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post #40 of Old 05-08-2013
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Re: Singlehanding a 41' Hunter DS?

BCC, I don't think the advice about getting a power boat was necessarily bad, nor was it intended to be dismissive. I actually had the same thought when I read the OP's longer description of himself and what he wanted. If you want flash, a big SeaRay would be great. If you want a little more sedate, something like a Grand Banks could be a great option. Now, that kind of room and speed comes with a price - fuel - but if the OP has the cash to buy the fuel, then it's certainly a consideration.

I tend to think that most of the folks like the OP also come here thinking that sailboats go fast. To the OP, please keep in mind, most sailboats don't go much above 7 KTS (roughly 7 MPH). This is inherent because of the design of the hulls - they are displacement hulls, not planing, hulls, and thus physics imposes limitations on them. Catamarans, which tend to be planing hulls, can go fast, but cats have their own issues in a seaway, and they need more space to dock/moor than a mono. Cats tend to be more stable in light to moderate seas than their monohull cousins, but the monos will tend to be more stable in rougher seas. A cat gives you more deck square footage, and maybe more square footage in the cabins too, but as to actual, usable beam below, the mono is going to have you beat. In the OP's case, I'd be a little concerned about the size of the quarters in a cat if he's planning on having "guests" over.

I mean no disrespect to the OP - everyone's needs are different, and different boats work for different people. That being said, as I understand what he wants, he's looking for a boat with a master bedroom, that could be single-handed, and has a nice area for friends to stretch out. That, to me, sounds like a center cockpit monohull. In fact, there are two different types of CC designs, and either one might work. Some, like ChucklesR's Irwin 38 or even an S2 11, have the aft cabin connected to the forward cabin via a hallway, so you don't have to leave the cabin to move about. This can be great for air conditioning purposes, since you can move around to your heart's content without opening any doors/windows. The other style, with the walk-through cockpit, could work too. There's a "master bedroom" that is completely separate from the rest of the cabin, and that leaves a lot of options for how someone in the OP's shoes arranges the boat. You could also heat/cool the cabins separately, which could, at least theoretically, cut some of your energy expenses or requirements. The CC's also have the "beach" on the back - it's a great place to sit, sun, etc. It sounds to me like the OP is, much like me, mostly going to be a fair weather sailor. That means that the chief complaint you hear about CC's - that they hobby-horse - probably won't matter.

Regarding the OP's attraction to the Hunter, you have to understand that you're getting what you pay for with any boat, including the Hunters. I mean no disrespect to the Hunter brand - they are good boats that are perfectly adequate for their intended purposes. And, compared to Catalinas, the other chief rival at that price point, the Hunters look prettier inside. But Hunter builds to a price point. So, they don't always use high-end materials, or high-end equipment. That's not to say the materials and equipment are bad, mind you. It's kind of like a Toyota Corolla versus a Lexus GX. The Corolla's interior is fine, and perfectly adequate for getting you around town, etc.. The materials inside will be fine, and the equipment will work OK, too. But the equipment and materials won't be as refined, or as capable, as in the Lexus. You get what you pay for in both cars, and the same is true with the Hunter (the same is largely true of Catalinas, too). All that being said, if I had the money to buy new, I'd certainly look at the Hunters, so don't get the wrong impression.

To your concern about hurricanes, quite honestly, that's probably not one of the times to go sailing up the river - you'll motor. Unless you want to sail for the fun of it! But if you're doing it to get up river quickly, you'll most likely motor.

- Jim
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15

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