Thanks for any comments!
Well, maybe not
Brian, I waited a long time to see one of the usual culprits give you the low-down here. I am, frankly, tired of hearing the same pros and cons repeated over and over again, so I stayed out.
But nobody has replied yet. Did the Swine Flu floored everybody?
So, I feel like answering in a way you least of all wanted, and to hell with it: If you are a designer, the numbers and profiles would interest you in minute detail, and I apologize if that is your interest. But if, as you say, you want a boat to sail to Mexico, how about going with the boat that appeals most, that appears comfortable within, that is in a reasonable condition, so forth?
I say this because I’ve been through the same mill: a few years ago, I made up huge spreadsheets with vital stats of probably 40 boats, calculated my own ratios and read every footnote on the infamous “capsize-ratio” and its likes. It was an obsession – my boat should have the closest thing to a perfect hull. Except, it had to be cheap also. I was looking in the Albin Ballad range (a couple of foot less than your choices, give or take), and in the end I came up with an odd choice: the Bostrøm 31 from 1970s, a good hull for rough seas, of unmistakable IOR heritage. It was by all accounts underrated and good value. I scoured B31 clubs in many countries, I knew it all.
This was before I got closer to a few in real life. That cockpit was much more cramped than I envisaged; it had wheel steering but the mechanisms weren’t convincing; most B31s were owner-built and had varying standards; the winches looked just dinky; all had the old boat smells.
I still like the B31, but the fact is all the number crunching had in the end only created a monster, a larger-than-life B31 that met or almost met all criteria – especially when I conveniently overlooked the less favorable data.
I am fairly sure a few in these forums can tell you the Pacific Seacraft 34 is a lovely boat. The others will also have someone rooting for them. Sure as the sun sets, someone will diss the Wauquiez 33 and call it a dog. Listen to them all, but in the end this is fact
as far as I am concerned:
Any of these boats would take you to Mexico, and you will like one more than the rest regardless of advice and numbers. “Motion-comfort” rating my ass! There is so much more to comfort – and some will be up to you, for instance how well you stow gear onboard and how much weight you add. If you really like what you see and enjoy being there, it compensates for a lot. And to be brutally honest: in really bad weather, I defy any manufacturer to call his boat “comfortable.”
You have already done a great job in studying the hull profiles and numbers, you already have some feel for what you want – and perhaps that was the important part of the exercise? It means you can approach your choice with more confidence, it means you have perspectives on how numbers fall and what matters; it is all part of the judgment.
I didn’t answer your question, sorry