Facts are that we are all bias about what boat makes the best offshore
cruisers and that bias often leads back to the decisions we made when we purchased a boat. There are those here that believe the best choice is a newer production boat because the perception is that they are built better than boats of the past. Then there are those that don't want a boat built down to a price
and they advocate either buying
a more expensive boat or an older one that needs refitting as long as its built to a certain standard.
It all depends on what camp your in. Cruisers are very opinionated and the longer they cruise
the more opinionated they get. Delivery
skippers bring a certain view that may not be shared by long term cruisers. Folks that day sail between the islands bring opinions different than voyagers who do long ocean crossings. People with unlimited budgets view things differently from those that are tight for money
. Its difficult when you have limited experience to be able to filter through some of these strong opinions and find help in a kindred spirit.
Like everyone here I'm opinionated...I'm not a fan of full keel
boats but I do admire the salty looks and I do understand why sailors become attached to them plus I know some of them sail very well offshore
Before I started crossing oceans I did a fair amount of racing
so I like a boat that can perform however the first boat I took offshore was a mass produced racer/cruiser and when it was pushed a bit in rough seas the weaknesses started to show. Fortunately I didn't loose the rudder
but it did require a complete rebuild
after 5000 miles offshore, and that was after I rebuilt it before we departed. I started not liking underbuilt spade rudders. I prefer a partial skeg but that just me. Shallow bilges are on my do not bother with list, I'll never own another offshore boat with shallow bilges. I'm not partial to boats built with tabbed in liners I much prefer a stick built boat that has the bulkheads glassed directly to the hulls and deck
. I owned a boat with a liner during my early learning
years and gave it a good bump on a dock
, had it checked and was told that some tabbing had broken loose. I had it fixed but the company would not guaranty the work because it was a hit and miss job to reglue the liner. I also like to be able to get at things that liners often cover up.
I know that the system works in most cases and has made boats much more affordable and many of my friends own similar boats and are very happy with them but you know I'm bias.
I don't like teak
decks and I advise others to avoid them. I prefer masts that don't have swept back spreaders because you can never get the main out far enough when running in the trades. I like boats with adequate tankage and systems that are easy to repair and easy to get to. I like boats that have lots of good dry storage(you don't find that in ex charter
boats) I prefer cast hatches to extruded ones. I like a boat that has real good sea bunks and a galley
that is safe to cook at in a seaway. I like a boat that you can walk from one end to the other and always have good handholds. I would prefer not to have a saildrive
. I like a boat that is easy to steer in a seaway and that can self steer with vane or autopilot
in heavier going. I like a boat that has a good chart table that I can sit in and brace myself when underway. I like solent rigs. I could go on but like others have said most of my likes can be found in production boats and I'm bias.