What do you look for in a long range cruising yacht ?
2) As simple as possible. And that is pretty darn simple!
3) A great sail boat: light on the helm
, responsive, great light air performance (its almost always light air), seaworthy
, a smooth ride, minimum pounding upwind, excellent steering
control. And it must surf down wind
, not just wallow around.
4) A cockpit
with protection. A very strong dodger
, or better, a hard dodger
5) LOTS of open space. Like room for a dinghy
down below. Room to fix sails
. Room to store the sails
where all the water
related to wet sails doesn't bother anything else.
6) Room all around the engine
and all systems so its easy to work on them, and its not a stuffy, hot, constrained space. So better no engine
room, but perhaps all the mechanicals under totally removable floor boards, or right in the middle of the cabin
with a completely removeable soundproof box enclosure.
7) A big open galley
: 12 linear feet of counter space, two feet on either side of the double sink and stove. Draining, ventilated cabinets so dishes, pots, pans, utensils, cups, glasses, etc can be put away wet. Trash can, and plenty of storage
for trash. Engine driven refrigeration
. Located for minimum motion, maximum view, maximum ventilation.
8) Sea berths: pipe berths that can be adjusted level are the best. Amidship.
9) Settees facing with a folding table in the middle for the saloon
: works at sea and in port.
10) Exactly one head
. Separate stall shower
. Hot pressure water
But to make it a boat I would actually own for more than a short time, it must also be very low cost to own and store. This means easily trailerable. This restricts beam to 8 to 9 feet depending on the domicile, but generally does not restrict length much nor displacement
. Most domiciles allow 53 foot trailers to support the nearly world standard 53 foot containers. Displacement
is not really a limit, as 20 to 25K lbs is pretty easy with a little practice, and the "good sailboat" aspect tends to force the displacement well under that level anyway
Also, its got to be very easy to sail, as we are getting older. Like most, I've got some wacky ideas on how to achieve that.
What boats do you admire ?
All the S&S designed Swan boats.
Most of the "70 foot sleds."
A few performance cruising multihulls, such as those designed by M&M (Gunboat) and CSK. An updated CSK would be sweet.
What features do you like in existing designs ?
What features do you dislike in existing designs ?
Most cruising boats built over the past round of economic expansion are far, far to complex and focused on marina life. Most racing
boats built over the same period suffer from horrible motion at sea and directional instability.
The performance cruisers of the 70s and early 80s were in some ways the sweet spot, but all of them are far too old to consider buying
now for a long term ownership
commitment, or long term/range cruising.
Nearly all boats are very, very under canvassed. Far better to be able to set a cloud of sail, and be able to efficiently shorten sail, than to always depend on the iron genny.
If its not beautiful and fun, its simply not worth it: lots of other ways to see the world and live the life.
If its too complicated or hard to work on or expensive to own, it stops being fun very quickly.