Originally Posted by puddinlegs
Just want to pass along a very sage piece of advice I got before buying our boat... Before you go changing anything, sail the boat for at least 6 months. A year is even better. Until then, you're only guessing on how you're going to use and handle the boat. For your boat to be, if you're cruising, realistically you'll be using the autopilot a lot, even for tacking, so it really doesn't matter if you can't reach the winches from the wheel. Unless you're going to be racing, so you'll be hoisting sails for the puffs, not the lulls. One thing you'll be very surprised at once you use an AP is how rarely you'll even be behind the wheel. Now for close quarters, sure, things will be different, but again, you'll save yourself a ton of money and a ton of grief by CHANGING NOTHING (other than fixing worn out running rigging, etc...) that doesn't need immediate attention for the first 6 months. After week one, write down what you think your boat improvement priorities are. Do it again every month. By month 6, you'll laugh at you first thought was important in terms of gear and sail handling for single and short handing.
Good luck on closing on your boat!
I agree with Puddinlegs, that's one of the best pieces of advice for a new boat owner I've ever heard.
If you wait six months, you can figure out what type of sailor you are, and that will steer your rigging choices; everything is a compromise. Some sailors will gladly constantly tweak the set of their sails to get that extra quarter knot, even if they're not racing. Others like to set the sails, put on some tunes, and relax. Different strokes for different folks. Figure out where you lie on the compulsive trimmer >> take a nap continuum before you make any changes to your rigging.
I own a Pretorien with a bridgedeck traveller (and end boom, or at least "near end" boom sheeting), and "move traveller" was near the top of our list when we bought the boat 3.5 years ago. Now I wouldn't touch it, the mainsail isn't that large and I can handle it in any conditions without a winch. The Admiral has trouble when the wind pipes up so we may go to 6:1 or one of the combo purchase systems, but as far as I'm concerned simple is best.
The only drawbacks to the bridgedeck traveller are that sometimes you have to move the traveller a few inches to go below, and we can't sail with the dodger-bimini connector in place. The latter is not really an issue because we only use that piece of canvas while at anchor, but the Admiral would like to be able to mount a full enclosure when we eventually go off cruising.