34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.
I just came across this forum a few days ago and I just can’t stop reading the intelligent and insightful responses to often vague and confused questions. So far, I’ve read back to 2001 postings and there’s still more to go. I’d now like to post my own vague and conflicted question.
I’ve been sailing for 25 years – first on Sunfish, Lasers, Snipes, that I owned and then on Hunter 23’ – 30’ boats of friends. Then I discovered Hobie Cats. I sailed/raced Hobie 16’s for 10 years before getting married and giving up the sport. In the last 5 years, I’ve gotten the wife interested in sailing and we’ve chartered Beneteaus 34’ – 40’ for a couple of weeks in the BVI’s every winter for the last 4 years. Now, we’re think we’re ready for our own boat. We’ll be sailing mainly in the coastal waters of Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, with the possible trip to the Chesapeake or even the ICW to Florida. No offshore passages in our plans at present. We think that we want a 36’ – 40’ boat that is comfortable inside for 2-4 adults and has a roomy cockpit for enjoying the outdoors (no picnic table). More importantly, we need a boat that has a seakindly motion (we’re both prone to mal di mare), but that sails relatively fast to windward. Coming from the cat world, I think bobbing along at 4-5 knots would make me jump overboard. I’d also like a boat that I could single-hand if necessary. The new little Morris 36’ with headsail winches within easy reach of the wheel is the ultimate. The budget is up to $150k, but I think we can find a suitable boat for less. I’d consider a boat up to 20 years old. I’m an Engineer with years of experience repairing engines, pumps and other misc. mechanical gizmos, so I can fix whatever’s broken, but I’d much rather spend my time sailing.
The biggest problem that I’m having in making a decision is balancing my idea of a beautiful boat against the best boat for my needs. My favorite boats to look at are Hinckleys and Aldens, due to their long overhangs and Hans Christians and almost anything Bob Perry designed with a nice round canoe stern. But after reading the posts here, the collective wisdom says that long overhangs equal hobby-horsing and those nice canoe sterns just limit cockpit and interior space. So where does that leave me? I truly do not like the sugar-scoop stern of most modern boats. While they are extremely practical in terms of dinghy access, I just don’t like the look.
One final wish. (if you are easily offended, skip this part) I’d like a boat that isn’t one of the mass-produced varieties. I’m mainly talking about the benecata-whatevers and my bias is based primarily on my perception of resale values. My searches on YachtWorld confirm that the supply of these boats is much greater than the demand. Based on this observation and just wanting to have a semi-unique boat, I’d prefer something less mainstream.
Until I started reading here, my short list included:
Pacific Seacraft 37
Ta Shing Tashiba 38
Hinckley Bermuda 40
“These are all blue water boats”, you say. There lies my problem. What I like esthetically doesn’t really fit my needs. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Even if they make me cringe a little initially.