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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today was a looking day for myself and the miss. We went to the boat show. I bit overwhelming but we had a great time. Today we decided to make a day of looking for a boat. Ran into a dilemma that I did not foresee. She felt cramped in every boat we looked at! Not in the saloon, but rather in the berths, both V berth and aft.
The first two boats we looked at were S2's from the late 70s and early 80s. I get below deck, I like what I see, roomy. Fiance(soon wife) does not want to even head aft because the small passageway feels too cramped for her. She goes anyway and is really really feeling too claustrophobic. She sees the berth, and does not like it. Same with the other S2. So we get on a Sabre 28 1975. I am liking what I see, she does not. Does not like the V birth cabin. Too cramped again. Next up was a Cal 29, then a Hunter 30.
Finally an Irwin 43. Not to buy, just because I wanted to see what it looked like inside. BTW, standing at the helm of the Irwin was really intimidating LOL. I have never sailing something that large. Felt like I was looking at the bow of an aircraft carrier. Anyway, same problem with the miss, even on the 43. Here is what i do not understand...For every weekend during the summer we lived on a Hunter 28(1987). We ate breakfast on the Hunter, slept on the Hunter, sailed the Hunter. She loves it. Now, the Hunter 28's V berth has no cabin, you just climb over the settee. I know that when we first stayed on the Hunter 28 in June, she was restless, felt cramped, and could not sleep. She hated it. As time went by though she began to love and love it. We just spent the last three days on the H28, and she slept snug as a bug! So I am confused.
She said she likes the openness of it. Yet, every boat we went on today, plus the catalina 30 last weekend was more open than the h28.
So I told her I would post on here and ask.
I know she liked some of the Catalina 30's from the boat show. My only guess is that the berths were all made up, with fluffy pillows and nice comforters. I am guessing she would like what we saw today if the berths were made up? Anyone else have this with their loved one?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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The judicious use of a few mirrors might help the boat feel less claustrophobic. In the size range you are looking you will not find an aft cabin with any space. A few boats have innovative interiors that are much more open. Some of the Gozzards are nice, but they are not cheap. Some slightly bigger boats have a pullman berth, an offset double forward, rather than a V-berth. Those feel open.
 
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Our boat has a fairly large aft berth despite the 'pinched ends' of her era. Access is through a bulkhead cutout, no doors, and there are a couple small deck lights and an opening hatch.

It's very comfortable but my wife suffers occasionally from a touch of claustrophobia and once in a while wakes up 'needing air'. Mostly it's just fine.

Since your wife grew to be comfortable in the Hunter, I'd guess you've got another climatization session in your future.

As for Vberths, something that might help is having a small halyard-suspended tent fabricated that would allow you to leave a hatch open in all weather.
 

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Pacific Seacraft 31s have that open layout that would feel more spacious, but again that may be a pricier boat than what you were looking at, at least for one in nice shape.

Most builders have sacrificed that airiness of an open v-berth for the privacy of a cabin with a door, even on relatively small models.

Either way it sounds like with a little time on the boat, she'll grow accustomed to it. You might just need to work on your pitch.
 
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I had a Catalina 27 and after a week of living aboard, it was definitely too small for me. I looked at a 30 Catalina, too small also. Then I climbed aboard a Morgan 33 Out Island and fell in love with the boat. Solid build, more interior room than most 41s, easy to sail single handed, more storage space than most 41s, spacious cockpit, massive quarter berth, nice size head, great galley and lots of deck space. This particular boat was very well designed and while some folks claim they are slow, I've had it to 10.1 MPH on at least two occasions and it handled like a champ. No strain, just cruised along slicing through the waves in dry comfort.

Good luck on whatever you decide upon, but the Morgan 33 O.I. really deserves consideration for cruising,

Gary :cool:
 

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Anyone else have this with their loved one?

No. Not really. We each have our areas of expertise. Mine include mechanical and technical issues. I'm also MUCH more knowledgeable about sailboats. I make the final decision on which boat we buy.

Of course, I make the decision with her solidly in mind.

Whether she's the expert on the issue we're deciding, or if I am, either of us can veto the other, but we use our veto power VERY sparingly and only after discussion.

Buying a used sailboat is complex and many things have to be considered. Make of boat, size of boat, diesel or gas, condition of engine, sail plan, sail inventory, sail condition, cored hull or solid, deck layout, cockpit, condition of decks....and on and on and on.

If you manage to track down a boat you consider ideal, taking everything into consideration, and making the necessary compromises, is she going to veto it because her first impression of the berth(s) is negative?

Or, is she a full participant in the process, and like you, taking ALL factors into consideration before she vetoes on a single issue (an issue that she flip-flopped on with your current boat)?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I take a different approach to boat buying. i pre-qualify boats that are suitable and then let her choose which one she likes best. Works well. We had an interesting experience at Annapolis. She decided she really likes the new X-Yachts cruising series boats. Totally different from any boats she has known. Won't be a problem with the price of those boats. i could not afford the options - the list was five pages long.
 

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*grin* I spent 44 hours of the past weekend in an Amtrak roomette. Even a V-berth sounds roomy in comparison to a 3' by 6' space that sleeps 2... And yes, the upper bunk's got a lee-cloth.
 

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You mentioned the Sabre 28, so I'll jump in.

We had one for 15 years and I don't think that my wife ever slept in the V berth. She and I always slept in the pull out settee in the main cabin. The V Berth was for our daughter. She first slept there at 9 months and grew up (weekends/ summer trips, etc) in the V berth. When she got older, we stuffed her friends in there too. Then they grew up and we bought the Sabre 38 when she was about 10.

On our 38, my wife has never slept in the V Berth cabin. Too cramped, she says. Now that our daughter visits much less often, I sleep in the V berth and she stays in the .... main cabin on the fold out bunk.

Maybe your fiancee just doesn't like V berths like my wife.
 

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She can sleep fine on the boat you have, but has instant claustrophobia on others in the same size range or larger?

I would like to give advice on having a large hatch above the berth, etc, but I think your problem is not claustrophobia. I'm not saying it's intentional, but perhaps brought on by the anxiety of buying a new boat.
 
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There are boats designed with no forward (v berth) cabin, the settee converts to large open double berth or large double berth is forward of settee. Head is mid ship.
Ericson 32 and Lancer 30 and 36 (later models) come to mind. Sure there are others, including some very new designs but none come to mind.
Thinking some compromising but are open, bright.
You could suggest a day sailor and sleeping bag, but afraid you would be one sleeping on deck (;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I really like the posts and suggestions Climatization as one said may be the best bet. We are going to look at another S2 and a Catalina 30 this Saturday. I am hoping she will lose a little of the anxiety.
 

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Which S2's are you visiting? It sounds like the 9.2 center cockpit. That hallway and aft cabin are a bit small. I liked the boats for my family, but I can see her point. If you get a chance, check out an S2 11 (34'). The center cockpit version has a nice size aft cabin. The C30's aft cabin is nice, but if she's inclined to be claustrophobic, you might consider mods to make the settee/dinette into a bed. It sounds to me, though, like she might like some of the newer cabin styles, like the Beneteau and Catalinas. They have open bulkheads like in the H28 (which is a really sharp boat, BTW...we almost bought one a few years ago). In the era boats you're looking at, that open v-berth really didn't exist (at least not in the boats you frequently find in the northeast, and in my admittedly limited experience).
 
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