Hey fellow cruisers - I need some advice. I've been renting
/ time-sharing sailboats for about 10 years (much easier on the wallet! At least for the durations I've been doing), but it's getting time to buy a boat for some longer duration voyages.
Since my long-term plans may include offshore
/ South Pacific
sailing, I've been researching all the "bluewater boat lists", reading forums
like these, etc.
What I'm still confused on is: are there used bluewater-capable boats in the 32-38' range that aren't old designs (built more than 20 years ago)? Did they not build any such boats in the 90s and 2000's? Or are the owners just not ready to sell them yet? Or perhaps some modern production boats actually are bluewater capable, but traditionalists say they're not because they're holding on to romantic notions of what boats used to be like?
All the ones I find on the market in Seattle
and online tend to be 1980's-ish boats. While many are very respectable, well made boats, they also use a lot of wood (teak decks and interiors) and usually have more cramped, awkward interiors. Even the few bluewater boats I've found built in the early 90's (a 1992 Pacific Seacraft
34) were still using the same designs and style from the 1970s-80s.
Of the boats I've sailed - J/35Cs, C&C
27s, J/105s, J/80s, J/24s, Catalina 320
36, Rhodes 19 - the J/35c impressed us the most, and is therefore my reference point for comparing used boats to - but, most people would say it's not a bluewater capable boat.
The short-term plan is probably a 2-3 month cruise
around Vancouver Island and San Juans, but the medium-term plan might be a 1-year trip to Mexico
. And in the long-term, I'm hoping the South Pacific
and other extended bluewater cruising may come into the picture.
So in the short-term a production cruiser like a J/35c would be fine - but it seems like it would be better to get a boat that I can grow into for the long-term aspirations, since I expect to put a fair amount of time and money
into fitting out whatever boat I buy. It'd be rough to perfect one boat only to have to sell and it do that all over again in 2 years.