Hey...what SV Third Day said is spot on.
Research is an awesome place to start but be open-minded. Boats seem to be a "right place at right time" thing, and your requirements are VERY liberal. Being able to single
hand may be your biggest limiting factor. My boat is only a 38 but single handing would be very difficult, even with a staysail that's self tending and roller furling jib
. In fact I'm struggling with putting my stay on a roller furling
to clear up deck
space...but I know as soon as I do, I'll use it way less because it's hard to tack with one big jib
, let alone two.
I am still VERY new to boating
and was in your shoes very recently. I researched boats TO DEATH and can spout off all kinds of info about hull
, layout etc, on most boats in the 35-45 range.
People's opinions vary and are VERY strong. Insulting someone's boat is akin to telling them their kid is ugly...legit. It will come down to personal preference and what's out there.
You will hear people trash production boats like Hunter
, and that's just their opinion. And it's crazy. I've sailed a couple Bene's and they ROCK. Fast, responsive, a freaking blast to sail. People that have Hunter's and Catalina's love their boats as well. (I just can't speak personally...they haven't invited me aboard.) :-) if I was land based and staying in the Bay Area, I'd have never bought my old, heavy, full-keeled boat. Ever. I'd have bought a fin keeled, spade rudder
fun machine. I knew I was headed south and back to Caribbean
, and hopefully to the Med someday. Those were my three goals. I found a boat that was smaller than I wanted but fit my goals.
You will get LOADS of opinions from this thread. Read them all. But you have God's playground there in Puget Sound
...one of the prettiest places on Earth. Look for a boat that will let you enjoy that TO THE FULLEST. One that's not too big or labor-intensive, and that you can actually sail away. Almost anything in that range will get you out to Orcas and San Juan
, and let you experience all that area has to offer.