Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
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Re: LOA vs LWL, looking for a boat
Reading this I'm guessing that you'd spend considerable time in the big ditch motoring. You'd want mast height, draft, and engine power to support that. You'd reach over to the Bahamas. You'd maybe run up to Maine, then like most of us you'd end up motoring back against the prevailing SW wind in the morning before the SW builds in. You'd be less likely to head offshore for the BVI's and beyond.
If this is so, you are looking shallow draft, a cabin that's extremely comfortable inshore but could do an occasional offshore passage, a boat that isn't a race horse upwind but tracks well in a reach/run, less than 65' mast height, etc. Interesting that if that's the deal, gulfstar isn't a bad example of something that might fit. The ones I've been on are plenty comfortable below. Plenty others fit too.
The hard thing for me when I'm buying a boat is to admit to myself honestly how i'm NOT going to use it. Frequently, I bought boats that were overqualified for the type of coastal sailing I do, and traded some inshore comfort for that. Lot's of people have dreams of circumnavigations, few do it. Personally I have no desire, but I know people who have and loved it. To each there own.
The advice to figure out how you plan to cruise, and fit the boat to that is right on IMHO. Good luck!