Webb Chiles is a personal hero of mine and I enjoy his books
and articles tremendously. If you have not read, "A Single
Wave", you should. It is invaluable.
It does illustrate some of the mistakes
that Webb made in boat choice and his style of sailing...which I think would be a challenge for anyone else. Webb writes that his goal in sailing has been to push himself to the limits of his physical and psycological limits (which he accomplished). This is instructive to keep in mind.
We could talk about his other boat choices but I will just focus on the heritage right now. First and foremost, Webb had NO money
when he looked for this boat. He bought her for 20k. Thus, budget
was the chief factor in the decision. Second, while his wife began the journey with him, she bailed to head
back to Boston on their crossing the Atlantic. I don't know the boat well enough to comment on her livability but one attribute stands out in my mind. The cockpit
has virtually no protection from the elements and no backrests for the cockpit seats. She is really a pure racer
. Now...if you are Webb Chiles and enjoy sailing an open boat for several thousand miles...this is no big deal. So, you need to ask yourself....how much out in the elements do you really want to be. Exposure can be very debilitating offshore
and cause sailors to make mistakes
, even give up.
As to the early IOR hullform....there was a very good discussion recently in another forum regarding this issue. Many sailors enjoy many of the attributes pure IOR boats, despite the IOR rule
. Some of those attributes may contribute positively to "IOR ERA" boats...which...as we now know...should really not be considered "IOR rule" boats.
True IOR race
rule boats, like the Heritage, have some drawbacks when it comes to offshore cruising. I am not expert enough to comment so can only draw your attention to this.
IOR era boats, or boats designed in the late 70's and through the 80's, IMHO, have some very positive attributes ....but these should not be confused with the IOR rule or IOR race
So....bottom line. I by no means wish to disuade you from the Heritage 37 one ton. Merely to point out that...she is what she is ...and if you are into that...she is great for you. I think your decision would be based on 1) budget
, 2) amount of comfort desired and 3) intended use.
If you are looking for a low budget cruising boat, there may be other choices, though the Heritage could remain on the list. If you are looking for a fun boat to blast around in and spend some weekends aboard, at a good price
, she could be very good.
Hope this helps