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post #6 of Old 01-07-2003
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A Philoshopical Question

PB, I can respect your dilemma,because I''m facing a similar one myself.The choice to go "Bluewater/Coastal--large/med./small" on choosing a boat is one that I guess every cruising sailor has to eventually address. For my 2 cents worth,I can tell you this: I''ve sailed boats up to 45 ft.,but when I was sailing my 26 ft.sailboat in the Bahamas, I heard time and time again, "Man,you got the right boat stays at the dock most of the time because I don''t have crew to go out with, or "hey,... how much do they charge you for a slip?" Now, I''m not saying that a 26ft.sailboat is the way to go, especially for a retirement live-aboard home, but I do think there are some definite advantages to having "smaller sized cruisers." Economically and physically. Jeff H responded to some of my questions on ideal single-handed boat sizes (which is what I''ll look for even if I have crew) and he made a comment that stuck with me. For a single-handed sailor, DISPLACEMENT is really the key factor a sailor should be looking at.Something around the 13,000lb.range being ideal. Jeff can explain all the reasons to you better than I can, but looking back on the boats I''ve chartered around that displacement range, they were indeed easy boats to sail. Does that mean you should get a 38ft Coastal cruiser,or a 32ft.Bluewater boat?, I don''t know.You''ll find your own answer for that one, as I will. Of course there are many other considerations for a single-handler, cockpit layout,sail controls,etc. Plus all the other considerations of build quality,systems access,etc. I think the main thing to steer clear of is not to purchase more of a boat than you can handle, whether it be a big one,or small one. After all,it''s for retirement...right? Who wants to work 8^)
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