Global 48 aluminum cutter
She’s our go anywhere boat
Other than the dramatic downsize the first thing you’ll notice about our new lady is that she’s aluminum – gasp! A lot of people get freaked out by aluminium and to be honest I’m not really sure why. Electrolysis is an issue but we plan to move, move, move and stay out of marinas.
Aluminum vs Steel vs Fiberglass
Aluminum is low maintenance compared to steel, we don’t like to paint, especially hard to reach bilge areas. Our new to us boat has a painted hull and we plan on blasting it off. Metal boats are not better than fiberglass, they are just better suited for icy waters. They are also typically dry boats with no deck penetrations like on fiberglass such as stanchions, winches, sail tracks, cleats, chain plates – these are all bolted through the deck (on fiberglass boats) and allow water find it’s way in where as aluminum or steel boats are mostly welded.
We wouldn’t choose aluminum for part time/ weekend cruisers or marina life due to electrolysis.
One size does not fit all
In the past we’ve owned a Tayana 37, Skye 51 and a Bruce Roberts New York 65. Our loud family of five prefers to have a bit more space. Our 65’ boat was extremely comfortable and spacious but too much to maintain for us. It’s like buying your huge dream house only to find that you’re now married to your house, the cleaning, maintenance and cost is overwhelming.
A lot of families have cruised in a 30 foot something boat but we just choose not to from personal preference, also we need the extra space for cold weather cruising. We boat shopped in the range of 45-50’, we noticed cruising on our 65 footer that once your boat surpassed the 50 foot mark the dockage per foot was higher. A lot of the 45s we looked at were great but it was only the newer boats that had the extra beam to make the interior roomier and when you get new you get more expensive. 48 foot still crams everyone in but it also allows extra storage for winter gear and tools. Our budget did eliminate us drastically on our choices, we had to compromise but when buying anything used, that’s what you do.
Another large factor you always hear about when buying a boat is the location of the cockpit, aft or center. Center cockpit offers great layout underneath and we were drawn in by many boats that had such a dream layout of kids forward and a spacious aft cabin. If there was an aluminum boat out there with a center cockpit and great layout we probably would have gone for it but there wasn’t one in our budget. We do prefer the looks of an aft cockpit, center cockpits are often built up from the deck allowing more headroom in the interior and we like lower profile cockpits. We also like being able to be at the helm and see everything and everyone in front of us, with no random child hanging out on the stern without us knowing.
Basically we love the Global 48 because she’s aluminum, within our budget, cutter and below 50’.
Here are some aspects that sealed the deal:
· Stern platform for easy access to dinghy and swimming. With kids this is extremely valuable for us.
· Aft cockpit, as mentioned above
· Cutter rig. Our Skye 51 was a ketch and the kids were constantly tripping over lines on deck.
· Pilot house. Cruising in colder climates is a lot more enjoyable to be able to be apart of it all without freezing your hiney off. The pilot house also offers another space for us all to hang out. Crew could be playing with legos in the pilothouse and the girls doing school work down below.
· Tankage. The global has a long range, she can carry up to 300 gallons of fuel.
· Cockpit. There’s a hard bimini with solar panels and the pilot house over hangs into the cockpit allowing for great protection while sailing.
· Galley. Some of the boat we looked at had only aisle galleys that would annoy the crap out of me with kids constantly passing by. I find U shaped galleys a lot safer and ergonomic.
· Limited systems. The Global has no generator, a/c or even a freezer (the last one I’m not that happy with). No electric winches or in-boom / in-mast furler, which appeals to us but not all.
· Lifting keel. We’ve never had a lifting keel but we can go from 7’ to 4’. Totally going to bust a move in on you catamarans Ka-chow! The thought of getting to all the cool shallow anchorages is exciting.
· One head (toilet). I know there will be some fights over who needs to use the bathroom but only one head is necessary for us and if it breaks we use a bucket until we fix it.
· Brand new sails, in the packages. NICE!!!
· Solar panels.
You can never have the perfect sailboat unless you design and built one yourself. The Global 48 is by far not our dream but she’s pretty close. The Kanter 51 we checked out in NY will forever be in my heart. The downers about the boat that we had to discuss are:
· Layout. We always said that we would pick a boat that had the correct layout. Layout changes are expensive. The global has a v-berth forward that has been split into two small cabins and the master is just aft of it with a quarter berth. This is not ideal for us. We are going to lower one of the v-berth sides and build a second bunk. The master we’ll extend the bed further to the wall creating a berth that’s a couple of inches shy of a queen bed. This isn’t going to be a huge layout change but with our budget we can swing it.
· Refit. That horrid “R” word, I hate it. We are bringing the boat to Florida to change the sleeping arrangements, raise the stanchions, put an extra bench seat in the pilot house, sand blast the hull and equip it for cruising: sheets, plates, liferaft etc. The refit it a whole other post.
· Washing Machine. There’s no space for a washing machine and no generator. Looks like it’ll back to the bucket. On Salty when we installed a small washing machine it was a total game changer, I would sit there with my wine and watch my stress wash away.
· Paint. There’s paint on the hull that we will need to remove.
SO that’s it, it’s our forever boat; big enough for a family of 5 but not too big for us when they get older and head off into the world.
She’s not the perfect boat for us, the only way to achieve that is to build one.
Abeona: The Roman Goddess of outward journeys, Who watches over a child’s steps and protects travellers.
To find out more about steel vs aluminum the Good Old Boat has an informative article Is there a metal yacht in your future?
Our Global 48 was designed by Roger Marshall and built in Virginia. You can see snip-its of her in his book Choosing a Cruising Sailboat
As I write this post the boat isn’t officially ours, with our money waiting in escrow I consider it 99% sold. To cover ourselves further we will not close on the boat until the 17th of October when Carl will be physically on the board to make sure it is in the same condition as last month.