sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Choosing the ideal cruising boat
Choosing the ideal cruising boat


'Windflower - our choice'    John Martin    Click Here to view large photo

So you want to acquire a cruising boat ideal for the kind of cruising you want to do. Where do you start? Every manufacturer says theirs is the best, every ancient mariner has their own favourite. Here John Martin of the Island Cruising Association, having led myriads of rallies, having counselled hundreds of sailors how to make their own boat-buying decisions, gives us all some wise advice:

There are many reasons why people decide to pick up the hook and head off into the blue. It may be a retirement dream or simply ticking off an item on the bucket list. For Lyn and I and our two kids Adam and Jenna it was the realization of an unfulfilled dream.

My Dad had graduated from his first cruising boat and built a boat, his dream boat, with the express purpose of cruising the '100 Magic Miles', the Whitsundays. The boat was finished but it was never quite ready, maybe next year.

One year next year didn’t come. Lyn and I had always had a hankering to explore distant horizons and create a different lifestyle to bring up our kids. This was the catalyst, there was no way we were going to let our dream slip away.

We made the decision to go cruising in November. By April, the following year, Lyn asked me why we hadn’t bought our dream boat yet. I was starting to get disheartened, we had looked at so many boats and, yes, some of them had promise but everything that looked good was also way out of our price range.

We finally found Windflower in September that year and you could say she was ideal, she ticked many of the boxes and we could afford her.

I have often been asked since then, what is the perfect Cruising Boat? And is there such a thing? The answer is, every boat is a compromise and depends on what you, as the individual, want out of your cruising lifestyle.

You will never buy a boat that will suit your requirements for all time, so we need to look at what your needs are today as your cruising needs will evolve over time. To start, the following questions have to be answered.

Budget:
First and foremost, what is your budget? Yep, that’s the biggie and it’s the one factor that will have the biggest effect on your choice. Some lucky people may have a pot full so the choices are wide open. Unfortunately not many of the cruisers out there are on unlimited budgets so we need to establish some priorities. Remember too, if you are wanting to cast the lines off for an extended period you will need to have something left to live on. Add to that the inevitable fact that whatever you buy will need money spent on preparation and remember the acronym for BOAT is Bring On Another Thousand.

Where are you intending to cruise? If you want to cruise the higher latitudes south of Australia and New Zealand then your choice of boat is going to need to be different than if you are simply going to cruise sunshine coast or the tropics. There’s a world of difference between a passage in tropical waters and a southern ocean blast. Are you looking at coastal cruising or to head offshore? Each one has its own requirements but a good coastal boat may not be suitable for extended offshore work.

Construction Material:

Three very different cruisers -  John Martin   Click Here to view large photo


Construction material is next on the agenda; you may have a preference here but keep an open mind. Every method of construction has its good points and its disadvantages.

Many people like steel from its safety aspect, 'If I hit something I won’t sink'. Yeah right. Tell that to the folks on the Titanic; anyway it’s my preference to avoid hitting stuff. While Steel is strong, rust is a lifelong companion.

Fiberglass or GRP, depending on age and construction may be subject to Osmosis or 'the pox' as it’s known, but a glass and gell coat boat is by far the easiest to maintain.

Wood, they’ve been around forever and boy a good one looks great but they are hard to keep looking great and of course rot never sleeps.

As to ferro, tremendous construction medium but maybe I’m biased. They’re not good if you stick them on the rocks but bang for buck they’re good value and being heavy means they’re comfortable in a seaway.

Construction techniques for Aluminum have improved over the years, light and strong but again the flip side is corrosion. If Carbon Fiber’s in your budget, hmmm, now we’re into a whole new world.

Cruising style:
How many people are you going to cruise with? Do you want to do the longer passages, coatal or offshore as a couple, or are you going to take crew along. Crew is an interesting subject on its own but if you are intending to take crew you need to comfortably accommodate them. You’re not buying a racing boat so the idea of your crew 'Hot bunking' is not an option. On the other hand, if the crew is only with you for the longer passages, are you going to be able to handle the boat by yourselves after they’ve gone?

Will you be having guests to stay on a regular basis? There is an old adage when cruising, the ideal boat should, entertain eight, feed six, sleep four, two comfortably. Guests are a little like fish they start to go off after a week. As to the master cabin this is now your home and the bunk needs to be comfortable, easily accessible, for both of you and have good ventilation. Your cruise is most definitely going to get cut short if you are always tired and grumpy from lack of sleep.

There needs to be at least one bunk that is a good sea berth for the skipper that’s close to the action and comfortable on both tacks. Even if you are only intending coastal cruising there will be occasions where an overnight passage will be necessary. If you are having the kids along for the ride are they going to get along Okay in the one cabin or are they going to need a cabin each. Hmm, the boat just got bigger again!!

Size of boat:
That brings us to the next question, size. We have watched the average size of cruising boats increase over the last fifteen years. When we first set sail around the South Pacific, at 13.5m we were one of the bigger boats in the fleet, five years ago we were considered smaller than the average as systems aboard became better at allowing small crews to easily handle bigger boats. You still need to consider though the weight of the gear, while it’s on the roller furler good winches can bring in a sail of any size, but think about trying to lug your sails up from the sail locker or man handle them if they need repair.

A number one genoa on a forty footer I can lift with one hand, on a fifty footer it will take two beefy lads to shift the number one.

The other consequence of size is dollar value. The price goes up by the square of the size and so do the maintenance and berthage costs. With the world economy in a recent slump the size trend has now started to reverse and about 12.5m is now the average.

Performance:
Next question is what kind of performance you are looking for in your cruising boat? There have been three separate shifts in cruising boat styles over the last decade. First is a move towards lighter displacement, fast cruisers. These are ideal for the lower latitudes (ie the tropics), they go to windward better than some of the older heavy displacement boats, often have great cockpits for entertaining but are not as comfortable in a seaway.

Second is an increase in the number of powerboats. Particularly if you are looking at the Pacific circuit or extended coastal, these displacement trawler style boats have a lot going for them. Let’s face it, once the longer passages are over, most cruisers will admit they spend a lot more time than they would like using the motor. Whether it’s just to charge the batteries, bring down the freezer or navigate through channels and around reefs a good motor needs to be high on the priority list.

Number of hulls:

Cat and Mono - which to have? -  John Martin   Click Here to view large photo


The other and most significant shift is towards cats. The catamaran has gone from almost non-existent as a cruising platform fifteen ago, to making up over a third of the fleet in last year’s ICA Pacific Circuit Rally. If you are looking at a cat, be careful, your social calendar will never be empty and you risk becoming the party boat, cats make great entertainment platforms as well as being quick and in the main, easy to handle.

So, now you’ve answered the above questions and have a handle on the type and size of boat you’re looking for, what else is important?

The Galley:
A good galley is a must, you’re not just dishing up the lunch you packed at home for the day out, and you need to think Christmas dinner. Just as important is it a safe galley in a seaway. Most modern cruisers have refrigeration, is it easy to access and can you see the bottom without the use of a strong torch, your arms are only so long. You will need both fridge and freezer for extended cruising, particularly if the weather is hot.

Many of the imported production cruisers come standard with fridge only, have a look to see where you would put a freezer. Is there enough storage space, not only for pot, pans, utensils and crockery but enough for a major provision to last two, three or four people up to three months?

Ventilation:
Ventilation is another important factor, not just the galley but the whole boat needs good ventilation. Hatches are fine at anchor, if they are covered, but dorades are necessary for ensuring the boat is ventilated on passage. Good storage for boat gear is also essential.

On deck:
Moving outside, a good cockpit has enough room to entertain but still works for sailing, has good shelter and high enough coamings to keep the sea out and you in. If you are looking at a sloop, where is the traveler? A traveler in the cockpit is fine for racing but a real pain, literally, for cruising.

A good lazarette or other storage and a large anchor locker is a must. Your best insurance is how well you stay put in a blow, so good ground tackle, a winch that will pull up the Titanic and somewhere to stow the spare rode and all those fenders is essential.

Maintenance:
There are as many styles as there are methods of construction all of them have their good points and bad, but of all the things we need to consider in the longer term is how easy she is going to be to maintain. It is often better to spend a little more on a boat at purchase, to save cost over time. I would also sacrifice size for age, the newer the boat the longer it will be before you need to replace worn out gear and systems.

Sea trials before purchase:
Next on the agenda is the sea trial. Your boat also needs to perform, this is not only important from a safety aspect, boat balance ease of handling etc., but also the frustration factor. After all the time and drama to get to this stage you have probably donned a pair of rose tinted glasses so it’s a good idea to get someone with experience to go through the boat with you, put the boat through its paces out on the water, give you an honest unbiased review of the boats character and always, always, get a survey done prior to purchase.

Extra funds required:
Last but certainly not least, how much is it going to cost to bring the boat up to an acceptable standard for extended coastal cruising or offshore? This can make a big dent in the kitty. As a guide for planning use the Australian Racing Rules and Safety Regs, Cat 3 and 2 for coastal and extended coastal and Cat 1 for offshore. Although designed for racing boats they will give you a guide as to the minimum standards you should be looking to achieve. Other good resources are:
The Fremantle Club Cruising Safety Recommendations
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Cruising Regulations
and the EXTENDED COASTAL AND OFFSHORE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS on the Island Cruising Association website.

If this isn’t you, it could be... whatever else you decide, decide to ’get out there’! -  John Martin   Click Here to view large photo


As with all things yachting, compromises will have to be made. In general, buy the best boat you can for the budget you have but don’t stretch your finances too far and most important, get out there and do it!

John and Lyn Martin run the Island Cruising Asociation. Their tag line is 'we make cruising more fun'. The Island Cruising Association provides resources, training and events to help you get yourself, your crew and the boat out there safely and having fun.

Over summer the ICA are running a series of Cruising Preparation seminars, from Perth to Cairns. For more details on the seminar syllabus and a schedule of events click the link http://www.islandcruising.co.nz/?page_id=1563
www.islandcruising.org


by John Martin, Island Cruising Association

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117977

5:15 AM Sun 29 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Sediments associated with dredging and flood plumes could have a significant impact on fish populations by extending the time required for the development of their larvae, according to Australian researchers. 'Sediment concentrations at levels found in plumes from dredging or in floods cause a significant delay in the development of clownfish larvae,' says study lead author, Dr Amelia Wenger. ... [more]  

Safer Boating Week ended Friday, but with the start of Labour weekend here, there’s no better time to check your boat is safe and prepared to get out on the water over summer. Coinciding with Labour Weekend, new Auckland Council Navigation bylaws also come into effect from Saturday. ... [more]  

World ARC fleet explores Mauritius by World Cruising Club
After the arrival of the last boats to Mauritius, the World ARC fleet have been enjoying their time exploring what the island has to offer. The 21 yachts making up the fleet have created a spectacle in the Caudan Basin in Port Louis. The fleet dressed overall with colourful flags has proved to be one of the main attraction for the Caudan Waterfront. ... [more]  

The organisers of METS have revealed that 45 products have been nominated to go forward for final judging by the jury of the prestigious Design Award METS (DAME) 2014 competition. The products have been selected from a total of 116 entries from 23 nationalities all over the world. ... [more]  

Two German sailors who went missing in April, after being abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants and held in a jungle encampment, have been freed. A Philippine official says the pair were released just hours after it had threatened to behead one if no ransom payment was made. ... [more]  

The famous Henri Lloyd Summer Sample Sale is on again kicking off Friday 24th October 2014 at the Henri Lloyd showroom in Crows Nest, Sydney! Huge range of samples and discontinued lines from Henri Lloyd's marine, footwear and lifestyle collections for men and women. Discounts of up to 80% off original RRP! ... [more]  

Boating in cold weather can be exhilarating, but it also puts you at risk of falling into dangerously cold waters. Even boating in warm weather can be dangerous if the water is much colder than the air. ... [more]  

PredictWind have made significant improvements to the swell forecasting models and added new locations. Integrating the new 50km global wind forecast with ocean current data has created the most advanced swell modelling available online. By combining PredictWind forecast data with ocean current data, the effect of the wind on swells can be accounted for ... [more]  

Imagine finishing the Coastal Classic and relaxing in your own waterfront home at Opua with your boat tugging gently on a deep-water mooring off the lawn. Built to an architect design in 2000, this north-facing waterfront Opua property is a short walk to the marina and boatyard. It is going to auction on November 22. View this Labour Weekend after the Coastal Classic. ... [more]  

Just the thought of falling overboard scares most sailors into a 'stay-aboard-at-all-costs' mindset. And yet this most serious of sailing emergencies does happen now and then. Recovery will be tough no matter what the marine weather conditions. ... [more]  

The Cauden Basin in Port Louis has come alive with rally atmosphere over the last week. Transformed to a vibrant marina with yachts dressed overall, boat parties and welcoming new arrivals has made for a great spectacle and an exciting place to be. ... [more]  

Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - to rid the planet's oceans of floating plastic. He has dedicated his teenage years to finding a way of collecting it. But can the system really work - and is there any point when so much new plastic waste is still flowing into the sea every day? ... [more]  

Tell me what self-respecting Galley Guy could possibly (while on the beautiful island of Barbados) turn down an opportunity to tour the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery? For sure, not this Galley Guy! Sadly, the other Galley Guys did not get the call. ... [more]  

Discover Boating Week starts tomorrow by Boating Industry Association
Discover Boating Week is a celebration of the recreational boating lifestyle and the joys and fun that come with spending quality time on the water. Whether you're a fisherman, paddler or sailor, there is something for everyone. Over 40 events will be taking place across the state from October 18 - 25 and the best part is, they all absolutely free! ... [more]  

Boaters are reminded to keep clear of a section of Sydney Harbour on Sunday 26 October for the safe staging of The Australian Boat Race. ... [more]  

We are northwest of the southern peninsula of Haiti lying within radar range south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and drifting in the current in the direction of Port-au-Prince at less than a knot. ... [more]  

Ian Broad and Ian Lindsay and their beloved Hood Sails in Sydney have become a sail making institution on the Australian scene. Established in 1971, Hood Sail makers (Aust.) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated by the two Ian’s and it was the first Hood sail loft outside of the USA. This week we interviewed Broadie. ... [more]  

A flotilla of vessels will welcome home a Tauranga man as he sails the final stretch of a massive journey to become the first paraplegic to sail solo across the Pacific Ocean. Jonathan Martins faced his fair share of challenges during the past three years but will soon complete the record-making journey - nearly a year in the making. ... [more]  

As the Coastal Classic and general summer sailing draws closer this short video shows just how quickly someone can fall overboard. The incident happened within minutes of starting the Richmond Yacht Clubs Spring Regatta race around Rangitoto and Waiheke islands with reduced sails in 20 – 30kts of wind. ... [more]  

Boats recovery after Sydney storm by Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell said Roads and Maritime Services boating safety officers (BSO) had been busy since sunrise in Port Hacking helping with the recovery of more than 10 boats which broke their moorings overnight during stormy conditions. ... [more]  

Most boaters start the new boating season safely by Roads and Maritime Services
The results are in from the first boating campaign of the new season with a reminder for boaters to keep an eye on their speed and ensure they are aware of NSW lifejacket laws. ... [more]  

The 60ft Makayabella was stormed by elite members of the Irish Navy some 200 nautical miles off Mizen Head - Ireland's most southerly point - in the early hours of Tuesday, September 23rd. Five men, including the three onboard the yacht and another two in England, have been arrested and police are hunting for a sixth man in connection with the seizure. ... [more]  

A pearl among Gulf Islands parks, this sandy haven is ideal for hiking, beachcombing, birding, fishing…or just hanging. Sidney Spit is a park of superlatives. With the best sandy shores, the best sunsets, the best crabbing and some of the best hiking in the Gulf Islands, it’s no wonder it’s a hit with just about all who visit – for a few hours, a day or a week. ... [more]  

Vast, magnificent and remote, Prince William Sound offers the ultimate adventure for cruisers on North America’s West Coast. Few cruising boats visit beautiful and remote Prince William Sound. Some 2,800 square miles in area and situated at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Alaska, this inland sea has a coastline equal to that of Oregon and California combined. ... [more]  

Cast off on a cruise on someone else's boat and you'll want to remember to pack those basic essentials that form the foundation of your personal 'sailing ditty bag'. Each sailor will have their own ideas of the best gear to bring aboard. But here are some pieces of gear I've found to come in handy time and again, day after day. ... [more]  

This was our eleventh Malacca Straits passage, and it turned out to be just like some of the others - a pain in the neck. Keeping in mind that the boat hadn't been actively used for fifteen months, we started cautiously with a 40 mile passage from Singapore to Pulau Pisang. ... [more]  

To celebrate the start of the recreational boating season, Discover Boating Week will run from October 18 to 26. The public are invited to learn more about recreational boating through dozens of activities that have been organised by industry members and associated boating groups. ... [more]  

The Southern Spars team celebrates the company’s 25th year in operation with a continuous wave of innovation and ongoing expansion of its global operation. The company now employs 550 people worldwide with manufacturing or service facilities in New Zealand , South Africa, USA, Denmark, Sri Lanka and Spain. ... [more]  

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) revealed in a peer-reviewed journal, PLoS One on October 9th that inshore reefs are particularly vulnerable to Ocean Acidification (OA)* on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 'We found that inshore reefs were particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA) during the wet season. ... [more]  

Estimating the diversity of life by Australian Institute of Marine Science
How many species are on Earth? Answering this simple question is not easy, but essential if we are to understand impacts of global change and manage environmental resources successfully. Without baseline knowledge of how many we have or what we have in different places, how do we know what we have lost, or might lose and how do we manage these natural resources to minimise extinctions? ... [more]  

A British couple was rescued off Spain's Almeria coast after their 21.6m yacht caught fire. The Coastguard and the 112 Emergency Coordination Service received several reports of a flare going up 12 nautical miles east of Carboneras at 11:30pm on Saturday. ... [more]  

We sail with just two crew most times, so it was amazing to visit a vessel with a ship's crew of 3000, plus another 3000 'passengers' being the various air wing teams deployed aboard. That's 6000 people on a ship that is 1000' long, and displaces 192,900 tons. ... [more]  

Nature’s Own founder Vaughan Bullivant had previously hoped to get around $65 million for the Daydream Island resort he paid $25 million for in 2000. But with his health deteriorating and the island failing to sell in two years, agents have convinced Mr Bullivant to lower his expectations — and the price — to about $30 million. ... [more]  

Update: Stunning finds from ancient Greek Shipwreck
First World ARC arrivals touchdown in Port Louis, Mauritius
Exploring sailors attitudes towards risk and safety
Search for victims in challenging marine rescue test
Whale expert to join HMB Endeavour on Eden Voyage
'Largest ever' U.S. Sailboat show cruises into Annapolis
Will your lifelines pass this sailing test?
Counter-Piracy Task Force Commanders meet in Muscat
Typhoon Vongfong becomes 2014's most powerful storm
Royal Navy Commander tells of dramatic rescue in storm
Earth Wind Map - with typhoons
Unmanned aerial vehicle offers new view of killer whales
EU Naval Force strengthens ties in fight against piracy
Life on the Indian Ocean for the World ARC fleet
Kawau facilities get new lease of life - your chance to join new club
New equipment boosts NSW marine pollution response
TV awareness campaign calls on boaties to be safe on the water
Canadian shipwreck discovery solves 170-year-old mystery
British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety
Blue Planet Odyssey yacht completes Northwest Passage transit
Dredging of Swansea Channel gets underway   
World ARC fleet embarks on leg 11, across the Indian Ocean   
Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners   
Auckland On The Water Boat Show: Images from the final day   
Marine Wind Farms - coming to your cruising waters, what to do?   
How to make a distance scale for faster navigation   
Auckland On the Water Boat Show: World record mark set on Lancer SUP   
Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry recognised with Water Safety Week Award   
Marine Rescue NSW wins 2014 NSW Water Safety Awards   
New maps of the polar regions reveal unseen world beneath the ice   
Auckland On Water Boat Show: SUP record attempt Saturday afternoon   
Marine Rescue Point Danger assists disabled yacht to safety   
A win for sharks   
Seen on the water at the Auckland On The Water Boat Show   
New Zealand's largest on water boat show gets underway with big crowds   
Naval Commanders talk on-going piracy threat at sea   
RBT only applies when vessel is underway   
Predictwind and Iridium offer Sat Phone comms at Mobile Phone pricing   
EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra aids yacht in the Gulf of Aden   
Dinghy Sailing Instructor/Coach wanted for Canberra Yacht Club   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT