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post #210 of Old 12-31-2012
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Re: Production boats- justified bias?

Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
OK, those are some boats that would be great if I won the lottery. How about something for us mere mortals?

Seriously are there production boats in the mid-30 to mid-40 foot range that stand out in your mind for reasons good or bad -- the boat you mentioned that did so poorly in the Chesapeake comes to mind. And I wouldn't be surprised if the same brand is represented in both the best and worst categories.
Rather than focusing on particular boats, the point I've always been trying to make in these discussions is to think in terms of the "characteristics" of a design which contribute to seakindliness... There are many affordable boats out there which share the sort of hull form that John Harries describes, and of the boat's I've cited...

Honestly, I haven't sailed all that many different boats in the 30-40' range, most of my delivery work has always involved boats larger than 40'... C couple that come immediately to mind are the Bristol 35.5 and 38.8, and the Little Harbor 38, all very nice all-around boats... I've only sailed a Tartan 37 in smooth water, but it was a very well-mannered boat that certainly felt right... That's a boat with a very solid reputation, hard to go wrong with an S&S design, of course...

John Neal's list is as good a place to start looking, as any:

Mahina Expedition - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

Again, when you're looking for characteristics in a boat, I think it's more helpful to focus on the design pedigree, rather than the builder... For example, as Minnewaska mentioned, the Cherubini-designed Hunters are an entirely different animal from the contemporary Hunter line... IMHO, it's hard to go wrong with a design from S&S, Bob Perry, Chuck Paine, Ted Hood and his proteges, and so on...

I'll just mention a couple of others in your size range, that while I've never sailed, have always intrigued me, and would be on my personal short list...

The Hood 38, from Wauquiez... Herb McCormick, who's probably sailed a wider variety of boats than anyone I know, sailed aboard one in Alaska years ago, and told me that would be on his short list, for a go-anywhere, affordable boat...

And, the Pretorian 35, also from Wauquiez, was Hal & Margaret Roth's last boat... That says something, in my book...

Chuck Paine's early designs, such as the Able Whistler... that has always looked like a wonderful boat, to my eye... the Morris 36/38 looks like a gem, a yacht broker friend of mine who's also sailed a bunch of different boats, rates that one as one of his favorites of all time... Of course, such a boat will still be out of the financial reach of most of us "mere mortals", unfortunately...

Sadly, most all of these kinds of boats will share one trait in common, beyond their seakindliness, comfort, safe decks, and decent performance under sail... Namely, their interiors - when compared to the overwhelming percentage of production offerings exhibited in Annapolis each October - will appear relatively small, cramped, and dark... Thus, for those having to convince a somewhat less enthusiastic spouse or girlfriend to come along the ride, or has a family to consider, it can be tough sell to have them appreciate the virtues of boats designed to SAIL, as opposed to those designed from the inside-out, and thus to "show well" in the side-by-side comparison taste test represented by the Boat Show...

Basically, I blame the rise to prominence of The Boat Show and Charter Industry as being responsible for all of the worst trends in modern sailing yacht design and production over the last couple of decades... (grin)
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