My suggestion to anyone considering something like this is to seriously consider a ketch
rig that has a cutter's dual headsails.
I have done a lot of cruising on a sloop-rigged boat as well as a comparable ketch-rigged boat and the ketch
was by far
the better option. Especially since in the price
range that you are talking you will most likely have furling
head-sails (or maybe a hank-on staysail and roller genny) but manual slab-reefing main/mizzen (In my opinion slab-reefing is preferable anyway). The benefit of a ketch
or schooner is that for one thing the center of effort of the sails
is spread out nicely and is very auto-pilot friendly once you get used to the sail-plan (and even if you're not on auto, autopilot-friendly is also helmsman-friendly). Along with the center of effort being spread further fore and aft the combination of a genoa
, staysail, moderate-sized main, and mizzen gives you a very flexible arrangement made of multiple smaller sails
that each are easier to handle on their own instead of two or three massive sails that are each a beast to deal with. Not to mention that the slot effect from the dual head-sails is extremely efficient. For an example of the flexibility: On the ketch that I was on for a Pacific crossing we spent 4 or 5 days of the trip with just the genoa
and the mizzen set, we were averaging around 10 knots and the auto-pilot hardly used any battery
at all over that time, it was great!
Also a big plus: Aluminum