Choosing an Offshore Boat
We''ve recently returned from a 2+ year cruise and, in visiting Sailnet''s (and other) Bulletin Boards, I notice it''s still true that the #1 topic of interest remains choosing the ''right'' next boat. (Note the total # of contributions by topic here; apparently, our next most important issue is what gear to buy and how to repair it! Sounds about right to me).
A solid, knowledgeable outline of the choices one faces in selecting an offshore boat - and their consequences - can be pretty helpful, and I''d like to recommend such an overview to anyone interested in this topic. It was written by John Neal (who''s sailed 300,000+ miles offshore in a series of small to now larger boats of varying designs & rigs) and can be found at:
The real benefit of John''s comments IMO is that they''re not so much prescriptive (''you should...'') or based on some hierarchy of design preferences (''the best cruising rig is...'') as they are intended to flesh out what the consequences might be of selecting a given hull form, keel shape, rig type, etc. Especially fun for all of us who offer opinion on a given boat here is to read the long list of specific boat choices at the end of John''s piece, along with his snapshot cautions and synopses of their +''s/-''s. It''s also worth noting which boat manufacturers are conspicuously absent.
I think many boat shoppers would find it profitable reading, whether you''re shopping for a boat to be used for offshore sailing or for extended coastal cruising, which is why I''m posting it here. Enjoy!
WHOOSH, a Pearson 424 ketch currently at her homeport of St. Pete, FL