the like.

I'm less familiar with which boats are most suitable in the 37+ ft range which is what I imagine (though could be mistaken) would the minimum size for 3 people.
 

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Old soul
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I'm sure you will invoke a lively discussion about your focus on traditional full-keelers. I'll say two quick things, and make a biased suggestion:

#1. I applaud you on your choice. There are many excellent "traditional" boats (whatever that means) to be had which are very good sailboats and excellent cruisers. These boats are, as a general rule, solid, well designed, and beautiful. If they make your heart beat a little faster, then you have an excellent eye. Get one.

#2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with many modern designed boats. There are many "modern" boats (whatever that means) that are excellent cruisers. Most are superior sailors (although I really should be defining these terms). Until you've had some experience with a number of boats, I recommend NOT locking into one design concept.

#3. Look for a Rafiki-37. I only say this b/c it is the best boat ever built for a short-handed cruiser, and that's my completely biased opinion :D.

Seriously, there are tons of boats to consider. Here's a list of Cruising World's top 40 cruising boats as picked by contributors: People?s Choice of Best Cruising Sailboats | Cruising World (Rafiki didn't even make it :confused:). Another site has pretty pictures to accompany their list: Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org (again, no Rafiki ... how can this be :confused::confused:).

Ask 12 online cruisers about anything and you'll get at least 23 opinions. I'd strongly suggest getting some real experience before making any firm decisions about design.

... and then buy a Rafiki-37 if you can find one ;).
 

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bell ringer
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"I'm aiming for a circumnavigation and want a cheap, small, simple, sturdy boat. I've been reading the forum for years."

Wonder if you are going to get any new answers :rolleyes
 

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Here's another listing of "blue water" boats:

Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

In the end the only thing a question like this can give you is a list of boats. What makes a good cruising boat for me isn't necessarily what you'd want. But that difference of opinion doesn't make the boat itself any less capable.

We've now settled on our Next Boat but only after lots of research, reading blogs of people who sail the same boat, reviewing the specs, matching up our list of Wants, Needs, and Nice to Haves, and getting on one.
 
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grumpy old man
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He's a kid for crying out loud! Why are you directing him towards antiques? Rafiki? Allied Seabreeze? The Seabreeze was new when I was his age. This kid needs a boat that has some modern performamnce characteristics. I'll poke the dog with a stick and suggest he find an old IOR one tonner, probably in the mid $20,000's. One of my old two tonners was turned into a cruising boat and has made at least two trips to Alaska. It for sale now, IRISH ROSE. The owner loves the boat. Give me five minutes to add another layer of sand bags to my bunker before you go at me please.
 

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Old soul
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He's a kid for crying out loud! Why are you directing him towards antiques? Rafiki? Allied Seabreeze? The Seabreeze was new when I was his age. This kid needs a boat that has some modern performamnce characteristics. I'll poke the dog with a stick and suggest he find an old IOR one tonner, probably in the mid $20,000's. One of my old two tonners was turned into a cruising boat and has made at least two trips to Alaska. It for sale now, IRISH ROSE. The owner loves the boat. Give me five minutes to add another layer of sand bags to my bunker before you go at me please.
Bob, I hope you realize my "Rafiki recommendation" was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. No one should be making these kinds of decision without getting some real experience with actual boats. That's how I always respond to these kinds of questions (when I respond at all ... which I usually don't).

Once he's got some real experience, only THEN he can learn that he should buy a Rafiki 37, or as a second choice, a Tayana 37 ;). (JOKE ALERT!).
 

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Broad Reachin'
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He's a kid for crying out loud! Why are you directing him towards antiques? Rafiki? Allied Seabreeze? ...Give me five minutes to add another layer of sand bags to my bunker before you go at me please.
Mostly because of his budget and desire to circumnavigate. Those are boats that check both boxes, but admittedly also check the "antique" and antiquated design boxes too.

But you're right, there are probably better choices for the same money if he wants a little performance mixed in too.
 

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One of the things Mike said above is really important: "built for a short handed cruiser".
Another issue is "the plan". It is really hard for me to imagine that three twenty something year olds planning a two year voyage will be the same three people that end up going and completing it. So, don't get yourself over leveraged with a boat that you cannot afford or handle by yourself. I think I would rather have three people on a 32 footer than one person on a complex 37 footer.
If you want to leave in one or two years, don't buy a fixer upper. You need to spend that interval learning every thing about your new boat, getting the equipment and materials you are going to need and planning, not doing major repairs and replacing old worn out equipment.
Regrading the lists of "proven blue water cruisers" - realize that very few of these boats were chosen by three twenty something year olds and met the comfort and safety requirements of middle aged couples. On item they almost all share is a small cockpit, valued for holding very little water when pooped, which is good from a seamanship perspective, but hardly supports the lively water sports image of three young people. And the canoe or pointed stern will surely interfere with scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, etc.
And last, consider using a professional yacht consultant in searching for the right boat, someone like Mr. Perry, who can be found on this site.
Good luck, I hope this works for you. Lifestyle choices are really different now than 40-50 years ago, which makes me somewhat envious, but go for it, make a good plan, sign it in blood, then get the boat and go.
John
 

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Freedom isn't free
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I never really understood the sentiment behind "beating a dead horse," but now that I've owned horses for about 6 years, I can honestly say, sometimes, I could certainly "see it."

Sorry for the distraction, back to your regularly scheduled rerun.
 

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grumpy old man
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There is a Seattle two tonner WINGS, I think that's the name, that has been "blue water cruising" for the past ten years, at least. I think the only real issue is tankage. But that can be overcome with careful planning. I think that some of the older teak infested boats can be maintenance nightmares while some of the more austere production models can be almost maintenance free. As much as any boat is maintenance free.
 

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Old soul
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And last, consider using a professional yacht consultant in searching for the right boat, someone like Mr. Perry, who can be found on this site.
I'd second that. In fact, that's exactly what the previous owners of our current boat did. Apparently Bob was very informative and giving of his/your time, and helped them zero in on our boat.

Well worth the meagre money you charge for this service.
 

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grumpy old man
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Thanks you very much Mike. Maybe it's time to re-meager.

I do enjoy working with people as they look at the variety of boats available. With it being such a buyer's market it helps to have a full quiver so you be certain of hitting your target boat.
 
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