Originally Posted by upsidedown
I think that the first issue is what do you intend to do with the boat? A boat that does coastal cruising is not necessarily the boat you want to have to cross an ocean. I say this because, in most circumstances along the coast, you can find refuge within 24 hours. This will protect you from a severe storm. At sea, you have no choice, you have to be there no matter what kind of storm it is.
So lets presume you want to cross an ocean. "My" first priority is safety
for all aboard. To this issue I feel a boat has to built strong, thick hull
, bonded bulkheads, double spreaders, etc. Second is comfort. You will be living aboard
this boat so you want to feel comfortable and at home. Sometimes you cannot get them both, at least not to the same level of comfort you might want. Third would be performance. You do not want to cross an ocean doing 4 knots. There has to be a compromise here. Usually fast boats are not built as strong as you would need. Some overly built boats don't sail too well. You have to find that balance. The other items I would list would depend on the size of the boat, the number of people aboard, the destination
, etc. If you can find someone who has a copy of a book I wrote "Plot Your Course to Adventure." "How to be a Successful Cruiser." I have one chapter totally devoted to this subject.
Reading this post, I would like to offer that in my particular purchase
, I had already narrowed all of this down before looking at a set of boats. There were other, larger (some, much larger and much faster - Kelsall) catamarans available at the same price
range as the one I bought, but I opted for build quality. When you step on the deck
of one of these Catalacs, it's similar to the feeling of stepping on a Hans Christian, or a steel
Repeating what I said earlier - it was build quality. Better than tabbed bulkheads, it has completely watertight bulkheads, bilge
, between the engine
rooms and the main cabin
(no engine-related leak can sink her). She's also got the same thing forward, with watertight crash bulkheads separating the bows from the main cabin
. Say your main cabin does flood... well, you still have 4 sealed off areas (two engine
rooms and two watertight crash bulkheads forward) to help with flotation.
Add to that a 1" thick balsa cored deck
(that goes something like glass, core
, glass, core
, glass, core, glass - ha ha ha), as well as solid glass hulls and you have yourself a very reliable, sturdy boat.
The fact that she's livable and comfortable and all of that stuff really was required (for me) in every boat I evaluated.
She's not the fastest boat in light wind
, but performs about as well as my old Gulfstar
Geez... I'm a man in love, rambling... ha ha ha
Anyway, it was the solid construction (which includes things like watertight bulkheads, etc..)