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What sailboat would be the perfect offshore bluewater cruiser for me?

  • Alberg 30

    Votes: 9 13.6%
  • Albin Vega 27

    Votes: 7 10.6%
  • Bristol 27

    Votes: 4 6.1%
  • Bristol Channel Cutter 28

    Votes: 14 21.2%
  • Cal 20

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Cape Dory 25D

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Catalina 27

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Contessa 26

    Votes: 5 7.6%
  • Pearson Triton 28

    Votes: 2 3.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 19 28.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in the process of trying to find the perfect bluewater offshore sailboat for me. A boat that will take me across oceans if I want to. I've been looking on Yachtworld alot of late.

Here are my needs…..the boat has to be pretty cheap (not more than $10,000), very seaworthy (I don’t want to end up sinking in the middle of the ocean), lots of storage down below, able to use as a liveaboard, able to be sailed singlehanded, good headroom (I’m 6 foot 1).

I just read this book which had some good recommendations....

Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere: John Vigor: 9780939837328: Amazon.com: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ECj%[email protected]@[email protected]@51ECj%2BqZSfL
 

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I wouldnt cross an ocean in any one of them (or two rafted up)

Not only wouldn't I but very few others would. I just dont see any in the cruising climes...

Smallest boat I have seen here this year is 33 feet. and thats the only one under 35.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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how many of the boats on your list have YOU sailed????
you have different criteria for comfort and pleasure than others, as does everyone.
YOU need to sail the ones in which you figger you have interest then decide. also, learn some boat building and other irrelevant stuff so you know what you are looking at and how it works.
 

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These all seem really tiny for bluewater boats. You should pick up a copy of 'The Voyagers Handbook'. It has some really good info about the types of boats that do crossings and the hardware involved. I'm familiar with about half of the boats on your list and they would need a lot of upgrades for offshore cruising. Great for coasts though, and I imagine you could find a couple of them for under 10k. Crossing oceans is a whole different ball game.

There's also a thread on here with a long list of bluewater boat suggestions but I can't find it now! Maybe someone remembers what it's called?
 

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These all seem really tiny for bluewater boats. You should pick up a copy of 'The Voyagers Handbook'. It has some really good info about the types of boats that do crossings and the hardware involved. I'm familiar with about half of the boats on your list and they would need a lot of upgrades for offshore cruising. Great for coasts though, and I imagine you could find a couple of them for under 10k. Crossing oceans is a whole different ball game.

There's also a thread on here with a long list of bluewater boat suggestions but I can't find it now! Maybe someone remembers what it's called?
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-...fshore-cruising-boat-list-january-2008-a.html
 

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A properly modified Bristol 24 is comparable to the Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. (The ones with lead ballast) I like the B24 better than the CD 25D. Mine has a diesel, lead ballast, and 6' headroom. It's a tough little boat, and is stable and comfortable for it's size. They can be had for well under $10,000, even the ones that have been modified for offshore. I have mine on a trailer, and have trailered it as much as 1100 miles from home. I've done offshore over 100 miles at a time and averaged 5 knots under sail. 100 mile days are very doable. A little work and a less than $10,000 blue water boat is possible.
 

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To be upfront first thing;
I have never crossed an ocean in any boat.

With that said others have, in boats you are considering

Nick Jaffe | Bigoceans | Adventure, sailing & sustainable business

Home - Bika

Voyaging Under Sail, Cruising Lealea Home

The list can go on and on.

Not really anwsering your question I guess, just demonstrating that it can and is being done.

John


edit: I vote for the contessa 26 simply becuase I own one and she has a proven track record in regards to what you are considering.
 
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Swab
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I suggest you subscribe to Cruising World, Sail, etc. and read everything by the Dashews. You will quickly learn that one simply cannot go cruising in anything less than a brand new $500K 40 footer or larger, as any fool already knows.

I wish someone had told me all this long ago and saved me the trouble of living aboard and cruising for the last 23 years in an Albin Vega 27. Had I only known, I would never have sailed (Three times) between Hawaii and the US Mainland and Alaska in it, cruised the San Juans, the US Pacific Coast and SE Alaska. Instead, I would still have a photo clipped from one of the above magazines taped to my refrigerator trying to save enough money to buy the afore mentioned 40 foot ketch. /s

Tania Aebi sailed around the world in a Contessa 26. Tony Skidmore, Nick and Jenny Coghlan and several others have circumnavigated in a Vega. Matt Rutherford sailed around the Americas, nonstop, through the Northwest passage and around Cape Horn in a Vega. Jarle Andhoy sailed from Norway to Tierra Del Fuego solo then, with crew, cruised Antarctica in a Vega.

$10K is a little light, even for a Vega, but it can be done if you ignore the marketing pressures of the advertising driven magazines and the advice of armchair sailors who "Wouldn't go cruising in anything less than (Fill in the blank)"
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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I agree with what was said about the BCC. Size wise, it's not too different from my boat, a Nor'sea 27, but both would be priced well over $10k. What came to my mind is the Albin Vega. Like john posted, check out the site for SV Lealea. The owners, Chuck and Laura, also have videos on Youtube showing some travels between Hawaii and the West coast. From what I have read, the Vega is a popular boat that will serve you well with good care.

I'm not sure how much headroom is available on the boats you are considering but don't be surprised if it's not quite enough. Don't discount a boat because of it either. I'm 6'5" and I don't have standing headroom down below.

Funny, I mention Lealea crew and here one makes a post ;)
 

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BCC does not really belong on this list. Not likely to find one for under $50k. If price was not a criteria, it for sure would be the boat I would choose.
Similarly, Cape Dory 25D is a cult boat (and accordingly overpriced). You can certainly get a comparably equipped CD28 for the same price which would be a better platform.
 

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These all seem really tiny for bluewater boats. You should pick up a copy of 'The Voyagers Handbook'. .
Agree Voyager's Handbook is a great book. Would point out that Beth describes 3 cruisers in that book and the smaller one "S/V Simplicity" is a "30' sloop" along the lines of the boats on your list.
 

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I wouldnt cross an ocean in any one of them (or two rafted up)

Not only wouldn't I but very few others would. I just dont see any in the cruising climes...

Smallest boat I have seen here this year is 33 feet. and thats the only one under 35.
Mark -
Most of us know you're opinion on creature comforts and more modern designs. That's cool (if I could afford the boat of my dreams -- or was committed to a multi year cruise -- I might go a little more modern in design too). What doesn't come through in your comment is that you aren't (I don't think) disputing the seaworthiness of the boats the OP lists. I think most of them are (and have been proven) capable of ocean crossings. Might be nice to clarify that for a newbie who is just trying to figure it out and doesn't have the 100K budget for a 3 yr circumnav like you did . . .. Anyway, don't wanna put words in your mouth but that was what popped out when I read your comment.
-Matt
 

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Check out atomvoyages.com if you haven't already. He makes a strong case for the Pearson Triton. I think you could argue in favor of many of the boats on your list. Also, I wanted to commend you on keeping it small. Nothing against bigger vessels, but I think there is often too much emphasis on the size of the boat when people start talking bluewater. Best of luck in your search.
 

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I voted for the Cal 20, hoping that you will buy it for your blue water travels, then report back to us on your epic voyage with photos and video!
 

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I voted for the Cal 20, hoping that you will buy it for your blue water travels, then report back to us on your epic voyage with photos and video!
How on earth a Cal 20 makes the list of boats whose requirements are "good headroom" and "plenty of storage space below" is completely lost on me :)

I'm afraid I'd have to vote for 'None of the Above'...

IMHO, barring the sort of exceptional 'find' like that couple cited from LATITUDE 38, the likelihood of shoving off with a "bluewater, liveaboard cruiser" for under $10K are slim, to none... Not if you want reliable diesel auxiliary power, at any rate...

I know, there are people who have done it... But the list of RECOMMENDED boats in which to do so seems pitifully small, to nonexistent, at least to me...

Mark is right, the pecentage of people cruising the world today in such boats is miniscule, indeed... Pretty much whenever I get 'out there' with my 30-footer, I am invariably the smallest boat in the fleet, and usually by a considerable margin...
 

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All of the boats mentioned are basically sound and seaworthy boats, or at least they were at one time. Current condition may vary. How the %%%% a Cal 20 got in there I don't know though. While they have crossed oceans, they are quite cramped and it is kind of a stunt more than a cruise to take them offshore. We used to have one and I wouldn't want to be cooped up in that cabin for long. I voted for the Alberg 30 because it is the biggest on the list.
See the economics of world cruising thread - A couple got a Columbia 34 (or Cal 34??) for $2K with a dead engine, put a runninng Atomic 4 in it, got used sails for $100 each, and took off for the South Pacific with $400 to their names! So..........it can be done for cheap, depending on your tolerance for work, discomfort, and risk.

At least one Cal 25 has been around the world several times and they are fairly cheap. YMMV on what you think of outboards. Cheap to replace when they go bad for sure, but charging is minimal and going into a choppy sea with one is torture.
 
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