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Old 11-07-2020, 03:46 AM   #1
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Just another guy...

Well... after so long lurking and reading I decided to "wet" my feet and introduce myself.
I am 6 months into researching a suitable boat and so far it has been just lots of driving (albeit pleasurable by both wife and me) but nothing that stand up as... yeah this one would do!


What we are after is a boat to safely engage in coastal navigation and not be tied up to marine to marine hopping. One day in the next two to three years maybe do a small passage of 850nm from Gladstone QLD to Noumea, New Caledonia.


We are in Western Australia and finding a vessel here is not as easy as in USA or Europe. Covid is even limiting our possibility to fly interstate to check potential boats.


We pretty much know what we don't want in a boat but I am curious about some logistic aspect of coastal navigation. How do you find out where there is a refueling dock? Seriously, pull up a map and look where Perth is. Then think of circumnavigating Australia south-south/east to reach Brisbane. How do you guys organize your voyage? It seems as I can't figure it out.


Someone has to ask a different question from Anchor or twin/single screw?
BTW I prefer single but the only boat we can afford are all twin. Really I am not thinking about anchors yet, maintenance will be done 90% by us as DIY.
Another question, how do you check/inspect diesel tanks? I can check an engine, I can hear it running, I can check tranny.... but I am actually scared of having tank failure...

Oh yeah, I am Franco and almost retired, we are too old to play caveman in a sailing boat, I am an engineer with quite a bit of experience on engines (not that much on marine), we both ex divers and wife used to enjoy sailing a lot in her younger days.


Has anyone ever thought of having a page where we can see where the other members are? Example, I am sure there are others like me in Australia, would be nice to see who else is around for more specific questions about our area....


Anyway, cheers to all.
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Old 11-07-2020, 04:37 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard mate.
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Old 11-07-2020, 05:19 AM   #3
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Just realized I didn't put much about the boat.
Must be 40ft to 50ft, with aft cabin and possibly single engine. That's not that common so we have to compromise on twin screw. I am not going into a debate on single or dual screw. I just prefer the single with bigger prop and rudder and the protection of the keel. A single is way easier to work on than a dual. I am getting old and struggle in some positions! Economically wise I personally don't think the fuel cost is much different (I could be wrong).
Aft cabin is a must, so is head in aft cabin, we will also need a small desk space to work and be able to mount redundancy equipment for quick monitoring during navigation.

Large open saloon with inbuilt furniture is another must, we don't enjoy furniture flying around in bad weather should we meet any. Galley we would prefer gas and we can change electric which is what is commonly installed. (yes we know the danger and safety requirement).
Forward cabin with a second head, we don't need it but we want it and will be used for storage and possibly at a second stage to mount other diesel tanks and batteries.
Another must.. it has to be pretty! Guess where that comes from


Would be nice to find something within 150K AUD. Less is even better as we can use some extra on modifications and maintenance.
Diesel tanks are the scary bit, even with a boroscope, some brokers don't let you investigate enough and I doubt a surveyor can do much to proper check it for me. Engines I can evaluate them myself, I am partial to KISS and avoid V8 or supercharged engines. My order is Cummins, Ford Lehman, caterpillar, John Deere 6cyl, none is a deal breaker unless overhaul is needed. I am not keen on Volvo, just my preference based on experience.
Must have a generator, at least 6Kva, better 8Kva.
AC is not required, at least at this stage.



Water maker, inverter, house bank and instrumentation. I prefer to have none and mount build them all myself. It's easier and cheaper than fixing someone else install when done by unskilled people.


Having a tender and the davit or mast would be nice. Beside, on passage the dinghy belongs to the deck. The davit is good during coastal navigation. I have to suck it up and install it myself.


About us, I am almost 60 and semiretired, wife is now slowing down and it's our time to enjoy life. We not keen to stay at marinas. We happy to anchor few miles out, some diving/swimming and fishing, wine and a nice dinner. Idea is to stay out as much as we can and only touch anchorage to refuel or to spend few days in attractive places.

We can do most maintenance work including superstructure painting, we can both dive and keep hull clean with boat on the hard only for antifouling or maintenance we can't do in water.


OK how crazy are we?

Cheers, Franco
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:48 AM   #4
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Welcome Aboard, and good luck in your search.

Knowing what you want is a HUGE step in finding that boat.

Charts, local books and your chart plotter will help you find fuel. Every place you purchase fuel knows where the next fuel depot is, rely on local knowledge.

Here is the "skinny" on fuel tanks. Just about every fuel tank will fail at around 30 years. Some go as long as 40. I don't think the construction material matters much, steel, aluminum, plastic, glass, etc. Some fail from leaky decks. Water, especially salt water east holes in the tops of the tanks. Most fail from the bottom, they begin to leak. Some fail at the seams resulting in crud inside the tank and leaks.

A 50 footer may have better tanks because inspection may be easier and preventive maintenance may be easier. Smaller boats often have difficult tank access. Tank replacement on a 40 footer can run $25,000 or more.

Take fuel samples, from near the bottom if possible. Unless the previous owner has documented proof that the tanks have been repaired or replaced you can pretty much expect problems at around 30 years of age on the tanks.

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Old 11-07-2020, 09:59 PM   #5
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Hi, Franco, welcome to another Aussie member. There are quite a few of us, scattered around the country. Just to name a few we have myself, now without a boat, but had a Clipper 34, and Brian, (Insequent - Ocean Alexander 50), and Brisyboy (Malagari - Island Gypsy 36 Eu), and BrisHamish (Beluga - Grand Banks 46eu), here in the Brisbane area, BruceK (Sojourn - Integrity 386), and Andy G (Island Gypsy 36), and I think Aquabelle is in Sydney - possibly in Melbourne, then Auscan, (Cuddles 30 motor sailer), in the Adelaide area, but sadly, no-one springs to mind in the Perth/Fremantle region at present.

I suggest you keep looking on Boatsales.com.au, as soon you will be able to move interstate to check out possibles.

Just one caution I would throw in, and that is don't make the aft cabin thing an absolute deal-breaker, as most newer models are now going for better facilities up front, and making the saloon and cockpit area more of a indoor/outdoor living area type of set-up, whereas aft cabins do either compromise that cockpit area, or it ends up perched above a full-width aft cabin, with a lot more windage, and duckboard and dock access more tricky, especially as one ages and becomes a bit less agile, which you did mention already.

I thought we must have the versatility of an aft cabin, but my wife insisted she wanted the Europa large cockpit style, so we kept looking, as that was rare in the vintage of vessel we could afford at the time, (now the norm) but we found her in the end, and the wife was right..! You don't tend to take others away over-nighting as often as you think you might. I'll post a pic for old time's sake, even though it pains me...to illustrate...
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
Welcome Aboard, and good luck in your search.

Knowing what you want is a HUGE step in finding that boat.

Charts, local books and your chart plotter will help you find fuel. Every place you purchase fuel knows where the next fuel depot is, rely on local knowledge.

Here is the "skinny" on fuel tanks. Just about every fuel tank will fail at around 30 years. Some go as long as 40. I don't think the construction material matters much, steel, aluminum, plastic, glass, etc. Some fail from leaky decks. Water, especially salt water east holes in the tops of the tanks. Most fail from the bottom, they begin to leak. Some fail at the seams resulting in crud inside the tank and leaks.

A 50 footer may have better tanks because inspection may be easier and preventive maintenance may be easier. Smaller boats often have difficult tank access. Tank replacement on a 40 footer can run $25,000 or more.

Take fuel samples, from near the bottom if possible. Unless the previous owner has documented proof that the tanks have been repaired or replaced you can pretty much expect problems at around 30 years of age on the tanks.

pete

Pete, thank you for the tip on tanks. It's bugging me more than anything else
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
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I think I am in trouble!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
Hi, Franco, welcome to another Aussie member. There are quite a few of us, scattered around the country. Just to name a few we have myself, now without a boat, but had a Clipper 34, and Brian, (Insequent - Ocean Alexander 50), and Brisyboy (Malagari - Island Gypsy 36 Eu), and BrisHamish (Beluga - Grand Banks 46eu), here in the Brisbane area, BruceK (Sojourn - Integrity 386), and Andy G (Island Gypsy 36), and I think Aquabelle is in Sydney - possibly in Melbourne, then Auscan, (Cuddles 30 motor sailer), in the Adelaide area, but sadly, no-one springs to mind in the Perth/Fremantle region at present.

I suggest you keep looking on Boatsales.com.au, as soon you will be able to move interstate to check out possibles.

Just one caution I would throw in, and that is don't make the aft cabin thing an absolute deal-breaker, as most newer models are now going for better facilities up front, and making the saloon and cockpit area more of a indoor/outdoor living area type of set-up, whereas aft cabins do either compromise that cockpit area, or it ends up perched above a full-width aft cabin, with a lot more windage, and duckboard and dock access more tricky, especially as one ages and becomes a bit less agile, which you did mention already.

I thought we must have the versatility of an aft cabin, but my wife insisted she wanted the Europa large cockpit style, so we kept looking, as that was rare in the vintage of vessel we could afford at the time, (now the norm) but we found her in the end, and the wife was right..! You don't tend to take others away over-nighting as often as you think you might. I'll post a pic for old time's sake, even though it pains me...to illustrate...

Hey mate! Brissy is one of our favorite spot (mind you, we may move there from WA in the next couple of years) and great to hear of other "locals"
Now, about your suggestions.... yes you make perfect sense about the aft cabin and deck availability.
I think I may need some help. Wife is falling in love with this.
https://www.boatsonline.com.au/boats...-nelson/203249
It has everything we want/need BUT... it's wood. Wood kinda scares me and Volvo engines I don't have many good things to say from experience. Saying that, this boat looks very well kept, I am just scared of the maintenance. Do we need to paint hull every year? ER looks great and it's full height. Also on a wood vessel how hard is to put a mast to be able to lift the tender on top of roof? Yep I think I am in trouble but she looks gorgeous to us. Franco
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:55 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard. We have a 41’ President sundeck with 2 cabins and 2 heads. We love the aft cabin design, no wave noise when we are sleeping. We have twin Lehmans, would not own another Volvo and passed on a few boats due to that alone. Our fuel tanks are a concern. Last winter I pulled the port engine in order to replace the tank just because of the age. All I can see of the tank looks fine though. I got the port engine out and my back went out on me. So I just did a lot of cleaning and painting and wiring and gave up on the tank replacement. Good thing I didn’t try to do it as it was all I could do just to get it all back together for the summer. I built a crane to pull the engine and set the engine above the starboard engine. Total cost about $2000. If I could have done the work it was going to cost about $3000 for the new tank. This winter I pulled the starboard engine and am going to do the same work I did last winter. I used the same crane so cost was nothing this year. I just put the second coat of Bilge Kote on today. I will let it dry for a few days and then start reworking the battery system with 3 LiFePO4 batteries, new 120 amp alternator and a Balmar SG200 state of charge meter. I have glassed 6 holes in the hull on the inside and will start doing the outside in a couple of days. If I were able to replace my fuel tanks it would have cost less than $10K, but my back will not let me do it. I will keep the crane and if they start to leak at some future point then I will pull the engines and let a yard replace the tanks and still save a bundle.

As to loose furniture, we both have bad backs so loose furniture is a must for us. We have a large carpet that the 2 recliners sit on with a nonskid pad under the carpet. The recliners have never moved an inch even in 6’ following seas. Any bigger and we will not be out per my wife. So I would not worry about furniture moving, there are easy ways to secure it but would be more worried about spending several hours in uncomfortable seating to read or watch a movie.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:30 PM   #9
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Franco, I have to admit, that Lord Nelson certainly looks a 'keeper'. All I can say about wood is...

1. It floats of itself...

2.it does not rust...

3. It does not suffer galvanic corrosion as a rule...

4. It is the material all vessels used to be made of until metal and synthetics like fibreglass came along, so has stood the test of time and distance.

5. It can be repaired more easily than most materials.

Think about Captain Cook being able to put into where they call 1770 on the Northern Queensland coast, (in the year 1770), and beach Endeavour and repair her from local trees. Spotted gum is a very good boat-building material by the way - second only to Huon pine I believe.

The cabin of my 1975 vintage Clipper 34 was marine ply. A section under a leaking window rotted. With a router I was able to remove that section, epoxy in a new section, fair it, sand it, paint it, and it looked like never been touched..!

6. The hull definitely does not need to be painted every year. Only the antifoul every coupla, as with most boats.

As to the Volvo thing. Folk mainly bitch about the price of parts. They seem to go all right. There are a lot out there. Sounds like the PO would have dealt with anything that might cause issues - for a considerable time anyway.

There would be no problem setting up a davit for the dink to get it up on that lovely flat topped cabin, and still leave lots of room for some solar panels as well..?

It has a really decent Samson post - and really powerful anchor winch - always a good point to look for. And that standing headroom engine room is to die for - well, not literally, but you know what I mean. Especially if he leaves all those wonderful tools in it.

Best of luck whichever way you go, but that boat is gorgeous, if you can apply that term to a boat with a male name.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:38 PM   #10
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Welcome Aboard Franco! I have relatives in Perth.
Considering your price desires, and boat description, you might consider a converted ex trawler, or that style of boat. You don`t specify hull construction type, many of those would be, ahem, wood. Often found in Queensland but not exclusively so. Boatsonline.com.au is another resource for searching. Keep an open mind and search in the size and price range you like, you will start to find things. It can take time, don`t rush.
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:07 AM   #11
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Welcome aboard, not crazy, I like to think of it as Unsane, the fine line between sane and insane.

I am also based in Perth, my boat makes too large to wake to be a serious TF member but I try.. I have been setting up for a coastal trip around AU for few years now.

I run a single engine Cray boat converted to Rec-usage. Insurance can be tricky make sure you ensure you can get coverage on any vessel your interested in.
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