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Old 10-11-2004
Epiphany Epiphany is offline
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Boat Choices: Double-Check

I''ve been researching boats and rigs for the past several months, and am now approaching a purchase. I''d like to get your thoughts on any conclusions you think are erroneous, or that I''ve missed completely.

By way of background, I''m a recently-retired 57-year-old male in good physical condition. I have little actual sailing experience, but have leared a lot through reading, the internet and DVD''s, and will take a 14-day offshore training cruise in the Atlantic starting next week.

After I purhase a boat, hopefully within the next couple of months, I plan to hire a qualified captain (already identified and contacted) to come aboard for a couple of weeks in the Caribbean for sailing instruction specific to the boat.

Following a few months of sailing and building skills as a single-hander, I''ll decide whether I want to stay in the Caribbean/U.S. or make ocean passages, and will make the appropriate retrofits and equipment modifications.

In terms of basic specifications, I''ll be looking at boats in the 37-43 foot LOA range, associated minimum displacement of 16,000-24,000 pounds, with a full keel, sloop or cutter rig (with a slight preference for the former), skeg-mounted rudder, relatively small quick-draining cockpit, and small portholes.

Seaworthiness (including ability to heave to), and ease of single-handing (with all lines led back to cockpit, appropriately-sized winches, and electric windlass) are more important considerations than speed.

If I buy a used boat, manufacturers I would consider are Pacific Seacraft, Westsail, Taswell, Cabo Rico, Sabre, Pearson and Morgan. If I buy a new boat, it will almost certainly be a Pacific Seacraft 40.

Any and all comments will be greatly appreciated.
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