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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, Im a long time reader of this forum but never really post anything. I in a point in my life where I considere taking 1 or 2 year off to travel and clear my head and look for new opportunity and horizon.

I am new to sailling, I have a Tanzer 7.5 that i bought 2 years ago and i have been sailling the st-laurence river in Québec city for 2 years now. The river is fun to sail but can also be challenging with the 20' tide that we have.

I would like to go cruising for 1 year or 2, got some money aside +/-75k. What would you suggest I do. I look at different option. I shop for a 28 to 35' boat around 20 to 30k. I wonder if I should cross the atlantic from halifax to azores than go to carrabean or cross form Florida to carrabean. I have zero open water experience I read alot on the subject.

English is my secong language so excuse the many grammatical error that i probably did.

Im looking for guidance, idea, tips on where should I start if I want to go cruising.

Thank you!
 

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Good plan. Go south, dude. Warm water, palm trees and nekkid women. If you can't find yourself there... it will be grim... ;)
I would sail relatively close to the shore until you get to Florida. Standard Thorny Path route from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah south is a good idea, I was wondering if buying a boat already there (carrabean) is a good idea?

Is it too expensive outfitting a boat overthere? Would you advice against it?
 

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Buy a boat in Florida, maybe a Catalina 30, spend a few months doing local runs and doing the necessary repairs/upgrades and head south :D
 

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Yeah south is a good idea, I was wondering if buying a boat already there (carrabean) is a good idea?

Is it too expensive outfitting a boat overthere? Would you advice against it?
If you can find something you like that is already there, I would go for it. Depending on where that boat is it may be more or less costly than outfitting it in Canada or US, but usually not by much. Try to find a boat that already has what you need. Much cheaper option most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Buy a boat in Florida, maybe a Catalina 30, spend a few months doing local runs and doing the necessary repairs/upgrades and head south :D
I was under the impression after reading many threads about bluewater boats and the like that hunter/catalina/beneteau were cheap coastal cruiser and should be avoid if considering taking on the sea.

But i like the idea of not spending all my money on a boat that is way to good for what I want to do and where I want to go. I might want to go further after a while so that is why a was looking at albin vega, alberg and the like...

If i go with your suggestion of test sailing a boat in florida then traverse to the carribean. What is the ideal time frame from the purchase of the boat to the crossing ?
 

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I was under the impression after reading many threads about bluewater boats and the like that hunter/catalina/beneteau were cheap coastal cruiser and should be avoid if considering taking on the sea.
Lots of people cruise the Caribbean in Catalinas and Benes. I would not automatically cross them from your list unless you really want to make long ocean passages. And if I was a sailor experienced in deep sea sailing I would not be afraid to take a well equipped Catalina 30 across Atlantic. Many such passages were made by sailors.
 

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LaVarlope,

A nice sounding plan! We know a few people who did multi-year cruising and some doing half year cruising. I called it, "retirement on the installment plan".

You might consider looking for a Nor'Sea 27.We lived aboard ours (Jill and I) from 1996 to 2008 full time. We cruised from 04 to late 08 down the west coast. They are not as low a cost as many, but more capable.

BUT, the beauty of the boat is that it is capable of circumnavigating (many have) yet can be stored on a trailer to be towed (by the owner) cross country when wanting to go to weather at 55 MPH. Also when not cruising, it's VERY low cost to store close to home, even when far from water.

Just an idea!

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How are those 27 pocket cruiser? I own a 25' tanzer and cannot imagine living on it for a long period of time.

I know that they have more headroom and better function. They must be confortable for you to live on it for 12 years. was yours the aft cabin model?

That nor'sea is not to far from where i live I could go look at it. What should I be worried about and look for??
 

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How are those 27 pocket cruiser? I own a 25' tanzer and cannot imagine living on it for a long period of time.

I know that they have more headroom and better function. They must be comfortable for you to live on it for 12 years. was yours the aft cabin model?

That nor'sea is not to far from where i live I could go look at it. What should I be worried about and look for??
Our Nor'Sea is the aft cabin model. It is VERY comfortable for a couple to live aboard! We even had 2 of our boys stay for a time in the aft cabin. It still is our home for half a year at a time. You can see a lot of info about ours on our web site and on our Youtube page (listed in the sig area below).

If you can, take a look at the one close to you. I agree, it looks like a very good price! The major item I would be concerned with is the fuel tank, but the ad said it's new.

If you do decide to get interested in one, there is a Nor'Sea Yahoo group (Yahoo Groups) with a LOT of info and owners (13140 + messages and over 580 members).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for all the boat suggestion this should put me on the right track.

What are the cost of cruising the carribean? Is it easy to anchor in protected bays? Is the food expensive over there? IS a budget of 1500$/month reallistic?

what do boaters usually do in the summer over there? everybody leaves or are there safe place to store the boat in the huricanne season?
 

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How are those 27 pocket cruiser? I own a 25' tanzer and cannot imagine living on it for a long period of time.
Boat displacement tells you a lot more then length. Tanzer 25 has a displacement of 4200 lbs, Nor'Sea has a displacement of 8100 lbs - so you get almost twice as much room in the second boat.
 

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How are those 27 pocket cruiser? I own a 25' tanzer and cannot imagine living on it for a long period of time.

I know that they have more headroom and better function. They must be confortable for you to live on it for 12 years. was yours the aft cabin model?

That nor'sea is not to far from where i live I could go look at it. What should I be worried about and look for??
Here's sailingdog's thread that will help you decide whether a boat is worth looking at further: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/48177-boat-inspection-trip-tips.html

Good luck!
 

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First know that I departed Lk Michigan out the St Lawrence in 2008 and just completed an around the world. I loved the Gaspe, NF and NS!
Your question is really a big one, so many variables. Purchase price of 20-30k limits the field a lot making it difficult but is doable. If you want a strong sea-going vessel look for something like a Baba 35 or Cabo Rico. Problem will however be finding even a 20 year old boat of this quality for under 50k without having to put a lot of work into it.
The "plastic fantastics" like benny's can be fine but do require better sailing skills in heavy seas. The spade/fins do not heave to like the traditional boats but you can get a lot of boat for the money. My personal take however would be stay away from the older Hunters. The discussion of what boat could go on and on but you will be challenged to find a sea worthy boat in that price range if looking for 35 ft or larger.
The route to the med is not that difficult from NF or Halifax but in the normal passage period of May and June you can get slammed my strong gales north of about 39 degrees so some experience would of course help, thus a crew perhaps??
To get your feet wet so to speak consider going through the Bras d'Or Lakes and then down and around Nova Scotia to Maine and then down the US eastern seaboard working your way to your first winter cruising in the far Bahamas. You will love it and that is a good distance for a one year cruise from where you are.
 

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We are intend to leave in 2015 and selling the house and go living on our boat
the boat is a vander stadt 30 steel cutter and we are going down the st Lawrence not the intra costal.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Welcome to the wonderful world of tough decisions. I think at the start of it, you perhaps need to make decisions about what you are planning. There is a huge difference between crossing the Atlantic from Halifax to Azores and then sailing down to the Caribbean vs. simply working your way down the U.S coast, crossing from Florida to the Bahamas and then down to the Caribbean.

If you are taking the first route, you are out of land for longer periods and more exposed to seriously bad weather. If you are going that route, then you want to pick a boat which is really designed for offshore use. And if you are doing this on a tight budget, i.e. the money that is left from $75K after you have set aside enough money to cruise for a couple years, you are probably looking for an older 30 to 32 foot cruiser and not a recycled racer-cruiser or value oriented coastal cruiser. In other words, probably almost none of the boats recommended above.

The high production volume, value oriented, coastal cruisers mentioned above that are within your price range are more than likely going to be tired and worn out. For a very few dollars more, you can typically buy an equal size boat that started out as a better design with better construction techniques. (The hull to deck joint on the Catalina 30 should take it off your list if nothing else about the boat does.)

The high production volume, value oriented, coastal cruisers may be okay for the coastal routes, but it would greatly raise the risks and maintenance cost to try to use them for the offshore routes. The small offshore cruisers are neat boats for that kind of thing, but I would expect them to be well outside your price range or well past their 'use by' date if they were in your price range. The one exception is the Nebe, which may work, but I would be cautious about a thirty year old steel boat that someone is only asking $15K for.

But if you are doing the US Coast to Bahamas to Caribbean route, then you might get by with a high volume, coastal cruisers since the hops are short and you are usually close enough to a safe harbor to pick a decent weather window and to repair facilities should you need them.

I am also skeptical of the advice to buy a boat in Florida. Florida typically has had slightly less expensive prices than other areas of the continent, but the Florida climate is very hard on a boat. So when I have looked at some of these so-called bargain boats in Florida, they have rarely been worth their asking price.

The reality is that boats from Canada, Great Lakes, and New England have generally been sailed less due to the shorter sailing season, have not had the harsh UV exposure, and have longer maintenance sesons. As a result they are generally in better condition, and their prices are not all that different than the prices in Florida, especially when you are comparing boats of equal condition.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 
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