Join Date: Jul 2012
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Looking for a good "last boat"
My wife and I are looking for a good “last boat.” I know that some people say that there is no such thing as a “last boat,” there is only a series of “next boats,” but in this case I am referring to the kind of boat that is suited to advancing years and declining physical capability, a small, simple, sweet sailboat that would allow a couple retiring from live-aboard cruising to be able to get out on the water and enjoy the feel of the wind on our faces, the tug of the tiller on our hands, and the heave of the sea under our feet.
We have been looking around for a while, but haven’t found very many boats that meet our criteria. We would like the input of the community to suggest boats that we may have missed in our search and that meet all of the five criteria below.
1. COST. The boat must be readily available in good seaworthy condition for less than $10,000, including boat, sails, and trailer.
2. AESTHETICS. We like classic lines like the early work of Carl Alberg, Nat Herreshoff, and Carl Schumacher. We like well-proportioned overhangs, a spoon bow, and a spring to the sheer. Some examples are boats by Cape Dory, Cape Cod Shipbuilding, and the Alerion Express series. The unbeautiful boats of the modern high-volume sailboat builders do nothing for our sense of aesthetics. We also do not like reverse sheer, so the Pearson Ensign/Electra (which are also Alberg designs and would otherwise be possible choices) don’t make the cut either.
3. ACCOMMODATIONS. The boat will be used mostly for daysailing, but will occasionally be used for overnighting or weekending for two people, one of whom is 6’1”. Full-length berths and sitting headroom below are necessary. We’re not interested in boom-tent camping, so real berths for two people in an enclosed cabin are necessary, as is a head or portable toilet.
4. SAILABILITY. The boat should be a joy to sail: she need not be fast, but she should be well-mannered. She should have an easy helm, good motion in a chop, be dry when the wind is up, and be able to be sailed by sitting IN the cockpit rather than on the side decks. One person should be able to sail the boat easily without resorting to winches or even a lot of muscle power.
5. TRAILERABILITY. Total towing weight, including boat, trailer, equipment, and a weekend’s worth of gear and provisions must be less than 4,500 lbs. Realistically this means a displacement less than roughly 3,200 lbs. Beam needs to be 8.5 feet or less. We want to tow with a midsize SUV/Crossover with a 5,000 lb towing capacity; we don’t want to drive a huge SUV or truck just to tow the boat.
From web searches we have found a few boats that we want to look at and that seem, at least on paper, to meet our criteria. They are the Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender, the Cape Dory Typhoon Sr. (and the CD 22 based on the same hull), and the C.E. Ryder Sea Sprite 23.
Can anyone recommend any other boats that meet all of the five criteria?
Can anyone tell us of your personal experience with these boats that suggest whether they would or would not be suitable for our purpose?