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  #1  
Old 10-31-2006
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Requirements for your cruising boat?

I'm not at the purchase point yet, but I was wondering if anyone had a good list of "requirements" for cruising boats they're looking at that they may be willing to share?

Types of things I'm thinking about:
No coring below the waterline (solid fiberglass)
Length over 30 feet
Fuel tanks over 40 gallons
Water tanks over 80 gallons

etc.. just wondering if anyone had good lists. I'm writing boat shows into my calendar for the next couple years, and thought that carrying around a list of my "interests" would be good.
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Old 10-31-2006
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Another newbie's list....

Well, first off, given that my family and, in particular, my wife, have no sailing experience, "cruising" for us means Chesapeake Bay. We are looking at a "learner" cruiser, but we don't want to break the bank until we find out if she and the rest of the family like the life. So, on to the requirements....

Inexpensive. This means I'm looking at 1968 to 1979 as the production date for the boat. Caution: this does not mean inexpensive in the long run, just the initial outlay to get on the water. I anticipate doing a huge amount of work to maintain and improve the boat (my Casey and Calder library is growing rapidly, and I pick tools for home improvement based on their suitability for use on boats, too).

Sound hull. For me, this means no cored hull. It also means no serious osmosis problems, or they've already been handled.

Good rig. I don't know enough about tuning a rig to rebuild standing rigging on my own. I'm looking for a boat with SS wire rigging no older than 5 to 7 years.

Functional head. This is a family thing....

Ratty and ill-equipped galley. I'm very into cooking, and I want to fit it out to match my style.

Wheel steering. I plan to move up to a bigger boat, which will have wheel steering, so I want to get used to it. This is not a requirement for purchase - it would be quite educational to do a tiller-to-wheel conversion. It would require glassing reinforcements under the cockpit (practice with fiberglass and epoxy), mounting the pedestal (practice with epoxy and drilling), and rigging the cables (practice with steering systems).

Sailable. I want to go sailing with the family starting in April, so I need to have a boat that's functional, or can be made functional, by that time. Decent sails. Decent rig (as noted). Functional engine (or can be made functional by amateurs).

Sleeps 4.

Lines led aft. This would be nice, but isn't a strict requirement. I could do that myself, though after some discussions here it's clear that it's a bigger job than I anticipated.

Size - well, that's a tough one. The Sabre 28 is nice, as is the C&C 28 (but whoops, isn't that a cored hull?). I am shooting for 30 to 34 feet. Big enough to be comfortable overnight, big enough to sail like a "big boat," but not so big that affordable = holes in the hull and boat sunk at one point.

On the short list are the Columbia 9.6, the S2 9.2A, and the 32' Endeavor.

Cheers,
Phil
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Old 10-31-2006
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Don't forget draft

Consider where you are going to use the boat. The right keel design is important. The answer changes based on the usage. Offshore, or coastal cruise? What about rivers? Marina access? Etc.
Kevin
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Old 10-31-2006
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This is a good start, but lots of other considerations depending on what kind of cruising you want to do--ie. weekends, weeks at a time, longer range?
Think about storage space, lighting, standing head room, shower, refrigeration, diesel vs. gas engine, size/number of batteries, need for an inverter if anchoring out, autohelm, cockpit seating room, visibility for the helmsperson, dodger/bimini, sail configuration, lazy jacks, cabin heater, sleeping accommodations, etc., etc.
I'm not suggesting you will need all of these, but you might, depending on how you plan to use the boat, so these are some things to at least think about and make a decision on whether you need/want them or not. Others can likely add to the list.
Frank.
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Old 10-31-2006
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ceberon,

For most people buying a boat, especially a first boat, is an emotional, subjective exercise. Everyone is different and most have different requirements for "cruising". You cannot and should not base your choice on a list of requirements developed by others. Read, read, read and then sail, sail, sail on other people's boats. Check out local clubs, folks are always looking for crew. Gradually you will learn what you like and what you don't.

Sometimes what you like at first will turn out to be un-needed or even useless in a cruising boat, this is part of learning. For example, when I was looking for my first boat I just had to have the instruments mounted on a pod on the pedestal. I ended up with a boat with the instruments on the bulkhead and found that, as I was usually on autopilot and not behind the wheel, the bulkhead mount was superior.

Your first boat will not be perfect because you don't really know what you want or need. Your last boat will not be perfect because, if you're like most of us, you won't be able to afford all the "requirements" you now find desireable. Good luck in your search and don't set your mind on one make or model.
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I'm aware that I don't want to use other people's lists, but I find it helpful when I'm trying to imagine what I should be looking for. There is a huge number of different styles of boats out there, and finding a few "needs" to use to eliminate some of them would be helpful.

For instance, my list I've gotten so far (Somewhat similar to my first post):

Draft of no more than 6 feet (due to wanting to tour the Bahamas)
No coring below the waterline if fiberglass (solid fiberglass, for upkeep, strength, and less chances for blistering)
No wood hull (due to upkeep costs)
Length over 30 feet (safety & comfort)

I forget the rest of the list, it had something to do with how the thru-hulls were constructed, and a few other frame type features I'd like to have. In general instruments, helm control, etc can always be modified afterwards, so I wouldn't want to limit a boat based on these. The above features are not exactly things you change on a boat

Hopefully that explains a bit more of what I was looking for.
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Old 10-31-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoyer
Well, first off, given that my family and, in particular, my wife, have no sailing experience, "cruising" for us means Chesapeake Bay. We are looking at a "learner" cruiser, but we don't want to break the bank until we find out if she and the rest of the family like the life. So, on to the requirements....
Thanks for the long reply, it was excellent to read
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Old 10-31-2006
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Beyond the gathering of information on preferences, I would offer this piece of advice for three priorities. Condition, condition, and condition. When you have short listed the purchase down to 3-5 specific boats that meet your subjective requirements, then finish exercise by weight of condition. I say this because as a rule you are better off to pay a little more if condition is better. This will also add to your pleasure as the shorter the repair list the better.

Paul
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Old 10-31-2006
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One site worth visiting is
http://www.bethandevans.com/
and in particular the stuff they left off their cruising boat and why http://www.bethandevans.com/Leftoff.htm
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My list

1. Affordable

2. Overnite aboard on a mooring or hanging off an anchor, ie toilet, shower, gas stove, comfy bunks. I need this because it is a two hour drive to the bay. I won't be daysailing.

3. Sail efficiently. An old race boat would do just fine if it meets 1 & 2. This is important, sailing is what sailing is all about. No status symbols, floating condos etc.

4. Safe and solid.

5. Less than 6' draft, to explore the Chesapeake Bay.

6. Good sized cockpit. To take friends and my growing family out for a day.

7. Single hand capability, rollerfurl, lazy jacks, reef lines lead aft, etc.

8. Place for wife out of the sun, a dodger for the fair skinned readhead.
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