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Old 24-07-2016, 13:10   #1
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What are some of your must-haves

I've been looking around at boats for sale and picking up on certain things in the pictures such as double helm, open stern (if that's the proper term), etc.

I'm wondering what people's opinions are on some of the features you prefer and why. One thing I've been wondering about is the open stern (again, if that's the correct term). I've seen some boats that have a half wall you have to climb over to get to the ladder, this seems like it would be a pain in the butt.

This is probably one of those questions that could include several aspects of a boat such as length, beam, draft etc,, but let's give it a try.
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Old 24-07-2016, 13:17   #2
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

If you narrow the terms of the question I think it will help get better answers.

Are you asking about must haves just in regard to hull/deck design and layout or are you including equipment, electronics, accommodations, comfort items, or ???
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Old 24-07-2016, 13:45   #3
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

And are asking about must haves for racing, day sailing, costal cruising or offshore sailing? You have to define your intended use before you can consider boat design or equipment needs.


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Old 24-07-2016, 14:39   #4
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Quote:
Originally Posted by m2244 View Post
I'm wondering what people's opinions are on some of the features you prefer and why.
Everything that was on my must-have list was replaced after a charter or two. Go charter for a week, then charter for 2 weeks. You'll learn some stuff in week one, but toward the end of week 2, the stuff that you tolerated in week one since it was "just vacation" starts to annoy you.

I quickly found that those must-haves paled in comparison to the stuff that really made life aboard work.

In my case 2 big things (1) while I love monos, but for cruising it's cats for me, I hate looking backward or staring at the back of the house while sailing, and I'm not going to be glued to the helm all day/night/week. So visibility from the cockpit is key. (2) I want to sail, so everything from raising and reefing sails, tacking, downwind set up, trimming visibility, dealing w/ the anchor has to be dead easy and support single handed when tired. It's amazing the bad ergonomics of most boats. Fine for the first 2 days when all your friends are excited to help out. But down the road or if you want "just go" yourself, it better be dead easy or you'll trim less or motor more or worse just go less.
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Old 24-07-2016, 14:49   #5
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

I'm thinking more leisurely sailing like coastal or even cruising, even perhaps a live on board one day. I'm not really interested in racing. Thinking more design like the open stern or certain width; leisurely convenience.

I can see where equipment would make the list. Maybe if someone really had something they upgraded to and really loved it.
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Old 24-07-2016, 15:24   #6
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

m2244,

I am a long term cruiser who has lived aboard for 30 yrs, full time cruising outside of vacations visiting the States and surgeries. The reason I'm telling you this is so that you can have some idea of where I'm coming from with this. I don't want to be mean to you, and feel concerned that what I write could come off that way.

Mark 424 told you what happens, which is that through the process of sailing and spending a few days and nights on boats inevitably will change what you think we want.

What will help you clarify what you need is experience on boats. For example, my Jim started with a 15 footer, then a Catalina 22, followed by a Yankee 30 (S&S), a Palmer Johnson 36, and finally this boat, a John Sayer one-off built by a master shipwright for his own use. With each boat, he refined his wants, and the PJ--we lived and cruised in her for 18 yrs, and have 13 yrs in this one.

The whole deal depends on the uses to which you want to put the boat, your needs and those of your significant other, if applicable, and your budget. (Obviously, if an SO comes along later, they simply have to accept what you have.) Another way than chartering to refine your requirements is to get involved sailing other people's boats, most easily done (imo) as volunteer race crew for "beer can races", informal club racing. There you will pick up on some of the Colregs, and meet people with boats that you spend time on (and evaluate relative to what you think you like and don't like.)

A pointer, here, boats can be pretty simple machines with very complex systems. When you own a boat you become responsible for keeping them up, so access to systems is very important, either because it makes it easier for you to maintain, or for a marine service provider to fix more quickly. The latter is the most expensive and frustrating part of boat ownership, depending on where you'll be paying marina fees, boat taxes, and registration, etc.

At any rate, for the moment, you're extremely vulnerable to sales pitches that appeal to your desire for mastery and to have the "best". So I suggest sailing lessons, where you'll be exposed to a few different kinds of boats, volunteering on o. p. b's [just to see what's available--racing is just a way of getting out on the water in a social setting, unless you get hooked on it-- and possibly chartering, before making costly decisions.

We have had single helm boats, so I cannot speak knowledgeably to having double helm. While it may give you redundancy, it also gives complexity and consumes space, which is always in demand, especially if you're a hoarder. With regards to an open transom, that opening is a place where a big wave could wash your right out of the boat if you're not tethered. It also is an open place where, when running off in a big seaway, you could take a breaking wave right through the cockpit, and if there is no bridge deck, sweep in and fill up your boat. There are sound seaworthiness considerations for the old fashioned ways boats were built, and modern styles, which tend to appeal more to women (as they were targeted as a market many years ago now), tend to be more modern in appearance, and, imo, less seaworthy. Those "cramped" spaces means you have less far to fall, offer handholds to keep you safe, moving in a seaway. I know it's not what salesmen will tell you, it is based on my experience.

You can have heaps of fun on a little trailerable sailboat, inexpensive, and learn to sail, to find out if it is something you want to explore further. Or, start with a smaller, older keel boat. The smaller you start, the better sailor you'll become.

Good luck with it--it really isn't like buying a car, more like buying a plane, in that you'll be acquiring an object that you want to keep you and others you care about safe, in an environment which is basically hostile to your life form.

Ann
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Old 24-07-2016, 15:53   #7
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

since 1990 i have lied on board almost everything haha ha . not race boats,. there, i will draw the line.
i cheated i started sailing in 1955. sailed a lot of different kinds of different boats in my 60 + years.
i prefer my chris craft cavalier for merely residential and some fast fun on a bay and such cool sh.., err stuff....my ericson 35 m II i just sold as payment for this formosa,for daysailing and fun, hell, each one of my boats was bought for a reason. my 1979 26 islander bahama was awesome bay sailor--a cadillac.
but for living on board full time and cruising, i LOVE my formosa 41. best boat i have ever sailed in a blow of any significance, and most comfortable when caught by a 60+kt chubasco off so coast of baja. sweet lines and heavy. 2 masts for better weather sailing, designed to sail trades, i am happy. easily repaired underway. took me from july 1990 until jan 2005 to find her, from jan 2005 until mid 2008 to talk po out of it, and to mid 2009 to arrange final purchase with price dependent on sale price of ericson. damn smart i am.
i learned to sail from age 7, on big boats--not sailing dinks-- hell i didnt have one of those until 1998 when i bought a lil used to death kite, aka newport 11. awesome fun.
there is no answer to the question what kinda boat yada yada--is all individual and most personal. like finding a mate. \
have fun in your search, and sail everything. as often as you can. only then will you know what you cannot tolerate.
each design of hull sails differently than the rest. only way to know is by sailing them. then you know what you like.
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Old 24-07-2016, 16:09   #8
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

I have never Chartered, but believe picking a boat based on chartering, would be like picking a wife based on a Honeymoon.
I've been refining our wants and needs list for three years, but as I am still a wage slave, the longest time we have continuously lived aboard has been for three weeks and that isn't enough to do much but give us a taste.
Myself I think I would love a sugar scoop stern for getting into and out of the dinghy, but I intend on having a good ladder made so we can board amidship, seems when there are waves there is less boat movement there.
But a good dive ladder and shower on the sugar scoop, I can see how that would be very nice.


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Old 24-07-2016, 16:20   #9
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

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I have never Chartered, but believe picking a boat based on chartering, would be like picking a wife based on a Honeymoon.
There's a joke in this, but I'm leaving it alone.
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:05   #10
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Big water tanks and a comfortable sea-safe shower.

Big and sea-safe galley.

Sea going bunks.

Plenty of hand and foot holds and NO hard edges, corners, glass panels, etc. below.

Zero leaks.

Easy dinghy storage on the deck.

A cockpit that is comfortable both at sea and at anchor.

Plenty of natural light down below and NO slanted acrylic windows.

Heaps of natural ventilation.

At least one reliable way to self-steer the boat in 'any' conditions.

Super sturdy dodger, preferably hard one.

No fittings on the sidedecks, foredeck and poop deck.

etc etc etc etc

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Old 24-07-2016, 17:40   #11
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Quote:
No fittings on the sidedecks, foredeck and poop deck.
Barney, I'm in agreement with all your other criteria, but this one escapes me! To what do you attach shrouds, stays, jib sheets, etc, when there are NO fittings on the decks? Keeping decks reasonably clear is great, but...?

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Old 24-07-2016, 17:41   #12
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

What an apparently simple question!

I look at the latest boats and ask why have they been designed like that. Some will tell you its just to cut costs. But its not. Its because people like them.

Engineering advances every 'generation'. It doesn't regress.

Open cockpits and a nice swim platform on a modern boat are better than the older, closed smaller cockpits. Modern layouts with good headroom, lots of hatches, well thought out galleys, heads, storage room are better.
Modern diesels combined with fin keels and good sail plans mean you don't need as much fuel as 30 years ago.

Look modern and buy as modern as you can afford. Imho.

I agree with the thought to go charter. See why their boats are more liveable.
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:43   #13
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
since 1990 i have lied on board almost everything haha ha . not race boats,. there, i will draw the line.
i cheated i started sailing in 1955. sailed a lot of different kinds of different boats in my 60 + years.
i prefer my chris craft cavalier for merely residential and some fast fun on a bay and such cool sh.., err stuff....my ericson 35 m II i just sold as payment for this formosa,for daysailing and fun, hell, each one of my boats was bought for a reason. my 1979 26 islander bahama was awesome bay sailor--a cadillac.
but for living on board full time and cruising, i LOVE my formosa 41. best boat i have ever sailed in a blow of any significance, and most comfortable when caught by a 60+kt chubasco off so coast of baja. sweet lines and heavy. 2 masts for better weather sailing, designed to sail trades, i am happy. easily repaired underway. took me from july 1990 until jan 2005 to find her, from jan 2005 until mid 2008 to talk po out of it, and to mid 2009 to arrange final purchase with price dependent on sale price of ericson. damn smart i am.
i learned to sail from age 7, on big boats--not sailing dinks-- hell i didnt have one of those until 1998 when i bought a lil used to death kite, aka newport 11. awesome fun.
there is no answer to the question what kinda boat yada yada--is all individual and most personal. like finding a mate. \
have fun in your search, and sail everything. as often as you can. only then will you know what you cannot tolerate.
each design of hull sails differently than the rest. only way to know is by sailing them. then you know what you like.



The part I highlighted there, written by zeehag, I think it's correct, practical, and should all be enjoyable.

Ann
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:52   #14
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Engine access.
More engine access.
Even more engine access.
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Old 24-07-2016, 18:04   #15
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Re: What are some of your must-haves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Barney, I'm in agreement with all your other criteria, but this one escapes me! To what do you attach shrouds, stays, jib sheets, etc, when there are NO fittings on the decks? Keeping decks reasonably clear is great, but...?

Jim
http://imagenes.cosasdebarcos.com/ba...257684569x.jpg

I think as close as we get to it in the real world.

Chainplates thru the gunwales, genoa track on the gunwales or outboard or on the cabin trunk. Lazarete door and anchor wells flush, etc.

You can walk stem to stern with closed eyes, in the worst of the weather, holding on to a SOLID handrail and without kicking your foot on any junk.

How they say it where they build them: 'et voila!' (As if it were that easy indeed).

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