Re: Best small boat for cruising the Bahamas?
I just sold a Bristol 27 that other than bottom paint was ready to go. atom bomb, 130 on harkin roller, typical b27 main sheet arrangement, whisker pole, recent standing rigging, servicable to new running rigging, anchors, rodes, fenders, dock lines, blah blah blah- 4500.
that was a pretty sweet bahamas boat- 4 foot draft, nice low freeboard= way fun and easy to swim/dive from. TONS of storage space, great for a couple with the dinnette, not as great for a couple of buddies or a couple with a kid. there isn't a boat made with an icebox that is suitable for the bahamas, ice is too expensive to justify unless there is fresh fish to keep for a few days. so you may want a fridge.
I met a french canuck guy and his wife in a pretty awesome centaur, really well done remodel inside, made for a far bigger boat on the inside than my B27- I have no idea about the stock ones however, interior. I don't like the cockpit in the westerly as well as some others, the combings really. same on the Albin Vega and the Contessa, it seems to enclose you abit more, and you lose some of the advantages of the easy access afforded by the lowfreeboard.
Tartan 27 with its shoal draft, Keel/ CB arrangement would be about perfect too.
My new pearson Renegade is getting towards 4'6" draft, which is as deep a boat as I want there. and doesn't have the storage space of the Bristol 27, it also accelerates a bit quicker, and tacks easier- especially with a dink in tow- which you will tow it occasionally even if you swear you never will...