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Old 05-29-2011
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One thing that the wife and I have learned over the past three boats, is that beam is probably more important than length. You will get more out of a 34 foot with a beam of 11.5 feet than you will with a 36 foot with a beam of 10. The obvious is that the additional room from the beam is available over a longer portion of the length. The additional length is only available to a small portion at the ends. This is of course a generalization that is dependent on many things, but it generally holds.

The wife and I are happy with our current 36 footer. We have found that, with the occasional guests for a weekend cruise, between 36 and 41 feet is a good length. Keep in mind that we have already sold the home, second car, and all of our belongings that would not have fit on the boat. Already pruned our lives down to the minimum. If we do upgrade to a larger boat, beam will be the prime concern, and we will not go longer than 42 feet. Chances are we will stick with what we have and tailor it to our needs. With as soft as the boating market is now, it might behoove you to buy a smaller (28-30 foot) boat and see how it works out for you. You would then be in a position to think of how many more feet you need to be happy.

Just my thoughts.
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1969 Crealock/Columbia 36 Sloop completely refitted in 2000 and new Yanmar in 2006.
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