Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Cruising plans, discussions, etc.

Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby folotp » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:43 am

Hi,

We are contemplating the purchase of a Freedom 32 (Hoyt). We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) buying our first sailboat and hoping to take a one year cruising sabbatical in 5 to 6 years. I was wondering if anybody could share experiences of extended family cruising on an F32? Anything that you can tell us would be great, but here are a few questions that come to mind.

- Is it too crowded with four people on an extended cruise?
- Is there enough storage space for food, water, gear and spare parts?
- How comfortable is it in big seas?
- How seaworthy is it?
- Any modifications required for blue water sailing?
- I know it has been done, but how advisable would it be to cross oceans with and F32? Would you do it with your own kids? (Simply based on the boat itself and not the skills of the crew.)

Of course, a bigger boat would be great, such as the F36/38 or the 39 Pilot House, but we try to be very careful not to buy too much boat and keep the money for the cruising.

Any thoughts would really be appreciated.

Cheers.

Pierre-André Folot
Pierre-André Folot
s/v “Farfelu” - Freedom 39 PH 1983, hull #14
Sailing the Thousand Islands and Lake Ontario
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby sailmon » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:17 pm

I can't comment on the Hoyt 32, but we owned a Mull 30 for 11 years, before trading up to our retirement boat - a Mull 38 (planning to retire in several years if the DOW ever gets back on its feet). We summer cruised the F30 on Lake Erie and surrounding waters with our 2 girls and a standard schnauzer. We truly enjoyed the boat and (for the most part) felt comfortable and safe in a wide range of conditions. I know there are people on this board with extensive blue water experience who are better suited to commenting on seaworthiness, crossing the pond, etc... so I will refrain. The main reason we moved up to the 38 was living comfort - especially for an extended cruise (more than a couple of weeks). As wonderful as the 30 was, we generally found ourselves living out of sea bags - while on the 38 we are able to unpack and keep our belongings in drawers, lockers and built-in storage compartments. The head and shower area is considerably larger on the 38 - as well as storage space in the head. It was possible to shower in the head on the 30 - but we could only raise one arm at a time. There is also a considerable difference in the size and storage capacity of the galley. The other great difference between the 30 and 38 is the sugar scoop swim platform on the latter... a definite plus for boarding the dinghy, taking Joy showers, etc. One significant shortcoming of the 38 is the (small) size of the cockpit seat opening to the sail locker... seems much smaller than the opening on the 30. I do have plans for modifying it and have already built a ladder to help me get in and out of the locker... but this is definitely not one of the boat's strongest points. One other compromise: The 30 had a standard fin keel (draft of approx 5.5"). We bought the 38 with the intention of spending time on the East Coast (including the ditch) and Caribbean - so bought a boat with a wing keel and draft of 4". In addition to giving up the ability to heel the boat to get unstuck when grounded, the sump is considerably shallower in the wing keel boat. In conclusion - she's a dream boat and we feel comfortable handling her. All that said - if you need to choose between a larger boat and not shoving off or a smaller boat and heading out, I would definitely advocate for the smaller boat.
Happy sailing,
Bob
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:58 am

I just re-read your questions and I'll address the parts that I can. I have no specific knowledge of the F32 or the F36/38. However, I have 40,000+ miles on my 40/40 having spent 4-7 months a year cruising on it over the past 13 years. Here's a bunch of things to think about listed in no particular order.

  1. One of the biggest mistakes that I see people on a tight cruising schedule make (sorry, 1 year counts as that) is trying to go too many places in a short time period. It's much better to limit your cruising area so that you can spend some time in the places that you stop and get to know the people and the culture. If you have too large of a cruising area, you'll spend all of your time moving the boat, and that will get old quickly.
  2. A 32' boat is significantly smaller than a 36/38. This applies to both boat speed, interior space and ability to handle seas comfortably.
  3. You need room for the kids to play. I don't know how old they will be when you plan to leave, but we're talking 5-6 years from now, so they'll be pretty big.
  4. You need room to store your stuff as well as food, spares and your kids toys. With a 40' boat and 2 people, we're space challenged.
  5. Don't think that you'll just be able to buy the boat and leave. You'll need to spend time correcting problems and making modifications to fit your needs.
  6. Don't forget about tankage for both diesel and water.
  7. How will you have enough water for 4 people? Watermaker? If so, where will that go? How will you power it? What happens if that source fails?
  8. You live in a beautiful cruising area. Don't forget about cruising in the Great Lakes for as least the summer.
  9. Consider just doing coastal cruising along the E coast and maybe doing the Bahamas for the winter (note that it gets cold in the Bahamas when cold fronts sweep through).
  10. Remember that if you're thinking about heading to the Virgin Islands from the East Coast, that it's easily a 2+ week trip in a 32' boat with your wife and kids and you won't have anyone with blue water experience aboard.
  11. What you're talking about doing is possible. I've seen people do it. Just set reasonable objectives given your experience level and you'll make it much more enjoyable for all.
  12. Check out my web site for info on lots of info on cruising areas.

-- Geoff
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby folotp » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:50 pm

Thanks Geoff and Bob, very good comments.

From both your replies, I understand that storage (gear, supplies and tankage) is a big factor. Living out of bags may be fine for a few weeks, but for longer cruises, it can by tiring. And you are right that the kids will need some amount of toys. An F32 (Hoyt) is bigger than an F30, but is it enough?

Geoff, the boat will be on lake Ontario in the Thousand Islands near Kingston most probably for the first three summers as we learn and build experience, and then possibly we would go cruise the Georgian Bay. Then, somewhere around the fifth summer, we could go down the St-Laurence and play around the Golf and the East Coast for a summer or two. But you are correct there is no way I would compromise the security of my family by exposing them to conditions that could be way above our skills and experience level. So this is why I am saying around 6 years before we would entertain taking a cruising sabbatical in the Caribbeans. That's the strategic plan at this point anyways! (Plus I work in IT and tend to underestimate everything by trade!)

That being said, Geoff you also mentioned
"Don't think that you'll just be able to buy the boat and leave. You'll need to spend time correcting problems and making modifications to fit your needs."
I completely agree. How much time you would say you reasonably need to get to know your boat and get it ready for a cruise?

With a +-6 year horizon before leaving on a cruise, would you buy a smaller boat today, sell it in four years and then buy a bigger boat? Or bite the bullet and purchase the bigger boat today? And if life doesn't take us to that cruise like planned, we can always sell the boat back and buy an RV! ;)

PA
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s/v “Farfelu” - Freedom 39 PH 1983, hull #14
Sailing the Thousand Islands and Lake Ontario
Canada
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:41 pm

I would buy the biggest boat that you can afford right now and get that boat into the shape instead of buying a smaller boat, upgrading it, selling it and then repeating the process with another boat which may not need the same upgrades. Considering where you live and the fact that you work in IT, time to do these upgrades is probably at a premium, so I wouldn't count on having double the amount of time available.

As far as how long it will take, that's up to you and your budget. I change something on my boat every year. Some years it's been major changes, but now I'm getting to the point where I either am happy with things or I'm out of room :roll:.

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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby sailmon » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:22 pm

I definitely agree with Geoff's last post. I would add that the condition and equipment level of the boat you purchase will dictate how long it takes to complete the upgrade and refit process. We plan to retire and go (extended) cruising in 2015. We bought the 38 in 2005 so we would have 10 years to refit. A refit over time tends to have financial benefit - in that you aren't laying out the entire bundle of cash at once. Working through the refit over time and doing as much of the work as you are able to is also beneficial because you will know how things are installed, how they work and if necessary (and it will be) how to repair them. Very important to buy quality components so they will last - especially if some of your upgrades may be done 5 to 6 years before you head off shore. BTW - the process of tinkering/improving the boat not only benefits the boat - it's highly therapeutic for the owner/tinkerer.

Sounds like you currently live in Canada. We dock in Cleveland OH and sail on Lake Erie (and occasionally Lake Huron, Lake Ontario...). If you are ever in the area between April 20 and October 20, give us a shout and we'd be glad to take you (and family) out for a test drive.
Bob
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby Rick Simonds » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:49 am

I own a Hoyt 32 and I think the only tough challenge in your list would be storage space. There really aren't a lot of readily accessable lockers and cabinets in the living space below. The bilges are pretty shallow, there's some space, but not a lot. Under the bunks has a good bit of space, but it's not all that handy to get to and it's in the ends of the boat where you don't want a lot of weight. I think you would end up with quite a bit of gear in sea bags or otherwise stored in the open.

"Too crowded"? - Too personal a judgement call. That's a lot of people for the available space, but 2 of them are kids so that changes things.

"comfortable in big seas"? - This question is always a matter of degree but as a "Yes or No" answer: No, not compared to, say, a more conventionaly designed heavy displacement cruiser. It's much lighter than a conventional cruiser, it's quite a bit livlier motion. It's nearly impossible to get the rail in the water but it does heel readily. It's open design below is great for living but there's not a good space like a quarter berth to tuck into and just wait it out (I spent 24 hours laying on the cabin sole on one trip.) The bilges at both ends are fairly flat and can pound. I can't get mine to reliably heave-to. I've been on more comfortable boats in a blow.

"Seaworth" - Completely.

"Modifications" - Of course I'd add things like self steering but from a structural standpoint the only thing needed is excellent maintenance.

"Cross Oceans" - Strictly from a boat standpoint, it could do it, it's been done, it would do it again, but crossing an ocean in a boat designed more as a coastal cruiser doesn't seem advisable, though that presumes crossing an ocean in any small boat is actually advisable. And from more of a non-boat standpoint, doing it with kids seems, if anything, to somewhat reduce the advisability.

I think you'd love a Hoyt 32 and local cruising and ultimately the Caribbean would be a joy. The limitations of the storage space would make you lifestyle a pretty simple one, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's the serious ocean passages where the plan starts to seem less realistic.
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Re: Long-term family cruising on a F32 (Hoyt)?

Postby daletournier » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:41 pm

Hi Pierre, I thought Id had my 2 cents worth to the discussion. I have owned a Hoyt 32 for 2 1/2 years and live aboard full time. Its always hard to discuss your own boat as people will always accuse you of being bias I will do my best to be as objective as possible. First up I agree with most that as been said above. Keep in mind everything is relative, in a world full of so many types of yachts there is always one that is better than yours, would I prefer aF32 or a 40/40? Geoff do you want to swap?

A F32 is a small boat that thinks its a big boat in a number of ways. You cant compare the living space of the F32 to most other 32/33 foot boats, they are just bigger. The lay out is great and more than comfortable for the two of us, having 2 separate cabins is a must for my live aboard cruising. Realistically it has the inside living space of most 36-38foot boats. i have a friend with a 36 or 37 foot barvaria and the accommodation setup is similar.I would like the V birth to be alittle less of a V I find it abit squashy for two ( but I have a 5foot 10 partner ). I agree with Rick storage is not huge on the F32 as the hull tapers in quite alot as it heads to the waterline and the water tank is under starboard settee .

Storage is comparable to most 32footers but you expect more because the F32 dosent look like a 32. Water is a issue on proper cruising as we only hold 200 litres. We have a 12v water maker 13l/hour and it is great we never have a water issue and we shower each day ( thats the other thing the F32 has a Shower ). We have 260w of solar panels and wind generator, battery bank is generally full by lunch time so we then put the water maker on for 2 hours using excess solar/wind power if theres no sun we run the little Honda generator through a Xantrax charger.Gas supply good also be bigger the standard tanks give the 2 of us about 6 weeks supply, I've added a bigger mother tank that I refill my smaller ones from. The F32 has a very big fridge for a small boat and a freezer that we run 24/7. Im the wrong one to ask about cruising with kids as I chose not to have any, I would find it squashy but I would feel squashy with 4 on a 45 footer as I like my space.

From a sailing perspective you would be surprised how many bigger boats a F32 will out sail, weve sailed with alot boats through Asia this year and we are considered a fast boat particularly for our size. I think its true to say freedoms are generally bigger and faster than comparable size boats ( Im sure Geoffs 40/40 is often the quickest boat while sailing in company ). Bluewater? In the last 3 years my boat has done approximately 20,000nm it has crossed the Pacific from Mexico to Australia ( singlehanded ) and I have sailed up and down the Qld Australian coast twice, gone over the top of Australia crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria then continuing on through the Timor sea, Savu sea, Flores sea and Parts of the sth China sea Currently 200nm sth of Thailand. The boat has behaved very well and travels 120nm to 145nm per 24 hour.

Obviously in bad weather I wish to be elsewhere or on a 100footer. I find its sea keeping ability very good and do not question her seawothiness at all. I added a Hydrovane windvane and after using it over the last 6000nm I would not cross a ocean with out one. The two of us cruise reasonably comfortably on Freeform yet i do believe I will upgrade to a bigger boat in the next 3-5 years, do I need to? definitely not, its more a desire thing being human I always want more. The F32 must be one of the best value for money small cruisers on the market. I believe Gary Hoyt has done a wonderful job in designing this boat. My only real complaint is the the whole Freedom thing has limited what boats I can own in the future, I look at a nice boat these days only to say its got one of those old fashion rigs with wires! One more thing Geoff is so right with the on going improvements to a boat, I can assure you regardless of the boat you buy you will be maintaining, fixing and improving it constantly, the reason my spelling and grammar is so average is I'm rushing as I need to service the engine and repack the rudder shaft today.

Cheers Dale
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