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post #27 of Old 08-11-2010
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Hi Loos,

The PSC34 is a solid boat, and the cutter rig is a good choice in terms of sail theory, but I have to agree with some of the other posts: I think if you have some time before you set off on the grand adventure, the way to go might be to get a smaller, lighter sloop rigged daysailer to bridge the gap between your laser experience and the moderate displ. cruisers that will take you over the horizon in a few years.

I think having a smaller boat (maybe even on a trailer) with only two sails is good for many reasons. There is much more of a sense of freedom to singlehand on short notice. You can develop sail handling, boat handling, and seamanship skills on something with a bit more weight than a laser, but not enough that you can't handle it and experiment by yourself. You can still do overnight trips and get a sense of cruising to make sure you and your crew enjoy the adventure. You can do some of the smaller scale maintenance projects that you will see again in the future on a larger scale aboard your cruiser. I just think its a great return on investment to spend a bit of time in the 20-28' range.

I learned to sail on a dinghy, then stepped up to a trailer-sailer and learned maintenance and more sail theory and the importance of balance, then owned a project "cruiser" boat that let me put my hands on all the various systems, then worked on a tall ship (I'm in the Coast Guard which I know is an unfair advantage, sorry), and now liveaboard a PSC34 and feel very comfortable with her in everything I've been in so far.

I've read a lot of posts on the web asking questions about how to implement fundamental seamanship skills like anchoring or heaving-to aboard 40+ foot boats, and can only suppose that if these folks had started smaller they might be enjoying their boats much more now. I have thoroughly enjoyed my learning process and wish you luck with your search!
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