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dtfm 09-24-2002 10:31 AM

Green Water Cruising
I''ve seen lots of discussion about what types of boats will stand up to an ocean crossing or circumnavigation but that''s not my "cruising" plan. I plan to hop down the West Coast from Oregon to Baja, hugging the shore and sleeping at anchor or in marinas many nights (to visit friends). If the weather sucks too bad, I will stay in port. Spend the balance of the year doing the standard West Coast of Mexico cruising routes. At the end of the year, bash my way back up the coast, not sail to Hawaii.

Boat: I need the smallest boat that can "comfortably" (subjective term) contain 2 adults and 2 small kids for this voyage. Seems like my subjective view of comfort falls in at about 30 ft. The issue is, the 30 foot boats that fall in my price range ($25-30K) are your standard production coastal cruisers.

Anyone have experience on a similar type trip and whether the Beneteaus and Catalinas of the world would be sufficient? Is a "coastal cruiser" really suitable for that?

WHOOSH 09-24-2002 05:05 PM

Green Water Cruising

This isn''t an uncommon topic, here and at other BB''s, and the snag in your logic is that you aren''t just planning coastal cruising. While most of your itinerary offers day hops or overnights, anchorages in protected harbors & occasional marinas, the Oregon/N Calif coast and the run down & back along the NW Mexican coast is real, honest offshore work.

So first you need to ask yourself whether you set a target for the median somewhere in your boat choice, or whether you try to find the boat - and equip her suitably - capable of handling the worst ''typical bad stuff'' you can reasonably expect.

If you elect the latter target (the prudent choice0, then your price range probably dictates old(er) production boats, which isn''t a bad thing but may look/feel very different from what you picture. E.g. you may be thinking Catalina 30 (which is not suitable for that route, IMO) but perhaps should be considering boats like an Alberg 30 or even 35, a Pearson-built Vanguard 32, one of the older Dutch-built Contests, a Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31 or an Albin Ballad 30. These were all built in the 1970''s, are all dated, less "roomy" and ''old fashioned'' in looks, are all designed & built better for offshore work than the more contemporary designs, and many have been refurb''d & cruised while doing what you now are considering. You''ll find numerous examples like these for sale, some of them reasonably well equipped, in Latitude 38 each month, just to mention one possible source ( - they post all their reader ads).

Good luck on the search, and it''s a great trip - except the last part, heading back N to Oregon. You''d be a hero to your crew if you sailed up the Sea of Cortez and used the trucking service to take her back home via the border. <g>


dtfm 09-25-2002 08:57 AM

Green Water Cruising

Thanks for the good advice. Oh, and I haven''t ruled out trucking her home, even though it offends my purist sensibilities. It IS a long bash home.


WHOOSH 09-25-2002 10:49 AM

Green Water Cruising
Jim, I''d encourage you to seek out an Albin Ballad 30 or H-R Monsun 31 if you can, and see what you think about the 4 of you being able to cruise on either one. Those are both wonderful boats, routinely raced and cruised in the North Sea and Baltic, have very functional layouts that offset their narrow but seakindly hulls, and were built exceedingly well. A Ballad I recently saw advertised in Yachtworld came with its own trailer, was little used (it''s on the Great Lakes where the seasons are short and U/V almost nonexistent!) and was priced below your target price, allowing you some new gear and fixes. A Monsun 31 I recently saw advertised was clean, little used, had a Monitor vane and was priced in your ballpark.


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