You have given the budget ($200K with $50K for outfitting) and you have said "passage making" as your purpose, but you didn't really tell us what that means to you. I know people who define "passage making" as sailing to the Caribbean
and others who define it as crossing the Atlantic and still others that don't consider it "passage making" until you are rounding one of the capes or crossing the South Pacific
Also, is this going to be for a defined time frame cruise
, a circumnavigation
, open ended sailing where the wind
I recently wrote a post on my blog
about choosing the right boat. Also, at the Monkey Fist, the recent topic was on "Does Size Really Matter
?" There may be some information there that helps you.
Personally, I think your goal of picking the right boat on the first shot is unrealistic. Until you, and anyone who may be going with you (hint, significant other's happiness with the boat one of the most important parts
of choosing the right boat), have spent some time on boats, it is going to be hard to define what matters to you.
For instance, the Valiant's have canoe sterns. While this may be appealing from a passage making perspective, most cruisers spend about 80% of their time at anchor
. A canoe stern at anchor
is a pain. Its more difficult to swim from, more difficult for getting in and out of the dingy, more difficult for loading and unloading supplies, laundry
, trash, etc. I imagine that launching and raising a dingy, even on stern davits
, can be a difficult task.
is smaller than other choices. We spend the most amount of time in the cockpit
as liveaboards in the Boston area from April through December. When we chartered in the Caribbean, we were only down below for sleeping and making food
or drinks to bring on deck
Also, the Viliant doesn't have a centerline birth. Many people find off-center births uncomfortable when at anchor because it can cause a rolling feeling.
We're going cruising while we are relatively young (leaving at 40, wish we went at 30). However, if you are like most you will be going after 60-65. That will make things like I mentioned above even harder. The last thing I would want my boat choice to do is limit my time spend out cruising because it adds difficulties that could have been solved
by a different design choice.
Good luck and fair winds,