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Old 07-25-2002
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Hi, I would be very curious to know what features/things you would list as what you do NOT want to have in your own boat. I think your experience would be helpful to all. :-)

Plus I am a fan of Calders books and I am aware of his "leanings" towards boats that can take repeated hard groundings and you can tell by the boats he owns. But from what I can tell the only way you can do that (to his specification) is with a heavy full or modified full keel, with perhaps an enclosed keel that you could beat yourself on a reef and walk away with relatively little harm. And I would probably want to lean that way, but I don''t want to sacrifice sailing and windward performance. Do you know of any Fin keel or relatively good performance boats that don''t have a deep keel, but are still rugged enough to take a few "hard groundings"?

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Old 07-25-2002
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Hi tsenator,

Don''t have time for long list at the moment, but let''s address question one:

I really want to love a lot of what many modern cruisers appear to offer (lighter, (hopefully) advanced construction, low wetted surface, high hull speed, responsive bulb fin keel and spade rudder, walk-thru transom and swim platform, deck salon views, spacious cockpits, comfortable accomodations, etc.) But, I''m not yet experienced enough to know (for myself) how the inevitable trade-offs work out when cruising for half a year and encountering a variety of weather and other conditions.

In just the little bit of open ocean sailing we did in the Caribbean, I can tell you that going below in a seaway was treacherous in the 1999 Jeanneau 45.2 we had (no offense intended to any owners out there). The wide cabin and lack of effective handholds made it dangerous for my crew [but we''re not all old salts yet, either :-)] The blocks and deck organizers leading lines aft were not up to the task and added too much friction in their overstressed state.

I don''t want in-mast furling, based upon what I saw with other boats (ours used slugs in a track, thankfully). I don''t want a locker for the chain rode which fouls the chain consistently. I don''t want a cockpit with no secure place to stow sundry items (charts, binocs, etc.). I don''t want the engine control panel and instruments to be 3 inches off the cockpit sole (too easy to get flooded). I don''t want a bimini that impedes usage of the winches. I don''t want 3 heads on a 45 foot boat.

The list could be expanded and will be as I gain experience, but I''ll move on to question two:

The quick answer is NO, I do not know yet what boats fit that bill. I hope to be a lot smarter as time rolls on with the help of my fellow Internet sailors. I may wind up developing a long list of features that I want/don''t want in a boat and then fall in love with one that is very different.

Maybe the best solution for me is to find/develop a forward looking sonar that will warn me of a potential grounding in time to avoid a collision at 9 knots!

Sorry if I didn''t answer either question satisfactorily, but got to run.

Fair winds.

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Old 07-25-2002
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No you did a fine job. Thanks for your input, its appreciated. And I basically agree with all your observations. Nothing wrong with our commodious coastal cruisers, but not the best for long term offshore jaunts. Not that they will break up out there in bluewater, but rather its the little details that make it more bearable when you are.
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