Congrats on having a plan. Keep focused.
A couple suggestions - get out there and charter
, try boats out, find out what you like and how big you really need.
I've chartered dozens of boats over the last 25 years, mono, cat, power, sail, and for a while it was about learning
and growing, trying new and bigger boats every trip. During a charter
in the Caribbean on a Catana
50, I finally said, this boat is too big. We had a fine time, but the sheets
on the big screecher were massive, while my friends have crewed for me for a long time, I worried about the massive winches and loads on things and would they hurt themselves. Certain maneuvers, raising the main, anchoring
were no longer one person jobs. Fine for a week w/ 6 friends, but what I'd want for couple's cruising. Reading and boat shows are only 5% of the research
you need - ya gotta sail these machines yourself for a couple days minimum to find out what really bugs you. Too big isn't just about waterline.
After the Catana
charter I ran across a passing reference here on CF to the book Sensible Cruising
, it's from 1990, but timeless wisdom on not going to big. It's worth the $10.
For me, I like performance and cats, but growing up as a mono racer
I don't like not having a great view forward from the cockpit
, so am going with a Maine Cat
. Everyone has their own things that really matter.
Maxingout Dave has lots of great stuff on his websites - learn from folks that have been out there.