I think someone should point out that boats should really be measured by their displacement
, not LOA
. The greater the displacement
, generally, the more space you will have down below.
A high ballast to displacement ratio can....does not always...but can result in better sea handling and a more comfortable motion in a sea way.
But...all of that comes at a cost. The greater the displacement, the more effort it will require to handle the boat. Modern sail handling equipment
can make handling bigger and bigger boats easier in one sense, but they cannot lower the amount of WORK. required. Yes, they can lower the amount of Force needed for each motion, but the amount of work will be the same. The one exception would be an in mast roller furling mainsail
....but that can have its own issues.
These forces and the resulting work required accelerate quickly as the wind
does. Anyone can captain
a 49 footer, on a broad reach, offshore in calm seas. Getting one into a slip in a cross current
or cross breeze can be difficult. Sailing one offshore in high winds and waves can be taxing.
Long keels had their time, but keep in mind, the present a lot of drag underneath. Especially as fouling occurs....which some amount always will. And then, you are paying a penalty for that in speed or motor
....UG....if you are going to live anywhere tropical...I would not even think about it. No matter what you do...unless you let it silver, you will be sanding
and varnishing every 6 months.
There are many good sea going boats in the 30-38 ft range. My Wauquiez Hood
38 was about as perfect as a boat could be over the past 11 years that I had her. At 22,000 lbs displacement, with a 50% ballast to displacement ration and a 4.5 ft draft
, she did everything for me, in the kindest way, a boat could. I single
handed most of the time and I can tell you, there were plenty of days when it was very taxing, very tiring, and I rigged her for easy, simple single
So, here is one plan that might be recommended:
1. Look over the attributes of the well known, well respected offshore cruising boats. The Passport 40 and Valiant 40 come to mind. Moderate displacement. Modified fin keel
. Not too deep a draft
. high ballast to displacement ratio. Cutter
rigged...though having sailed some cutter
rigs...I would not go near one [my personal preference would be a solent rig...which you can do yourself, after buying
2. Look over the charts
where you plan to sail. What is the average depth
where you will be anchoring
or narrow channels you will be going through. Begin for formulate what your ideal draft will be. Perhaps 5ft or less.
3. Buy a copy of the two volume set, Practical Boat Buying, from Practical Sailor. GREAT information on the construction and build of most of the boats you might consider.
Check out the Bristol 35.5, some of the Tartan's, the Wauquiez Pretorian 35, many many others.
Another book: something about some number of small boats that could take you anywhere...
4. Think about your real use for the boat and your needs. Will she be a dock
queen. A liveaboard
. A transoceanic cruiser? Do you want a separate shower
stall, a larger galley
, two private staterooms? Are there good sea berths in the boat.
Then, look at a lot of boats. The right one will find you.
Hope this helps