Buying a boat is really difficult: What features are vital? Which features are dispensable? In this chapter, John comes up with a way for you to figure out what you need in a boat…and what you don’t.
How To Buy a Cruising Boat
John and Matt look at the critical issues that you need to understand before you buy an offshore voyaging boat. Starting with some time-tested rules to help you determine what really matters and going on to cover subjects from hull materials to tips for the best offshore interior layout, it’s all here, including some real world costly experiences that this Online Book will help you avoid.
Table of Contents:
A fundamental fact is that, even if you are rich, you can’t have it all in an offshore voyaging boat and that goes double for the rest of us with more modest means. So the most important step in selecting a boat that will be successful for you is to identify the things that you really need. In this chapter I give you an easy to use and apply test to do just that.
It seems like a logical way to own a good offshore sailboat. Buy an older and a bit rundown but fundamentally decent boat and refit it. But does it really work? To explore that important question, I have a true story to tell you.
Andy writes about what it takes to refit a 45 year old 35’ Allied Seabreeze Yawl to the point where it is safe and fun to sail her across the Atlantic. This is the first of three refits Andy will analyze.
Andy continues this series by writing about his second refit, that of his father’s 1986 Wauquiez Hood 38, a good boat that the refit made ocean-ready.
Andy continues the series with the third refit he has done on an old boat—a 1972 Sparkman & Stephens Swan 48—an ongoing project.
Now we get to the payoff. In this fourth and final post Andy summarizes what he has learned from the three refits he’s done, and provides some solid hard-earned tips for anyone considering refitting an old boat.
What about buying a brand new boat? That should be great if you have the money, right? Yes, but with caveats. And if you think that buying a brand new boat will enable you to just jump aboard and go voyaging, this sobering story will show another far more likely scenario and highlight the traps to avoid in buying a new boat.
How much do you have to spend to get a safe and functional boat to cross oceans with? Here we answer exactly that question for a reader.
Sadly most boats, both power and sail, have interior arrangements that are designed to look good at a boat show, not work well offshore or when living aboard for extended periods while voyaging. Here we give you and explain, based on some 20 years of living aboard and voyaging, a guideline for eight things to look for as you shop for a boat.
This chapter is a slightly humorous but oh so important demonstration, in the form of a mock pub (bar) argument, as two experienced cruisers argue and compromise about what to fit into a 40-foot offshore sailboat and what to leave out. As you search for a boat you will be having the same arguments with yourself and your spouse. This chapter will give you a good framework to settle on what really matters in the boat you buy.
Continuing the theme of making the right decisions when selecting a voyaging boat, this chapter tackles the thorny question of engine space, cockpit space, and a covered area to operate the boat from. Can you have it all? Read on to find out.
It’s an all too common story: a boat that has been structurally fine for years while sailing inshore starts to come apart as soon as she is sailed offshore. This chapter explains why and will give you a good basis in the underlying engineering theory that will help you choose a boat that won’t let you down offshore.
In this chapter, John applies the theory of cycle loading that Matt explained in the last chapter to come up with solid rules you can apply to boat and gear buying.
Electric and diesel electric (hybrid) drives have become all the rage in recent years. But are they really a more efficient option for offshore cruising sailboats? In this chapter we take a solid and arithmetically rigorous approach, based on advice from two professional engineers with substantial experience of electric drive use on land, to cut through the hype and answer that question.
In this chapter I have a good old rant about one of the most common and unpleasant faults of many modern designs that claim to be offshore capable. Reading this chapter could save you from buying a boat you will come to hate.
Is there an age when you should buy a motor boat or motor sailor, rather than a sailboat, for offshore voyaging? I take a look at that by answering a question from a reader.
Carrying on from the last chapter, I take a look at motor sailors, again by answering a question from a reader. Do motor sailors make sense for offshore cruising? Read on to find out.
Matt takes a look at the materials available that offshore voyaging boat hulls are generally built of and explains the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Matt carries on from the last chapter and examines how the various materials voyaging boat hulls are built out of will survive a collision with a hard object.
The sad fact is that many, perhaps most, production sailboats are not built to take the loads imposed by even a moderate collision or grounding.
In this chapter of our ongoing Online Book “How To Buy an Offshore Voyaging Boat”, Matt Marsh, AAC Technical Correspondent, explains the engineering and shares what to look for before buying a voyaging boat.
I have written at some length on watertight bulkheads because I think the subject represents an interesting exercise in risk evaluation, a process all of us who wish to sail offshore must become adept at, because if we treat all risks as equal, and try to guard against each of them equally, we will quite simply never leave the wharf.
Buying a poorly designed boat is one of the most costly and heart breaking mistakes anyone can make. But maybe if we understand how bad designs come to be, we can avoid that.
So far we have written a lot about how to buy an offshore boat, but what about the elephant in the room: how can you possibly afford to buy said boat? Matt tackles that thorny subject from the real life point of view of someone working toward just that goal.
A look at the claims that are made about second hand boats…and the probable reality.
No question that cruising sailboats have been getting bigger in recent years. And that begs the question, what’s the safe top end for a couple to handle? John has a simple answer.
Considering buying a steel boat? If so, you owe it to yourself to read Colin’s chapters that examines a beautifully built steel boat and shares what it really takes to do steel right.