I know you like the J44 but to be honest I'd look into a C&C
41 before a J44, they're more sea kindly and a smoother ride. There are also some Tartan models that will still give you a turn of speed without beating you up as much. As I said before I've sailed similar boats and in rough conditions they tend to pound, also, without a number of years racing
you wouldn't be able to get the most out of it since you would need to know how to best optimize the sail trim and rig tune. There are so many adjustments you can get lost
It's a boat for the performance sailor who's had that experience and wants to cruise
my own boats and crewing/ transporting other race
boats I can tell you it's a steep learning
curve that never ends.
If cruising with the family
pick a boat that will satisfy your performance cruising goals without stressing you and your family out.
My wife crewed on a custom built race
boat for years, basically a 40 foot racing dinghy
, very light, very fast, deep draft
and very tuneable. Moving the base of the mast
1.5 inches to adjust the rake of the mast
was worth 10 seconds per mile and made tacking much faster and easier with better acceleration out of the tacks, of course you'd have to know to do that, but thats how fussy race bred boats are. When I got my last C&C
i wasn't comfortable with it's upwind performance or tacking, I completely went through the rig, re-raked the mast, re-tuned the standing rigging
, went through every tuning trick I knew, upon taking the first sea trial afterwards the difference was like sailing a whole different boat. But that takes years of sailing experience to know and to intuitively feel, if you don't have that depth
of experience your going to get the downside of the shortcomings of that boat without the plus side. Otherwise your going to be hiring someone who can, which only adds to the cost.
A more forgiving design will give you just as much pleasure without the pain, and how comfortable is your wife with taking midnight watches on a finicky boat? Mine raced for 14 years before we decide to buy a cruising boat, she basically told me flat out she wouldn't do it on a more performance oriented boat. Do I love fast boats? You bet I do, but I'm going cruising with the family, not with my beer
drinking buddies, it makes a huge difference.