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Too small for offshore?
Hi - I sail a Halcyon 23'' on the English East Coast and in the English Channel so got interested in this debate.
What did you mean by ''offshore''? One of the restrictions I find, given space/comfort considerations, is that it does take a long time to go places. My longest single trip in this boat has been about 23 hours.To get to France would take at least that, and actually wouldn''t be much fun.
So I do quite a lot of serious coastal sailing, with quite long hops, but things to see, ports of refuge etc, but I can keep going if the sailing is good.
The Halcyon 23 has an inboard engine and a self-draining cockpit, both of which help. She also has a good suite of headsails, giving lots of choice. (I don''t like depending on roller reefing!) I also had reefing points put in for slab reefing; previously she only had on boom roller reefing. This took rather too long (as a scary 15 minutes in the Thames taught me one day!) so I only use it for show.
As you say - there are lots of stories about people doing amazing things in such boats. I suggest the key criteria are
(i) comfort - for all the crew. Can you get comfortable off watch/make a good sustaining meal underway/get to the heads without being sick. If there are lots of noes to this lot, it simply might not be fun!
(ii) sailing experience of you and crew. We all make mistakes, and certainly I learn everytime I step on board. So I do a little bit more than I think I can handle, and go a bit further all the time.
Obviously, you want your boat to be seaworthy (not leaking, not overly tender, proper nav lights etc etc), but these two factors seem to me far more important than a simple assessment of size or hull material.
Good luck and fair winds.