I am a bit shy to make my first post, though reading this and many other threads for some time, I would like your consideration. Now I am planning a voyage from Hawaii to Japan (my home), and I will purchase a boat in Hon. or NA West Coast, of 34' or under, due to budget.
My question concerns heavy weather. It has been mentioned that fin keels do not heave to. Comments? Also mentioned was that this could be ameliorated with a drogue (like Jordan series)? For the solo or short-handed skipper, in a smaller boat, would the ability of the boat to heave to be a) crucial, b) important, or c) solved by other means?
Of course I would love some recommendations of a used boat suitable to the task for < $25K prior to outfitting. There are not so many choices, right? But would you advise me to ignore any/all fin keels in whatever combination? There is a real appeal in making a speedy passage -- in fact I am wanting to deliver the boat (to myself) in Japan, where it will enjoy its future life, with coastal and offshore work. I am not a circumnavigator, or live-aboard person.
As for sailing experience, offshore experience is limited. I crew on a 37' Jeanneau Sun Odyssey sailing in the Japan Sea, in Southern Kyushu. I do like the idea of weathering battened down in my cabin, reading a book, if it comes to that (or just hanging on).
Last, just to mention, some sort of fin+skeg rudder combination appeals to me (particularly for later coastal use), but I would not want to be foolish. Would you? If you can't heave to with a smaller fin keeled boat, can it be recommended for my (or trans-Pacific offshore) use?