Changing Tack, Ideas About the Next Boat
I've raced, cruised and sailed my own boats as well as others for about 10 years now. Mostly in and around Charleston, SC with a few deliveries up to MD and one Daytona to Charleston race in the stream. I've owned boats from 16 to 27 feet, worked and sailed on boats as large as a 140 ft tall ship and have a Captains license. Over the years I've realized that I like racing mainly because I enjoy boats that sail well. I do enjoy the competition of racing but over all I would consider myself more of a cruiser. For my wife and I there's nothing we enjoy more than sailing out to a nice anchorage and spending the night, even if its just in the harbor. In looking back the boats we've enjoyed the most, they were the ones that sailed the best, had the best sail controls and an easy deck to navigate. They were also minimally outfitted. One of our fondest was an engineless Starwind 19 without even a battery. We sailed that boat all over Charleston and even offshore a few times. That's what lead us to buy our current trailer sailer, a Starwind 223 that we are getting ready to splash soon. It's a great boat that should work well for us at the moment and we plan on keeping it for the next few years. I'd love to trailer it down to Fl and sail it over to the Bahamas for a few weeks.
For some reason I always catch myself dreaming about the next boat and far away places. Until recently it's always been accompanied by a salty boat like a Hans Christian or Pacific Seacraft. I've realized over the last few years my ideas about what makes a good offshore cruiser have changed. as well as the realization that we probably will not be crossing any oceans, and if we were our budget would never get anywhere close to those big cruisers.
So for our next boat we'll need something under $35,000, maybe 40k at the most. It'll be my wife, myself and our currently 7 month old daughter. I can't rule out the possibility of one more little crew member in the near future, so four of us. I'd like to have something comfortable for cruising in and around Charleston with the ultimate goal of an extended trip to the Bahamas or north, maybe for a few months at the most Oh yea, it has to sail like a dream, have wide side decks and sail controls that can be handled by one. My wife needs to be able to single hand so something that sails well under main alone would be nice. I'd also like to do some local inshore and coastal racing. I hate to throw boats out there because it may bias you but I've been looking at J/28's and J/30's. I know the 30 seems a little light on ballast but a couple came through the disastrous Fastnet race, one even was singlehanded. I'm not sure if it's in the same category but the Pearson 32 seems ok also on paper. They can all be had for under $30,000 it seems.
I love the J/boats, the sail handling setup is really nice. I especially like how the mainsheet and traveller are set-up in the cockpit near the helmsman at the end of the boom. I also prefer tiller steering. I hate how cruising and racing are so segregated from each other. As far as sail handling, what makes a great racer also makes cruising easier. I've been on many "cruising" boats where the sail handling and deck layout were horrible for sailing, and that's what we enjoy, so I've been leaning farther and father towards a performance cruiser, or racer that we can coastal cruise.
After reading this it seems silly to want another boat to park at the marina. I just sold a Beneteau First 235 because I got tired of paying dockage. The Starwind is a relatively cheap boat to own, and we have about 1/4 the amount of $$ tied up into it as we did the Beneteau. If we stick to our plan, in a few years we should be in better financial shape and hopefully we can justify it. Maybe look into a mooring, hey that could be a thread on its own, mooring or dock? LOL!
Starwind 223 & Compac 16
Last edited by snider; 04-25-2012 at 12:45 AM.