We all have different opinions of what makes a good cruising boat. I get that. Believe me, Paulo's idea of what makes a good cruising boat, Jeff_h's, my dad's, and mine are three different animals altogether! I respect all of their opinions, but I have long tried to make a different case.
My question in what could be a very debated thread is why you would choose what I consider a race boat for cruising? I am sure to get the typical response of, "Because we appreciate being able to sail and appreciate sailing over creature comforts." I have heard some variation of that for years. But, for a fulltime cruising boat, do you really gain that much going to a racing boat for cruising?
Brian, I don't have a single idea of what makes a good cruising boat. I know what I want from a cruising boat for doing the cruising I do and if I went for a different kind of cruising, for instance a circumnavigation or cruising in extreme latitudes visiting lonely and badly charted places, I would not chose a different boat, but two different boats.
The big difference between you and me is that you think that there is an ideal cruising boat for all while I know that the boat that I prefer is just that, the boat that I prefer and that would not be suited to others that have not the same preferences.
Regarding cruising I give an equal value to voyage, to discover different, nice places and the pleasure of sailing and I like to sail fast. But even for people that has the same tastes the choice of boat can be quite different, from trimarans to catamarans to fast monohulls and between them to the ones more suited to upwind or downwind sailing. Even regarding the small number that prefers a performance cruiser the choice is huge. I know that you call the Catalina 40 a performance cruiser and to performance cruisers racing boats, but that is only a question of opinion
Regarding your question, obviously only the ones that enjoy the pleasure of sailing fast and don't mind to live in spartan way would chose a race boat for cruising. Race boats have the advantage of not being expensive when they are not already competitive. If they are offshore solo racing boats they will not only be very seaworthy, with a big stability, as relatively easy to sail, even on autopilot.
I know of some that are doing that (and certainly there are much more) two, on class 40 that are circumnavigating, one with the complete family with two small kids and also two friends that are also circumnavigating in an old Mini class racer (22ft). They are now on the Pacific after having crossed the Atlantic and they seem quite happy with the boat.
But I guess that is not what you are talking about
. I guess that you don't call racers just to racing boats but to any boat that is a bit faster than a Catalina 40
Regarding those, there are plenty voyaging, some a lot faster than a Catalina could ever voyage (and that is necessarily good, just different). Among those there is a nice couple that I had been following in the interesting sailboat thread, that sail a Fox 10.20, a light 33ft boat with a lifting keel. The boat was new when they started, they finished themselves the interior and the boat is quite nice. Here you have the dimensions and the boat on the links:
LE FOX 10,20 - CAPADO creative boat
CAPADO creative boat
Basically a 3800kg boat with 10.20m of length and 3,60m of beam and a variable draft from 2.40m to 1.30m.
Here they are:
Yes, I know that some think that only a big modern light boat has the carrying capacity in provisions, water and need stuff to voyage...and if by miracle all this stuff is put aboard a small boat the boat will be too heavy and will not sail decently...well, did I mention that they are circumnavigating?
And almost finishing and not one of those non stop circumnavigations or fast circumnavigations without having time to see the world. No, they stop and take some time in each nice place, it is only in the water that they are fast, for a small boat. From South Africa to Brazil the average was over 8K. Charged and all
and they have just the boat they want, it was designed by a friend that happens to be a NA, taking all their requirements and tastes in the process.
FoX Technology - Yacht Design and Engineering
That would not be the boat I would have chose for that, I would have preferred a bigger boat, I guess that a Pogo 12.50 would be alright, and I bet that you, of course would choose a Catalina
, but that is not the point. The point is that little boat is the perfect boat for those two to circumnavigate and therefore it is a perfect cruising boat, at least to them.