My personal philosophy on cruising/circumnavigating/bluewater sailing is admittedly largely based on my anticipated budget. Obviously if I had unlimited funds I'd opt for a big Oyster with air, heat, refer, radars, watermakers, RIB's, lifeboat, solar/wind/diesel generators, hotwater, SSB, autopilot, sat phone, redundant chartplotting GPS's, and just about any other piece of fluff available.
However, the reality is that I don't (and won't) have an unlimited budget. If I ever circumnavigate or make a major bluewater trip it will likely be in an "old shoe" that can be had for less than $75k (read Westsail 32/28, Southern Cross 31, Baba 30/35, PSC 27/31 Mariah, etc.). My techno and safety must-haves will be a liferaft, windvane steering, at least two GPS units, solar panels, plentiful tankage, raincatch system, and likely an SSB (perhaps only receiver). I'm with the Pardey's when they say "go small, go now". If I wait for the fully loaded Osyter with all the cozy comforts, I'll never go.
As has been said many times by many long-distance cruisers: The extra fluff on a boat doesn't make the scenary in Hiva Oa any prettier or the wildlife in the Galapagos any more exotic or the weather any better in the Seychelles. In fact, I've heard many bluewater cruisers say their only regret is not having cast off the lines sooner in life. My goal is to make the adventure happen before my kids are too old to not want to come along.
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 03-26-2009 at 02:21 PM.