Join Date: Dec 2007
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My water will be green
Just returned from a loop of the western Carb. and thru the canal. I always thought I needed a blue water boat, but ran across so many coastal boats down there I am beginning to re-think my needs.
I started with a Pearson 323, then moved to a Brewer 12.8. Too small, then too big. I did 3 winters in the Bahamas, then sold out and went with a friend on a 58' cat thru the Carib. Found out cats are probably not my first choice, and they are more expensive than what I want to invest right now. My sailing area will be Bahamas/Cuba and maybe a bit further. The boats under consideration for me are something like the Pearson 365 or Morgan 384. I would love a Bristol 38.8, but don't want to spend that much.
My wish list is from about big 36' to 40' without aft cabin (want the storage area) but can be quarter berth. No full keel, but would like skegged rudder if possible. I have re-adjusted from full-on blue water to consider Hunter, Beneteau, etc. but seems like all around 38' have one or two aft cabins, to the loss of storage. (This is critical to me as I haul a lot of gear, an essential part of my cruising experience.) In this size range an aft cockpit is what I will choose.
My question is are there any other choices that you are aware of? Doesn't need to be a rocket ship, but should sail well and not be weak design/construction. Budget could be $50k. Part of the reason for the low budget will be to avoid insuring the boat (the hassle has been really discouraging for me).
I have read extensively over the years about boats, but always with prejudice towards blue water only boats. Now I realize that is no longer essential, but unfortunately have been of the mindset that other choices were sub-standard for so long that I need help re-focusing on alternative brands. You can see that my 3 above mentioned boats are capable of some blue water sailing, but they also have the design features that I may want. Who knows, maybe with time I could even accept a bolted-on keel and a spade rudder, (yikes)! Oh, shoal draft would probably be necessary for the area I want to go, at least around 5' or so.
Thanks to all who read and respond.
Added: The boat will be cruised for approx. 4 months each years, so no charter layout please.
I'm not looking for mass approval. Is everybody ok with that?
Last edited by dwightgry; 03-15-2011 at 12:43 PM.
Reason: added info