anyone familiar with these boats?
Like a lot of members who post here, I am nearing the point in life where I will be able to spend more time on the water. I live in the Midwest, crew on Lake Erie for a friend, have taken all the ASA classes in order to Charter, and Charter a week or two a year taking inexperienced family and/or friends as crew. I feel comfortable with my sailing skills and am at the point where the only way to get better is to spend more time on a boat. All of my crewing has been done on boats set up primarily for racing, with very Spartan interiors. Certainly not suitable for comfortable living. All of my bareboating has been on 44 and 45 foot boats with 5-7 crew. Mostly Beneteaus and one Morgan. I found the boats wide and heavy, not very good in light air, and too much boat for my wife and I to enjoy handling ourselves.
Weíll never move from our current home. I intend to use the boat as a condo Ė one to three weeks at a time, 3 or 4 times a year. Would like to keep the boat initially in Florida because thatís where Iíve chartered the most. Would like to hit Bahamas occasionally and possibly work my way up US east coast or further south into the islands. Flying home for a few weeks and returning to venture further. Iím not interested in crossing oceans. Probably half of the time it will just be my wife and I, other times weíll be joined by another couple or our grown kids. I hope to also single-hand on daysails when I canít find crew. I can see us spending most of our nights in marinas or moorings.
My wife enjoys sailing, but will not be willing to live for two weeks on a boat that feels cheap or is too small down below. She will want nice amenities. Need a good head, suitable galley and comfortable living space. Not Ritz Carlton, but much closer to Ritz than Motel 6. My preferences are speed (especially light wind), accommodations, shallow draft and shorthanded sailing suitability. I tend to have inexperienced crew, and like to involve them as much as possible but also need to be able to do it all when the crew gets confused or just wants to be chauffeured.
Iím currently contemplating two boats, both late Ď80ís - The Wauguiez Centurion 38 and J 37c. There are no Centurions anywhere near me that I can find. All of my knowledge of them comes from looking at ads and reading reviews. I stepped aboard a Wauquiez at Annapolis boat show once and was impressed with what I saw. The interior looks first class, but I wonder about the sailing performance. I donít prefer the cabin-top traveller, but wonít rule out a boat because of it. I have raced against J Boats and certainly respect their speed, but all of them have been set up for racing so the interiors would be totally unacceptable to me. The 37c appears to be designed for someone like me, but Iíve never seen one and have found very little information about them. I donít think many of either model were built, so maybe they have shortcomings that Iím not aware of.
I would like to stay below $125k and around 36-38 foot. I know there are a lot of other boats in this size and price range. Sabre 38 MKII and Tartan 37 centerboard were both on my list. Iíll have to fly to step aboard either the J Boat or Centurion, so Iím trying to do as much research the inefficient but cheap way Ė online. I have tried to sign up for the JBoat and Wauquiez email lists but have had technical difficulties. I welcome any comments regarding these boats.