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Old 02-17-2008
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I will not be able to provide a lot into what makes the best boat to go on, as I opt for more of the creature comforts a small boat would not be able to handle.

Things that are important, in any bluewater/cruising boat, in my opinion, are:

1) Tankage. THis is especially true for water.

2) Good seaberth.

3) LOTS of storage, with a lot of that being below the waterline. We take a lot of can goods... others may not. But there will be many things you carry that add negative stability if above the waterline. This will likely be more of a factor on a small boat.

4) A well draining cockpit. I have been pooped once, and should have been who knows how many times before that. I think this is imperative as the time it happened to us were were only 24 hours/120-130 miles from shore.

5) Some method of cooking. I would probably put this as a critical system.

6) Decent lazarette for sails and gear.

7) Windvane or autopilot or the ability to put it on. You cannot make a passage without it if you are singlehanding... at least not safely. I would put this as a critical system too.

8) A SOLID, DRY Cabin with high-end portholes and hatches (the latter if going offshore).

9) Deep bilge and an electric bilge pump. I feel the latter is a mandatory - though this will require a battery. I guess the elctric bilge pump could be debated??? Thoughts?

10) VHF? I feel a handheld is the very minimum. However, could it be debated that you have to have a base unit?? The power/receive will be vastly better. Thoughts? This requires a battery.

11) Intl/Colreg recognized lighting. Mandatory... but could you get buy with a solid white light powered by lamp oil?

12) Sextant, and the ability to properly use it.

13) Charts... paper, not electronic.

14) Radar reflector. I feel this is madatory. Others will dissagree.

I am trying to think of a way around batteries, and an engine. I think you can get by without an engine. I am not positive about the batteries. Unfortunately, if you have a battery, you are now forced into a way to charge it. THat means solar (expensive), wind (unreliable and marginally expensive), or an engine (which now is maintenance, weight, fuel, spare parts, etc).

THoughts???

- CD
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