I sold my C&C34 last year and have now begun my search for a new boat. I have read this forum often and thought it would be useful to get suggestions for boats for other sailors as I am finding the task of narrowing down a list to search for and look at daunting. Here are my thoughts on a new boat.
I sail on Long Island Sound off a mooring. I overnight at the mooring often (my second house on the water), sail alone most of the time, with my wife some of the time and periodically taking groups of students and friends out. We have not cruised at all up until now but my wife and I plan overnight or weekend trips in the future with kids now out of the house. So not more than two on the boat, and no long cruising trips planned. The boat must be set up to be easily handled by one person. I have been a singlehanded/doublehanded dinghy
racer all my life, so am a good sailor, but have only the last 6 years of keelboat experience on the C&C. I expect decent to excellent performance from a boat and fun. I have been looking in the 27-34' range, as I found the size and weight of things on the 34 to be challenging sometimes, but have not determined a perfect size. I did not have a spinnaker
setup on the C&C so while not a requirement, I would enjoy one on the new boat (asymetrical/furling?) to add another dimension of fun if it could be handled by one person. I raced the C&C periodically solo or shorthanded and would race the new boat in club events periodically but definitely solo or shorthanded.
1. The deep keel of the C&C (6') was sometimes limiting on LIS. It would be nice to have shoal draft, lifting or keel/centerboard on the new one.
2. The C&C was a very tender boat. It was a handful when the wind piped up, which it often does in my area. I would like a boat I can be confident taking out myself in any conditions.
3. I am 6'3' tall, so decent headroom and berth length is a plus.
4. I doubt I could talk my wife into a new boat, but the budget is not fixed yet. The most boat for the money that accomplishes as much as possible is the compromise. We looked at the J95 at Newport this fall, and I have to say that it was about as perfect a boat in terms of the list above as I have seen, but the price was much higher than I am considering at this point (probably 200k by the time it is outfitted well). I guess that does not does not take resale value into the equation, but I don't know how to figure that. Obviously, if you pay more up front but can recoup most of that at sale, then it is better than paying less and getting less back, but with a newer boat, and the volatile market, I don't know to what extent that works in your favor.
Any thoughts or suggestions welcome!! Thanks!