My question in what could be a very debated thread is why you would choose what I consider a race boat for cruising?
Cruising, in my opinion (and everyone gets their own), is fulltime, probably no house, everything in storage, I am going-going-going or living on the water for well over a year, and likely many years, if not permanently.
Somehow this has turned into a, "What is a cruiser" thread. I do think that some kind of definition is important because it sets a boundary on how the boat is going to be used. How the boat is going to be used has everything to do with boat selection. Whether anyone here considers themselves to be a cruiser, someone else to be a cruiser, or only thinks Beth Leonard et all are cruisers is kinda beyond what this thread was about. There is simply nothing wrong with using the boat on weekends, months off on far away islands while returning to your home every summer, or full-time, no house, no nothing but a boat and the world and the water beyond. What makes YOU happy is what is important, not the definition of what a cruiser is. Quite candidly, I don't care if you have a hobie cat sits in your driveway on the trailor and you call yourself a circumnavigating cruiser. That is just a label, and a nebulous one at best. It is how you use the boat, and how you define 'cruiser', that influences boat selection and is what I was hoping to discuss... especially how it influences those that choose a 'racer-cruiser' or my definition of a racer as a primary 'cruising' boat. Make sense?
This thread has stemmed from several long discussion both on this board and off of it (more off of it, surprisingly) about boat selection. There was the Blue Jacket thread where me and Paulo highly disagreed, the Smackdaddy boat selection thread where me and Jeff disagreed, and a number of older posts where someone says, "I am going to go cruising and looking for a Bene First or J122 to go cruising on." It is generally at this point that I find myself a bit miffed on how they make this work. Whether they do it or are going to do it is none of my business, and frankly, I don't care. It is their life and their money. This is a theoretical discussion.
As I recall, both J and Bene call their boats Racer-cruiser. My point in this was as a cruiser, how do you make this boat work? Who really has made it work? What did you cut to make it work, or did you cut anything that I carry? How many people did you have aboard? Most importantly
, how does a racer-cruiser really and truly perform as a cruising boat when loaded down with the things I find essential? Is it still a fast boat? Due to its traditionally narrow beam, lack of storage, low water and fuel caps, etc... aren't many of the things that a HD/performance Cruiser can store safely and securely, now stored in a fashion that may make them unsafe or significantly alter the righting moment of the racer-cruiser?