Naval architect Ted Brewer reviewed the Watkins 29 last year in Good old Boat magazine. His conclusion was that while this boat was designed as a coastal cruiser with proper preparation and an experienced crew it could make blue water passages. This is typical of the Watkins line. While Watkins stopped making boats in 1990, there is a devoted following of Watkins owners nation wide who are buying up old Watkins models from 17' to 36 ' and restoring them to like new condition. Why? Because they're worth it! I have a 1987 Watkins 25' that we bought new at a boat show. We sailed it for 5 years on Lake Lanier, GA and the rest of the time she has been in salt water from FL to NC and performed admirably in all circumstances. She still looks boat show new in spite of hard use and weathering the 1993 Storm of the Century on the Gulf coast of Florida. We are planning to take 'Wu-Hsin' to the Bahamas next year for a 6 month cruise. Our son took his 1979 Watkins 27' 'Walkabout' to the Bahamas leaving Morehead City, NC on 11/29/05 and returning to Charleston, SC 179 days later. This included 2 crossings of the Gulf Stream the return being a 6 day non stop single handed open ocean leg directly from the Abacos to Charleston. There are two mutually supporting Watkins websites, http://watkinsowners.com/
which has a wealth of technical information about each of the Watkins lines as well as history of the company and http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/watkins/
which has an active subscribership of over 400 Watkins owners sharing maintenance, restoration and upgrade information. Both sites have excellent pictures of the boats and annual raft-ups. This year there will be the 5th Annual Watkins Owners Raft-up in the Chesapeake Bay. It is a great bunch of sailors in terrific boats.