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post #3 of Old 07-09-2002
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Capsize, TF, spouses & bigger boats

Before we bought our first sailboat (a 34'' Hunter) we did lots of research as to how we intended to sail. I read several books on cruising, day-sailing, liveaboards, etc., and we either subscribed or were given gift subscriptions to several sailing magazines for a year before taking the plunge. One of the books I read recommended to get as big a boat as one could reasonable expect to handle. I had sailed on a friend''s Lord Nelson 35'', and found it to be easy to sail. Based on that and the advice received from my friend and the many books and magazines I had read, we decided to look for something in the mid thirties.

Ultimately, we decided that living aboard was not something we wanted to do right-away. Also, we both felt that extended cruising was to be done when we had much more experience. That left us with day-sailing and occasional weekend cruises. For that, almost any size boat could have fit the bill, but we also wanted a reasonable amount of comfort and ease of handling. Basically it came down to something that acommodate two couples, yet easy enough for the two of us to handle. Price was also a factor, as we didn''t want a huge second mortgage on a depreciating asset that we were not sure we would really like.

We decided that if the day comes when we do want to do more cruising, we would sell the Hunter 34 and move up to something more seaworthy. For now, the 34'' is just about right. A smaller boat would likely be easier to handle, but probably would not be as comfortable or have as nice a motion in a seaway. Also, the price was just right, and that might be the real deciding factor.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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