First off, hello everyone, I'm brand spankin' new to this group just wanted to introduce myself properly before I rant
Wow, I've just spent 3 hours reading the posts on this thread and then playing with the spreadsheet that emagin
put up for us to review (thanks btw). A few thoughts pop immediately to mind. The author of the original, hotly debated list is like like a few of us, HUMAN. He's got his biases and his own opinions and while I respect his experience and knowledge base, I also was taught since childhood that opinions are like (insert gender neutral body part here). Everyone's got one.
I think that Neal's list is more of an introduction to what's out there that he's either had first hand experience with, or more likely, has spoken to those who do and whose opinions he respects. For me, in the middle of my own search for something to take me 'cross oceans AND to gunkhole in, I found his list a great starting point
in my deliberations. Not the definitive list from which to choose. Afterall, as mentioned earlier, people crossed the pacific in rafts and some Kiwi or Frenchman is probably kitting out a Hobi or bathtub with a broom handle & sheets to give it a go.
For me as a basic neophyte to Blue Water voyaging, this list got me looking at some of the mfr's of the various boats, looking at any apparent common threads and then using those as a base line. His list has shown me the breadth of boats out there that could fit my needs, but in the end, I'll choose the one that gives me that tingle, regardless of lists or stats. Don't get me wrong, the stats & lists mean a helluva lot but they're the pointer, not the final determinant factor. Someone here posted that "No man has ever married an ugly wife, had a dumb dog or bought a bad boat" and truer words haven't been spoken.
We each love our boats, flaws included. That's what gives 'em personality and like a spouse, those imperfections become things that are endearing & irritating at the same time. My first boat was a Bombardier dinghy, granted, I was only 12 or 13 at the time but she was mine and by god, there simply wasn't a better boat on the water !