So now that we have decided to focus on boats that have been well taken care of and not butchered by inept amateurs, we still need to be realistic about potential flaws in materials and construction and what it would really take in time and money to fix each. We can have no better guide than Colin as we figure that out.
To that end, Colin turns his attention to seven basic construction areas where problems can turn a refit into a horror show we definitely don’t want to star in.
Can we go offshore cruising in a fully refitted, safe and comfortable boat for US$100,000, all in? Colin and John think so, but making it work won’t be easy and will need careful planning and lots of sweat. Colin kicks off the series with some things for us to think about before we even start looking for a boat.
It’s no secret that John puts interior arrangement behind most other selection criteria when evaluating boats, but it’s also true that he and Phyllis lived aboard for some 20 years, so he applies that experience to comparing the two boats, and in the process shares a bunch of tips that will help in any boat selection. He then winds up with a comparison of price, size, and value for money between the two boats.
Inside steering stations are wonderful, but the details matter, to the point that getting them wrong can result in disaster. John compares the two very different approaches of the Garcia and the Boréal and shares tips that will be useful even if you are not considering buying either of these boats, or even if you are contemplating a motorboat.
Looking at hull form and build quality is less fun than delving into cockpits and interior spaces. But the former are a lot more important, since these are boats, not condos, and a good hull form and build are vital when we actually go voyaging.
Sailboats are about…well sailing, so a good deck and cockpit layout is vital, and often neglected. How do these two boats stack up? John takes a look, and also shares what to look for on any offshore boat.
For over 10 years the Boréal 44/47 has been in a class of her own when we think about buying a new aluminum centreboard expedition boat, or any offshore cruising boat, for that matter. But now there is a new challenger in the neighbourhood: the Garcia Exploration 45. In this, the first of four articles, John compares the rigs of these two boats. And even if you are not interested in either boat, you will get some good ideas of what to look for in a boat to go to out-of-the-way hazardous places, particularly the high latitudes—or even just offshore.
Andy Schell sails offshore more than most, and is my goto guy for the positive view on all things. We had a great chat about buying second hand fibreglass boats.
John just returned from the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Here’s a report on the boats that caught his eye, along with some thoughts on getting “out there” in an affordable way.
Hang around with cruisers, and sooner or later someone will say, “Never buy a boat with…”. Should we listen? John shares how to decide, and examines the choice between encapsulated and bolt on keels.
There is endless debate about the effectiveness of moisture meters. Here are the facts from Steve D’ Antonio, who has used one for decades, together with some thoughts from John.
Whenever the subject of buying a boat comes up, the horror stories about surveys that failed to find serious, or even catastrophic, structural problems are sure to follow. John interviews industry expert Steve D’Antonio to learn how to avoid having our very own survey horror story.
When researching buying a cruising boat, we are deluged with information on all the gear she must have and how perfect she must be before we can go cruising. But is that really true? How about buying an old and tired boat and just getting out there? John tells his story of going cruising in a half-assed boat…and having one of the best times in his life. Will this work for you? He shares tips on how to decide.
So is it possible to get a real offshore cruising boat for around US$100,000, ready to go? John suggests a possibility for those willing to go smaller and older.
So what boat size is optimal for offshore voyaging? There is no one number. Rather, we must understand our own expectations before we can zero in on that. John tells the story of a smart guy that saved him from getting this wrong.