Join Date: Jun 2011
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What do you actually need on a boat?
I'm a Canadian shopping for a winter getaway boat I will keep in Florida, spend a few months on every winter.
After looking at a million boats on Yachtworld and sailboatlistings, I have narrowed my range and I'm looking forward to finally start visiting boats next week. The forums here have been so useful, by the way, mostly for eliminating problem boats.
The process has got me thinking about what you need on a boat and what you don't need.
One of the things I like about sailing is the way it makes you engage with the physical world in a simpler way. I like that my boat isn't like my apartment. In my summer cruises in Canada, I don't mind hand-washing clothes, having cold showers.
Partly because of maintenance requirements, I think I would prefer a boat with less gear. I don't want a microwave, air conditioning, a tv, mainsail furling, water maker, bow thrusters or an electric windlass. I hope to mostly anchor out, charge the batteries with solar panels, and don't want a bunch of power-hungry systems to worry about. I could live without refrigeration, a chart plotter and hot water, but I don't see too many boats without those things.
I can see from all the millions of ads I've looked at that not everybody shares my desire. Some boats are just crammed with gadgets. In some cases, I would guess the owners like fussing with gadgets as much as they like sailing, and good for them.
I don't mean to disdain those who like their systems, but want to learn if there are other sailors who see this as I do and have insights on what you actually need and what you don't.