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post #1 of Old 03-23-2004 Thread Starter
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Singlehand question on buying new boat

You guys helped me at the beginning of my search for a new boat, and now Iím at the tail end of my search and would appreciate your insightful input one more time.

Long story short Ė selling a power boat and looking to buy a new sailboat in the 36í - 40í range. Itís just me and my wife. Will use it in Southern Cal for day sails, as well as 2-7 day trips to Catalina, the Channel Islands, San Diego and eventually Northern Baja Mexico. So no major offshore cruising Ė just basic coastal cruising. I joined a sailing club, took lessons and have since chartered boats.

Narrowed my choices down to the Jeanneau 37 SO, and the Beneteaus 373 & 393. The 393 is significantly bigger than the other two boats. It has around a 17,100 displacement vs. around 14,000 for the other two. My question is about singlehanding. Although most of my sailing will be with some kind of crew (my wife, friends, etc.), the ability for me to sail the boat singlehanded is important. Singlehanding will be limited to, at the most, a 50nm sail down the coast. But the vast majority (95%) of the singlehanding will be just day sails.

Problem is everything I seem to run across about singlehanding talks about multi-day passages, resulting fatigue, etc. which really shouldnít be an issue for me. I just need a boat I can realistically single hand for about a four hour day sail. Iím able to singlehand a Catalina 27 that doesnít have an autopilot without any problem. But I realize these boats Iím looking at, particularly the 393, are much bigger.

So does the 393 fit the bill for me based on my specific singlehand requirements? My fear is I donít want a boat too big that may be too much of a chore to take out for the day by myself and thus may not get used as much as Iíd like to use it. The two 37í footers Iím not concerned with in this area Ė just the 393. My wife likes the room and creature comforts the 393 provides, as do I, and it would be great on anchor and at the slip, but I donít want the tradeoff to be less sailing or less enjoyable sailing because of it.

So whatís your advice for me? And any input in general on the three boats Iíve narrowed down to would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
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