Going for It! And Buying a Boat -Advice Please
After some thought and looking at my options and this economy I have decided to pretty much chuck it all and return to living a fuller life for the forseeable future. I grew up racing and when I was twenty two years old left for several years of sailing all over the world albeit on other peoples yachts. I just went where the boats were going and crewed and skippered some others. I logged many thousands of miles. I worked and repaired sails (I used to work for North Sails) I went to the most fantastic places that I will never forget. I met the most interesting people. We had amazing times discovering ancient ruins, remote anchorages and incredible food. I loved the long crossings and the sunrise watch. It was always my favorite time to be alone on deck in the wee hours of the night with the water swishing by and steering by the stars as the sky lightened with the approaching sunrise. And I want to do it again.
I'll be taking my girlfriend along but she's likely to fly out to me after my long traverses and enjoy sailing among islands wherever that may be. She's not a sailor yet. And I can't count on her becoming one interested in long crossings. So I'll be single-handing somewhat and that's OK. I have the skill set to do that even though I'd rather have help for watches. I suppose I'll have a radar and a CARD alarm for when I need to sleep a few hours. Hoping to stay out of the the major lanes and trouble.
I don't have a lot of finances but can afford a decent boat with enough cash to sail for a good long time even accounting for some minor refits.
My must have equipment list: self-steering wind vane, solar and wind generator, water maker, diesel heater, dingy davits (I'll likely need to fit most of these)
Here's the short list of boats I'm considering: Serious bluewater boats. They are all getting old and I will carefully have to weigh what needs to be done with my time to make them sound for long crossings and bad weather. Anyone who has sailed them or has advice, accolades, opinions or warnings, please let me know!
Passport 40 - I like this one but don't have much info…..
Valiant 40, 42 -I know about the blister boat hull numbers
Kelly Peterson 44 or 46 -I wish it were an aft cockpit design -this is my No. 1 choice!
Mason 44 -Expensive -may be out of my reach when outfitted
Baba, Panda or Tashiba 40, 42, 44 beautiful interiors
Tayana Vancouver 42 -Doesn't seem much of a performer
Tatoosh 42 -Pricey
Caliber 40 -An unknown quantity
• I really like the Baba for it's livability and beautiful interior but don't know how I'd like sailing on one? Are they really that slow to windward compared to something like a Kelly Peterson?
As you can see from my list performance is high on my qualifications spec as well as a skeg hung rudder and moderately heavy displacement. What I demand is a good sea-kindly motion under sail even when going to weather.
At this time I have not been onboard any of these boats. I am looking at a KP46 tomorrow. Unfortunately its outfitted perfectly but ….it has an electric in mast furling main! That is a deal breaker for me! We used to call these "roller snarling" in the loft I worked at. It would be an absolute no no for me to single hand a rig like that with the inevitable jam way up aloft. I think it would cost me upwards of $25,000 to replace the mast rigging and mainsail.