Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 138 Times in 111 Posts
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Here why I think your advice to go out and buy a bluewater cruiser makes less than zero sense in this case or in most cases....As I read the original poster's comments, he is listing boats designed for such extremely different purposes and intended for such extremely different uses, and described what is essentially coastal cruising that it is not clear to me that a "blue water capable cruiser" makes sense at all.
And so even if a blue water cruiser made sense for Gregg, there is a wide spectrum of preferences in offshore capable, long distance cruising within Gregg's budget, and Gregg clearly has not defined his tastes, that there would be no way for Gregg to know in advance what his tastes will be. For his purposes that could be anything from a J-44 to a Caliber, to a Peterson 44/46 to the Hylas 46 and he apparently does not have the criteria to say which is right for him.
If Gregg follows your advice and buys a 40 foot waterline/$160,000 boat, and he choses wrong and has to swap boats to a boat that he finds preferable, the depreciation and commissions on a $160,000 boat is far more than the entire cost of purchasing some $10,000-25,000 starter boat. Heck, the starter boat is a small fraction of what it would cost to even fit out Gregg's ulimate boat. But also, it is nearly imposible to learn to sail, and to learn boat husbandry skills very well on a long distance cruiser with a longer than 40 foot waterline. A beginner might develop basic skills but would face an extremely steep learning if not nearly insurmountable curve trying to be sailor with the full range of boat care, sail trim and boat handling skills on a boat of the size in question.
By simply taking a year or two to do his homework and refine his tastes, Gregg is likely to far more prepared to go off cruising and a heck of lot less frustrated than he would be if he simply buys his ultimate boat.
More to the point, over the years I have ridden shotgun on literally dozens of folks who done what Gregg wants to do, and perhaps twice as many more who never made it. Most who made it and were happy with their ultimate choices, took the time to own a first boat and hone their skills and tastes. A few of those decided that small boat coastal cruising was all that they needed in life. But almost none of the folks who I have known who bought their ultimate boat without doing the groundwork ended up happily voyaging out there in the first boat that they bought. And yes I am sure there are folks who are happy out there, and who succeeded having lept from the cliff hoping there would be a net below, but in my experience those are the rare few.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay