Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes PNW
Thanked 125 Times in 113 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Help PleaseóMoving to the Reality Stage
Congratulations on your impending purchase. You post as though you are going about this choice logically, which is really just fooling yourself. I believe all boat purchases are not logical, and indeed are firmly grounded in insanity. So why do we buy them? Because we fall in love!
Which boat are you in love with? Buy that one.
Don't buy the boat that has more check-marks on the list, buy the one you're in love with. That way, when the most expensive part of the boat falls off and you have to fix it in the middle of nowhere it will all be part of the "adventure".
It sounds to me like you've taken a shine to the Southern Cross 31. All three look like good choices and there ARE some real advantages to going small. On the other hand, you'll be living aboard, so be sure to pick a boat that has really good accommodations ABOVE DECKS and BELOW DECKS. In the tropics, living aboard also means hatches for ventilation, places to hang hammocks, comfortable cockpits for lounging, easy entrance to the water for swimming and biminis to hide from the sun. For living aboard, a good below decks layout is a given, but don't forget the above decks.
As for the ketch rig, that is a major plus, not a minus, even for the single hander. It's another self tending sail, so it's not much more work and it's utility is endless. You can use it as self steering, or fine tune your weather-helm to take the strain of the pilot. You can use it as a riding sail at anchor. It's a great place to hang a wind generator, sun awning, or hammock. When reefing, you take down the main first, and the remaining storm sails are the mizzen and headsail, both tended from the cockpit (with a furler). Many full keeled ketches heave to very well with all sails down except the mizzen. Easy as pie to change from storm sailing, to furling the headsail and heaving to.
Good luck with your purchase and upcoming adventure. The most important thing you are doing is deciding to go!
I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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