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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 03-27-2005
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flyhop is on a distinguished road
Boat of choice and why?

As a cruiser-wannabe, I am interested to know which boat a cruiser owns, the pros and the cons, and why that particular boat was chosen.
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Old 03-28-2005
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Boat of choice and why?

I think that you are asking a very good question in a general sense, not because it would define a particular set of criteria for a universally suitable cruising boat but because it would provide a lot of insight into the various posters on these message boards. I say this because at the heart of your question is the question, ''What do you mean by cruiser?" These days people seem to define this term for themselves.

Traditionally, the term ''cruising'' was extremely broad and had simply indicated staying out long enough to sleep aboard. By that definition the term covered a very wide range of boats from weekenders to racer-creuisers to coastal cruisers to distance cruisers to offshore cruisers, with a wide range of nuances in between. I am not sure that is what you had in mind when you asked your question.

My view of the term is just that, my individual view, and it represents perhaps minority viewpoint of what cruising is about. In no way do I see my preferences as representing a superior form of cruising for anyone except myself. In my case, I am a near life long coastal cruiser. I have sailed offshore, and frankly I don''t enjoy it very much. I much prefer the challenges and changing scenery that comes with coastal cruising. I personally enjoy the diversity of the sailing experince that typically occurs even on a single day of coastal cruising as compared to the comparatively stable conditions offshore where you might sail in the same course in the same winds and weather for days (if not weeks) at a time.

I really value being able to voyage under sail, avoiding running the engine for days at a time, sailing into and out of docks or onto or off of the anchor. I like poking into narrow creeks and other challenging places under sail. I live in an area where a little extra range can mean literally dozens of additional anchorages in a average day''s run. All of that means that sailing ability comes pretty much at the top of my list of criteria.

I sail in a wide range of conditions and my eventual goals for my boat is to cruise the Carribean and Europe, so seaworthiness and offshore capability was also high on my list. For that reason, I chose a boat that has an excellent short-handed offshore cruising record.

Good offshore berths, good storage, a good offshore galley and head were important. Lots of room, and wide berths, acres of teak, ''all of the comforts of home'' and all of the latest cruising amenities are not important to me.

Ease of handling single-handed and the ability to quickly adapt to changeable conditions was very important to me so I chose a fractional sloop rig. I especially chose this rig with offshore capability in mind.

Performance at the extremes was very important to me. Summer sailing on the Atlantic coast, where I have lived and sailed throughout my sailing carreer, tends to bring a lot of light air. Being able to sail well in light conditions means a lot more sailing days and a lot more hours sailing rather than motoring. (To me that is the greatest luxury of them all.) Similarly, when things turn dicey, there is no substitute for an seaworthy boat that can sail well or hove to when getting trashed. For that reason I chose a comparatively long boat for its displacement with a low drag fin keel and spade rudder.

Anyway, for those reasons I bought the Farr 11.6 (Farr 38) that is my current boat. If I had a larger budget there are other, more modern designed boats that I might have considered but the Farr 11.6 has worked extremely well for me.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 03-28-2005
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Boat of choice and why?

Jeff,

I enjoyed reading this post very much. I too don''t really enjoy offshore cruising that much...but the coastal stuff I could do forever. There have been times when I felt as if those with much more experience than myself saw my lack of desire to do offshore passages as something that was there because of being female. It was good to hear a very expeienced, skillful male sailor say that he didn''t enjoy them either.

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Old 03-28-2005
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Boat of choice and why?

As I make my plans for moving aboard in 16 months, my thoughts are towards coastal cruising as well. As allurring as heading "around the world" is, it doesn''t really fit my plans. There''s so much to see and places to go, right here in our own "backyard", I doubt I''ll see it all in the (hopefully) 20 yrs I''ll have afloat.

To me, cruising isn''t so much about where you go, as it is about just going. And as a singlehander, the added complications of long offshore passages would seem to only diminish my enjoyment. Becoming more of a chore, than a delight. Not to mention the added expense in boat, equipment, etc.

As it is, I''ll be heading out in a Hunter26, not exactly a live-aboard vessel, and particularly, not an off shore boat. But, it''s paid for, and will get me going, and let me learn about what I want, and need, when I buy a larger boat. And even then, I''m not looking bigger than a 32 footer.

In many ways, I think arriving at realistic expectations of what you will really end up doing, is the hardest part. There''s a sense of romance to cruising, that is hard to resist. But I''ve come to realize that if my "circumnavigation" is only around the Eastern US, well, that''s enough for me, and it makes me no less a cruiser than those who sail around the world.

So basically, the boat of choice should be the boat that suits what you "will" do, not what you "might" do. Just make sure you know which is which !

Fair winds,
John
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Old 04-17-2005
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flyhop is on a distinguished road
Boat of choice and why?

Valid points all and appreciated.

Here''s our dream.... Two children (12 & 7), myself and husband. We are going to island hop in the Carribean and venture to Central America and Mexico. We will be visiting family in the U.S. from time to time, so either the ICW or the Fla panhandle will be on our travels. All of this said, we do not plan on an itinerary except to stay out during hurricane season. We plan to meander when the mood strikes us.

This will be a 2-year minimum, 5-year planned excursion. We will be home-schooling our children, visiting the museums and as many of the sights we deem of some educational value as possible. It is our intent to spend 80-90% of the time on the hook.

We are not speed-greedy, nor are we insistent that we sail as close to the wind as possible. We are fairly cautious sailors, so I don''t see ourselves seeking heavy weather sailing but do understand that it may find us. Our primary interests are delivering our crew safely with reasonable accomodations and plenty of storage.
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Old 04-17-2005
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bombayduck is on a distinguished road
Boat of choice and why?

Check out a Searunner 37 trimaran. It could be the boat for you.
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Old 04-22-2005
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chuck_or is on a distinguished road
Boat of choice and why?

2 older kids and 2 adults makes it harder to get privacy and comfort in a smaller cruising boat, especially for a 2-5 year timeframe. I would seek a boat with a forward cabin and separate aft cabin, one for the kids and one for you and spouse. One head or two with a shower would be nice. A center cockpit aft cabin model could be the ticket or an aft cockpit with a nice aft cabin. A Kelley Peterson 44, Valiant 40, or Halberg Rassey are the types of boats that have these features. There are others. 40 feet to 45 feet or so. In the ICW and Carribean, depth is a possible concern, so a centerboard model or one with not too deep draft would be desirable.

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Old 04-22-2005
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Boat of choice and why?

I really think that the Searunner 37 would be a poor choice for a family of four in terms of carrying capacity and interior volume. While a number of Searunners have been cruised very succesfully, they have not done well in heavier conditions and are not easy boats to moor within the confines of the intercoastal.
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