I have been looking around for a used boat. I would like to find a boat that is big enough to live aboard, yet possible to sail shorthanded. I want to use it on the Chesapeake Bay, and at some point take it down to Fl and the Caribbean. I have looked at Beneteau 393, Pearson 424, Catalina 42, Hunter 40. Any thoughts, recommendations out there?
Welcome to SailNet Burt.
What is your sailing experience? I ask because a 40 foot boat can be a lot of boat for a novice. And it will give us a starting point. How many people will live aboard? I know you mentioned sailing shorthanded but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be the only one living on the boat.
I suggest that you spend some time lurking around the forum, especially in the Cruising and Liveaboard section, as that question has been asked a zillion times and you might find some answers to your questions (and discover questions that you didn't think to ask).
Need more data.
Liveaboard solo, couple or family?
Hi and thanks for the nice welcome. I am not a novice but not that experienced either. I owned an O'Day 25 for several years, and completed coastal cruising courses on a Durfour 41 a couple years ago.
Only one person living aboard...and my "shorthanded" definition was 2 of us.
Price range below 100k.
Okay, I am Pearson fan (323). I have not sailed in those specific boats, but 30-odd foot equivalents of all of them. In general (assuming similar equipment/condition) the Pearson tends to be more heavily-built, arguably better/more solid finish. The Pearson is has a more seakindly motion (which is a polite way of saying slower!). They are really solid coastal cruisers.
The 424, like the 323, has an encapsulated keel, which I personally like (dry bilge, no keelbolts to worry about).
Beneteau, Catalina and Hunters are all very fine boats; I cannot be objective here, but will say that those three tend to have a more "modern" appearance, whereas the Pearson is slightly more "classic".
As I said, I can't pretend objectivity, and with apologies to owners of the other boats, after my Pearson they all seemed a bit...flimsy. I would go to the Pearson in a heartbeat.
But then, the realities of price, condition, location etc come it to play; I would say any one of those four are great manufacturers, so go with what makes your heart sing.
By the way, a 40 footer is a big boat. Plenty big enough for 2! Or even 4.....
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